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Gujarat
ગુજરાત

Seal
Gandhinagar
Location of Gujarat in India
Coordinates 23°13′00″N 72°41′00″E / 23.2167°N 72.6833°E / 23.2167; 72.6833
Country  India
District(s) 26
Established 1 May 1960
Capital Gandhinagar
Largest city Ahmedabad
Governor Dr. Kamla Beniwal
Chief Minister Narendra Modi
Legislature (seats) Unicameral (182)
Official languages Gujarati
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
Area 196024 km2 (75685 sq mi)
ISO 3166-2 IN-GJ
Website www.gujaratindia.com

Gujarat (Gujarati: ગુજરાત Gujǎrāt, [ɡudʒ(ə)ɾat]( listen)) is the westernmost state in India and its capital is Gandhinagar. Its largest city is Ahmedabad. Gujarat is home to the Gujarati speaking people of India. The state encompasses major sites of the Indus Valley Civilization such as Lothal and Dholavira. Gujarat played an important role in the economic history of India throughout the history of India[1]. It is home to major ports in India's ancient and modern history, leading it to become one of the main trade and commerce center of India. Lothal, one of the world's first ports, is located in Gujarat. Also, Mahatma Gandhi, India's father of the nation, was Gujarati and led the Indian Independence Movement against the British,[2] Today also, Gujarat has one of the fastest growing economies in India[3].

Contents

History

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Origin

Modern-day Gujarat is derived from Gurjaratra that is the land protected or ruled by the Gurjars, or from Gurjar-rashtra, the Gujjar nation.[4][5][6] The origins of the Gujjars are uncertain. The Gujjar clan appeared in northern India about the time of the Huna invasions of northern India. Some scholars, such as V. A. Smith, believed that the Gujjars were foreign immigrants, possibly a branch of Hephthalites ("White Huns"), however others, such as K.M.Munshi, stated them as Indian. The name of the tribe was Sanskritized to "Gurjara" .[7]

Ancient history

Ancient Lothal as envisaged by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Historically, the present-day state of Gujarat has been one of the main centers of the Indus Valley Civilization. It contains major ancient metropolitan cities from the Indus Valley such as Lothal, Dholavira, and Gola Dhoro. The ancient city of Lothal is the site of the India's first port. Also, Dholavira, the ancient city, is one of the largest and most prominent archaeological sites in India, belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization. The most recent discovery was Gola Dhoro. All together, about 50 Indus Valley settlement ruins were discovered in Gujarat.[8]

The ancient history of Gujarat was enriched by their commercial activities. There is a clear historical evidence of trade and commerce ties with Sumer in the Persian Gulf during the time period of 1000 to 750 BC.[8] Later Gujarat was settled by the Aryans.

There was a succession of Hindu kingdoms including the era of the Gupta dynasty. Afterwards the region was ruled by the Maitrakas and then the‎ Solankis. The 9th century history of Gujarat saw the emergence of the Muslims in the political arena of the state. The first Muslim conqueror was Mahmud of Ghazna whose conquest of Somnath effectively ended the rule of the Solankis.[8]

1297 CE – 1614 CE

From 1297 to 1300, Allauddin Khilji, Sultan of Delhi, destroyed Anhilwara and incorporated Gujarat into the Delhi Sultanate. After Timur's sacking of Delhi at the end of the fourteenth century weakened the Sultanate, Gujarat's Muslim governor Zafar Khan Muzaffar asserted his independence, and his son, Sultan Ahmed Shah (ruled 1411 to 1442), restructured Ahmedabad as the capital. Cambay eclipsed Bharuch as Gujarat's most important trade port. The Sultanate of Gujarat remained independent until 1576, when the Mughal emperor Akbar conquered it and annexed it to the Mughal Empire. The port of Surat become the prominent and main port of India during Mughal rule. Gujarat remained a province of the Mughal empire until the Marathas sacked eastern and central Gujarat in the eighteenth century; Western Gujarat (Kathiawar and Kutch) were divided among numerous local rulers.

Bombay Presidency in 1909, northern portion
Bombay Presidency in 1909, southern portion

1614 CE – 1947 CE

Portugal was the first European power to arrive in Gujarat, acquiring several enclaves along the Gujarati coast, including Daman and Diu as well as Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The British East India Company established a factory in Surat in 1614, which formed their first base in India, but it was eclipsed by Bombay after the British acquired it from Portugal in 1668. The Company wrested control of much of Gujarat from the Marathas during the Second Anglo-Maratha War. Many local rulers, notably the Maratha Gaekwads of Baroda (Vadodara), made a separate peace with the British and acknowledged British sovereignty in return for retaining local self-rule. Gujarat was placed under the political authority of the Bombay Presidency, with the exception of Baroda state, which had a direct relationship with the Governor-General of India. From 1818 to 1947, most of present-day Gujarat, including Kathiawar, Kutch, and northern and eastern Gujarat were divided into hundreds of princely states, but several districts in central and southern Gujarat, namely Ahmedabad, Broach (Bharuch), Kaira, Panch Mahals, and Surat, were ruled directly by British officials.

Indian independence movement

See also: Freedom fighters from Gujarat
Mahadev Desai (left) reading out a letter to Mahatma Gandhi from the viceroy at Birla House, Bombay, 7 April 1939.

Leaders like Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Morarji Desai, K.M. Munshi, Narhari Parikh, Mahadev Desai, Mohanlal Pandya, Bhulabhai Desai and Ravi Shankar Vyas all hailed from Gujarat. As well, Mohammed Ali Jinnah's, Pakistan's first Governor-General, father was from an area which later became Gujarat. Gujarat was also the site of some of the most popular revolts, including the Satyagrahas in Kheda, Bardoli, Borsad and the Salt Satyagraha.

Post independence

After Indian independence and the partition of India in 1947, the new Indian government grouped the former princely states of Gujarat into three larger units; Saurashtra, which included the former princely states on the Kathiawad peninsula, Kutch, and Bombay state, which included the former British districts of Bombay Presidency together with most of Baroda state and the other former princely states of eastern Gujarat. In 1956, Bombay state was enlarged to include Kutch, Saurashtra, and parts of Hyderabad state and Madhya Pradesh in central India. The new state had a mostly Gujarati-speaking north and a Marathi-speaking south. Agitation by both Gujarati and Marathi nationalists for their own states led to the split of Bombay state on linguistic lines; on 1 May 1960, it became the new states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. The first capital of Gujarat was Ahmedabad; the capital was moved to Gandhinagar in 1970.

Geography

Geography of Gujarat. Courtesy: NASA Earth Observatory

Gujarat borders with Pakistan to the north-west, bounded by the Arabian Sea to the southwest, the state of Rajasthan to the northeast, Madhya Pradesh to the east, and by Maharashtra, Union territories of Diu, Daman, Dadra and Nagar Haveli to the south. Historically, the North was known as Anarta, the Kathiawad peninsula, "Saurastra", and the South as "Lata".[9] Gujarat was also known as Pratichya and Varuna.[10] The Arabian Sea makes up the state's western coast. The capital, Gandhinagar is a planned city. Gujarat has an area of 75,686 sq mi (196,077 km²).

Demographics

The population of the Gujarat State was 50,671,017 as per the 2001 census data. The density of population is 258 persons per km², a lower density compared to other states of the country.

Its official and primary language is Gujarati. About 89.1% of the population of Gujarat are Hindu.[12] Muslims account for 9.1%, Jain 1.0% and Sikh 0.1% of the population.[12] . Amongst Hindus, the deity of Krishna is famously worshiped in His form of Shrinathji throughout Gujarat.

