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industry, to a great extent in the hands of the Parsis. The largest
vessels were engaged in the China trade, and were from 500 to 1,000
tons burden. Many of the ships were built on European lines. They
were mostly manned by English crews and flew the English flag. The
sea-borne trade from the ports has greatly fallen off of late years.
The industries of Surat city suffered from the damage done to the
houses and workshops in the great fire of 1889, when property valued
at 25 lakhs was destroyed. At the present time the weaving of cotton
and silk goods is the chief industry of the District. There are three
steam factories in Surat city, containing 34,290 spindles and 180 looms,
which spin and weave annually nearly 3 million pounds of cotton yarn
and about half a million pounds of cotton cloth. They employ 1,288
persons. Except among the aboriginal tribes, hand-weaving is every-
where common. Silk brocades and embroideries are still manufactured
in Surat city. They have a widespread reputation, and exhibit skill
of a high order. Nowhere in the Presidency are finer fabrics woven
on hand-looms. There is one salt-work in the District, which yields
annually 300,000 maunds, valued at 6^ lakhs.

Trade centres chiefly in the towns of Surat and Bulsar, as well as in
the seaport of Bilimora (Baroda territory). The total value of the
exports from the seven seaports which afforded an outlet for the
produce of the District in 1874 amounted to nearly 44^ lakhs, and that
of the imports to 7 lakhs. These figures include the value of com-
modities shipped and received at Baroda ports. The two principal
seaports are Surat city and Bulsar. The value of the exports from
these taken together was 13 lakhs in 1903-4; and of the imports
about 18 lakhs. The exports include grain, cotton, pulse, mahud fruit,
timber, and bamboos ; the imports include tobacco, cotton-seed, iron,
coco-nuts, and European goods.

There are 462 miles of road, of which 100 miles are metalled, con-
necting the principal towns with the railway. Of the metalled roads,
2i miles of provincial and 70^ of local roads are maintained by
the Public Works department. Avenues of trees are maintained along
190 miles. The only important bridges for cart traffic are those over
the Tapti at Surat, and over the Tena creek near Olpad. The Bombay,
Baroda, and Central India Railway runs through the District parallel to
the coast for about 60 miles, crossing the Tapti at Surat city on a fine
iron-girder bridge. The Tapti Valley Railway, 155 miles in length,
which joins Surat to the Great Indian Peninsula system at Amalner
in Khandesh District, was opened in 1900. It traverses the District
for 1 1 miles.

History records severe famine in the years 1623, 1717, 1747, and


1803. From the commencement of British rule, however, until 1899

no famine was sufficiently intense to cause suffering to the people.

. Owing to the failure of the late rains in 1899 distress

rapidly developed ; and, in December of that year,

there were 4,700 persons on relief works. By March, 1900, the

number had increased to 15,000. In July, 1900, there were 35,000 on

the works, including 29,000 in receipt of gratuitous relief. Surat,

liowever, escaped the severity of the famine in the adjoining Districts.

The total increase in the number of deaths from all causes during the

famine was 30,000, and the population decreased 2 per cent, between

1891 and 1901. The total expenditure in connexion with famine relief

in this and the adjacent District of Broach exceeded 48^ lakhs, and

4 lakhs of land revenue was remitted in Surat District. It is calculated

that over 50,000 cattle perished in the drought. Floods on the Tapti

river have frequently caused great damage to Surat City, in the article

on which some particulars of the most disastrous floods are given.

The District is divided into three subdivisions, in charge of an

Assistant Collector and two Deputy-Collectors. It contains 8 tdlukas :

namely, Bardoli, Bulsar, Chikhli, Chorasi, Jalalpur, Mandvi,

.... . Olp.^d, and Pardi. Bardoli includes the petty sub-

Administration. ,. . . , ,, , ,,^_, , „,, ^ ,, ■ ,, ,- • 1

division \pefha) of Valod. 1 he Collector is Political

Agent for Sachin State, which is administered by the Assistant Col-
lector, subject to his control. The States of Bansda and Dharampur
and the Dangs estate are also under his political control, the Assistant
Political Agent for the latter estate being the divisional Forest officer.

The District and Sessions Judge, with whom is associated a Judge of
a Small Cause Court, is assisted by one Assistant Judge and four Sub-
ordinate Judges, sitting one at Olpad, two at Surat, and one at Bulsar.
There are twelve officers to administer criminal justice. The city of
Surat forms a separate magisterial charge under a City Magistrate. The
District is remarkably free from crime, offences against the excise law
being the most numerous.

