The existence of Surat city dates back to the years of Mahabharata, it is said that about 3000 BC years ago Lord Krishna stopped with his cows on his transition from Mathura to Dwarka city and the images of the cows foot prints are still visible to the devotees at a place popularly known as "Gai Pagli", which means 'Foot steps of Cow'. Hioun Tsang named it as "Sow-ra-ta" means a trading city. In 15th century Brahmins called it as Suryapur. Sir Monies Williams suggested the old name of the town as Suraj (in Sanskrit Surya city of Sun). But later a Mohammedan ruler changed the name to a Muslim name as Surat (a chapter in Kuran).
History of Surat
During the reigns of Mughal emperors, it rose to be the chief commercial city of India. As the major port on the western seaboard of that time, Surat also served as the sailing port for the Hajj to Mecca. At the end of the 16th century the Portuguese were undisputed masters of the Surat sea trade. In 1608, ships from the British East India Company started docking in Surat, which was established as a trade transit point. In 1612 , the British Captain Best, and after him Captain Downton, destroyed the Portuguese naval supremacy and established a British factory at Surat following the Battle of Swally. The city was made the seat of a presidency under the British East India Company after the great success of the embassy of Sir Thomas Roeto the court of emperor Jehangir. The Dutch also founded a factory.
In those days Surat was known to be almost the city of Kubera, the God of Wealth.In1664 the Maratha leader Shivaji sacked and looted Surat. This looted wealth later was used for development & strengthening the Maratha Empire. From that date Surat began to decline with the rise of British interests in Bombay, and the city was sacked again by Shivaji in 1670.
By 1689 the seat of presidency was moved to Bombay by the British East India Company. Surat was again taken by the British in 1759, and the conquerors assumed the undivided government of the city in the year 1800. Since the introduction of British rule, the city and the surrounding district remained comparatively tranquil; and even during the Revolt of 1857(also known as the first struggle for India's independence) peace was not disturbed, owing in great measure to the loyalty of the leading Muslim families to the British and to the largely mercantile interests of the local population.
Geography of Surat
The Surat district is bounded in east by Bharuch, northern part by Narmada , south by Navsariand Dang districts and western is by the Gulf of Cambay. The city is located at 21.17° N 72.83° E. It has an average elevation of 13 meters. It covers the total area of 112.27 sq.km. surat's climate is tropical. In summer the maximum temperature is 42°C and minimum is 24°C. In winter the maximum is 31°C and minimum is 24°C. the annual rainfall is 931.9mm. the city is situated on the banks of Tapti river.
Economy of Surat
Surat is at the heart of India's thriving diamond-polishing industry, which in 2005 cut 92% of the world's diamond pieces and earned India $8 billion in exports. Gujarati diamond cutters emigrating from East Africa established the industry in 1901 and by the 70s Surat-based diamond cutters began exporting stones to the US for the first time. Though a majority of polishing work takes place on small weight stones, Surat's workshops have set their eyes on the lucrative market for finishing larger, pricier stones in the future.
Surat is also a major production centre for synthetic textiles in India.It is an industrial hub for the production of synthetic fibers and man-made fabrics, contributing almost 28% of India's total synthetic fiber output and 40% of the nation's total man-made fabric production and computrised embroidery work.
In addition it is home to several major processing facilities/manufacturing centers for Reliance Petrochemicals, EssarSteel, Larsen & Toubro, KRIBHCO, ONGC, Shell, ABG Shipyard,Torrent Power.
Government of Surat
Surat Municipal Corporation is a local self government which has come into being under the Bombay Provincial Municipal Act, 1949. Under section-4 the power has been vested in three distinctive statutory authorities.
The General Board: The General Board is the supreme body of the Corporation constituted by elected members from each wards. Three members are elected from each ward hence the 34 wards makes a total of 102 councillors. One third of the seats are reserved for ladies. Its term is for a five year duration after which elections are held once again.
The Standing committee: The Standing Committee is one of the twelve statutory committees and is one of the most powerful committees, which also deals with the financial matters.