71% of Hindus in Gujarat speak Gujarati while the other 29% speak Hindi. Almost 88% of the Muslims speak Gujarati while the other 12% speak Urdu. Almost all of the Jains speak Gujarati (a few speak Marwari as well). Parsi Zoroastrians also speak Gujarati as their native language. Marathi is spoken by a large number of people in Vadodara and Surat.

Besides Gujarati, the Kutchi language is widely spoken in the Kutch District.

Gujarat, as a heavily industrialized state of India, attracts lots of outsiders from various parts of India.

Economy

Gandhinagar, the Capital of Gujarat State

Gujarat has some of the largest businesses in India. Major agricultural produce of the state include cotton, groundnuts (peanuts), dates, sugar cane, milk and milk products. Industrial products include cement and petrol.

  • 39% of India's industrial output
  • 10% of its mineral production
  • 80% of salt production
  • 20% of India's exports
  • 25% of its textile production
  • 40% of India's pharmaceutical products
  • 67% of petrochemical production
  • Longest shoreline — 1,670 kilometres (1,040 mi)

The world's largest shipbreaking yard is in Gujarat near Bhavnagar at Alang. Reliance Petroleum Limited, one of the group companies of Reliance Industries Limited founded by Dhirubhai Ambani, operates the oil refinery at Jamnagar, which is the world's largest grass-roots refineries. The company has also planned another SEZ (special economic zone) in Jamnagar.

Gujarat ranks first nationwide in gas-based thermal electricity generation with national market share of over 8% and second nationwide in nuclear electricity generation with national market share of over 1%.

Over 20% of the S&P CNX 500 conglomerates have corporate offices in Gujarat.

As per RBI report, in year 2006–07, 26% out of total bank finance in India was in Gujarat.

Industrial growth

Gujarat's major cities include Ahmedabad, Surat, Baroda(Vadodara) and Rajkot. Surat is the fastest growing city[citation needed] and Ahmedabad is the third fastest growing city in India[citation needed]. Major resources produced by the state include cotton, peanuts, dates, sugarcane, and petrol. The state is rich in calcite, gypsum, manganese, lignite, bauxite, limestone, agate, feldspar and quartz sand, and successful mining of these minerals is done in their specified areas. Gujarat produces about 90% of India’s required amount of Soda Ash and gives the country about 66% of its national requirement of salt. It is one of India's most prosperous states, having a per-capita GDP significantly above India's average. Kalol Khambat and Ankaleshwar are today known for their oil and natural gas production. Dhuvaran has a thermal power station, which uses coal, oil and gas. The Tarapur nuclear station in Maharashtra supplies the main power. Also, on the Gulf of Khambat, 50 kilometres (31 mi) southeast of Bhavnagar, is the Alang Ship Recycling Yard (the world's largest). General Motors produces the Astra car at Halol near Vadodara. Jalalpur is a large town of Gujarat, where several small and large textile industrial units have been established. Surat, a city by the Gulf of Khambat, is a hub of the global diamond trade. In 2003, 92% of the world's diamonds were cut and polished in Surat.[13]

During the period of 1960–90, Gujarat established itself as a leader in various industrial sectors including textiles, engineering, chemicals, petrochemicals, drugs and pharmaceuticals, dairy, cement and ceramics, and gems and jewellery, amongst others. A post-liberalization period saw Gujarat's State Domestic Product (SDP) rising at an average growth rate of 14% per annum in real terms (from 1994–2002). Gujarat achieved as much as 35% of augmentation in its power generation capacity during the periods 1995–96 and 2000–01. The producers (IPPs) have contributed significantly in this addition. Gujarat is one of the first few states in India to have encouraged private sector investment, some of which are already in operation. In addition, the liquid cargo (chemicals) handling port at Dahej is also set up in joint sector and made operational. At an investor's summit entitled "Vibrant Gujarat," arranged between January 10, 2007 to January 13, 2007, at Science City, Ahmedabad, the state government signed 104 Memoranda of Understandings for Special Economic Zones worth a total of Rs 2.5 lakh crore.[14] However, most of the investment was from domestic industry.[15] In the fourth Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors' Summit held at Science City, Ahmedabad, in January 2009, there were 600 foreign delegates. In all, 8668 MOUs worth Rs 12.5 lakh cr were signed, estimated to create 25 lakh new job opportunities in the state.[16]

Agriculture

Gujarat is the main producer of tobacco, cotton, and groundnuts in India. Other major food crops produced are rice, wheat, jowar, bajra, maize, Tur, and gram. Gujarat has an agricultural economy; the total crop area amounts to more than one-half of the total land area.[17]

Animal husbandry and dairying have played a vital role in the rural economy of Gujarat. Dairy farming, primarily concerned with milk production, functions on a cooperative basis and has more than a million members. Gujarat is the largest producer of milk in India. Amul milk co-operative federation products are well known all over India, and it is Asia's biggest dairy[18]. Among livestock raised are buffalo and other cattle, sheep, and goats. As per the results of livestock census 1997, there were 209.70 lakh livestock in Gujarat State. As per the estimates of the survey of major livestock products, during the year 2002–03, the Gujarat produced 6.09 million tonnes of milk, 385 million eggs and 2.71 million kg of wool. Gujarat also contributes inputs to industries like textiles, oil, and soap.

Government and politics

Gujarat state symbols
Animal Asiatic lion
Bird Greater flamingo
Dance Garba
Flower galgota
Language Gujarati
Song Jai Jai Garavi Gujarat
Sport
Tree mango (amba )

Gujarat is governed by a Legislative Assembly of 182 members. Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) are elected on the basis of adult suffrage from one of 182 constituencies, of which 13 are reserved for scheduled castes and 26 for scheduled tribes. The term of office for a member of the Legislative Assembly is five years. The Legislative Assembly elects a speaker who presides over the meetings of the legislature. A governor is appointed by the President of India, and is to address the state legislature after every general election and the commencement of each year's first session of the Legislative Assembly. The leader of the majority party or coalition in the legislature (Chief Minister) or his or her designee acts as the Leader of the Legislative Assembly. The administration of the state is led by the Chief Minister.

After gaining independence in 1947, the Indian National Congress party (INC) ruled the Bombay state (which included present-day Gujarat and Maharashtra). Congress continued to govern Gujarat after the state's creation in 1960. During and after India's State of Emergency of 1975–1977, public support for the Congress Party eroded, but it continued to hold government until 1995. In the 1995 Assembly elections, the Congress lost to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Keshubhai Patel came to power. His government lasted only two years. The fall of that government was provoked by a split in the BJP led by Shankersinh Vaghela, who has won most of the subsequent polls. In 2001, following the loss of two assembly seats in by-elections, Keshubhai Patel resigned and yielded power to Narendra Modi. The BJP retained a majority in the 2002 election, and Narendra Modi has since served as Chief Minister of the state. On 1 June 2007, Narendra Modi became the longest serving Chief Minister of Gujarat.[19][20] On December 23, 2007, the BJP won the state elections in Gujarat and Narendra Modi became the chief minister for the third time in a row.

Revenues of government

This is a chart of trend of own tax revenues (excluding the shares from Union tax pool) of the Government of Gujarat assessed by the Finance Commissions from time to time with figures in millions of Indian rupees.

Year Own tax revenues
2000 104,818
2005 138,964

Districts

Districts of Gujarat

On 1960-05-01, Gujarat was created out of the 17 northern districts of former State of Bombay. These districts were further subdivided later on. There are 26 administrative districts in the state (as of 2007).

