Traveller’s hub in Daman: Nani Daman
Larger of the two Daman divisions, Nani Daman even though the literal translation of the name is small Daman is the traveller’s hub of Daman since most of the accommodation, attractions and restaurants are located in this section of the union territory.
To reach Nani Daman take the Daman route. From Vapi railway station board a local bus to Nani Daman and if one is travelling by auto rickshaw, tell them Nani Daman bus stop is your destination. This is important since many times just saying Daman as your destination might lead you to end up being dropped off at Moti Daman.
Nani Daman has two major attractions Devka beach and the fort of St. Jerome also more commonly known as Nani Daman fort. Devka beach is about a 7 minute walk from the bus stand. The beach is a good place to spend the evenings relaxing and having some recreational fun.
The sand on Devka beach is not usual fine grain white sand but black sand which is more like gravel. At the beach there are plenty of street vendors selling ice cream, chaat and even a few who come up and offer a bottle of beer.
St. Jerome fort is located on the north side of the Daman Ganga River. The fort is about a ten minute walk from the Nani Daman bus stand. The best way to reach this fort is by foot since this is the fastest way.
The fort of St. Jerome was built by the Portuguese to secure their territory from the Mughal invasion in 1614 AD. This small fort with a giant gateway facing the river with a large statue of St. Jerome and two giant human figures, on either side. The fort encloses the church of Our Lady of the Sea and a cemetery.
In Nani Daman every other shop is a wine shop or a bar selling all kinds of alcohol at very economical rates. Since Daman is a union territory and the taxes are comparatively lower than in the rest of India.
The abundance of alcohol makes Nani Daman a dream destination for youngsters and single men. The cost of alcohol varies from shop to shop in Nani Daman, to avoid getting cheated it is advisable to check the rates in a couple of shops before buying anything. Shops located near Devka beach offer a wider range at a very reasonable price as compared to the ones near the bus stand.
Nani Daman has a host of restaurants that serve really tasty fish, both curry fish and fried fish. There are also numerous Chinese stalls which are located all over this small town. Most of them will be found near the beach and fort. The soup served in these stalls are a must have.
Accommodation in Nani Daman is in plenty and will suit every traveller’s budget from the budget backpacker lodges that can be found around the bus station to the luxury resorts for families and cooperates which are located around Devka beach.
There is no particular season that can be said is prime time to visit Nani Daman, since the weather is good and pleasant all year round. It is advisable to avoid going to Nani Daman when school holidays are on since the place becomes very crowded and the accommodation cost jumps up nearly two times the original base price.
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