The union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli lies in the western coast of India between the states of
Gujarat. Until 1954, this area was under the Portuguese rule. In July 1954 indigenous freedom movements forced the Portuguese to abandon the territory to India. The territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli became a centrally administered union territory with
Silvassa as its capital. Dadra consists of 3 villages and Nagar Haveli has the town of Silvassa and 68 villages. The surface is confined to less than 491 sq km.
The territory is covered with tall trees and winding rivers. Forests cover most parts of the area, the rest of the area is devoted to cultivation and grazing. Eighty-nine percent of the total population is tribal, majority of them being Kokna and Bhil. The tribals are hospitable, kind and unselfish, and have their own customs, dances and rituals that are quite fascinating. The population is predominantly Hindu. The literacy rate is around 41 percent and major spoken languages in the territory are Gujarati and
The major dance forms, Tarpha Nach and the Bhavada, are more popular among the Koknas in the hilly regions. Agriculture is the main occupation, and they produce rice, pulses and fruits. Prominent places of tourist importance are
Tribal Cultural Museum, Mini Zoo and Bal Udyan, Vandhara Udyan and Pipariya Udyan. The Vanganga Lake and Island Garden is a beautiful lake garden situated at a distance of 5 km from Silvassa. The rustic wooden bridges, flowers, jogging paths, thatched huts and paddleboats - all constitute an ideal place for tourism.
The nearest railway station is
Vapi under the
Western Railways, which is about 18 km from Silvassa. The nearest airport is at Mumbai.