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Many people mistakenly believe that Daman is an island in the Arabian Sea.

Many people mistakenly believe that Daman is an island in the Arabian Sea. Far from it – it is the capital city of the Dadra and Nagar Haveli Union Territory in India. It has its own municipal council. The population is under 1,95,000 as per the 2011 Census of India.

Interestingly, Daman is divided into two parts not by a border, but by a river named Daman Ganga. The river cuts the city into two parts, one smaller than the other. The smaller one is called ‘Nani Daman’ and the larger one is called ‘Moti Daman’. These are Gujarati words that mean ‘Small’ and ‘Big’ respectively. However, the larger part is the older city while the smaller part is newly developed and has residential areas, supermarkets, a cinema theatre and even major hospitals.

Daman traces its history to the Portuguese in the 1500s, when the famous sailor landed here in 1523 purely by chance: his ship was blown into Daman after a storm at sea. He decided to stay on the land for a while till the ship was repaired and ready to sail again. Meanwhile, he saw the potential of the place for setting up a colony. Later, a large Portuguese colony was set up there in the same century, which remained for the next 500 years. The Portuguese also had to fend off various attacks by Mughal rulers, who had their own empires close by. A grand fort was built in the 16th century for this purpose – it still stands in good condition and has many Government offices inside.

Like Goa, Daman was incorporated in the Indian Republic only in 1961. This happened after a pitched battle between the Indians and the Portuguese. The latter eventually gave in and surrendered the region.

Today, the Indian Coast Guard runs a prime air station from Daman, housing modern air traffic control and airfield facilities. It is also a parking spot for civil aircraft and defence planes. The small population also does well in terms of education facilities, with several prestigious schools and colleges operating here. The overall cleanliness and orderliness in Daman are also remarkable. With rising interest in Daman tourism, it is little wonder that a number of hotels and Daman resorts have come up here in recent years.

Why visit Daman?

Daman’s best kept secret is its long coastline. If you’re looking for a beach holiday this year, Daman should be on your list for these reasons:

* Its beaches offer seclusion: You could argue, ‘I can just go to Goa for the beaches. Why would I go to Daman?’ Here’s the answer: unlike beaches you would find anywhere else, the ones in Daman are secluded because Daman nestles between the landmasses of Mumbai and Gujarat. This offers privacy and a beautifully verdant coastline, of the kind you don’t often witness in most parts of India.

* It’s a fun place: What most first time visitors to Daman are not prepared for is the fun vibe the city exudes. It will remind you of Goa with its party atmosphere, and the chilled out local residents are quite fun to hang out with as well. This may well be due to its early Portuguese influences. Whatever the reason, you can have a relaxed vacation here at a great Daman resort and just relax from the big city chaos.

* There’s a lot to eat here: Daman is a veritable melting pot of many cultures. You will find many communities here, from Maharashtrians to Bengalis, and from Gujaratis to Parsis. This reflects in the food you can eat here. You will always find something comforting to eat, from kathi rolls to frankies, and from chaat to the famous chicken bullet. Of especial interest is the huge variety of seafood, using locally made spices. Then there are the many bakeries and small cafes selling tea cakes and coffee. For those interested in alcohol, you will be happy to know that a variety of Indian and foreign liquors are sold in the restaurants in Daman, at quite reasonable prices.

* You can indulge your love for adventure here: Daman is also known for its water sports and other adventure sports. Go water skiing, parasailing and wind surfing, or take leisurely boat rides with the family. There are many reputed operators who offer adventure rides on the beaches of Mandwa and Bordi here.

* It’s easy to get there: You will be astounded at how easy it is to get to Daman. Just find out from a good Daman tour book about the best routes and how to reach Daman via road. The city is located just 140 km from Surat and about 193 km from Mumbai, and you can drive down by the NH8.

Places to Visit In Daman

There is much to see and do in Daman, but by and large, you’re in for a relaxed vacation. Daman is a fantastic spot for a short getaway with your partner to reconnect. Or to go on your honeymoon. Or just to show your kids a new place and have fun bonding with them over sightseeing and eating out. Below are some of the places to visit in Daman:

* Beaches: Like we mentioned above, Daman has several stunning beaches to visit. You will love simply walking on the sand, or chasing little crabs that hide when you approach, or standing in two feet of sea water, or just relaxing with a drink in your hand. The best beaches here are Devka Beach, Jampore Beach, Vanakbara Beach, Tithal Beach, Jalandhar Beach, and Chakratirth Beach. Ask your Daman resort to hire you all-day transport to go beach hopping for two days.