  1. Ahmedabad
  2. Amreli
  3. Anand
  4. Banaskantha
  5. Bharuch
  6. Bhavnagar
  7. Dahod
  1. Dang
  2. Gandhinagar
  3. Jamnagar
  4. Junagadh
  5. Kheda
  6. Kutch
  7. Mehsana
  1. Narmada
  2. Navsari
  3. Panchmahal
  4. Patan
  5. Porbandar
  6. Rajkot
  7. Sabarkantha
  1. Surat
  2. Surendranagar
  3. Tapi
  4. Vadodara
  5. Valsad

Education

Gujarat has 13 universities and four agricultural universities. National Institute of Technology at Surat. Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad, National Institute of Design, at Ahmedabad.

GSHSEB

The Gujarat Secondary & Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) was constituted in 1972, following the enactment of the Gujarat Secondary Education Act 1972. Its Chairman and Deputy Chairman are appointed by the State Government. It has 16 ex officio members, and 44 other members drawn from academic organizations, legislative bodies and civil society. Various Committees with specific responsibilities function under the Board, such as the Executive Committee, Examination Committee, Finance Committee, Education Committee, and Magazine Advisory Committee.

GSHSEB provides the State Government guidance about the policies governing secondary education, its development and qualitative enhancement. In an overview, its duties are:

  • Preparing the curricula & syllabi
  • Registering new Secondary schools and monitoring their performance on a continual basis
  • Providing developmental guidance
  • Organising training for teachers and principals-up measures (for instance, to integrate Gujarat's students with the Information Technology-enabled global village, the Board has introduced Computer Studies among regular curricula).

Engineering institutes

NIT, Surat
  1. National Institute of Technology in Surat
  2. Faculty of Technology and Engineering, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara
  3. Ahmedabad Institute Of Technology, Ahmedabad
  4. L D College of Engineering, Ahmedabad
  5. Lukhdhirji Engineering College, Morbi
  6. Government Engineering College, Patan
  7. Government Engineering College, Bhuj
  8. Vishwakarma Government Engineering College, Gandhinagar
  9. Nirma University of Science and Technology, Ahmedabad
  10. C.U.Shah college of engineering and technology, Surendranagar
  11. Sankalchand Patel College of Engineering, Visnagar
  12. Gandhinagar Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar
  13. U. V. Patel College of Engineering[21]
  14. L.C.Institute of Technology, Bhandu, Mehsana
  15. V. V. P. Engineering College, Rajkot
  16. Babaria Institute of Technology, Varnama
  17. Atmiya Institute of Technology & Science
  18. L.D.R.P Institute of Engineering & Technology, Gandhinagar
  19. A.D. Patel Institute of Technology, New Vallabh Vidhyanagar, Gujarat
  20. Government Engineering College,Modasa
  21. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Institute of Technology, Vasad
  22. Dharamsinh Desai Institute of Technology, Nadiad
  23. Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Gandhinagar
  24. Charotar Institute Of Technology (Changa)
  25. Sarvajanik College of Engineering and Technology, Surat
  26. C K Pithawala College of Engineering and Technology, Surat
  27. Birla Vishwakarma Mahavidyalaya from S.P University at Vallabh Vidyanagar near Anand.
  28. G H Patel College Of Engineering & Technology at Vallabh Vidyanagar near Anand.
  29. The Institute for Plasma Research is an autonomous physics research institute located in the capital city Gandhinagar and is involved in the research of various aspects of plasma science including basic plasma physics, magnetically confined hot plasmas, and plasma technologies for industrial applications. As a unit of the Department of Space, Government of India, PRL carries out fundamental research in select areas of physics, space, and atmospheric sciences.
  30. Ahmedabad Textile and Industries’ Research Association is also located in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
  31. Pandit Deendayal University,Gandhinagar which is started by GSPC is offering undergraduate and management courses in petroleum fields.
  32. IPTG (Institute of Petroleum Technology, Gandhinagar)
  33. IPMG (Institute of Petroleum Management, Gandhinagar)
  34. Indus Institute of Technology and Engineering, Ahmedabad

Universities

There are total 29 universities in Gujarat as on March 1, 2009. This includes the recent Kadi Sarva Vishwavidyalaya and Navrachana University. The Government of Gujarat has already given the approval to these three universities and the enrollment will begin in June 2009.

Ahmedabad

Anand and Nadiad

Gandhinagar

Surat

Vadodara

Other areas

Other Institutes

Gujarat is also known for many national level institutions. The Space Applications Centre (SAC) is an institution for space research and satellite communication in Ahmedabad, India, under the aegis of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, a renowned scientist, industrialist, and visionary gujarati, played an important role in it. He also founded Physical Research Laboratory, a research institute encompasses Astrophysics, Solar System, and cosmic radiation. He also envisioned Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, one of the internationally reputed management research institute that is located in Gujarat's commercial capital Ahmadabad and is the top ranked management institutes in the country.[citation needed]

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad

Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute has been established under Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Govt. of India at Bhavnagar. It was inaugurated by Late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the First Prime Minister of India on 10 April, 1954, with a view to carry out research on marine salt, and salt from inland lakes and sub-soil brine. It is working on reverse osmosis, electro membrane process, salt and marine chemicals, analytical science, marine biotechnology, and other related fields.

B.K. School of Business Management is ranked 6th in terms of financial Management. K. S. School of Business Management is also an MBA College in Gujarat University providing a unique five year's integrated MBA Cource. The National Institute of Design (NID) is internationally acclaimed as one of the foremost multi-disciplinary institutions in the field of design education and research. In addition, Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) is one of the leading sectoral institution in rural management. IRMA is a unique institution in the sense that it provides professional education to train managers for rural management. It is the only one of its kind in all Asia.

Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat is one of the best engineering colleges in India. It is one of the 20 NITs created by the central government and is a deemed university. It has students from all over India and some foreign students as well. Also, there is Nirma University ranked 14th in self-financed engineering colleges in India.

Apart from that, Mudra Institute of Communication Ahmedabad (MICA) is one of the most famous institutes for mass communication and is well-renowned across India. In terms of professional development & management consulting, the pioneer person is Jagdish CHaudhari, who is a national award winner & All India Best Cadet. He is much sought for coaching & career guidance. IIT Indian institute of technology was established at Gandhinagar in the year 2008. IIT Gandhinagar is mentored by IIT Bombay. IIT'S first batch started on August 1, 2008, at a temporary building of government college, Chandkheda, Gandhinagar.The Institute of Seismological Research (ISR) has been established by the Science and Technology Department, Government of Gujarat in 2003 and is registered as a Society.ISR campus is at Raisan, Gandhinagar in a sprawling and picturesque area on the banks of Sabarmati river. Aims and objectives include assigning optimum seismic factors for buildings in different regions and long-term assessment of earthquake potential. The ISR is the only institute in India fully dedicated to seismological research and is planned to be developed into a premier International institute in few years time.

Gujarat Science City

Gujarat Science City[22], is a government initiative to draw more students towards education in science, which hosts India's first IMAX 3D theatre, an energy park, a hall of science, an amphitheatre, and dancing musical fountains among others.

Culture of Gujarat

Religion

Hinduism

Gujarat was a part of the Harappan civilization. Gujarat is home to Hindu saints of all castes. Sant Dhudhalinath and Sant Girnari Velnathji were Adivasis, Sant Bhojo Nachabkha and Madhavagar were Shudras, Mahatma Gandhi and Lala Bhagat were Vaish, Sant Kilha was a Kshatriya[23], and Lakulisa and Chakradhara were Brahmins.

Many Hindu religious traditions developed in Gujarat.

