The history of Diu Island is rich and varied. It has witnessed the rule of many dynasties. The islands were previously under the rule of Indian monarchies like the Mauryas, the Guptas, Maitrakas, Chalukyas, Chavadas, and the Kshatrapas. They were followed by the invasions of Mahmud Ghazni and Alauddin Khilji. Next in line were the Portuguese who succeeded in consolidating their rule over the islands for more than 400 years. They were finally uprooted by the Indian military in 1961.
According to historical documents, Diu Island was ruled by the Mauryans during 322 to 320 B.C. The Mauryas were followed by the Kshatrapas, who ruled from the 1st century A.D. till the second decade of the 5th century. The Guptas, the Maitrakas, the Chavdas and the Chalukyas had also established their stronghold over these islands.
Mahmud Ghazni, established his rule over Diu Island in 1020 A.D. After the departure of Mahmud from the isles, the Chavadas once more established their sway over these islands. The Chalukyas came back to power in 1064 A.D. After that, Diu was successively under the rule of the Chavda and the Vaghela Rajputs. Alauddin Khilji of Delhi put an end to the rule of the Rajputs in 1297 A.D.
The Portuguese Dominion
In 1535, the ruler of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, entered into a treaty with the Portuguese fearing an invasion from Humayun, the Mughal Emperor. According to the terms of the treaty, the Portuguese were permitted to build a fort and station military troops on the island. The attempts of the Sultan of Delhi to occupy Diu Islands were thwarted by the combined forces of the Portuguese and Bahadur Shah. The fort was finally seized by Joao de Castro in 1545. The Portuguese went on to rule the Diu Islands for more than 400 years.
Union Territory of India
Following local discontent towards the foreign rulers, the Portuguese were finally ousted from the island, by the Indian military troops on 19th December 1961. Diu Island finally became a Union territory, on 30th May 1987.
Diu Island was an important commercial hub during the 14th and 16th centuries. It also constituted an important trading port for the foreign traders who came to India. Currently, it is one of the most favorite holiday places among tourists the world over.
Last Updated on 26 September 2012