SURATH, more properly Sorath, and Soreth, n.p. This name is the legitimate modern form and representative of the ancient Indian Saurashtra and Greek Syrastrene, names which applied to w hat we now call the Kattywar Peninsula, but especially to the fertile plains on the sea-coast. [“Suráshtra, the land of the Sus, afterwards Sanskritized into Sauráshtra the Goodly Land, preserves its name in Sorath the southern part of Káthiáváda. The name appears as Suráshtra in the Mahábhárata and Pánini’s Ganapátha, in Rudradáman’s (A.D. 150) and Skandagupta’s (A.D. 456) Girnár inscriptions, and in several Valabhi copper-plates. Its Prákrit form appears as Suratha in the Násik inscription of Gotamiputra (A.D. 150) and in later Prákrit as Suraththa in the Tirthakalpa of Jinapra-bhásuri of the 13th or 14th century. Its earliest foreign mention is perhaps Strabo’s Saraostus and Pliny’s Oratura” (Bombay Gazetteer, i. pt. i. 6)]. The remarkable discovery of one of the great inscriptions of Asoka (B.C. 250) on a rock at Girnar, near Junagarh in Saurashtra, shows that the dominion of that great sovereign, whose capital was at Pataliputra ( [Greek Text] IIalimboqra) or Patna, extended to this distant shore. The application of the modern form Surath or Sorath has varied in extent. It is now the name of one of the four prants or districts into which the peninsula is divided for political purposes, each of these prants containing a number of small States, and being partly managed, partly controlled by a Political Assistant. Sorath occupies the south-western portion, embracing an area of 5,220 sq. miles.

c. A.D. 80–90.—“ [Greek Text] TauthV ta men mesogeia th Skuqia sunorizontaAbiria kaleitai, ta de paraqalassia Surastrhnh.”—Periplus, § 41.

c. 150.—

“ [Greek Text] SurastrhnhV,* * *
Bardaxhma poliV
Surastra kwmh
Monoglwsson emporion…”

Ptolemy, VII. i. 2–3.

„ “ [Greek Text] IIalin h men para to loipon meroV touIndou pasa kaleitai koinwV men … ’ [Greek Text] Indoskuqia

[Greek Text] kai h peri ton Kanqi kolpon … [Greek Text] Surastrhnh.”—Ibid. 55.

c. 545.—“ ’ [Greek Text] Eisin oun ta lampra emporia thVIndikhV tauta, Sindou, ’Orroqa, Kalliana, Sibwr, h Male, pente emporia ecousa ballonta to peperi.”—Cosmas, lib. xi. These names may be interpreted as Sind, Sorath, Calyan, Choul (?), Malabar.

c. 640.—“En quittant le royaume de Fala-pi (Vallabhi), il fit 500 li à l’ouest, et arriva au royaume de Sou-la-tch’a (Sourâchtra).…Comme ce royaume se trouve sur le chemin de la mer occidentale, tous les habitans profitent des avantages qu’offre la mer; ils se livrent au négoce, et à un commerce d’échange.”—Hiouen-Thsang, in Pèl. Bouddh., iii. 164–165.

1516.—“Passing this city and following the sea-coast, you come to another place which has also a good port, and is called Çurati Mangalor,1 and here, as at the other, put in many vessels of Malabar for horses, grain, cloths, and cottons, and for vegetables and other goods prized in India, and they bring hither coco-nuts, Jagara (Jaggery), which is sugar that they make drink of, emery, wax, cardamoms, and every other kind of spice, a trade in which great gain is made in a short time.”—Barbosa, in Ramusio, i. f. 296.

1573.—See quotation of this date under preceding article, in which both the names Surat and Surath, occur.

1584.—“After his second defeat Muzaffar Gujarátí retreated by way of Champánír, Bírpúr, and Jhaláwar, to the country of Súrath, and rested at the town of Gondal, 12 kos from the fort of Junágarh.…He gave a lac of Mahmúdís and a jewelled dagger to Amín Khán Ghorí, ruler of Súrath, and so won his support.”—Tabakat-i-Akbarí, in Elliot, v. 437–438.

c. 1590.—“Sircar Surat (Surath) was formerly an independent territory; the chief was of the Ghelolo tribe, and commanded 50,000 cavalry, and 100,000 infantry. Its length from the port of Ghogeh (Gogo) to the port of Aramroy (Aramrai) measures 125 cose; and the breadth from Sindehar (Sirdhar), to the port of Diu, is a distance of 72 cose.”—Ayeen, by Gladwin, ii. 73; [ed. Jarrett, ii. 243].

1616.—“7 Soret, the chief city, is called Janagar; it is but a little Province, yet very rich; it lyes upon Guzarat, it hath the Ocean to the South.”—Terry, ed. 1665, p. 354.

SURKUNDA, s. Hind. sarkanda, [Skt. sara, ‘reed-grass,’ kanda, ‘joint, section’]. The name of a very tall reed-grass, Saccharum Sara, Roxb., perhaps also applied to Saccharum procerum, Roxb. These grasses are often tall enough in the riverine plains of Eastern Bengal greatly to overtop a tall man standing in a howda on the back of a tall elephant. It is from the upper part of the flower-bearing stalk of surkunda that sirky (q.v.) is derived. A most intelligent visitor to India was led into a curious mistake about the

  By PanEris using Melati.

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