For example, Pasupata Saivism was established in Gujarat. Gujarat is the birth-place of Lord Shiva's avatar, Lakulisa (Staff-God). He established the Pasupata Shaivite tradition (one of the six major schools of Shaivism) in 2 A.D. or 3 A.D. According to some traditions, he was born in Kayarohana or Kayavatara in Saurashtra while other traditions hold that it was Karavana, in the modern-day town of Dabhoi Taluka near Baroda,[24] another that it was Ulkapuri (modern Avakhal)[25] and another that it was in Braoch or Bharuch.[26] From Gujarat it spread north to Kashmir,[27] South to Tamil Nadu,[28] East to Nepal[29] (where the Pashupatinath Temple stills exists popularly.)

Bhakti movement

The Bhakti movement was very popular in Gujarat where devotees of both Islam and Hinduism focused worship of God, trying to rid any separations based on faith in God.

Swami Chakradhara was another major figure of the Bhakti movement, born in Gujarat in 1194 A.D.[30], and he is believed to be the avatar of Vishnu. Chakradhara Maharaja established the Manhubhava Vaishnavite sect, which spread to Maharashtra as well. The sect still exists today in Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Sant Kilha was another Vaishnavite saint of Gujarat born to a Subedar (army man) father.[23] He was the disciple of Krishnasdas (of Jaipur) and became his successor at the seat of Galta — Kilha's branch became known as the "Tapasa branch."[31] Besides Ram Bhakti (devotion to Lord Rama), he was also inclined towards yog-saghana and this is why he was made acharya of the Galta Gaddi.[32] He is said to be the founder of the Khati sect.[33] Jalarama, a devotee of Lord Rama is another popular figure. Jalarama's birthday is still celebrated by Gujarati (in Gujarat and abroad) as Jalaram Jayanti.

Jainism

Gujarat is a stronghold for the Jain community . Jainism preaches non-violence to all living creatures and vegetarianism. The Jains have heavily influenced the cuisine of Gujarat with the famous Gujarati thali containing small vegetarian dishes along with roti and chaas. Morality in business is an important feature of Jain culture. The bania (traders) caste, predominant in Gujarat, comprises followers from both the Jaina and Vaishnava traditions. Intermarriages between the two traditions are common.

Islam

Gujarat was one of the first places the Muslims came to India. King Arjun of Gujarat permitted the Muslim trader from Ormuz to build a mosque in Gujarat and even paid for the expenses of a certain Shiite festival.[34]

The Sufi saints are very popular in Gujarat. Shaykh Makhu was a Sufi saint of the Shattari lineage.[35] "Since Gujarat is situated on the western border of India, there was a direct interaction with people of Arabia and Persia. Many Gujarati Saints and Sufis became famous. Among them names of Sheikh Ganjul lim (1381), Syed Burhanuddin (1411) and Sheikj Wajihuddin Gujarati are well known.[36]

Zoroastrianism

Following the fall of the Sassanid Empire in 651, many Zoroastrians migrated, including several groups who settled in Gujarat. The descendants of those refugees are today known as the Parsis and Irani. The year of arrival on the subcontinent cannot be precisely established, and Parsi legend and tradition assigns various dates to the event.

They originally settled along coastal Gujarat in villages like Sanjan in Valsad district, along the Gujarat-Maharashtra border. The Qissa-i Sanjan is a poem discussing the Zoroastrians' landing in Sanjan through the generosity of Rana Jada and being allowed to practice their customs.

Parsis are generally more affluent than other Indians and are stereotypically viewed as among the most Anglicised and "Westernised" of the various minority groups[37]. They have also played an instrumental role in economic development with several of the best-known business conglomerates of India run by Parsi-Zoroastrians, including the Tata, Godrej, and Wadia families.

Similarities with Hinduism is seen in Zoroastrianism in beliefs that the cow is very sacred. In the 9th chapter of the Vendidad of the Avesta, the purificatory power of cow urine is dilated upon.[38] It is declared to be a panacea for all bodily and moral evils. It is drunk as well as applied externally.[38] Urine of the bull, called "nirang" is brought to the house of an orthodox Parsi every morning and is (like cow milk) applied to the face, hands, and feet.[38]

There were several Zoroastrian organizations formed to educate the Parsis on their heritage. Rahnumai Maznayasnam Sabha was established in 1851 by English-educated Parsis like Naoroji Furdunji with funds supplied by K.N.Kama. Much attention focused on the improved of women in society; the purdah was abolished, the age of marriage raised, and education promoted.[37]

Religious traditions

In Gujarat, there have been several great religious figures. Sant Dadu Dayal (1554–1603), a saint-poet and a major Bhakti figure from Ahmedabad treated equally both Rama and Allah as names of God and became popular in Northern India. He wrote, "The illusion of Allah and Rama hath been dispelled by my mind; since I see Thee in all"[39]

Gujarat is also the home of Mahatma Gandhi, who preached the unity between all religions and became a worldwide figure for peaceful struggle against tyranny.

Religious sites

Dwarakadheesh temple in Dwarka is one of the important temples dedicated to Krishna. On the tip of the Arabian Sea, it was home to Krishna. The Rann of Kutchch covers a large portion of western Gujarat, and is world-famous for its rare ecosystem, fossils, wildlife and terrain.

Palitana Temples are a complex of Jain temples situated 51 km south west of Bhavnagar. There are 863 temples from the base to the peak of the Shatrunjaya hill, where the Palitana temples are located.

Somnath Temple located in the Prabhas Kshetra near Veraval in Saurashtra, on the western coast of Gujarat, India, is one of the twelve Jyotirlings (golden lingas) or symbols of the God Shiva. It is mentioned in the Rig Veda. Somnath means "The Protector of Moon God". The Somnath Temple is known as 'the Shrine Eternal', as the temple has been destroyed six times, but was rebuilt on each occasion.

Modhera Sun Temple is famous for its rare position as specifically and uniquely designed for the worship of the Sun, Lord Surya. While the main temple is beautifully and intricately designed with complex architecture, painting, and sculptures, there is a central pond. Surrounding it stand 108 small temples for each of the Sun God's 108 names.

Shankheshwar Jain Temples are dedicated to the 23rd Tirthankar, Lord Parshvanath. It is believed that this idol was revealed by Lord Krishna himself, by the teachings of Neminath the 22nd Tirthankar. It is near Ahmedabad.

Patan houses 84 magnificent Jain Temples built by Samrat Kumarpal, who was a staunch disciple of Acharya Hemachandra, a Jain monk and scholar.

Girnar is an epitome of communal harmony & amicable relations among Jains and Hindus. This high-rising steep hill houses shrines of both major religions. One dedicated to Neminath or Arisht Nemi, the 22nd tirthankara, where he is believed to attain nirvana, and another dedicated to Guru Dattatreya, a Hindu deity.

Ambaji: this temple is dedicated to goddess Ambaji. It is situated on the Arasur Hill and can be approached by road from Abu Road in Rajasthan, as well as from all other important places in Gujarat. A folk drama called 'Bhavai' is performed in the courtyards of the temple.

Dakor: this temple town dedicated to Lord Krishna is situated about 90 km from Ahmedabad. The temple of Ranchodrai has the idol of Lord Krishna, which is believed to have been brought from Dwarka by a devotee.

Becharaji temple: This temple is another important seat of Mother Goddess in Mehsana district. This temple is thronged by Hindu devotees, especially childless women.

Sidi Saiyyed Mosque: The Sidi Sayed Mosque in Ahmedabad is one such famous and ancient mosque of the city. The Mosque in the year 1411 A.D. The elegant mosque was built by Sidi Sayed, a slave of Sultan Ahmed Shah. The mosque is famous all over the country because of its fantastic architecture and exquisite jali work (perforated stone lattices).

