Crazy in Daman !

The entrance to the fort

We got to Daman.

Planned as a weekend night away, we drove into Daman. And got to Moti Daman fort. And asked a chap who vends ice cream, what Daman was famous for. We have always stopped to ask such questions to ordinary folk, and the answers are usually very incisive. And far apart from what tourist guides tell you.

And so we ask this gentleman again. He looks up from what he was doing, and says without a flicker of his eye, ‘Booze. What else. The low taxes means booze is dirt cheap. There is NOTHING else here. NOTHING else”. He thunders. With special Spielberg sound effects on on ‘Nothing’ !

I smile. I am genuinely amused.

There we are. Standing within the precincts of the Moti Daman fort. A fort built by the Portugese, some 400 odd years ago. Yes, 400 odd years ago. Almost the time when Columbus was discovering America. And here it was, still standing. In its majestic splendour.

A view of the fort, the river, the sea and the old lighthouse

A gateway that leads to the boat jetty

Lighthouse. Arches. Columns. Doors. Chapels. Pews. Prisons. Municipal office. And the precincts of the fort. Standing, as it seems, almost in fierce defiance of the Arabian sea and whatever that lies beyond. The fort itself houses this church built in 1603 AD ! And its such a fabulous sight. The camera cant quite tell the complete picture.

The Church of Bom Jesus

Imagination wanders on how life would have been here. 400 years ago. What it must have taken to build a fort, with relatively sparse technology in a foreign land. Kissing sea, river and land.

And to do all this, after sailing the high seas from Europe. There sure must have been something that coursed the veins of those people.

I have my hands on my hips and and smile at this chap. Who tells me that there is nothing but booze here. Standing right here in this fort. And silently mutter ‘you must be crazy’ !

Back in Mumbai. I talk to friends. About the the Moti Daman fort. They listen. As my excitement reaches a crescendo, one of them waves me to stop. And says, “you went all the way to Daman. To look at some fort. And not touch the booze”.

And as i look at him. He smiles. And says. “You must be friggin crazy !”

The yesteryear lighthouse atop the fort

13 thoughts on “Crazy in Daman !

  1. Neha says:

    I think ur friend said it all 🙂

  2. Nice post ya….was lovely, the pics were great.

  3. Pearl says:

    400 years! Older than my whole country!

    And the booze is cheap. 🙂


  4. Rush says:

    lol..ur travelogue gets interesting by the day…from national monuments to locales take on it, from kavis musings to wat the frigging friend exclaims!!
    all put together brilliantly to feel as thou i travel along wit you beside.

  5. Swatantra says:


    I just loved this pictures and the way you have written about these pictures

    They are fabulous.. Looking forward for more from you..Great!!

  6. sujata says:

    The black and white Pics that you take are amazing,they bring out the past beautifully, I think. Daman was a weekend spot for us when we lived for a short while in Valsad, Gujarat, and as the vendor said, Gujjus go to Daman to drink, what with Gujarat being a dry state. WE used to love a place called Mirasol in Daman, it had those pedal boats you wrote about!!

  7. Suma says:

    i like the black and white touch!

    to each his own..i would take history over booze anyday 🙂

  8. Jeevan says:

    booze have struck into peoples mind and even u say Pondicherry… the first thing comes to people mind is booze. What the foreigners left us is priceless and needs to be protected.

    I wonder what our modern day forts would be, if it was constructed today!

    Great to know about this Daman! 🙂

  9. Nachi says:

    Old Forts and dirt cheap booze…Daman sounds like a place i should be stopping by someday soon!!! 😀

    …lovely pics bro! esp the last one. i love it!! good one mate…

  10. Lou says:

    Great that you have so much history in your country, and even better that you take an interest in it!

    The photos are stunning, the black and white a perfect touch.

  11. manju says:

    People look, but don’t see- or maybe see, but don’t understand the significance!

    Great pictures!

  12. Kavi says:

    Neha : Welcome here ! yes. he said that. And more too.


    Nazish Rehman : Thank you !

    Pearl : yes. The booze is real cheap. And even before the USA 🙂

    Rush : Thank you ! For the thoughtful and wonderful comments !! Its such a treat to read them !

    Swatantra : Thank you ! For staying through and writing in. Will keep it going !! 🙂

    Sujata : ah yeah ! We did see the resort. But decided against it. For it was better to do the fort !! The world is a small place indeed. It must have been something to go there every other weekend ! hmm !~

    Suma : I am honoured. To have company like yours. I was feeling i was getting isoloated, with ah overwhelming majority going with what my friend was saying !! 😀

    Jeevan : Exactly what i thought as well. Of Pondi ! and yes, you are so right, there is so much tradition down there, that we miss it quite often !

    Nachi : LOL !!! You must visit Daman ! 😀

    Am learning photography from folks like you mate !! Thanks !!

    Lou : Thanks a ton Lou ! I love the history and tradition that is so much a part of us here.

  13. Kavi,

    Enjoyed reading the post.
    “We have always stopped to ask such questions to ordinary folk”- The same here. I try to talk with Ordinary people doing ordinary job and try to know about the places from their angle.

    I laughed out loudly for the line
    “With special Spielberg sound effects on on ‘Nothing’ !” –

    A good write up ending with good photos, especially the last one with clouds (my favourite).

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