Saturday, April 10, 2010

How old is Surat?

" The city of Surat has glorious history that dates back to 300 BC. The origin of the city can be traced to the old Hindu town of Suryapur during 1500 – 1520 A.D., which was later colonised by the Brigus or the King from Sauvira on the banks of River Tapi. In 1759, The British rulers took its control from the Mughals till the beginning of the 20th century. The city is located on the River Tapi and has about 6 km long coastal belt along the Arabian Sea. Due to these reasons, the city emerged as an important trade centre and enjoyed prosperity through sea trade in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. 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 in the 17th and 18th centuries. Surat was also a flourishing centre for ship building activities. The whole coast of Tapi from Athwalines to Dumas was specially meant for ship builders who were usually Rassis. After the rise of the port at Bombay, Surat faced a severe blow and its ship building industry also declined. During the post-independence period, Surat has experienced considerable growth in industrial activities (especially textiles) along with trading activities. Concentration of these activities combined with residential developments has resulted in considerable expansion of the city limits. " (Surat Corporation)

The above brief is by no means complete. What I have read at few other places is, that Surat is mentioned during the period of Mahabharata about 3000 B.C. Now thats a pretty long time from then to 1500 A.D. which is mentioned above. What happened during these 1000's of years to Surat? Unfortunately it is extremely diffcult to dig into the ancient books and scriptures to find out what happened. Since they don't even exist. I think it is very important to find out where it started and what went on for thousands of years. The above paragraph refers to a period where Surat was a major business center and ship building industry was thriving for many many years. And as you know, for the economic development of any region, TRANSPORTATION is very important. It seems due to its location on the banks of river Tapti and close to the Arabian Sea, it must have been very favorable to sail boats and ships. I can't even imagine a picture where our river Tapti, flowing through the city (as we see now), full of pure water merging into the sea and with it moving major goods (like spices, clothes, jewelery etc) between the countries like, China, Persia, & other middle eastern countries.
If anyone has come across any interesting history books then please post it here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Kem Cho! Surti's

About Me : I was born and raised in Surat and currently live in San Francisco, California. You can call me Archer. I've been a hard-core "Surti". For that we will have to get into the definition of a Surti. What is a Surti?
* Someone who was born in Surat, or grew up in Surat and likes every little thing that is great about Surat.
* A member of the Gujarati community, either born or resident of Surat in the state of Gujarat, India
* Surti, is also A dialect of the Gujarati language spoken in and around Surat
* Sometimes Surtis are referred to Surti Lala, is Someone who loves to eat spicy food which is a speciality in Surat, sweets (Penda, Ghari, Halwa, etc.), Farsan (samosa, jalebi, fafda, khaja, khaman-dhokla, chevdo, etc.), Someone who lives by the motto "Eat, drink and be merry"

For e.g. they say that if you don't like Khaman-Dhokla you're not a Gujju. And I say if you don't like, Khaman-Dhokla, Surti Undhiyu, Surti Ghari, Surti Garba / Dandiya, Uttarayan (Kite Flying festival), Diwali, Holi (Dhuleti)....then you're not a SURTI. What are your thoughts? What makes you a Surti?

This website is an effort to bring all the Surtis living in Surat and away from Surat together, bring their thoughts and life styles, bring different dimensions together.

1 + 1 = 2 and 2 + 2 = 4 and some of us heard that Albert Einstein couldn't even do simple Math like this...Well, I don't know about that, but I would like to be the "1" and see if I can have some other "1"s (surtis) and how we can together make sense of this. "The sum of the parts is greater than the whole". I want to bring our Synergies together to bring something of more valuable to everybody than just you and me...Since I don't currently live in Surat it will be very hard for me to keep up with the current happenings in Surat so I would need your help to bring some life and color to this website, to share with the entire world, what us Surti's have to offer. I hope to see you help by taking time to read and post some valuable thoughts about Surat and being a Surti.

Volunteers Needed Please! Here are my thoughts on what I would like to see on this website, (suggestions always welcome)
1) Photos of our Beautiful City (oldest to newest) these pictures are about the City landmarks, maps, noteworthy places, festivals, people, our culture etc.
2) Someone to write good articles about current happenings of Surat. Not the news, we pretty much have all the local news papers online already.
3) Stories about our old Surat...the oldest possible story you remembered from your grand mothers...
5) ....

.... Main akela hi chala tha, janib-e-manzil magar, Log saath aate gaye aur caravan banta gaya..., Majrooh Sultanpuri

Surti's Rock