Dadra and Nagar Haveli Tourism- General Information
Location: West Region Of India
Best Time To Visit: November to March
Males : 1,21,731
Females : 98,720
Languages :Bhili, Bhilodi, Gujarati and Hindi
The Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli is situated on the western coast of India between the parallels of 20o and 20o25′ of latitude north and between the meridian 72o50′ and 73o15′ of longitude. The territory is surrounded on the west, north and east by Valsad district of Gujarat and in the south, and south east by Thana and Nasik districts of Maharashtra.
The district has a hilly terrain specially towards the north-east where it is surrounded by the ranges of Sahyadri mountains (western ghats). The central region of the land is almost plain and the soil is rich and fertile.
The terrain is intersected by the river Daman-Ganga and its three tributaries. The river rises in the ghat 64km from the coast and discharges itself in the Arabian Sea at the port of Daman.
Dadra & Nagar Haveli – History and Geography
After prolonged skirmishes between the Portuguese and the Marathas, on 17 December, 1779, the Maratha Government assigned the aggregated revenue of Rs 12,000 in a few villages of this territory to the Protuguese as compensation to ensure their friendship. The Portuguese ruled this territory until its liberation by the people on 2 August, 1954. From 1954 till 1961, the territory functioned almost independently by what was known as ”Free Dadra and Nagar Haveli Administration”. However, the territory was merged with the Indian Union on 11 August, 1961, and since then, is being administered by the Government of India as a Union Territory. After liberation of the territory from Portuguese rule, a Varishtha Panchayat was working as an advisory body of the Administration. This was dissolved in August 1989, and a Pradesh Council for Dadra and Nagar Haveli District Panchayat and 11 Village Panchayats were constituted as per constitutional amendments at All India level. The U.T. of Dadra and Nagar Haveli has an area of 491 sq km, and it is surrounded by Gujarat and Maharashtra. It consists of two pockets namely, Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The nearest railway station is at Vapi, which is 18 km from Silvassa.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli is a predominantly rural area with about 79 per cent tribal population. It has about 21,115 hectares under cultivation. Major crop is paddy ( Kharif ), while Nagli and other hill millets are crops of the area. Among fruits, Mango, Chiku, and Banana, etc., are also produced. Forests cover 40 per cent of the total geographical area.
Prior to 1965-66, there was no industry in the Union Territory. There were a few traditional craftsmen who used to make pots, leather items, viz., chappals, shoes and some other items of bamboo. Industrial development started on a low-key with the establishment of an industrial estate under the cooperative sector by Dan Udyog Sahakari Sangh Ltd. Thereafter, three Government Industrial Estates have been developed at Silvassa, Masat and Khadoli in the U.T. There are more than 1,600 S.S.I. units, which include Cottage, Village Industries and 430 Medium Scale/Large Scale Industries in Textiles, Engineering, Plastics, Electronics, Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, etc., employing more than 43,100 persons.
Irrigation and Power:
Prior to liberation of the territory, there was no irrigation facility, and cultivators had to fully depend upon rainfall. After the merger of the territory with the Indian Union, adequate steps were taken under minor irrigation sector.
There was no rural electrification prior to liberation of this territory. The electricity was provided with only one DG Set, which was installed and operated in Silvassa Town for VIPs at Circuit House.
After liberation, the UT Administration commenced rural electrification work with the co-operation of the neighbouring State of Gujarat, and completed electrification work in 25 villages by 1976. The power demand of the UT is met by Gujarat Electricity Board through a single Circuit from Vapi-Silvasa, and distributed amongst limited number of consumers. With the commissioning of the said Sub-Station, the electricity department is in a position to provide electricity to all villages.
The Power requirement of the territory is being met from Central Sector Power Generating Stations located in the western region. The power demand has increased tremendously due to rapid industrialisation with the extension of Tax Holiday benefit to this UT by the Government of India.
Tourist Attractions in Dadra & Nagar Haveli:
The Tribal Cultural Museum at Silvassa is an ideal place for those who are too lazy to do some actual exploring. It houses a good collection of masks, musical apparatus, fishing gadgets and life-size statues.
Khanvel is situated at a distance of 20 km from Silvassa. The drive to Khanvel is lined with tall trees on both sides of the road. This serene landscape, surrounded by lush green hills, beckons nature lovers with its rolling meadows and native-styled cottages amidst terraced gardens. The calm and gentle Sakartod River flows past Khanvel.
The Vanganga Lake and Island Garden is a beautiful lake garden situated at a distance of 5 km from the capital city of Silvassa. The rustic wooden bridges, the flowers, jogging paths, thatched huts, and paddleboats-all constitute an ideal ambiance for the honeymooners.
A 20-km drive from Khanvel is Dudhni where the large waterfront of river Damanganga provides breathtaking view of the water spread over Madhuban Dam. The luxurious tents pitched right near the bank provide a countryside experience. Tourists may also cook their own meals near the camp.
On Silvassa-Dadra Road is Hirwa Van, a beautiful garden with roaring waterfalls, misty cascades, rustic stonewalls, twin arches, tiny kiosks and springy lawns interspersed with islands of flowers-truly a visitors delight.
Vandhara Udyan at Silvassa is a riverside park with sprawling lawns dotted with exquisite pavilions, an ideal site for picnic buffs.
There is also a Mini Zoo and Bal Udyan at Silvassa. The colorful birds, mischievous monkeys, awesome pythons and sleepy crocodiles coupled with swings, slides and merry-go-rounds render this site every kid’s dream come true.
Festivals of Dadra & Nagar Haveli:
Normally, all festivals of Hindus, Muslims and Christians are celebrated in the territory, while tribals celebrate their own festivals. Diwaso is celebrated by Dhodia and Varli tribes, and Raksha Bandhan is celebrated by Dhodia tribe. Other festivals include Bhawada amongst Varlist, Koli tribes and Khali Puja by all tribes after harvesting of crops and Gram Devi before harvesting of crops.
Climate – Dadra & Nagar Haveli:
The climate of the region is warm and humid during the summer months and humid but less warm during the monsoon months. The south-west monsoon from June to September, brings copious rain to the territory. The rainfall is about 250 to 300cm. The winter months are generally pleasant.
Travel Information Dadra & Nagar Haveli:
Dadra and Nagar Haveli does not have its own road transport system. It avails of Gujarat and Maharashtra state transport system. Total road length is about 342 km. Bombay is the nearest airport.