When I decided to take an unusual trip to Silvassa, my decision was questioned. I don’t blame them because the union territory is more famous for its industrial set-up then the natural beauty it hides in itself. It may not be touted as a quintessential holiday destination, but this unexplored destination has a lot of hidden gems in it, which not only mesmerises but also shows us how ignorant we can get.
Without paying much heed to others ranting, I started my journey towards Silvassa. My 6 hours journey by train came to an end at Vapi station. Silvassa was still 30 minutes away, so I hired a private car and embarked on the journey to reach my destination. While on the way to the vacation spot my enthusiastic car driver informed that this now industrial town was once a Portuguese colony and is currently the capital of the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. While he elaborated on the history the time just flew by. And then he announced Madam hum pauch gaye!
What I saw in front of me was a winding road lined by Gulmohar trees of different colours on both sides of the road, whose fallen petals had set a red yellow carpet in my welcome. Aaah! What a feeling. My stay which lasted for four days opened my eyes to the scenic beauty and a plethora of activities Silvassa had to offer. And the best part was that the weather remained pleasant, in spite of visiting in the hot summer month of April. Here is a list of reasons why you will plan your next trip here. Read on:
Blast from the past
Since it was Portuguese colony once, the Roman Catholic Church located near the Silvassa bus stand is a treasure of Portuguese style of architecture. The surrounding of the church also houses some of the ruins from the era when Silvassa was Vila de Paço d’Arcos and transports you back.
Unlike other holiday destinations like Lonavala and Khandala, Silvassa is not a concrete jungle. It still has its green cover very much intact. Because of this, still there are many tribal communities that reside in and around Silvassa. Do not miss on the opportunity to visit the nearby tribal village and treat you taste buds with authentic tribal cuisine.
Rich in culture and close to Mother Nature these tribes have worked hard to retain their traditions while trying to adapt to the new world. Silvassa Museum also known as the tribal museum is a tribute to the fast vanishing practices which gives this union territory a unique identity.
While these were some of Silvassa’s chapters borrowed from its history pages, the wildlife sanctuary which approximately 11 km away from the main town will entertain the wildlife aficionados. The Vasona Lion Safari, which house the king of the jungle is a treat to those wanting some real time experience. Petting zoo of a sort is the Satmaliya Deer Park. There are many species of deer, some even endangered. It is an absolute delight to watch these beautiful creatures enjoy and play in their natural habitat.
After experiencing the wildlife in Silvassa, head to Madhuban Dam which is situated on the downstream of river Damini Ganga. The fresh clear water will sweep you off your feet. Just the tranquility of the place will arrest you into its magical world. Another haven for water sports enthusiast is the Dudhni waterfall. The waterfall like formation formed by river Damanganga attracts many local tourists. One of the haunts for water sports, these falls are perfected by the splendid view of Western Ghats that surrounds it.
Dadra Park, about five kilometers away from Silvassa, is a home to picturesque lake, where many Bollywood songs have been filmed here. The nearby Vanganga Lake is also a hot favourite with the filmmakers and tourists. Remember 1991’s Phool aur Kaante? Few scenes from this film were shot at the Vanganga Lake near Dadra Park. Not, just this film but many more Hindi films were shot here. This location, I bet will leave you awestruck.