Surat (Hindi: सूरत, Gujarati: સુરત) is a port city and administrative headquarters of the Surat District. As of 2011, Surat and its metropolitan area had a population of approximately 4.5 million. It is the second largest city in Gujarat and 9th largest in India. Surat is a major gemstone centre, and over 92% of the world's diamonds are cut here. The city is on the banks of the Tapti River, and was a major port during the British colonial era. However, due to damming projects, the Tapti River become unnavigable and a new port was constructed down stream at the suburb of Hazira.
Surat is largely off the trail for foreign tourists. As a result, travelling there can provide some interest for the experienced traveller of India. It is a bustling, successful commercial city with extremely limited western influence. This makes it an example of both the boom in Gujarat’s development and a continuation of the state’s historical role as a center for the mass production of high quality textiles.
Rickshaw drivers and hotel staff speak almost no English, making ordering food and organizing travel more difficult than nearby Mumbai or Rajasthan. Still, the Surtis are friendly and curious: the occasional English speaker will likely ask why you have come there - and be shocked if your answer is anything but business. If you have even a little Hindi or Gujarati your travel will be more interesting and far, far simpler.
The STD code of Surat is 0261-
Climate: The climate is tropical and the city receives the full impact of the monsoon. Winter Temperature: Max 31°C, Min 12°C Summer Temperature: Max 42°C, Min 24°C Rainfall: mid-June to mid-September 931.9 mm Lowest Recorded Temperature: 6.5°C Highest Recorded Temperature: 48°C
- 1 Surat International Airport (STV IATA) (in the Magdalla area of the city). Many domestic flights available from cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Goa, Indore, Bhopal, Chennai, as well as international flights to Sharjah, as well as upcoming connectivity with Singapore and Bangkok in June.
The nearest other international airports, almost equidistant with Surat City, are those of Mumbai (Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM IATA)) and Ahmedabad (Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (SVP) International Airport (AMD IATA)).
Railway is most preferred mode of transport to reach Surat considering the frequency of trains from Mumbai.
The city is connected to the national railway system through the Western Railways connecting it to Mumbai and beyond to the south as well as New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Vadodara and other cities to the north. The Surat Railway station is in the eastern-central part of the city and is very conveniently located near major hotels and businesses. There is also a connection to the Central Railways through the Udhana Junction and the Tapti line.
The variety of passenger trains range from local trains that stop at all stations on the way, to super fast express trains like the August Kranti Rajdhani Express, Satabdi Express, Mumbai Ahmedabad AC double-decker. In addition there are plenty of goods trains that move the goods produced by the city to the rest of the country and beyond, and bring supplies to the city. Indian railways offer online booking service for all the trains having reservations.
The Golden Quadrilateral highway system passes by Surat city. You can get into Surat from National Highway 8 from 3 major connector highway. National Highway 8 corridor is one of the most industrially developed area in the country and Surat is one of the most industrially active cities that connect to it. National Highway 6 starts from Hazira and connects the city to Dhule, Nagpur, Raipur, Sambalpur, Kharagpur and Kolkata.
The Central Bus Station is on opposite side of Railway Station and has regular buses to different towns of Gujarat, operated by GSRTC. Out-State bus stops at this depot. Official Site can be found  [dead link]here. Very near to this, private bus operators have their offices. The city has a local city bus system to travel in the city. Surat is connected with major cities of Gujarat as well as Mumbai and other Indian cities. Raj travels Volvo a/c buses run throughout the day to various cities of India. Daily more than 700 buses departfor various parts of Saurastra (eastern part of Gujarat).
There is a port at Hazira, but passenger boats/ships are not frequently operated. Heavy ships are usually used by the Hazira-based industries like Reliance, Essar and L & T, Kribhco.
While the city has a local city bus system, the public transport needs of the city are met by privately operated auto rickshaws.
A lot of road engineering projects have been completed, particularly the elevated roads, or flyovers in the diamond and textile districts of the city. This has significantly cut down on the commuting time for many commuters travelling to the diamond and textile districts.
The bus rapid transit network has expanded rapidly. It has air conditioning. Check apps for schedule.
- Chintanamani Jain Temple. The Jain temple was constructed during the regime of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1699 AD. It is at Muglisara, near mausoleum of Mirjan Sami. It has not only religious importance but also establishes one of the best examples of wooden craftsmanship and drawing with vegetable dye of Gujarat. Though the temple is marked by its outward simplicity, the inner parts of temple is a treasury of art.
