The Most Awesome Mini-Break, With the Best Things to Do In Daman
Daman figures on the list of must-visit places for those who love the sea and peaceful vacations.
Daman figures on the list of must-visit places for those who love the sea and peaceful vacations. But this little spot is so much more than just a beach town. If you have not yet been to Daman, this could be the year that you take your loved ones for the most memorable mini vacation in this little spot!
Contrary to popular belief, Daman is not an island in the Arabian Sea. The city is the capital of the Dadra and Nagar Haveli Union Territory in India. Having its own municipal council, it boasts of a population of a little over 1,95,000 people.
Daman is geographically sliced into two by the river Daman Ganga. The river divides the city into a larger and smaller part, where the smaller one is known as ‘Nani Daman’ and the larger one is called ‘Moti Daman’. ‘Nani’ and ‘Moti’ 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. It has seen tremendous development in the last decade and has become an exciting magnet for tourists as well.
It is said that the first sailor to land in Daman in the year 1523 landed here purely by chance. He was followed by more of his countrymen, the Portuguese, who set up a colony here in the 1500s. The Portuguese remained rooted to the Daman soil for the next 500 years, before Mughal marauders drove them out. However, the Portuguese had been able to stave off all attacks prior to this by the means of a sturdy fort they had built, and which remained largely impregnable. Today, the fort houses Government and municipal offices.
Daman occupies an important place in the annals of the Indian Armed Forces. The Indian Coast Guard runs an important air station from Daman, housing modern air traffic control and airfield facilities. Civil and defence aircraft can also be parked here. Lately, some good schools and colleges have also opened in Daman. Since Daman tourism has immense tourism potential, the city has also witnessed some premium Daman resorts coming up in the last few years.
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 are beautiful and secluded: Most people head to Goa for the beaches, when they can go to Daman instead. The beaches here are the best for honeymooning couples and families looking for peace and quiet. The city lies between Mumbai and Gujarat on two sides, with the third being a large coast. Thus, your privacy and safety are assured.
* It’s great fun! What most first-time visitors to Daman are not prepared for is the fun vibe the city exudes. It’s not exactly hip and happening like Goa or Alibaug, but it has a relaxed and chilled out vibe that will instantly restore your tired senses. Your vacation here will be an unforgettable one, especially if you are looking to detach from the big city noise and pollution.
* The food is exceptional: 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 homely and comforting to eat, from kathi rolls to frankies, and from chaat to the famous chicken bullet. Of special 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. Alcohol is also quite cheap here, so do check out the best brands in Indian and foreign liquor at some of the leading restaurants in Daman.
* Get sporty! Daman is known for offering a huge variety of 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 reach: 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. More on this in the following section.
* By Air: Daman has its own airport located about 3 km from the city centre. It was earlier used as a military airbase, just like Puducherry Airport. And like that latter one, Daman airport has now been opened for commercial airline operations. There are daily flights to Daman from Mumbai and Baroda, but the frequency is low for other cities. Major airlines operate flights to Daman, but be sure to book well in advance of the tourist season because tickets fly off really quick! Once you reach Daman airport, you can book a private taxi to the hotel or resort, or have them send you a car.
* By Road: Daman has a lot of connectivity with both Maharashtra and Gujarat. Several State and city buses ply to and from Daman every day. There are regular buses from Surat (about 110 km away) and Mumbai (about 180 km). If you are driving to Daman, use the NH8 via Baroda, Ahmedabad and Mumbai.
* By Railway: Daman does not have its own railway station or small rail head. The nearest railway station is located at Vapi, about 12 km away. It is just a short drive from Vapi to Daman, and from there to your Daman resort. You can easily book train tickets for regular trains from Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Dehradun, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Ernakulum, Amritsar and Jammu, among other cities. There is passenger as well as express trains to choose from.
You now know why you need to visit Daman and how to get there. Since you are going to Daman on a small vacation, it is important to get your itinerary sorted first. Let’s get you started on your list of things to do in Daman during your holiday:
* Visit all the beaches: There is no point going to Daman if you’re not going to take a shy at all its beaches. We urge you to pack a picnic hamper, buy a few cool drinks and just settle on the beach of your choice. Daman has several stunning beaches you can visit and make a day of. You will love simply walking on the sand, or chasing little crabs that hide in the sand when they hear footsteps, or standing in two feet of sea water as the sand slips under your feet, or just relaxing with a drink in your hand. The best beaches in Daman are Devka Beach, Jampore Beach, Vanakbara Beach, Tithal Beach, Jalandhar Beach, and Chakratirth Beach. Visiting them with your partner or family in tow is one of the most popular things to do in Daman.
* Take pictures at the Nani Daman Fort: One of the most popular things to do in Daman is to ivsit the Nani Daman Fort and take some superb pictures for your Instagram feed. 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.
* Visit the Mirasol Lake Garden: It is an artificial pond set in the most gorgeous shrubbery and foliage. Take your family along for one of the best things to do in Daman: take a pedal boat ride on this lovely lake. It has an artificial island at the centre, with a jetty, landing area and 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. Charges may vary depending on the season and time of visit.
* Take a look at the all the 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. Taking blessings here is one of the unmissable things to do in Daman. 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.
* Visit the famous Jetty Garden: Located in Moti Daman, Jetty Garden is one more place to add to your Daman itinerary. One of the most beautiful places to visit in Daman, 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, which is one of the most popular things to do in Daman. 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.
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 resort in the city instead to have your every wish gratified, and make your stay the most wonderful one ever.
One of the best resorts here 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 resorts located in Daman.
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 and Club Mahindra Reviews, primarily through vacation ownership memberships. While Club Mahindra is the flagship brand offering Club Mahindra Membership, other brands offered by the company are – Club Mahindra Resorts Fundays and Svaastha Spa. As of 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 https://www.clubmahindra.com/