Interspersed between Maharashtra and Gujarat is the Union Territory called Dadra and Nagar Haveli and here are the eight places one can visit there.
How to Get There
- By Air: One can take a flight to Mumbai and then reach Silvassa (the joint capital of Dadra and Nagar Haveli) by car or taxi.
- By Rail: One can reach Silvassa, the capital city by taking a train to Vapi in Gujarat (which is about 25km from Silvassa). Vapi is very well connected by rail to other places in the country.
- By Road: Dadra and Nagar Haveli are very well networked by road. It is just under 3 hours’ drive from Mumbai (on NH 8), Nasik or Surat.
Best Time to Visit
During summer (March to May), the weather is scorching hot and traveling to Dadra and Nagar Haveli is best avoided. The best time to visit would be during the winter and monsoon seasons when the weather is salubrious and is wonderful for outdoor activities.
1. Khanvel, Silvassa
A place with beautiful resorts and grand hotels, winding lanes, green pastures and fresh air complemented with seclusion and peace is Khanvel, a place located at a distance of about 25km from Silvassa. One can take a long ride to Khanvel and marvel at the tall, beautiful trees and intriguing wildlife like barbets, flying foxes and fruit bats.
There is a tourist complex called Van Vihar tourist complex which offers luxurious hotel facilities, a greenhouse and also a deer park. A long weekend trip to Khanvel with family and friends is surely going to be joyous and rejuvenating.
2. Vanganga Lake Garden
Silvassa being the joint capital of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, tourism in and around Silvassa is booming! The Vanganga Lake Garden is located on State Highway 185 and it has a beautifully maintained lake and a manicured garden and there are tall trees all around housing many birds whose melodious chirps are refreshing.
Take an early morning walk before heading out for the day or a nice evening stroll after a tiring day, this garden is sure to mesmerize anytime! The neat jogging track, a couple of restaurants, boat rides, colourful flower beds makes this place a haven for photographers.
3. Dudhni Lake
Hailed as the Kashmir of the West, the Dudhni Lake located at about 40km from Silvassa is huge expanse of water engulfed by a chain of small hills. Ideally located by the Damanaganga River, there are a variety of adventure sports like canoeing, kayaking, jet skiing and many more. One can take up trekking, hiking to the nearby forests and get a flavour of life in the wilderness. There is the Madhuban Dam which is quite close to the lake and is famous for water sports.
4. Madhuban Dam
Located at a distance of about 40km from Silvassa and quite close to the Dudhni Lake is the Madhuban Dam. It is one of the most important tourist destinations in Dadra and Nagar Haveli. There are wonderful resorts nearby and one can explore the places in and around the dam while enjoying a comfortable stay.
The dam is mainly famous for the scenic view, a treat to the eyes of the water, the forests far off and the vast land beyond! Built across the Daman Ganga River, this dam provides boating facilities, water sports, canoeing, water scooter and aqua bike rides. All in all, the Madhuban Dam is a must visit.
5. Church of our Lady of Piety
Situated opposite the Tribal Museum in Silvassa is one of the ancient churches in the country, Church of our Lady of Piety. The church built during the Portuguese time is known for being not only one of the oldest buildings in Silvassa but also for the beautiful architecture; the intricate arches within and on the exterior of the chapel and the beautiful space for a choir makes it all the more awe inspiring.
Located right in the centre of Khanvel, the church sees a lot of visitors from all over the world, which includes not only devotees but also admirers of its aestheticism.
6. Bindrabin Temple
Wedged between Maharashtra and Gujarat, Dadra and Nagar Haveli has imbibed the significance religion and faith has in both the states. The Bindrabin Temple located at a distance of about 18km from Silvassa is on the banks of River Sakartod and is another important tourist destination.
Also known as Tadkeshwara Temple, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the temple per se has a very relaxed and serene atmosphere. There are cottage and eatery facilities nearby so that one can have a comfortable visit.
7. Silvassa Vasona Lion Safari
Located at a distance of about 12 km from Dadra is the Silvassa Vasona Lion Safari. It is a part of the Dadra and Nagar Haveli Wildlife Sanctuary and is mainly known for endangered Asiatic Lions and also a few lions from Gir which have been rehomed here and are rather kept in an open sanctuary than caged enclosures. The bus ride safari takes one close to the King of the jungle’s habitat, so that one can have a sneak-peak into the royal animals’ lives.
8. Hirwa Van Garden
Amidst the natural beauty lies a man-made forest called Hirwa Van Garden. Located on the Silvassa- Dadra Road is this beautiful picnic spot, a perfect outing with family and friends. Bubbly little springs, lush green thickets, a myriad of flowers, trickling streams, beautiful waterfalls and a nice walkway are just what one needs on a weekend getaway from the city.
The stone walls and the rustic, twin arches are breath-taking and it also has a separate play area for children which make this place as wholesome as it sounds!
Located amidst two culturally diverse, sister states Maharashtra and Gujarat, Dadra and Nagar Haveli profits well in terms of tourism and deserves all the praise it can get. The hospitable people, the secluded and serene locations palatable to all kinds of travelers make a visit to this place truly satisfying.