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Surat is a port city and administrative headquarters of the Surat District. As of 2009, Surat and its metropolitan area had a population of approximately 5.9 million. It is the second largest city in Gujarat and 9th largest in India. Surat is a major gem stone center, and over 92% of the world's diamonds are cut & polished here. The city is located on the banks of the Tapti River, and was a major port during the British colonial era. However, due to damming projects, the Tapti River become unnavigable and a new port was constructed down stream at the suburb of Hazira.
The city is located at 21.17° N 72.83° E. and is very low lying.
The STD code of Surat is 0261-
Climate: The climate is tropical and the city receives the full impact of the monsoon. Winter Temperature: Max 31°C, Min 12°C Summer Temperature: Max 42°C, Min 24°C Rainfall: mid-June to mid-September 931.9 mm Lowest Recorded Temperature: 6.5°C Highest Recorded Temperature: 48°C
Surat Airport (IATA code: STV and ICAO code: VASU) was opened on the 6th May 2007. Indian airlines has one flight daily to and from Delhi. Spicejet Operates daily from Surat to Mumbai and Delhi.
The city is connected to the national railway system through the Western Railways connecting it to Mumbai and beyond to the south as well as New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Vadodara and other cities to the north. The Surat Railway station is in the eastern-central part of the city and is very conveniently located near major hotels and businesses. There is also a connection to the Central Railways through the Udhana Junction and the Tapti line.
The variety of passenger trains range from local trains that stop at all stations on the way, to super fast express trains like the August Kranti Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express. In addition there are plenty of goods trains that move the goods produced by the city to the rest of the country and beyond, and bring supplies to the city.
The Golden Quadrilateral highway system will pass through Surat at its expected completion. At present the city is connected to the National Highway 8 through a 16 km connector highway. National Highway 8 corridor is one of the most industrially developed area in the country and Surat is one of the most industrially active cities that connect to it. National highway 6 starts from Hazira and connects the city to Dhule, Nagpur, Raipur, Sambalpur, Kharagpur and Kolkata.
The city has a local city bus system.
Surat is connected with major cities of Gujarat as well as Mumbai and other Indian cities. Raj travels Volvo a/c buses run throughout the day to various cities of India. Daily More than 700 buses departs for various parts of Saurastra (Eastern part of Gujarat), and vise-versa.
There is a port at Hazira, but passenger boats/ships are not frequently operated. Heavy ships are usually used by the Hazira based industries like Reliance, Essar, L & T, Kribhco, etc.
While the city has a local city bus system, the public transport needs of the city are met by privately operated auto rickshaws.
The city has recently seen the completion of a large number of road engineering projects, particularly the elevated roads, or flyovers in the diamond and textile districts of the city. This has significantly cut down on the commuting time for many commuters travelling to the diamond and textile districts.
Ambika Niketan Temple is one of the popular pilgrim spots in Surat. Ambika Niketan Temple, situated on the banks of River Tapti, was built in the year 1969. The temple is dedicated to Mother Goddess, who is in the form of Goddess Ashtabhuja Ambika.
The most auspicious occasion at this temple is the Navrathri celebrations, which is conducted with great fervour. There are also shrines dedicated to Ram-Sita, Laxminarayan and Lord Shiva at Ambika Niketan Temple.
 This historical castle which was planned and built between 1540 and 1546 by Khudawand Khan, is one of the chief ancient monuments of Surat. Built on the bank of river Tapi.
The highest degree of safety from defense point of view is conspicuously incorporated in the construction of its entrance gate also. This magnificent gateway is so designed as to provide a massive structure having strong door shutters furnished with protruding spikes at the exterior facade, and a decorative architectural treatment at the interior Facade.
The Building which is used at present as an office complex by Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) is one of the ancient monuments of Surat city and was built originally as a 'Sarai' or Musafarkhana (travellers' inn). It was built during the period of Mugal Emperor Shah Jahan in the year 1644 A.D. This building with its considerable architectural qualities as disposed by the skilful composition of its various parts combined with combination of arches, cornices, decorated parapets, sculptured patterns on the exterior facade etc. each being disposed in an artistic and effective manner upon a strong foundation with coherent strength is still intact and is in a very good state of preservation.
The Jain temple was constructed during the regime of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1699 A.D. It is located at Muglisara, near mausolem of Mirjan Sami. It has not only religious importance but also establishes one of the Best example of wooden craftsmanship and drawing with vegetable dye of Gujarat. Though the temple is marked by its outward simplicity, the inner parts of temple is a treasury of art.
There are several libraries in the city:
Salon & Spa
There are number of standard salons in Parle Point, Ghod-Dod Road, Adajan area. Reflexions Salon & Spa at Parle Point is the only Salon in Gujarat to use the Luxury Ranges of L'Oreal, like Kerastase & Keraskin. Apart from that there are other good saolns also avaialble like "Oberoy Hair & Beauty" at Adajan. which is one of the very famous salon in Surat's youth.
Some special and unique dishes of Surat include Locho, Surti Undhiyu, Rasawala Khaman, Cold coco and Surti Ghari. Many of the popular types of food of the state of Gujarat originated in this region. Contrary to popular belief, Surti cuisine is not as sweet as the stereotypical Gujarati food, but rather quite on the spicier side.
Come winter and Suratis will emerge at river Tapi's banks to eat Ponk. Ponk is a Roasted Millet variety that is available only in this part of the world.
Surat is also well known for its celebrations of Chandi Padvo usually which usually comes around October. This is the biggest full moon day of the Hindu calendar year. On this day, Surtis buy almost 100 tons of Ghari and other Surati delicacies, then head to Dumas where they have dinner/late night snack under full moon.
