|SILVASSA||491 Sq km||Bhili/Bildoli, Gujarati, Hindi, English|
The Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli is situated on the western coast of India between the parallels of 20o and 20o25' of latitude north and between the meridian 72o50' and 73o15' of longitude. The territory is surrounded on the west, north and east by Valsad district of Gujarat and in the south, and south east by Thana and Nasik districts of Maharashtra.
The ranges of Sahyadri Mountains (Western Ghats). The central region of the land is almost plain and the soil is rich and fertile.
The terrain is intersected by the river Daman-Ganga and its three tributaries. The river rises in the ghat 64km from the coast and discharges itself in the Arabian Sea at the port of Daman.
The climate of the region is warm and humid during the summer months and humid but less warm during the monsoon months. The south-west monsoon from June to September brings copious rain to the territory. The rainfall is about 250 to 300cm. The winter months are generally pleasant.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli does not have its own road transport system. It avails of Gujarat and Maharashtra state transport system. Total road length is about 342 km. Bombay is the nearest airport.
This quiet, magical land of 72 villages has a chequered history. For a century and half, the fiery Portuguese were the masters of the land. The Indian nationalist volunteers liberated Dadra and Nagar Haveli in July 1954 and a pro-India administration was formed. Under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, the territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli became a centrally administered union territory with effect from August 11, 1961.
The Tribal Cultural Museum at Silvassa is an ideal place for those who are too lazy to do some actual exploring. It houses a good collection of masks, musical apparatus, fishing gadgets and life-size statues.
The Vanganga Lake and Island Garden is a beautiful lake garden situated at a distance of 5 km from the capital city of Silvassa. The rustic wooden bridges, the flowers, jogging paths, thatched huts, and paddleboats-all constitute an ideal ambiance for the honeymooners.
A 20-km drive from Khanvel is Dudhni where the large waterfront of river Damanganga provides breathtaking view of the water spread over Madhuban Dam. The luxurious tents pitched right near the bank provide a countryside experience. Tourists may also cook their own meals near the camp.
On Silvassa-Dadra Road is Hirwa Van, a beautiful garden with roaring waterfalls, misty cascades, rustic stonewalls, twin arches, tiny kiosks and springy lawns interspersed with islands of flowers-truly a visitors delight.
Vandhara Udyan at Silvassa is a riverside park with sprawling lawns dotted with exquisite pavilions, an ideal site for picnic buffs.
There is also a Mini Zoo and Bal Udyan at Silvassa. The colorful birds, mischievous monkeys, awesome pythons and sleepy crocodiles coupled with swings, slides and merry-go-rounds render this site every kid's dream come true.
Prior to 1965-66, there was no industry in the Union Territory. There were a few traditional craftsmen who used to make pots, leather items, viz., chappals, shoes and some other items of bamboo. Industrial development started on a low-key with the establishment of an industrial estate under the cooperative sector by Dan Udyog Sahakari Sangh Ltd. Thereafter, three Government Industrial Estates have been developed at Silvassa, Masat and Khadoli in the U.T. There are more than 1,600 S.S.I. units, which include Cottage, Village Industries and 430 Medium Scale/Large Scale Industries in Textiles, Engineering, Plastics, Electronics, Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, etc., employing more than 43,100 persons.
Normally, all festivals of Hindus, Muslims and Christians are celebrated in the territory, while tribals celebrate their own festivals. Diwaso is celebrated by Dhodia and Varli tribes, and Raksha Bandhan is celebrated by Dhodia tribe. Other festivals include Bhawada amongst Varlist, Koli tribes and Khali Puja by all tribes after harvesting of crops and Gram Devi before harvesting of crops.