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Surat District

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About the Surat district
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Brief About Surat District

About The District
Surat is a port city in the Indian state of Gujarat. It is located at 20.58° N latitute and 72.54° E longitude and as of 2005, Surat and its metropolitan area had a population of approximately 2.9 million. The city is situated on the left bank of the Tapti River, 14 miles from its mouth. A moat indicates the dividing-line between the old city, with its narrow streets and handsome houses, and the newer suburbs, but the city wall has almost disappeared. The city is largely recognized for its textile and diamond businesses. Surat is also the a district in the state of Gujarat. Surat city is the administrative headquarters of this district. This district is surrounded by Bharuch, Narmada (North), Navsari and Dang (South) districts. To the west is the Gulf of Cambay.

History

Local traditions fix the establishment of the modern city in the last year of the fifteenth century, and in 1514 the Portuguese traveller Duarte Barbosa described it as an important seaport, frequented by many ships from Malabar and all parts. There still is an irregular picturesque fortress on the banks of the river built in 1540. One particular village in the suburbs of Surat is Barbodhan Village, possibly named after the explorer Barbosa. Surat eclipsed Cambay as the major port of western India, as Cambay's harbor had began to silt up. During the reigns of Mughal emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan it rose to be the chief commercial city of India. At the end of the 16th century the Portuguese were undisputed masters of the Surat sea trade. But in 1612 the British Captain Best, and after him Captain Downton, destroyed the Portuguese naval supremacy and obtained an imperial firman establishing a British factory at Surat, and making the city the seat of a presidency under the British East India Company, while the Dutch also founded a factory. In 1664 the Maratha leader Shivaji sacked Surat, with the exception of the British factory, a fortified warehouse-counting house-hostel, which was successfully defended by Sir George Oxenden. The prosperity of the factory at Surat received a fatal blow when Bombay was ceded to the Company (1668) and shortly afterwards made the capital of the Company's possessions and the chief seat of their trade. From that date also the city began to decline, and the city was sacked again by Shivaji in 1670. At one time its population was estimated at 800,000, by the middle of the 19th century the number had fallen to 80,000; but in 1901 it had risen again to 119,306. Surat was taken by the British in 1759, and the conquerors assumed the undivided government of the city in 1800. Since the introduction of British rule the district has remained comparatively tranquil; and even during the Revolt of 1857 peace was not disturbed, owing in great measure to the loyalty of the leading Muslim families. A fire and a flood in 1837 destroyed a great number of buildings, but there remain several of interest, such as the mosque of Nay Saiyid Sabib, with its nine tombs, the Saiyid Edroos mosque (1634) and the ornate Mirza Sami mosque and tomb (1540). Among the interesting monuments are the tombs of English and Dutch merchants of the 17th century, especially that of the Oxenden brothers. By the early 20th century, Surat was still a centre of trade and manufacture, though some of its former industries, such as ship-building, were extinct. There were cotton mills, factories for ginning and pressing cotton, rice-cleaning mills and paper mills. Fine cotton goods were woven in hand-looms, and there were special manufactures of silk brocade and embroidery. The chief trades were organized in guilds. The trading brought an eclectic mix of ethnicities which make Surat's culture unique even in modern times. In 1992, violent riots took place between Hindus and Muslims, and in 1994, a plague epidemic spread in the city. The municipal commissioner Rao and the people of Surat worked hard in the late 1990s to clean the city up after which it was recognized in many circles as the 'second-cleanest city in India'

Geography

Surat is a port city situated on the banks of the Tapti river. The Surat district is surrounded by Bharuch, Narmada (North), Navsari and Dang (South) districts. To the west is the Gulf of Cambay. The climate is tropical and the monsoom is abundant (about 2500 mm a year). Latitude: 22° 17’ 59’’ North Longitude: 73° 15’ 18’’ East Area: 112.27 km²

Climate Winter Temperature: Max 31 °C, Min 22 °C Summer Temperature: Max 40 °C, Min 22 °C Rainfall (mid-June to mid-September): 931.9 mm Lowest Recorded Temperature: 7 °C Highest Recorded Temperature: 45 °C

Surat's 'growth' may bring about downfall
June 02, 2005
It took a major epidemic some 11 years ago to shake Surat out of its stupor and transform itself from the country's most shabby city to the second cleanest. But, the city is once again edging towards yet another urban disaster, with the place bursting at its seams in the same haphazard way as it did then to invite the plague.
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State's Parsis oppose move to join new world body
May 30, 2005
Parsis in Gujarat are raising their voice against a move by the Bombay Parsi Panchayat (BPP) to join a proposed international body of Zoroastrians. For, a majority of the 15,000-strong Parsi population in the state feels the body — International Zoroastrian Organisation (IZO) — seeks to enrol converts and non-Zoroastrians into the fold of the community, something which may dilute the basic tenets of their religion

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