Surat is situated in the state of Gujarat, India. The city is full of hustle bustle of the trading business. It is a business centre for textile materials as well as diamonds. In the 12th century, the Parsis came here to live. In the later period this place developed as an important port for the Mughals. It also acts as a passage way to Mecca. In the year 1613, the English people first established their colony here in India.
At point of time the port of Surat used to be India’s main functioning port; however during the relocation of the East India Company to Bombay, this port slowly deteriorated. The tag of the dirtiest city of India was given to this place since the outburst of plague during the year of 1994. But now, after much organized cleanup activities have made it the most unsoiled and hygienic city after Chandigarh. Some tourists find the city full of noise and tiring, where as some tourist come here for the fascination of colonial Indian history.
Adjacent to the Tapti Bridge, the riverside castle is situated. This castle was constructed in the year 1546. Many a number of offices fill the castle at present, but one can get some spectacular view from the bastions. Many tombs from the colonial period dating between 15th and 18th centuries are situated here. Baron Adrian Van Reed’s cenotaph is the most spectacular and grand memoir here, which was constructed during the 17th century. He was a director of a local Dutch company.
Many big industries related to textiles are located here. Bombay Market, which is a huge retail centre for saris, is one such industry and is located at a distance of 1 Km from the train station, in the south direction. During the week prior to Holi, a magnificent and grand festival is hosted in the Dangs Mountains, which is located close by to Maharashtra and to Surat as well.
In the present times, mainly known for its big textile and diamond industries, it was once one of the most important cities of India prior to its decline from power. A best mixture of people from different cultural backgrounds is housed by Surat, which was the entrance for the many empires who invade this place, the Mughal rulers, the British people and the many businessmen. One should discover Surat for its people, not for its wide range of products or customers. One should wander on the streets and markets and enjoy the delicious mouthwatering delicacies.
PLACES TO SEE
Chintanamani: This temple is located in Shahpor. It was constructed as many as 400 years ago. One of the finest example of the artistic talent and architectural skill of Gujarat is this temple of Chintamani. Few of the selected paintings done by Jain preachers such as Acharya Hemchandra, Solanki King and King Kumarpala, are there situated in this temple. Around 90 years ago, in the London Museum, a reproduction of the Chintamani Jain Temple was made out of sandalwood.
Dumas Road: After the sunset, during the time of the evenings, especially in during the Sundays, many a people come out on the streets to enjoy the hawkers selling colored bed-sheets and also relish the spicy and hot Lari Food.
Dutch Garden: Some of the other tourist spots in and around Surat are the age old Dutch garden, the Dutch cemetery and Makaipal and also the historical initially constructed ports. From these ports, many a number of ships travel to different locations of the world.
Hajira Beach: The distance between the city and the Hajira Beach is a mere 28 Kms. The beach is surrounded of casurina trees.
Rangupavan: Rangupavan is one of the most spacious theaters in India. It covers an area of 189 square meters. The theater has the ability to accommodate 4000 viewers.
Sardar Patel Museum: During the initial phase of 20th century, the construction of this museum took place. As many as 10,000 and even more than that, arts and crafts items are displayed in the museum.
Surat Old Fort: During the 14th century, Muhammed Tughlak constructed the Old Fort. In order to protect from the attack of Bhils, he constructed this fort.
Tapi River: One of the principal river of India, Tapti River flows through a length of 724 Kms. The river is also called as Tapi River. The three rivers that flow from the east direction to the west direction are Tapi River, Narmada River and Mahi River.
The Castle: On the beds of River Tapi, the Castle is situated, close to the ancient bridge. The Sultanate of Gujarat built the Surat Castle during the 16th century. The base for this fort was a fort of Delhi sultan named Ferozkhan Tuglaq, which was built previously. One should definitely visit this castle for historical reasons and for the amazing view of the river.
Udhna: The city of Udhna has many industries situated on an industrial region. It is considered one of the biggest business centres of India and houses a lot many factories. 407,980 numbers of people dwells in Udhna, as per the census of the year 2001. The area of the place is 61.764 square kilometers. The distance between Surat and Udhna is a mere 10 Kms.
Vansada National Park: In the district of Valsad, the Valsad National Park is situated. Different animals like leopards, tigers, panthers and wild boars are present in this National Park. The months between October and March are the most amazing time to make a trip to this place.
HOW TO REACH
By road: The distance between Surat and Ahmedabad, Vadodara, and Mumbai are 234 Kms, 131 Kms and 297 Kms respectively. Private buses as well as state transport buses offer service to the city.
By rail: Surat is well linked to other major cities of India through the railway station situated in Surat.
By air: A domestic air terminal is located in Magdala, which is located at a distance of 10 Kms from Surat.