Tuesday April 24, 2018

Daman & Diu: Tourist haven or national heritage?

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By Akash Shukla

While you try walking barefoot on Sun kissed sands and the gentle wave effortlessly washes over your feet and crumbles your stress away, don’t forget to say this in Portuguese– Ilha de Calma (Welcome to the land of Calm).

If there is heaven on earth, it’s got to have a beach attached to it. How about Devka Beach, Nani Daman, Nagoa Beach (Diu), and Jampore Beach all bundled at one spot in India?

Bound by the river Kolak in north, Gujarat’s Valsad district in east, river Kalu on south and Arabian Sea in west, it is difficult to decipher whether Daman is loved more for parasailing, water scooter riding, and boat sailing or is it a symbolic witness to tourists’ fetish for exploring Fort Moti Daman and Fortress of Panikota.

 

Fort of Moti

Fort of Moti

Erected by an Abyssinian chief who ruled over the area before the settlement of Portuguese, the remarkable historical sight took two decades before the colossal structure could actually see the light of the day in 1559 AD. The northern gateway has inscriptions embedded on it and the writings embedded within the gate walls give the actual date of fort construction.

Traipsing a huge land area, the fort has two entrance passages and 10 citadels. On the outside, the fort is besieged by a moat with emerging projections of about 500-feet high shaped as citadels. If this much of security wasn’t enough, the insides of the fort have army barracks and still it retains an archaic charm with lush green surroundings for perennial visitors.

Fort of Nani

Fort of Nani

Comparatively, though, it’s a smaller fort, the gate facing river showcases exquisite statue of St Jerome. The cynosure of the fort is Lady of the Sea Church. Stretched in an area of around 12,250 square metres, Nani Daman fort, Nani Daman jetty and Gandhi Park are popular sightseeing destinations within the region. Along the Ganga bridge, light house gardens enhance the beauty of the already enchanting region.

Fortress of Panikota

Fortress of Panikota

Offering a breathtaking view of Diu and being located at the mouth of a creek, Fortress of Panikota is situated near the Diu Fort and is famously known as Fortim do Mar. Located about a nautical mile from the jetty of Diu, the fortress is an unparalleled stone work and anyone can reach there by a canoe. The fortress bears witness to a kaleidoscopic view of Diu Island and the peaceable sea.

Behold a small chapel and a lighthouse in Fortress of Panikota and the latter is consecrated to Lady of the Sea. The fortress is essential as it bares the sociocultural vitality of this part of the world.

Church of our Lady of the Rosary

Church of our Lady of the Rosary

Woodcarving, flower motifs and golden cherubs are the sights to behold for long hours without batting an eyelid. Yes! We are talking about the Daman Church of our Lady of the Rosary, which dates back to the 17th century.

Under Portuguese influence in 16th century, the wood carving in this glorious chapel proudly stands as one of the most refined tasks and is a true feast for eyes.

Apart from the amazing wood work, the chapel’s ceiling stands adorned with beautiful rose petals, colored in hundreds of hues. The splendor is further enriched and magnified with golden cherubs that bestow benediction. Illustration of the stories from the lives of the holy saints is another magnificence to behold at the site and it is projected on lateral walls of the Apse.

Jain temple

Jain temple

The temple can be spotted in the northern region of Nani Daman. The temple unfolds magnificent sights to the refined mural paintings and will completely enthrall you. Most of these paintings are of 18th century. The temple unravels sights that are beyond comparison and depict life of Mahavira, a highly venerated Jain saint who lived in 50 BC.

As the sight promises to offer you heights of joy with depths of Indian culture, remember that the soulful destination is 67 km from Gir, 90 km from Somnath, barely a quick flight from Mumbai and a short road trip from Ahmedabad.

 

(Pictures for representational purpose only)

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The Very Best Things to do on Vacation in Hawaii

There are many different activities taking place every day in Hawaii, but the above 5 activities are some of the very best

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Hawaii is famous for its exotic beaches. Wikimedia Commons

When you’re planning your vacation in Hawaii you no doubt want to make sure you spend a lot of time in the sun and have a lot of fun. Once you’ve sorted out your rental house in Hawaii, and you’ve decided how long you’re going to stay you will need to start making plans. The good news is that we can give you a helping hand.

