Surat was the Mughal Empire's most important port city, and is where the British gained their first foothold along the Western Coast of India. For  centuries, Surat  has been  known  as  a  center  of  trade  and  textiles. It  was  a major  port  during  the Mughal  period,  and  all powers  including  the Portuguese  vied  for  power  of  the port. From  the  16th-19th  century,  the British, French, Portuguese  and Dutch  established  factories  in Surat. Today, Surat  is  known  for  itís  textiles,  with  thousands  of  weavers  engrossed  in making  cotton,  synthetic,  silk  and  art  silk  textiles.


Image: The City of Surat on the West Coast of India along the River Tapi. 17th century engraving.


Short Bibliography:

Chavda, V. K., ed. Studies in Trade and Urbanisation in Western India. Baroda: Department of History, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, 1985.

Das Gupta, Ashin. Indian Merchants and the Decline of Surat c. 1700-1750. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1979.

Das Gupta, Ashin and M. N. Pearson, eds. India and the Indian Ocean, 1500-1800. Calcutta: Oxford University Press, 1987.

Gokhale, Balkrishna Govind. Surat in the seventeenth century: a study of urban history in pre-modern India. London: Curzon Press, 1979.

Gopal, Surendra. Commerce and Crafts in Gujarat, 16th and 17th Centuries: A Study in the Impact of European Expansion on Precapitalist Economy. New Delhi: People's Publishing House, 1975.

Haynes, Douglas E. Rhetoric and ritual in colonial India : the shaping of a public culture in Surat City, 1852-1928. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991.

Mitra, Pranab Kumar. Port towns in medieval India, 1605 A.D.-1707 A.D. : a case of Surat. Calcutta: Punthi-Pustak, 1995.

Pearson, M. N. Merchants and Rulers in Gujarat: the response to the Portuguese in the Sixteenth Century. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976.

Rawlinson, H. G. British beginnings in Western India, 1579-1657: an account of the early days of the British factory of Surat. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1920.

Singh, O. P. Surat and its trade in the second half of the 17th century. Delhi: Publication Division, University of Delhi, 1976.

Subramanian, Lakshmi. Indigenous Capital and Imperial Expansion: Bombay, Surat, and the West Coast. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Web Resources

Ancient ports of Gujarat (GIS Development)

Surat City