Rani Rupmati's Mosque: Rani Rupmati was the Hindu wife of Sultan Mehmed Beghara. Rani Rupmati mosque was built between 1430 to 1440 A.D., having three domes supported by pillars, with the central dome slightly elevated. It is located at Ahmedabad. The mosque has richly carved minarets, balcony windows, and jali. Its three domes are linked together by a flat roof. Muuk-Khana is a special attraction of this mosque.

Kutbi Mazar: A colossal monument raised in the memory of Syedna Qutubuddin Shaheed, the high priest of the Bohra community.

Shah Alam Roza: Shah Alam Roza is the mosque and tomb of Saint Shah Alam. Here the brass doors are set in carved marble frames. The floor is tiled of black and white marble. Its dome and minars shows great architectural work of the sultanate era.

Fairs and festivals

Fairs

Around more than 1000 festivals are celebrated in Gujarat—the state is known as the land of fairs and festivals. Some of these fairs and festivals are as follows:

Bhavnath Mahadev Mela (February)

The Bhavnath Mahadev Temple, situated at the foot of Mount Girnar in the city of Junagadh, is the site of the Bhavnath Mahadev fair held for five days in February, during the festival of Mahashivratri. The Mahapuja of Lord Shiva takes place at midnight in this temple on the 14th day of the dark half of the month of Magh. When the puja (prayer ceremony) starts, Naga Bavas (naked sages) living nearby move towards the fair seated on elephants, holding flags and blowing conch shells. It is firmly believed that Lord Shiva himself visits the shrine on this occasion. Visitors are served free meals by the organizers. Special stalls sell idols, rosaries, or holy beads (brought by vendors from Ayodhya and Mathura), utensils of brass and copper, sweets and fruits. The Bhavnath Mahadev Temple is surrounded by many equally ancient and holy places.

Dangs Darbar (March)

Dangs Darbar is the name of the annual fair held every year in Ahwa, the most important town in the Dangs a few days before Holi. The Dangs is one of the most delightful districts of Gujarat and is located high in the Saputara hills, the original home of the adivasis, the tribal population of Gujarat. The name "Darbar" dates back to the time of the British, when a darbar of Rajas and Naiks of neighbouring area used to assemble there. Today it is called Jamabandi Darbar, and the District Collector officiates at it. Thousands of tribal people flock to Ahwa from all over the district, dressed in bright colours, sounding the Shehnai, and beating their drums. Folk dances, dramas, and songs enliven the air during the festival.

Chitra — Vichitra Mela (March)

This fair, one of the largest purely Adivasi (tribal) fairs, is attended by around 60,000 to 70,000 tribal people. It takes place every year in the village of Gunbhakhari in Sabarkantha district, very near the borders of Rajasthan. It is held a fortnight after Holi, the festival of colours. The site of the fair is attractive as the temple overlooks the rivers Sabarmati, Akul, and Vyakul. The name of the fair is derived from Chitravirya and Vichitraviraya, the sons of King Shantanu, who are believed to have lived there and been cured of diseases which afflicted them. The fair attracts large numbers of Bhils (tribals) who come from all the surrounding districts using every imaginable form of transport. The Garasis and Bhil tribals dress in their customary colourful costumes. The costume of the men generally consists of a blue shirt, dhoti, and a red or saffron turban. Women don ghaghras (embroidered skirts), which have a circumference of as much as 20 yards (18 m), and are covered from head to foot with ornate and heavy silver jewellery. They use liquid kumkum (vermilion) to colour their cheeks and lips a brilliant red, while their eyes are outlined with kajal (kohl). Every group that comes to the fair carries its own drum making the atmosphere come alive with the incessant beat of numerous drums. The women sing folk songs, and everyone dances. The dancing and drumming continue for hours until everyone is exhausted. Over a hundred stalls hold food and drink and sweets of various kinds. Silver ornaments can be bought, and household articles, as well. Here, as in other fairs, there is a giant wheel and a merry-go-round which never ceases to spin.

Sanskruti kunj Fair

The Sanskruti kunj Festival shows the different cultures of the states of India. It is organised in the winter sesion in the capital city, Gandhinagar. All the competitors of India come during this fair and show their state's culture & dance.

Festivals

Other than those festivals observed throughout India, there are festivities specific to Gujarat.

Makar Sankranti and Kite Flying Festival (14 January)

The Kite Flying Festival takes place in mid January and marks the time when the Sun’s direct rays reach the Tropic of Capricorn after the winter solstice. It is celebrated with lots of folk music and dance as well as kite flying. People of Gujarat gather on terraces to fly kites of various colours to celebrate Makar Sankranti or Uttrayana, the welcome to the sun after the cold winter months. Glass strengthened threads of the Indian fighter kites are matched against each other in the air — the kite fighter who cuts the other thread is the victor. At night, kites with Chinese lanterns are flown and held aloft. Food such as Undhiya, sugar cane juice and local sweets is typically served to celebrate the day.

Dance Festival — Modhera (January)

Resting on a knoll in the village of Modhera are the ruins of the 11th century Sun Temple. The outer walls of the temple are covered with sculptures in which the figures of Surya, the sun god, are prominent. The Sun Temple is the site of an annual festival of Indian classical dances organized by the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat. The idea is to present classical dance forms in an atmosphere they were originally presented in.

The Kutch Mahotsav (February–March)

The ‘Kutch Festival’ or the ‘Rann festival’ is celebrated at the time of the Shiv Ratri in February/ March. The centre of the festival is Bhuj in Kutch. It has crafts, fairs and folk dances and music and cultural shows, all organized by the Gujarat Tourism. Tours are also conducted out to the ruins of Dhola Vera, a city that was once a part of the Indus Valley civilization.

Bhadra Purnima (September)

The full moon of Bhadrapad is one of the four most important festival days of the year when farmers and agriculturists come to Ambaji, a place that derives its name from Goddess Ambaji, whose shrine is located there. On this occasion, a large fair is organized on full moon days. In the evening, performances of Bhavai, the folk drama of the state, is held and Garba programmes are organized. The devout attend readings of the Saptashati, the seven hundred verses in praise of the goddess, and visit the temple for a darshan (worship) of her. The Ambaji shrine is the principal shrine of the goddess in Gujarat, and its origins are still unknown. The Temple of Ambaji is recognized as one of the original Shakti Pithas (religious texts) where, according to the ancient Scriptures, the heart of the goddess Ambaji fell to earth when her body was dismembered. A triangular Vishwa Yantra, inscribed with figures and the syllable 'Shree' in the centre, represents the deity. There is no idol, which testifies the temple's antiquity. Idol worship became popular much later.

Protected areas

Map Guj Nat Parks Sanctuary

Gujarat has 4 National parks and 21 sanctuaries which include: Nal Sarovar, Anjal, Balaram-Ambaji, Barda, Jambughoda, Jessore, Kachchh Desert, Khavda, Narayan Sarovar, Paniya, Purna, Rampura, Ratanmahal, and Surpaneshwar.

Gujarat is the only home of Asiatic Lions. Outside Africa, Gujarat is the only present natural habitat of lions. Gir Forest National Park in the south-west part of the state covers only part of the lions' habitat. Besides lions, the other big cat that can be found in the state is the leopard. Leopards are spread across large plains of Saurashtra and mountains of South Gujarat.

Historic sites

Dholavira's sophisticated water reservoir.

