The history of Surat goes back to 3000 BC. Surat was ruled by several rulers and dynasties like Shah, Mughals, Tughlaq and Ghori. These rulers magnified the glory and beauty of the city. They built a number of castles in and around the city for security. The city is most famous for its flourishing business, cream of businessmen and its trade. Traditionally, Surat was known as Suryapur by the Brahmins. During the sixteenth century, however, the city was invaded by foreign traders, especially from Europe. Surat also ultimately gained independence during the freedom struggle by the progressive participation in India’s freedom movement. As per the mythological beliefs, Lord Krishna halted in Surat for some time during his journey from Mathura to Dwarka.
Sightseeing in SuratSurat abounds in sightseeing and is famous all over the world for its heritage and culture. Some of the most sought after places to visit here are:
• The Old Fort
• Dutch Gardens
• Vansada National Park
• Sardar Patel Museum
• Surat Castly
• River Side Castle
• Baghdadi Jews Cemetery
• Chintamani Jain Temple
• Jawaharlal Nehru Garden
• Wilson Hills
People of SuratSurat is known for its friendly and cordial inhabitants. People in this city are polite affectionate. The city is a magnificent commercial hub which accommodates a huge number of industrial sectors. Surat inhabits a fair ratio of males and females owing to its dense population. People belonging to different religions and faiths reside in this city harmoniously. Surat has many Gujaratis as well as people speaking other languages. All the major festivals are enthusiastically celebrated by all the natives of the city together. The urban areas of the city comprise of businessmen and aristocrats, whereas, rural areas constitute farmers and smaller sections of the city.
Languages in SuratSurat poses a well-refined blend of different sects of people with varied dialects that have originated over the years. The zesty traditions of the place exhibit the lively customs and principles followed by the ancestors. The language of place is what sets it apart from the other. The language spoken in Surat enables the people to converse with each other for business and other purposes. The other languages spoken here are English and Hindi which are also used commonly by the people.
The main language spoken in Surat is Gujarati which is used by most of the people living here. It is spoken predominantly by all the sections of the society. This is one of the most authentic languages of Gujarat. The language consists of traces of variations of Sanskrit.
Eating Out in SuratSurat offers a variety of unique and relishing dishes which come under the famous Surti cuisine, some of which are, Ghari (a type of sweet), Locho, Undhiyu, Rasaawala Khaman and Cold Coco. The traditional Surti is full of spices, in comparison to the other cities of Gujarat.
Roadside kiosks, called Laaris and Rekdis are also common in Surat. Apart from this, South Indian cuisine is also popular in Surat. Though non vegetarian food is less in variety egg laaris are common here. Some of the famous kiosks serving nice eggs are Nanpura, Adajan, Piplod, Moti Talkies and Eggitarian Café.
Some of the popular non vegetarian delicacies relished in Surat are Naan Chaaps from Zampa Bazaar, Seekh Paratha at Chowk and Irani Parantha which is Egg Roti filled with Keema at Rander. Apart from these, some other dishes that are famous here are Tandoori Chicken, Fish, Masala Chicken, Silver Chicken which is Green Masala Chicken wrapped in silver foils and Khausa that is noodles with soup.
Some restaurants in Surat serving mouth watering food are the Savera Hotel, Sugar n Spice, Centre Court, Kandil, Sai Dosa. Swastik, Kansar and Sabrus serve authentic Gujarati food.
Navratri Celebrations in SuratNavratri means nine nights. During these nights we worship nine goddesses. This is a festival of Hindus which involves worship and enjoyment that is dance. The main Navratri is celebrated between October and Early November. The tenth day of the Navratras is Dussehra which marks the end of evil and victory of good. The dates vary according to the position of the moon.
Surat celebrates this period with full enthusiasm, fun and frolic. The Hindu devotees of the place carry pots made of metal on their heads and perform the Garba with them. Garba is the traditional folk dance of Gujarat. Dandiya- Raas is also performed in these nine nights all over the city.
Many people fast during these nine days as it is considered auspicious and a way of praying to the deities. During the fast, they eat mostly fruits all through the day. They eat only one meal in the entire day made in rock salt (sendha namak) without cereals, onion, garlic and non vegetarian.
Some of the popular dishes eaten during the Navratri fasts are:
• Sabudana (Sago) Cutlets
• Sabudana Khichdi
• Fox nuts (Makhane)
• Samak Rice
• Sweet Potatoes
• Buckwheat or Kuttu flour Chapatis or Puris
• Fruit juices
• Sabudana Kheer
• Milk Based Sweets
Dances of SuratFolk dance and Music blend with the unique culture of Surat and make the city more captivating for tourists.
The popular folk dances of Surat are:
• Garba – Garba is one of the most elegant and graceful dance forms of Surat. It is performed primarily by females in big circles. This dance is performed by singing and clapping to a rhythm while going around the goddess. This dance is mostly observed during the Navratri. They are attired in cholis, ghagras and Bandhani dupattas. These days even men perform this dance wearing vibrant traditional kurtas called Kehediyu, chudidar and turbans.
• Dandiya – Raas – This is a lively, energetic and joyful dance performed mainly on the nights of the Navratri. Men, women and children equally participate in this dance form. They dance in two circles, one moving clockwise and the other moving anti-clockwise. They carry decorated bamboo sticks in both their hands called dandiyas. It is believed that during this dance many people exchange greetings, messages and romances due to which the youth is most active in this dance form.
Best Time to Visit SuratSummers are warm in Surat and hot winds blow throughout the day. Monsoons are moist and humid which should be avoided for a visit to the place. However, the best time to visit Surat is winter that is between October and February.
The most favorable period to plan an excursion to this city is during Navratris in October to experience the awe-inspiring celebrations and rich heritage of the place at the same time. Around this time people are in a festive spirit, on vacations and will give you the best time.
How to Reach SuratA breathtaking journey to Surat, will take you to the past to enliven the heroic memories of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. During your odyssey to the city, you can cover the major historic cities including Dandi, Bardoli and the Swaraj Ashram. Additionally, the vibrant city offers a mesmerizing extravaganza of monuments, beaches, museums and other places to visit.
Surat attracts a huge number of tourists worldwide owing to its enriching history. There are three modes of transportation to reach Surat.
The Surat Airport is located around 12 kilometers away from the main city. It provides flights from the major cities in India. It is the fastest mode of transport from any city.
As far as, Railways in concerned, the Surat Railway Station is constructed in proximity to the city. Most of the important trains station here on a regular basis to commute from cities of Gujarat. It is also comfortable means for transportation to and from Surat.
Moving on to roadways, a comprehensive network of roadways connects the city to other cities of State, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Delhi and some more neighboring states. Buses are available from other cities and states to Surat. The Surat bus stand is located in the center of the city where all the inter-state and city buses halt. Cabs and auto rickshaws are also easily available within the city for travel.