Road Journeys – Somnath to Diu – Sea and Sand

December 28, 2013 By:

Somnath to Diu is 90 km via Veraval-Prachi-Kodinar on Somnath-Una NH-8E HW upto Keshariya and then right turn on Keshariya-Diu road upto Diu, all on good tar. Landscape is very-very picturesque with rows of coconut trees and Hokka trees canopying, in lush greenery and clear blue sky with flocks of migratory birds flying overhead in a hurry to reach their destinations. With occasional stopovers, shooting the colorful birds hatching, feeding and fishing in the saline swamps, we reached the very well organized and beautifully decorated city, Diu.

Black Duck Fishing

Black Duck Fishing



Red Cap Cranes

Red Cap Cranes

White Crane at Saline Marsh

White Crane at Saline Marsh

On the way, we deliberately stopped at one point sighting a very unusual Palm-Tree with multiple branches. Later we found jungles of such trees in entire Diu and its adjoining areas. Browsing, it revealed, those were the Hokka-Trees, African specie of Palm brought by the Portuguese which in due course adapted Diu’s atmosphere and grow in plenty throughout. Locals call it Hokka, not found any where else in the country and also bore edible fruits that have medicinal properties.

Hokka Tree

Hokka Tree

Brief history of Diu: (Compiled from its official site)

“Diu was ruled by many well-known kings and dynasties during the prehistoric, ancient and medieval times. It was a Portuguese colony until 1961. It is now a Union Territory, separated from Goa in 1987. It was an important trading post and naval base from where the rulers controlled the shipping routes in the northern part of the Arabian Sea between the 14-16th centuries”.

Car with unusual plate

Car with unusual plate

Diu, another district of Daman & Diu UT the other being Daman, already briefed in my previous log, is contradictorily distinct from each other. Diu with its breathtaking landscape, serenity, planned settlements and well decorated, organised civic structures and far less messy, jubilantly impress debut visitors. We found a brilliant accommodation in a large, spacious hotel near Jethibai ST bus depot.

Beauty of Diu

Beauty of Diu

Depicting Diu

Depicting Diu

Unlike Daman it was pleasing to notice a decent surrounding without the chaos of liquor shops and drunken-brawls instead, the hard drinks were available in much civilized and socialised manner. The places worth a visit in Diu are the Ghoghla Beach, Diu Fort, St. Paul’s Church, Nagoa Beach, Gangeshwar Mahadev Temple, Shell Museum, Naida Caves and Fortim-do-mar (Panikota).

Diu is a Paradise

Diu is a Paradise

Out of the above and few more, the most visited place is the Nagoa Beach, a virgin beach with greener surrounding along the clean blue shallow water and white sand is one of the very beautiful tourist places retaining its unexploited wilderness. Like all other beaches it too offers a range of water-activities besides swimming in its warm water, speed boating and parasailing are the most sought ones @ Rs. 1,000/- each ride.

Parasailing at Nagoa

Parasailing at Nagoa

Sun set behind Hokka Bushes

Sun set behind Hokka Bushes

Water Scooter Ride at Nagoa

Water Scooter Ride at Nagoa

After a tiring but exciting and fulfilling long hours in Nagoa, till it was pretty dusky, we were astonished to see the sparkling city appareled in novel, innovative and artistic transformation. The pieces of arts on the round about, the massive bridge, the fort, the historical structures, the churches, the beach side resorts, hotels and if not an exaggeration the entire little land was illuminated with mind blowing colourful lights creating a unbelievable illusion of pictures on canvas. Hats off to the curators and administrators, a true honest effort and belongingness can only produce so good result and appreciations are indispensable for those behind the curtain. Lost in illusions, we slowly ventured the entire city with occasional halts to experience the enchanting colorful views and capturing them in my camera. Enough sign boards helped in navigating the entire piece of fairy land without hassle.

Colour Fountain in a Resort of Diu

Colour Fountain in a Resort of Diu

Colours of Diu

Colours of Diu

Display of Art

Display of Art

Diu in different shades

Diu in different shades

Pic: Colours of Diu, Diu in different shades, Display of Art, Colour fountain in a Resort of Diu,

Soon, we stopped at St. Paul’s Church; its elaborate façade was clearly visible even in low-light, showcasing its architectural style resembling the Bom-Jesus Church in Goa. One of the largest Portuguese churches in India was started in 1601 CE and brilliantly kept till now. A prayer was performing at the time of our visit and we willingly participated in that. The interior decorations are a piece of wooden-craftsmanship, a heritage worth preserving.

