Diu Fort

  • 4.4

    Location:  Fort Road, near to PWD Office, Diu, Daman and Diu 362520, India

    Estimated Visiting Time: 1 Hour

    Diu Fort is a Portuguese-built architecture located on the west coast of India. The fort was built in the 16th century as part of the Portuguese defensive fortifications east of Diu Island. This fort on the outskirts of the city of Diu was excavated by the Mughal Emperor Humayun in 1535 after a defensive attempt by the Bahadur of Gujarat and the Shah of the Portuguese. It was strengthened for several years until 1546. The Portuguese ruled the region from 1537 until the Indian invasion of December 1961. Today it is a landmark of Diu and one of the Seven Portuguese Wonders of the World. Sultan Shah Bahadur of Gujarat captured Diu Island in 1330 AD. Some defense forts were built during his reign and during the previous Muslim rulers, but the Portuguese demolished them while building new forts. 


    Diu FortApart from landmarks and attractions, the city of Diu offers an incredible amount of cultural heritage to explore, resulting from the fusion of Indian, Portuguese and English cultures. Further, Diu is blessed with stunning coastal beauty that also lures tourists from all over the world.


    Before the Portuguese built the fort in 1535, the ancient history of the place was associated with several kings and dynasties. The earliest citation is from the Purana period, followed by the Maurya’s, the Kshetrapals from the 1st century to 415, the Guptas from 415 to 467, the Maitrika’s from 470 to 788, the Chabad dynasty of Gujarat and Saurashtra from 789 to 789. The Chalukya’s and the last were Portuguese colonial rulers until the Government of India annexed Diu along with Goa and Daman on 19 December 1961. Sultan Shah Bahadur of Gujarat captured Diu Island in 1330 AD. Some defense forts were built during his reign and during the previous Muslim rulers, but the Portuguese demolished them while building new forts. But when the Mughal Emperor Humayun was preparing to invade Gujarat and capture the Sultan’s territory, the Sultan had to seek the help of the Portuguese. Thus, the Portuguese at length found the right opportunity to set foot on the island of Diu to build a fort to protect their trade. In the past, in 1501, 1521 and 1531 they tried to take the island by force but failed. In 1531, Nuno da Cunha (1487 – 5 March 1539) who was the governor of the Portuguese possessions in India from 1528 to 1538, ordered the King of Portugal to build a fort at Diu to strengthen its spice trade. He launched a powerful military attack to annex Diu from the Sultan with 100 ships and 8000 men, including 3000 Portuguese. But the expedition could bombard Diu without ever setting foot on the island. Portuguese forces could at best harass the nearest coast. They attacked again in 1532 and 1533 but were unsuccessful. But opportunity finally knocked at their door in 1535, when the Sultan sought their help to defend against Humayun’s forces. Taking full advantage of this situation, the Portuguese diplomatically signed a defense treaty with the Sultan in 1535 under which they were allowed to build a fort and station a garrison in the fort. Additionally, it formalized their complete control of Bassein Island (an island they had already bought from the Sultan during a previous conflict in 1533 and built a fort there). The Portuguese not only built a large fort at Diu by demolishing the old forts existing on the island but also continuously strengthened it from 1535 to 1546 to make it a strong fort. After the Portuguese ambition to build a fort at Diu was fulfilled, there was complete distrust between the Sultan and the Portuguese on several issues. In 1537, at the port of Diu, the Sultan was killed in a skirmish with the Portuguese. This led to a battle between two claimants for the throne of the Sultanate of Gujarat, but Governor Kumhar’s candidate lost. This resulted in the Portuguese making a spot near the throne and they quickly repaired the damage by entering into a truce with the new sultan, which was only a temporary remedy.

    Inside/Outside Views

    Diu FortThere are many Portuguese sculptures in Diu and Naida Cave is one of them. Because of their unique openings in the ground, these caves were used by the Portuguese to store their building materials. It is believed that these caves were formed through various geological processes.

    Opening Hours

    Diu fort’s opening time is Saturday to Sunday 8 Am to 6 Pm. But hours might differ on Indian Independence Day. 

    Entry & Others Fees

    There is no entry fee.

    How to Reach

    By Air: Diu Airport is the best way to reach Diu. This is the fastest way. If you are wondering how to reach Diu quickly, there is no better way than flight. Air India operates 4 times a week flights from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport to Diu Airport. These flights operate on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. So, plan your Diu trip according to the flight schedule. Alternatively, there is a helicopter service that operates between Daman and Diu – the two Union Territories, thus cutting the 13-hour road journey into an hour of helicopter travel. Chopper is available from Monday to Saturday and costs around Rs 3000 for one person. You can hire a taxi to reach your desired place from the airport.

    By Rail: There is no railway station near Diu. The nearest railway station to Diu is Veraval, which is about 90 km from Diu by road. It has rail connectivity with Ahmedabad, Mumbai and other nearby cities. It is a budget-friendly way to travel to Diu. Somnath Express (09252, 19221, 19222) and Veraval Express (16334) are some of the popular trains that reach Veraval. Hire a taxi to reach your desired place from the station.

    By Road: There are 24 bus departures and arrivals from Diu that you can choose from. By bus, Diu is connected to Gujarat by a bridge. Thus, it is quite well connected to all major cities like Veraval, Rajkot, Porbandar, Daman etc. Gujarat state buses, as well as private buses, make travelling to Diu even easier. One can easily reach Diu by hiring a cab or taxi.

    Tips for Travellers

    One should carry a water bottle and some snacks.


    Que-01: Is this place safe to visit?

    Ans:  Yes

    Que-02: Is photography allowed in this place?

    Ans: yes, but photography is not allowed inside the chapel.

    Que-03: What is the best time to visit Diu?

    Ans: Diu is a beach destination. Best time to visit Diu is October, November, December, January and February. As it is the peak season, expect a little crowd during this time. March, April and May experience moderate weather.

    Que-04: Why is Diu famous?

    Ans: Famous for its pristine beauty and swaying palm trees.

    Que-05: What is special in Diu Daman?

    Ans: sun-kissed beaches, archaic colonial forts, and renowned beautiful churches.

    We wish you all the best for your journey. Happy Travel!!!

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