Surat, a textile center in India, is home to a number of ashrams, historical landmarks and architectural delights. The city of solitaires welcomes travelers from all corners of the world to catch a glimpse of Gujarati traditions, whether you’re contemplating over Mahatma Gandhi’s triumphs in Dandi or strolling past European remains in the diamond city. Here is a list of the best things you can do and see in Surat.
Chant Your Prayers At ISKCON Temple
ISKON Temple in Surat is a place for finding spiritual significance as you visit the religious shrine of Shri Shri Radha Damodar. Known for being a spiritual setting for many Krishna devotees, this peaceful haven is located away from the city’s hustle. Showcasing architectural brilliance, the temple was established back in 1979 and is located on the banks of River Tapti. It flaunts exclusive craftsmanship on the interiors, with heavily defined walls and a well structured layout.
Unravel The Mystery Of Dumas Beach
Located 21 kilometers south-west of Surat, this traditional picnic spot is much more than just a sandy beach. Dumas is meant to be one of the most haunted sites in Gujarat, being a known burial ground that is believed to have witnessed strange activities. The beach is an exotic semi-urban expansion that flows into the Arabian Sea. Visitors can enjoy the scenic views of the sunset while munching on local snacks like the famous Lashkari Tomato Bhajiya. Travelers can also visit the Dariya Ganesh Temple located next to the beach.
Historical Visit To Surat Castle
Surat Castle is an old 16th-century monument that served as a defensive fortification, built by Khudawand Khan. With large round towers occupying its corners, the Old Fort is Surat’s most prominent landmark, constructed to secure the port city against Portuguese invasion. A significant heritage site, the Old Fort is an epitome of architectural brilliance, showcasing an incredible construction strengthened by the use of iron strips and melted lead.
Uncover European Relics At The Dutch Gardens
Admire a few European heirlooms in a place that offers a beautiful cultural experience, being one of the most remarkable historical landmarks in Surat: the Dutch Gardens. The garden is a well designed enclosure of historical significance, encompassing ancient mausoleums, massive Domes and awe inspiring galleries. Located near Kataragam Gate, the Dutch Gardens are part of the Dutch Cemetery, which is a resting site for famous figures like Baron Adrian Van Reede, who died in 1691. During your tour you can also visit the Anglican Church, adorned with a ten feet high illuminated cross.
Hit The Bazaars
Surat, which is a textile jackpot, is home to a line of emporiums and handicraft centers bustling with tourists and locals. Hit the streets of Rander and discover gold souks along the way. The Ratnasagar Jewelers on Ghoddod Road adorn their customers with beautiful gem stones and colorful beads. Sneak a peek at the authentic zari work in the New Textile Market as you pick out exquisitely designed saris and other traditional wear. Come across local farmers on Ghoddod Road as they spread out in numerous stalls, each selling a unique collection of farm grown food. For souvenir shopping, Surat boasts an ethnic miscellany of wood carvings, ivory décor and traditional patchwork.
Bird-Watching At Gavier Lake
Step inside the exotic wetlands of Gavier Lake, a known bird-watcher’s paradise. For wildlife enthusiasts, the rich diversity of migratory birds that flock to the waters of Gavier Lake are a great sight to catch in the early morning. The wetland, which was once facing habitat destruction, was actually saved by a bunch of village kids. Now protected by the Surat Municipal Corporation, the wetland serves as a natural habitat for endemic bird species like the Indian Peafowl, Purple Sunbird, Small Blue Kingfisher, Yellow fronted pied Woodpecker and others. Catch mesmerizing views during the monsoon season at this natural setting.
Have A Fun Weekend At Jagdishchandra Bose Aquarium
From brackish to marine organisms, you’ll find a diversity of aquatic species at the Jagdishchandra Bose Aquarium, which is a delightful outing for children. The multi-disciplinary ecosystem tanks house over 100 species in their underwater sanctuary, from exotic species like the Angel fish to freshwater Piranhas. While the first phase of the center is said to include a jellyfish pool and a shark tank, the third phase will house a dolphin tunnel pool. The aquarium is a great entertainment spot for outsiders who love catching a glimpse of aquatic ecosystems.
Munch On Irresistible Local Snacks
Taste the enticing flavors of Gujarat as you pick up local snacks such as the colorful Sev Bhel or fill your stomach with an enormous Gujarati thali. Surat offers mouth-watering treats to hungry travelers, dishes that are simply hot and tangy on your taste buds. From the delectable malai kulfis to spongy khaman dhoklas that will enrich your gastronomic senses, Gujarati cuisine showcases meticulous blends of spices and herbs. Try a plateful of crunchy fried farsans served with a traditional papaya chutney at Jani Farsan, or quench your thirst with a glass of fresh sugarcane juice at Gangor.
Discover Art At Rang Upavan Open Air Amphitheater
Rang Upavan Open Air Amphitheater is Surat’s most acknowledged jewel, showcasing Gujarati culture and tradition. This cultural stage is the largest amphitheater in India – it can house over 4,000 people, with an imposing edifice and ancient architectural fittings. Set in a picturesque background, this beautiful theater exhibits cultural programs, Gujarati skits, dance recitals and much more. From musical soirees to theatrical narrations, the amphitheater will keep visitors entertained.
Walk Down Memory Lane At Dandi
Step inside one of India’s most historic landmarks, Dandi, where the legendary Dandi March or Salt March finally came to an end during the Namak Satyagraha. Your journey in Surat is incomplete without visiting the village of Dandi so don’t forget to spend a lovely evening at the Dandi Beach with your family. Located near the coast of the Arabian Sea, Dandi is a historical setting reminding of the times of the British Raj and India’s struggle for freedom.
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