THE STORY OF DIU

‘A melting pot of cultures’

Diu is situated at the southernmost tip of Gujarat at the entrance of Gulf of Khambath and was considered as one of the most important and strategic point for its lucrative trade centuries before the Portuguese arrived.

The documented history of the island begins about 2,200 years ago, when the founder of the Mauryan Empire, Chandragupta Maurya (c. 321-297 BCE) extended his supremacy over Saurashtra. Subsequent eras saw Diu under the control of various dynasties that ruled over Western India, including Gujarat, like the Kshatrapas who were contemporaries of the Kushanas. The other medieval dynasties that ruled the region were the Maitrakas, the Chavadas and the Chalukyas. Later it was the Muzaffarid dynasty followed by the Portuguese colonial rule for over 400 years.

The Portuguese depended heavily on their mercantile collaborators who were the Hindu, Muslim and Parsi merchants who together formed a formidable socio- economic group. The architecture of the town bore witness to the aspects of multiculturalism that evolved in Diu.

As you pass by these various settlements, what is hard not to notice is that, while these communities settled in a segregated manner on certain streets and zones, they live harmoniously with all the other communities within the strongly fortified structure

Experience the uniqueness of Diu

Haveli Quarters Heritage Walk

At the heart of Diu lived the Vaniya community who were the dominant trading community. Another prominent community is that of the Vanzas (Weavers) and the Darjis (Tailors) who also played an integral part in the textile trade of Diu. Interestingly this area of Diu has strong Swahili influence in its architecture owing the maritime trade connection with East Africa.
This trail highlights the local heritage through the residential buildings colloquially known as Haveli, functional and devotional buildings built, maintained and conserved in oldest part of Diu which today is an amalgamation of Indian and Mozambique architecture while being firmly rooted to the local traditions.

Highlights

• Get a vivid introduction to the oldest part of Diu when Maritime Trade across the Indian Ocean was at its from our friendly Storyteller.
• Get insight to the unique Indo-Mozambique architecture.
• Immerse yourself in the interesting stories, anecdotes and legends about the various communities, streets and Havelis.
• Visit some of the heritage buildings that today serve as temples.
• Get insights on traditional occupations in the Old Town.

TOUR DETAILS

Meeting Point : Zampa Gate
Duration : ~1.5 hours
Cost : INR 100 / person

Firangiwada Heritage Walk

Firangiwada which is outside the fort, was a small hamlet where the Portuguese nobility, the Viceroys and Fidalgos who settled in Diu lived, with those who converted to Christianity. Various Lusitanian structures like churches, institutions and residential homes in Indo-Portuguese architectural style were built in this area. In this trail, the Indo-Portuguese architectural style can be seen on facades, the use of motifs, iconography, Corinthian pillars, Shell motifs and built in rich Baroque style fusing Classical, Neo-Mannerist orders of architecture.

Highlights

• Get a vivid introduction to the part of Diu which has a strong Portuguese influence when Diu was part of Estado Da India from our friendly Storyteller.
• Discover what lured the Portuguese into Diu and the strategy behind building the Fortress of Diu.
• Immerse yourself in the stories about the advent of the Jesuit order and the revered saints.
• Witness the marvelous Indo-Portuguese architecture, symbolism and iconography in Firangiwada.
• Visit some of the finest Baroque churches, memorials and explore the relics and artifacts from the medieval times

TOUR DETAILS

Meeting Point : Khoja Zafar Memorial
Duration : ~1.5 hours
Cost : INR 100 / person

Diu Fort Heritage Walk

While Diu was being built as Fortified town, the Portuguese considered these inner dynamics and logics that they wanted to inscribe into urban space. The Diu Fort which is one of the 7 Portuguese origin wonders of the world, was the place which had barracks for the garrisons stationed, a prison for the convicts and the residence for the Governor, which was later shifted to the Governor’s palace on Fort Road. This trail is an exploratory experience of The Fort of Diu, an expansive and imposing structure situated on the extreme coast of the Island on the eastern side. The Fort commands a magnificent view of the sea and its surrounding areas.

Highlights

• Get a vivid introduction to the most breathtaking and historically strategic part of Diu from our friendly Storyteller.
• Discover what led to the Portuguese building the Fort of Diu.
• Immerse yourself in the stories of battles and siege wars that were fought to gain control of Diu.
• Get insights on Portuguese Astro-navigation and what makes the Portuguese great navigators.
• Explore the legendary structures of the Fort that would take you back to another era.

TOUR DETAILS

Meeting Point : Diu Fort Entrance
Duration : ~1.5 hours
Cost : INR 100 / person

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Testimonials

good very good experience

amrita
wd

The Haveli Quarters Heritage Walk and Firangiwada Heritage Walk was very informative and painted a very different picture of Diu highlighting facts that are unknown to many. Our storyteller was was knowledgeable, patient and even got us to make some interesting guesses about the place.
Thoroughly enjoyed!

Divya
Heritage Research

Commendable effort to popularize heritage walks.

Vivek Adyanthaya
Adyanthaya Consultants

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Avinash Fulbaria

Kaushal Parekh

Pritesh Baria

Purnima Baudas

Mayur Solanki

Ridhy Kantilal

Hiren Jethwa

Manji Baval Divecha

Pavan Thorat

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