One of the most dazzling cities of Gujarat, Surat is best explored like a local. While there are touristy places that you must not miss such as the Dutch Cemetery and Dumas Beach, the city located on the banks of river Tapti river, offers a much more immersive experience provided you slow travel through it.
If you want to step back in time, explore Surat Castle at your own pace. The beauty of this structure is that it is in ruins, yet tells intriguing stories from the past. Built in the 16th-century by a Muslim king, Surat Castle is among the oldest structures in the city. This is where you will get to explore in detail about the Muzaffarid Dynasty that ruled over Surat for several centuries.
Whether you want to shop for souvenirs or absorb the everyday scene, a visit to Surat’s local markets is a must. Just take a walk through them in the evenings, and you will be transported to a parallel world. They are lively and beautiful and sell everything from clothes to handicrafts. The must-visit makers include Shanivari Market, Dumas Road, Sahara Darwaja and Baroda Prestige.
For those who wish to relive the spirit of the Independence struggle, take a trip to Dandi. It is the end point of the Dandi March, which was led by Mahatma Gandhi in retaliation to the tax imposed on salt. The beautiful village is located on the coast of Arabian Sea, about 30km from the centre of Surat.
Lastly, spend your evenings at the ISKCON Temple, also known as Shri Shri Radha Damodar Temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna. You will see people thronging the temple from all walks of life at all points through the day. It is a great place to find that peace and tranquility that the weary traveller often seeks while travelling.