Dadra and Nagar Haveli is one among the seven union territories in India. It is located on the west coast and is composed of two different parts - Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Dadra lies surrounded by Gujarat whereas, Nagar Haveli shares borders with Maharashtra and Gujarat. It lies in the watershed areas of Daman-Ganga River. The languages spoken here are Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Konkani, Bhilodi, Bhili. There are many tribes who inhabited some areas of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. These tribes have their own indigenous culture and are self-sufficient.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli abounds with rich, natural, scenic beauty. It has a lush green forest cover with rivers on a winding course and undulating mountain ranges. A splendid spread of flora and fauna is bound to mesmerize you when you come to visit. This union territory is governed principally from Silvassa.
The 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.
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. 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 administered by an elected câmara municipal (municipal council), with the higher level affairs administered 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.