In 1498, long before the conquest of India by the British, the sea route to India was discovered by the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama, which led to Portuguese colonial expansions in Asia. The Portuguese established many colonies in India, the most notable ones being Goa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Diu and Daman.
Moti Daman is separated from the Nani Daman area of Daman by the Rajiv Gandhi Setu on the Daman Ganga river (as already put forth in a previous post). This area houses some marvelous old Portuguese colonial architectural wonders and takes you back in time. The Fort of Moti Daman is the predominant structure here overlooking the Arabian Sea and most of the gems of Moti Daman are nestled within its bosom. The fort in itself is massive and has 2 gateways and 10 bastions with a moat encompassing it.
Following are some of the wonders that we came across in and around the magnificent Fort of Moti Daman during our wanderings.
1) Church of Bom Jesus- As you enter the fort of Moti Daman through the main gateway, passing lush beautiful gardens, you are quite literally transported into a glorious era gone by. The first structure that greets you, inside the fort is the Church of Bom Jesus. The facade of the church is not too inspiring, but lo as you enter it, the exquisiteness of the very well preserved wooden work inside the church, leaves you awe-struck. The church as we see it today, was re-constructed in 1603 and has been a place of worship since February 02, 1559 which is more than 455 years. Though the church is past its glory, it still stands proudly in testimony to its wonderful past.
2) Jampore Beach- Further south of Moti Daman (3kms approx) is the Jampore Beach. This beach is much better and less crowded than the Devka beach in Nani Daman and offers you a plethora of options to indulge in. On one end of the beach, it is not uncommon to find a number of fishing trawlers dropping anchor before they again set out to fish. The beach itself is quite broad and during the low tide you can walk miles into the sea. The beach has shacks, courtesy the tourism department which serve you some lip smacking sea food and also drinks. You could even go for a horse ride or the more adventurous can make their adrenalin flow by partaking in speed boat rides and para-sailing.
3) The Old Light House- Back inside the fort of Moti Daman is an old light house overlooking the creek of Daman Ganga and the Arabian Sea. Built in the late 19th century, the light house that served as a beacon of hope to ships in distress, today is a major tourist attraction and a favorite haunt for picnickers. Some narrow winding solid stone stairs lead you to the light house, the view from which of the sea and beyond is mesmerizing.
4) Secretariat- The Fort of Moti Daman used to be the seat of power during the Portuguese colonial rule. It still remains the seat of power, as the beautiful Secretariat located within the fort manages the administration of the quaint Union Territory of Daman and Diu. The building, that exudes an old world colonial charm, coupled with the dainty narrow roads within the fort, are just some of the wonders of Moti Daman, that we were able to enjoy, on that day, which incidently was the day, the festival of Holi was being celebrated all over India.