Experiences

Diu: The Hidden Town of Western India

When it comes to beaches, my heart leaps in excitement and the so called ‘fernweh’ kicks in and increases multi-fold. Well, the world houses many beach-bums like me, and when I look around I often find that I have way too many strangers-cum-companions (and some trash thrown) on the pristine beaches.

However, when I stepped in Diu– a union territory in the state of Gujarat- the air was much different. The rustic aura was palpable, and the commerce was almost a ghost. This was a beach-town away from civilisation and the misogynist (or escapist?) in me was loving this fact.

After a 12-hour overnight journey on a rickety bus from Ahmedabad, an uncomfortable sleep and sore back, we found ground on the roads of Diu and its outlandish airs welcomed us. Diu does not boast of over the top accommodation, but exudes simplicity. It is not a place for those seeking luxury away from their home, but can be an abode for people who immerse themselves in the place they stumble upon. The best that Diu offers is its sun to bask in on beaches that are untouched by most others. This feeling has been amazingly articulated by Shivya Nath, in her article for Huffington Post.

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The only people on the beach were us! This is mom sauntering all by herself

Given my beach fascination, it was surprising that the high point of my small two-day itinerary was not the sea but the Naida Caves that offered many a picturesque frames to click. The Naida Caves of Diu are a network of artificial rock structures that form a labyrinth spanning kilometers. The streaming sunlight from the roof of the caves created a view right out of Indiana Jones.

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Rocks allowed the sunlight to stream in, making the views all the more surreal

There are centuries old roots dropping down like curtains from in between different sections of the rocks. These added beauties make the caves no less than a fantasy land. The caves are almost never ending but it’s easy to maneuver your way to the exit, thanks to the directions painted all around.

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The scale of the picture screams opulence. Spot my dad?

As we ventured out of the rock-labyrinth I looked back at the cave exit. The magnificence was breathtaking and I heaved a sigh, thanking my stars for letting me decide to visit the place. We walked out back into the peaceful civilisation and took an auto ride with a chirpy auto driver, only to know from him that the caves also formed the shoot location for the Bollywood movie Agneepath. Well I don’t know about the cast and crew of the movie, but for me the image of the Diu caves were etched and I would love to come back to this hidden serenity.

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