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Surat - The Business Capital of Gujarat - A Tourist's Guide
Surat meaning the beautiful city, has gained its reputation and acceptance as the diamond and textile hub of India. It’s famously known all over the world for its quality textile products. Silk, cotton attires, brocade of gold and silver, saris. Its diamond cuttings impress even the swarms of foreigners.
Surat was previously a well protected and well shielded city with a well structured fort which was built by the royal leader Muhammad Bin Tughlaq in 1546. 18 meters deep moat, an 18 meters tall fortification (soil) and a 10.5 meters tall heap were used to make the fort a secured den for the royal emperors and their soldiers. Later on, the 8 km long surrounding fortification was reconstructed with bricks after the Maratha troop had captured the entire territory including the fort. The ruins of this historical fort can still be observed on the lingering River banks of Tapti, right beside the Nehru Bridge. To recall the glory story of various other historical monuments of Surat, you can travel along the banks of the Tapti River. High Court (erected by British), old church and the oldest castle of Surat are the pleasing tourists’ destinations of Surat.
Spiritual tourists who love to watch the splendor of the ancient temples can be entertained gazing at the Swaminarayan temple, made up of white marbles, amidst the quiet surroundings.
During the Mughal dynasty, the prime and foremost port was Surat which was well known as Suvali. The Arabian ocean is not very far away from the heart of the city. It’s situated at a distance of 20 km from the city.
Once known as the Gateway to Mecca, Surat, used to pull plenty of Indian Muslim pilgrims who wanted to visit Mecca.
It’s evident that the historical charm of the city has been diminished but still to watch the primeval British and Dutch shrines you should travel to the north- eastern side of the city. All these ancient memorials are positioned at the back end of the Kataragama Gate. Countless numbers of Hindu, Jain, Persian, Muslim and Dutch temples and mosque are dotted here and there as well.
Tourists today are mostly enticed towards the Nao Sayed Mosque, Khwaja Dewan Saheb Mosque, Syed Idris Mosque, Marjan Shami Maqbara, Persian Fire Temple, Swaminarayan Temple, Muktangan in Gandhi Bagh, Orchard, Sardar Patel Museum, Aquarium, Planetarium and Revolving restaurant.
If you visit Surat, then don’t forget to satisfy your taste buds with the renowned sweetmeats of Surat. It’s true that Surat has a lot of alluring tourists’ spots but the city suffers due to the polluted environment and lack of promotional activities.
To enjoy the fresh air of a sea beach, you can hire a car to Dumas, about 16 km away from Surat towards Vapi. The salubrious climate of this health resort is drawing attention of many. Another nearby sea beach for the nature lovers is Hajira which is entirely getting the pleasure of the cool shades of swaying tamarind trees. The fine arts with artistic touch on the window of the tomb of Kutub Uddin Aulia are eye-catching. The impressive tomb is a unique monument which was erected way back in 1585 using marbles.
The main office of Indian- Persian community is positioned in Navasari, about 29 km away towards the southern side of Surat.
Tourists can even drive their cars to the historical Dandi, name of which is closely associated with the Indian freedom fight and the name of the patriot Mahatma Gandhi. The spectacle of the sea beach in Dandi can also be witnessed. Even today it’s a bright name for producing salt.
Besides Tewal sea beach, another quiet beach is there in Ubhrat, about 42 km away from Surat. It is hidden in the shades of a series of Palm trees.
If you want to enjoy the nature for some time, then you can stay at Holiday Homes of Gujarat Tourism both in Hazira and Ubhrat.
How to reach: The well spread out railway networks connects the city of Surat to Mumbai, Vadodara, Ahmadabad and many more Indian destinations. Passenger trains travel regularly to Vapi from Surat. To enjoy the journey a bit differently you can hire a water-taxi to Bhavnagar. It takes approximately 10 hours from Surat to reach Bhavnagar. To watch the various places around the city of Surat, you can hire an auto or a car.
Where to stay: Hotel Alfa, Hotel Sheetal Plaza, Hotel Sarita, Topaz Guest House, Hotel Dreamland, Simla Guest House, Hotel Amisha, Holiday Inn, Hotel Ashish International, Hotel Prakash, Hotel Rohi International and Hotel Park Inn. Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.