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Surat





India officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second most populous country, and the most populous liberal democracy in the world. India is a union of twenty-eight states and seven federally-governed union territories. New Delhi is the capital of India.
 
Surat is a port city in the Indian state of Gujarat and administrative headquarters of the Surat District. As of 2006, Surat and its metropolitan area had a population of approximately 3.9 million. It is the second largest city in Gujarat and ninth largest in India.
 
History - Local traditions fix the establishment of the modern city in the last years of the fifteenth century, and in 1514 the Portuguese traveller Duarte Barbosa described it as an important seaport, frequented by many ships from Malabar and all parts of the world. There still is an irregular picturesque fortress on the banks of the river built in 1540. Surat eclipsed Cambay as the major port of western India, as Cambay's harbour had begun to silt up by the end of fifteenth century. Subsequently during the reigns of Mughal emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan it rose to be the chief commercial city of India. An Imperial mint was established at Surat during that time. As the major port on the western seaboard of that time, Surat also served as the sailing port for the Hajj to Mecca.
 
In 1992, violent riots took place between Hindus and Muslims, the first and worst of their kind in the modern history of Surat. In 1994, a combination of heavy rains and blocked drains led to water logging in the city. A number of dead street animals and public waste were not removed in time and a plague epidemic spread through the city. This brought the world's attention to the city as evinced by the sanctions on travel and goods exchange put up by a number of countries.

Surat is at the heart of India's thriving diamond-polishing industry, which in 2005 cut 92 percent of the world's diamond pieces and earned India 8 billion dollars in exports. Surat has many sports facilities, the majority of them dedicated to cricket. It can also be considered as the preeminent, historical and potential tourism destination that enjoys a very positive reputation with worldwide travelers to become one of the most visited places.

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