Surat Travel Guide, Gujarat


'Diamond Hub of the World', 'Embroidery capital of India', 'Textile City of India' as it is proudly called; Surat is the fastest growing city in the world and a powerful magnet for fashion moguls, art lovers and diamond dealers. In the mid 15th century, Surat was one of the India's most important port cities. Despite many historical travails and battles, the city retains an intriguing medieval charm. Historic romanticism, along with the coastal graciousness, is what makes Surat an important tourist destination in Gujarat.

One can see the footprints of the city in the epic novel, Mahabharat, as per which Lord Krishna had a brief stopover in Surat when he was going to Dwarka, from Mathura. In 990 AD, Surat was known as Suryapur, meaning the city of the sun god. By the 12th century, Parsis began to settle in the city and prevailed with dignity in this region of Gujarat. Since the beginning of the 15th century, Surat has always been an apple of every colonial ruler eyes due to its closeness to the coastal region. Portuguese, Dutch, Maratha, Mughal, East India Company, many people tried to establish their control over Surat and some of them even succeeded. Surat starts dominating the other coastal regions for the trade purpose when merchants from Mumbai (then called Bombay) gradually overtook the city as the premier port of the Western coast. By 1514, a Brahmin named Gopi, also the official of Gujarat Sultanate, convinced many traders to settle in Surat, which led to the development of the city as a major trading center. Though no longer a port of any consequence, Surat is an important business center and fourth fastest growing city in India, says the global study. Modern Surat is famous for its flourishing textile trade, which produces the famous brocade silk. The city is also the specialized diamond cutting center for suppliers from all over the world. Surat is called as the "Embroidery Capital of India" as it houses the maximum number of embroidery machines in any city in India.

From beaches to museums to shopping malls, Surat has so many things to keep tourists busy. Individuals longing for quintessential should visit the monuments of the Surat region. The 16th-century Surat castle beside the Tapti Bridge is famous as the Surat's oldest structure. Built by Khudawan Khan, an Albanian Christian, who embraced Islam, the castle has 12 m high battlements and 4 m high thick walls. Long iron spikes used to safeguard the fort from the outside world. Towards the north-eastern side of the Surat Fort, just beyond the Kataragama gate are the English, Dutch and Armenian cemeteries, that bears witness to the cities cosmopolitan past. Other major relevant sites, which are worth a visit on a trip to Surat are Sardar Patel Museum, Dutch Garden, Ambika Niketan Temple, Mugal Sarai, Chintanamani Jain Temple, Jagdishchandra Bose Aquarium, ISKCON Temple and Sarthana National Park. Constituting a portion of the Gujarat's coastline, Surat is home to many pristine clean beaches the as well like Ubharat beach, Suvali Beach and Dumas Beach.

Even the dining style of Surat people is iconic. Cuisines of Surat are a perfect balance of sweet and spicy as they are prepared with special sweetmeat. Unlike other places in Gujarat, here one can find more non-vegetarian cuisines.

Surat has a timeless familiarity for its tourists, with recognisable historical landmarks, along with exquisite cuisine and priceless artistic treasure. Anyone who is keen to explore the vibrant culture, cutting-edge architecture, fabulous food, and history should go for a trip to Surat.

Major Tourist Attractions in Surat:

Sardar Patel Museum Hajira, Chintanamani Jain Temple Bardoli Surat Castle
Ambika Niketan Temple Old Fort European Tombs Parsi Agiari
Suvali Nargol Mugal Sarai

Things to Do in Surat

  • Enjoy a beach walk at Tithal Beach
  • Try some scrumptious vegetarian Gujarati snacks at the nearest restaurant.
  • Feel the music with Garba dance in Surat
  • See the azure sky filled with different colours during the International Kite Festival.
  • Visit B: lues Adventures and indulge in water sports activities Kayaking, Water Skiing, Banana Ride, Jet Skiing, Parasailing, Kayaking, Speed Boating and Bumper Ride in Tapi river. Besides, there is also a floating platform in the middle of the river, which is a perfect venue for candle light dinners.
  • Thrill the kids with a trip to B: lues Adventures that offer plenty of pint-sized rides, healthy eats, family conveniences, and high-tech features.
  • Visit Diamond market, which polishes 80% of world's diamond.

Interesting Facts

  • Surat is the largest market for diamond cutting and polishing in the world. Here, one can find around 300,000 highly skilled diamond cutters and polishers working in industries.
  • As per the reports of National Council of Applied Economic Research, Surat is the richest city in India, ahead of Bangalore and Madras.
  • Surat is the third cleanest city in India after Chandigarh and Mysore
  • 80% of diamonds sold in the world are polished in Surat.
  • SMC (Surat Municipal Corporation) is richest Municipal Corporation of India.

Where to Stay Due its prominence as a business hub and second largest city of Gujarat, one will hardly find any problem for booking a stay in Surat. Most hotels offer facilities like free wifi, conference rooms, business centres, meeting rooms, board rooms, conference spaces and state of the art technologies are all available here, which makes them perfect for the business travellers. From 5 star to mid range, Surat offers multiple types of accommodations that suit every topic. Tourists who are more inclined towards luxury and wish to experience utmost comfort can book their stay in Gateway Hotel. Other budget accommodation includes Hotel Central Excellency, Best Western Yuvraj, Ginger hotels and Lords Plaza. Mentioned below are some hotels in Surat, which are a perfect example of friendly hospitality, presented in the contemporary and lavish style.

  • The Grand Bhagwati
  • The Gateway Hotel Athwa Lines Surat
  • Lords Plaza - Surat
  • Hotel Sarita
  • Budget Inn Bellevue
  • Hotel Relax Inn
  • Vetro Inn Spice
  • Ostria Hotel
  • Hotel Merit
  • Hotel Ginger Surat
  • Golden Star Country Club India