Category Archives: Attractions

Sarthana Nature Park and Zoo, Surat

Sarthana Nature Park and Zoo is located in Surat and one of the top attractions here. It is owned and managed by the local government body here, Surat Municipal Corporation.

Spread in about 81 acres, Sarthana Zoo was established in 1984 and since then slowly grown to be one of the favorite picnic spots in the city for the children as well as adults. Towards the north of the zoo is the famous Tapi River of Surat and towards the south, where the entrance gate of the Zoo is located, is the Surat-Kamrej Road. This Nature Park and Zoo, is well connected with the city via Road.

This zoo has Lion, Tigers, Himalayan Bears, Otters, Hippopotamus, Emu and other animals like Fox. Many animals are brought here for breeding, growth, shelter and protection for short and long tenures and treated until they are well. Bird section of the zoo is very well equipped with various kind of parrots, owl, peacocks and some foreign birds.

Special Attraction :

Otters have been breeded in this zoo. There are about 10 otters which seem to be enjoying the crowd visiting them. They showcase some skills often to get some food from the visitors. It is suggested to not feed any animals in the zoo.

The Royal Bengal Tiger here seems to be enjoying its walk during the early morning hours and in the evening. Often the tiger is seen taking strolls around the enclosure and the sight is worth a penny. Do not miss a chance to see, wait until you get to see it.

  • Otters at Sarthana Zoo Park, Surat
  • Emu at Sarthana Nature Park
  • White Peacock at Sarthana Nature Park

Timings and Fees :

Zoo is open from Tuesdays to Sunday during 10 AM to 5 PM. It remains closed on Monday.

Entry fees for children below 12 years is 20 Rs and for adults its 30 Rs. Foreigners entry fees is 200 Rs for children and 300 Rs for adults. Camera is allowed with some fees. Still camera will cost you around 50 Rs, while video shooting with general cameras will cost you 150 Rs. For any kind of filming, shooting or commerical videography, prior permission needs to be taken along with a charge of 5000 Rs.

Visit during early hours and evenings. It will take you around 2 to 3 hours depending on how much time you spend at each enclosure. Animals are often sleeping during the noon, which may spoil your experience. Carry a set of binoculars for a richer experience.

There is a canteen at the end of the Zoo, towards the exit. Snacks, Packaged Food, Icecream and Cold-Drinks are available. Local snack Bungada-Bataka is eaten often.

Do not feed any animals or birds in the zoo. Do not destroy any property of the zoo. Please consider this place as home for the animals and do not disturb them with loud noises or any other ways. Enjoy the site as a learning experience and getting close to nature.

Zoo is being extended with new amenities like pond and boating.


Enjoy your stay in Surat. For more such experiences visit our page : Attractions in Surat

Galteshwar Mahadev Mandir, Temples in Surat


Galteshwar Mahadev Mandir, is a prominent temple of Shiv also called as Mahadev, the ultimate God. This temple is built in the recent past and is a piece of architecture, art, sculpture, spirituality, meditation and religious importance.

Galteshwar is a village near by the outskirts of Surat. It is located around 15km from Kamrej, which is a major bus halt on the national highway between Mumbai-Vadodara, further going to Ahmedabad, Jaipur or Delhi. When you go from Kamrej towards Galteshwar, you will go through villages with lot of greenery, farming and simple living. The smell of the mud, sugarcane will make you soon recall what a beautiful countryside we have in India. Not so far from the fastest growing city, you will experience the beauty of nature and be close to mother Earth.

As wonderful and heartwarming the journey to Mahadev Mandir will be, once you reach the premises of the temple, you will realise another beautiful aspect of India, divinity, spirituality and magnificent impact on the lifes of India. You can see Mahadev (Shiv) from far glazing in blue and attracting you to be in close contact to the divinity. You can sense an auro of sacred place and instantly connect with the surrounding.

SHIV, IN MEDIDATION

This is one of the simplest of all the temples you may find. As the meditating Shiv, is deeply engrossed within himself, not disturbed by the constant hustle of the people who are only interested in taking selfies with him, never bothered about the importance of sitting quietly for once. As you will realise that the art has been dealt with precision and care. If you observe the Shiv, you will find that intricate details of meditation, being one with self and the sense of awakening being in that state for a long time, is very well projected out from magical blue and his presence is instantly felt.