- City Science Centre at City Light Road near Parle Point. Has a planetarium, science models, art gallery & museum (shifted from Chowk Sardar Patel Museum.)
- Diamond market. Surat is largely recognized for its textile and diamond businesses: 92% of the world's diamonds are cut and polished in Surat. Lots of diamond factory at Varachha road. Diamond trading and broker offices are situated at mini bazaar Varachha and Mahidharpura.
- The Dutch, English and Armenian Cemeteries in Karatgam Road.
- Dutch Garden: The ancient Dutch gardens, the Dutch cemetery and Makaipul, the old original port from where the ships sailed to other parts of the world are other attractions.
- Lake Garden, Piplod. People can spend some private time there with their loved one. Lake View Restaurant is also good one
- Mugal Sarai. The building which is used at present as an office complex by Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) is one of the ancient monuments of Surat city and was built as a 'Sarai' or Musafarkhana (travellers' inn). It was built during the period of Mugal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1644 AD. This building with its considerable architectural qualities as disposed by the skilful composition of its various parts combined with combination of arches, cornices, decorated parapets, sculptured patterns on the exterior facade etc. each being disposed in an artistic and effective manner upon a strong foundation with coherent strength is still intact and is in a very good state of preservation.
- Nature Park, Sarthana Jakatnaka. Nature Park Sarathana is at the north-east corner of Surat City, which is approachable by Surat Kamrej Road. The site is covered with an area of 81 acres with river Tapi on the north side and Surat Kamrej road is on its south side. Land is fully vegetated with trees of eucalyptus, casurina and mango. The site is an ideal place for the development of a zoo with the new concept of natural habitat design.
- Rangupavan. An open-air theatre with a capacity of around 4,000 spectators. This is one of the biggest theatres in the country.
- Sardar Patel Museum. This museum was established at the beginning of the 20th century and has a collection of over 10,000 specimens of arts and crafts.
- 1 Surat castle (Old Fort). This historical castle, which was planned and built between 1540 and 1546 by Khudawand Khan on the banks of the River Tapi, is one of the chief ancient monuments of Surat. The magnificent gateway is a massive structure with strong door shutters furnished with protruding spikes at the exterior facade, and there is a decorative architectural treatment at the interior facade.
- The entire city on the roads (esp. the Dumas Road) on Sunday Evenings. Amazing to see people spreading bed sheets by the roadside to enjoy the evening with Lari Food (hawker food) adding spice.
- 2 Gopi Talav, Rustampura (approach from KotSafil road). Lake is renovated and now has very good garden, restaurant and boating facility available.
- 3 Science Centre Surat (Science Centre), City Light Road. Over and above Science Center (Fun science section), The complex has museum, art gallery, planetarium, auditorium, amphi theater, diamond gallery. It is host of many cultural events and art exhibitions.
- 4 [dead link] Andrew Library. Daily 09:00-13:00, 15:00-19:00. In 1850, a wealthy pearl merchant, Naginchand Jhaveri, donated funds for the construction of this library and named it after the British collector Andrews for his help. Its associated hall was used for stage shows and gatherings but later converted into part of the library. Inside are 18,000 books including a large number of Gujarati and Hindi novels as well as reference books on erstwhile princely states. It is associated with the Nanpura Parsi library too.
- 1 Causeway. Visit for water sports. Causeway is a low level check dam build on the River Tapi. Water sports facility is available in the upstream water. People flock to this place on weekend and winters. Visitors also include migratory birds such as gulls and terns. Usually closed for visitors during the monsoon (July to September).
- Watch a Bollywood or Hollywood film at several Multiplexes such as:
- Cinépolis at Imperial Mall
- INOX at VR Mall
- PVR at Rahulraj Mall
- Rajhans Cinema
- Valentine Multiplex
- Ambika Niketan Temple - Ambika Niketan Temple is one of the popular pilgrim spots in Surat. Ambika Niketan Temple, situated on the banks of the River Tapti, was built in 1969. The temple is dedicated to Mother Goddess, who is in the form of Goddess Ashtabhuja Ambika. The most auspicious occasion at this temple is the Navrathri celebrations, which are conducted with great fervour. There are also shrines dedicated to Ram-Sita, Laxminarayan and Lord Shiva at Ambika Niketan Temple.
- Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology (SVNIT), SVNIT Campus, Ichchhanath, ☏ , fax: . SVNIT is an engineering institution of higher education established by the Government of India in 1961. It is one of 30 National Institutes of Technology in India recognized by the Government Of India as an Institute of National Importance. It was established to train scientist and engineers to cater to the country's growing need for R&D and technological manpower. It shares its organizational structure and undergraduate admission process with sister NITs. The students and alumni of SVNIT Surat are informally referred to as SVNITians. The institute offers undergraduate, postgraduate and Doctoral courses in Engineering and Technology, Science, Humanities and Management.
There are several libraries in the city:
- Gandhi smruti library, Nanpura, Timaliyawad. Open: 08:00-20:00 and 08:00-14:00 on Monday and public holiday.
- Ganpatram A. Travadi free library, Ambaji Road, pagathiya sheri. Open: 09:00-11:30 and 16:00-14:30.
- Kavi narmad central library, opposite Umra Police Station, Athwa lines. Open: 08:00-20:00.
- Nagindas kazi free library, Ghee kanta, Haripura. Open: 09:00-11:30 and 16:00-18:30.
- Public library, Chhaparia sheri, Mahidharpura. Open: 09:00-11:30 and 14:00-18:30.
While there are limited cites of obvious tourist interest, the main attraction of Surat is shopping. The district ‘textile market’ is aimed at wholesale dealers. The endless rows of wholesalers peddling beautiful sarees may or may not sell to retail customers, but you will find excellent deals here on fabrics you would otherwise likely pay far more for. If you are not interested in sarees, there are clusters of upmarket Indian brand clothing stores. The many clothing shops of Gohd Dod road provide an array of beautiful designer Shalwar Kameez, Sarees and Indo-Western dresses. These are likely designed in Mumbai and produced in Surat, and so Surat is the cheapest place to by such items. High quality designer clothes cost nearly half as much as they would in Delhi and Mumbai.
For male shoppers, you can find good deals on high quality formal and casual wear here. Australians may be amused by the Indian brand ‘Aussie’ found on Gohd Dod road. It is nothing like what one would imagine a chain store of that name in Australia to be.
- Beauty & Fashions. There are many beauty and fashion shops in the city located at Ghoddod road, Iscoan Mall and many more places.
- Books. Most of the schooling, engineering and commerce students' book needs are met with in book shops in the Athwa Lines locality. Examples include Lucky Book House and Maulik.
- Clothing. G3 Store is a fashionable boutique catering for both men and women. The store has high quality eastern and western clothing at reasonable prices. They may be overruns of European designer brands from the local textile industry.
- Diamonds. There are a number of jewellers in the city.
- Shopping Plazas. There are lots, with the latest attractions being the Iscon Mall and the Big Bazaar both located on the Dumas Road.
- Textiles. The city is home to several textile markets.
- There are number of standard salons in Parle Point & Ghod-Dod Road area.
Some special and unique dishes of Surat include Locho, Surti Undhiyu, Rasawala Khaman, Cold coco and Surti Ghari. Many of the popular types of food of the state of Gujarat originated in this region. Surti cuisine is not as sweet as the stereotypical Gujarati food, but rather on the spicier side.
Come winter and Suratis will emerge at River Tapi's banks to eat Ponk. Ponk is a unique roasted millet.
Surat is also known for its celebrations of Chandi Padvo usually which usually comes around October. This is the biggest full moon day of the Hindu calendar year. On this day, Surtis buy almost 100 tons of Ghari and other Surati delicacies, then head to Dumas where they have dinner/late night snack under full moon.
There is a popular adage in India which translated means if Kasi is a stairway to heaven, Surat is the place for food. The variety of cuisines is quite large, varying from the local Gujarati Thalis to South Indian food. There are a lot of nice eateries like Indian curry, Klassic, Deewan-e-Khaas which will give you the flavour of a traditional Indian food and for South Indians, Mysore Cafe, Vishnu's, and the Mallu Restaurant provide a good eat-out. The roadside stalls (laari in local parlance) provide tasty and inexpensive food.
You can fill your stomach on almost any budget in Surat.
