There are some towns one wants to visit again and again. Daman is one such town where I like to go as many times as possible. If you have heard of it or read about it , then you know Daman is more known for the cheap booze it offers than the sights it has.
To me, the real lure lies in the slow paced life and the ambiance of the town. It’s these two factors which make your drinks all the more enjoyable.
But one must remember that the sole purpose of the visit mustn’t be the booze! There is much that awaits you beyond the glass that you much lovingly hold. No doubt, this pretty coastal town has been a watering hole to many alcohol starved Gujaratis and visitors coming from neighbouring Maharashtra. In fact, some of my friends ,who came here more than once , have missed on the historical attractions which the town has to offer. Such is the sway of drinks on some!
Daman is divided by the Daman Ganga river into two parts; Moti Daman and Nani Daman. For those who love history, Moti Daman is great. Having a walk in these old quarters is like walking into history. Most buildings here date back to the Portuguese times. Daman was a Portuguese colony for more than 400 years. As I said already, Moti Daman fort is a great place for walks.
The Fort in Moti Daman houses government offices, a light house,17 th century Bom Jesus Church and the beautiful ruins of the Dominican Monastery. The ruined Monastery is a perfect place to hangout with friends in the evening. It exudes a great sense of history. There is another church outside the fort dating back to Portuguese era: Church of our Lady of Remedios. It’s intricately decorated inside. Surely, it’s a place one should not miss. So, history lovers, Moti Daman awaits your exploration.
Though Nani Daman means Smaller Daman, it’s here that all the commercial vibe of the town can be felt. All the important shops and hotels are located in Nani Daman. Evenings here are crowded. For those shopaholic, there is the pretty China market here. It very much resembles a bazaar of a bygone era.
But ask me about my favourite place in Nani – it’s the Jetty by the fort. What a perfect place it is to spend an evening! You can spend hours here simply looking into the bay or just having a good talk with friends. The jetty is the favourite hangout of the locals too. One can see families sitting, happily chatting all over. This place offers some of the best views of the rosy skies and the sunsets. If you want a panoramic view of the bay, just climb a few steps up the fort. Its not only the view but also the cool breeze that you will enjoy once you are up there.
This fort too houses a beautiful little church. Don’t hesitate to step inside and join the prayers. It really makes you feel better. Actually, Daman is not a very big town, but all these places make it pretty charming. It’s quiet and laid back and that exactly is its charm. I love this slow pace of life here. It’s a great place to enjoy a couple of fun filled days.
Daman has got two beaches : Deoka and Jhampore. Both the beaches have water sports facilities during the season. There are beach shacks lining the shore. These can be your best options to enjoy your drinks and the delicious food they offer. I too love to have a drink or two here while looking into the sea.
This town has hotels to suit all budgets. The food quality in most hotels is good here. I personally enjoy the Veg Gujarathi thali of the hotel Sovereign. Of course, there are many other good options. I just mentioned it as it’s my favourite. My preferred option for budget stay is Hotel Sukhsagar. It has double AC rooms Rs.1200 onwards. It has got a nice rooftop restaurant. The owner of Hotel Sukhsagar, Mr Jayteen would be kind enough to provide you with you all the info you need and would share some interesting facts about the history of the town.
Daman is about 190 kms north of Mumbai. One can easily drive here or Vapi is the nearest railway station on the Western line of railways. Most important trains stop at Vapi. Daman is just 11 kms from Vapi. There are shared taxis available from Vapi which take hardly 20 minutes to reach Daman.
One should come here to enjoy this old world charm that the town offers. Frankly speaking, of course, it’s a place for those who enjoy their leisurely drinks. And trust me, nobody is biased against those who drink here. So, you can expect happy glass filled evenings. Cheers to Daman, guys!