Dadra and Nagar Haveli , ( is a Union Territory in western India. Nagar Haveli is wedged between Maharashtra and Gujarat, whereas Dadra is an enclave lying a few kilometres north of Nagar Haveli in Gujarat. Its capital is Silvassa. The territory lies some ten to thirty kilometres up-river from the city of Daman.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli (DNH) are in the watershed of the Daman Ganga River, which flows through the territory. The towns of Dadra and Silvassa lie on the north bank of the river. The Western Ghats range rises to the east, and the foothills of the range occupy the eastern portion of the district. The territory is landlocked, although the Arabian Sea coast lies just to the west in Gujarat.
To keep the English at bay and to enlist their support against the Moghals, the Marathas made friends with the Portuguese and signed with them a treaty in 1779. According to this historic treaty of friendship, the Maratha-Peshwa agreed that the Portuguese will be allowed to collect revenues from Dadra and Nagar Haveli which consisted of 72 villages (then known as parganas, now referred to as district places). These territories were earlier ruled by the Koli chiefs who were defeated by the Hindu kings of Jawhar and Ramnagar. The Marathas conquered and annexed these territories to their kingdom.
By and large, this treaty was signed only to the extent that the Portuguese will only collect the revenue in compensation for their loss of a warship called Santana which had earlier been captured by the Marathas but not surrendered to the Portuguese in spite of their many entreaties.
The area of Dadra and Nagar Haveli is spread over 491 km2, landlocked between Gujarat to the north and Maharashtra to the south. It was liberated from its Portuguese rulers on 2 August 1954. The people of the territory established free administration of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, which was finally merged into the Union of India in 1961.
The profound 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 17th Dec.1779 as compensation towards damage to the Portuguese frigate by Maratha Navy. Then, in 1785 the Portuguese purchased Dadra. It was administered by the Portuguese governor of Daman until 1954
Liberation of Dadra and Nagar Haveli
After India attained Independence in 1947, the residents of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, with the help of volunteers of organisations like the United Front of Goans (UFG), the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the National Movement Liberation Organisation (NMLO) and the Azad Gomantak Dal liberated the territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli from Portuguese rule in 1954.
Integration into India
Although it enjoyed de facto independence, Dadra and Nagar Haveli were still recognized internationally (e.g., by the International Court of Justice) as Portuguese possessions. The residents of the former colony requested the government of India for administrative help. K.G. Badlani, an officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) was sent as the administrator.
From 1954 to 1961, the territory was administered by a body called the Varishta Panchayat of Free Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
In 1961 when Indian forces took over Goa, Daman, and Diu, Badlani was, for one day, designated the Prime Minister of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, so that, as Head of State, he could sign an agreement with the Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, and formally merge Dadra and Nagar Haveli with the Republic of India.