Facade of St. Paul's Church

Facade of St. Paul’s Church

Prayer inside St. Paul's Church

Prayer inside St. Paul’s Church

Next, enjoying-driving we entered through one of the gates inside the fortified city to explore more un-evenly and soon reached the Fort-road with the giant Fort on right and mighty sea in-front. The date, 30.9.922 embossed on the entry gate of the fort muddled me, if that is the date depicting its construction or some other numerical evidence. The official sites claming its construction between 1535 to 1541 CE. Leaving, it to historians, I am on my way of traveling like Ghumakkar which is more enjoyable than debating.

Entry to Diu Fort

Entry to Diu Fort

Illuminated Entry to Diu City

Illuminated Entry to Diu City

Pic: Illuminated Entry to Diu City, Entry to Diu Fort

The road alongside the sea with a benevolent view of colorfully illuminated Panikota in the middle of no-where (as it seems in darkness) delayed me with only one good picture finally, after clicking innumerable times. Irritatingly blaming the Nikon, I immediately decided to buy a better one, later realized of my ignorance towards photography and decided to learn a bit by joining some school back home. The Fort-road ends with the fort at its summit and opens down the lane at Jethibai ST bus stop on its left and the bridge connecting Ghoghla with the major city on Diu-Una road over the sea on its right with a small round about at the dead end.

Panikota at Night

Panikota at Night

Ghoghla beach 5 km further towards Una is another good shore with few large resorts and private beach facilities. Frankly, it was not very impressive when compared with the Nagoa’s happening beach however, with its serenity and lesser crowd is nevertheless, worth a short visit.

Ghoghla Beach

Ghoghla Beach

Next day, we planned to walk on the fort road with plenty of sea facing budget hotels, eateries and couple of government offices, a circuit house and a Janpath-type market. Boards offering bikes on rent lured me for biking around the city but could not materialize due to non-cooperation by my partner. I strongly recommend visitors to avail a bike, offered at reasonable rents which vary with models and discover the remotest places to enjoy every bit of it. Riding here with a road map would be very enjoyable and easy due to systematic road rules, one-way traffic, sign boards, traffic signals and less traffic on excellent tar in the entire city.

Boat Polish

Boat Polish

O Manjhi Re

O Manjhi Re

Panikota

Panikota

Shopping options

Shopping options

After strolling upto the end of the road, we had our lunch in one of the eateries offering veggies and non-veggies, wine and pubs of chilled beer, all under one roof, well managed by very sophisticated professional helping hands and a wide angle view of the roaring sea-front in bargain. The package was a good deal at a nominal substantial price. Visiting St. Thomas Church, now converted to museum is also not a bad deal.

St. Thomas Church converted to Museum

St. Thomas Church converted to Museum

In the afternoon, we were back on wheels to visit the less talked and least visited Naida Caves and later the unique Shri Gangeshwar Mahadev Temple. Man made excavations during the Portuguese regime for obtaining construction mortar, left unattended thereafter, is how the Naida Caves formed and located aloof in Naida village. A very less popular site, not mentioned even in the tourist spots itinerary of the tourism department nor informed by local tourist agents is visited only by nature-crazy visitors on discovering it by one or two boards affixed nearby. The place is so neglected and solitarily wild that you may find yourself as the only visitor and may not dare entering inside its unknown depths. I and my wife, in excitement entered to some extent when we sighted few stags partying with bottles in the silence of its depths. Without messing their party mood, we turned our back to them but soon we were lost and managed to come out only after too much recalling the way out. Not a good idea at all to enter the extremely beautiful but wild and vulnerable artificial but natural looking caves without a guide and strictly not without a group when with ladies around. Diu tourism may develop the site with little efforts and add the very worth site in their list of tourist attractions.

Inside Naida Caves

Inside Naida Caves

A few kilometers from Naida is Fudam, a village where the very unique temple comprising five smaller to bigger shaped sand-stone Lingams, lye at the rocky bed adjoining the sea with showers of the saline water washing them with every tide, is an open temple with no boundary and no hood, no priests is perhaps the only of its kind. The turbulent waves after hammering the rocks splittingly enters the rock-bed persistently showering the Lingams in natural course. A visit to the unique shrine was a memorable event. It is believed that the Pandavas during their exile worshiped these lingams.

Shri Gangeshwar Temple entry

Shri Gangeshwar Temple entry

Splashing in turbulence

Splashing in turbulence

Unique Five Lingams

Unique Five Lingams

Watering in Natural course

Watering in Natural course

Retaining a very fond and affectionate memory of Diu, we had to move forward wishing the paradise a good bye and thanks to its curators and citizens to maintain the beauty with their joint efforts. We started early next morning to cover the long distance to reach Dwarka with a stopover at Porbandar on the much awaited coastal highway.

The journey continues……

About AJAY SHARMA

AJAY SHARMA has written 32 posts at Ghumakkar.

Working as legal consultants to Banks in Delhi hail from Allahabad originally however, brought up & studied in Jharkhand erstwhile Bihar. My wife is an Advocate. Residing in Delhi for past 10 years and love to travel any time, anywhere. Just find reasons to travel & sometimes for no reasons too. Now wish to share my multiple journeys with fellow GHUMAKKARS.

