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A Visit to Daman, and a little known place called Dahanu


It was the beginning of 2018 and my quest for exploring life was just unravelling it’s magic. Every new day was a novel page in a new chapter of my life. January 2018 unfolded with a two-week official tour to Mumbai. The purpose of this trip was to give us an exposure and understanding, about how some of the largest and best cancer hospitals of the country were functioning. We were to have an insight to the workings of one of the topmost Institutes in the country, Tata Memorial Hospital. This was going to be a tremendous exposure for us, to learn and observe how large comprehensive cancer care set ups cater to the needs of large volumes of patients from all over the country and even abroad.

The weeks turned out to be hectic and challenging with opportunities to learn from the best in the field. In between our busy schedule, we had one weekend to ourselves. Choosing to make the most of it, we decided to make a trip to Daman and to a remote seaside village called Dahanu. I have always been enamored by the ocean and looked forward to this new destination which was recommended to us by another top Oncologist friend from Mumbai. He told us that Dahanu was a place he often chose to unwind when he wanted to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city of Mumbai which is known to never sleep. The idea was an exciting proposal for us and we got things organized quickly.

Coastal Police Cabin at Port Daman…The Portuguese touch

It was an awesome drive from Mumbai to Daman and I was captivated by the scenic beauty. We were at Daman in less than two hours. Although Daman & Diu is a separate Union Territory, it has its own unique charm.The quiet, peaceful and tranquil atmosphere lifted our spirits instantly. Our first halt was at the Daman Fort area, which is in Moti Daman. This impressive structure was built by the Portuguese who fortified their territory from the Mughals.  We then stepped into the famous Bom Jesus Church which was built in 1603. Bom Jesus is another name for infant Jesus, and this particular Catholic Church has a Portuguese touch to its magnificent architecture. The intricate wooden carvings of the Church left us spellbound. A statue of Fatima inside the church particularly captured my eyes and mesmerised me. She was soft, gentle and almost real. We then visited the port area,to watching the calm sea and the ships docking at the port. This was followed by a visit to the Jampore beach in Nani Daman, a peaceful beach, known for its royal black sandy beach.

Bom Jesus Church, Daman, consecrated in 1603 AD
The intricate woodwork inside Bom Jesus Church

It was time to drive down along the Western Coastline and head to Dahanu as we wanted to catch the sunset there. Dahanu is a sleepy little seaside village very near to Daman, and we were eager to spend the evening at its beaches. Sure enough, we happened to witness one of the most spectacular sunsets that evening. The memory of the spectacular setting sun over the Western horizon, displaying a myriad of colors ranging from crimson to orange, is still deeply etched in my mind. It was a glorious evening indeed. At this point in time, I was indeed fortunate to get through a video call with my mother-in-law, as I felt like sharing this unique moment with her. Later, walking barefoot on the quiet sandy beach, picking up sea shells and playing with the gentle waves on my feet, mesmerized by the breathtaking hues of the sky, I was in awe of the Universe and ever so grateful to be in the moment. It is in solitude that we often introspect and realize how privileged we are to have this brief, amazing gift of life. Time stood still. I kept my gaze fixed on the horizon, watching the huge orange ball dip rapidly under the horizon, bringing another night on my side, at the same time conceptualizing how it was bringing a sunrise somewhere in another part of the world. The cycle of life flashed in front of me.

A spectacular, unforgettable sunset at Dahanu

Dahanu has a significant Zoroastrian population and we were fortunate to stay at a place called Sea Crest just overlooking the ocean which was run by a Parsi couple, Micky and Bina Irani. One of the loveliest couples I have come across, they went all out to ensure we had a pleasant and comfortable stay. What interested me most was the restaurant which was named “Crazy Crabs”. This was enough to tickle our tastebuds. I have always been a ‘sea’ person, and memories of crab delicacies were ingrained in me since my childhood as I had spent my formative years in Fiji Islands amidst the sea, sun and sands. Prawns and crabs were an integral part of my childhood and even today I am clean bowled by a crab dish! ‘Crazy Crab’ was just as expected or even better. With the gentle sounds of the waves lapping the seashore, playing as a background music, in this open air restaurant, this was one of the most happening places in Dahanu. It was the perfect setting for a memorable evening with golden fried tiger prawns and steamed rice with Indian styled Crab masala, as we gazed at the starry sky, felt the gentle sea breeze with a tinge of salty aroma and heard the gentle splashing waves in the backdrop. Our senses were indeed heightened. A beautiful and memorable day concluded.

