Surat, lovingly also known as the Diamond City, is a city on the banks of River Tapti in Gujarat. The city is famous for cutting and polishing of diamonds and also tops the production of textiles such as silk. However, there are historical places here that make for quite a visit, as well as natural attraction that bring peace to the soul. If you’re in this fast paced city, here’s a two-day itinerary that encompasses the main attractions you must cover.
All the beach bums must head to Dumas Beach, an urban beach on the Arabian Sea, most famous for its beautiful clear horizon and some surreal sunsets. For some architectural brilliance, head to the 16th-century Surat Castle which was built for protecting the city from Portuguese invasions. The top of the castle offers a sweeping view of the city and the placid River Tapti.
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Another architectural marvel is the Chintamani Jain Temple, said to be built during the reign of Aurangzeb. It stores some rare works of Jain Acharya Hemachandra as well as some wooden paintings that are kept unprotected by a glass shield.
At the eastern end of Surat is Bardoli, the place where the Dandi March originated. The area is home to Suvali Beach; famous for its black sand where people flock to have picnics or to even find some solace.
The Dutch Garden is a part of the Dutch Cemetery which houses the tombs of Dutch officers from back in the day. It is one of the most well-maintained gardens of the city and is a great place to enjoy a sunset by yourself. For those who like bird-watching, Gavier Lake is a must visit. One can spot birds like the Lesser Whistling-Duck, Yellow-fronted Pied Woodpecker, Small Blue Kingfisher, Indian Peafowl and Purple Sunbird among many others.
Nobody leaves Gujarat without sampling the local food. Go for a sumptuous Gujarati thali when you’re extremely hungry, and items malai kulfis or spongy khaman dhoklas when you just want to snack. Stock up on the local snacks to take back with you such as sev bhel, khakra and thepla. Also, try a plateful of crunchy farsan served with a traditional papaya chutney at Jani Farsan.