The popular port city that gained prominence starting from the 17th century, Surat in Gujarat is now the second largest city in the state and a prime location for both commercial and tourism related activities. The city has many unique places that travellers can visit and explore. Today, the city is well-known for its diamond cutting and polishing industry. If you would like to know more about the hidden gems in the region, continue reading our Surat travel guide.
Surat is a modern day example of the confluence of past and present. Known to be the 'City of Flyovers' Surat has had many lasting influences of various rules from the Mughal to the Dutch, Portuguese and British. This has ensured the city has many elegant structures from the Surat Castle to the European Mausoleums. Here is a look at some places to visit in Surat for travel with friends, family or alone.
Chintamani Jain Temple
The beautiful Jain temple with simple exteriors was built in the 17th century during the reign of Mughal ruler Aurangzeb. The temple interiors boast of fine craftsmanship, displayed in the exquisite wooden carvings and the vegetable-dye paintings done on the wooden pillars. Paintings include those done by the Jain monk Acharya Hemachandra.
Photo Courtesy: Gujarat Tourism
Another place to visit in Surat is the Mughalsarai, which translates to mean 'guest-house'. Built in the early 17th century, the guest-house was built with the primary purpose of serving pilgrims on their way to Mecca. The palatial looking structure has detailed architecture that travellers can observe, such as the arcaded verandahs and grand entryway. The building is currently in use as the Surat Municipal Corporation office.
Photo Courtesy: Marwada
A place worth visiting near Surat is the lovely Dumas Beach, located at a short distance of 22 km from the city. The beach is popular among locals and tourists alike for the soft and blackish sand that stretches into the blue waters of the sea. The scenic beach is also dotted with many food stalls for a relaxed and entertaining evening by the sea.
Photo Courtesy: Marwada
Another beach worth visiting near Surat is the Hajira Beach. Located at a short distance of 28 km from the city, the beach is popular as a picnic spot. The beach here is less crowded than Dumas and offers a tranquil space to unwind. The surrounding Casuarina trees add to the overall ambience of beauty and calm. If you are eager to explore further, check the nearby bird sanctuary.
Photo Courtesy: Rukn950
Masjid Al Moazzam
The modern Masjid Al Moazzam mosque is among the beautiful structures in the city. The mosque and Rauza complex is among the biggest Dawoodi Bohra Masjids and is a beautiful structure that is well-maintained with picturesque pathways and trees. The places is of immense spiritual importance in Surat.
Photo Courtesy: Rukn950
A place to visit near Surat is the clean and pristine beach of Suvali. The clean and cool sea water is a delight that tempts children and adults alike. The stretch of beach also has no rocks or trees, allowing people to spend time lost in the rhythmic motions of the waves and forget all the worries of mundane life.
Photo Courtesy: Tarunyadav1989
BAPS Swaminarayan Temple
Founded by the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, the Swaminarayan temple is a beautiful structure that stands out like a surreal image among the surrounding buildings of apartments and complexes. The exquisite temple architecture along with the surrounding lawns are a must-visit. The temple is open at specific times across the day, and you can check the details here.
Photo Courtesy: BAPS
Jagdishchandra Bose Aquarium
This first of its kind aquarium has gained popularity as a tourist attraction in Surat. Located in the Pal area, the aquarium of two floors has a variety of over 100 types of marine life. The aquarium will be a great place to head out to for a fun evening with family and children.
Photo Courtesy: Preet Vaniawala
Vansda National Park
A tourist place worth visiting near Surat is the Vansda National Park. Situated at a distance of 116 km from the city, on the banks of river Ambika, the national park is set against the backdrop of the Sahyadri ranges. The dense greenery and rich gathering of flora and fauna make this a great one-day trip from Surat. The national park has various other attractions as well such as the Unai Hot Springs.
Photo Courtesy: Nevil Zaveri
How to Reach Surat
By Road: The city is well-connected by a good network of roads, and it is possible to drive down easily from Ahmedabad (131 km) and Vadodara (297 km). State and private buses are also available from all major destinations in the region to the city.
By Rail: The station lying on the eastern line of the country, has regular and direct trains to major destinations such as Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, etc.
By Air: Surat Airport has domestic flights to most major destinations in the country. The nearest international airport is at Ahmedabad.
Photo Courtesy: Kailash Giri