Lothal is the site of the ancient ruins of the first Indian port, dating from the time of the Indus Valley Civilization. Dholavira, the ancient city, locally known as Kotada Timba, is one of the largest and most prominent archaeological sites in India belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization. It is located on the Khadir island in the Kutch district of Gujarat — the island is surrounded by water in the monsoon season. The site was occupied from about 3000 BC for about a millennium, declining slowly after about 2100, briefly abandoned and then reoccupied, finally, by villagers among its ruins, until about 1450. Gola Dhoro, dating from 2500–2000 BCE, was recently discovered near the village of Bagasra. Shell bangles, copper, and beads were found there.[40]

Museums

Gujarat's museums are run by the state's Department of Museums located at the principal state museum, Baroda Museum & Picture Gallery. Other famous museums include:

The Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya

The Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya in Ahmedabad is run by a public trust established in 1951. The museum's new premises were built in 1963. The museum's main objective was to house the personal memorabilia of Mahatma Gandhi. Consequently, the exhibits on view depict the vivid and historic events of Gandhiji's life. There are books, manuscripts, and photostat copies of his correspondence, photographs of Gandhiji with his wife Kasturba and other ashram associates, life size oil paintings, and actual relics like his writing desk.

Calico Museum of Textiles

The Calico Museum of Textiles at Ahmedabad, India, is the premier textile museum of the country, and one of the most celebrated institutions of its kind in the world for its distinguished and comprehensive collection of textiles and artifacts.

The Vadodara Museum

The Vadodara Museum in Vadodara, located in the popular Sayaji Bagh, the museum houses a collection which belonged to the former maharaja Sayaji Rao Gaekwad. Indian rulers during the Raj often collected all kinds of European art and other knick knacks. Largely being the personal collection of the maharaja, the exhibits span across centuries and continents, as well as diverse art forms. There are Greek and Roman sculpture with European paintings of earlier periods. The Asian section has items from Burma, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, China, and Japan made of wood, ivory, bronze and pottery.

Maharaja Fatehsingh Museum

The impressive Laxmi Vilas Palace, in the Indo Saracenic style of architecture, was once the residence of the Gaekwad family. Maharaja Fatehsingh Museum in Vadodara, located in the sprawling grounds of the palace complex, is a multi purpose museum and houses the Gaekwad family's rich collection of an treasures.

The Gandhi Museum

The Gandhi Museum in Bhavnagar showcases a rare collection of photographs relating to the life of Mahatma Gandhi are on view at the Gandhi Museum. These recreate the significant events of Gandhiji's life. Also displayed are documents, letters, and his personal relics. The collection of audio-visual material includes microfilms, a voice library, prayers, and lecture records.

Transportation

Air

Gujarat has ten airports, the most of any Indian state as per the list of airports in India. All are domestic airports except Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad, which also offers international flights.

Inside Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport

International airport

Domestic airports

  • Bhavnagar Airport — Bhavnagar Airport, 9 km from the city of Bhavnagar.
  • Bhuj Airport — In the Bhuj city of Gujarat. This airport has been recently been named Shyamji Krishna Verma, Bhuj Airport.
  • Jamnagar Airport — 10 km from the City of Jamnagar.
  • Kandla Airport (Gandhidham) — situated at Kandla, near Gandhidham, in Kutch district.
  • Keshod Airport (Junagadh) — Keshod Airport is found 3 km from Keshod city in Junagadh District.
  • Porbandar Airport — is situated 5 km from the city of Porbandar.
  • Rajkot Airport — 4 km from the city of Rajkot.
  • Surat Airport — This domestic airport of Gujarat was recently inaugurated in Surat, on Magdalla Road.
  • Vadodara Airport — Another domestic airport can be found near Vadodara city in Gujarat.
  • Zalawad Airport — Future airport for Surendranagar area.
  • Mehsana Airport — Meshana Airport is found 2 km from Meshsana city

Rail

Gujarat comes under the Western Railways zone of the Indian Railways. Ahmedabad Railway Station is the busiest railway station in Gujarat. Other important railway stations are Surat Railway Station, Vadodra Railway Station and Rajkot Railway Station. Indian Railways is planning Delhi–Mumbai dedicated rail freight route passing through the state.

Sea

Kandla Port is one of the largest ports serving Western India. Other important ports in Gujarat are the Port of Navlakhi, Port of Magdalla and the privately owned Mundra Port.

Road

Local transportation

Bus

Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) is the primary body responsible for providing the bus services within the state of Gujarat and also with the neighboring states. It is a public transport corporation providing bus services and public transit within Gujarat and to the other states in India. Apart from this, there are a number of services provided by GSRTC.

  • Mofussil Services — It connects major cities, smaller towns and villages within Gujarat.
  • Intercity Bus Services — It also connects major cities — Ahmedabad, Vadodara (Baroda) and Rajkot.
  • Interstate Bus Services — It connects various cities of Gujarat with the neighboring states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
  • City Services — GSRTC also provides city bus services at Surat, Baroda, Rajkot, Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad, within the state of Gujarat.
  • Parcel Services — This service is used for transporting goods.

Apart from this, the GSRTC provides special bus services for festivals, industrial zones, schools, colleges and pilgrim places.

Auto rickshaws

Auto rickshaw is an important and frequently used mode of transport in Gujarat. The Government of Gujarat is promoting CNG Auto rickshaws to reduce pollution.

Autorickshaw
Ahmedabad BRTS
Ahmedabad BRTS

See also

References

  1. ^ Introduction to Gujarat
  2. ^ http://www.mapsofindia.com/gujarat/history/modern.html
  3. ^ http://www.blonnet.com/iw/2009/01/25/stories/2009012551001500.htm
  4. ^ Kumar Suresh Singh; Rajendra Behari Lal, Anthropological Survey of India (2003). Gujarat, Part 1. ISBN 8179911047,ISBN 9788179911044. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=d8yFaNRcYcsC&pg=PR17&dq. 
  5. ^ Gujrat Government. "Gujrat state official site". http://www.gujaratindia.com/about-gujarat/history-1.htm. "The State took it’s name from the Gujara, the land of the Gujjars, who ruled the area during the 700’s and 800’s." 
  6. ^ Ramesh Chandra Majumdar; Bhāratīya Itihāsa Samiti (1954). The History and Culture of the Indian People: The classical age. G. Allen & Unwin. p. 64. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=8QhuAAAAMAAJ&q=gujar+khan+#search_anchor. "." 
  7. ^ Bhandarkar, Devadatta Ramakrishna (1989). Some Aspects of Ancient Indian Culture. Asian Educational Services. pp. 64. ISBN 8120604571. 
  8. ^ a b c http://www.mapsofindia.com/gujarat/history/
  9. ^ P. Page xvii Historical and Cultural Chronology of Gujarat edited by Manjulal Ranchholdlal Majmudar
  10. ^ P. 391 The Hindu World: An Encyclopedic Survey of Hinduism By Benjamin Walker
  11. ^ "Census Population" (PDF). Census of India. Ministry of Finance India. http://indiabudget.nic.in/es2006-07/chapt2007/tab97.pdf. Retrieved 2008-12-18. 
  12. ^ a b Indian Census
  13. ^ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,501040419-610100,00.html
  14. ^ The Hindu Business Line : `Vibrant Gujarat' signs 104 MoUs worth Rs 2.5 lakh cr
  15. ^ Vibrant Gujarat sees one foreign investor, the Business Standard
  16. ^ http://in.rediff.com/money/2008/mar/10guj.htm
  17. ^ http://agri.gujarat.gov.in/gujarati/boards_corporations/gs-agri-mark-board/agri_profile.htm
  18. ^ http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/News-By-Industry/Cons-Products/Food/Amul-to-become-worlds-largest-liquid-milk-brand/articleshow/1988793.cms
  19. ^ Modi becomes longest serving CM of Gujarat
  20. ^ http://in.news.yahoo.com/070606/43/6gpdc.html
  21. ^ Ahmedabad institute of technology
  22. ^ http://www.scity.org/
  23. ^ a b P. 78 The Aryan Path By Sophia Wadia, Indian Institute of World Culture
  24. ^ Dasgupta, P. 7, A History of Indian Philosophy
  25. ^ Dyczkowskihe P. 23 Canon of the Saivagama and the Kubjika Tantras of the Western Kaul Tradition
  26. ^ Farquhar, P. 146, An Outline of the Religious Literature of India
  27. ^ Bamzai, P. 202, Culture and Political History of Kashmir
  28. ^ Shah, P. xi, Studies in Jaina Art and Iconography and Allied Subjects in Honour of Dr. U
  29. ^ "Pashupata Saivism" Hinduism Today, March 1994
  30. ^ P. 113 Social Life in Maharashtra Under the Peshwas By Sudha Vishwanath Desai
  31. ^ Encyclopaedia of Indian literature vol. 1 By Sahitya Akademi
  32. ^ P. 107 History of Rajasthani Literature By Hiralal Maheshwari
  33. ^ P. 453 The Modern Review By Ramananda Chatterjee
  34. ^ P. 185 An Advanced History of India By Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, Kalikinkar Datta, Hemchandra Raychaudhuri
  35. ^ P. 306 Sufis & Saints' Bodies: Mysticism, Corporeality, & Sacred Power in Islam By Scott Kugle, Scott Alan Kugle
  36. ^ P. 169 Islam and Indian Culture By Mohammad Shujaat, Shujaat Muhammad
  37. ^ a b P. 282 A New Look at Modern Indian History By B.L. Grover, S. Grover
  38. ^ a b c Bhandarkar, P. 72 Some Aspects of Ancient Indian Culture
  39. ^ P. 400 History of Medieval India By S. Chand
  40. ^ Gola Dhoro archaeological site

