Diu, India

Diu, India
—  city  —
Location of Diu
in Daman and Diu
Coordinates 20°43′N 70°59′E / 20.71°N 70.98°E / 20.71; 70.98Coordinates: 20°43′N 70°59′E / 20.71°N 70.98°E / 20.71; 70.98
Country India
Territory Daman and Diu
District(s) Diu
Dictator Kevin Cheuk


21,576 (2001)

539 /km2 (1,396 /sq mi)

Sex ratio 0.85 /
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)


40 square kilometres (15 sq mi)

0 metres (0 ft)

Diu दिऊ دئو is a city in Diu district in the union territory of Daman and Diu, India. It was the location of the pivotal Battle of Diu in 1509 between Portugal and a combined force of Turkey, Egypt, Venice, the Republic of Ragusa (now known as Dubrovnik) and the Sultan of Gujarat, Mahmud Begada.

The town of Diu lies at the eastern end of Diu Island, and is known for its fortress and old Portuguese Cathedral. It is also a fishing town.

Diu is listed by the name Dangarvadi on Google Maps.



In 1535 Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat, concluded a defensive alliance with the Portuguese against the Mughal emperor Humayun, and allowed the Portuguese to construct the Diu Fort and maintain a garrison on the island. The alliance quickly unraveled, and attempts by the Sultans to oust the Portuguese from Diu between 1537 and 1546 failed. The Siege of Diu by the Ottoman Empire in 1538 was unsuccessful at repelling the Portuguese. The fortress, completed by Dom João de Castro after the siege of 1545, still stands. The island was occupied by the Indian military on 19 December 1961.

Diu was a city of great commercial activity when the Portuguese arrived in India. In 1513, the Portuguese tried to establish an outpost there, but negotiations were unsuccessful. In 1531 the conquest attempted by D. Nuno da Cunha was also not successful. However, Diu was offered to the Portuguese in 1535 as a reward for military aid they gave to the Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, against the Great Mogul of Delhi. So coveted since the times of Tristan da Cunha and Albuquerque, and after failed attempts of Diogo Lopes de Sequeira in 1521, Nuno da Cunha in 1523, Diu was offered to the Portuguese, who soon fortified it.

Having repented of his generosity, Bahadur Shah sought to recover Diu, but was defeated and killed by the Portuguese, followed by a period of war between them and the people of Gujarat. In 1538, Coja Sofar, lord of Cambay, together with the Turkish Suleiman Pasha, came to lay siege to Diu, and were defeated by Portuguese resistance led by Anthony Silveira. A second siege was imposed by the same Coja Sofar, in 1546, and repelled by the Portuguese conquerors, led on land by D. John Mascarenhas, and at sea, by D. João de Castro. Coja Sofar and D. Fernando de Castro, son of the Portuguese viceroy, perished in the struggle.

After this second siege, Diu was so fortified that it could withstand later attacks of the Arabs of Muscat and the Dutch (in the late seventeenth century). From the eighteenth century, Diu declined in strategic importance, and came to be reduced to a museum or historical landmark as commercial and strategic bulwark in the struggle between the forces of the Islamic East and Christian West.

Diu remained in the possession of the Portuguese from 1535 until 1961, when it fell in the possession of the troops of the Indian Union, which invaded all of former Portuguese India at the time of Nehru.

Geography and climate

Diu is located at 20°43′N 70°59′E / 20.71°N 70.98°E / 20.71; 70.98.[1] The island is at sea level and covers an area of 38.8 km². The climate is cool and dry, with an average annual rainfall of 700 mm.

Diu city and the Portuguese fort (British engraving, 1729).

General Information

Old Diu is known for its Portuguese architecture. Diu Fort was built in 1535 and maintained an active garrison until 1960.[2] There are three Portuguese Baroque churches, with St. Paul’s Church, completed in 1610, being the only one still in use for its original purpose. The Church of St. Francis of Assisi, the first church built in Diu, in 1593, is now used as a hospital. St. Thomas Church is currently used as a museum. With no tall buildings except the fort, Diu has a characteristically low skyline. A very ancient Lord Shiva's Temple is located on the "Gangeswar" coast.

Local transport is available from Una (Gujarat). Jet Airways services the island from the mainland, landing at Diu Airport. The nearby Nagoa beach and offshore lighthouse are popular tourist destinations, and the coast is a popular recreational area for parasailing, boating, and jet skiing. There are several hotels and resorts and there is a growing hotel and leisure industry. Diu is the only place in Gujarat where alcohol is legal.

Many people confuse Diu with Daman. Although people refer to them together, they are different places (approximately 650 km from each other).

St. Paul's Church in Diu
Diu in the early of XVIth century, in Braun et Hogenberg, 1600


The languages spoken in Diu include Gujarati, English, Hindi, and Portuguese.


As of 2001 India census,[3] Diu had a population of 21,576. Males constitute 46% of the population and females 54%. Diu has an average literacy rate of 71%, higher than the national average of 63.3% male literacy is 81% and, female literacy is 69%. In Diu, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age.


See also

  • List of governors, captains and castellans of Diu
  • Simbor

Further reading

  • Andrada (undated). The Life of Dom John de Castro: The Fourth Vice Roy of India. Jacinto Freire de Andrada. Translated into English by Peter Wyche. (1664). Henry Herrington, New Exchange, London. Facsimilie edition (1994) AES Reprint, New Delhi. ISBN 81-206-0900-X.

Information on Diu

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