The English cemetery found at Surat contains some beautiful specimens of colonial architectural construction. The traditional English style of construction in these tombs has been mixed with Islamic ornaments and reliefs. This combination of two distinct architectural styles reflects Surat's unique position as an important centre for the Asian trading world. Found here are the common rectangular monuments in the form of the sarcophagus, apart from the pavilions and mausoleums. There are twelve pavilions in the English burial ground. On entering, the enormous Mausoleum of Sir George Oxinden may be seen on the right. Oxinden was President of Surat and Mumbai and it was he who defended the English factory against Chhatrapati Shivaji. The tomb holds him and his brother, Christopher, who died in 1659. Sir George is styled 'Anglorutn in India, Persia, Arabia, Praeses Insulae Bombay ensis Gubernator'. It is really two tombs, one enclosing the other, crowned by an open-cross cupola denoting a Christian tomb. Close by is the alleged Tomb of Gerald Aungier (1677), Oxinden's successor. There are over 400 tombs in the cemetery in a poor condition, the earliest being that of Francis Breton (1649).The impact of Indian and Arabic influence on the monuments is amply seen here. The domed copulas at the peak of each of the four pillars and the low reliefs on each side above every door-way support the impression of this style. The English Cemetery lies just beyond the Kataragana Gate, on the right-hand side on the Broach Road.
The Dutch Cemetery also contains a number of splendid sepulchral monuments. It can be reached en route back to the city about 1,500 ft to the left, off the main road. Most of the inscriptions have been lost by climate changes and alterations of the mausoleums. The Tomb of Baron Adriaan van Reede (1691) comprises an enormous double cupola with a gallery above and below carried on fine columns. This is the oldest tomb found here, and shows little influence of the Arabian art. There is no clear style to identify here. Once it was decorated with frescoes and wood carvings, but these have disappeared. 'Souratta' and 'Cochin' merit capital letters in the inscription, but not 'bombai' which is lower case. Adjacent is the Armenian Cemetery, which also has some good stones and inscriptions.
At Swally, the old seaport of Surat, 12 miles to the west of town, is another cemetery of historical interest. Here it is alleged that Thomas Coryat is buried. Known as 'the English fakir', he walked from England to India living as a beggar before he died at Surat in 1617. His grave is reputed to lie beneath a Muslim monument at the village of Rajgari near Swally. Adjacent is the Vaux Tomb built in 1697. It is a fine domed sepulchre containing the remains of the former Deputy-Governor of Mumbai and his wife, who drowned in the river.
Of the Islamic monuments found here, four mosques are important religious sites. The Nau Saiyid Mosque stands on the west bank of the Gopi Lake. Beside the mosque are nine warriors' tombs. The Saiyid Idrus Mosque (1639) has a tall minaret, which is a local landmark, and was built in honour of the ruling dynasty. The Mirza Sami Mosque (1540) was erected by Khudawand Khan, who also built the castle. It has some excellent carving and tracery. Khwaja Diwan Sahib's Mosque (1530) is reputed to be dedicated to a Bokhara traveller who lived to the age of 116.
The Jami Masjid at Randar, situated three miles from the city, stands over the site of an ancient Jain temple and incorporates some early fragments of masonry. In another nearby mosque are wooden columns and domes taken from a Jain temple which are unique in India. Among the Islamic monuments, the Tombs of the Bohras are also of interest,
Udvada, near Surat is an extremely important religious site for the Parsees, the followers of Zoroastrianism. The history of Udvada goes back to the time when the Parsees brought the Atash Behram or Victorious fire here from Persia. Two fire temples were built here in 1823. This fire temple of Iranshah is the most holy place for the Parsees.
Among the Jain religious monuments found here is the Swami Narayan temple. It is crowned by three white domes and is visible from all parts of the city.
The Chintamani Jain temple is a 400 year-old wooden temple found at Shahpor. It is considered to be an outstanding example of the architecture and the craftsmanship of Gujarat. Found within are some extremely rare paintings of the Jain preacher Acharya Hemchandra, Solanki King and King Kumarpala. A sandalwood replica of the Chintamani temple was placed in the London museum 90 years ago.
The religious monuments of Surat figure many in number, and are a fine example of the architectural prowess of the craftsmen.