At the time of annexation, the gardsids, or large landowners of Surat,
claimed, as the representatives of the original Hindu proprietors, a share
of the land revenue, and levied their dues at the head of an armed force.
In 1813 Government undertook to collect the amount of these claims by
its own officers. In addition to the gardsids, there were numerous desais
or middlemen to whom the land revenue was farmed under the old
regime. To decrease the power and influence of these desais, the British
Government (181 4) appointed accountants to each village, who collected
the revenue direct from the cultivators, thus rendering the practice of
farming unnecessary. No change was made in the old rates until 1833,
when, in consequence of the fall in prices, they were revised and con-
siderably reduced. In 1836 committees were appointed to divide the



soil into classes and fix equitable rates; and between 1863 and 1882
the survey settlement was introduced, which raised the total revenue
demand from 18^ to 2\\ lakhs. A revision was made between 1897
and 1905. The new survey found an excess in the cultivated area of
4 per cent, over the amount shown in the accounts, and the settlement
enhanced the total revenue by 4 per cent., or nearly one lakh. The
average rates of assessment are: 'dry' land, Rs. 2-1 1 (maximum scale,
Rs. 7-8; minimum scale, R. i); rice land, Rs. 8-1 (maximum scale,
Rs. 7-8; minimum scale, Rs. 1-4); and garden land, Rs. 8-11 (maxi-
mum scale, Rs. 12 ; minimum scale, Rs. 5).

Collections on account of land revenue and revenue from all sources
have been, in thousands of rupees : —



1900-1. 1903-4.

Land revenue
Total revenue .





1'here are four municipaUties in the District : namely, Surat, Rander,
BuLSAR, and Mandvi. Outside of these, local affairs are managed by
the District board and eight tdluka boards. The receipts of the local
boards amounted in 1903-4 to about 3 lakhs, and the expenditure to
2\ lakhs, including one lakh spent on roads and buildings.

The District Superintendent of police is assisted by 2 inspectors.
There are altogether 1 1 police stations. The total number of police-
men is 881, under 11 chief constables, besides 14 mounted police
under 2 daffaddrs. There are 9 subsidiary jails and 9 lock-ups in
the District, with accommodation for 208 persons. The daily average
number of prisoners in 1904 was 69, of whom 5 were females.

Surat stands second among the twenty-four Districts of the Presi-
dency for the literacy of its inhabitants, of whom 13-3 per cent. (24-5
males and 2-4 females) could read and write in 1901. In 1 880-1 the
District contained 293 schools with 19,363 pupils. The latter had
increased to 28,658 in 1890-1, and to 31,902 in 1900-1. In 1903-4
the District possessed 480 schools, attended by 31,719 pupils, includ-
ing 6,363 girls. Of these institutions, 6 are high schools, 26 middle,
341 primary, and one a special industrial school. Of the 374 public
institutions, 2 are managed by Government, 312 by local or muni-
cipal boards, 36 are aided, and 24 unaided. The total expenditure
on education in 1903-4 amounted to nearly 2^ lakhs, of which 64 per
cent, was devoted to primary education.

In 1904 the District possessed one hospital and twelve dispen-
saries, including one for women at Surat. These institutions con-
tain accommodation for 120 in-patients. Including 1,541 in-patients,
the number of persons treated in 1904 was 86,000 and the number


of operations performed 2,721. The expenditure on medical relief was
Rs. 39,000, of which Rs. 17,000 was met from Local and municipal

The number of persons successfully vaccinated in 1903-4 was
16,091, representing the proportion of 25-3 per 1,000 of population,
which is slightly above the average for the Presidency.

[Sir J. M, Campbell, Bombay Gazetteer, vol. ii (Surat and Broach)


Surat City. — Head-quarters of Surat District, Bombay, and the
former seat of a Presidency under the East India Company, situated in
21° 12' N. and 72° 50' E., on the southern bank of the river Tapti ;
distant from the sea 14 miles by water, 10 miles by land. It was
once the chief commercial city of India, and is still an important
mercantile place, though the greater portion of its export and import
trade has long since been transferred to Bombay. Surat is a station
on the Bombay, Baroda, and Central India Railway, 167 miles from