To become one with Him and experience divinity, you don’t necessarily have to travel to the Mount Kailash, you can come to Galteshwar and keep your phone/camera aside. Just look at the magistic beauty of Shiv in meditation, listen to the musical resonance of the giant bell and take a dip in Tapi river only to feel clean within and happy about the entire experience. Walk home with a new sense of reawakening.

JYOTIRLING

The Shiv is built over a man-made replica of Kailash parvat(hills), underneath with neatly crafted cave, takes you through a walk of replicas of Jyotirling in India. Jyotirling are the 12 prominent place of worship of Lord Shiv in India. This places of worship are spread across various states in India. Inside the cave, you will find the history of each place as well as the replica of Shiv Ling (the marvelous symbolic representation of Shiv). One particular Ling of Kailash Mansarovar (Amarnath) is very well replicated like you walk through the mountains of Himalayas and look at the Ling made from ice. All other replicas are also very well demonstrated.

TAPI RIVER

Once you walk through the cave, you come out with a feeling of reaching various places in India. As you look behind you the tall structure of Shiv, gigantic and shining in every sense, you cannot stop feeling mesmerized by the divinity in himself. As it is located near Tapi River, you can see Sunrise and Sunset alongside this place. It adds to the experience of this temple.

GIANT BELL

As you walk around you will find a huge temple bell, which creates a resonating sound that lasts for around a minute, when you ring it. The resonance seems to wash off all your negativity and disturbance in your mind, if only you let that music reach your heart. There are other temples with some history around. You can visit each one of them.

DIP IN TAPI RIVER

Near by the bell, there is a walk way down towards the Tapi River for the devotees to take a bath in the river. However it seems to be closed for some renovation. Once open, this place is considered to be of equal importance as taking a bath in of the Triveni Sangam (meeting of rivers).

HOW TO REACH

This place is located in a village, a bit secluded from the city so you must plan your travel before hand. The best experience would be if you take personal vehicle or book a cab/auto for entire journey. Also preferably go with the sunlight times that is 8am-6pm. After sunset this place and the route becomes too dark, however roads are in good condition.

If you take bus till Kamrej BRTS, try to take an auto on the other side of Highway to the temple and return. It may cost you anywhere between 150-200 Rs. If you can find a direct bus that runs from Surat Bus Stand to Galteshwar, then nothing like it but it will be recommended to check your return plan before you start.

If you drive, then follow the below route to the location.


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Heritage Sites Circuit in Surat | Travel Guide

HERITAGE SITES IN SURAT

HISTORY

History of Surat, dates back to around 16th century during those times it was known as Suryapur. The historic monuments like Surat Fort and Gopi Talav, tell the story of Surat along with the notes by some of the travellers like Barbosa, who noted the proceedings of Sultan of Gujarat in his travel notes. However difficult it may be to trace the exact details of the history back then, this monuments definitely speak to us in the language only a traveller can understand.

CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

AttractionYearSynopsis
Gopi Talav1510Gopi Talav was built in around 1510 by Malik Gopi, who was an affluent merchant and governor of Surat
during the Mughal Empire.
Surat Castle1546The construction of the castle was completed
in 1546 by Safi Agha, under the ruling of
Ahmedabad king Sultan Mahmood III
Mughal Sarai1644It was built during the period of
Mugal Emperor Shah Jahan
in the year 1644 A.D. and was popularly
known as ‘Mugal Sarai’ (Travellers Inn).
Andrew’s Library1850Andrew’s Library was opened on 1st July 1850
Narmad House1866Saraswati Mandir was built by Narmad in 1866,
renamed as Narmad House after the restoration
work by SMC
Gandhi Bagh1870Rani Baug, presently Gandhi Baug
inaugurated by Municipality in 1870
Clock Tower1870Clock Tower was erected in 1870
Hope Bridge1877Inauguration of Hope Bridge – 1877

HERITAGE CIRCUIT MAP

Heritage Circuit Route Map

MONUMENTS

Clock Tower

  • Clock Tower is on the Station-Chowk main road and will be one of the first things you will be noticing when you go around on this route.
    • It was constructed in 1871 by Khan Bahadoor Burjorjee Merwanjee Fraser at the cost of Rs 14000 in the memory of his father Merwanjee Hormusjee Fraser and for the convenience of the inhabitants of Surat. Know More
    • Timings
      • Clock Tower is on the main road, opened to be viewed from the outside, anytime.
    • Fees
      • It’s Free.
    • Notes
      • Insides of the Tower is currently not opened for public.

