Located in the Western direction of India, Silvassa is best known as the capital of the Indian Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. During the Portuguese rule; Silvassa used to be eminent as Vila de Paço d’Arcos. And most importantly; the place has got its name from a Portuguese word ‘Silva’, which means wood. Even today, one can observe a blend of Portuguese inheritance, unique Indo-Portuguese ethnicity and some old Roman-Catholic churches that takes you back to that epoch of Portuguese.
Silvassa 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.
Silvassa has no dearth of attractions to offer. Laid out with number of lush bush, small rivers, tribal hamlets and lively waterfalls, the place is an absolute paradise for vacationers and adventure junkies.
Let’s take you for a virtual ride to some of the leading destinations in Silvassa:
1. Hirwa Van Gardens
Located 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.
2. Lady of Piety Church
Holidaying in Silvassa means a diverse range of attractions. Keeping aside its lively greeneries and small hamlets, the place has some offbeat destinations to offer 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 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.
3. Island Garden
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.
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.
5. Tribal Museum
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.
In addition, the place is an absolute paradise for wildlife safari, boating, shopping and other outdoor activities.
Being positioned between Gujarat and Maharashtra, Silvassa is a spectacular getaway for the visitors from both the 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.
To read more about Silvassa, click here
Image courtesy: Google