* The Nani Daman Fort: This fort was built in the 16th century by the Portuguese, to stave off attacks by the Mughals. The historical monument stands in good condition even today, despite the passage of time. You can explore it in a couple of hours and rewind to its historical origins. It also offers the most stunning views of Daman. It is a beautiful hangout spot for a picnic with the family as well. Have your Daman resort pack you a picnic hamper and enjoy the morning here.

* Temples and churches: Like many other places in India, you will find historic temples in Daman as well. The Hanuman, Somnath Mahadev and Jain Temples are quite famous and well worth a visit. Meanwhile, don’t miss the Church of Our Lady of the Sea and the Cathedral of Bom Jesus. The former is said to make all your wishes come true, while the latter is a perfect place to reconnect with your spiritual side. The Dominican Monastery is also worth a visit.

* Mirasol Lake Garden: It is an artificial pond set in the most gorgeous shrubbery and foliage. The pond has an island at the centre, which has a landing area and a restaurant. You can rent a pedal boat to go around the lake, or take your children on the toy train that runs around the lake’s perimeter. There is also a box cricket space with an automated ball throwing machine in the kids play area. You will love these serene settings with your family in tow. The charges for entry, hiring a pedal boat and taking the toy train are all displayed at the entrance.

* Jetty Garden: Located in Moti Daman, Jetty Garden is one more place to add to your Daman itinerary. Quite simply, it is a large garden situated opposite the Daman jetty, and a spot of stunning beauty. You and the family can take a boat ride here at your leisure. You will also love the splendid view of the Daman Lighthouse and the Daman Ganga flowing close by. We recommend walking to this spot from the Lighthouse instead of taking a car, because there are no parking facilities yet.

Where to stay in the city: The ideal Daman resort with Club Mahindra

Daman has seen a burgeoning of hotels and resort in recent years. This is due to high tourist interest and Daman’s proximity from both Mumbai and Gujarat. Be that as it may, you must book yourself and your loved ones into the best Daman resort to have a memorable stay. We advise avoiding cheap home stays and rentals – book a good Daman resort instead to have your every wish gratified, and your stay the most wonderful one ever.

One of the best Daman resorts is the excellent Azzaro Resorts and Spa in Diu. It is a Club Mahindra property that caters to the discerning visitor in you. Not only is every comfort and luxury on offer, but so is a superb location, stunning views from all the rooms, warm service and a courteous staff that attends to your every need with a smile. Plus, the resort is close to the beach, so you can just nip across for a swim whenever the fancy strikes you.

This wonderful resort is famous for hosting social events and also conferences. But it affords you the privacy and seclusion you seek with your loved ones, apart from delicious meals from one of the best restaurants in Daman, right on this property. So go ahead, make your vacation even more memorable by booking yourself into one of the best Daman resorts ever.

FAQs

Q: What is the lowest and highest priced resorts in Daman?

The lowest priced accommodation in Daman is generally a home stay or a rental home (like Airbnb). However, the highest priced ones are those that are flagship properties by major hotel chains, or properties by time sharing holiday companies like Club Mahindra. Don’t be intimidated by the price points: the high end resorts offer complete value for money by customising your holiday the way you wish.

Q: What are the popular landmarks to book resorts in Daman?

You can book a good Daman resort practically anywhere in the city. However, we recommend sticking to the Nani Daman area because it is more developed, has better connectivity to other recreation places and beaches, and more transport options.

Q: Which location has the highest number of resorts in Daman?

Nani Daman has many high end hotels and resorts in Daman.

Q: What is the price range of resorts in Daman?

This is hard to say, because price points vary highly. However, the lowest price per night in the tourist season is Rs 2,500 and it may go up to Rs 6,000 per night, depending on the hotel or resort you choose.

Q: Which is the best time to visit Daman?

Despite its proximity to the sea, Daman has a hot and humid climate that gets quite unbearable during the summer months. The best time to visit Daman is during the winter months, from October to March.

About Mahindra Holidays

Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited (MHRIL), India’s leading player in the leisure hospitality industry, offers quality family holidays as also stated by Club Mahindra Membership Reviews, primarily through vacation ownership memberships. While Club Mahindra is the flagship brand offering Club Mahindra Membership, the other brands offered by the company are –Club Mahindra Resorts Fundays and Svaastha Spa. As on Mar 31, 2019, MHRIL has 61+ resorts across India and abroad and its subsidiary, Holiday Club Resorts Oy, Finland, a leading vacation ownership company in Europe has 33 resorts across Finland, Sweden and Spain. Visit us at www.clubmahindra.com

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