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

The state of Gujarat [1] is in the Western India region of the India. Lothal, near to Ahmedabad and Dholavira, near to Kutch are sites of a Harappan (Indus) civilisation, which were older than 4000 years. Gujarat is known for the Stapes Well, Jain Temples, Asiatic Lion and business oriented people.

Gujarat (North Gujarat, Central Gujarat, South Gujarat)
Saurashtra
Was never incorporated into British India. Instead it survived as more than 200 princely states until Independence.
Kutch
The largest district in the state and the second largest district of the country. The main city is Bhuj.

Cities

Below is a selection of eight of Gujarat's most populated cities. Other cities can be found under their specific regions.

  • Gandhinagar — administrative capital of Gujarat, city of Akshardham Temple and the second planned Green City
  • Ahmedabad — Manchester of the East, commercial capital of Gujarat, home of Mahatma Gandhi’s Ashram and the World’s finest Textile Museum
  • Bhavnagar — busy industrial centre, base for journeys to nearby sites
  • Jamnagar — home to the world’s largest Grass-Root Refinery complex
  • Junagadh — city of ancient Ashokan Stone Edicts
  • Rajkot — former capital of the state of Saraushtra
  • SuratDiamond City, famous for mouth watering Surati food
  • VadodaraCultured City, Oxford of Gujarat
  • Pirotan Island
  • Dholavira - Harappan (Indus) Civilization Site.
  • Champaner - UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Lothal - Well planed Harappan (Indus) Civilization Port.
  • Rani ni Vav - A famous stepwell (1304 AD.)
  • The Sun Temple Modhera – 1000 years old famous Sun Temple.
  • The Somanath- Glory of the Somnath temple attracted Islamic looter (Mahmud of Ghazni). That time temple is so wealthy that it had 1000 priest and 300 musicians. The temple is located on beach of Arabian Sea.
  • The Dwarka- The Dwarka is believed to have been built by Lord Krishna himself. The temple must have been erected during the period of Mughal Emperor, Akbar.

Understand

Gujarat is a dazzlingly diverse state that shakes up the know-it-all Indophile, and reveals treasures hidden from the tourist hordes. Gujaratis are famous for their entrepreneurship, both India and abroad. Encounter an Indian anywhere, from Wall Street to Wellington, and there’s a good chance they hail from this wealthy, resourceful state. There are many significant sites of God Krishna’s life lie along the coast of Saurashtra.The geographic diversity and strategic location has made Gujarat home to an incredible diversity of people. With 20% of the country's total industrial output, it is the most industrialized state in India.

People

About 89% of the population of Gujarat are Hindu. Muslims account for 9% and Jain 1% of the population. Most of the Gujarati people are strict “vegetarians”. Amongst Hindus the deity of Krishna is famously worshipped in His form of Shrinathji throughout Gujarat. Since Gujarat being a heavily industrialized state of India, attracts lots of outsiders from various parts of India.

Weather

The Winters are mild, pleasant, and dry with average daytime temperatures around 83 °F(29 °C) and nights around 53 °F(12 °C) with 100 percent sunny days and clear nights. The Summers are extremely hot and dry with day temperatures around 115 °F(46 °C) and at night no lower than 90 °F(34 °C) with sunshine. The time just before the Monsoon, the temperature are similar to Summer but now there is high humidity which makes the air feel hotter. Relief comes when the monsoon season starts around in mid June. The day temperatures are lower to around 100 °F(38 °C) but humidity is very high and nights are around 80 °F(27 °C). Winter (October to March) is best time to travel in Gujarat.

Talk

Gujarati is the language spoken here, although Hindi is widely understood. In main cities, English is widely known.

Location of Gujarat in India
Location of Gujarat in India

Ahmedabad is the only International Airport in Gujarat with regular flights to and from London, New York, Chicago and Dubai.Domestically, travellers can be coming from hubs such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bhopal, Indore, Kolkata. Flights into smaller airports of Baroda, Bhavnagar Bhuj, Diu, Jamnagar, Porbandar, Keshod, Kandla, Surat and Rajkot will connect through Mumbai.

By Road

The route you take depends on where you're coming from:

  • From Delhi Agra, Jaipur Jodhpur, and from other place of North India: Take the National Highway 8 (NH8).
  • From Mumbai and from other place of North India: Take the National Highway 8 (NH8).
  • From Nagpur and from other part of Vidarbh: Take the National Highway 6 (NH6).
  • From Indore Bhopal and from other part of Central India: Take the National Highway 59 (NH59).

Gujarat has 1,572 Km National Highway Network.

By Rail

India has very big rail network. Indian Rail has total 63,140 kilometres rail track network in India and 5,890 km rail network in Gujarat.

Get around

By Air

There is not any flight between any cites of the state.

By Road

Most people in Gujarat travel by private buses or by Taxi. (These are excellent modes of transport as the roads are among the best in India. Check In Hotel for Travel Agent for private buses. Avoid Government operated public-transport if possible.

By Rail

Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Bhuj, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Surendranagar, Porbandar, Kandla are Big Station to access Indian Rail Network.

