Moti Daman FortDadra & Nagar Haveli
Historical | Scenic
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A popular monument of this territory, Moti Daman Fort was built in 1559 AD. The site had a Muslim bastion prior to this fort. Spread across 30,000 sq meters, this fort was built by the Portuguese who settled in this place long time back!
Dadra and Nagar Haveli in an Indian Union Territory which is famed for its rich natural beauty! Gujarat and Maharashtra are the neighboring states of this beautiful destination where a morning sets in with the whispers of palm trees and the day closes with a gleaming sunset! Silvassa is the joint capital city, Dadra and Nagar Haveli is a conglomeration of 72 villages which were once under the control of the Portuguese.
Silvassa is an ideal place for someone looking for an exquisite repose in the midst of nature! Mumbai is situated 180 kms away from this place. Dadra and Nagar Haveli has everything to offer a vacationer starting right from serene lakes, rivers, great panoramic view to stunning mountain ranges.
This charming place experiences a typical Indian weather with hot and humid summers and maritime winters with mild temperature. Locals are hospitable people who love to follow their traditions and customs dedicatedly. This ‘small and idyllic’ destination has 43 percent forest covered land. It shelters many local tribes like Dhodias, Varlis and others.
Being one of its key neighboring states, the local cuisines of Dadra and Nagar Haveli has a strong Gujarati influence! The delicious food of this region is majorly vegetarian. A typical thali of this place consists of varied preparations of vegetable, lentils, gravies, breads, farsans and desserts and chutneys. Pickles are an essential condiment of their food types.
The specialty in cuisine of this region lies in a harmonious blend of sweet and salt flavors. Some of the must eat of this exotic land include Khammam dhokla, Shrikhand, Paunk, Doodh pak, and kadi. Palm wine or Tadi is a favorite local drink of this place. It’s made of mahua flowers and a preferred drink of the tribals. Roasted cereals are the main ingredients in Paunk. Khammam dhokla is made of chickpea flour and has a sweet, salty and sour taste. Shrikhand is a delicious sweet dish and Doodh pak is a dessert made of whole milk.
Apart from observing the traditional Indian festivals, Dadra and Nagar Haveli have few customary practices and festivals of the regional tribes which are associated deeply with its indigenous culture.
Monsoon Magic Festival: Between July and August, this festival is observed with complete fervor. Some of the interesting activities that takes place in this festival include Monsoon Moments – an opportunity for the amateur photographers to showcase their talents, Monsoon Moods – It’s a meet of the landscape painters and Jalsa – Rain dance, Monsoon Raga – A vibrant musical concert. Monsoon sports and cross country run are the other features of this festival.
Tarpa Festival: Named after Tarpa Dance, this festival is observed in December by the Koli and Kokna tribes of this region. It’s marked by folk dance, swimming competition, boat race and tattoo painting contest.
Nariyeli Poornima: This festival is observed to pay reverence to the sea God and safe journey of the fisherman. Fisherwomen wear colorful clothes, offer coconut to the sea and spend the day singing, dancing and rejoicing.
National Tribal Art & Food Festival: This art and food festival displays ancient tribal art forms like Madhubani, Kangra, and Varli etc. of this region. The food festival is held in Silvassa where different tribal food is showcased to the public along with a recipe competition.
Besides, Kite festival is also another celebration of this land which takes place on Makar Sankranti.
Folklore and folk dances are the primary elements of the culture of this land. People of different communities live with complete harmony in this exotic region known for its natural treasures! Hinduism is the principal religion. Most of the residents of this place are tribals having their separate traditions and customs. In addition to this, Muslims and Christians also constitute an integral part of the population.
Each of the tribal village in Dadra and Nagar Haveli has a temple dedicated to their local deities. They also participate in Hindu rituals and celebrations. Every tribe has their own dressing style like Dodhi tribe women generally wear blue color sari with bangles, necklaces and kadas while men wear dhoti along with shirt, waistcoat and head gears.
Besides, basketry, mat weaving and leather crafts are the local art and craft forms of this enigmatic land! Some of the cuisines like Doodh Pak, Khammam Dhokla and Paunk are the authentic delicacies that describe the culture of this land like anything!
Madhuban Dam, Portuguese church, Tribal Museum, Swaminarayan Temple and other such places depicts the culture and tradition of this scenic place!
Weaving and carving is quite a famous artisan work of this union territory. Other than this, basketry is also a well known handicraft of this place. Bamboo canes are used to create eye-catching baskets of different shapes and designs. Most of the local shops sell these attractive baskets at affordable prices. Mat weaving is yet another art form that is equally popular here. Mats of varying shapes and sizes are manufactured by the skilled tribal people. Bamboo twigs are an important ingredient of mat weaving. A must buy of this place, these attractive mats reflects the real tribal way of life. Leather craft is one more art form that deserves a special mention. Leather slippers, belts and wallets look exquisite yet pocket friendly!
There are ample road side shops and stores across Dadra and Nagar Haveli from where one can pick these exclusive artifacts as souvenirs and gift items.
Most people speak Gujarati and Marathi. Bhilli is another oft spoken language of this place. It is also known as Bhilboli. English and Hindi are also spoken by many residents.
By Road: Daman has good road connectivity to Surat, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Baroda.
By Train: Vapi is 10 kms away and the nearest rail head with direct connection to Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and other cities.
By Air: Daman airport is the nearest airport to this place. It’s well connected to Mumbai, Vadodara and other places.GET DIRECTION
There are few eateries like Dariya Darshan restaurant, Pithora garden restaurant, vadilal ice cream parlor, Sea View Restaurant and others in and around the fort area.
From October till March are the finest months to explore Daman and Diu!
The polygonal fort has 10 bastions, imposing gateways, steps connecting inner ground of the fort with terraces and several barracks and deep trenches are the main attractions of this fort!
The Sao Jeronimo fort: This fortress is the heart of Daman and is located on Damanganga River!