The history of Diu dates back to many centuries. It has a rich and a variegated past that saw the reign of many emperors. Rulers of different dynasties ruled Diu in different periods of history. It began with the Pauranic period and the last of its rulers were the Portuguese. Even the Parsis stayed in Diu for three years, after they fled from religious persecution in Iran in the 7th century. Diu was under the colonial regime for many years. Along with Daman and Goa, it got liberated on 19th December, 1961. It was taken over by India and is still governed from Delhi as a Union Territory. Goa, Daman and Diu were the Portuguese possessions in India which 19th December, 1961 during Operation Vijay and in the following year i.e. 1962 they were constituted into a separate Union Territory administered by a Lieut. Governor and a popular Ministry. After Goa became a State, a Union Territory was formed on 30th May, 1987 consisting of two separate District of Daman and Diu.
Mythology believes that Diu was ruled by a ‘Daitya’ (Demon-king) called Jallandhar, who was beheaded by Lord Vishnu with his Sudarshan-Chakra. According to the Gazetteer of Goa, Daman and Diu; Diu was known as ‘Jallandhar Ksshetra’ during Satyug. In fact, the temple of Jallandhar is still there in Diu and is a famous ancestral relic of the Demon-king. It also forms a major tourist attraction of the place.
Diu was governed by the Mauryans during 322-320 BC and was the major trade center on the Saurashtra Coast. The Kshatrapas ruled the entire state of Saurashtra including Diu from 1st century AD to 415 AD. They were followed by the Guptas who ruled Diu from 415 AD to 467 AD, by the Maitrakas who ruled from 470 AD to 788 AD. From 789 AD to 941 AD, it was under the regime of the Chavda Dynasty. Later the Chalukyas succeeded the Chavda rulers and governed Diu.
Thus, Diu saw a march of various bloody battles among the rulers of various dynasties. It was under the Sultans of Oman during the 14th and 16th centuries, when it emerged as a strong naval base and a successful trade center. Finally the Portuguese established their rule in Diu in 1529, and made use of its strategic location to usher in a new era of colonization and commercialization. Diu remained under colonial subjugation, till it gained independence in 1961 and became a part of the Indian Republic, along with Daman and Goa.