140 Kms from Vadodara, Gujarat.
Founded In :
Old Fort, Dandi.
Gujarati, Hindi, English.
Surat finds mention in the logbooks of the merchants and sailors who sailed the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean in search of trade and business opportunities in the 19th and 11th centuries. Some of the Arab sailors settled in the region around this time and the
Tapi River grew into a major port for exports and as an important stopover for Muslim pilgrims bound for Mecca. In the late 1490s, a Hindu trader settled in Surat; his success attracted many other Hindu merchants who exported spices, silk, muslin and porcelain to Malacca, China and Sumatra in the Far East and became extremely prosperous as trade thrived.
The strategic position of Surat on the most important sea routes between Europe, Arabia and the East was not lost on the European sea faring nations. The Portuguese were the first in to be followed by the British east India Company in 1602. The next couple of decades saw a great deal of fighting between the Portuguese and the British for control of Surat and its waters. The waters were made even bloodier with the arrival of the Dutch East India Company in 1620 and the French in 1624.
But by the early years of the 18th century, British control was a fait accompli and Surat had become a prosperous city with many weaving and spinning mills, textile and paper factories. Sadly for Surat, as the British developed Mumbai into a major port and administrative centre, Surat's star declined and it lost its prominence as a major player. Modern Surat's main claim to fame is its position as the centre of diamond processing for the world diamond industry.
The Old Fort: Built by Mohammad Tughlak in the 14th century, as a defence fortification against the Bhils.
The Textile Market: Surat's vast and active textile market testifies its importance in the textile trade even today.
A seaside health resort 16 kms from Surat.
It is situated 28 kms from Surat. The pleasant Hajira Beach is fringed by feathery 'Casurina' trees and has a comfortable holiday home for visitors.
Situated on the coastline and well known as a salt centre, Dandi has acquired a name in history after the famous 'Dandi March Salt Satyagraha' launched by Gandhiji in March, 1930 AD.
While overtly the Dandi march purported to protest against the hateful Salt Tax levied by the British, the underlying purpose was to kindle the spark of Civil Disobedience and thereby attain independence.
On a warm April morning in 1930, Gandhi and his 78 followers marched 241 miles to Dandi and formally breached the Salt Law, an act that would go down in the annals of history as the first salvo to be fired against the British Empire.
Ubharat: It is situated 42 kms from Surat. Ubharat is known for a fine, sandy beach with a backdrop of shady palm groves.
It is situated 108 kms from Surat and 5 kms from Valsad on the Bombay Vadodara Western Railway. A beautiful sandy beach palm sheltered cottages is what you would get to see there.
It is situated 34 kms from Surat. Gandhiji had launched a farmers' movement known as the
'Bardoli Satyagrah' in 1921-22 under the leadership of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Swaraj Ashram at Bardoli has become a place of pilgrimage in India.
It is situated 94 kms from Surat. A major multipurpose irrigation project of Gujarat, the storage of water at the dam site is almost as large as that of Bhakra Nangal Dam in Punjab .
The Vansda National Park is situated in Bulsar District. Wild animals such as leopards, tigers, panthers and wild boars are found here.
How To Get There
The nearest airport for Surat is Vadodara (Baroda), some 140 km away. Buses and taxis that are easily available outside the Vadodara Airport can cover the distance between the two cities. You could rent a car from a travel agent or car rental company as well.
Rail : Surat is one of the main stations in the Western railways network. It is connected to almost all Indian cities via Mumbai in Maharashtra (256 km) and Ahmedabad in Gujarat (230 km).
Road : Surat is just off National Highway - 8 that connects Ahmedabad to Surat and Mumbai.
The distances to the major cities are Ahmedabad 267 km; Vadodara 140 km; Mumbai 326 km; Bhavnagar 326 km, Junagadh 531 km and Bhuj 619 km. The highway is an excellent 8-lane road in top condition. The traffic is fairly heavy as it is one of the main links between west and southwest India but is well provided with gas and service stations, highway restaurants and motels at regular intervals.
There are several hotels in various categories in Surat. To provide you a perfect accommodation with best services and facilities, we have engaged ourselves with some leading hotels which range from luxury, deluxe, to star and budget. The hotels with best services in luxurious surroundings offer the best facilities you would expect. Select the one which is ideal for you and make your tour to Surat India completely comfortable.