Surat formerly known as Suryapur, is the commercial capital city of the Indian state of Gujarat and also the second-largest commercial hub of western India after Mumbai. The city proper is the one of the most populous cities in the world. Surat is the administrative capital of Surat district and Surat Metropolitan Region. Surat is India's eighth largest metropolitan city. Surat is India's cleanest Mertropolitan Region.
The city is situated on the left bank of the Tapti River, 14 miles from its mouth. The Population of Surat with its twin city Navsari is above 6.2 million as of 2010. A moat divides the older parts of the city, with its narrow streets and handsome houses, and the newer suburbs. The city is largely recognized for its textile and diamond businesses. It is also known as the diamond capital of the world and the textile capital of India. 92% of the world's diamonds are cut and polished in Surat. Surat is also the Third cleanest city in India after Chandigarh and Mysore. Surat was once the largest city in India. It has one of the highest GDP growth rates in India at 11.5% as of 2008. Surat was the primary port of India during the Mughal period, a distinction it lost to Bombay during the British Raj
Places of interest
The Chintamani Jain Temple — The exquisite wooden carvings and paintings are the major attractions of the temple. The temple actively maintained and visited by the city's Jains is situated in the Shahpor area and dates back to 15 century and houses some extremely rare paintings of the Jain monk Acharya Hemachandra, and of the Solanki King Kumarpal. Any visit to the city would be incomplete without a visit here especially for Jains.
Dutch Garden — The ancient Dutch gardens, the Dutch cemetery and Makaipul, the ancient original port from where the ships sailed to other parts of the world are other attractions.
The Surat Fort — The Old Fort was built by Muhammad bin Tughluq in the 1546 to fortify the defence against the Bhils. It is now used for municipal offices.
Mughal Sarai - This sarai, or guest house, was constructed in mid 17th century under Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for pilgrims en route to Mecca, and briefly served as a jail in 1857. The finely crafted archways and dome now stand over the Surat Municipal Corporation offices.
The Sardar Patel Museum — Established in 1898, and originally called the Winchester Museum;, this museum has a collection of over 10,000 specimens of arts and crafts.
Gaurav Path — A well planned and well-built 6 lane Expresswayto decongest the traffic in Piplod area of the city. Home of multiplexes, shopping malls, show-rooms, restaurants and much more. This expressway connects Surat with its airport and Port of Magdalla. SVNIT is also located on it as well as the beautiful 'Lake View Garden'. Streching this expressway to Dumas is under consideration.
Choppati — This is also a very popular place in the city. It has a large garden and provides Indian fastfood like Paav Bhajee and Pani puri.
Udhana - a city of Surat Metropolitan Region only 7km south of Surat hosts more than 3000 industrial units and corporates. Also the place where the HUB skyscraper is being proposed. Also Gateway of Southern Gujarat.
Saputara is a hill station in the Sahyadri Hills only 170 km from Surat at an altitude of 1340 meters above sea level. Lying at a higher altitude Saputara has a cool climate and dense forest. Also known as the Nilgiris of Gujarat.
Wilson Hills, Gujarat is a hill station in the Sahyadri ranges of Valsad district near dharampur at an altitude of 850 meters (2700 feet) above sea level. The nearest hill station of Surat. It enjoys a cool and a serenity climate throughout the year. The place is also famous for the Asia's most dense forest. It is only 120 km from Surat.
Vansda National Park — It is situated in the Navsari district and is home to leopards, tigers, panthers, pythons and wild boars. The best time to visit is between July and January.
Beaches — There are a number of beaches near Surat. Only 16 km away, Dumas is a popular resort with locals. Suvali is 28 km from the city and Ubhrat is 42 km out, while Tithal is 108 km away and only five km from Valsad on the Mumbai to Vadodara railway line. Suvali has two wells with water rich in iron and sulphur. Suvali beach is fringed by feathery casurina trees.
Thirty-nine kilometres south of Surat, Navsari- The Twin city of Surat has been a headquarters for the Parsi community since the earliest days of their settlement in India. Udvada, only 10 km north of Vapi, the station for Daman, has the oldest Parsi sacred fire in India. It is said that the fire was brought from Persia to Diu, on the opposite coast of the Gulf of Cambay, in AD 700. Sanjan, in the extreme south of the state, is the small port where the Parsis first landed; a pillar marks the spot.
The Dutch Cemetery — Located near Kataragam Gate, this impressive mausoleum is that of Baron Hendrik Adriaan Van Rheede tot Drakenstein, who died in 1691. A massive Dome, beautiful pillars and the huge gallery make it a very outstanding monument.
Science City — One of the best Science City in India. Developed by the Surat Municipal Corporation in City Light Town and is one of the most attractive places in the city.