You can take food in the laaris (roadside hawkers) if less on budget. There are laaris for Dhosa, Sandwich, Pizza, Wada-Pav, Pav-Bhaji, Pani-Puri, etc. throughout the city. You can easily find one at any corners of the city.
Though non veg varieties are less but the Anda/Beda (egg) laaris spread all across the city are very famous. Some popular names are bhai-bhai (Nanpura), raju (Adajan), amthabhai (Piplod), Ganesh (Moti talkies), a few in Zampa Bazaar and Rander area are also good.
Talking about non-veg food. for laari stuff Zampa bazaar, rander, chowk are really good. You can try the Nan-chaaps at Zampa bazaar, seekh paratha at chowk, and Irani paratha/egg roti (stuffed with keema) at rander (especially during the month of Ramazan).
Ann by the way if you haven't tried early morning baara (12) handis (pots) breakfast at zampa bazaar then many locals would say that you don't know what a really heavy breakfast is. Hygienic is not the word you can use, but it's really wonderful, and you can follow it up with sweet malpua.
Also the normal tandoori chicken at all of these places is good. And in Ramazan one can try the machchi (fish) masala chicken at Rander, the silver chicken (actually it's green masala chicken but wrapped in silver foil). Also the khausa (a kind of noodle and soup) is good.
On Sunday morning one can find youngsters and families alike crowding the Dumas area for various kinds of bhajiyas. Try tomato, rataalu, mirch for some variety.
Also famous is the kulfi and hand made ice creams of Surat. some very different kind of flavours like mirch (chili), coriander, ginger, etc. can be found at Janta ice-cream outlets. Also famous is the Kishore ice cream.
If you want to try good hand made kulfi/ice-cream go to Badshah, Tajmahal, King, hajoori at zampa bazaar.
Also there are scores of laaris outside the SV-NIT (SVR) college for non veg stuff.
Good non-veg restaurants are few like Sugar n Spice (ring road), Center Court (Athwa lines), Kandil, and Savera. Barbecue Nation at Parle Point serves the barbecue on the table.
Dosa and sai dosa are most popular for dosa and south Indian dishes.
With lot of malls coming up on the airport road major food chains of India have started flocking the city. Mainland China, McDonald, KFC, and TGB.
Surat has very good food and restaurant chains. It includes all major brands. Besides Chinese Room (Nanpura) and Sugar n Spice (Ring Road) offer good food at a decent cost.
For Gujarati food: visit Sasuma, Swastik, Kansar, Sabrus, Sab Food and Express.
Rajasthani food with food places: 1) Chowkithani 2) Bhatwari, these two are best modern traditional restaurants in Surat provides Jaypuri and Gujarati food along with Punjabi food. people may visit with families and children as well as with friends to celebrate party.
Many multiplexes such as Valentine, City Plus and Raj Empire have various places to eat.
- Sizzling Salsa, # 1st Floor, Rajhans Cinema, Surat-Dumas Road, opposite Iscon Mall, ☏ . Offers a wide range of cuisine including Italian and Mexican.
- Crazy Bite, ☏ . Offers a wide range of cuisine including Italian and Mexican.
- Kandeel Revolving Restaurant, ☏ . In the centre of the Textile Market area, it gives a spectacular view of the city any part of the day. They have a fixed buffet system and have both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.
- Little Italy (Platinum Plaza, Athwa Lines), ☏ .
- Sugar n' Spice, Ring road, Bhattar near Raj Empire and at Parle Point. A restaurant chain.
- Taste of India, Dawer Chamber, Ring Rd (next to J.K. Tower), ☏ .
- Yellow Chilli, Iscon Mall.
- Barbecue Nation, 101, 1st Floor, Golden Square, Athwa Dumas Road (near Sargam Sopping Centre, Parle Point), ☏ .
- Golden Dragon (GD), Ghodod Road, ☏ . Serves Indianised Chinese food.
- Budget Inn Bellevue, Sumul Dairy Road (near Railway Station), ☏ . A multi-cuisine vegetarian restaurant.
Alcohol is banned in Gujarat. Only foreign tourists and people with drinking licences can purchase liquor. However, the people of Surat are fun-loving and tend to find alcohol in the city. There are some places in Surat such as Golvad, Dumas and Olpad where people can find alcohol more easily under the table from the bootlegger. Its easy to avail liquor permit for Foreign tourist, it is not advisable to them to look for liquor under table as risk of getting adulterated liquor are high.
