Ensconced by the sea, and the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat is a delightful getaway from the whirlwinds some cities can prove to be. If one wishes to really experience the beauties of nature and meet the people who know how to respect that very same nature, Dadra and Nagar Haveli is the spot for them. Adorned with calm lakes, gardens and a sanctuary to the majestic creatures of the wild. Add to that - the serenity of resplendent churches and temples, it is indeed a splendid destination for all.
|Dadra and Nagar Haveli: A Quick View of the state|
|Official Language||Hindi, Gujarati, Dhodia|
|Dial Code||Silvassa - 0260|
|Population||4.41 Lakhs (as of 2018)|
|Currency||Indian Rupee (INR)|
|Time Zone||UTC+05:30 (IST)|
|Area||491 square km|
Vangana Lake Garden is a balm for your soul. Soothing, serene and oozing with poetic silence. 7.58 hectares of fluorescent green manoeuvres gently in several directions to create an oasis of calm. A lake ripples with gentle enthusiasm. In its bosom, a lone island floats. Connected to the rest of the garden by the spirals of a bridge. Tall trees line the water, fountains create beautiful music, and cottages provide solace for the weary. Hirwa Van Garden is another glistening emerald in nature’s necklace. Adorned with stonewalls, arches and walkways, it is architecturally quaint. The waterfalls and springs whistle, whoosh and ultimately wind its way into your heart. Dudhni Lake sits in the centre of Silvassa, amidst vibrant little villages and stunning landscapes of waterfalls, hills, and trees. Sit in one of the shikaras (wooden boat) and watch the sky explode into shades of marmalade and honey.
Vasona Lion Safari is home to the bold and beautiful Asiatic lion. 20 hectares of land, within the Dadra and Haveli Wildlife Sanctuary, is dedicated to this fascinating species. With a 7m tall wall, and meshed vehicles, you are at a safe distance to observe the King of the Jungle. Satmaliya Deer Park is an enchanting place – alight with the magic of Bambi. Reminisce this childhood fairy-tale as you explore the many delightful species. Here you will discover the black buck, chinkara, spotted deer, sambhar, nilgai, and the four-horned antelope. You must also catch a glimpse of the park’s watch tower and serene lake!
Church of Our Lady of Piety is the place to go if you wish to feel a tranquil sense of closeness to your maker. Constructed between the years 1886 -1889 by the Portuguese, it is one of the oldest churches still standing in the area. This place will allow you space and time to reflect upon your thoughts in peace.
Swaminarayan Temple – a relatively modern structure has been inspired by Yogiji Maharaj, the fourth successor of Lord Swaminarayan. Located on the bank of the cool waters of the Daman Ganga in Silvassa, it provides a sanctuary for your thoughts as you explore the beautiful carvings and structures depicting the Hindu gods and the life story of Lord Swaminarayan.
Kauncha – Nestled in the vast expanse of the Western Ghats is the small tribal village of Kauncha. Here, you will get the chance to experience the cultures of the Warlis and Kokna tribes first-hand by being a part of their festivities. The Kokna Tribal Dance Festival provides a great opportunity to partake in their rich and vibrant culture and learn by being a part of them. Another gem of this place is the beautiful botanical garden through which a trekking trail passes.
Madhuban Dam – Located approximately 40 km downstream of the Daman Ganga River, the dam has turned the area into a haven for water sports. Facilities such as speed boats, water scooters, aqua bikes, canoes, kayaks, passenger boats and bumper boats are available for adventure enthusiasts. If one is bored of closed hotel rooms, you can easily pitch up a tent close to the site and have a delicious meal right there.
Cuisine – Being surrounded by Maharashtra and Gujarat, this tiny Union Territory boasts of a mixture of delectable cuisines from both states. The local tribal food primarily consists of pulses and vegetables served with rotis made of jowaar, raagi or rice. A strong influence of Gujarat can be seen in dishes like Ubadiyu and the Konkan regions manifest themselves in the succulent dishes made from freshwater fish, particularly carp, leaving you wanting more.
Tribal Museum – The government has used the amazing history and culture of the indigenous tribes to showcase their adaptability and prevalence in spite of the developmental changes. The different weapons used by the tribes for their hunting and fighting, along with the different garbs, daily items in the form of photos and clay structures and the recreational tools like musical instruments and handmade masks of the Pandavas, Ravana and many other Gods and Goddesses are also on display.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli is a Union Territory in western India. While Nagar Haveli is cocooned between Maharashtra and Gujarat, the smaller enclave of Dadra is only enclosed by the expanses of Gujarat.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli is showered with pleasant temperatures all year round. Although its summers can ascend to a scorching 41 degrees, the evenings cool down significantly with the tempering effects of the sea. November to March is the most ideal time to visit this Union Territory because of the chilly freshness. Bask in this crisp season!
Silvassa is well connected to major cities in the nation – Mumbai, Pune, Baroda. If you’d like to travel by bus, regular services ply from Bhavnagar, Baroda, Rajula, Timbi, and Una. Furthermore, you may choose to hire a self-driven vehicle or book a taxi for an exhilarating road trip.
To reach Silvassa by train, you will have to arrive at Vapi railway station. A mere 16.2 km away, it offers direct trains to and from New Delhi, Mumbai, and Kanpur. You can also board a train to Karambeli railway station, as per your convenience.
Although there is no airport in Silvassa, you can catch a flight to Surat Airport or Diu Airport.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli’s history lesson begins with the reign of the supreme Rajput and Maratha empires.
As part of a friendship treaty, Nagar Haveli was granted as a gift from the Marathas to the Portuguese. By 1818, the Portuguese were the effective rulers of the territory. After 2 centuries of rule, the region was captured by Indian Union supporters.
As India became independent from the British rule, Portuguese colonies were still struggling to be incorporated into the nation.
Hindi, Gujarati, Dhodia
Indian Rupee (INR)