Surat is a district located in Gujarat and is also known as the 'Diamond city of India'. The district is culturally and historically rich and is located on the southern banks of the Tapi river. Surat district is known for many things such as diamond merchants, flyovers, silk weavers, big industries, and exotic beaches. Tourists from across the country visit Surat to witness the historic sites and amazing beaches that are located here.
Best Time to Visit Surat
Tourists may visit Surat at any time of the year. In case you wish to avoid traveling in a hot and humid climate then the monsoon season is not great to visit Surat which is between July to September. Apart from that, every month is great to travel to and explore Surat.
History of Surat
The history of Surat, the port city of Gujarat, is rooted in the era of Ramayana and Mahabharata. According to popular folklore, it is said that Surat is the place where Lord Krishna paused while he was on his way to Dwarka from Mathura.
Suryapur was the ancient name of Surat and there is no supporting document that highlights when and how the name got changed to the current one. It is believed that the city was founded by Gopi, a Brahmin, sometime around the 14th century, and before that, it was ruled by the Parsi community.
A look at the ancient history of Surat shows that it was ruled by Hindus for a significant period of time, and later it was invaded and remained a colony of Mughals and many other foreign invaders who captured the city for its port, Hazira. Surat port was a significant place as it enabled the rulers to connect with other countries in order to expand the trade and multiply the profit.
During the 19th century, Surat was captured and ruled by the Britishers. The geographical location is such that through the sea route, one can conveniently connect to the gulf countries and other continents for trade and other business voyages.
Britishers wanted to make the most of Surat port and that’s why they were so adamant to rule the place. They even fought with other foreign invaders such as French, Portuguese, and Dutch and native rulers such as Marathas.
After India gained independence Surat developed as a prime commercial, industrial and tourist place in India. Surat, over time, managed to carve a niche for its silk, cotton, and apparel markets that had the unique zari work which is famous across the globe in the textile industry.
Today Surat is known as the world’s largest diamond cutting, polishing, and carving center, where diamonds from around the world arrive for further processing.
Major Attractions in and Around Surat
1. Dandi History
Dandi is the place where the popular Dandi march was carried out by Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi in 1930. Mahatma Gandhi marched from Sabarmati to Dandi against the tax levied on salt during British rule. Dandi March or Salt March was participated by many followers of Gandhi Ji and was a prominent movement of India’s freedom struggle.
2. The Black Sand Dumas Beach
Dumas beach is located on the southern side of the Surat district and is famous for its black sand at the seashore. Locals believe that the place was used as a crematory ground by Hindus many years ago and that is why the sand has turned black.
However, many people believe that due to the high concentration of iron in the land the sand has turned black and grey. Many ghost stories and paranormal activities have been reported around Dumas Beach which makes it a haunted destination.
3. Suvali Beach
The Suvali beach or Swally beach is located nearly 20km from Surat and one may visit there by any local transport like a taxi or a bus. The beach is covered with black and grey color sand which is a sight of amusement for the visitors. The beach is known to be the cleanest among all the beaches of India. Suvali Beach is one of the best tourist places to visit in Gujarat.
4. Surat Castle
Surat Castle is a 16th-century fort that was built by king Sultan Mehmood III. The motive behind the construction of the fort was to provide safe heaven to the natives and the royal family from the invaders. Tourists from across the country arrive here to witness this great construction.
How to Reach Surat
To reach Surat in Gujarat, you will need to cover a total distance of about 1,154, 290, 2,023, 1,249 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. Here are the details on how you can reach here via the following means of public transportation.
Deboard at the Surat Airport (STV) and from there take a cab or some other means of public transport to reach your destination. Surat Airport is well-routed with other Indian cities via direct and connecting flights, thus you won't face any hassle while flying here.
Here is a list of Indian cities from where flights are available to Surat
If planning to travel by train then deboard at the Surat Railway Station. The station has regular trains operating frequently to and fro across the country. Gandhidham special, Ag Kranti Rajdhani, and Swaraj Express are a few trains on which seats can be reserved to reach Surat.
From Amritsar - Board Paschim Exp Spl from Amritsar Junction and deboard at Surat Railway Station
From Chandigarh - Board Paschim Exp Spl from Chandigarh Junction and deboard at Surat Railway Station
If you are residing in the neighboring cities and states, then traveling to Surat by road would be a fairly good decision. To travel, you can reach here by buses, taxis and if you prefer to travel at your own pace, then self-drive here.
From Nashik - 232 km via NH48
From Ahmedabad - 263 km via NH48
From Indore - 486 km via NH47 or NH48
Frequently Asked Questions about Surat
Q. What are the popular tourist attractions in Surat?
A. Some of the popular tourist attractions in Surat include Surat Castle, Sardar Patel Museum, Dutch Cemetery, the textiles markets, and ISKCON Temple.