History of Diu
Mythology associated with Diu
It is believed that the Pandavas, during their fourteen years of exile, spent a few days at a place called Mani Nagar, now Diu, which was under the Yadavas, led by Lord Krishna during the Mahabharata period. The five Shiva Lingas in the Gangeshwar temple are believed to be purified by the Pandavas.
According to a popular belief, a demon king or a daitya named Jallandhar ruled Diu. As he harassed the Gods, he was killed by Lord Vishnu, with his Sudarshan Chakra or the disc, but his wife Vrinda cursed Lord Vishnu. Diu was known as ‘Jallandhar Ksshetra’ during Satyug, and the temple of Jallandhar in Diu stands as a proof of this event. Chakra Thirth in Diu is the place where Lord Vishu left the Chakra after killing Jallandhar. It is believed that the name ‘Diu’ originated from the word ‘Dvipa’, which in Sanskrit language mans ‘an island’.
Indian Monarchies in Diu
Diu under Muslim rule
Diu under the Portuguese rule
Due to the strategic location of Diu and its significance as a trading post and a naval base, the Portuguese strived hard to capture it. In 1535, De Cunha – the Portuguese Governor, led an expedition to capture Diu, but the Sultan defeated him. However fearing an invasion by Mughal king Humayun, Bahadur Shah, the ruler of Gujarat entered into a treaty with the Portuguese, by which the Portuguese agreed to assist the Shah against the enemy and in return, received his permission to construct a fort in the harbour in Diu. Finally in 1546, the Portuguese Governor Joao de Castro captured Diu. It was thus subjected to colonial subjugation for over 400 years, till it was liberated in 1961.
Liberation of Diu
Following the increasing discontent among the people against the Portuguese rule, on 19th December 1961, Operation Vijay was launched by the Indian forces, leading to the defeat of the Portuguese and liberation of Diu. Every year, 19th December is celebrated as the Liberation Day in Diu, when various events are organised by the Tourism Department. On 30th May 1987, Goa became an independent state, whereas Daman and Diu was granted the status of a separate union territory.