The Municipal commissioner: Municipal Commisioner is the head of the Surat city and distirct. The commissioner belongs to an officer of Indian Administative Services.
Transport in Surat
By Air: Surat Airport is well connected with the various cities of India.
By Rail: the city is well connected to the national railway system through the western railways.
By Road: By road the city is well connected to all its neighbour cities and districts.
Demographics of Surat
As per 2001 Census of India, Surat had a population of 2,433,787. Males constitute 56% and females 44% of the population. 13% of the population is under 6 years of age. Surat has an average literacy rate of 72%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 77%, and female literacy is 66%.
Culture of Surat
Surat is known throughout India for its unique Surti cuisine. Some special and unique dishes of Surat include Locho, Surti Undhiyu, Rasawala Khaman, Cold coco ,Surati Chinese and Surti Ghari. Many of the popular types of food of the state of Gujarat originated in this region. Contrary to popular belief, Surti cuisine is not as sweet as the stereotypical Gujarati food, but rather quite on the spicier side.
Surat is also well known for its celebrations of Chandi Padvo which usually comes around October. This is the biggest full moon day of the Hindu calendar year. On this day, Surtis buy almost 100 tons of Ghari and other Surati delicacies, then head to Dumas where they have dinner/late night snack under full moon. Suratis are fond of variety of liquors although prohibition of alcohol in the Gujarat state and they do so to celebrate all occasions.
Most major Indian festivals such as Diwali and Ganesh Chaturthi are celebrated here with great enthusiasm. The kite-flying festival of Makar Sankranti is especially popular in the city.
The diamond city has a number of Hindu temples such as:
Visiting Places in Surat
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
Old Fort :-The Old Fort was built by Muhammed Tughlak in the 14th century to fortify the defence against the Bhils. It is now used for Municipal Offices.
Sardar Patel Museum :- About hundred years old this museum has a collection of over 10,000 specimens of arts and crafts.
Rangupavan :- It is an open air theatre with 18 meters by 10.5 meters stage and a capacity of around 4000 spectators. This is one of the biggest theatre in the country.
Dumas & Hajira :- Dumas 16 km from Surat and Hajira 28 km from Surat are well known health resorts on the creek of Arabian Sea.Hajira has two wells with water rich in iron and sulphur. The pleasant Hazira beach is fringed by feathery casurina trees.
Choppati :- It's also very popular place of city, It's big garden and also known for fastfoods.
Vansada National Park :- It is situated in Valsad district is a home to leopards, tigers, panthers and wild boars. The best time to visit is between October to March.It is near to the Surat city.
Water Fun Park :- It is situated in Hazira Road 16 km away from Surat City, is a famous for weekend in Summer. It is also called Water Fun Park .
Beaches :- There are a number of beaches near Surat. Other than Duma and Hajira, Tithal is 108km away and only five km from Valsad on the Mumbai to Vadodara train line. Twenty-nine km south of Surat, Navsari 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 700 AD. Sanjan, in the extreme south of the state, is the small port where the Parsis first landed. A pillar marks the spot.
Education in Surat
Most of the schools in the area have Gujarati as the medium of instruction, and there are a number of English medium schools as well.
Surat has a large concentration of colleges under the Veer Narmad South Gujarat Universityin the Athwa Lines area on the banks of the Tapti river. It has a medical college and three engineering colleges, including
Some private colleges of Surat are:
Media in Surat
Gujaratmitra, Gujarat Samachar, Divya Bhaskar, Sandesh, Commodity dailies are the daily new papers of Surat. Loktej, Rajasthan Patrika and Savera are the Hindi papers of Surat.
Sports in Surat
Surat has many sports facilities, the majority of them dedicated to cricket. The Lalbhai Contractor Stadium and the Pithawala Cricket stadium have facilities for hosting cricket matches. In addition, Surat has an indoor stadium, used to host events like badminton & table tennis.
For complete business listing of Surat visit Surat Yellowpages