Participant at International Kite Festival
Participant at International Kite Festival
Foreigners are enjoying in Navratri
Foreigners are enjoying in Navratri
Enjoyment in Navratri
Enjoyment in Navratri
  • Sabarmati Ashram (Mahatma Gandhi Ashram), is located at Ashram Road, Ahmedabad, + 91.79.2755.7277 (, fax: +91.79.2756.0569), [2]. Opening hours are 8.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. on all days including Sundays and Holidays. Entry is Free.  edit
  • The Calico Museum of Textiles, Located at Sarabhai Foundation, Opp. Underbridge, Shahibag, Ahmedabad-380 004, Gujarat, India., + 91-79-2286 5995 (, fax: +91-79-2286 5759), [3]. Opening hours are 10.30 am to 12.30 pm and 2:30 PM to 5 PM. except Wednesday. (No entry after 11 am in morning.) Entry restricted to 30 visitors – 15 visitors on the basis of first-come-first-served and 15 by group booking. Entry is Free.  edit
  • Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Indology Museum, Located at R Gujrat Universisity, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad-380015, Gujarat, India. Opening hours are 10:30 to 17:30 except except Monday and public holidays. Entry is Free.  edit The Museum covers a wide variety of topics from Buddhism, Jainism and its darshans, grammar, tantra and poetics to Vedas, agama to the different branches of Indian philosophy. It is learnt that this museum has the largest collection of Jain scripts which come around 75, 000 manuscripts with 500 illustrated versions and 45,000 printed books.
  • Government Sponsored and organized
    • The Modhera Dance Festival [4]- The three day Modhera Dance Festival is held every year during the third week end of January after the conclusion of Uttarayan festival. The dance festival is frequently visited by art and dance connoisseurs from all across the world. Classical and folk dancers and musicians from different states of the India exhibit their talent and flair while culture enthusiasts become part of the festival to witness this splendid event.
    • The International Kite Festival [5]- The three-four days International Kite Festival is held every year during the second/third week end of January at Ahmedabad during Uttarayan festival (14-January). Visitors come from around India for the celebration and international visitors have come from countless countries, including Japan, Italy, the UK, Canada, Brazil, Indonesia, Australia, the USA, Malaysia, Singapore, France, China, and many more.
    • The Rann Utsav (desert festival) [6]- The three day Rann Utsav is held every year during the Full moon night in the month of December at Bhuj and goes around the district with a grand finale. The festival is visited and enjoyed by more than 8000 tourists from all over the world to celebrate the mystical magic of Kutch and its diversity.
Full Moon Night in Desert (Rann Utsav)
Full Moon Night in Desert (Rann Utsav)
Camp for Rann Utsav
Camp for Rann Utsav
  • Traditional Festival
    • The Uttarayan- The one-day Uttarayan is held every year 14th January at each and every cities and villages of Gujarat. Peoples from all ages go to roof and take full enjoyment of Kite fligting for full day even in night also.
    • The Navratri Festival [7] - The ten days Navratri Festival is held roughly corresponding to dates in the Gregorian calendar in September/October at all cities and villages of Gujarat. Navarati s the dance festival of Gujarat the dance form known as ras garba. Very large group of Youth enjoy dance all nine nights.
    • The Tarnetar fair [8]- The fair is held for three days every year during the Hindu calendar dates of Bhadarva Sud - 4th, 5th and 6th (during the Gregorian calendar months Aug.-Sept). The Tarnetar fair is held 8 km from the town of Thangadh, in Surendranagar District.
    • The Bhavnath Fair- The fair during Mahashivaratri is held for five days commencing from the Hindu calendar date of Magh Vad 11, during the Gregorian months of February-March. The Bhavnath Fair is held at the Bhavnath Mahadev Temple near Junagadh.
    • Rath Yatra - Rath Yatra is a huge Hindu festival associated with Lord Jagannath held at Ahmedabad , Bhavnagar and rest of India during the months of June (Rainy Season).
    • The Vautha Fair - This fair is held during Kartika Purnima, the full moon night of the month of Kartik in the Hindu calendar at Dholka near Ahmedabad, corresponding roughly to the month of November. It lasts for five days.
  • Travel by Royal Orient Train Indianrail.gov.in/royal_orient.html: The Royal Orient train is one of the world's most exotic trains. The journey by the Royal orient train is a rare delight. It is an experience that takes you back to the times of Rajas and Maharajas. You get to explore two of the most fascinating and culturally rich states of India, Gujarat and Rajasthan. The train travel 7 days through Delhi - Chittaurgarh - Udaipur - Junagarh - Dilwara - Palitana - Ahmedabad - Jaipur and back to Delhi
  • Travel by man driven Boat in Nal Sarovar (lake) Bird Sanctuary spread over 120 sq.kms to see over 250 species of migrated birds from Siberia and Europe. Best time to visit Nal Sarovar is Between November and February. In April Birds start to leave the lake.
Nal Sarovar (lake)
Nal Sarovar (lake)
  • Safari in Blackbuck National Park to see group of jumping Black Bucks from every parts of the park. There is no wild animal in park, it is also fun to trail or Camping in park.
Jumping Blackbuck at Blackbuck_National_Park
Jumping Blackbuck at Blackbuck_National_Park
  • Hiking on the Shatrunjaya hill and biking on Hastagiri to see devotion of Jain. There are in total 863 amazing Marble temples (largest cluster of temples in India) on Shatrunjaya hill
  • Safari in Gir Forest National Park to see Remaining Asiatic Lions in the world.
  • Diu is house of lots of good quality of Beach. Administratively, it is not part of Gujarat, so every one can get good quality alcohol.
  • Stay at Rann Riders Resort [9] to see and feel typical rann village life, music and culture. Resort also offer Camel safari to Wild Ass Sanctuary in the little rann of Kutch. It is very important destination of Ruler tourism in Gujarat.
  • Beautiful Gujarati and Kutchhy Handicraft from State government promoted Gujarati Handicraft Development Corporation’s Show rooms [10]
Handicraft
Handicraft
Handicraft
Handicraft
    • GARVI – GURJARI SHOWROOM, Ahmedabad, Opp. La Gajjar Chamber,Near Times of India Ashram Road, 079-26589505 ().  edit
    • GARVI – GURJARI SHOWROOM, Baroda, 4/5, G-2/3 Vantage Point Opp: Masonic Hall, Productivity Road, Alkapuri,, 0265-2357575.  edit
    • GARVI – GURJARI SHOWROOM, Bhavnagar, Shop No. 19 & 20, Prithvi Complex, Ghogha Circle.  edit
    • GARVI – GURJARI SHOWROOM, Rajkot, Shop No. 32, Pramukh Swami Market, Malviya Chowk, Opp. Shastri Maidan, 0281-2228172.  edit
    • GARVI – GURJARI SHOWROOM, Surat, L-24/25 Sargram Shopping Center, Parla Point, 0261-2258603.  edit

Eat

Gujarat is haven for Vegetarian (Lacto-vegetarian) People. Approx. 80% people of Gujarat eat vegetarian foods only. It is very famous for variety of vegetarian and quality food. There are hundreds of Lacto - vegetarian foods verities are offered across Gujarat. Rotli (Chapati/Puri) , Shaak (Subzi/Vegetables/Curries), Mithai (Sweets), Rice and Dal are parts of Standard Gujarati Thali (Meal) in Restaurants. It might be little difficult to find non-vegetarian restaurant in Gujarat.

Delicious Gujarati Meal.
Delicious Gujarati Meal.

Drink

Alcohol is forbidden in Gujarat. Foreign tourists are partly exempted from this restriction. Drinking in public is strictly prohibited. However, if you are going to stay longer in Gujarat, you may apply for an alcohol permit. Ask how to do it in your hotel or the place where you stay.

Stay Safe

Gujarat is relatively Safe State in India. To Bring or To Buy or To Drink Alcohol is forbidden in Gujarat. However foreign tourist can buy and drink in few Five Star Hotels like Taj and Courtyard by Marriott. Also see in Stay Safe of India.

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

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Wikipedia

Location of Gujarat in bright red

Etymology

From Gujarati ગુજરાત.

Proper noun

Singular
Gujarat

Plural
-

Gujarat

  1. State in western India which has Gandhinagar as its capital.

Derived terms

Translations


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