Dominican Monastery (The Ruined Church), Moti Daman
Dominican Monastery, situated in the fort of Moti Daman, is frequently referred to as the Ruined Church. Most travellers visit this archaeological landscape to witness its curiosity provoking sight, but a majority of them are unaware of its history of the Portuguese colonial era. It was considered as the most prestigious church in the territory.
The monastery is said to have been erected in 1567 in remembrance of Saint Dominic. Christians offered their prayers, and theological teachings were provided to scholars who moved to the monastery from across the globe. It is believed that the destruction of the church was caused by an earthquake.
The construction workers who built the church employed the classic Portuguese architectural methods, which can be noticed in the other ancient churches of the territory. The visitors get to observe the monastery’s arches and walls that withstood the earthquake.
The Catholic community celebrates two significant occasions at the monastery each year. The first one takes place on 2nd February when the community assembles at the site to listen to the stories, narrated by the clergy, about the monastery’s history. On the second occasion, which comes about on every third Sunday of December, the Catholics conduct the holy mass to commemorate Saint Dominic and the departed souls who lost their lives to the earthquake.
When is the Dominican Monastery (The Ruined Church) open for visiting? : It is usually open until the sundown.
How to Reach
The nearest airports to Daman are Mumbai (170 km) and Surat (90 km). Flights are easily available for Mumbai from all the major airports of the country. Surat is connected by flight from Delhi. The nearest international airport is in Mumbai.
The nearest railhead for getting to Daman is at Vapi, located around 12 km away. It lies on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route of the Western railway and is about 170 km from Mumbai and 90 km from Surat. Major Delhi-Mumbai and Mumbai-Ahmedabad bound trains halt at this station. People travelling to Daman by train can get down at Vapi and then reach Daman by local buses or taxis.
Daman is easily accessible by road and is connected to some of the major cities nearby with a well-maintained system of roadways. Vapi, at a distance of 12 km, lies on the Mumbai – Ahmedabad National Highway No. 8 and is easily connected to Daman by road. The town is 170 km from Mumbai, 360 km from Ahmedabad, 768 km from Diu, 110 km from Surat and 300 km from Vadodara.