Daman

Daman is a small and lazy beach town which is frequented by tourists from neighboring states to relax and get away from the usual routines of life. It has little more than a bunch of resorts lined along one Devka Beach. This beach is rather mediocre – the sand is a bit too tightly packed, pebbly and black; the shore is peppered with rocks which rules out pretty much all water sports.

Surprisingly for a beach town with an increasingly large portion of its income from tourism, the general atmosphere is a bit too subdued and calm – not ‘happening’ like in Goa or Kerala – evenings on the beach are silent with none of the party atmosphere normally associated with popular beach towns. Part of the reason has to do with the visitors flocking to Daman. The tourists I saw were not the kind you’ll see in either of those two places – here visitors were came with their ‘entire’ family. By that I mean aunts, uncles, in-laws, grandparents and more. Now who would party with company like that!

The real attraction, as it turns out, is a by-product of Damans political status in India. Since it is a Union Territory instead of being part of any state, alcohol is quite a bit cheaper there; which is what tourists flock here for.

Me and a friend drove over Mumbai on a long weekend two weeks back. The drive was fun with good roads almost all the way, with the last 40 km or so being a bit of an adventure due to the poor signage on the smaller of Indian roads and the inaccuracy of Google Maps. In case anyone is interested in travelling from Mumbai, take the road via Amboli-Silvasa instead of following NH8 al the way through – its a more scenic drive.

Daman offered very little opportunity for interesting photography subjects too, the few uploaded here are the best I could manage.

These were taken at Devka Beach, right across from our resort.

These are from Devka too, capturing the sunset.

Along with tourism, the fishermen community contribute significantly to the economy of Daman. These pics were taken at the mouth of the Daman-Ganga river, where a lot of the fishermen boats were moored.

Around the same area, which is called Moti Daman, there is a fort and a lighthouse. These were taken there(unfortunately we didn’t enter the fort). Also, the fourth pic exemplifies the photography situation – no interesting subjects. The dog for sure didn’t think much of whatever my friend was photographing 🙂

Very close to Daman, you have Dadra & Nagar Haveli which is another union territory. It is at the foothills of the Western Ghats, otherwise called the Sahyadri Hills. The terrain is undulating, and I expect it to be very scenic during the monsoons or just after. We visited a popular lake – the Vanganga – and the Madhuban Damn there. I tried a few macro shots of the flora around Vanganga, but it didn’t come out too well – need a fast lens – in the shade my F/5.6 just doesn’t cut it at 55mm!

On our return journey, we visited Vasona, which has a ‘kid’ Lion Reserve. It is basically a large enclosure for a pride of lions into which we a driven inside a caged van. I had hoped it would be better, a real reserve like Gir.

All in all, Daman holds very little interest for a group of friends looking to have a blast. Its the drive which is more scenic and fun. The narrow unmapped(on Google Maps) roads make an interesting adventure in case you get lost.

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