In spite of being situated besides one of the seven sacred rivers Tapi (also known as Tapti), this arc-shaped city is not known so much as a pilgrimage town rather recognized as one of the prosperous centre’s of textile and diamond trade.
We visited the following temples besides the ISKCON temple during our stay in Surat.
One of the more popular temples of Surat, Ambika Niketan is located in Athwa Lines. A 2 storeyed structure, this temple overlooks the sacred river Tapi flowing nearby.
[ River Tapi flowing by ]
On the first floor is the main temple which was built in 1969 by a disciple, Bharati Maiya. We reached here during the Sandhya Arti (Evening prayer).
[ People attending the Evening prayer ]
The main deity here is Ashtbhuja (Eight hands) Goddess Amba - a form of shakti. Goddess Amba, seated on her vehicle - the lion, draped in a beautiful red saree, carrying her weapon – the trishul in her hand with a divine smile on her radiant face was a sight to behold. The temple also has mini shrines dedicated to Lord Ram, Sita, Laxmi Narayan and Shiva.
Located just besides the ISKCON Temple, according to the locals, the Ram Temple is quite an old temple. The main presiding deity here is Lord Ram. There are several other shrines dedicated to various other Hindu Gods and Goddess in the premises. I tried to find out more about it on the internet but was unable to trace anything. However, judging from the presence of a large number of locals, one thing is for sure - this temple is locally quite famous!