Narmad House

  • Narmad Dave was a poet, philosopher, writer, social reformer in Surat. He composed, Jai Jai Garvi Gujarat, which is the state song of Gujarat.
  • He built Saraswati Mandir in 1866.
  • It got lost in the time, later renovated by SMC. Know More
  • Timings
    • 8 am to 8 pm on regular days.
    • On Mondays and public holidays – 8 am to 2 pm
  • Fees
    • Free.
  • Notes
    • It is a heritage site as well as library, maintain decorum of the place.

Mughal Sarai

  • 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). Know More
    • It was built during the period of Mugal Emperor Shah Jahan in the year 1644 A.D. and was popularly known as ‘Mugal Sarai’.
    • Since 1867 the building was occupied by the present corporation.
    • Timings
      • Suggested timings : 10 am to 6 pm
    • Fees
      • Free. This is not just another tourist attraction. So please follow the norms of place.
    • Notes
      • It is administrative office of SMC. It is not open for public exploration. You can walk around and look at the beauty of this place.

Andrew’s Library

  • Library was established on 1st July 1850 and named after Andrew.
    • This library got destroyed during the floods in 2005. Know More.
    • Timings
      • Tuesday to Saturday  9am to 1pm & 3pm to 7pm
      • Sunday 9am to 1pm. Library is closed on Monday.
    • Fees
      • Free
    • Notes
      • It is only open to see from outside. Insides not open for public exploration, yet you can enjoy the mesmerizing architecture from the outside.

Surat Castle

  • Surat Fortwas built in 1546 by Safi Agha, who was appointed by Ahmedabad king Sultan Mahmood-III. This fort was built for protection against the attack of constant invaders. Know More.
    • The fort is now restorted by SMC and the new makeover look is called as Surat Castle. The beauty of this place is mesmerizing.
    • Timings
      • Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 am to 06:00 pm
      • Fort remains closed on Monday and major holidays.
    • Ticket Fees
      • 3 Years to 16 Years       Rs.20/-
      • 17 Years to 60 Years     Rs.40/-
      • Above 60 Years             Rs.20/-
      • Photography                 Rs.20/-
      • Videography                 Rs.100/-
    • Notes
      • Ticket selling is open only till 4:30 pm

Hope Bridge – Heritage Walkway

  • Hope Bridge was built on Tapi river by Sir Theodre Hope, when he was district collector and magistrate.
    • The bridge’s foundation was laid in 1874 and it was completed in 1877.
    • The bridge was dismantled in 2015 and replaced by new bridge keeping the old design of Hope Bridge intact. Know More
    • Timings
      • Suggested Timings : Sunrise – Sunset.
    • Fees
      • Free.
    • Notes
      • It is a public place. Do not litter. Enjoy the view of Tapi River and birds.

Gandhi Baug (Gandhi Garden)

  • This is a public garden built in the year 1870.
    • Currently it is managed by SMC. Just beside this garden, you can enjoy shopping in Sunday Fair, which is open only on Sundays.
    • Timings
      • Suggested Timings : 6am to 9pm.
    • Fees
      • Free.
    • Notes
      • It is a public place. Do not litter.

Gopi Talav

  • Gopi Talav, the water reservoir was constructed around 1510 A.D. by Malik Gopi, who was a leading merchant of surat and cheif vazir of Gujarat Sultanate. Know More.
    • Gopi Talav was a source of water supply for the population till 1673 A.D. Later lost it’s place in time. In 2015, it was renovated by Surat Municipal Corporation as “Lake Garden”.
    • Timings
      • 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. Suggested to visit in evenings.
    • Ticket Fees
      • Kids        Rs.10/-
      • Adults Rs.20/-
      • Parking Rs 10 for 2 wheelers, 20 for 4 wheelers.
    • Notes
      • It is crowded on weekends and festive seasons.

