Area Code: 028758
laid-back beach town was the first landing point for the Parsis when
fled from Persia, although they stayed only three years. Like Daman and
Goa, Diu was Portuguese colony until it was taken over by India in 1961.
Along with Daman, it is still governed from Delhi as a Union Territory
rather than as part of Gujarat. The former colony includes the island of
Diu itself, about 13km long by three km wide, separated from the coast
by a narrow channel. There are also two tiny mainland enclaves. One of
these, on which the village of Ghoghla stands, is the entry point to Diu
if you arrive through the town of Una.
Diu's crowning glory is thc huge fort, a sight which justifies the long
trip here. The northern side of the island, facing Gujarat, is tidal
marsh and saltpans while the southern coast alternates between limestone
cliffs, rocky coves and sandy beaches. The somewhat windswept and arid
island is riddled with quarries from which the Portuguese removed vast
quantities of limestone to construct their fort, city walls, monuments
rocky and sandy interior reaches a maximum height of just 29m, so
agriculture is limited although there are extensive stands of coconut
and other palms. Branching palms (Hyphaene species) arc very much a
feature of the island and were originally Introduce from Africa by the
is a popular hangout with travellers and you'll probably see more
foreigners here than anywhere else in Gujarat. Although the beaches are
nothing compared to those of Goa, this is still a great place to let
your hair down, sit back with a cold beer and watch the world drift by.
The tourist office (Tel: 2653) is on Bunder Rd, the main road which runs
through Diu Town parallel to the water front. It's in the building, on
the waterfront, directly opposite the customs office. You can pick up a
map of Diu Town here for Rs 10. The office is open from Monday to Friday
from 9.30 am to 1.30 pm and 2.30 to 6 pm, and on Saturday from 9.30 am
to 130 pm (closed Sunday). You can change money at the State Bank of
Saurashtra near the town square. The main post office is on the town
square. And there's another post office at Ghoghla. The Jethibai bus
stand, for intercity buses, is just over the bridge which joins Diu to
Ghoghla, and just outside the city walls.
Gujarat Airways has a daily flight to Bhavnagar (US$80). The Gujarat
Airways agent is Oceanic Travels (Tel: 2180), located on the town square
near the post office.
Una is the access point for Diu, and there are direct buses to there
from Bhavnagar, Palitana, veraval and Talaja. Once in Una, you have to
get yourself the 10 or so km to Ghoghla and Diu. Buses depart every 30
minutes from Una bus stand between 6.30 am and 8.l5 pm (Rs 6). From Una,
if you don't want to wait for a bus, walk the one km; from the bus stand
to Tower Chowk (ask directions), from where crowded share rickshaws take
you to Ghoghla (Rs 5), and another share rickshaw on to Diu (Rs 3). An
auto-rikshaw from Una costs about Rs 50. There are a number of Gujarat
STC buses which run all the way to Diu from paces such as Veraval and
Bhavnagar. A quicker and more comfortable option to the STC buses are
the private minibuses. At 7 pm, a bus leaves for Ahmedabad (101/2 hours,
Rs 90). There are regular departures between 6 am and 8 pm to Veraval
(21/2hours. Rs 25). Junagadh (four hours, Rs 40), Rajkot (seven
hours, Rs 60) and Porbandar (five hours Rs 55) There's a bus to Mumbai
at 10 am (22 hours, Rs 200). Bookings for all buses should be made
preferably 24 hours in advance.
between Una and Ghoghla and only about eight km from Diu, is the nearest
railhead. A share auto-rickshaw from there to Ghoghla costs about Rs 5.
There's a direct train at 6 am from Delwada to Veraval (96km, Rs
27I114). There is also a daily service to Junagadh (164km, Rs 43/159)
via Sasan Gir.
Auto-rickshaw drivers will demand Rs 50 to Una, but you may be able to
bargain this down. To travel anywhere within the town of Diu itself
should cost Rs 7. To Nagoa Beach, expect to pay Rs 35, and to Sunset
point, Rs 25. Share rickshaws to Ghoghla cost Rs 3 per person.
is a good way to get around Diu Town, although it can be a long, hot
haul out to Nagoa or further a field to Vanakbara. Chandani Bike Hire at
thc back of the town square has bikes for Rs 20 per day. For more
mobility with less effort, Manisha electronics next to the Hotel Sanman,
rents out mopeds for Rs 120 per day plus fuel, or Rs 630 per week
(discounted in the off season). Some of these old rattletraps have been
known to break down, stranding riders in far-flung comers of the island
- check the bike over carefully before heading off. You can also rent
buses from Diu Town to Nagoa to Beach and Vanakbara leave from the bus
stand opposite the petrol pump on Bunder Rd at 7 and 11 am, and 4 pm.
From Nagoa, they depart for Diu Town from near the police post at 1,530
and 7 pm (Rs 3).