Early in 2018, we visited western India. We spent eight fascinating and enjoyable weeks in Gujarat, Daman, and Diu. Before and after our trip, people asked us why we chose to visit Gujarat.
Here is my answer:
Compared with other places in India (for example: Rajasthan, Kerala, Kashmir, The Himalayas, and Goa), Gujarat is relatively unvisited by foreign tourists. We saw no more than about twelve foreigners during our eight weeks in Gujarat and its two former Portuguese enclaves. Most of those whom we saw were in Diu. It is also not a popular destination for Indian holidaymakers. As I enjoy exploring places less-visited, Gujarat appealed to me.
Another reason for visiting Gujarat is my wife’s heritage. Her father’s family originated in Gujarat, and her mother’s in formerly independent Kutch, now a part of the State of Gujarat. Lopa and I had never visited either of these places.
Yet another reason for our trip was to see the two former colonies of Portugal: Daman and Diu. India is dotted around with territories that remained in foreign hands long after Independence in 1947. We had already been to Pondicherry and Mahé, both formerly French Colonies, and Goa, which was capital of Portugal’s Indian Ocean empire. Each of these places retain a colonial European charm of their own despite having been part of India for several decades. We wanted to discover what is left of the Portuguese influence in Daman and Diu, and we were not disappointed.
I hope that this book will help to introduce the delights of Gujarat, Daman, and Diu to more people. Although we were unable to visit everywhere, I believe that we got a good ‘taste’ of what Gujarat and its lovely people have to offer the visitor.
Visitors at Junagadh Zoo