district miles tapti
SURAT, a district of British India, in the Guzerat division of Bombay presidency, lying between 20° 15' and 21° 28' N. lat. and 72° 38' and 73° 30' E. long. It has an area of 1662 square miles, and is bounded on the N. by Broach district and the native state of Baroda ; on the E. by the states of Rajpipla, the Gaikwar Bansda, and Dharampur ; on the S. by Thana district and the Portuguese territory of Daman ; and on the W. by the Arabian Sea. It has a coast-line of 80 miles, consisting of a barren stretch of sand drift and salt marsh ; behind that is a rich highly cultivated plain, nearly 60 miles in breadth at the embouchure of the Tapti, but narrowing to only 15 miles in the southern part; and on the north-east are the wild hills and jungle of the Dangs. The only important rivers are the Tapti and the Kim, the former of which is ordinarily navigable for native craft of from 18 to 36 tons. The district contains a large number of tanks for irrigation ; and a canal is projected from the Tapti with head works at Kamlapur, 35 miles from Surat. The fauna of the district consists of a few tigers, stragglers from the jungles of Bansda and Dharampm., besides leopards, bears, wild boars, wolves, hymnas, spotted deer, and antelopes. The climate of Surat varies with the distance from the sea. Near the coast, under the influence of the sea-breeze, an equable temperature prevails, but 8 to 11 miles inland the breeze ceases to blow. The coast also possesses a much lighter rainfall than the interior, the annual average ranging from 30 inches in Olpad to 72 in Chikhli, while at Surat city the average is 46 inches. The Bombay, Baroda, and Central India Railway runs through the district from north to south. A magnificent iron-girder bridge crosses the Tapti at Surat city.
The census of 1881 returned the population of Surat at 614,198 (306,015 males, 308,183 females), of whom Hindus numbered 415,031, There 55,547, Parsis 12,593, and aboriginals 118,664. rhere are only two towns in the district with a population exceeding 5000, - namely, SunAr (q.v.) and Bulsar (13,229). The cultivated area in 1884-85 was returned at 726,583 acres, and the area available for cultivation at 81,663. The total area of crops in 188485 was 550,233 acres, including 66,096 twice cropped. Rice occupied 103,972 acres, wheat 38,617, and fair 108,644; cotton is also largely cultivated, and its culture is greatly increasing. Grain, cotton, timber, oil, sugar and molasses, and piece goods are the chief articles of export. Almost the whole female population is engaged in spinning cotton thread, and the weaving of cotton cloth in hand looms is carried on in the chief towns ; silk is also manufactured in considerable quantities, as well as brocades and embroidery. In 1884-85 the revenue of the district amounted to £378,061, of which the land-tax contributed £268,644. Surat was one of the earliest parts of India brought into close relations with European countries, and its history merges almost entirely into that of its capital, long the greatest maritime city of the peninsula. By all arrangement made in 1799 the English were placed in possession of Surat city and the town of Raeder ; subsequent cessions under the treaties of Bassein (1802) and Poona (1817), together with the lapse of the Mandvi state in 1839, brought the district into its present shape. Since the introduction of British rule the district has remained comparatively tranquil ; and even during the period of the mutiny peace was not disturbed, owing in a great measure to the steadfast loyalty of its leading Mohammedan families.