Daman and Diu are the two Union Territories in the western part of India at close proximity to Gujarat. Many travellers (including me) may ponder that these are the name of a single place but no, they are two different small areas of Union Territory separated by the Arabian Sea. They are located in a completely reverse direction from each other.
About Daman and Diu
As Wikipedia says, it is the smallest federal division of India on the mainland with a small area of 112 kilometres square. Daman and Diu share its geographical borders with Gujarat, Maharashtra and the Arabian Sea. It was a Portuguese colony since 1500 AD and came to be in the list of Union Territory of India only in 1961.
Daman and Diu showcase a perfect concoction of nature and antiquity drawing millions of nomads every year. Its blue elongated coastlines, aged forts and minsters, hoary museums, shadowy and mysterious caverns, and green estates make these Union Territories a top choice for any wanderer.
Things to see and do in Daman and Diu
Diu Fort, St. Jerome Fort, Jampore beach, St. Paul’s museum, Bom Jesus Church, Nagoa beach, Ghogla beach, Naida caves, INS Khukri Memorial and shell museum are some of the best allures of Daman and Diu.
Water sports and similar other outdoor activities are other activities of interest for travellers who love adventures. Paragliding, Speed boat, Banana boat, and water scooter are some of the few adventures which a nomad can take up here.
The special attraction at Diu
While exploring the Union Territory, ethereal and shadowy caves of Naida caves in Diu needs special mention. Though India homes plenty of caverns all through its geography, Naida caves are unique in their own way.
The Naida Caves in Diu
Naida caves are located close to the Diu Fort, behind the Arabian Sea. Many individuals say that these are man-made caves while others believe it to be a natural one.
When the Portuguese ruled Diu, Diu Fort was their main colonial headquarters. It is believed that Portuguese while erecting the fort seized building materials from these caves which resulted in the troughs and crests of the cavern. Long after the Portuguese left the domicile, the caves were subjected to natural wear and tear which bequeathed the caves its present shape. The caves start at a much lower distance from ground level.
While proper rectangular steps are fabricated at several junctions with red arrows showing the path through the rocks, others only have a wide opening to get in. The caves have a bumpy and irregular ground surface with several lead-ins and tunnels around it. The tunnels inside the caves are interconnected with each other using which a traveller can move from one grotto to another. At many points, roots have come out from the fissures and cracks. The rocks at some places bend low while others have been much eroded since time unknown.
One can easily observe the pattern of erosion along its partitions and passageways. The long straight lines over the stalwart body mark its prolonged corrosion. The place is perfect for photographers and videographers. Lights play hide and seek in the caves creating a light and shade appearance. Outdoor and pre-wedding photo shoots are also carried out in the caves on various occasions.
How to reach Naida caves
Naida caves are located very close to the Diu city and can be easily accessed by car or autos.
- The nearest railway station is Somnath which is 65 kilometres away from Diu. One can take a train to Somnath and then hire a car to reach Diu. Often travellers rent a car from Somnath itself and come to Diu. Veraval is another railway station near Diu (67 kilometres) where travellers can halt to visit Naida caves in Diu.
- Diu has a small airport which is only 10 kilometres away from Diu. One can get a cab from there as well to reach Naida.
- Diu is well connected with buses from nearby cities. Once the buses drop at Diu, one can easily take a cab to reach Naida caves.
Other points to note
- There is no outside board or guide at the caves which mark its identity. Travellers have to roam around the caves of their own.
- Entry is free of cost.
- It’s better to visit the caves during daylight. Lower light will result in poor visibility inside the caves.
- There are potholes and depressions at few places. Travellers must be alert while roving as falling in them may cause injury.
- The caves can be visited throughout a year. Avoiding summers is advised as the place becomes hot and humid during dog days.
- At many points, clusters of iron columns are erected to support the scrawny roofs from falling. Visitors need to take extra care at such intersections.
- Sneakers are preferred over any other sandals and heels as the ground is undulated and hard. Carrying water and light snacks are also advised while going around the caves.
Related reading: 25 of the most famous caves to visit in India