Located in the picturesque Union Territory of Diu, Naida Caves that is just outside the city wall of the Diu Fort is a bit of a geological conundrum. No one seems to have a clear idea about the origin of the caves. Locals say that sections of this impressive rock formation were broken by the Portuguese who ruled over Diu for the construction of the Diu Fort. The elements of nature have probably defined the irregular shape of the caves and tunnels thereon.
But it is this air of mystery and a certain eerie feeling that makes this labyrinth mesmerizing and a photographer’s delight with steps appearing from nowhere leading to nowhere almost everywhere, brilliant sunbeams casting an abstract composition of light and shadow, roots coming out of fissures and stunning shades of rock.
It would appear however on a closer look that the labyrinth of caves was formed naturally due to geological irregularities as they appear to have emerged from the sea. You can see corals and something that looks like a sea sponge embedded in the rocks.
The weathering of rocks is visible in every grotto and the different hues of orange are charming. It is quite easy to get lost in this visually spectacular maze and hence, one is advised to stick to the red arrows that show the path through the rocks. There is an intricate network of tunnels with rocks carved out quite low at some points.
The natural skylights are in my view the most captivating and somehow, this place appears ageless, timeless and is an absolutely gorgeous example of nature’s evolution through the changing times.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
Photos by Lakshmi Subramanian