22 Responses to “Road Journeys – Somnath to Diu – Sea and Sand”


  1. Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Ajay ji,

    Thanks for this amazing virtual tour to the beautiful city of diu. Your photography is really appreciable.

    • AJAY SHARMA says:

      Mukesh Bhai,
      Thanks a lot for appreciating the photographs and joining the virtual tour. My ambition was exactly to involve readers in the tour. Your motivating words have boosted to do better.

      Keep traveling
      Ajay

  2. injamaven says:

    top bird is a grebe

    • injamaven says:

      wrong, change that to Moor Hen

      • AJAY SHARMA says:

        Dear Injamaven,
        Thanks for guiding. Let me clear, none of the captions on Birds’ photographs are exactly the names of those birds. Infact, I have no knowledge about their names, its just that I love to see them as any nature lovers and capture them in camera. If time permits I will definitely study them and know their names some day.

        Keep traveling,
        Ajay

      • Naturebuff says:

        The first pic is the Common Coot, the second is the Comb Duck and the Red naped Ibis with the Common Moorhen in the middle and the third one is the Great or Large Egret…

        • AJAY SHARMA says:

          @ Naturebuff!
          Thanks a lot. Your information added essence, it will help others including me to know more about the Birds. I am now trying to learn them gradually.

          Keep traveling
          Ajay

  3. Ashok Sharma says:

    great place it is! very good pics,nice post.worth visiting.

  4. AJAY SHARMA says:

    Ashok Ji,
    Thanks for liking. Yes, its a real worth visiting destination.

    Keep traveling,
    Ajay

  5. Rakesh Bawa says:

    Ajay Ji, namaskar. Diu seems to be a fascinating option for the tourists and your travelogue has made this place even more interesting.

    • AJAY SHARMA says:

      Bawa Sir,
      Thanks for your interest in the T’log. Diu, is a fascinating place unlike, Daman its very well organised and splendidly beautiful and serene. A must visit.

      Keep traveling
      Ajay

  6. SilentSoul says:

    Another splendid post from you… tks

  7. AUROJIT says:

    Hi Ajay,

    first pic (black duck) is great! The debate about id of the bird in the ‘reply’ posts is quite interesting.

    Well, I am in your party – my specialisation about distinguishing an animate being is limited to the terms like bird (or animal or human :-); and even that gets confusing now-a-days….

    Enjoying the grand journey, keep going.

    Thanks,

    Auro.

    • AJAY SHARMA says:

      Hi! Aurojit,
      Thanks you so much for all your nice words. It happens only in Ghumakkar, where all of us contribute in ornamenting other’s posts. Must thank all who have humbly shown interest to name the birds and increase the readership. Well! its always good to see the creatures in wild even as lay man. However, its better if you know them hence, I am trying to learn it gradually.

      Keep traveling
      Ajay

  8. beautiful post , equally supported by awesome pics. !

    Wish you n all Ghumakkars a very happy new year !

    • AJAY SHARMA says:

      Mahesh Bhai,
      Wish you and all in Ghumakkar a very-very happy and prosperous New Year. Thanks for appreciating the log and the pics.

      Keep traveling
      Ajay

  9. om prakash laddha says:

    अजय जी ,
    आपने बहुत ही खूबसूरती से दिव के बारे में बताया है। फोटो सभी बहुत ही खुबसूरत आये है। दिव यात्रा के दौरान ठहरने के बारे में थोड़ी जानकारी दी जाती तो हम सभी पाठकोंको बहुत अच्छा लगता। .

  10. AJAY SHARMA says:

    Dear Om Prakash ji,
    Thanks a lot for appreciating the t’log & the pics. There are multiple hotels just beside the ST Bus Stop, Jethibai. Ranging from Rs. 700 onwards. Hotels near the Bus Stop are cheaper mostly on Fort road facing the Panikota Jetty. There are many resorts near Ghogla beach and Nagoa beach but they charge atleast Rs. 3000/- .

    Keep traveling
    Ajay

  11. Nandan Jha says:

    And the series continues. I somehow thought that Diu is more of a watering hole for the dry state. We gave it a skip since we were in a high season and it was getting difficult to manage the hotel-bookings. Probably a visit with more time at hand is worth, may be by air since it is quite a far from here.

    I am curious to know more about the coastal HW since I wanted to do it but we had to turn our back towards North and went to Rann directly.

    • AJAY SHARMA says:

      Dear Nandan,
      After visiting Daman, even we were of the same skepticism but Diu is a real worth visiting place. My log must have depicted a trailer.

      Soon, I will complete the series, just too busy with my new assignments.

      Keep traveling
      Ajay



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