HERITAGE CIRCUIT ON GOOGLE MAPS

Andrew’s Library | Heritage Site Surat

Andrew’s Library is one of the many libraries in Surat, but it dates back to 1850 when it was constructed, which makes it unique piece of history, architecture and knowledge. It is named after Andrew, a retired magistrate during that period. Rao Bahadur Naginchand Jhaveri, a wealthy pearl dealer who often contributed to the development of the city, helped in co-establishment of Andrew’s Library.

IMAGE GALLERY

Andrew’s Library is situated in Chowk area, Surat. It is near the edge of Tapi river and opposite to the entrance of Surat Castle. Library was established on 1st July 1850. The first president of this library was Mr. Alexander Kinlock Farbers.

During the 2005 floods, entire Surat City was submerged in water. Places surrounding Tapi river, were severely impacted. One of such impact was seen on Andrew’s Library. As per the records, it is said around 25000 artifacts were lost or destroyed due to floods. It was such a huge loss.

Currently it is run by a group, who are working on restoring the premise as well as working to digitize the artifacts. We asked for a walk through the premise or a talk over the history, but currently they are not available for public demonstration. They asked us until the restoration work is completed. However you can look at the mesmerizing beauty and detailed craftsmanship of those time from the outside.

LIBRARY TIMINGS

  • Tuesday to Saturday
    • 9am to 1pm & 3pm to 7pm
  • Sunday
    • 9am to 1pm
  • Library is closed on Monday.

HERITAGE SITES

LOCATION


Please share your experience in the comment section below. If you know about other heritage sites in Surat and want to share with the world, visit our Contributors section.

Narmad House | Surat Heritage Site

Narmad Dave was a poet, philosopher, writer, social reformer and one of the first of his kind in Surat and Gujarat. He is prominently called as Kavi Narmad, for his spectacular work of composition – Jai Jai Garvi Gujarat – a poem, later adapted as the state song of Gujarat.

Narmad was born in Surat and later moved to Bombay. When he came back to Surat in the mid 1800s, at around the same time he started working as a teacher, he composed many of his works. He built Saraswati Mandir in 1866.

Surat Municipal Corporation, took over the task of renovating this heritage site in 2015, as with other projects it has undertaken and shaped into a beautiful museum. Located in the centre of city, inside the residential colonies, this place is very quite and very appropriate for someone in search of inspiration for arts, literature, history or just peace.

IMAGE GALLERY

The museum is very simple, clean and serene place, with 2 floors. The ground floor houses Narmad’s bust with details of his birth and death date. It also contains various daily newspapers in English, Hindi and Gujarati. There is a sitting area for public to sit and rejoice the facility. Various weekly and monthly magazines are also available for reading. On the 2nd floor, there are books and novels, written by Narmad and historic sequencing of his life, some pictures and books.

Often a traveller goes around the world, to find about who he is, but sometimes, it is right within the city, where you can find rich history shaped and often visiting such places, you envision the journey of a time traveller and meet the people and culture of past, with new eyes. Narmad House is one such place. If you want to experience the beauty of this place, please try to spend some quite 30 minutes without wondering about another bucket list on your instagram profile, you will cherish the experience.

Timings : 8 am to 8 pm on regular days.
( On Mondays and public holidays – 8 am to 2 pm)

HERITAGE SITES NEAR BY


If you have any information on history of Surat and Surtis, do reach us out in our contributors section. Let us know how was your journey and experience in Surat, travelling through the corners of Old city to the modern infrastructure, in the comments section below.

Surat Clock Tower | Attractions in Surat

Surat Clock Tower is going to complete 150 years of construction in 2021. Yes it is one of the oldest monument and architectural piece in the city of Surat. It was constructed in 1871 by Khan Bahadoor Burjorjee Merwanjee Fraser at the cost of Rs 14000 in the memory of his father Merwanjee Hormusjee Fraser and for the convenience of the inhabitants of Surat. Standing at around 80m high, it is one of the tallest structure in the vicinity even today.

Currently it is not accessible for public to go inside but however the outside view is mesmerizing and makes you wonder about the Craftsmanship and design of the clock that is visible from corners even today. It is one of the first thing you will come across while travelling from Surat station towards Bhagal, a popular shopping area. The glazing beauty of clock tower makes you want to keep looking at it from various spots.

The clock is in perfect working condition, unfortunately only a few realize that the clock is of such old history.

Historical Sites near by :


Please share your experience in the comment section below. If you know about other heritage sites in Surat and want to share with the world, visit our Contributors section.