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English people allowed to trade through this port

The first sign of opposition to Portuguese influence on Surat waters was in August, 1608 when an English ship arrived at river Tapi and commander Captain Hawkins brought message of His Majesty for emperor Jehangir, who later allowed English people to trade through this port.


Years 1608 to 1615 witnessed many battles between English and Portuguese sailors for control over Surat waters. In 1624, first trade with Holland was negotiated through Surat with export cargo of Indigo 

Battles between English and Portuguese sailors

Export from Surat

During first half of 17th century (1608 to 1658), principal cargo of export from Surat was cloth, both silk and cotton. The cloth was used by all people from Cape of Good Hope to China. 

French arrived in Surat for the first time in 1620 A.D. and started international trade with a modest beginning. After Portuguese, English and Dutch, they became the fourth European community to settle and commence trading relations with this historically prosperous city. 

French arrived in Sura


Outbreak of great plague affected social life of the city very badly from A.D.1684 to 1690. 

Since centuries, Surat has been popular for gold based "Jari" (Yarn) business and weaving activities, in addition to providing an export outlet for agro based products from Magdalla port. It is known that Maharaja Shivaji who ruled western India in 17th century, attacked Surat about seven times for valuable booty.

Shivaji attacked Surat  seven times

Surat witnessed unprecedented floods

Surat witnessed unprecedented floods in the years 1822,1835,1837,1843 and 1849. Some of the floods were even named as "Mahajagat" (Ultra universal) floods.

Surat witnessed major fire out breaks in 1822,1837,1842 and 1848. The fire of 1837 (20th April) was visible upto 30 miles and it destroyed about 9,373 houses with value approximating to Rs.4.6 million at that time. 

Surat witnessed major fire

30,000 people participated in anti government agitation

In 1844, about 30,000 people participated in anti government agitation protesting against increase in salt levy by the Britishers.  

Surat also participated in anti government agitations in 1860 and 1878 for protesting against ruthless tax laws.

Protest against ruthless tax laws

Weekly publication of 'Gyan Sagar'

Poet Narmadashanker established association of democracy loving citizens in 1851/52 and started weekly publication of "Gyan Sagar".In 1851, missionaries started publication called "Peherejgir"under guidance of famous Shee Mahipatram. 

The municipality of Surat was established as long ago as 1852 and since then civic amenities like hospitals, public gardens,etc. have gradually been growing. 

Municipality of Surat was established

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