Hawaii is full of places to visit. VOA

Below you will find details of some of the very best things to do in Hawaii, helping to make your vacation one to remember:

Enjoy a Spot of Snorkelling

Why not dive into the blue waters and enjoy a spot of snorkelling? The seas in this part of the world are home to some turtles, beautiful fish and some incredible sights. Book a Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise, and head off on your tour which comes complete with snorkelling equipment that is suitable for anyone to use. If you’ve never snorkelled before, do not worry, the helpful and friendly instructors will assist you so you can dive into the water with ease.

As part of the cruise, you will be offered a couple of alcoholic drinks and unlimited alcohol-free drinks to enjoy as you make your way to Waikiki and Diamond head on a 16-foot catamaran, where you can take as many photographs as you wish.  Departing from hotels in Waikiki or the Kewalo Basin Harbour, this snorkelling tour should not be missed!

Visit Waikiki Beach

Most people go on vacation to Hawaii so they can enjoy the beautiful beaches and the stunning sunshine.  While you’re visiting this part of the world why not take a trip to Waikiki Beach and relax in the sun or under a palm tree? Listen as the clear blue waters brush up against the shore, and watch as boats, canoes, and divers enjoy their time on and in the water.

Apart from visiting beaches, there are many other things one can do in Hawaii. Wikimedia Commons

 

If you would like to avoid the beach when it’s busy, you may want to think about visiting early in the morning or as the sun is about to go down. Alternatively, you may also want to visit during the cooler months as there are fewer people on the beach then. Whenever you do decide to visit, you can be sure that you’ll have an amazing time on a beach that is known for its beauty and tropical feel.

Go Whale Spotting

We humans are not the only ones who enjoy the waters off the coast of Hawaii, whales love it too, and they can be spotted off the coast of Maui. Why not take the opportunity to hop on board a Maui Whale Watch Cruise and spend two whole hours spotting whales? Not only are you practically guaranteed to spot some of these magnificent mammals, but you will also get the chance to see them via an underwater webcam and a hydrophone, which is a type of listening device that picks up underwater sounds.

Also Read: Taking the Ancient Hawaii Dance form ‘Hula’ to 21st Century Art in US

Hawaii is also famous for its nightlife. Wikimedia Commons

Make sure you take a camera with you so you can get snap-happy when you spot a whale or two. The tour operates from December to May when the whales venture into the waters to breed, which is why you’re almost guaranteed to see them. With many different departure times and setting off from Lahaina, whale spotting will prove to be an unforgettable part of your vacation.

Take a trip to a Coconut Farm

Punakea Palms Coconut Farm is the ideal destination if you want to do something a little different while you’re in Hawaii. Walk around the farm and learn about how it works, how to get into a coconut, and enjoy its bounty. Understand how to cultivate coconuts and learn why they are so important to the local area. Located just outside of Lahaina, the coconut farm also gives you the chance to taste some very fresh coconuts. You will have to book a place on a 2.5-hour tour around the farm, but it is worth it as it’s a lot of fun.

Visit Princeville Botanical Gardens

If you have decided to spend a little time away from the beach and you want to visit somewhere peaceful Princeville Botanical Gardens is the right place for you. Owned and operated by the Robertson family who works hard to create a botanical paradise, the gardens are really beautiful. You will need to make a reservation before you can visit the gardens, but once you get here you’ll enjoy the breathtaking landscape and native Hawaiian plants.

Monsoon, Garden Lovers
Hawaii has some great gardens as well.

While you’re walking around the lush gardens you may notice that honey and fruit are grown in the area, and you’ll get the chance to sample some. Chocolate lovers will also enjoy tasting some locally produced chocolate that tastes divine. Open for tours on Mondays and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, the Princeville Botanical Gardens need to be seen to be believed.

There are many different activities taking place every day in Hawaii, but the above 5 activities are some of the very best. If you’ve had enough of lounging on the beach for now, why not take a trip to a coconut farm, spot some whales as you cruise on a catamaran, and make your way around some magnificent botanical gardens. Finish off with a spot of snorkelling before you head to Waikiki Beach and relax in the sunshine as you feel the sand in between your toes, and feel a fresh breeze hit you as the sun beats down.