Monday, May 14, 2007


Gujarat is situated on the Western Indian coast having a 1,600 kms long Arabian Sea coastline. It stretches from Kutch in the West to Daman in the South and the hilly tract from Aravalli in the East to the Western hills with lush green forests, rivers as well as plains.The State of Gujarat comprises of 25 districts. It lies to the north east of the Gulf of Cambay. On its western and south western boundaries lies the Arabian Sea. To the north west lies the country of Pakistan. Northeast of the state borders with Rajasthan, east of the state borders with the state of Madhya Pradesh. To the southeast is the state of Maharashtra.Gujarat ranks 10th in population and 9th in area among the states of India. It has a colourful profile and an age-old heritage. Its land is fertile, beautiful and prosperous.
State Capital
Gandhi Nagar
Population ('000s in 1991)
Area ('000 sq. km)
Females per 1000 males (1991)
Literacy rate (1991)
Ratio of urban population (1991)
Net Domestic Product (Rs. million at current prices in 1992-93)
Per Capita Income (Rs. at current prices in 1992-93)
Principal Languages
Gujarati,Hindi, Sindhi, Marathi
Gujarat has a long historical and cultural tradition dating back to the days of the Harappan civilization established by relics found at Lothal.Situated on the western part of the Indian sub-continent, Gujarat derives its name 'Gujaratta' meaning the land of Gurjars. The Gurjars passed through the Punjab and settled in some parts of Western India, which came to be known as Gujarat.According to the Hindu epics, Lord Krishna and his elder brother Balarama, evacuated Mathura and established themselves at Kushasthali, now known as Dwarka and started what is known as the Yadava dynasty. Dwarka subsequently became one of the four seats (mathas) set up by Adi Shankaracharya.The Parsees when they fled from Iran in the eighth century first landed at Sanjan on the shores of Gujarat with the holy flame, which still burns in Udwada in Valsad. The Muslim influence left its lasting imprints on the local art and architecture and it came to be known as the Indo-Saracenic style.Among the earliest Europeans in Gujarat were the Portuguese who settled in Diu, a small island off the southern coast of Saurashtra. After that came the British who set up warehouses in Surat in 1612.Gujarat was a part of the erstwhile Mumbai state during the British Rule. But in 1960, the 'Gujarati' population decided to secede from that union, which resulted in the formation of two new states, namely Gujarat and Maharashtra. The new State of Gujarat came into existence on May 01, 1960 because of this bifurcation.Gujarat is the birthplace of many who played an important role in shaping modern India. Prominent among them are Shri Dadabhoy Navroji, the grand old man of the freedom fight, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the architect of a united India and Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the Nation. These men carried the torch of national freedom and integration infusing the qualities of tolerance, brotherhood, non-violence and patriotism amongst Indians.Gujarat History - Milestones: 2500 BC.Harappans appeared from Northern India to settle down, and established over a hundred towns and cities. 100 to 500 BC.Yadavas, Krishna's clan, held power over much of Gujarat, with their capital at Dwarka. 200 BC.Political history began with the powerful Mauryan Empire, established by Chandragupta Maurya with its capital at Junagadh, and reached its peak under Emperor Ashoka. 100 AD.Satraps, members of the Saka tribes, gained control over Saurashtra. 388 AD.Guptas, and then Maitrakas, established their capital at Valabhi. 1100 AD.Saurashtra came under sway of the Solanki (Chauhan) dynasty. 1299 AD.Allaudin Khilji conquested and the Muslim rule was established. 1307 AD.Muzaffar Shah's declaration of independence from Delhi marked the foundation of the Sultanate of Gujarat. 1500 AD.Moghul emperor Akbar conquered. 1531 AD.The Portuguese, already settled in Goa, captured Daman and Diu. 1613 AD.The British East India Company set up original Indian headquarters in Surat. 1818 AD.British sovereignty was established. 1960 AD.Mumbai state was split and Gujarat state was created.
Gujarat has given some of the best musicians to India. According to a legend the famous musicians, Baiju Bavra and Tana Riri who saved Tansen from the burning effects of the 'deepak rag' by singing 'Rag Malhar', belong to Gujarat.Narsinh Mehta who wrote the famous bhajan 'Vaishnavajan' was also from Gujarat. It is believed that 'Rag Kedar' when sung by him, brought him communion with Lord Krishna. Gujar Tod, Bilaval and Khambhavati said to be named respectively after Gujarat, Veraval and Cambay are Gujarat's contributions to classical music. In modern times Ustad Faiyazkhan, Maulabux, the 'been' player Rahimkhan and many others belonged to Gujarat.Pandit Omkarnath Thakur, one of the greatest exponents of Indian classical music hailed from Gujarat. Gujaratis have contributed some of the noted treatises on music; these include Dahyalal Shivram's Sangeet Kaladhar and Adityaram Vyas's Sangeetaditya.