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Diu
Diu
Location of Diu
in Daman and Diu
Coordinates 20°42′N 70°59′E / 20.7°N 70.98°E / 20.7; 70.98
Country  India
Territory Daman and Diu
District(s) Diu
Population 21,576 (2001)
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Area
Elevation

0 m (0 ft)

Diu is a city in Diu district in the union territory of Daman and Diu, India. It is famous for being the location of the pivotal Battle of Diu in 1509 between Portugal and a combined force of Turkey, Egypt, Venice, the Republic of Ragusa (now known as Dubrovnik) and the then Sultan of Gujarat, Mahmud Begada.

It is an island lying off the south coast of Gujarat's Kathiawar peninsula, separated from the mainland by a tidal creek. It has an area of 40 km², and a population of 44,110 (2001 census). The town of Diu lies at the eastern end of the island, and is famous for its fortress and old Portuguese Cathedral. It is also a fishing town. The village of Ghoghla, which lies on the mainland opposite the eastern end of the island, is also part of the union territory. Note that in Google Maps you can find Diu with the name of Dangarvadi.

Contents

History

In 1535 Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat, concluded a defensive alliance with the Portuguese against the Mughal emperor Humayun, and allowed the Portuguese to construct the Diu Fort and maintain a garrison on the island. The alliance quickly unravelled, and attempts by the Sultans to oust the Portuguese from Diu between 1537 and 1546 failed. The Siege of Diu by the Ottoman Empire in 1538 was unsuccessful to repel the Portuguese. The fortress, completed by Dom João de Castro after the siege of 1545, still stands. The island was occupied by the Indian military on 19 December 1961.

Geography and climate

Diu is located at 20°42′N 70°59′E / 20.7°N 70.98°E / 20.7; 70.98.[1] The island is at sea level and covers an area of 38.8 km². The climate is cool and dry, with an average annual rainfall of 700 mm.

Tourism

The tourist season spans September to May. Recommended clothing are cottons in summer, light woolens in winter. The languages spoken in Diu include Gujarati, English, Hindi, and Portuguese. Local transport is available from Una (Gujarat). Tourist destinations include the nearby Nagoa beach. An exciting past time is the boat ride to a light house, in the middle of the sea. There is also a very ancient Lord Shiva's Temple located on the "Gangeswar" coast. Old Diu has some very interesting architecture that can be seen from the island's streets. This includes the old fort, the church, and the museum, which all have a strong Portuguese feel. Jet Airways services the island from the mainland, landing at Diu Airport. For more information, visit Diu Tourism's official website [1].

St. Paul's Church in Diu

Many people confuse Diu with Daman. Although people refer to them together, they are different places (approximately 896 kilometres from each other) for more information click Tourism information on Diu

Demographics

As of 2001 India census,[2] Diu had a population of 21,576. Males constitute 46% of the population and females 54%. Diu has an average literacy rate of 75%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 81% and, female literacy is 69%. In Diu, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age.

References

External links

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Diu Island is located south of Gujarat, India, and is connected to the mainland by bridges and a ferry.

Understand

Diu was under Portuguese occupation from 1539 to 1961, when the Indian government used military action to retake all the Portgese enclaves. Apart from Diu, also Daman, Goa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli were "liberated" in this conflict. This area used to be a part of a larger union territory of Goa, Daman and Diu before Goa became a state by itself. Union territory of Daman and Diu is still administrated from Delhi.

Diu has fine but not so spectacular beaches, Diu town, some villages and all in all very relaxed atmosphere compared to most of India. Diu is not anything like Goa for example and those expecting to find a similar place on a smaller scale might be disappointed.

Talk

Gujarati, hindi and english are mostly understood and spoken. Some older residents might still speak portuguese.

Get in

By plane

Diu is an easy one-hour flight from Bombay with Jet Airways. (around $200-$300 for a return trip).

By bus

State run busses as well as some private companies serve Diu from Ahmedabad. Trips take around 10 hours and both regular and night time sleeper buses exist.

A long trip (over 20 hours at least!) by bus from/or to Mumbai is also possible.

Get around

Autorickshaws, rent a bike or a scooter.

See

The old Portuguese churches and fort, local Hindu temples, the old Portuguese architecture in the town, beaches and sea shore.

Do

Relax, go sightseeing, explore the island with a motorbike, work on your tan on a beach.

Most popular beach is Nagoa Beach which is packed with Indian tourists and especially western women will gain some unwanted attention here. A better option would be finding a quiet spot (which is easy) if one wants to go swimming.

Sleep

Cheap accomodation as well as some mid range hotels are abundant and are mostly located in Diu town. Resorts and the like can be found for example near Nagoa Beach.

Eat

Fresh seafood, Gujarati food, and standard North and South Indian food are available.

Drink

Alcohol is legal in Diu, unlike in neighbouring Gujarat, so a lot of people come to Diu especially for drinking. Indian and foreign beer and spirits are widely available.

Stay safe

Wear a helmet (if you manage to rent one) when riding a motorbike or scooter.

Get out

See Get in.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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