Surat, Gujarat, India

History | Surat before the Mughal Empire | During the Mughal Empire | Modern period | Geography | Civic institutions | Public Safety | Economy | Transport | Food | Education : University | Science Center | Sport : Pandit Dindayal Upadhyay Indoor Stadium | Lalbhai Contractor Cricket Stadium | Neighborhoods

🇮🇳 Surat is a city in the western Indian state of Gujarat. Located at the mouth of the Tapti River, it is the commercial and economic centre of South Gujarat, and one of the largest urban areas of western India. It has well-established diamond and textile industries, and is a shopping centre for apparels and accessories. It is the second largest city in Gujarat and the administrative capital of the Surat district.

Surat will be the world's fastest growing city from 2019 to 2035, according to a study conducted by Economic Times. The city registered an annualised GDP growth rate of 11.5% over the seven fiscal years between 2001 and 2008. Surat was awarded "best city" by the Annual Survey of India's City-Systems (ASICS) in 2013. Surat is selected as the first smart IT city in India which is being constituted by the Microsoft CityNext Initiative tied up with IT services majors Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro. Surat has been selected as one of twenty Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under PM Narendra Modi's flagship Smart Cities Mission.

Surat is famous for its diamond cutting and polishing, is known as the Diamond City of India. The city has various engineering plants like Essar, Larsen and Toubro and RIL. Surat won the Netexplo Smart Cities Award 2019 with UNESCO in the resilience category.

History The traditional account is that Surat was built up by a wealthy Hindu merchant named Gopi around the year 1500. At first, the town had no name and was simply called "the new place". Gopi consulted with astrologers, who suggested the name "Suraj", or "Suryapur", or "city of the sun". Gopi sent a request to the unnamed king of Gujarat for this to be the new town's name, but the name smacked too much of Hinduism for the Muslim king, so he altered it to Surat after the word surah, which is the name of the chapters of the Qur'an. However, the names Suryapur and Surat are both mentioned in sources before 1500, so both the name and the town predate Gopi's time.

Duarte Barbosa described Surat as Suratt. Jacob Peeters referred to Surat as Sourratte which is a Dutch name. There are many other names of Surat in history. Surat is referred to as Surrat, Surate or Soorat in some literature.

Surat before the Mughal Empire Before the rise of Surat in the 1500s, the nearby town of Rander was the main commercial centre in the area. Rander had a prominent Arab merchant community involved in overseas trade with regions such as Burma, China, Malaya, and Sumatra. In the 1500s, Rander declined due to Portuguese raids. Surat became an important port city around the same time, and some of Rander's merchant population likely moved to Surat for economic opportunity.

Early references to Surat appear by the 10th century, but they shed little light on what type of settlement it was. As Suryapur, it is mentioned along with Bharuch as a place where an army from Anhilwara passed through in 990 en route to attack the ruler of Lata. Suryapur may also be the port called "Surabaya" mentioned by the 10th-century Arabic geographer Istakhri as being four days south of Khambhat and five days north of Sanjan. Other Arabic authors spelled the name as "Subara" or "Sufara". The identification of this place with Surat, though, is uncertain, and in any case these early mentions of Suryapur or Surabaya do not indicate whether it was a sizeable town or just a small hamlet.

Another early mention of Surat is in the 1190s, after Qutb ud-Din Aibak, then a general of Muhammad Ghuri, defeated the Chaulukya king Bhima II in battle. According to the local histories of Bakshi Mian Walad Shah Ahmad and Munshi Ghulam Mohi ud-Din, Aibak went as far south as Rander and Surat. Surat was then ruled by a Hindu chief based at nearby Kamrej. This ruler initially tried to take refuge in a garden at Surat, but then decided that he had no chance of resisting Aibak's forces and offered his submission. Aibak, in turn, confirmed him as ruler of Kamrej.

