If you ask me what is Surat famous for then my answer will be countless things. My city Surat has a rich cultural heritage. Okay, now I don’t want to go into historical details.
Instead here’s a link to the government portal https://surat.nic.in/about-surat/. This link perfectly describes what is surat famous for, what it was before, what are its different names & much more.
The question is if the above link tells you all about Surat city then why am I writing this post in the first place. You may think what difference does it make.
What is Surat Famous for?
સુરતનું જમણ અને કાશીનું મરણ
That’s a popular Gujarati phrase. If you are a Gujarati you might have come across it.
But let me tell you Surat is not only famous for food. In short, food is no longer the only identity of Surat. There’s something else. The info that I am going to share is an insider detail from the POV of a typical Surti. That’s me. Let’s hit it.
#1 Famous Food
The popularity of Surti food is beyond imagination. You can calculate its popularity by looking at the export capacity of one single sweet dish. I am talking about Ghari (ઘારી). This sweet dish is quite famous as Surti Ghari (સુરતી ઘારી) too.
Apart from ghari, there’s a wide variety of food items. For example, locho, surti khaman, khamani, undhiyu, aloo puri, jalebi, khaja, etc. I can go on and on. There’s no end.
#2 Bridges & Flyovers
The city is nicknamed The City of Bridges aka Bridge City. In the ’90s there were 4-5 bridges on the river Tapi. The geographical terrain of surat is such that the river Tapi divides the city into two parts.
Therefore, we have bridges across the river. It’s quite normal just like any other cities have. But wait we also have bridges aka flyovers in the city. According to a news report, Surat city has more than 120 bridges & counting. And there will be many more.
#3 Textile Industry
The city Surat is India’s Textile Hub. That’s why it is popular as Textile City or Silk City. Here a concrete building with small, big & medium size shops is called Market. The ring road area has thousands of such textile markets.
These textile markets are massive. For example, Millenium Textile Market has more than 4000 shops. And there are 4 such Millenium Markets in the Ring road area alone. Now you can calculate how many textile shops Surat city has?
#4 Polished Diamonds
After the textile industry, diamonds play a significant role in the fast-growing economy of the city. This is why Surat is also called The Diamond City of Gujarat, India.
According to a report, 90% of the world’s diamonds are processed & polished in Surat. The total turnover of Surat’s diamond industry is Rs 1,45,000 crore, said Dinesh Navadiya, regional chairman of the Gems and Jewellery Export.
#5 Surti Silk Sarees
The textile markets are where famous Surati sarees are sold. Surprisingly, Surat is famous for both textile markets & sarees.
Not only sarees but you can also shop readymade dresses, dress materials, Kurtis, bridal wear, hosiery items & fashion accessories. We have local saree brands like Amrut, Asopalav, G3, Laxmipati, Triveni & more.
#6 Eating on Footpath
Yeah, you read it right. This is a major cultural shock for non-surtis. Surtis are popular for their carefree lifestyle. We enjoy food on footpaths. Yes, literally. I mean he/she will drive his/her family in a luxury car. Then order food from street vendors, sit on the chatai & enjoy.
I have friends & they don’t believe that people here in Surat spend quality time eating & playing with family members on footpaths.
#7 Surti Garba & Dodhiya
This is one of my favourites. I love playing Dodhiya. Let me tell you that Surti Dodhiya is one of the toughest traditional dance forms. Moreover, it requires a high amount of energy. I know this because I play dodhiya on a daily basis at Rytham Dance & Garba Classes.
Check out Rytham’s official YouTube Channel. The word meaning of Dodhiya is one & a half (1 & 1/2). It means you shall take only 1.5 steps at a time. In other words, everything else is in this one & a half step. We call it Lachak. Search the term dodhiya on YouTube & you will get thousands of videos. I will soon compile a dedicated blog post on surti dodhiya.
#8 Instagram Food Bloggers
This is a kinda new buzz. Recently I published a blog post Top 10 Influencers in Surat on Instagram (Food Bloggers). The list contains 2 female food bloggers with one having her Youtube channel too.
Since Surti food is popular why not let the world know about it. Yes, the food bloggers on Instagram are quite popular. I mean they have +70K followers on social media. Visit the blog post, click their names & visit their official insta pages. Show some love.
If you think I have missed something then do let me know in the comment section. I will definitely add it to the list.