It was a Portuguese colony, administered by the Portuguese Governor of Daman, from 1779 until 1954 when the residents with some help from Indian volunteers, pushed them out. It then became, in the eyes of international law, an independent country. They requested the Government of India for administrative help and Mr. K.G. Badlani, an officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) was sent in as Administrator. In 1961, Mr. 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 Minster of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, and formally merge Dadra and Nagar Haveli with the Republic of India. From 1954 to 1961, the territory was adminsitered by a body called the Varishta Panchayat of Free Dadra and Nagar Haveli. It became a Union territory in 1961 and is currently represented in the Parliament of India; the Lower House (Lok Sabha) and the Upper House (Rajya Sabha). Later in 1961 when Indian forces took over Goa, Daman, and Diu, Mr. Badlani also took charge as Administrator of Daman along with Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
To drive from Daman to Dadra and Nagar Haveli, at that time and even now, it was necessary to go through Vapi in the State of Gujarat.