From 1297, Gujarat was gradually conquered by Allauddin Khilji, the ruler of the principal state in north India at the time, the Delhi Sultanate. The Delhi Sultanate appointed Governors to control Gujarat, but this had to be forcefully imposed, notably in 1347, when Muhammad bin Tughluq sacked Surat, among other cities. Firoz Shah Tughlaq later built a fort at Surat in 1373. According to Bakshi Mian's account, when Zafar Khan was appointed governor of Gujarat in 1391, he appointed his son Masti Khan to govern Rander and Surat, but Bakshi Mian adds that Surat was not very populous at this point.

As control from the Delhi Sultanate waned at the end of the 14th century, pressure grew for an independent Gujarat, culminating in Zafar Khan declaring independence in 1407. Surat was controlled directly by the nobles of the Rajput kingdom of Baglana who fell either under the Gujarat Sultans or the Deccan sultanates. However, following the fall of the Gujarat Sultanate in 1538 it was controlled by more local nobles starting with Chengiz Khan who enjoyed absolute authority over Surat, Broach, Baroda and Champaner. However, in 1637, Aurangzeb fully annexed Baglana into the Mughal Empire.

In 1514, the Portuguese traveler Duarte Barbosa described Surat as an important seaport, frequented by many ships from Malabar and various parts of the world. By 1520, the name of the city had become Surat. It was burned by the Portuguese (1512 and 1530) and conquered by the Mughals (1573) and was twice raided by the Maratha king Shivaji (17th century).

During the Mughal Empire It was the most prosperous port in the Mughal empire. Despite being a rich city, Surat looked like a typical "grubby" trader's town with mud-and-bamboo tenements and crooked streets, although along the riverfront there were a few mansions and warehouses belonging to local merchant princes and the establishments of Turkish, Armenian, English, French and Dutch traders. There were also hospitals for cows, horses, flies and insects run by religious Jains, which puzzled travelers. Some streets were narrow while others were of sufficient width. In the evening, especially near the Bazaar (marketplace), the streets became crowded with people and merchants (including Banyan merchants) selling their goods. Surat was a populous city during the Mughal era but also had a large transient population: during the monsoon season, when ships could come and go from the ports without danger, the city's population would swell. In 1612, England established its first Indian trading factory in Surat. The city was looted twice by the Maratha king Shivaji, with the first sacking occurring in 1664. Shivaji's raids scared trade away and caused ruin to the city.

Later, Surat became the emporium of India, exporting gold and cloth. Its major industries were shipbuilding and textile manufacture. The coast of the Tapti River, from Athwalines to Dumas, was specially meant for shipbuilders, who were usually Rassis. The city continued to be prosperous until the rise of Bombay (present-day Mumbai). Afterward, Surat's shipbuilding industry declined and Surat itself gradually declined throughout the 18th century. During 1790–1791, an epidemic killed 100,000 Gujaratis in Surat. The British and Dutch both claimed control of the city, but in 1800, the British took control of Surat. A fire in 1837 resulted in more than 500 deaths and the destruction of much of the city.

By the middle of the 19th century, Surat had become a stagnant city with about 80,000 inhabitants. When India's railways opened, the city started becoming prosperous again. Silks, cotton, brocades, and objects of gold and silver from Surat became famous and the ancient art of manufacturing fine muslin was revived.

Modern period After India gained independence on 15 August 1947, Surat became part of India. At that time it was a part of Bombay State. Later it became the part of Gujarat state. Along with Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Nagpur and Vadodara, Surat became one of the fast growing cities and major commercial and industrial centres of Western India. During the post-independence period, Surat has experienced considerable growth in industrial activities especially textiles and chemical along with trading activities. On 2 October 2007 Surat district was split into two by the creation of a new Tapi district, under the Surat District Re-organisation Act 2007.

Geography Surat is a port city situated on the banks of the Tapi river. Damming of the Tapi caused the original port facilities to close; the nearest port is now in the Magadalla and Hazira area of Surat Metropolitan Region. It has a famous beach called 'Dumas Beach' located in Hazira. The city is located at an average elevation of 13 metres. The Surat district is surrounded by the Bharuch, Narmada, Navsari, to the west is the Gulf of Cambay and the surrounding districts. The climate is tropical and monsoon rainfall is abundant (about 2,500 mm a year). According to the Bureau of Indian Standards, the town falls under seismic zone-III, in a scale of I to V (in order of increasing vulnerability to earthquakes).

