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Migratory Birds Seagulls visit Surat every winter

Seagulls visit Tapi River banks in Surat every year during winter in large numbers. They come in thousands and stay here for 3-4 months from November to February. This year as well they have come to taste Surti food for which they have become adapted and habituated for. It seems they keep coming to taste these tasty snacks of Surat such as gathiya, namkeen, dhokla and others. However it is not sure if this is causing them any kind of serious damage. Healthcare and Bird experts feel that they should be fed only boiled food or their natural diet to keep them safe.

However Surtis in large number are seen feeding gathiya and other snacks during early morning and evenings. Seagulls have developed a discipline to come in position to sit near the railing at the bridge and wait for someone to place the snacks. They come in turns and are seen savoring the delight. You can see seagulls getting upclose to humans, seems like they have been domesticated. Across the world, Seagulls are seen to have similar behaviour at beaches and urban establishment where often they are seen to steal food from the visitors. Seagulls eat fishes and insects as their natural diet.

They are seen taken ride in Tapi river to fulfill their taste buds. Seagulls are seen in large number near Makkai Pool, where it has become their usual breakfast and evening snacks spot. They are also seen resting in the muddy islands in Tapi River. On the other side of the city, where Tapi River looks like a lake near Singanpore, wier-cum-causeway carries a new avatar of Tapi. Here large flocks of birds are seen swimming in the water and flying at certain intervals. Below video is captured at one such instance.

Seagulls flying above Tapi River near Wier-cum-Causeway in Surat

Best time to see Seagulls near Tapi river is early mornings when the Sun is rising behind the urban infrastructure. Large number of Surtis are seen going on walks, jogging and running. They feed these birds as well. Also during evening before Sunset, you can enjoy the Sun going down near Tapi River and see the birds making large sounds as they feed on the food. You will find the darkness creating a silhoutte of the city infrastructure, in the background sunsetting into the river and in the foreground you will see these birds flying with wide open wings. A perfect time to carry your camera and click some pictures of this birds upclose as well as landscapes.

Seagulls at Makkai Pool Bridge railing waiting for food from ongoing commuters in Surat
Seagulls at Makkai Pool Bridge railing waiting for food from ongoing commuters in Surat

Try to care for these birds as they have come from far off lands possibly from the freezing cold Europe or Russia. There is not sure trace of these birds, however it is seen that every year they return to the very spot and stay for few months, before they make return to their home lands. As visitors, they bring about a beauty to our city and repeated return makes our city their favorite place. So we need to continue keeping our city clean and treat our foreign visitors with care and love as always.

If you liked this post, then read other similar posts by us :

Birds that can be spotted in Surat

Birds that can be spotted in Surat

  • Little Egret
  • Water Hen
  • Pond Heron
  • Yellow Orange Shaded Heron
  • Cormorant
  • Coucal
  • Brown-Blue Kingfisher
  • Common Myna
  • Indian Koel
  • Indian Bulbul
  • Sparrow
  • Pigeon
  • Crow
  • Parrot
  • Seagull
  • Flamingoes
  • Robbin Bird

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

Flamingos visit Tapi River, Surat in large number every year

Flamingos visit Surat near the banks of Tapi River every year in large number. Over the last few years, the number of birds flocking in had gone down severly. However this year, large group of Flamingos was seen enjoying in the muddy little islands in the Tapi River, stretching from Pal to Magdalla.

Flamingo is a large bird with pink feathers, long, thin legs, a long neck, and a beak that curves down. They usually stand on one leg while the other is tucked beneath their bodies. Flamingos are capable flyers. Young flamingos hatch with greyish-red plumage, but adults range from light pink to bright red due to aqueous bacteria and beta-carotene obtained from their food supply. A well-fed, healthy flamingo is more vibrantly colored.

The greater flamingo is the tallest of the 6 different species of flamingos, standing at 3.9 to 4.7 feet (1.2 to 1.4 m) with a weight up to 7.7 pounds (3.5 kg), and the shortest flamingo species (the lesser) has a height of 2.6 feet (0.8 m) and weighs 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg). Flamingos can have a wingspan as small as 37 inches (94 cm) to as big as 59 inches (150 cm).

Flamingos filter-feed on brine shrimp and blue-green algae as well as larva, small insects, mollusks and crustaceans making them omnivores. Their bills are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they eat, and are uniquely used upside-down. Downstream of Tapi River in Surat, after causeway is well-suited for this type of environment, bringing in large number of Flamingos every year.

