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Surat (sŏˈrət, sŏrătˈ) [key], city (1991 pop. 1,518,950), Gujarat state, W central India, on the Gulf of Khambat. British and Dutch trading posts were established there in the early 17th cent. Surat became one of India's most populous cities and busiest ports during the 17th cent.; but in 1664 it was sacked by the Marathas and declined in importance. The city is a district administrative center, a small port, and a railroad junction, but is most important as the world's largest diamond cutting and polishing center. Traditional cottage industries have been revived, and the city produces noted silks, brocades, and gold and silver goods. There are textile mills, cotton gins, and engineering works. Surat is also the educational and cultural center of S Gujarat.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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