Dadra and Nagar haveli is one of the union territories of India. It is situated on the western coast of India between the parallels of 20o and 20o25' of latitude north and between the meridian 72o50' and 73o15' of longitude. The territory is surrounded on the west, north and east by Valsad district of Gujarat and in the south, and southeast by Thana and Nasik districts of Maharashtra. The district has a hilly terrain specially towards the north-east where it is surrounded by the ranges of Sahyadri mountains (western ghats). The central region of the land is almost plain and the soil is rich and fertile. The terrain is intersected by the river Daman-Ganga and its three tributaries. The river rises in the ghat 64km from the coast and discharges itself in the Arabian Sea at the port of Daman. It consists of two separate parts. Dadra is surrounded by the state of Gujarat, and Nagar Haveli lies on the borders of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Dadra consists of 3 villages, and Nagar Haveli has the town of Silvassa and 68 villages. Silvassa, the tiny sleepy capital township, is `Garden Beautiful' with the roaring waterfalls, misty cascades, rustic stone walls, twin arches, tiny kiosks and springing lawns interspersed with islands of flowers.
The Portuguese were the masters of the land. They ruled this territory until its liberation on 2 August 1954. Subsequently the administration was carried on for some time by some local administrator. The territory was merged with the Indian Union on 11 August 1961 as a Union Territory. Since liberation of the territory from Portuguese rule a Varishtha Panchayat was working as an advisory body of the administration, which was, however, dissolved in August 1989 and Pradesh Council for Dadra and Nagar Haveli was announced. Subsequently Dadra and Nagar Haveli District Panchayat and 11 village Panchayats were constituted as per Constitutional amendments at all India level.
The climate of the region is warm and humid during the summer months and humid but less warm during the monsoon months. The south-west monsoon from June to September, brings copious rain to the territory. The rainfall is about 250 to 300cm. The winter months are generally pleasant. October to March is the ideal time to be in Dadra & Nagar Haveli.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli, a predominantly rural area having about 79 percent population of tribals has about 23, 627 hectares under cultivation. Agriculture is the principal occupation of Adivasis who represent 79 percent of the total population as per 1991 census. The main crops are paddy, ragi, small millets and pulses. The agriculture production is dependent on rainfall and mostly on a single crop system. In addition to the main crops, crops like Jowar, wheat, tur, oilseeds and sugarcane are also grown. The types of vegetables grown are brinjal, tomato, cabbage, cauliflower etc. Forest cover 40 percent of the total geographical area. The tribal population depends primarily on forests has been given exclusive rights for collection of minor forest produce free of cost.
Prior to liberation of the territory, there was no irrigation facility. Later on adequate steps were taken and 118 lift irrigation schemes were completed at various places in the territory. A multiple irrigation project Damanganga is also in its final states. Power is made available from the Central sector power generating stations located in the Western region and the entire territory is electrified.
Forestry is an important economic resource of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. It consists of teak, sadra, khair, mahara, sisam etc. which constitute the main wealth of the territory. The area under forests is 20852 hectares that is 43 percentage of the total geographical area. The area of the forest is spread over 58 villages. The teak and khair are the most predominant species available in this territory. A forest based industry producing 'Katha' out of Khair wood has also been set up.
The livestock population constitutes cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats and other animals. There is a well equipped veterinary Hospital at Silvassa and two veterinary centres at Dapada and Khanvel. To meet the requirements of poultry birds and to demonstrate the improved methods of poultry keeping, government is running a poultry breeding-cum-demonstration farm.
At present there are in all four industrial estates in the territory. The co-operative industrial estate is at Silvassa and the government estates are one each at Masat, Khadoli and Silvassa. The products manufactured include spectacle frames and flooring tiles, art silk fabrics, chemicals, detergent powder, electrical fixtures, watches etc. Main items exported include forest products, rubber foam etc. Items imported include petroleum, cloth and sugar.
One can trace some of the most beautiful variety of flora and fauna in Dadra and Nagar Haveli. They are a treasure to the nature lover and offer a visual delight to one and all. Wild cacti, beautiful butterflies, hinking trails - you'll find them all in this virgin land of greenery and forests.
The U.T. has population of 2.20 lakhs as per the 2001 census which has predominance of tribals forming a major chunk of the total population. The major tribes are Varlies, Kokana, Dhodia and Dublas. The tribals have their distinct culture of their own consisting of curious rituals and colorful folk-lore. No occasion in tribal life is complete, be it a marriage or harvest without a folk dance. The major dances are Tarpa, Dhol, Bhavada and Gherria. The performers of these foot-tapping dances are equally good in other arts and art forms.
Normally all feast of Hindus, Muslims and Christians are celebrated in this territory. However, tribal celebration differ. Varli and Kokna tribals celebrate Diwali in the name of Barash. Akhatrij is celebrated by Kokna tribes where ladies are the main participants. Divaso is celebrated by Dhodia and Varli tribes. Rakhi-Bandhan is celebrated by Dhodia. Other festivals are Bhawada amongst Varli and Koli tribes, Kali Puja by all tribes after harvesting of crops and Gram Devi before harvesting.
Nearest railhead is Vapi 17 km.By Road
Dadra & Nagar Haveli almost touches the Mumbai- Vadodara-Delhi National Highway No.8 (Western Express Highway). Silvassa is about 14 Kms from Bhilad & 18 Kms from Vapi.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli does not have its own road transport system. It avails of Gujarat and Maharashtra state transport system. Total road length is about 342 km. Bombay is the nearest airport.
|Dadra and Nagar haveli at a glance|
|Languages||Bhili, Bhilodi, Gujarati and Hindi|
|Summer (March to June)||Warm|
|Monsoon (July to August)||Warm|
|Best Time to Visit||November to March|
|Winter (November to February)||Cool|