Diu District is an island on southern portion of Gujarat Peninsula. It is joined with Una District of Gujarat State by two bridges over a sea creek. Its length from the extremes north and south, measures 4.6 kms and width from east to west measures 13.8 kms. The altitude is 6 metres above sea level. The topography is generally plain. The hillocks attain maximum height of 30 metres.
The documented history of the District of Diu begins with the Maurya rule (c.322-220 B.C). Emperor Chandragupta Maurya had extended his supremacy over Saurashtra and had appointed Pushagupta as Governor of the province of Saurashtra with the Head-quarters in village Girnar near Junagadh. Yavanaraj Tushappa ruled over Saurashtra as Governor of Emperor Ashoka (c.273-237 B.C.). Emperor Ashoka had sent Yavana Thero named Dhammarakhito as evangelist to the western sea board including Diu. His grandson Samprati (c.229-220 B.C.) seems to have ruled over Saurashtra from Ujjain. He propagated Jainism and erected many Jain Temples. The Jain traditions from Diu seems to belong to this period.
The District seems to be under the rule of Indo-Greek kings Eukratides (c.171- 150 B.C. ), Meanandar (c.115 to 90 B.C.) and Appollodotes II of the 1st Century B.C. No historical information is available for the period of 150 years from the 1st Century B.C. to about A.D. 50. During the A.D. 1st Century , the district seems to have been ruled by Kshaharatas who had established their rule over western part of India including Saurashtra. For more than the next thousand years, Diu formed part of the kingdoms of dynasties that ruled over the western India including Gujarat.
The last king of the Vaja dynasty ruler of Somnath Patan ruled over Diu in the first decade of the fifteenth century. Thereafter, Diu came under the control of the Muslims Sultans of Gujarat who seem to have ruled Diu for the next one and a half centuries. Early in 1535, the Portuguese Governor De Cunha had led his expedition for the capture of the town in Diu, but was defeated by the Sultan. However, around that period, the Gujarat Sultan Bahadur Shah‟s kingdom was overwhelmed by Mughal invasion. Pressed by Mughal king Humayun on one side and the Portuguese at the gates of Diu, Bahadur Shah entered into a treaty with Nuno da Cunha on October 25, 1535 who agreed to assist Bahadur Shah against his enemy by land and sea. In turn he received permission to construct a fortress at Diu and a site was granted for this purpose in the harbour. After the Mughal danger was receded, the Shah of Gujarat realized his mistake in allowing the Portuguese to construct the fort. Finally Diu was conquered by the Portuguese in 1546 who ruled there till 1961.
After Liberation on 19th December, 1961 from Portuguese Rule of more than four centuries, Daman and Diu became a part of the U.T. of Goa, Daman and Diu under Government of India. After delinking of Goa, which attained statehood, U.T. of Daman and Diu came into existence on 30th May, 1987.
An island paradise, connected to Gujarat by a creek, Diu is a charming beach resort town. Its sandy beaches are the reason tourists flock here. The horse-shoe shaped Nagoa beach is the most popular and is safe for swimming. The largest beach in Diu, Ghoghla beach offers excellent opportunities for swimming, surfing and parasailing. Chakratirth beach is associated with mythology and is the place where Lord Krishna beheaded the demon Jalandhar. Those who have had your fix of beaches, explore the massive and well-preserved 16th century Portuguese Fort in Diu. With a double moat and ramparts lined with cannons, it is an impressive sight.
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