We get to discuss so much about the number of states and Union Territories in India, but most of us often skip the spell bound splendour encircled with those destinations. Silvassa is one such beautiful destination in India leaving you some awe-inspiring attractions to explore. Let’s take you for a ride on this beautiful capital city of Union Territory Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
Nestled amidst the Western direction of India, the capital of Dadra and Nagar Haveli got its name from a Portuguese word ‘Silva’, which means wood. Getting into its history, Silvassa used to be famed as the Vila de Paço d’Arcos during the Portuguese rule. Dotted with a blend of Portuguese inheritance and a unique Indo-Portuguese ethnicity, the place host some old Roman-Catholic churches.
The place has various industries catering a significant source of revenue to the government. With growing number of factories and industrial exposure, Silvassa has got inhabitants from different parts of the country. Hence, you can witness here a rich verity of people and cultures. Warli or Varlies are the predominant tribes in Silvassa who are renowned for their unique style of paintings. The inhabitants of Silvassa speak different languages like Warli, Gujarati, English and Hindi. Apart from Warli, many other tribes like Dhodia, Dublas and Kokana can also be spotted in the capital city of Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
The local tribes of Silvassa are quite religious and they perform all the important rituals here with deep reverence. Every year various religious festivals are celebrated in Silvassa. Out of many, two of the most popular festivals here include the Kite Festival and Nariyeli Purnima that are celebrated here all year in the month of January and August respectively.
Getting into the food habits of the people in Silvassa, they mostly relish the foodstuffs made of Jowar, Pulses, Bamboo shoots, mushrooms, rice and fresh green vegetables. For non-vegetarians, you will get several eateries here serving some scrumptious platters like river fishes, chutneys and crabs. If you happen to be here for the first time, don’t miss some of the local luscious here that include Gamthi, Ubadiyu and Gamthi. In addition, one will also find here Continental, Chinese, Gujrati, Parsi and Moglai cuisines.
Akin to any other Union Territories, Silvassa also witnesses variety of climatic phases. Summer hits the region from March to May. With mercury scaling up to a maximum temperature of 390C, summers are quite scorching in Silvassa. After summer, Silvassa experiences the soothing monsoon in the month of August and it lasts here till September. You can’t expect intense rainfalls here during monsoon. The climate is quite relaxing that time for visitors. Moving ahead with the seasonal variation, winter blankets the capital city in the month of December and it lasts here till January. With gentle wind and cold environs, the temperature here curbs down till 100C making the ambiance here quite relaxing for visitors.
Best time to visit:
Silvassa can best be visited either during monsoon or in winter. The reason being, these are the time when visitors can rejoice here a breath-taking retreat with restful climate.
Places to Visit in Silvassa:
Silvassa has no dearth of offerings for you. Laid out with number of lush bush, small rivers, tribal hamlets and lively waterfalls, the place is a worth visiting destination for visitors. Let’s take a look on some of the leading destinations here that as a visitor you can’t afford to skip:
#Hirwa Van Gardens
Situated on Silvassa-Dadra highway, Hirwa Van Garden is one of the spectacular sites offering you some breath-taking environs. This place is popular for various man-made gardens with cascading waterfalls. With its exceptional splendour and an array of colourful flowerbeds, Hirwa Van Gardens has become an ideal spot for picnicking and sightseeing for visitors. The lush bush surroundings and mesmerising ambience leaves you a different level of delight here at Hirwa Van Gardens.
#Lady of Piety Church
While holidaying in Silvassa, you will come across a diverse range of attractions. Keeping aside its lively greeneries and small hamlets, the place has some offbeat destinations for you as well. Established way back in 1886-89, Lady of Piety Church is one of the oldest religious spots in Silvassa, which pulls ample of visitors here from all round the country. Positioned opposite to the Tribal Museum, the church offers you some astounding brilliance of the Portuguese architecture portraying its captivating decor and dazzling embellishment with plentiful space for the piano and choir. You can visit here all round the week from 7AM to 7PM. The best time to get there is on the eve of auspicious Christmas. In addition, visitors do pay a visit to this oldest church from February to July as well.
If you are looking for a serene environment dotted with quaint wooden bridges and green environs, Island Garden is the place you should travel by. The breath-taking nature around the garden caters you an amazing opportunity to walk amidst the vibrant flowers. The place is also quite popular amongst the visitors for paddle boat rides at Vanganga Lake. So, if you are here with your family members, don’t miss the boat riding opportunity around the Island. Starting from joggers to film makers, Island Garden has been a delightful destination for the people from different fields of interests. Don’t get surprised if you happen to notice some people meditating here amidst the tranquil ambience.
Nestled close to the Lady of Piety Church, Tribal Museum was set up here to showcase the lifestyle of tribal inhabitants of the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. On entering the museum, you will come across an array of tribal ornaments, their hunting and fishing equipments, house hold articles, agricultural products and tempting handicrafts. Besides, you will also come to spot here some eventful photographs portraying the tribal nuptials and kind of dresses they used to wear that time. This museum is thus an absolute tribute to the people around Dadra and Nagar Haveli representing their actual culture and religion.
If you travel nearly 40Kms from the capital of Dadar and Nagar Haveli, you come to explore one more stunning attraction here called Dudhni. This site is quite popular for Dudhni Lake where various water sports are organised. Dudhni witnesses a large numbers of footfalls every year who flock here for participating in different kind of adventure spots and water activities. The scenic landscape around Dudhni offers you a great place to rejoice while holidaying here.
