As per local evidence, the city of Surat was founded by a Hindu priest named Gopi in the late 15th century BCE. He named the place Suryapur which translates to “City of the Sun”. The Parsis arrived in the city in the 8th century. In 1512 Surat was destroyed by the Portuguese Empire. Towards the end of the 15th century Surat gained prominence as a major port of western India. By 1608 the British had arrived at Surat, and following their success against the Portuguese in a naval war, dominated the trade along India’s west coast. Soon after, the city was made the seat of a presidency of the East India Company. By 1687, the English East India Company moved the presidency to Bombay, which started the decline of Surat. A great fire and a flood in 1837 destroyed many of the buildings of Surat. After Indian independence, the government grouped the former princely states of Gujarat, which included Surat, and Bombay Presidency into three larger units- Saurashtra, Kutch, and Bombay state. The new state had a mostly Gujarati-speaking north and a Marathi-speaking south. On 1 May 1960, Bombay state was bifurcated into Gujarat and Maharashtra. Surat became part of the state of Gujarat.
If history is your calling, learn about these marvels of Surat that have reserved their place in the annals of Gujarat history.
If you are looking for some exciting wildlife sightings on your Surat trip - here is a quick and handy guide to help you out.
Surat has many superlatives to it that make it worth exploring. Find out more about this intriguing city.