Monuments in Surat
Traces of the city’s historical past stand still in Surat, through its monuments. The massive structures take you back to the ancient days of prosperity during various King-ships and Sultanates and Empires. The invasions, annexations and the struggles the city faced are all recorded in the ruins of these buildings.
Now do take a look at the monuments and historical sites you must visit when you are in Surat, the city of the Sun!
The Old Fort in Surat Built by the then ruler Muhammad bin Tughlaq, the fort stands strong against the ravage of time and history. The structure was erected essentially to defend against the rebellion of the Bhil tribe. The marvelously carved pillars juxtaposed to the strong fence and iron bars are a brilliant testimony of the history of the city.
The fort has sprawling lawns and gardens, with several buildings for residents, a masjid and a maqbara or Tomb made in honor of the ruler. Muhammad bin Tughlaq Tomb is a piece of beautiful asymmetric stone carving and Islamic Architecture.
Visiting Time - You can visit the fort from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on all weekdays.
Surat CastleBuilt as a defense against the invaders, the Castle stands pretty much as a forgotten site in Surat by the present generation. Situated near the Tapti River the main water body that flows along the city, the castle is a marvel of architecture built under the supervision of Khudawand Khan a noble in the court of Sultan Mahmood in 1546 on a site previously used as a fort built by Sultan of Delhi, Firoz Shah Tughlaq. Ironically in spite of the attempts to defend the citadel, the castle has been a stronghold of the foreign invaders till it was occupied by the Surati Administration post Independence of India.
The main castle building is used for administrative and judicial offices at present. The castle gives a picturesque view of the river Tapti. Although the royal castle is in shambles now, it’s anyways a must visit site that gives you a clear picture of the past royalty merging into this present administrative premises.
Visiting Time- Royal Castle remains open for visitors on all weekdays from dawn to dusk.
Mughal Sarai in SuratIt is the building presently used as an office complex by SMC or Surat Municipal Corporation. Originally meant to be a “sarai” or “Musafarkhana” inn or guesthouse, the ancient Mughal Sarai building was constructed under Mughal dominance during the tenure of Mugal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1644 A.D. In 18th century, under the British rule, the complex was used as a jail. Since 1867 the premises is occupied by the Municipal Corporation of the city.
The building is a fine analogy of architectural qualities in its composition of cornices, arches, sculptured patterns, decorated parapets on the facade. The building is erect on solid foundation with impeccable strength. The buildings preservation is commendable in spite of the changes made lately in the original structure. The courtyard now is used for parking vehicles of the corporation employees.
Vising Time- Mughal Sarai is open from dusk to dawn.
Mosques in SuratSurat has a number of fine Islamic architecture worth visiting we have enlisted four best among the mosques and other premises that stand still as beautifully withstanding the passage of time. The Saiyid Idrus Mosque was built in 1639 in the honor of the ruler. The towering minaret of the mosque is a local landmark. Nausaiyid Mosque at the bank of Gopi Lake is also known for the nine warrior’s tombs located beside it. Khwaja Diwan Sahib’s Mosque interspersed with local history is another place to visit once.
The Indo-Iranian style of Mirjan Sami Mausoleom, built in 1540 by Khudawand Khan is also a must watch. With excellent stone carving, the premise is indeed in our lists of monuments to visit when you are in Surat.
Vising Time- The mosques and mausoleum are open from dusk to dawn on all week days.
Cemeteries in SuratThe tombs in the Dutch, English and Armenian cemeteries in Surat are considered important monuments. History says that the competition between the English and the Dutch to impress the natives with their power, grandeur and burial culture prompted them to erect such marvelous structures that the cemetery looks more like mausoleums rather than graves with tombstones. Many of these structures are ridiculously large and ornamental. The cemeteries are now stretched as a forgotten territory in Surat, but worth seeing even at their forgotten, far from preserved state.
The cemeteries look pretty eerie for the quite stillness although now the surrounding areas of these cemeteries have become quite populated. If you are one of those who cry out at every sound in the dark, prefer visiting the cemeteries during the day.
English Cemetery- The English cemetery is a set lavish structure with arches and domes features with bricks and stucco. These are pre -colonial buildings built by the East India Company under Mughal Empire. The earliest inscriptions on the tombs date back to 1649.
The Dutch Cemetery- There are three main highlights (read tombs) in the cemetery situated near the Katargam Road Surat, Gujarat. Nobody practically visits the place accept local kids who tend to use the ground for sports. The structures in the cemetery exhibit fanatic mastery of art even when the tombs are nothing like their original state. The Dutch Cemetery is also popularly known as Dutch Garden.
Armenian Cemetery- The cemetery is adjacent to the Dutch cemetery situated near Katargam Road Surat, India. There is only one mausoleum and a main chapel structure which is supposed to have been built around 1579. Around the chapel, there are about 200 graves with tombstones in this cemetery.
Disappointing Facts About Monuments in SuratThe monumental sites in Surat are impregnated with a lot of history containing stories of annexations and aggression that these structures have been a witness to. Unfortunately the sites are in the bad state of preservation. Yet the ravage of time has not maligned the beauty and elegance of these buildings and monuments. A visit to the states historical past is due on your visit to Surat.
Interesting Part of Monuments in SuratAlthough many of the historical sites are imbued with a state of quite desolation, yet you can spot the regal strut of the local stray dogs, which grace the compounds and arches, galleries of these once royal and influential structures. Oh don’t be afraid, these are well mannered, if not trained creatures, which may not harm you provided they get their share of the limelight.
The best time to visit the Surat ,
India is from October to March. The weather in summers here is very
humid and steamy and thus totally unfit to explore the historical wealth
of monuments in the city.
Best Time to Visit Surat
How to Reach SuratBy Air: Surat Airport facilitates daily flights from New Delhi
By Rail: Approx. 4 hrs from Mumbai and 5 hrs from Ahmadabad. The city also connected to major Indian cities including Delhi, Mangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Hydrabad etc.
By Road: The city is connected with National Highway N. 8.
Where to Stay in SuratFive Star - The Gateway Hotel (Taj Groups) and The Grand Bhagwati five-star hotels in Surat
Budget Spree - Other reasonably priced places to stay in Surat are- Oasis, Hotel Yuvraj, Tex-Palazzo, Ashish International, Budget Inn, etc.
Have a Great Time Exploring Surat!