VISIT DADRA AND NAGAR HAVELI FOR A RISTINE WEEK­END

Qui­ety hid­den from over­crowded streets - the forests, tusn hills and pris­tine waters og Dadra and Nagar Haveli are sure to en­tice to en­tice any wan­der­ing soul

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Sit­u­ated in the foothills of the West­ern Ghats, Dadra and Nagar Haveli not only boasts of in­nate beauty but has also pre­served an in­ter­est­ing his­tory. Dadra and Nagar Haveli is in the mid­dle of the swelling wa­ter­shed of the Da­man Ganga. The towns of Dadra and Sil­vassa lie on the north­ern bank of the river while the West­ern Ghats range rises to the east, and the foothills of the range oc­cupy the east­ern por­tion of the district. The Union Ter­ri­tory com­prises of two sep­a­rate ge­o­graph­i­cal units: Nagar Haveli which spans an area up­river from the city of Da­man on the coast, while the smaller en­clave of Dadra is a short dis­tance to the north­west.

If you have an un­con­di­tional love for na­ture and have the lust to bask in ab­so­lute serenity, you must plan your next hol­i­day in Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The soul heal­ing serenity of the place will surely have you come back ev­ery time you seek a break from your busy sched­ule. The place is good for both solo trav­ellers and fam­i­lies. Best suited for a week­end get­away, Dadra and Nagar Haveli is also well-con­nected to all ma­jor cities in west­ern and cen­tral In­dia.

HIS­TORY

Once ruled by the Koli chiefs, the land later came into the hands of the Marathas who of­fered the Por­tuguese the right to col­lect rev­enues from here to seal their sup­port to fight the Mughals. After the in­de­pen­dence of In­dia, the land was still un­der the con­trol of Por­tuguese un­til 1954. The Union Ter­ri­tory later merged with In­dia in 1961.

PLACES TO VISIT:

Van­ganga Lake Gar­den is just a few kilo­me­tres away from the cap­i­tal. It is a bliss­ful es­cape for na­ture lovers. The very sight of the ‘pic­ture per­fect’ gar­den with its beau­ti­ful lake is a cap­ti­vat­ing

ex­pe­ri­ence. The gar­den con­nected with a cen­tral is­land, de­signed in a unique Ja­panese style, is the ma­jor source of tourist at­trac­tion. The vast wa­ter spread lined with greens, boats, foun­tains, and restau­rants is very pop­u­lar with film­mak­ers as many Hindi songs have been shot here.

Dudhni Lake is a vast wa­ter­body sur­rounded by hills. Fa­mously re­ferred to as the ‘Kash­mir of the West,’ the lake is formed by the waters of the Mad­huban reser­voir. The usual iso­la­tion of Dudhni is par­al­lelly com­ple­mented by ex­cit­ing wa­ter sports to let your adrenalin flow: speed boats, wa­ter scoot­ers, jet skis, kayaks, ca­noes, and shikara rides. If you are not in­ter­ested in aquatic sports, you can en­joy trekking through the forests or camp­ing. You might also get a glimpse of the thriv­ing tribal life here if you are lucky.

Hirwa Van Gar­den is a man-made for­est on the Sil­vassa – Dadra road. It is an ex­cel­lent model of in­tri­cate ar­chi­tec­ture with vis­ually ap­peal­ing wa­ter­falls, small springs, cas­cades, arches, lush green­ery, colour­ful flow­ers, stone walls and crisscross walk­ways. While you pre­pare to un­wind and lose your­self in tran­quil­lity, let your chil­dren en­joy their time in the sep­a­rate play sec­tion equipped with toys

to amuse the tod­dlers and the young.

Mad­huban Dam, built across the River Da­man Ganga, of­fers ex­cel­lent views of the set­ting sun and the sur­round­ing flaura. The views of the lush dense forests around are stun­ning, mak­ing it one of the prime at­trac­tions of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. You can also book a lux­u­ri­ous tent on the site.

To ven­ture into the forests, one must visit Kaun­cha, on the banks of the Mad­huban Dam. The pic­ture-per­fect re­al­ity of the thick for­est, spec­tac­u­lar moun­tain ranges and charm­ing val­leys might cast a spell on you while you ob­serve the simil­i­tude of tribal life amidst all this beauty. You can ex­pe­ri­ence the re­al­ity of be­ing a part of the world that does not have tech­no­log­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties but can of­fer you the ex­pe­ri­ence of a life­time. Ad­ven­ture seek­ers can have a whale of a time here row­ing boats, ski­ing and canoeing. For those who love trekking, here is an op­por­tu­nity to trek, camp and count the stars that gaze from above.

Va­sona Lion Sa­fari, a 20-acre land which is a part of Dadra and Nagar Haveli Wildlife sanc­tu­ary prom­ises a thrilling ex­pe­ri­ence as you get the op­por­tu­nity to watch lions in the com­fort of their homes rather than in a cage. Some lions from Gir had been re­set­tled and kept in an open zoo like area. Vis­i­tors can take a bus ride into the area for a sa­fari-like ex­pe­ri­ence.

Dur­ing your visit to Dadra and Nagar Haveli, you may also want to visit the Church of Our Lady of Pi­ety, to ex­pe­ri­ence the cul­tural in­flu­ence of the Por­tuguese; the Bin­dra­bin Tem­ple on the banks of the Sakar­tod River which prom­ises an undis­turbed calm­ness; and the Swami­narayan Tem­ple for a mag­nif­i­cent ar­chi­tec­tural ex­pe­ri­ence. Hav­ing dis­cussed the beauty of the land, it must also be men­tioned that its photo-friendly ap­pear­ance will def­i­nitely boost your so­cial me­dia pres­ence get­ting you sev­eral more likes and fol­low­ers!

HOW TO REACH:

The near­est rail­way sta­tion is Vapi in Gu­jarat on the Mum­bai-delhi route, about 18 km north­west of Sil­vassa.

Mum­bai and Su­rat are the near­est air­port lo­ca­tions from Sil­vassa.

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