The territory is surrounded on the west, north and east by Valsad district of Gujarat and in the south, and southeast by Thana and Nasik districts of Maharashtra. The district has a hilly terrain specially towards the north-east where it is surrounded by 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. It consists of two separate parts. Dadra is surrounded by the state of Gujarat, and Nagar Haveli lies on the borders of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Dadra consists of 3 villages, and Nagar Haveli has the town of Silvassa and 68 villages. Silvassa, the tiny sleepy capital township, is `Garden Beautiful' with the roaring waterfalls, misty cascades, rustic stone walls, twin arches, tiny kiosks and springing lawns interspersed with islands of flowers.
The profound history of Dadra and Nagar Haveli begins with the defeat of the Kohli chieftains of the region by the invading Rajput kings. It was the Marathas that retrieved the region from the rule of the Rajputs in the mid 18th century.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli was a Portuguese colony, as in 1783, Nagar-Haveli was given to the Portuguese as a compensation for the sinking of a Portuguese ship by the Maratha Navy. Then, in 1785 the Portuguese purchased Dadra. Thus, it was administered by the Portuguese Governor of Daman, from 1779 until 1954. It was liberated from Portuguese Rulers by people themselves on 2 August 1954. The people of the Union Territory established free Administration of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, which was finally merged in to Union of India in the year 1961.
By Air: There is an airport at Daman (44 Km) which it is not operational at present. The nearest & convenient airport is Mumbai (168 km).
By Rail: Nearest railhead is Vapi(15 km) on the Western Railway, connected with important cities/towns in Western and Northern India.
By Road: Silvassa is 11 km from Bhilad on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway: Ahmedabad (380 km), Daman (44 km), Mumbai (168 km), Surat (129 km), Vadodara (269 km).
Shopping centres and stores sell most consumer items. If you are looking at buying souvenirs, the Warli paintings made by the tribal women are decorative and sometimes intricate. Leather slippers and woven bamboo mats are also crafts sold in Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli is sure to entangle you with its calm sylvan surrounding, large waterfronts and gurgling waterfalls, but is not a typical shopping destination.
Still shopping in Dadra and Nagar Haveli can be a pleasant experience for the discerning shopper. Like all places in India, this tiny land also boasts of its handicrafts, which can turn out to be a great shopping in Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
While shopping in Dadra and Nagar Haveli watch out for
Woven of bamboo mats and baskets
Articles made of greenish gold torpe grass
Dadra and Nagar Haveli boasts of a large number of hotels. Accommodation ranges from Government Rest Houses, Forest Guest houses to privately owned hotels and cottages. The Vanvihar Tourist Complex at Khanvel offers luxury to budget rooms and is an excellent getaway from Silvassa.
In the last ten years the region has witnessed tremendous growth as a leisure destination, which explains the growth of hotels in Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli holds it reputation mainly as a weekend gateway. You would not find here luxurious palatial hotels offering lavish accommodation. But the hotels in Dadra and Nagar Haveli offer decent arrangements with moderate prices, which do not burn a hole into your pocket.
Most of the hotels in Dadra and Nagar Haveli are located in and around the state capital Silvassa. Along with the Government run hotels, there are private hotels in Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
Following are only a recommended few:
Khanvel Resort (5star)
Vanvihar Complex, Chauda Khanvel, Silvassa
Plot No. 205/1, Silvassa
Tapovan Tourist Complex,
Himai Van Health R
Dadra & Nagar Haveli is famous for its tribal culture . Tarpa is actually a dance festival which is celebrated annually from 26th December to 31st January. This is mainly performed by the men and women of Kokna and Koki tribes in a group by holding each others hand. Cultural programs like boat races, tattoo design, folk dances, swimming are also organized and are the other major attractions of this festival.
It is one of the major religious festivals of Dadra & Nagar Haveli. During this festival the deities of 64 temples are brought to the beach for holy bath. Besides them some other festivals like Pongal a thanks giving to the mother nature for the harvest season, Villianur temple car festival in the month of May, French food Festival in august, birth celebrations of Sri Aurobindo are some of the major festivals of Dadra & Nagar Haveli which are celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm.