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Surat History, India

Surat is one of the few port cities located in India. Surat is situated on the sides of River Tapi and is part of the state of Gujarat. The old city of Surat is divided from the new city of Surat by a natural boundary which is actually a moat. This old city of Surat is the one which has preserved the rich culture of Surat. It is famous for its uniquely designed houses and rich heritage.

As per local rituals, the city is documented to have been established somewhere in the late years of 15th century. On the bank of River Tapi lies a fort which is said to have been built somewhere in the year of 1540. It was 1514 when travelers from Portugal visited Surat and described the port of this city as a busy which was being visited by many sailors on regular basis. One of those traveler was Duarte Barbosa and as a proof their lies a village near Surat which is named as Barbodhan. This village is said to have received its name from the name of traveler Duarte Barbosa.

It was during the Mughal rule when Surat gained importance and quickly became as an important commercial hub for India. In olden days when air travel wasn’t that famous, Surat used to serve the Muslim pilgrims for their journey to Mecca to perform the ritual called as Hajj. Till late 16th century it was the Portuguese rulers who were in total control of the port of Surat and its benefits.

By 1612, it was the Battle of Swally which gave control of Surat to the British rulers. Portuguese lost control after this battle and slowly the British rule overtook the complete control of rest of India.

A major flood destroyed most of the monuments of Surat somewhere in the year of 1837. Some famous buildings like those of Dutch and English merchants survived the floods.

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