Dadra and Nagar Haveli is located in western India on the border of Maharashtra and Gujarat. They were declared a union territory on August 11, 1961.
Area and Borders:
This union territory covers an area of 491 square kilometres and is bordered by Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Bhili, Bhilodi, Gujarati, Marathi, Hindi and Konkani are the main languages spoken.
Learn to Speak Gujarati:
- How are you? Kem cho?
- What's your name? Taru naam su che?
- I don't understand: Samaj nathi padtee.
- Where does this road lead to?: A rasto kya jai che?
- What can I do?: Hun shu karoo?
The climate of the region is warm and humid during the summer. Monsoons are heavy. Winters are generally pleasant. The temperatures vary between 10 and 37 degree Celsius.
The southwest monsoons last from June to September and bring plenty of rain. The annual average rainfall is about 2,500 to 3,000mms.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli is predominantly rural and more than 79% of the population is tribal. The main crops are paddy, ragi, small millets and pulses. Additionally crops like jowar, wheat, oilseeds and sugarcane and vegetables like brinjal, tomato, cabbage and cauliflower are also grown. Over the last few years, a lot of land has been dedicated to sugarcane cultivation.
This union territory is predominantly rural and agriculture is the main occupation here. The other major contributor to the economy is animal husbandry. Presently, there are four industrial estates in the territory. The main industrial town is that of Silvassa. Industries here produce frames and flooring tiles, silk fabrics, chemicals, electrical fixtures and watches. The forests here are rich in teak, sadra, khair, mahara and sheesham trees. These are used to create forest-based products.
- The Vanganga Lake Garden includes a central island that is connected to the other parts of the garden with Japanese-style bridges. On an average, 4 lac tourists visit the garden annually.
- The Hirwa Van Garden in Piparia has been named after a tribal deity, Hirwa, the green goddess. Here one can see roaring waterfalls, cascading rivulets and gurgling springs, which lie amidst colourful, flower-laden trees.
- The Tribal Museum in Silvassa is known for its collection of artefacts that depict tribal culture. The museum houses ornaments musical instruments, fishing and hunting equipment, agricultural and household articles and several other artefacts.
Arts and Crafts:
The tribes here create Warli paintings, bamboo crafts and hand-made palm leaf mats. Dadra and Nagar Haveli is also known for its tribal dances. The tribal population has inherited a rich and colourful culture. The tribes dance the Tarpa and Gherraiya during Diwali, the Bhavada during summer nights and the Tur and Thali during weddings.
A loin cloth, a small waistcoat and a turban forms the traditional attire of the Warli men, while the women wear a knee-length sari known as a lugden and a piece of cloth on top called a padar. Silver and white metal ornaments are part of their attire. The Dhodias are the second largest tribe in Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The men of this tribe dress in white, wearing white dhotis and shirts or waistcoats with white caps. Both men and women wear silver or white metal ornaments such as earrings and silver chains. The women wear dark blue saris with colourful bead necklaces, metal bangles on their wrists and thick metal kadas around their ankles.
The local cuisine uses an interesting variety of pulses and vegetables, including wild mushrooms and bamboo shoots. Rotis are made from various flours like rice, nagli (raagi) and jowar. Chutneys are made from the fruits and leaves of wild shrubs and aromatic herbs. The most popular dish is undhiyu, which is a mix of vegetables and beans cooked with special herbs in an earthen pot.
The Warli and Kokna tribes celebrate Diwali as Barash. The Warli and Koli tribes also celebrate Bhawada. The two harvest festivals are Gram Devi, which is celebrated before the harvest, and Khali Pooja, which is celebrated after the harvest.
K G Badlani was an officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the first administrator of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. He was also designated as the first minister of this union territory.
The Union Territory is Famous for:
- Silvassa, the capital city, which is known for its idyllic setting. It is also the industrial capital of this union territory.
- An irrigation project called Madhuban Dam, which is being constructed across the Damanganga River. This will be a major source of power supply.