The shallow waters near Magdalla and Hazira, downstream of Tapi near Umra are home to flamingos. When the tide is over, flocks of flamingos come to shallow Tapi river to munch on the algae and insects. Check Map Below for possible spotting locations.

Flamingos can be spotted on downstream of Tapi River near Umara & Magdalla.
Upcoming extension of Tapi River Front, may provide good viewing spots.

Mugal Sarai | Heritage Site Surat

INTRODUCTION

Mugal Sarai ~ 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). It was built during the period of Mugal Emperor Shah Jahan in the year 1644 A.D. and was popularly known as ‘Mugal Sarai’. During 18th century the same building was used as jail. Since 1867 the building was occupied by the present corporation.

This building with its considerable architectural qualities as disposed by the skilful composition of its various parts combined with harmonious combination of arches, cornices, decorated parapets, sculptured patterns on the exterior facade etc. each being disposed in an artistic and effective manner upon a sound foundation with coherent strength is still intact and is in a very good state of preservation. Yes.

However, some changes are made lately in the original building but due care is taken so as not to harm the overall harmony of the structure. The central courtyard which at present is used for parking vehicles of the employees of the corporation still have huge trees in it hosting a wide variety of birds, giving it still the same touch of nature which it would have once enjoyed.

HISTORY

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 (travelers’ inn). It was built during the period of Mugal Emperor Shah Jahan in the year 1644 A.D. and was popularly known as ‘Mugal Sarai’.

The detail description about the sarai was inscribed on two marble stones each 3.65 m long which were being placed at its entrance gateway itself till middle of the 19th century. But later on they were negligently dumped in one of the rooms of this sarai and were left unattended for quite long time. Thanks to the efforts of Mr. A.D. Banerjee; an officer of Archaeological Survey of India, that these inscriptions were transferred to the Prince of Wales Museum of Bombay in 1929 and history of Mugal Sarai could thus be preserved there.

The description was inscribed in the Arabian script by Mohammed Amin of Mashahad, the translation of which was published in 1925-26. According to these inscriptions it was stated that though this building was built as sarai during the rule of Emperor Shahjahan in the name of Almighty Allah it was in fact believed to be a heaven during those days. In the last line of the script the year of construction of the sarai was also mentioned.

The instructions regarding the usage of this sarai were inscribed in small sized letters in the margin space of the article. It was mentioned that no rent shall be levied from persons like learned scholars, and pilgrims going to Macca and Madina and any other sacred or religious individuals intending to halt in the sarai, and the allotment of rooms to the soldiers in this sarai shall be strictly prohibited.

It was also instructed that the income from rent charged to the travellers other than those specified above shall be used for maintenance and repair of the building; wages of watermen and sweepers; purchasing fodders for animals, and rest of the income should be donated to the pilgrims going to Macca-Madina.

This sarai was built by Eshak Beg Yazdi who was initially a chief guard for the family of Begum Mumtaz Mahal and was later on appointed as a leader of the fleet of about 1000 horse-riders. He was honoured as Hakikat-Khan in 1673 and was since then popularly known by that name only.

The Emperor Shah Jahan used to give the entire revenue earned from the Surat port to his daughter Jahan Ara in order to meet her daily expenses. The management of this income was being done by Hakikat Khan who also became the chief officer of the Surat city from 1640 and during that tenure itself he built this sarai (1644). It is said that he had built it on the basis of same planning principles as that for sarais of Esfahan.

During the period when this building was in the charge of Britishers it was utilised for storage of military weapons and also as a prison at later stage.

On 23rd April 1852 Collector Rozers incepted the Surat Municipality with its office in the building of Head Post Office, Nanpura.

Later on the Mugal Sarai was handed over by the government for using as a Municipal Office complex in the year 1864 at the instance of the then President of Surat Municipality Mr. T.C, Hope and it was then renovated at a substantial cost. The clock tower at its entrance was added after this only.

The offices of Surat Municipality were shifted to this monumental building in the year 1867. Since then it is used for the same purpose by SMC and the area in which this building is located is still known as ‘Mugalisara’.

HERITAGE SITES

TRAVEL GUIDE HERE


Introduction and History sections of this article are reproduce from Surat Municipal Corporation website.

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