Civic institutions The Surat Municipal Corporation is responsible for maintaining the city's civic infrastructure as well as carrying out associated administrative duties. At present, BJP is the ruling party with a majority. Under the Provisions of Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporations Act, 1949, Section – 4, the powers have been vested in three Distinct Statutory Authorities: the General Board, the Standing Committee, and the Municipal Commissioner. It ranked 7 out of 21 cities for best administrative practices in India in 2014. It scored 3.5 on 10 compared to the national average of 3.3. It is the only city in India to disclose municipal budgets on a weekly basis.

Public Safety Surat began the 'Safe City Project' in 2011 aimed at keeping the city safe using surveillance cameras. The project was headed by Sanjay Srivastava (IPS) who was then the Joint-Commissioner of Surat Police. The 280-square-foot video wall claimed to be the largest surveillance screen in the country, is being installed in the control room of Police Commissioner Mr. Rakesh Asthana (IPS). This will help the police view the entire city live through 10,000 CCTV cameras across the city. Surat police have decided to install 5,000 CCTV cameras at sensitive points across the city. While 1,000 cameras will be night vision cameras, 4,000 others will be simple CCTV cameras. This has been installed on PPP base with the help of the city's businessmen, the city's social persons, Surat Municipal Corporation, and the Surat City Police.

Economy Surat ranked 9th in India with a GDP of 2.60 lakh crore in fiscal year 2016 ($40 billion in 2016). Surat GDP in 2020 will be around $57 billion estimated by The City Mayors Foundation, an international think tank on urban affairs. Surat is a major hub of diamond cutting and polishing. The first diamond workshops in Gujarat appeared in Surat and Navasari in the late 1950s. The major group working in this industry is people from the Saurashtra region of Gujarat. Because of demand in the American market from the early 1970s to the mid-1980s (with only a brief recession in 1979), Surat's diamond industry grew tremendously. Currently, most of the diamond polishing workshops are running in the Varachha area of Surat, mostly by the people of the Patel community. Around the world, 8 out of 10 diamonds on the market were cut and polished in Surat. This industry earns India about US$10 billion in annual exports. That declined by about 18% in 2019 due to reduced demand for diamonds. The decline continued in 2020 when the industry closed for some months because of the COVID-19 pandemic in India. A legacy of old Dutch trade links, it began after a Surti entrepreneur returned from East Africa bringing diamond cutters. The rough diamonds are mined in South Africa and other regions of the African continent, and go from here as smooth gems to Antwerp, Belgium where the international diamond trade is run mainly by Hasidic Jews and Jains from Palanpur in North Gujarat. Surat's economy drives from a range of manufacturing and industry fields such as diamonds, textiles, petrochemicals, shipbuilding, automobile, port etc.

Since it is known for producing textiles, including silk, Surat is known as the textile hub of the nation or the Silk City of India. It is very famous for its cotton mills and Surat Zari Craft. Surat is the biggest centre of MMF (man-made fiber) in India. It has a total of 381 dyeing and printing mills and 41,100 power loom units. There are over a hundred thousand units and mills in total. The overall annual turnover is around 5 billion rupees. There are over 800 cloth wholesalers in Surat. It is the largest manufacturer of clothes in India, and Surti dress material can be found in any state of India. Surat produces 9 million meters of fabric annually, which accounts for 60% of the total polyester cloth production in India. Now the city is focusing on increasing the exports of its textile.

