Tucked away in a corner of western India, Diu is a land of surprises. The hybrid of Portuguese, Gujrati and African cultures appealed me instantly. I was so excited about the trip that as soon as I reached Diu after a four hour long bus journey from Rajkot, I checked in to an average hotel where I literally dumped my bags and headed straight to the famous Fort of Diu. Built in 16th Century, the magnificent stone structure, its bastions and old canons still echo of power and authority. At sunset, a feeling of nothingness ascended upon me as I watched the glaring sun soften its hue and settle on the endless Arabian Sea.
Later in the evening I headed to the Pani Kotha Fort, recommended by the locals. Standing firmly in the sea, the fort looked like a long ship adorned with several small lights with a distant lighthouse that shimmered in the night.
The following day, I took a solitary walk on Diu beach, soaking up the serenity of my surroundings. I decided to give parasailing a try and surprisingly, it turned out to be more exhilarating than frightening as I imagined it to be. Later, my fascination for seas shells took me to the Sea Shells Museum in Nagoa. With over 2500 sea shells on display, I was in hobbyist heaven.
After a quick lunch comprising the famous egg paranthas that Diu is famous for, I headed to St. Paul Church. The sight of the lofty, white-washed exterior of the church left me spellbound. Inside, intricate wood carvings were a reflection of Portuguese architecture and culture. My next stop was Gangeshwar Temple. Characteristic of Hindu mythology, the temple is made in a cave and the shivlings here get washed by the sea waves repeatedly, as if they are paying homage to Lord Shiva. Legend has it that the Pandavas worshipped Lord Shiva here while in exile.
Come evening, and I was at the beach again, this time watching the Hoka trees sway in the cool breeze and the locals returning to the coast after fishing.
Far removed from the rest of India, Diu is most definitely where history romances nature.