Surat, a walled town of British India, in the northern division of Bombay, in a collectorate of the same name (pop. in 1872. 554,000), on the left bank of the river Taptee, 20 m. from its mouth in the gulf of Cambay, and 150 m. N. of Bombay; pop. about 70,000. It contains an English church, several handsome mosques and temples, numerous Hindoo and other schools, and the Banian hospital, founded and richly endowed by the Jains for the treatment and cure of diseased animals. The city is an organized municipality, with a revenue of nearly £50,000. - Surat is of great antiquity, and is mentioned in the ancient Sanskrit poem, the Ramayana. When the Mohammedans ruled Hindostan it was their chief port of embarkation on their pilgrimage to Mecca. The Portuguese sacked Surat in 1530. In 1613 the English obtained commercial privileges from the emperor Jehanghir, and established a factory here which became their chief station on the W. coast of India, and remained so till 1686, when it was removed to Bombay. In 1796 the population was estimated at 600,000, and it had then greatly declined in consequence of the loss of its trade.
In 1800 the administration of the government was permanently assumed by the British.