Location : 140 Kms from Vadodara, Gujarat.
Founded In : 12th century.
Main Attractions : Old Fort, Dandi.
Languages : 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.PRIME ATTRACTIONS