Crazy Masala Crab at Crazy Crab!

The next morning, I stepped out early from my room to explore the resort on my own. The tingling salty aroma of the ocean and the gentle sea breeze was intoxicating. I discovered an interesting large wooden boathouse which was fully furnished. After a luxurious breakfast in the company of the Mr. & Mrs. Irani, we bade goodbye with a promise to return again someday. We then headed for the Save Chikoo Farm nearby. Here again, we were delightfully greeted by Mr. Prabhakar, who was the owner of the place. The eco friendly environment and the natural process of Chikoo farming and agriculture was a huge learning experience for us, as we trailed across the entire farm on a golf cart. The Save Farm is an extremely popular destination specially for students and those who want to spend some quality time in the lap of nature while learning a few farming tips in the process. Also added it were some adventure sports too, and I took a chance to climb the Burmese Rope bridge and swing across a ropeway, also called ziplining, giving me some extra adrenaline rush! With all this excitement, our appetite was at its peak and it was a delightful and hearty Maharashtrian lunch. I thoroughly relished their sweet paratha also called Puran Poli ( a sweet Indian flatbread made of chickpea, wholewheat and jaggery) and this was a taste I had acquired when I was a child when we used to live in Mumbai. Food has a strange way of rekindling past experiences as memories of my childhood days in “Bombay” flashed across my mind.

The fully furnished wooden boathouse
Crossing the Burmese Bridge at Save Farm

A little known place called Dahanu and the historic city of Daman left a lasting impression in my mind. The short but sweet weekend getaway rejuvenated our souls as we returned back to Mumbai with everlasting memories and renewed friendships. Food, travel, friendship, ocean, sunsets, church, forts, port, nature trails, adventure sports, organic farms, fruit orchards and crabs, all packed in a weekend was more than what I could have asked for, as I silently payed my humble gratitude to the Universe. Our planet is indeed beautiful and and every moment spent, is a gift to cherish it’s abundance. I am extremely grateful to Dr. Bhabesh Das, Senior Surgical Oncologist and Dr. Gautam Sharma, Radiation Oncologist, for sharing this brief, memorable journey with me.

With the Iranis at Crazy Crab, Dahanu

It is indeed the journey of life that is more important than the destination itself.

Published by neelakshimahanta

I believe in celebrating life as it comes and living in the moment. Times are neither good nor bad. It is what we make out of it. If we are blissful, we will make the best out of it.

14 thoughts on “A Visit to Daman, and a little known place called Dahanu

  1. What a gorgeous article, Viti! I literally felt myself being transported to Dahanu – so many gorgeous places in India that we are unaware of.
    I felt refreshed and awakened as I finished your travelogue and words of introspection.
    Keep writing Sister. You have a flair and talent that few possess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Moon for your comments! I still feel someday we will make that trip to the Valley of Flowers or a similar destination….. Let the magic happen!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Been to both the places . You have pictured them so well …expressing the exact feelings I had. Both are places with less populations and by the sea Daman is little developed. As you have mentioned the Portguese influence is quite visible there. The Chikoo farms of Dahanu are too good, the delight of tasting freshly plucked chikoos from the low and spreadout trees is amazing. You brought back wonderful memories of my trip back in 2013. Beautiful pen picture by you . Continue with more ..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Neelakshee , excellent write up , detail descriptive and very good photo graphs . Going through the para graphs ,I felt just like visual commetay of the sea, beach,church , farm and food to me . Its fantastic . Keep going

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Neelakshi
      What a marvellous description with perfect diction..I was literally revisiting Dahan and this time with greater introspection to glorify Nature…which I learnt from you. Keep it up. Keep well, keep blessed every moment of your life. Dr Bhabesh Kumar Das.


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