THE TEXTILE CITY
Since the earliest times, the ancient port of Surat has been renowned for its fine silks and exquisite brocades and its trade in spices. Surat has been one of the most prosperous of India's cities in the 17th and 18th century. Surat, the city of commerce was an important port that first attracted the Europeans to the riches of India.
The East India Company established its first warehouses in Surat in 1612. And it was at Surat that Sir Thomas Roe landed when he came as King James' ambassador to the court of Emperor Jehangir. In Mughal times, Surat was the main port from which pilgrims sailed to Mecca.
Even today, Surat is a premier industrial city of India. It is a city of riches, of gems and diamonds. Times may have changed but Surat remains and continues to grow.
Surat was founded by Parsi refugees in the 12th century, and it emerged as a minor trading post during the 1500s when it was plundered and razed numerous times by the Portuguese. In 1592, after a protracted siege, the town fell to Akbar, under whose patronage, it became one of India's most prosperous mercantile capitals, as well as a key transit point for Muslims heading to Mecca.
The Old Fort: Built by Mohammad Tughlak in the 14th century, as a defence fortification against the Bhils.
The Textile Market: Surat's vast and active textile market testifies its importance in the textile trade even today.
Dumas: A seaside health resort 16 kms from Surat.
Hajira: It is situated 28 kms from Surat. The pleasant Hajira Beach is fringed by feathery 'Casurina' trees and has a comfortable holiday home for visitors.
Dandi: Situated on the coastline and well known as a salt centre, Dandi has acquired a name in history after the famous 'Dandi March Salt Satyagraha' launched by Gandhiji in March, 1930 AD.
While overtly the Dandi march purported to protest against the hateful Salt Tax levied by the British, the underlying purpose was to kindle the spark of Civil Disobedience and thereby attain independence.
On a warm April morning in 1930, Gandhi and his 78 followers marched 241 miles to Dandi and formally breached the Salt Law, an act that would go down in the annals of history as the first salvo to be fired against the British Empire.
Ubharat: It is situated 42 kms from Surat. Ubharat is known for a fine, sandy beach with a backdrop of shady palm groves.
Tithal: It is situated 108 kms from Surat and 5 kms from Valsad on the Bombay Vadodara Western Railway. A beautiful sandy beach palm sheltered cottages is what you would get to see there.
Bardoli: It is situated 34 kms from Surat. Gandhiji had launched a farmers' movement known as the 'Bardoli Satyagrah' in 1921-22 under the leadership of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Swaraj Ashram at Bardoli has become a place of pilgrimage in India.
Ukai: It is situated 94 kms from Surat. A major multipurpose irrigation project of Gujarat, the storage of water at the dam site is almost as large as that of Bhakra Nangal Dam in Punjab .
Bulsar: The Vansda National Park is situated in Bulsar District. Wild animals such as leopards, tigers, panthers and wild boars are found here.
How To Get There
Air: Various domestic airlines connecting Mumbai and Bhavnagar.
Rail: Surat is on the Mumbai - Delhi - Ahmedabad broad gauge line.
Road: State transport buses and private luxury coaches connects various centres of Gujarat, Maharashtra , Madhya Pradesh , Delhi and Rajasthan , Surat is 282 Kms from Mumbai 129 Kms from Vadodara & 230 Kms from Ahmedabad.
Local Transport: Tourist taxis, metered auto rickshaws and the city bus service are main modes for commuting.
For Travel Agents & Tour Operators in Gujarat - Click here
WHERE TO STAY
There are plenty of hotels near the station many of them in Sufi Baug, the street running ahead opposite the entrance.
For Hotels & Restaurants in Surat - Click here
OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION
Tourist Information Centre: Tourist Office, Gujarat Pravas Nigam Ltd, 1/847 Athugar Street, Nanpura, near Kailash Restaurant, Surat.
Hospitals: Surat Trust Hospital, Athwa Lines; Adarsh Hospital Near St. Xavier's School.
Post & Telegraph: Head Post Office, Mahidharpura; Central Telegraph Office, Mahidharpura.