Silvassa is the shared capital of the union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and is located almost midway between Surat and Mumbai at the foot hills of Western Ghats. The city enjoys lush green surrounding and natural beauty owing to its close proximity to Indian’s coastline. It has a large number of factories and industries providing significant government revenue. In addition, the city has its popularity for eco-tourism with a number of tourism destinations. The basic details of the city are as below:
- Total area: 17.22 sq. km
- Population: 98,265 (47% female and 53% male) (2011 Census)
- Literacy: 75%
- Languages Spoken: Gujarati, Marathi, English, Hindi
Location and Connectivity
Silvassa is situated 20.270 North and 73.020 East at the foot hills of Western Ghats. The city falls under the Nager Haveli taluk of the UT. The city is located at a distance of 166 km from Mumbai, 134 km from Surat and 132 km from Nasik.
- Air Connectivity
- Daman Airport : 27 km
- Mumbai Airport: 160 km
- Road Connectivity
- Silvassa -Bhilad Road (connects to NH-8 at a distance of ~15km from Silvassa city)
- Khanvel Road
- Rail Connectivity
- Vapi Railway Station: 13 km
- Bhilad Railway Station: 16 km
Formerly known as Vila de Paço d’Arcos, Silvassa was a Portuguese colony during the Indian Colonial Era. History dates back to early 19th century when the area started to gather more importance as a town and finally in 1985 the town became the heart of Portuguese rule. Silvassa is considered to have been derived from Portuguese word “Silva” which means forest or woodland. The city still retains a lot of Portuguese and Roman Catholic influence with Warli as the main culture and primary language.
In 17th and 18th century Silvassa was a tribal village. The tribal population inhabited in forest witch covered over half the area. The territory came under Portuguese rule and it was gradually converted into a town. Towards early 19th century the area started to gather more importance as a town and finally in 1985 the town became the heart of Portuguese rule. Silvassa became a part of Republic India in 1961 and the capital of union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli in 1974.
Today, Silvassa owes its popularity for eco-tourism with a number of tourism destinations and multitude of tourist spots such as gardens, parks, nature trails and lakes located both inside and in outskirts of the city. The city also offers water sports activities like boating, kayaking, jet skis etc.
The industrialization in Silvassa which began in 1965 made it into a no tax zone for industrial investors. This initiative resulted in a 5% annual growth rate in the employment generation. By 1970 around 30 major industries entered Silvassa in addition to the small scale industries falling in engineering and fabric sector.
The city has also evolved into a major industrial hub with manufacturing, textiles, plastics, FMCG, chemicals, heavy engineering, plastics, electronics and many other industries thriving across northern and southern parts of the city. This also forms the base of the city’s economy.