There are many SME Domestic IT Companies present in Surat. MNC IT companies like IBM, HCL have satellite or virtual branches in Surat. On 14 February 2014, Government of Gujarat DST had handover STPI Surat at Bhestan-Jiav Road, Bhestan Near Udhana-Sachin BRTS Route. Surat city administration will demand for setting up of an information technology (IT) hub and an Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) on the outskirts of the city. Microsoft CityNext initiative has tied up with IT services majors Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro to leverage technology for sustainable growth of cities in India. The first smart IT city in India is being constituted by the Microsoft CityNext Initiative in Surat, Gujarat. In 2011, Surat hosted India's first Microsoft DreamSpark Yatra (a tech event) with speakers from Microsoft Headquarters at Redmond, Washington. The event was organised by Ex-Microsoft Student Partner Samarth Zankharia. In May 2015, Tech giant IBM has chosen Surat among 16 global locations for its smart cities program to help them address challenges like waste management, disaster management and citizen services. Under the program, IBM will send a team of experts to each of the chosen cities where they will spend three weeks working closely with city staff analysing data about critical issues faced by its local bodies; the co-operation continued into 2016.

Surat is being a port city, it has turned as a major commercial and industrial hub in India. It is home for many companies such as Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Reliance Industries (Hazira Manufacturing Division), Essar Steel, Larsen & Toubro, Krishak Bharati Cooperative, NTPC Limited, Bharat Petroleum, Indian Oil Corporation, UltraTech Cement, Shell, GAIL, GSEG, Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation, Hero MotoCorp etc. Hazira Port is located in Hazira, an industrial suburb where most of the industries are located while other region is Magdalla which is also developed as Port of Magdalla.

The government of Gujarat plans another project near Surat similar to Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT). The Chief Minister has suggested that the government wishes to develop DREAM to have a five-seven star hotel, bank, IT, corporate trading house, entertainment zone and other facilities while the Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB) will be based there. Allotment of Khajod land for the project is convenient for the state government because they have 2,000 acres (810 ha) of available land. The Trade Centre, located near Sarsana village, will have a 100,160 m2 (1,078,100 sq ft) pillar-less air-conditioned hall with a 90 by 35 m (295 by 115 ft) pillar-less dome.

Transport Built in 1860, Surat railway station falls under the administrative control of Western Railway zone of the Indian Railways. In early 2016, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation rated the facility the best large station in India based on cleanliness.

The Sitilink or Surat BRTS is a bus rapid transit system in the city. Initiated by Bharat Shah, additional city engineer of Surat Municipal Corporation. It is operated by Surat Municipal Corporation and as of August 2017, had a network of 245 buses connecting major localities.

Surat International Airport located in Magdalla, 11 km (7 mi) south-west of Surat. It is the 2nd busiest airport in Gujarat in terms of both aircraft movements and passenger traffic. Currently, airlines such as Air India, Alliance Air, AirAsia India, SpiceJet, IndiGo Airlines, Air Odisha, Ventura AirConnect provide flight services from the Surat to various major cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Goa, Jaipur, Visakhapatnam. There are also regular international flights on the Sharjah route of Air India Express. Apart from the main city, Surat Airport also caters to various localities of south Gujarat including Navsari, Bardoli, Valsad, Bharuch, Ankleshwar.

Surat Metro is an under construction rapid transit rail system for the city.

Food Surat is known for its food and has its own list of cherished street foods. There is a famous saying in Gujarati language "સુરતનું જમણ અને કાશીનું મરણ", meaning Eat in Surat and Die in Kashi for the ultimate experience of the soul.

The unique dishes of surat includes Locho, Ghari (sweet), Surti Bhusu, Alupuri, Kavsa, Ponk, Undhiyu, Dhokla, Khaman, Sev Khamani, and so forth.

People's love for food in Surat is so much that there is a lane called as " Khaudra gali" which means foodie's lane which has all stalls of various types of dishes specialty being Mysore Dosa.

Education: University Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat is one of 31 National Institutes of Technology that are recognised as Institutes of National Importance by the Government of India. Indian Institute of Information Technology, Surat started in 2017.

