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Daman and Diu

From Academic Kids

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Daman and Diu is a union territory in India. For over 450 years these coastal enclaves on the Arabian Sea coast were part of Portuguese India, along with Goa and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Goa, Daman, and Diu were occupied by the Republic of India on December 19, 1961; Portugal did not recognize Indian rule in these territories until 1974. Goa, Daman, and Diu were administered as part of a single union territory until 1987, when Goa was granted statehood, leaving Daman and Diu as a separate union territory; each enclave constitutes one of the union territory's two districts.

Gujarati is the main language; use of Portuguese is declining because it is not official or taught at school (but still spoken by 10% in Daman). There are Portuguese Creoles in Daman (known as Língua da Casa, it means Home Language) and Diu (Língua dos Velhos, Old people's Language). The Creole of Diu is rapidly becoming extinct by the pressure of Gujarati.

Daman

Daman, also known as Damão, is an enclave on the western coast of India, surrounded by Valsad district of Gujarat on the north, east and south and the Arabian Sea to the west. The district has an area of 72 km², and a population of 113,949 (2001 census), which increased 83% between 1991 and 2001. Daman lies at the mouth of the Daman Ganga River. Major industries have factories here. The closest railway station is Vapi (7 km). It is also famous for its beach, Portuguese architecture, and church, and for the scenic beauty in the twin cities of Nani-Daman and Moti-Daman, which lie opposite each other across the Daman Ganga. The chief occupation has been fishing. The city of Surat lies to the north, and Mumbai lies approximately 160 km (100 mi) south of Daman on the Arabian Sea coast in Maharashtra state.

Daman was occupied by the Portuguese in 1531, and was formally ceded to Portugal in 1539 by the Sultan of Gujarat. It remained a Portuguese possession until it was occupied by Indian forces on 19 December 1961.

Diu

Diu is an island lying off the south coast of Gujarat's Kathiawar peninsula, separated from the mainland by a tidal creek. It has an area of 40 km², and a population of 44,110 (2001 census). The town of Diu lies at the eastern end of the island, and is famous for its fortress and old Portuguese Cathedral. It is also a fishing town. The Indian Air Force has an air base here. The village of Ghoghla, which lies on the mainland opposite the eastern end of the island, is also part of the union territory.

In the 1535 Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat, concluded a defensive alliance with the Portuguese against the against the Mughal emperor Humayun, and allowed the Portuguese to construct a fortress and maintain a garrison on the island. The alliance quickly unravelled, and attempts by the Sultans to oust the Portuguese from Diu between 1537 and 1546 failed. The fortress, reconstructed by Dom Joao de Castro after the siege of 1545, still stands. The island was occupied by the Indian military on 19 December 1961.

It is considered one of the most beautiful tourist locations in India. Famous destinations include the nearby Nagoa beach, one of the finest beaches in the country. The old fort, the church and the museum have a strong Portuguese taste.

See also the Battle of Diu.

External link

Daman District (National Information Centre) (http://daman.nic.in/homepage.htm)

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