During the eighteenth century Surat probably ranked as the most
populous city of India. As late as 1797 its inhabitants were estimated
at 800,000 persons ; and though this calculation is
doubtless excessive, the real numbers must have
been very high. With the transfer of its trade to Bombay the num-
bers rapidly fell off. In 181 1 an official report returned the popula-
tion at 250,000 persons, and in 1816 at 124,406. In 1847, when the
fortunes of Surat reached their lowest ebb, the number of inhabi-
tants amounted to only 80,000. Thenceforward the city began to
retrieve its position. By 1851 the total had risen to 89,505; in
1872 it stood at 107,855; in 1881 at 109,844; in 1891 at 109,229;
and in 1901 at 119,306. It is now the third largest city in the
Presidency. The population in 1901 included 85,577 Hindus, 22,821
Muhammadans, 5,754 Parsis, and 4,671 Jains. The Parsis and high-
caste Hindus form the wealthy classes; the Musalmans are in
depressed circumstances, except the Bohras, many of whom are
prosperous traders, and whose head, called ' the MuUa of the Bohras,'
resides here. Fondness for pleasure and ostentation characterize all
classes and creeds in Surat alike. Caste feasts and processions are
more common and more costly than elsewhere. Fairs, held a few
miles away in the country, attract large crowds of gaily dressed men
and children in bright bullock-carts. The Parsis join largely in these
entertainments, besides holding their own old-fashioned feasts in their
public hall. The Bohras are famous for their hospitality and good
living. The extravagant habits engendered by former commercial
prosperity have survived the wealth on which they were founded.

Surat lies on a bend of the Tapti, where the river suddenly sweeps


westward towards its mouth. In the centre of its river-front rises the
castle, a mass of irregular fortifications, flanked at each corner by large
round towers, and presenting a picturesque appear-
ance when viewed from the water. Planned and
built in 1540 by Khudawand Khan, a Turkish soldier in the service
of the Gujarat kings, it remained a military fortress under both Mughal
and British rule till 1862, when the troops were withdrawn and the
buildings utilized as public otifices. ^\'ith the castle as its centre,
the city stretches in the arc of a circle for about a mile and a quarter
along the river bank. Southward, the public park with its tall trees
hides the houses in its rear ; while on the opjjositc bank, about a mile
up the river on the right shore, lies the ancient town of Rander,
now almost a suburb of Surat. Two lines of fortification, the inner and
the outer, once enclosed Surat ; and though the interior wall has nearly
disappeared, the moat which marks its former course still preserves
distinct the city and the suburbs. Within the city proper the space
is on the whole thickly peopled ; and the narrow but clean and well-
watered streets wind between rows of handsome houses, the residences
of high-caste Hindus and wealthy Parsis. The suburbs, on the other
hand, lie scattered among wide open spaces, once villa gardens, but
now cultivated as fields. The unmetalled lanes, hollowed many feet
deep, form watercourses in the rainy season, and stand thick in dust
during the rest of the year. The dwellings consist of huts of low-
caste Hindus or weavers' cottages. West of the city, the site of the
old military cantonment is now occupied by the police, whose parade
ground stretches along the river bank. Suburban villas, the property
of wealthy residents of the city, are springing up along the Dumas
and Varachha roads.

The annals of Surat city, under native rule, have been briefly given
in the article on Surat District. During the seventeenth and eigh-
teenth centuries Surat ranked as the chief export

rTi- «r, ■ r History,

and niiport centre of India. After the assumption 01

the entire government by the British in 1800, prosperity, which had
deserted the city towards the close of the eighteenth century, for
a time reappeared. But the steady transfer of trade to Bombay, com-
bined with the famine of 181 3 in Northern Gujarat, continued to
undermine its commercial importance; and by 1825 the trade had
sunk to the export of a little raw cotton to the rising capital of the
Presidency. In 1837 two calamities occurred in close succession,
which destroyed the greater part of the city and reduced almost all
its inhabitants to a state of poverty. For three days in the month
of April a fire raged through the very heart of Surat, laying 9,373
houses in ruins, and extending over nearly 10 miles of thoroughfare,
in both the city and the suburbs. No estimate can be given of the


