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Dadra and Nagar Haveli

Dadra and Nagar Haveli
दादरा आणि नगर हवेली
દાદરા અને નગર હવેલી
Union Territory
Official logo of Dadra and Nagar Haveli
Seal of Dadra and Nagar Haveli
Dadra and Nagar Haveli is located in India
Dadra and Nagar Haveli
Dadra and Nagar Haveli
Location of Dadra and Nagar Haveli in Maharashtra
Country  India
Uniton territory Dadra and Nagar Haveli
Established 11 August 1961
Capital Silvassa
 • Administrator Shri Ashish Kundra (IAS)
 • Total 487 km2 (188 sq mi)
Area rank 32th
 • Total 342,853
 • Rank 33rd
 • Density 700/km2 (1,800/sq mi)
 • Official Marathi, Gujarati, English, Hindi,
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
ISO 3166 code IN-DN
No. of districts 1
HDI Increase
0.618 (2005)
HDI Category high
Website .in.nicdnh

Dadra and Nagar Haveli is a Union Territory in Western India. Nagar Haveli is wedged between Maharashtra and Gujarat, whereas Dadra is an enclave 1 km NW, surrounded by Gujarat. The shared capital is Silvassa. The larger part spans a roughly c-shaped area up-river from the city of Daman on the coast, at the centre of which, and thus outside the territory, is the Madhuban reservoir.

Dadra and Nagar Haveli (DNH) are in the middle of the undulating watershed of the Daman Ganga River, which flows through Nagar Haveli and later forms the short southern border of Dadra. The towns of Dadra and Silvassa lie on the north bank of the river. The Western Ghats range rises to the east, and the foothills of the range occupy the eastern portion of the district. While the territory is landlocked, the Arabian Sea is just to its west, and can be reached via the state of Gujarat.


  • Geography 1
    • Topography 1.1
    • Flora and fauna 1.2
    • Climate 1.3
  • History 2
    • Pre-Portuguese era 2.1
    • Portuguese era 2.2
    • End of Portuguese rule 2.3
    • Integration into India 2.4
  • Administration 3
  • Education 4
    • Church 4.1
  • Economy 5
  • Media and communications 6
    • Print media 6.1
    • Monthly Magazines 6.2
    • Telecommunications 6.3
    • Banks 6.4
    • Agriculture 6.5
    • Industry 6.6
  • Demographics 7
    • Religion 7.1
  • Language 8
    • Castes 8.1
    • Warli 8.2
    • Dhodia 8.3
    • Kokna 8.4
    • Kathodia 8.5
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


Location of Dadra and Nagar Haveli

The area of Dadra and Nagar Haveli is spread over 491 sq km, landlocked between Gujarat to the north and Maharashtra to the south.

The Union Territory comprises two separate geographical units – Dadra and Nagar Haveli. It is close to on the Western coast of India between the parallels of 20° 0’ and 20° 25’ of latitude North and between the meridian 72° 50’ and 73° 15’ of longitude East. It occupies an area of 491 square kilometres (190 sq mi),[1] comparatively equivalent to the Philippines' Biliran Island.[2] It ranks 4th among the Union Territories and 32nd including the states.[3] The territory is surrounded by Valsad District of Gujarat on the West, North and East and by, Thane District of Maharashtra on the South and South-East (after division of Thane district, it is now surrounded by newly formed Palghar District.).[4]


The stretch of the main southern area is hilly terrain especially towards the northeast and east where it is surrounded by ranges of Sahyadri mountains (western ghats). The central alluvial region of the land is almost plain and the soil is fertile and rich. The river Damanganga rises in the Ghat 64 km from the western coast and discharges itself in the Arabian Sea at the port of Daman after crossing Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Its three tributaries viz. Varna, Pipri and Sakartond join Daman Ganga within the territory.[5][6]

Flora and fauna

About 43% of the land is under forest cover. However, the reserved forest cohis territory constitutes about 40% of the total geographical area. The protected forests constitute 2.45% of the total land area.

According to satellite data taken in 2008, UT has roughly about 114 square kilometres (28,000 acres) of moderately dense forest and 94 square kilometres (23,000 acres) open forest. As per Forest Survey of India, DNH has two major forest types: tropical moist deciduous forest and tropical dry deciduous forest. The major produce is khairwood/khair and general timber. Teak, sandra, khair, mahara and sisam are the major tree species in the region.[6]

Tree cover has been estimated around 27 sq km from the six-year data (2002–08), which is around 5.5% of the total geographical area of DNH.[7]

The rich biodiversity makes it a habitat for a variety of birds and animals with numerous trips from inland safari or the coast by tour guides providing eco-tourism. Silvassa's hills and wide, forested buffer land provides a main focal point for wildlife enthusiasts.