For a decent hotel you need to spend at least ₹ 2000.
- 1 Budget Inn Bellevue (Hotel in Surat), Near Railway Station, Sumul Dairy road, Surat - 395008 (near Railway Station), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 11:00. Delivers excellent amenities and warm, friendly service. There are four room categories equipped with full range of facilities to cater to business travelers and vacation guests. From ₹ 2000 per day per person.
- Best Western Yuvraj, Gulambaba Mill Compound (opposite Railway Station), ☏ . Provides 3-star facilities and accommodation.
- Hotel Park Inn (near station/ring road). It can be noisy due to the close proximity to the main road but the rooms are of a reasonable standard. Preferred location for those opting to stay near railway station.
Ginger, Behind Iscon mall (near airport anfy Gaurav path road). Located near the happening new city on airport road is preferred by business travelers.
Hotel Merit offers excellent, clean, reliable and reasonably priced accommodation (₹1880 per 24 hours stay) – and it at least looks like the newest of the hotels clustered helpfully near the railway station. Its quiet English-speaking day manager is helpful and friendly and will assist with a rickshaw if you struggle with the drivers outside. While there is no restaurant, its staff serve fresh and hot (if a little oily) Punjabi-style curries as room service all day. Breakfast is included, with two options each morning, along with tea or coffee. Couples may be asked if they are married, though restrictions on the non-married only apply to Indian nationals.
- Tex Palazzo Hotel (textile market area). Not great ambience and the revolving restaurant "Kandeel".
- 2 Hotel Taj Gateway, near Ambika Niketan Temple, Parle point. The rooms are not as good as the foyer but in an acceptable condition. The gardens and river view compensates for this. Being oldest it seems to be more popular hotel in Surat.
- 3 The Grand Bhagwati (TGB). This hotel has 162 deluxe rooms and 8 suites. Conference rooms, manicured lawns, 3 multi-cuisine restaurants, 24 hours coffee shop and boutique shops for shopping extravaganza. All the guest rooms are fully air conditioned, with internet access, attached bath, telephone and LCD television. It offers facilities that include a specialty restaurant serving Mediterranean food, a minibar stocked with cocktails and 24-hour room service. They have a dedicated vegetarian restaurant and have also started non-vegetarian restaurant.
- Courtyard Marriott, Earthspace, Hazira Rd, opposite ONGC, Surat, Gujarat 394510 (Near Auro University), ☏ .
Surat is one of the safest city in India, and even travelling at night is not a matter for concern, as the city night life is such that people don't interfere much with other. Everybody is busy with their own friends and family; leave them alone, and you'll be fine.
- Dumas & Hajira. Dumas 16 km from Surat and Hajira 28 km from Surat are well known health resorts on the creek of Arabian Sea. Hajira has two wells with water rich in iron and sulphur. The pleasant Hazira beach is fringed by feathery casurina trees.
- Vansada National Park. Located in Valsad district, the park is a home to leopards, tigers, panthers and wild boars. The best time to visit is between October to March.
- Water Park: Chhab Chhaba Chhub(near Hazira) is very good water park to visit with friends, families, and couple, where lot of water sports rides are available.
Beaches from SuratEdit
Due to very high tides, it is not recommended to take bath at beaches of Surat. There are a number of beaches near Surat for you to enjoy sun and sand.
- Dumas: Dummas is a popular resort with locals. Only 16 km away
- Hajira: Hajira is 28 km from the cit , but due to Industries setup, most of it is now converted to jetties.
- Suvali: Suvali. only 27 km from Surat is a peaceful and clean beach. It is dangerous on high tide.
- Navsari: Navsari is Twenty-nine km south of Surat, has been a headquarters for the Parsi community since the earliest days of their settlement in India.
- Tithal : Beach near Valsad 80Km south of Suart is one of safer beach if you want to have a bath.
- Udvada: Udhvada, only 10 km north of Vapi, the station for Daman, has the oldest Parsi sacred fire in India. It is said that the fire was brought from Persia to Diu, on the opposite coast of the Gulf of Cambay, in 700 AD.
- Umbharat: Umbharat is 42 km out.
- Sanjan: Sanjan, in the extreme south of the state, is the small port where the Parsis first landed. A pillar marks the spot.