Surat is one of the prominent trading centers in India since ancient times. The district has its administrative headquarters in Surat city. The existence of this city can be traced back to the Vedic age. The East India Company shifted its trading port to Bombay, which caused Surat to lose its prominence. Surat is now a major industrial centre, especially known for the manufacture of textiles and chemicals.
m How to get there Regular bus services from Surat connect various destinations in the state as well as Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan. Surat city is a major Railway junction on the Mumbai – Delhi – Ahmedabad broad gauge line. A number of trains connect Surat with many important cities in Gujarat and India. Surat Airport, situated on the outskirts of the city, is well connected to Mumbai by flights.
dl Places of interest The Castle: Built in 1546 by the Sultan of Gujarat, the Castle is on the riverbank, beside the Tapti Bridge. It is no longer of interest as the major portion ofthe castle has been given over to Offices. However, tourists can have a wonderful view of the city and river from its bastions.
Cemeteries: Just beyond Kataragama Gate to the right of the main road is the now neglected English Cemetery. About 500 meters after the Kataragama Gate, is the Dutch Cemetery. Adjoining the Dutch Cemetery is the Armenian Cemetery.
Bombay Market: Surat city is packed with huge textile outlets, including the famous Sari retail centre, Bombay Market (Umarwada), just 1 km south of the railway station.
Rajkot (literally, the City of Princes) was
founded in the year 1610 by Vibhaji Jadeja and Raju Sandhi. This bustling city was once the capital ofthe princely state of Saurashtra. Mahatma Gandhi spent the early years of his life in Rajkot, which is now, a vivacious city and one of the major cities of Gujarat. Rajkot is now a busy commercial centre dealing with jewellery, silk embroidery and watch parts.
How to get there State transport buses connect Rajkot with various cities of Gujarat and also other major cities like Mumbai, Bhuj, Bhavnagar, Una, Mount Abu and Udaipur. Rajkot is connected by rail with important cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Cochin, Coimbatore, and Bhopal. Rajkot is a junction on the Western Railway. Rajkot has a domestic airport, which connects it to Mumbai and Kandla.
Places of interest Watson Museum and Library: Located in the Jubilee Gardens, the museum and library is a good introduction to Saurashtra’s cultural heritage. Rare collections like artifacts from Mohenjodaro, 13th century carvings, temple statues, natural history exhibits, and dioramas of local tribal costumes are on display. There is a huge marble statue of Queen Victoria seated on a throne. It is named after Colonel James Watson, who served as a political agent of Saurashtra from 1886-89.
Rotary Dolls Museum This museum has an interesting collection of about 1,400 traditional and ethnic dolls, from across the globe. The dolls are indeed replicas of real human beings that exist in different parts of the world. If you are interested in the cultural heritage and tradition of the country, then it will be well worth a visit.
Race Course grounds: Situated in the heart of the city, the Race Course grounds has many components like Bal Bhavan, Children’s Traffic Park, and Fun World and is a much sought after place for family outings. Also, it has sports facilities like Indoor Stadium, Cricket Ground, Hockey, Football and Volley ball grounds, gym, swimming pool etc.
Ishwariya Temple: Located on the outskirts of the city, the Ishwariya temple is an ancient temple and a popular tourist attraction in Rajkot. The temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is revered by the Hindus and they take a holy dip in the pond nearby before entering it. The temple is also a much preferred spot by the locals with its beautiful lush green hilly terrain. A small fair is also organised here annually.