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Daman and Diu

Daman and Diu (dəmän´, dē´ōō), union territory (2001 provisional pop. 158,059), 50 sq mi (130 sq km), W India, on the Arabian Sea, composed of two former Portuguese colonies seized by India in 1961. Daman and Diu were administered jointly with Goa as the union territory of Goa–Daman and Diu until 1987, when Goa became a separate state. It is administered by the home minister of the central Indian government. The major language is Gujarati.

Daman, Port. Damão (1991 pop. 62,101), c.30 sq mi (80 sq km), at the mouth of the Daman River on the Gulf of Khambat, was acquired by the Portuguese in 1588. It consisted of a coastal section, Daman proper, and a detached inland section, Nagar Haveli, which in 1961 became part of the Indian union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Before the decline of Portuguese power in the 18th cent. Daman enjoyed a large overseas trade. Rice, wheat, and tobacco are the chief crops; fishing is important.

Diu (1991 pop. 39,485), c.20 sq mi (50 sq km), consisting of Diu island and a small area on the coast of the nearby Kathiawar Peninsula, was acquired by Portugal in 1535. Diu town has several splendid Catholic churches built before overseas trade declined in the late 18th cent. Fishing is the principal occupation, and salt is produced. Tourism is important for both regions; Diu has famous beaches.

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