The host city, Surat, is a top ranking industrial city located on the western part of India in the state of Gujarat. Surat is Gujarat’s second largest city and India’s 8th most populated city (in terms of Population in Municipal Corporation area of the City) with a population of 4.5 million. Surat ranks 4th fastest growing city in a global study of fastest developing cities conducted by The City Mayors Foundation, an international think tank on urban affairs. It is the fastest growing Indian city in terms of economic prosperity. It is one of the most dynamic cities of India with one of the fastest growth rate due to immigration from various parts of Gujarat and other states of India. Surat is located on the bank of the perennial river Tapti. It is well known worldwide for Textiles, Zari and Diamond industries. Surat is also known by other names like “THE SILK CITY”, “THE DIAMOND CITY”, THE GREEN CITY” AND “THE CITY OF FLY OVER”. Surat was one of the greatest Indian Ports and trading town during the Mughal regime. In past this was a glorious port with ships of more than 84 countries anchored in its harbor at any time. Britishers first landed in this city of India. The Dutch and the Portuguese also established their business centers in Surat.
The origin of the city can be traced to the old Hindu town of Suryapur during 1500 – 1520 A.D. The British rulers took its control from the Mughals in 1759. The wind of the British Empire blew in South Gujarat, with the turn of the century. The 23rd session of the Indian National Congress in Surat in 1907 witnessed the tragic split between nationalists and moderates. Another important event in the history of whole country was the Bardoli Satyagraha of 1928 against the hike in land revenue by the British. South Gujarat also witnessed the famous Dandi march where Gandhiji broke the Salt law in March 1930. Surat became the most important trade link between India and many other countries and was at the height of prosperity till the rise of Bombay port. Surat was also a flourishing centre for ship building activities. A moat divides the older parts of the city, with its narrow streets and handsome houses, and the newer suburbs.
Surat has an average literacy rate of 83%. Surat has practically 0% unemployment rate and jobs are easier to get here due to very fast development. Several medium and small scale units and number of large scale establishments such as Reliance Industries, Essar steel, NTPC, L&T, Kribhco, ONGC, Shell, ABG shipyard, Torrent power etc. are located in and around Surat. Beside this, 92% of the world’s diamonds are cut and polished in Surat. Surat is also famous for its world class synthetic textiles. Today Surat is a booming industrial centre famous for textiles, Jari, brocades and is a very important diamond processing centre with a glorious past and a bright future. Surat is also an industrial hub for the production of synthetic fibers and man-made fabrics.
Weather of Surat is mild with not much changes in the winter and summer temperature. Winter temperature (November – February) ranges from 12°C to 25°C.
How to reach Surat
Prior to September 2007 Surat was the only city in the world with a population of over 4.6 million people without a functioning airport. The Surat Airport was closed down due to technical reasons in 2001. The new airport finally became functional at Magdalla from 2011 Onwards. Surat has air connectivity with Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Mangalore, Srinagar, Goa, Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar. A direct flight to Dubai via Mumbai and New Delhi was launched by SpiceJet in September 2012.
Surat Railway Station is under Western Railway zone of the Indian Railways. It connects Surat with Mumbai, Varanasi, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Indore, Jaipur, Jabalpur, Satna, Patna, Bhopal and other cities of North India. There is also a connection to the Central Railway zone through Udhana Railway Junction and the Tapti line which connects Surat with cities of central & east India namely Jalgaon, Amravati, Nagpur, Durg, Raipur and Kolkata. Passenger trains range from local trains that stop at all stations on the way to express trains like the August Kranti Rajdhani Express and the Mumbai Rajdhani Express.
The Golden Quadrilateral highway system passes through Surat. The city is connected to the National Highway No. 8 through a 16 km connector highway. National highway 6, also known as Surat – Kolkata Highway, starts from Hazira and passes through Surat city. National Highway 50 also known as Surat-Pune (Poona) Highway starts near a Junction known as Kharvarnagar Junction. It is situated at a distance of 129 km from Vadodara and 263 km from Mumbai. State transport buses, private luxury coaches and taxies connects various cities and towns of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhyapradesh and Goa.