Situated on the southern border of the state of Gujarat, off the Saurashtra
coast bordering Junagadh district, is the Union Territory of Daman and Diu.
A colony held by the Portuguese for a long period even after India got independence,
Daman and Diu became a part of the erstwhile Union Territory of Goa, Daman and
Diu in 1961. When Goa was conferred with statehood in 1987, Daman and Diu became
a separate Union Territory.
The word "diu" is derived from the Sanskrit word dweep, meaning
island. From the 14th to 16th century, this tiny island (coastal length 21
kms) was one of India's best sea ports, an important trading centre and a
naval base. Today, it is a serenely beautiful getaway with golden beaches,
dense palm-groves and historical monuments, but minus the commercial exploitation
and environmental degradation that have spoiled so many other destinations.
Daman and Diu is, perhaps, one of India's last undiscovered jewels, being virgin,
picturesque, clean, and green. Apart from the tourism industry, Daman has become
an important industrial centre, due to its' proximity to the industrialized
states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. It follows a strict environmental policy
- only non-polluting units are allowed to set up shop. Daman accounts for 40%
of India's plastic manufacturing capacity and has developed a notable cluster
of related industries.