total loss to property, but the houses alone represented an approximate
value of 45 lakhs. Towards the close of the rainy season in the same
year, the Tapti rose to the greatest height ever known, flooded almost
the whole city, and covered the surrounding country for miles like a
sea, entailing a further loss of about 27 lakhs. This second calamity
left the people almost helpless. Already, after the fire, many of the
most intelligent merchants, both Hindu and ParsI, no longer bound to
home by the ties of an establishment, had deserted Sural for Bombay.
In 1838 it remained 'but the shadow of what it had been, two-thirds to
three-fourths of the city having been annihilated.' P'rom 1840 onward,
however, affairs began to change for the better. Trade improved and
increased steadily, till in 1858 its position as the centre of railway
operations in Gujarat brought a new influx of wealth and importance.
The high prices which ruled during the American Civil War again
made Surat a wealthy city. The financial disasters of 1865-6 in
Bombay somewhat affected all Western India, but Surat nevertheless
preserved the greater part of its wealth. In 1869 the municipality
undertook a series of works to protect the city against floods. In 1883
Surat was again inundated, and damage caused to the extent of
20 lakhs. The loss of human life, however, was small. The city
suffered from another extensive fire in 1889. At the present day,
though the fall of prices has reduced the value of property, the well-
kept streets, the public buildings, and large private expenditure, stamp
the city, which has benefited by the construction of the Tapti Valley
Railway, with an unmistakable air of steady order and prosperity.

The English church, built in 1820 and consecrated by Bishop Heber on

April 17, 1825, stands upon the river bank, between the castle and the

custom-house, and has seats for about 100 persons.

Buildings and '^y^^ Portuguese or Roman Catholic chapel occupies
a site near the old Dutch factory. The Armenians
once had a large church, now in ruins. The Musalmans have several
mosques, of which four are handsome buildings. The Nav Saiyid
Sahib's mosque stands on the bank of the Gopi lake, an old dry
tank, once reckoned among the finest works in Gujarat. Beside the
mosque rise nine tombs in honour of nine warriors, whose graves were
miraculously discovered by a local Muhammadan saint. The Saiyid
Edroos mosque, with a minaret, which forms one of the most conspicu-
ous buildings in Surat, was built in 1639 by a rich merchant, in honour
of an ancestor of Shaikh Saiyid Husain Edroos, C.S.I., who died in
1882. The Mirza Sami mosque and tomb, ornamented with carving
and tracery, was built about 1540 by Khudawand Khan. The Parsis
have two chief fire-temples for their two subdivisions. The principal
Hindu shrines perished in the fire of 1837, but have since been rebuilt
by pious inhabitants. Gosavi Maharaja's temple, built in 1695, was


renewed after the fire at a cost of Rs. 1,50,000. Two shrines of
Hanuman, the monkey-god, are much respected by the people. Speci-
mens of excellent wood-carving are to be found on many of the older

The tombs of early European residents, including those of the Dutch,
and the more modern ones of the Mullas of the Bohras, form some of
the most interesting objects in Surat. Among the first named are
those of many of the English ' Chiefs of Surat.' On the right of the
entrance to the English cemetery is the handsome mausoleum of
Sir George Oxenden and his brother Christopher. It is a large two-
storeyed square building with columns at each angle ; in the two
eastern ones are staircases to the upper storey, over which is a skeleton
dome of masonry in the form of a Maltese cross rendered convex.
Christopher died on April 18, 1659; and Sir George, who in a
long Latin epitaph is styled ' Anglorum in India, Persia, Arabia,
Praeses, Insulae Bombayensis Gubemator,' died on July 14, 1669,
aged 50. The earliest tomb is that of Francis Breton, President of
Surat, who died on July 21, 1649. Among the many tombs with
curious inscriptions is one to ' Mary, the wife of Will. Andrew Price,
chief of the Affairs of Surat, &c.,' who, it is said, ' through the spotted
veil of the small-pox, rendered a pure and unspotted soul to God,'
April 13, 1 76 1, aetat. 23. The tombs have been carefully looked after
of late years. In the Dutch cemetery, which adjoins the English, there
are also some curious and handsome tombs. One in particular to
Baron Van Reede, Commissary-General of the United Netherlands
East India Company for India, who died on December 15, 1691, once
cost the Company Rs. 9,000 for repairs. Other buildings of historic
interest in Surat are the English and Portuguese factories, and the
house occupied by the Sadr Adalat before its transfer to Bombay.

The sea-borne trade of Surat has declined from a total estimated
value of 156 lakhs in i8oi to 30 lakhs in 1903-4 ; namely, imports
17I lakhs and exports 12^. The export trade is
markedly decreasing. The principal articles of export
are agricultural produce and cotton. The land-borne trade, however,
since the opening of railway communication with Bombay and the
interior, has increased considerably. The port of Surat used to be at
SuvALi, 1 2 miles west the city ; but the sea-borne trade is now carried
in small country craft which pass up the river to Surat. The station
of the Bombay, Baroda, and Central India Railway is outside the city,
surrounded by a rising suburb.