The climate of Dadra and Nagar Haveli is typical of its type. Being near the coast, all but the sparsely inhabited easternmost parts have a typical north Indian Ocean maritime climate. The summers are hot and become in their later part more humid with temperatures reaching as high as 39° in the month of May. The monsoon starts in the month of June and extends until September. The rainfall is brought by South West monsoon winds. It is known as the Cherrapunji that covers the bulk of western India (apart from the Thar Desert) which produces most of the annual rainfall of 200–250 cm. Winters are between maritime temperate and semi-tropical with temperatures ranging from 14° to 30°, reliably, as with the monsoon, with scant deviation from this range.[8][9]


King Tofizon of Dadra, 1780 (coloured engraving)

Pre-Portuguese era

The profound history of Dadra and Nagar Haveli begins with the defeat of the Kohli chieftains of the region by the invading Rajput kings. It was the Marathas that retrieved the region from the rule of the Rajputs in the mid 18th century. In 1779, the Maratha Peshwa formed an alliance with the Portuguese allowing them to collect revenue from the 79 villages of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The rule of the Portuguese in the region continued till the region gained independence on 2 August 1954. The region was merged with the Union of India in the year 1961.[10]

Portuguese era

The Portuguese occupied Nagar Haveli on 10 June 1783 on the basis of Friendship Treaty executed on 17 December 1779 as compensation towards damage to the Portuguese frigate by Maratha Navy.[11] Then, in 1785 the Portuguese purchased Dadra.

Under the Portuguese rule, Dadra and Nagar Haveli were part of the Distrito de Damão (Daman district) of the Estado da Índia (Portuguese State of India). The two territories formed a single concelho (municipality), named "Nagar Haveli", with its head in Darará until 1885 and, after that, with its head in the town of Silvassa. The local affairs were administrated by an elected câmara municipal (municipal council), with the higher level affairs administrated by the district governor of Daman, who was represented in Nagar Haveli by an administrator.

The Nagar Haveli concelho was itself divided in the following freguesias (civil parishes): Silvassa, Noroli, Dadra, Quelalunim, Randá, Darará, Cadoli, Canoel, Carchonde and Sindonim.

The Portuguese rule lasted until 1954, when Dadra and Nagar Haveli were occupied by supporters of the Indian Union.

End of Portuguese rule

After India attained Independence in 1947, the residents of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, with the help of volunteers of organisations like the United Front of Goans (UFG), the Portuguese India in 1954.[12]

Integration into India

Old map of the territory.

Although it enjoyed de facto independence, Dadra and Nagar Haveli were still recognised internationally (e.g. by the International Court of Justice) as Portuguese possessions.[13] The residents of the former colony requested the government of India for administrative help. K.G. Badlani, an officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) was sent as the administrator.

From 1954 to 1961, the territory was administered by a body called the Varishta Panchayat of Free Dadra and Nagar Haveli.[14][15]

In 1961 when Indian forces took over Goa, Daman, and Diu, Badlani was, for one day, designated the Prime Minister of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, so that, as Head of State, he could sign an agreement with the Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, and formally merge Dadra and Nagar Haveli with the Republic of India.

On 31 December 1974 a treaty was signed between India and Portugal on recognition of India's sovereignty over Goa, Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli.[16]


An Administrator administers the territory, which covers an area of 487 sq km and consists of two talukas:

Dadra is the headquarters of Dadra taluka, comprising Dadra town and two other villages. Silvassa is the headquarters of Nagar Haveli taluka, comprising Silvassa town and 68 other villages.[18]


There are several top standard schools, colleges and other academic institutions, computer-training institutes, industrial training institutes, polytechnic institutes and other technical training institutes. Government and private run hostels provide accommodations to local and outstation students. Some of the famous schools of the Union Territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli are:

  • Govt. Higher Secondary School, Tokarkhada
  • BAPS Swaminarayan Vidya Mandir, Athal
  • Prabhat Scholars Academy
  • St. George English School, Silvassa
  • Father Agnelo English High School
  • Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas
  • Lions English School
  • Kendriya Vidyalaya, Tokarkhada
  • Alok Public School
  • St. Xavier's School
  • Silvassa Public School

Some of the well-known colleges in Dadra & Nagar Haveli are:

  • SSR College of Science, Commerce & Arts
  • Dr. B.B.A.Government Polytechnic, Karad
  • Pramukh Swami Institute of Information Technology, Swaminarayan Cultural Complex
  • Silvassa institute of higher learning,Naroli
  • Institute Of Hotel Management, Karad


Roman Catholic church

  • Our Lady of Piety Church, Char Rasta, Silvassa
  • St. Thomas church,Bombadafaliya,Silvassa


Dadra and Nagar Haveli's gross state domestic product for 2004 is estimated at $ 218 million in current prices. Its nominal GDP increased to $360 million in the year 2009 with a per capita GDP of $1,050. The economy of DNH relies on five major activities viz. agriculture, industries, forestry, animal husbandry and tourism.[19][6][20][21]

Media and communications

Print media




Monthly Magazines





The basic economic activity of the territory is agriculture involving about 60% of the working population. The total land area under cultivation is 236.27 square kilometres (58,380 acres) i.e. 48% of the total geographical area.The area under high yielding crops is 12,000 acres (49 km2). The main food crops cultivated in this area are paddy (40% of the net sown area), ragi,small millets, jowar, sugarcanes, tur,nagli and val. Vegetables like tomato, cauliflower, cabbage and brinjal and fruits like mango, chikoo, guava, coconut and banana are also grown.[22] Agriculture sector has given a major boost to the economy of DNH.

The local population is also involved in forestry and animal husbandry. 92.76% of the farmers belong to the weaker sections and 89.36% of them are tribal farmers.[22] There is a full-fledged veterinary hospital and nine veterinary dispensaries. Mass vaccination against various diseases is done regularly free of cost by the Animal Husbandry Department.[4]


Dadra and Nagar Haveli licence plate on the Audi Q7

Another major contributor to the economy are the manufacturing industries. Due to heavy industrialisation in the region owing to tax stops for industries in the union territories, a steady growth in employment has been observed. The employment generation is increasing at the pace of 5% per annum.

Industrialisation in the area began in 1965 when the first industrial unit in the UT was started at Piparia, Silvassa in the cooperative sector by Dan Udyog Sahakari Sangh Ltd, following which three industrial estates were established at Masat(1978), Khadoli(1982) and Silvassa (1985). Earlier (before 1965) only traditional craftsmen who made clay pots, leather items, viz., chappals, shoes and some other items of bamboo were present. Since there was no sales tax in the UT, it attracted many entrepreneurs. Around 30 new units comprising Engineering, fabric weaving units and dyeing and printing units were established till 1970.

In 1971, UT was declared as industrially backward area by Government of India and increased the cash subsidy to 15 to 25% for the industrial units on their capital investment which resulted in the speedy industrial development. The scheme was however terminated from 30 September 1988. Sales Tax Act was implemented from January 1984 till 1998 under which industries enjoyed sales tax exemption for 15 years from the start-up date. VAT was introduced in 2005. At present the newly established units get Central Sales Tax exemption which will continue till 2017.[20]

There are more than 2710 units functioning providing employment to about 46000 people with a capital investment of 377.8310 million (US$5.7 million).[4]
Type Number
Small scale industries 2118
Medium scale industries 564
Large scale industries 28


According to the 2011 census Dadra and Nagar Haveli has a population of 342,853, roughly equal to the nation of Belize.[23][24] This gives it a ranking of 566th in India, out of a total of 640 districts.[23] It has a population density of 698 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,810/sq mi), and its population growth rate over the decade from 2001 to 2011 was 55.5 per cent, which is the highest percentage growth among all Indian states and union territories.[23][25] Dadra and Nagar Haveli has a sex ratio of 775 females for every 1,000 males, and a literacy rate of 77.65 per cent.[23]

Tribal groups make up a large part of the population: 62%. The most prominent are Dhodia (16.90%), Kokna (16.85%) and Varli (62.94%), with small groups of Koli, Kathodi, Naika and Dubla scattered across the territory, collectively representing 3.31% of the population. Dhodias and Dubles mainly populate the Northern part, whereas Koknas and Varlis are found all over the Union Territory. They worship the primary deities of Dis (Sun) and Chand (Moon), and Narandev, Kanasari, Himai, Hirva, Veer, Rangtai and Vagdev.

One prominent feature of this territory is that people from all over India form a part of non-tribal residents. Though Gujaratis have a prime influence in the area. The same is reflected by the fact that Gujarati is one of the three official languages, the others being Hindi and English. Besides Gujaratis, one can find Marathis, Rajasthanis, Biharis, Tamilians, Uttar Pradeshis, and people from several other states. The prime reason for such diverse population is the industrial hub. Employment opportunities, good climate and the landscape are highly appealing.

