So once upon a time in Mumbai there were two girls. Two friends, meeting up after 8 years and ending up as room mates in the big bad glorious Mumbai. Both very similar and yet way way different. And the one feeling that always prevailed with both of them “Enough with the men and their drama rama. Let’s just get the fuck out of Mumbai.” So numerous places were suggested and rejected. Resources were always short for both of us and of course my habit of not telling my parents before i disappear somewhere is still there. And then like any other Newton or Edison ideas, I got stuck with the idea of Daman while treating one of my patient. So Daman it is. She wont let me go alone and i informed her that i am leaving, with or without her. With a weather of 31 degrees, this ex-Portugese territory is a clean, charming little town that is far from a tropical paradise considering the muddy, grey sea and yet attracts a huge crowd from Mumbai and Gujarat thanks to the no tax exemption on alcohol.
How to Travel
From Mumbai – You have three ways of reaching Daman. By road it takes roughly three hours by bus or if you are lucky enough to know how to drive and not fall asleep behind the wheels. (Yayyy roadtrip!!!) There are numerous bus services available helping you plan a easy, budget-friendly and comfortable journey. Trains and Flights are also available. The nearest railway station is Vapi, which is 10 Kms away from Daman. Once you get down at Vapi, you can take the local transport (auto or cab) to reach Daman.
What to do, and What not to
Plan a overnight trip, if it is only for Daman and all you are planning is to get the hell out of Mumbai or Gujarat for that matter. It is much more convenient and pocket friendly that way. The one issue that we faced was the fact that all the buses from Mumbai were scheduled at night and hence we reached Vapi at 2 AM because of which we had to take up a hotel for few hours. That’s why the best way would be to travel in your own vehicle. You can live from your city early morning and reach Daman at decent hours and then leave by evening at the earliest.
For those who were in the hippie mode like me and have no vehicle at your own disposal, book a rickshaw for the day covering all the tourist places and make sure that you finalize the deal at 500 rupees and not a penny more. Also, if you do stay in a hostel, ask the hotel receptionist to help you in planning your itinerary in an organized fashion.
Places to Visit:
Moti Daman Fort
The imposing structure is a Portuguese creation and there is well-built road traversing around the fort and through the fort as well. From the amount of traveling we did around the fort, it appeared to be polygonal in structure. But then, I am no architecture, so I might be wrong. As informed, we can’t go on the top of the fort any more since the complex that has been built inside the fort comprises of all official offices and departments. A must visit will be the Cathedral of Bom Jesus and Our Lady of the Rosary, both located within the complex inside the Fort.
(Cathedral of Bom Jesus)
(Cathedral of Our Lady of Rosary)
If you have seen the beaches in Goa and Gokarna and you live next o Juhu and Chowpatty, the beaches of Daman will come to you as a shocking revelation. The water is extremely muddy and grey and highly unremarkable to look at. the beaches are definitely clean but the shacks lining the beach are equally unremarkable.
The food is mainly in three categories – Pomfret fry, Prawns fry and Chicken fry. So there is not much to opt there from. But damn!! The food is way beyond excellent. The alcohol is diluted and over-charged. Do keep in mind that Jhampore beach is more family oriented (and less fun).
This is a more youth-friendly beach, and as per the local recommendation you can sit and chill and drink as per your convenience at the amusement part just near the beach. Located 3 kms from Nani Daman, the ambience of ease and zero loud music makes it enjoyable for tourists to simply unwind.
Nani Daman Fort
Located close to the beach is one of the most magnificent tourist attraction facing a spectacular spread of the river Daman Ganga.
There is a lighthouse near to the fort but unfortunately it was off limits at that point of time. Next you can pay a visit to the Jetty Garden before heading on back to the city for the return journey.
What we missed:
- Dominician Monastery – Unfortunately it is closed on Sunday as per the locals, but from what I gleaned of the google it is a beautiful sight to herald.
- Mirasol Waterpark
- Kadaiya Lake Garden
- Panikota Fort
- Pargola Garden
- Satya Sagar Udyan
- Parsi Fire Temple
- Tribal Land of Saputara
- Jain Temple
- House of Bocage
- Damna Ganga Tourist Complex
Travel overall – 2200
Food + Alcohol – 1000
Remarks: A cheap, quick getaway is all that you need to recharge your battery. And Daman fulfilled that mission completely and satisfactorily.
Oh btw,don’t try sneaking off with the gold mine of cheap booze. Police enteries are present at the very start of Daman city.