The organization of trade-guilds is highly developed in Surat. The
chief of these guilds, composed of the leading bankers and merchants,
is called the Mahdjan or banker-guild. Its funds, derived from fees on
cotton and on bills of exchange, are spent partly on animal hospitals


and partly on the temples of the Vallabhacharya sect. The title and

office of Nagarseth, or chief merchant of the city, hereditary in a

Srawak or Jain family, has for long been little more than a name.

Though including men of different castes and races, each class of

craftsmen has its trade-guild or panchayat^ with a headman or referee

in petty trade disputes. They have also a coTnmon purse, spending

their funds partly in charity and partly in entertainments. A favourite

device for raising money is for the men of the craft or trade to agree

to shut all their shops but one on a certain day. The right to keep

open this one shop is then put up to auction, and the amount bid

is credited to the guild fund. There is a considerable hand industry

in the spinning and weaving of cotton cloth, some of the very finest

textures in Gujarat being made here. Three mills have also been

opened in the city, one of these having commenced work as early as

1866. The nominal capital of the mills in 1904 was nearly 20 lakhs,

and there were 180 looms and 34,290 spindles at work, employing

1,288 persons daily.

The municipality was established in 1852. The receipts during the

ten years ending 1901 averaged 5 lakhs. In 1903-4 the income was

.... . Rs. 4,815,000, chiefly derived from octroi i.\\ lakhs),
Administration. ^ ^ ,^ , , , / , 1 , 1 > x 1 ,

tax on houses and land (nearly \ lakh), and other

taxes (i^ lakhs). The expenditure was 4^ lakhs, including general
administration and collection of taxes (Rs. 31,000), public safety
(Rs. 23,000), water and public health and conservancy (2 lakhs), and
public institutions (Rs, 25,000). The municipality has opened a
number of excellent roads, well lighted, paved, and watered. It has
constructed works for the protection of the city from floods, and for
lessening the risk of fire. Systems of drainage, conservancy, and public
markets have also been undertaken.

Two hospitals provide for the indigent poor ; and there is one such
institution for sick or worn-out animals. The clock-tower on the Delhi
road, 80 feet in height, was erected in 1871 at the expense of Khan
Bahadur BarjorjT MerwanjI Frazer. The Andrews Library is well
patronized. In 1903-4 there were 4 high schools with 1,315 boys,
and a mission high school with 56 girls. Of these schools, one is
a Government high school with accommodation for 500, established in
1842. There were also 4 middle schools and an industrial school,
with 412 and 88 pupils, respectively; 25 vernacular schools for
boys with 4,693 pupils, and 16 for girls with 1,659 pupils. There are
5 printing presses and 5 weekly newspapers. Besides the Collector's
and Judge's courts, the town contains a Small Cause court, two Subor-
dinate Judges' courts, a civil hospital, a hospital for women and
children, and a dispensary. The hospital is a handsome building
of two storeys with a clock-tower. In the municipal gardens stands


the Winchester Museum, which contains specimens of Surat silks and
embroidery, and a few samples of forest produce.

Suratgarh. — Head-quarters of a tahstl and nizCunat of the same
name in the State of Bikaner, Rajputana, situated in 29° 20' N. and
73° 54' E., on the left bank of the Ghaggar river, and on the Jodhpur-
Blkaner Railway, 113 miles north-by-north-east of Bikaner city, and
88 miles south-west of Bhatinda. Population (1901), 2,398. The
town is named after Maharaja Surat Singh (i 788-1 828), who is said to
have founded it about 1800. It possesses a fort, a post ofifice, a verna-
cular school attended by 62 boys, and a hospital with accommodation
for 7 in-patients. Two miles to the north-east are the ruins of Rang
Mahal, said to have been the capital of a Johiya Rajput chief; a step-
well made of bricks 2\ feet square has been found here. The fahsil
contains 126 villages, and was formerly called Sodhawati, as it was
part of the territory occupied by the Sodha Rajputs. They were, how-
ever, expelled by the Bhati Rajputs, and the majority of the population
are now Jats and Raths.

Surgana. — A petty Koli State situated in the north-west corner of
Nasik District, Bombay, with an estimated area of 360 square miles.
Like the Dangs, Surgana State is full of spurs of hills and waving
uplands, once covered with dense forest, now partly cleared and
stripped of most of their valuable timber. The chief forest trees are
teak, black-wood, khair, and ttvas. Minor forest products include
fruit, gums, honey, lac, and roots. Except in April and May the
climate is unhealthy, and in the hot season water is scarce and bad.

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