Diu is lying off the south coast of Gujarat’s Kathiawar peninsula, separated from the mainland by a tidal creek. It belongs to Diu District and lies 5 km to the east of Diu Head. Diu is part of the Union territory of Daman and Diu. Both Daman and Diu share the same member of parliament. The town of Diu and Diu Fort are located on the island. There is also an airport, Diu Airport.
The Diu Fort, is located on the west coast of India in Diu, a Union Territory, administered by the Government of India. The fort was built by the Portuguese during their colonial rule of the Diu island. The Diu town is located to the west of the fort. The fort was built in 1535 subsequent to a defense alliance forged by Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat and the Portuguese when Humayun, the Mughal Emperor, waged war to annex this territory. Some additions made in 1541 and the fort was strengthened over the years, till 1546. Portuguese ruled over this territory from 1537 (from the year they took control of the fort and also the Diu town fully) until 1961. They were forced to quit only in December 1961 (even though India became an independent country in 1947) during a military action called the Operation Vijay launched by the Government of India, whereafter Diu was merged with India and became a centrally administered Union Territory.
This massive, fairly well-preserved Portuguese fort with its double moat must once have been impregnable. But years of sea erosion and neglect are leading to its slow collapse. Cannonballs litter the place, and the ramparts have a superb array of cannons. The lighthouse is Diu’s highest point, with a beam that reaches 32 km in every direction. There are several small chapels, one holding engraved tombstone fragments. Part of the fort also serves as the island’s jail.
The territories of Daman and Diu were under Portuguese regime from 1546 to 1961. Diu is an extension of Kathiawad Cultural Zone which influences language, dress, patterns, food habits, customs and practice and other culture elements. The ethnic mosaic of Daman and Diu comprises of Hindus, viz. the Kharwa, Koli Patel, Koli, Bhraman, Bania, Vanja, Salat, Sanghadia, Sager, Baria, Kamli, Mitna, Mangela, Bhandari, Macchi, Kumbhar, Mahyavanshi, the tribals, namely the Dhobia, Dubla and Siddi; The Muslim viz. Momin and Khoja descendants of Rajputs which referring to the ATAK (Surname) GOTRA (clan) names. While the Kharwa, Koli, Koli Patel, Vanja, Mangela, Bhandari, Sager and Salat claim to be the original inhabitants of Union Territory, other perceive them as migrants from various places of Gujarat and Saurashtra.