Per the 2001 Census, out of the 137,225 ST persons of the UT, all are Hindus except for 3,796 Christians (2.8 per cent).[26] At the individual tribe level, Kokna have the highest Christian population in 2001, 6.7 per cent. Jains also form an important part of the non-tribal population. Recently the Digambara Jains constructed a temple in the capital city Silvassa. Swetambara sects also have a temple in Dadra and Silvassa – two important towns of the union territory. The influence of Swaminarayana has also grown especially in Silvassa. Their temple is constructed and is supposedly the biggest and most expensive in the area.


Religion in State (2011)[27]

  Hinduism (93.93%)
  Islam (3.75%)
  Christianity (1.48%)
  Sikhism (0.06%)
  Buddhism (0.18%)
  Jainism (0.34%)
  Other Religions (0.08%)
  Atheist (0.001%)


Warli is the language spoken by the Warli people. Agri is spoken by Agri community both are dilects of Marathi-Konkani

A former Portuguese enclave, Silvassa has a significant Roman Catholic population, speaking a distinct dialect of Portuguese. Marathi-Konkani and Gujarati languages are widely spoken.[28] Hindi and Marathi.[28] is also understood

The main tribes are Warlis, Dhodia Kokna, etc.[29]


The prominent castes occupying this territory are Rajputs, Ahirs, Chamar, Mahar, and associated castes.


Warli Painting at Saskriti Kendra, New Delhi

Although commonly associated with Maharashtra, and found in Gujarat too, Warlis consider Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli to be their original home. A tribe of non-Aryan origin, they are the largest tribal group in the territory and constitute 62.94% of the total tribal population.

Rituals are extremely important to the Warlis; they are nature worshipers who regard the Sun and the Moon as the eyes of God. Their main deities are Naran dev, Hirwa, Himai and Waghio, and stone images of these deities are found in tree groves. A Bhagat plays the Ghangal (a musical instrument made from gourd, bamboo and iron strings) and performs the rituals.

Traditionally the Warlis wear a loin cloth with a small waist coat and a turban. The women wear a knee-length, one-yard saree – lugde – and adorn themselves with silver and white metal ornaments.[30]


The term Dhodia seems to be derived from Dhundi, which means a small thatched hut, and the Dhodias are primarily hut dwellers. They reside mostly in the northern part of Dadra & Nagar Haveli. They are known to be the most educated among all the tribes and are good cultivators. Some own enough farm land to be able to earn a decent livelihood.

Traditionally the men wear a white knee length dhoti with a shirt or waist coat, white or coloured caps and ornaments like earrings and silver chains around their waist. The women wear a knee length dark blue saree with an aanchal worn from the front and left loose at the back. Popular accessories include colourful bead necklaces, and metal ornaments such as bangles or thick kadas around their ankles[30]


The Koknas derive their name from the Konkan region in West India. They have land of their own, produce paddy and are better cultivators than the Warlis. With the introduction of formal education many of them have moved up the social ladder.

Koknas well built and both men and women often tattoo their bodies, especially their foreheads. The men wear a dhoti up to the knees, with a waist coat or shirt and a turban. The women wear traditional colourful sarees that are either knee length or full length.[30]


The Kathodis, called Katkari in the Thane district of Maharashtra, make up 0.08% of the total tribal population of Dadra & Nagar Haveli. Their name is derived from their profession of kattha or catechew making.

They are considered to be at the bottom of the tribal social ladder. They usually live in forests, in semi-permanent settlements. Most of them cut wood and collect charcoal. The government has tried to improve their standard of living by engaging them in permanent professions. They wear minimal jewelry; what is worn adorns the women only.[30]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ P S Lele, Dadra and Nagar Haveli: past and present, published by Usha P. Lele, 1987,
  13. ^
  14. ^ Constitution of India, 10th Amendment
  15. ^ Umaji Keshao Meshram & Ors v. Radhikabhai w/o Anandrao Banapurkar AIR 1986 SC 1272: this judgment mentions the Administration of Dadra and Nagar Haveli in this period
  16. ^ Treaty Between the Government of India and the Government of the Republic of Portugal on Recognition of India's Sovereignty Over Goa, Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Related Matters 1974
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ a b Industries in Dadar and Nagar Haveli
  21. ^
  22. ^ a b
  23. ^ a b c d
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ a b Dadra Nagar Haveli tourism
  29. ^
  30. ^ a b c d

External links

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