Tag Archives: Attractions in Surat

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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Hope Bridge | Heritage Walkway in Surat, India

Surat is surrounded by Tapi river as the warm hug of mother nature. Sometimes it has shown anger to it’s kid and many times enormous love and care. Part of Surat City lies on the other side of river and hence the need for having a bridge keeps coming up frequently. Today we have more than double digits bridge across Tapi River, but one of the earlier bridges “The Hope Bridge” was build during the 1870s in British era.

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.

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Hope Bridge connects Adajan & Rander areas to Chowk area. This bridge was heavily used back then. Since a decade or so, the bridge got damaged to an extent it was unviable for public use. Hence, Surat Municipal Corporation took over the restoration and rebuilding of new bridge similar in look to the old one with more design elements. The new Heritage Walkway bridge was open to public on 3rd April, 2015. Since then this bridge has become a favorite spot for nature lovers and people are often seen enjoying the beauty of Tapi River, birds and sunset during the evenings.

Attached to this bridge, there is a fully functional Nehru bridge, which currently connects Rander-Chowk route. Surat Castle and Andrew’s Library are just few 100m away from this bridge.

HERITAGE SITES


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Surat Castle | Surat Fort | Heritage Site

Surat is one of the fastest growing cities of Asia. It seems as Surat, is gaining popularity in the recent past in areas of city development, cleanliness, business and trade. However, the history of Surat is richer than it is known for. Surat flourished in the 16th century, equally as it is in today’s time. Surat Fort (Quilla) is one of many heritage sites in the city, which whisper the story of the past silently. You must need good ears and some peaceful time to know and feel the richness of the history of Surat.

The Surat castle is one of the ancient monuments of 16th century existing in the city and bears a significant relevance to its history. However, such a great fortification built to provide the citizens of Surat with an adequate defence against the attacks of the invaders seems to have been forgotten from the minds of the present generation. The Ahmedabad king Sultan Mahmood-III (1538-1554), who was very much annoyed by these frequent destructions of Surat, ordered for building a very strong castle and entrusted the work to Safi Agha, a Turkish soldier who had been ennobled with the title of Khudawand Khan. The work of building the castle was completed in 1546. (source SMC)

A Portuguese traveller named Barbosa during his visit to Gujarat in 1514 has described Surat as a city of great trade in all classes of merchandise, a very important seaport yielding a large revenue to the king, and frequented by many ships from Malabar and many other ports.

The height of the Fort wall was 20 yards and 15 meters wide at each corner there is a large round bastion having 12. 2 meter height and the thickness of the wall was 4.1 meter

Restoration work carried out by Surat Municipal Corporation is going on in full force. Currently the Castle is open for public, with it’s new redefined look and most of the Castle work is completed.

Various Galleries in the Fort

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  • Vault
    • Most stunning find during the restoration process was secret vaults descovered inside the fort. It has a ventilation system through which cold air enters from the bottom and hot air evacuates from the top of the room. It is designed in such a way that these tunnels are not visible from outside.
  • Gallery of Surat Archives
    • In this gallery, historical maps of Surat, timeline of history of Surat and Surat Fort, alteration made in Surat Fort at various time is depicted by various maps, maritime history and various other process of conservation and restoration is narrated by various penal in this gallery. Throne of last Nawab of Surat, Nawab Afzaluddin Khan along with other accessories, model of proposed Heritage Precinct and write-up on various personalities of Surat are represented in various penal in these galleries.
  • British Life Style Room and Travellers to Surat Gallery
    • This gallery has been arranged in such a way that visitors can visit and feel the life style of British people of 17th to 19th century through arrangement of replica of furniture and crockery of that time. Apart from that penals have been exhibited on various visitors visited Surat from 15th century, details on them, their lifetime and what they have wrote about Surat.
  • Rampart
    • In this part of Fort, one side of the wall was built during Sultanate period and other side of the wall was built during the British period. Here in all the windows and doors are giving effect of stained glass which was used in the bygone time.
  • Bastion
    • This bastion has been restored extensively as its dome was long ago destroyed, it was severely affected by the vegetation and roots of trees penetrated deep into the flooring. The bastion also had water channel to flow hot water inside the hammam and drain cold water outside, all these water channels have been restored and is visible to visitors. The fallen off dome has been restored following the same construction technique of Sultanate style, and painted fresco in abstract style depicted Surat city, Tapi river, fortified wall and its gates.
  • Dutch Life Style Room
    • During the Restoration process while removing various layers of plasters from walls and removing falls ceiling, the construction pattern was found in Dutch style, to showcase the Dutch life-style, this portion of the building has been converted into the Dutch Life-style Room, so that visitors can feel the life-style of Dutch people from 18th-19th Century. Replica of various furniture, ceramic-ware and specially designed floor tiles adds charm to the section.
  • Court Room
    • While restoration process was going on, the structure revealed that this place may have been used as court of justice. After restoration the section has been converted as Court-room, with judge table and chair, accused and witness boxes, writer’s chairs and table as well as benches for visitors to get the actual feeling of active court-room.
  • Trade Gallery and Jail
    • Trade gallery and Jail portions were restored by maintain jack-arch roof, wooden roof along with wooden and specially made floor tiles. These portions are now having display of Surat minted coins, trade commodities, trade jars, British ceramic wares etc.
  • Mughal Gallery
    • On the ground floor during the restoration process while strengthening the foundation of building some excavation work was carried out. During the excavation few stone cannon balls in different sizes were discovered, along with it some cast iron cannon balls were also found, out of which some were solid, some with holes and some with ram road were discovered which are displayed here. Apart from these finds, few terracotta pots were found too, which are displayed here, too. There after a carved marble seating area is developed by replicating famous Mughal style, few replica of wooden rum barrels, chest are also carved from wood an displayed in this section. At last in the Armenian Gallery, tomb stones inscribed in marble are displayed.

Ticket Rates and Timings of Visit

  • Timing for Visit
    • Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 am to 06:00 pm
  • Ticket Selling Timing
    • Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 am to 04:50 pm
  • Tickets
    • 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/-

The Fort remains closed on every Monday and few National holidays and major holidays like Dhuleti, Diwali, Uttarayan, Anand Chaudas etc.

Transport

  • Bus
    • Frequent buses from Surat Railway Station run on this route to Chowk Bazaar. Bus No. 106, 107, 108, 127, 137 run on this route.
  • Auto
    • You have to get down at Chowk or Chowk Bazaar. It will cost you around 15-20 Rs in a shared auto (3km).

Heritage 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. Surat Castle Information Source : SMC Website

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.