Most of the regional colleges are affiliated to Veer Narmad South Gujarat University (VNSGU, named after the poet Veer Narmad), which has headquarters in the Surat Metropolitan Region. Colleges are also affiliated to SNDT, Gujarat Technological University and other universities. Government Medical College, Surat is a more than 50 years old medical school of 250 yearly student admission capacity with attached tertiary care hospital, New Civil Hospital. Surat Municipal Institute of Medical Education and Research (SMIMER) is a Municipal Medical College affiliated with the Veer Narmad South Gujarat University. Auro University has also started to provide education in Surat.

Science Center Science Center, Surat is a multi-facility complex built by the Surat Municipal Corporation in 2009, the first of its type in western India. The complex houses a science centre, museum, an art gallery, an auditorium, an amphitheater and a planetarium.

Sport: Pandit Dindayal Upadhyay Indoor Stadium With a seating capacity of 6800, Pandit Dindayal Upadhyay Indoor Stadium is the first of its kind in the Western Region of India. The stadium frequently organizes national and international indoor games such as volleyball, table tennis, gymnastics, handball, boxing, wrestling, badminton, basketball, and tennis. It has a central arena of size 63 m x 33 m, rooms for participants and team officials, and other essential facilities including snack bars. This is also a convenient venue for organizing cultural programs, music concerts, drama, fashion shows, seminars, conferences, and many more. The Indoor Stadium also hosted TEDxSurat 2018 on 7 October 2018 which is the largest TEDx conference in Gujarat and one of the largest TEDx conferences in the world.

Lalbhai Contractor Cricket Stadium Lalbhai contractor cricket stadium has a capacity of more than 7,000 and hosted several Ranji, Irani and Duleep Trophy matches. The stadium also serves as a primary destination for local budding cricketers and enthusiasts. The stadium has hosted several benefit matches for international cricketers as well.

Neighborhoods • Godsamba • Kanpura • Mahuvaria • Mosali • Naldhara.

Surat, Gujarat, India 
<b>Surat, Gujarat, India</b>
Image: Rahul Bhadane

Surat is rated Climate by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation.

Surat was ranked #786 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Surat has a population of over 4,462,002 people. Surat also forms the centre of the wider Surat District which has a population of over 6,081,322 people. Surat is ranked #362 for startups with a score of 0.667.

To set up a UBI Lab for Surat see: Twitter:

Twin Towns - Sister Cities Surat has links with:

🇻🇳 Da Nang City, Vietnam 🇺🇸 Paterson, USA
Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license | GaWC | Nomad | StartupBlink

Antipodal to Surat is: -107.167,-21.2

Locations Near: Surat 72.8333,21.2

🇮🇳 Bardoli 73.12,21.12 d: 31  

🇮🇳 Valsad 72.926,20.61 d: 66.3  

🇮🇳 Daman 72.85,20.42 d: 86.7  

🇮🇳 Vapi 72.917,20.372 d: 92.5  

🇮🇳 Bhavnagar 72.145,21.77 d: 95.3  

🇮🇳 Vadodara 73.2,22.3 d: 128  

🇮🇳 Anand 72.951,22.556 d: 151.3  

🇮🇳 Nadiad 72.86,22.69 d: 165.7  

🇮🇳 Palghar 72.76,19.69 d: 168.1  

🇮🇳 Nashik 73.797,19.995 d: 167.4  

Antipodal to: Surat -107.167,-21.2

🇵🇪 Talara -81.267,-4.567 d: 16663.8  

🇵🇪 Chiclayo -79.844,-6.764 d: 16668  

🇵🇪 Piura -80.633,-5.2 d: 16646.8  

🇵🇪 Trujillo -79.034,-8.103 d: 16665.4  

🇵🇪 Chimbote -78.583,-9.067 d: 16671.9  

🇵🇪 Máncora -81.05,-4.1 d: 16613.8  

🇵🇪 Callao -77.15,-12.067 d: 16666.7  

🇵🇪 Ancón -77.15,-11.733 d: 16652.9  

🇵🇪 San Isidro -77.033,-12.083 d: 16655.6  

🇵🇪 Lima -77.033,-12.05 d: 16654.2  

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