Come vacation and my family, which happens to prefer beaches to mountains, begins to look for a new seaside holiday. Having visited the regulars, like Goa, Mangalore, Alibaug, and Konkan plenty of times, we decided to give Daman a shot. And honestly, we discovered a destination worth visiting again.
Daman is a part of the Union Territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu. A drive of roughly 3.5 hours from Mumbai, along National Highway-8, it’s situated on the Coast of the Arabian Sea, almost at the tip where Maharashtra ends and Gujarat begins. So, Daman is very near to Vapi and Bhilad, cities in Gujarat close to Maharashtra. There are numerous signboards that conveniently lead you to Daman.
Daman is divided into two, Moti Daman and Nani Daman, connected via a bridge. Pre-independence, Daman used to be a Portuguese colony.
We stayed at a resort in Nani Daman, bang opposite Devka Beach. The beach is very clean, with blue waves and black sands. But what stands out as remarkable, is the long and wide main road in Daman, which is lined with resorts on one side and the beautiful beachside promenade on the other. The promenade is lengthy, and neat, adjoining the beach with ample benches to sit and relax, plus of course a walking track. A drive along the road or a jog along the promenade, either way, your heart fills with peace and calm. There’s hardly any garbage on the beach or potholes on the road, public property is well maintained.
The next morning we drove to Moti Daman and we were totally bowled over by the Portuguese-style architecture all over. The walls enclosing the Fort area are tall but easy to climb thanks to the staircases. You get a full view of the city and the sea from atop the fort wall.
The town of Moti Daman is most popular for the Bom Jesus church, a majestic structure built way back in history, by the Portuguese invaders. We parked our car near the fort and walked around, it’s beautiful. The thatched houses with their verandas look like Goa or Kerala. There’s greenery everywhere and the cobblestone pavements give the town a colonial feel The post office, the library, cafes, and the municipality building, all are painted in shades of yellow and blue, like a little European village. The neatness of the place is amazing indeed.
And on the other side of the fort lies the vast Jampore beach. There are some water sports activities at the beginning end of the beach, but as you walk further north, there’s an immensely long promenade adjoining the sea. The entire stretch is peaceful and spacious, with the sea and waves accompanying you.
As twilight approaches, the promenade dawns an elegant look. You could watch the beautiful sunset on the beach and the boulevard lights up with tall and majestic street lights. Youngsters play around in merry, elders walk briskly enjoying their evening walk, and tourists pose and click, in fact, you see many a pre-wedding shoot happening. And the beach and the pathway make the perfect setting for these romantic shoots, sans any littering or streetside vendors.
The evening drive from Jampore to Devka, along the seaside walkway, is an experience in itself. Daman offers great nightlife too with cafes, bars, restaurants, water parks, and shopping centers, catering to tourists of all budgets.
Being a union territory, it has a different vibe to it, and the climate is cooler and a little less humid than Mumbai
Tidy beaches, clean waters, friendly people, and lots of places to dine, stay and unwind, Daman is a good holiday destination for walking along the sea, enjoying the sunsets, swinging on a hammock and just sit back, with nothing much to do.
Moti Daman Cafes
Promenade along Jampore Beach
View from Moti Daman Fort