Holiday turns more relaxing when you get to visit a place like Khanvel. Located around 20Kms to the south of Silvassa, this place is an absolute delight for nature lovers seeking an indolent retreat amidst the natural grandeur. A blend of animated river, green forest, gentle breeze and faunas make this place more happening for you immersing all your strains miles away. An icing on the cake about Khanvel is the available resorts here. You will find one the best resort here in the entire Silvassa catering you all essential amenities. Standing aloof from city’s hustle-bustle, Khanvel lets you a natural escape in the midst of serenity. So look no further, explore the fascinating natural beauty of Khanvel and take home some relaxing memories after this thrilling vacation.
Things to do in Silvassa:
After exploring the cited destinations in the Union Territory of Dadar and Nagar Haveli, you can go for some exciting outdoor activities as well. Let’s take a look over some of the things that as a tourist you should do in and around Silvassa.
The moment you come to hear about Wildlife Safari, straight away it gives you a reason to goosebumps. Just imagine a scenario where you are delimited by various endangered animals! Sounds rousing, is not it? Silvassa has one such thrilling site for you where you can enjoy the Lion safari. Sprawl with an area of nearly 25 hectares of land, the Dadra and Nagar Haveli Wildlife Sanctuary or Wildlife Park is a worth visiting place for witnessing the Asiatic Lion. However, the main expedition zone has been protected here from its adjoining province with the help of a chain-link partition. Besides its dense forest, whistle of various birds make the overall ambience here quite exciting for visitors. So, when in Silvassa make sure you don’t skip this thrilling opportunity of Lion Safari.
Paddling a boat in the midst of translucent cobalt lake water is always appealing to visitors. If you want to get pleasure from a delightful boat ride, Vanganga Lake is the place for you, which is located at Island Garden. The lush green meadows around the lake make your ride more enchanting. You will also find different eateries on the shore here offering you some luscious platters after the ride. Boating is something that may add more spice to your visit in Silvassa. So, if you are here with your family and kids, boating at Vanganga Lake is must for you.
Holiday remains incomplete unless you pick some goodies from the markets or stalls you visit. Despite of being a small place, Silvassa has number of appealing stores for shopaholics. You will find few shopping complexes and retail stores here that showcase plenty of useful products that you can purchase for sure. Some of the major attractions of shopping here include different souvenirs, Warli paintings, smoking pipes, jewelleries, footwear and much more. The main shopping hub in Silvassa is located at Kilvani Road where you will find a variety of stores fulfilling your shopping desire.
How to Go:
Being positioned between Gujarat and Maharashtra, Silvassa is a spectacular getaway for the visitors from both states. Apart from Mumbai and Gujarat, the place can also be accessed from various other parts of the country. Starting from air carriers to road connectivity, here is how one can reach Silvassa with ease:
By Air: Air travellers can reach Silvassa via two nearby airports i.e. Mumbai (around 180 Kms) and Surat (around 136 Kms). These airports are in good connectivity with other major cities of India. From airport, you can hire a cab or pre-paid auto-rickshaws to reach Silvassa. From Mumbai and Surat the travel time to reach Silvassa by road is nearly 4 hours and 2 hours respectively.
By Train: If you are planning to reach Silvassa by train, the nearest railhead is Vapi. Standing nearly 18 kms aloof the destination, this railway station is in good touch with some of the major places in India that includes Ahmadabad, Mumbai, Pune, Jodhpur, Hyderabad and Bangalore. From railway station, you can hire a cab or taxi to travel further. By road it will take nearly 40 minutes to reach Silvassa from Vapi railway station. Some of the popular trains to travel Silvassa include Jodhpur Express, Ahimsa Express, Pune Jodhpur Express and Rajkot Express.
By Road: Silvassa has a convenient roadway connecting the place to its adjoining destinations via Western express highway or NH8. From some of the adjoining locations like Mumbai, Pune and Vadodara, there are regular state and private transports to reach Silvassa. Alternatively, you can also hire a private cab/car to enjoy an excellent road journey to reach Silvassa.
Places to Stay:
Silvassa is the capital of Dadra and Nagra Haveli. Keeping in mind the mounting footfalls and growing industrial exposure here, plenty of budget and luxury hotels and resorts are established in and around Silvassa. Depending on the kind of accommodation you book and amenities you avail, the charges of such hotels will differ.
Some of the comfortable staying options are listed here for your convenience:
#Hotel Soubhagya Inn
Opp Basera Complex, Amli, Vapi Road,
Silvassa India 396230
Charges (approximately): INR 600
#Hotel Van Vihar
Village Dudhani, Chokipada, Dadra and Nagar Haveli,
Silvassa, India 396230
Charges (approximately): INR 1800
Kakad Faliya Road, Naroli,
Silvassa, India 396235
Charges (approximately): INR 2000
Naroli Road, Dadra and Nagar Haveli,
Silvassa, India 396230
Charges (approximately): INR 3100
#Green Valley Resort
Silvasa Road, Khanvel, Dadra Nagar Haveli,
Silvassa, India 396230
Charges (approximately): INR 2200
#Hotel Woodlands Inn
M G Road, Silvassa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli,
Silvassa, India 396230
Charges (approximately): INR 1000
Holidaying in Silvassa during monsoon and winter could a refreshing escape amidst the natural beauty. The place is well-blessed with lush bush and captivating environs that offer you a relaxing getaway from city’s hustle-bustle and contamination. So, plan a natural escape to Silvassa and take home some wonderful moments from the misty cascades, spring lawns and wildlife.