Surat, The City That Cuts 90% Of The World’s Diamonds
Surat is the second-largest city in the Gujarat province of India and is reknown for being the center of more diamond manufacturing activity than any other place in the world. In fact, 90% of all diamond cutting and polishing on the planet takes place in Surat. Another industry that contributes to Surat’s economy is man-made fabric production; 40% of India’s total is manufactured in the city. Between 2001 and 2008 Surat had annual gross domestic product increases of 11.5%, the most of any Indian city.
The city itself has mushroom exponentially in recent years, making it the fourth-fastest-growing city in the world according to the think tank City Mayors Foundation. From a population of 2.1 million in 2001, it more than doubled this figure in just a decade to reach 4.6 million by 2011. About 87% of Suratis profess to be Hindus, while Muslims account for about 7% of the population and Jains make up nearly 5%.
Surat lies on the Tapti river, close to where it empties out into the Gulf of Cambay and the Arabian Sea. The city experiences monsoons between June and September, and in 1994 the town was severely flooded.