Surat, a gem of the state of Gujarat is also famously known as The Diamond City or The Textile City of India. Sitting on the banks of River Tapti, Surat is a fast developing city of India. The city is famous for cutting and polishing of diamonds and also tops the production of Silk and other fabrics. Taking firm steps towards urbanisation there are few historical places too for which Surat is a famous tourist attraction of Gujarat. The life of the city is fast paced but one can still find the roots of the culture held strong. Here are top 10 places that are a must visit while in Surat.
1. Dumas Beach
An urban beach fore-looking the Arabian Sea draws a lot of tourists and locals to this place. Sprawling for about 2 km in length and being famous for its beautiful clear horizons and some admiring sunsets the beach is a popular and busy destination. With commercialization done over and around the Dumas beach you can indulge in some road-side eateries and enjoy the sand and the waters. The place is also said to be haunted and has various stories behind the legend.
2. Jagdish Chandra Bose Aquarium
This multi-disciplinary aquarium is an underwater aquarium where more than hundred species of fish find their abode. With over 50 tanks that are constructed with specific requirements as the fishes belong to different water zones namely the brackish, marines and the fresh waters. The jellyfish pool and the shark tank are the major attractions of Jagdish Chandra Bose Aquarium.
3. Science Centre
Science centre is one of the most spectacular projects of Surat. It not only amuses the children but also the adults. The Science centre is an entire complex that houses a planetarium, an art gallery, a museum, an amphi-theatre and an auditorium. The roof of this complex has a solar plant that generates an ample amount of power. While the science centre is the major part of the complex and exhibits real science the galleries for the diamond gallery, the textile gallery and the cosmos gallery are upcoming features of this project.
4. Surat Castle
Surat Castle or the old fort stands tall on the edges of River Tapi in an approximate area of about an acre. The castle was built in the 16th century for protecting the city against the Portuguese invasions. The top of the castle gives an enormous view of the city and the River Tapi ahead. Now filled with government offices, the monument is quietly stands in the city as a proof of its historic stories that once filled the entire area.
About 8 km away from the Arabian Sea Shore is this Metropolitan Township called Hazira. The place is an important port of India and has some well-known companies in the region. Also known as the industrial hub the place also a beach which is a popular picnic spots amongst the locals. The natural spring in the region attract a lot of people due to health reasons as well.
6. Chintamani Jain Temple
The beautiful architectural marvel of the city is quite simplistic on the exteriors while flaunting some exclusive craftsmanship. Chintamani Jain temple is said to be built in the reign of Aurangzeb and contains some rare works of Jain Acharya Hemachandra. The temple is a true treasure of art. Some wooden paintings are even unprotected by a glass shield and lets you examine the masterpiece with bare hands.
At the eastern end of Surat is Bardoli, famous for being the origin for the ‘The Dandi March’. Bardoli is famous for its connections with history and is visited often because of its high end restaurants and quality showrooms that attract the cream crowd of the city here. Also Suvali beach in the region is a very famous picnic destination. The beach is famous for its black sand and is usually home to the people who are finding solace.
8. Dutch Garden
The Dutch garden is a part of the Dutch Cemetery. The beautiful tombs of the dead Dutch officers are ironically beautiful and a marvel to watch. Speaking a different story each tomb takes you by awe as to the marvel it is. It is believed that these Dutch officers came to the city for settling down with some business ventures. The Dutch garden is one of the most maintained gardens and is a heaven to walk amidst the shrubs and plants. The well planned and maintained garden allows the people to visit it often.
9. Swami Narayan Temple
Located on the banks of River Tapti is this beautiful temple of Swami Narayan. The temple has three shrines within. The first one is dedicated to Radha-Krishna Dev and Harikrishna Maharaj, the second shrine is a dedication to Gunatitanand Swami , Lord Swaminarayan and Gopalanand Swami whereas the third one is dedicated to Ghanshyam Maharaj. The entire temple is dedicated to the Vaishnav sect of the Swaminarayans. The temple is bright and is intricately carved making it spectacular.
10. Gavier Lake
The wetlands of the Gavier are protected by the Surat Municipal Corporation. The place is a bird watchers paradise as a lot of migratory birds can be sighted here. The lake is also a part of the Nature Club protection. One can spot birds like Lesser Whistling-Duck, Yellow-fronted Pied Woodpecker, Small Blue Kingfisher, Indian Peafowl and Purple Sunbird among many others.
These places dotted over the entire city have been completing Surat in some way or the other. Whether they are the temples or the beaches or some historical sight, each has its own charm that is incomparable to other.