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Legacy Of Surat : Group Housingicon

Surat was predominantly a trading city. Hence, there was always a requirement of skilled workers and labourers, which translated in to an influx of muigrants. In the busy months of June-October, the city became so crowded that lodging was scarcely to be found. To fulfil this requirement, there evolved a typology to house the trading community irrespective of social status or community. This building type which served as residential quarters for skilled and unskilled labourers was concentrated along the trade centres. This is very similar to the chawl building type found in Bombay. The lodging or boarding house also finds mention in old literature. People from the surrounding areas who had to regularly visit Surat on business preferred to stay at these lodging and boarding houses. Sometimes farmers would stay here for work for a few months and go back to harvest and sow their fields. These were usually six or seven single rooms, placed linearly along a corridor with shared toilets. These coulkd be single storeyed or could rise to a maximum of three storeys.

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