Published: 19 Sep, 2018 Nidhi Singh
Daman is like those oldies who mind their own business and do their best to ignore you until you initiate a conversation. Carrying that old-world charm and a thin modern streak, this beach destination in India is likely to leave an indelible mark in your memory with its simplicity. I loved walking in Daman, crossed the entire Nani (small) Daman stretch on foot to reach Moti (big) Daman, and let me confess, I never felt this happy, walking. There was hardly a soul on the street, just me, the fort wall and the sea. This is why, I thought of writing a blog on Daman since I believe there are many like me, out there, looking for that break from popular places. Let me help you plan an easy trip to Daman and even though I spent only 1.5 days here, I do have some useful information for you.
How to Reach?
Daman’s nearest railway station is in Vapi, which is in Gujarat and is 12-15 km away. There are regular trains to Vapi from different parts of the country.
Vapi to Daman Transport: There are auto rickshaws, both, shared and private that can drop you to the toll gate of Daman. You need to take another auto from this point and head to Nani Daman. There are also regular bus services called Saarthi, which run between toll and Nani Daman.
What You Need to Know?
Time Required to Explore Daman: 1-1.5 Days
Best Time to Visit: July to March
Accommodation: Daman has a number of hotels and that too in every budget. I would personally suggest that you book a hotel on Devka Beach Road, since you can enjoy the proximity to the beach, and the accommodation options look great to me.
The auto/bus drops you to a taxi/bus stand type of a place, from where you can choose to go to Moti Daman or explore Nani Daman. While I chose to take a long walk to Moti Daman, I suggest, you first visit the attractions of Nani Daman, which are:
- Devka Beach
- Mirasol Lake Garden
- Old Bridge
- Somnath Mahadev Temple
- Dominican Monastery
- St Jerome Fort
Devka Beach is truly worth it since it is well-maintained and has a crowd comprising families. You can chill here with buying yourself a drink or two, drinking responsibly is good for you and the people around you. The sand at Devka Beach is black, and it is probably the first thing you notice after the wide expanse of blue water. I couldn’t visit Mirasol Lake Garden, but when I researched, it is definitely a top attraction in Daman. There are a few temples in Nani Daman, and if I remember, there is a small but beautiful Jain Temple as well for you to visit. The Old Bridge connects Moti Daman and Nani Daman, and beneath it flows the serene, Damanganga River which further goes and merges with the sea. It feels amazing to stand on the bridge and look at the wide expanse comprising, river, trees, and big colourful boats. The wind ruffles your hair, and the feeling is just so beautiful, you may never want to finish crossing this bridge.
To be honest, I still don’t know which landmark marked the territory of Moti Daman, I just walked and walked along the fort wall, and en route encountered a very scenic lighthouse, entry to which was prohibited. Here are the major attractions in Moti Daman:
- Cathedral of Bom Jesus
- Jampore Beach
- Jetty Garden
- Our Lady of Remedios
- Moti Daman Beach
- Shree Ranchhorji Mandir
An impressive fort gate welcomed me in Moti Daman, by now, I had already fallen in love with the architecture of the city. As I entered the gate, a pleasant yellow building, which I realized was a post office greeted me. The world inside the gate was different and suddenly the feeling that I was India also vanished. As far as I can see from the Post Office, there were buildings in colours that hardly give a feel of India, it was like I was in some European country. The fort complex encompasses several government offices and two churches, which are equally beautiful and peaceful. I spent about an hour and a half exploring, and the feeling lingers with me till today.
It was 4 something when I left for Jampore Beach, which is around 4 km from the fort. The beach is lined with shacks that serve seafood and alcohol. I found myself the front seat facing the beach and ordered the special Masala Prawns to be washed down with chilled beer. Jampore is a black sand beach, and since I visited in the monsoon month of August the water was muddy too. Nonetheless, the cool breeze, the intoxication from the food and beer, and the fact I could give my all-day-long-walking tiny feet some rest, sunk well. I decided to skip Devka Beach since it was situated a few kilometers from here. Jampore is a top attraction in Daman, and on weekends, it is crammed with visitors from neighbouring state of Gujarat. I called it a day when the sun had set and returned to Nani Daman from where sharing taxis are available for Vapi Railway Station.
Daman may not be like Goa, Pondicherry, Gokarna or its counterpart, Diu, but it has this amazing vibe that you’d relish. Don’t expect too much when visiting Daman to have even more fun, just let the flow takes you wherever it wishes to, and you’d have an experience of a lifetime.