Port of Magdalla
Review and History

The Port of Magdalla is a lighterage port (that is, goods are carried from a vessel to a quay by a barge or other small vessel). Located on the southern banks of the Tapi river, the Port of Magdalla is about 16 kilometers upstream from the Gulf of Khambhat off the Arabian Sea in western India. The Port of Magdalla‘s deep-water anchorage is about 10 nautical miles southwest from the Port of Magdalla, and bulk carrier and tanker lighterage operations take place at the deep-water anchorage, where the draught is 10-15 meters.

The Port of Magdalla is almost 10 kilometers west-southwest of the city center of Surat in the state of Gujarat in west-central India. Surat is a center for the ancient craft of manufacturing fine cloth and gold and silver objects. The city of Surat is home to about 2.4 million people.

Port History

The City of Surat was probably founded by Brahman Gopi who built a reservoir there in 1516. Duarte Barbosa from Portugal noted the port’s important role as early as 1514. Surat became a trade center for India after the 17th Century, when it exported gold and cloth, and it supported busy ship-building and textile manufacturers.

In 1612, the first British trading post was established at Surat. The city fell into decline during the 18th Century. While both the Dutch and the British claimed the area, the British were in control by 1800. By the middle of the 19th Century, the city was stagnant, home to about 80 thousand people. It did not begin to prosper again until the railways arrived.

In the early 1990s, conflict between Muslims and Hindus brought riots to Surat. In 1994, flooding ended in an epidemic of plague. These events led to efforts to clean the city up I the late 1990s, and it was soon reported to be the “second-cleanest city in India.”

Today, the City of Surat is famous for diamonds, textiles, and chemicals. In 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported that Surat’s diamond industry cut and polished 80% of the world’s finished diamonds. The recent economic problems in the United States and Europe threaten Surat’s diamond industry, and many workers have been laid off recently. A global economic slowdown represents significant problems to Surat’s economic health.

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