There is a popular adage in India which translated means if Kasi is a stairway to heaven, Surat is the place for food. The variety of cuisines is quite large, varying from the local Gujarati Thalis to South Indian food. There are a lot of nice eateries like Indian Curry, Klassic,Deewan-e-Khaas which will give you the flavour of a traditional indian food and for South Indians Mysore Cafe, Vishnu's,and the Mallu Restaurant provide a good eat-out. The road side stalls (laari in local parlance) provide some really tasty and inexpensive food. You can find people parking luxury cars and eating in these laaris.
You can fill your stomach on almost any budget in Surat.
You can take food in the laaris if less on budget. There are Laaris for Dhosa, Sandwich, Pizza, Wada-Pav, Pav-Bhaji, Pani-Puri, etc throughout the city. You can easily find one at any corners of the city.
Though the non veg variety is less but the Inda/Beda (egg) laris spread all across the city are very famous. Some popular names are bhai-bhai(nanpura), raju (adajan), amthabhai (piplod), ganesh (moti talkies), Eggitarian Cafe (Opposite VNSGU), a few in Zampa Bazaar and Rander area are also good.
Talking about non-veg food. for laari stuff zampa bazaar, Rander, Chowk are really good. You can try the Nan-chaaps at zampa bazaar, seekh paratha at chowk. and Irani paratha/ egg roti (stuffed with keema) at Rander (especially during the month of Ramazan). And by the way if you haven't tried early morning baara(12) handis (pots) breakfast at zampa bazaar then u don't know what a really heavy breakfast is. though hygienic is not the word you can use. but its really wonderful and follow it up with sweet malpua.hmmmm
Also the normal tandoori chicken at all of these places is good. And in ramazan one can try the machchi (fish) masal chicken at rander, the silver chicken(actually its green masala chicken but wrapped in silver foil). Also the Khausa(kind of noodle and soup) is good.
The Savera Hotel (really a restaurant) has incredible chicken tandoori! It is near the train station, on a main road that runs more or less perpendicular to the railway tracks.
On Sunday morning one can find youngsters and families alike crowding the dumas area for various kinds of bhajiyas. Try tomato, rataalu, mirch for some variety.
Also famous is the kulfi and hand made ice creams of Surat. some very different kind of flovours like mirch (chilly),coriander, ginger, etc can be found at Janta ice cream outlets. Also famous is the kishore ice cream.
If u want try good hand made kulfi/ ice cream go to Badshah, Dairy Don, Tajmahal, king, hajoori at zampa bazaar.
Also there are scores of laris outside the SVNIT (formerly SVR) college for non veg stuff.
Good non-vegetarian restaurants are few like Sugar n Spice(ring road), Center Court(athwa lines), Kandil, Savera, etc. VS dosa and sai dosa are most popular for dosa and south Indian dishes.
Surat has very good food and restaurant chains. It includes all major brands. Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Subway Dominos,smokin joes, etc. Besides Chinese Room (Nanpura) and Sugar n Spice (Ring Road) offer good food at a decent cost. For Gujarati food: one may visit SASUMA, SWASTIK, KANSAR, SABRUS, Sab Food Express and many more. For Rajasthani Food: Chowkidani & Bhatwari. These are two best known places for Rajasthani Food.
Alcohol is banned in Gujarat State. Only foreign tourists and people with drinking licence can purchase liquors. Despite being banned, people of Surat are fun loving and tend to find alcohol in city. There are some places in Surat such as golvad, dumas and, olpad where people can find alcohol more easily under table from the bootlegger.
For a place blow a decent type you need to spend at least Rs. 1500 onwards.
Budget Inn Bellevue is situated in the heart of Surat. It only takes 30 minutes ride from Airport and is at walking distance from railway station. Supported by a sophisticated transportation network, Budget Inn Bellevue is just a stroll away from the attractions, shopping malls, bustling commercial and recreation entertainment, & thus attracts many potential local and foreign business visitors. The hotel, delivers a memorable experience for guests - from excellent amenities to warm and friendly service. There are four room categories equipped with full range of facilities to cater to business travelers and vacation guests. With enthusiastic care, plus frequent promotional premium, Hotel provide customers good value of money.  Address: Sumul Dairy road, Near Railway Station, Surat, India 395008. Phone: +91-261-2532020.
The Grand Bhagwati -  TGB Surat is the first pure vegetarian 5 star deluxe hotel in the world. TGB Surat has well-furnished 162 deluxe rooms and 8 extravagant suites that impeccably fit the traveler’s scheme of things. It boasts of India’s largest convention centre with more than 1 lakh square feet of pillar-less convention space, ballrooms, banquets, conference rooms, manicured lawns, 3 multi cuisine restaurants, 24 hours coffee shop and boutique shops for shopping extravaganza.
All the guest rooms are fully air conditioned and replete with contemporary elements, internet access, attached bath, telephone and LCD television. It offers a stunning array of facilities that include a specialty restaurant serving the most authentic Mediterranean food which would be gourmet’s delight, mini bar stocking exotic cocktails and 24-hour room service.
Surat is one of the safest city in the state of Gujarat. Taking a walk or drive at late hours, even for women, is considered safe. In general, people of Surat have a happy-go-lucky attitude and tend avoid confrontation.
Water Park: Chhab Chhaba Chhub(near Hazira) is very good water park to visit with friends, families, and couple, where lot of water sports rides are available.
Lake view Garden: This is located in city's post area and very good place to hang out.
Night out: Surat is basically famous for its food and people. Surati people are as same as hippy in the terms of enjoyment. They like to hang out at nights with friends, families near the streets occupied by food stall and some gardens. people may often go on the bridge at the night to taste the calm water of river Tapti