Gujarat Information | Gujarat Map | Gujarat University
The state encompasses major sites of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, such as Lothal and Dholavira. Lothal is believed to be one of the world's first ports. Gujarat's coastal cities, chiefly Bharuch, served as ports and trading centers in the Maurya and Gupta empires. Mohandas Gandhi, considered India's "father of the nation", was a Gujarati who led the Indian Independence Movement against the British colonial rule.
Gujarat played an important role in the economic history of India throughout the history of India. The state has the fastest growing economy in India. It is also, one of the most industrialized states within the nation. Thus, making it the richest state with a GDP per capita income twice that of the country as a whole.
Transportation of Gujarat:
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.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (Ahmedabad) — Many domestic as well as international flights operate from here.
- 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 — Recently inaugurated on Magdalla Road.
- Vadodara Airport — Integrated Terminal Building will be completed by 2010, enabling international fights to Vadodara.
- Mehsana Airport — Meshana Airport is about 2 km from Meshsana city
- Amreli Airport
- Zalawad Airport — Future airport for Surendranagar area.
- Fedara (Ahmedabad) — Proposed International Airport near Fedara village of Bhāl region.
Gujarat comes under the Western Railways zone of the Indian Railways. Vadodara Railway Station is the busiest railway station in Gujarat and the fourth busiest railway station in India. It is situated on the Mumbai – Delhi Western Railway Mainline.
Other important railway stations are Surat Railway Station, Ahmedabad Railway Station and Rajkot Railway Station. Indian Railways is planning Delhi–Mumbai dedicated rail freight route passing through the state.
Work on Rs 1,100 crore (Rs 11 billion) first phase of the metro rail project in Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar will start by 2011 and the line is expected to be operational within 2–3 years. The first phase of the metro rail project will cover a distance of 32.65 kilometre in the north-south direction between Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad and 10.90 kilometre east-west corridor between Kalupur and Thaltej.
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.
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, 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 rickshaw is an important and frequently used mode of transport in Gujarat. The Government of Gujarat is promoting CNG Auto rickshaws to reduce pollution.
Weather of Gujarat (Ahmedabad)::
Modern-day Gujarat is derived from Gurjaratra that is the land protected or ruled by the Gurjars, or from Gurjar-Rashtra, the Gujjar nation. The origins of the Gujjars are uncertain. The Gujjar clan appeared in northern India about the time of the Huna invasions of northern India. The name of the tribe was Sanskritized to "Gurjara". The Gurjars/Gujjars believe to have descended from Suryavanshi Kshatriyas (Sun Dynasty). Historically, the Gurjars were Sun-worshipers and their copper-plate grants and seals also bear an emblem of the Sun.
History of Gujarat:
Historically, the 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 was where India's first port was established.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 have been discovered in Gujarat.
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. There was a succession of Hindu/Buddhist states such as the Gupta Empire, Rashtrakuta Empire, Pala Empire and Gurjara-Pratihara Empire as well as local dynasties such as the Maitrakas and then the Solankis. The 11th century history of Gujarat saw the emergence of the Muslims
in the political arena of the state. The first Muslim conqueror was Mahmud of Ghazni whose conquest of Somnath effectively ended the rule of the Solankis.
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 Rajput 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 the Great 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 occupied eastern and central Gujarat in the eighteenth century; Western Gujarat (Kathiawar and Kutch) were divided among numerous local rulers.
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 English acquired it from Portugal in 1668. In late 17th century Chatrapati Shivaji the great Maratha leader attacked Surat between 1664 to 1679 and looted the city 3 times.
This is marked as entry of Marathas in Gujarat.
Later in 18th century, Gujarat came under control of the Maratha Empire who dominated the politics of India. Pilaji Gaekwad, first ruler of Gaekwad dynasty, established the control over Baroda and much of Gujarat. After Battle of Panipat 1761, all Maratha general established them self as autonomous government while keeping nominal authority of Peshwas of Pune and Chatrapati from Satara. The British East India 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 (Kheda), Panchmahal, and Surat, were ruled directly by British officials.
Indian independence movement:
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 of Gujarat:
Use of Ghee in meals is very common. For example, rice or khichdi on rotli. The meal is usually accompanied with a sweet and a salty snack (farsaan) like Vada. Gujarati cookbook writers like Tarla Dalal are famous internationally.
Gujaratis are more comfortable cooking with peanut oil (shing tel). However, while living abroad they adjust their cooking method with available canola or sunflower oil. The making of masala is traditionally done on grinding stones. Nowadays, people use a blender or grinder to make masala. Each person makes masala differently, hence cooking tastes differ depending on the household. People from north Gujarat use dry red chili powder, whereas people from south Gujarat prefer using green chili and coriander in their cooking. Gujarati Jains (and many Hindus) avoid using garlic and onions in their cooking.
Traditionally Gujaratis eat Mukhwas or paan at the end of a meal. In many parts of Gujarat, having Chhass butter milk or soda after lunch or dinner is quite common. Gujarati families celebrate Sharad Purnima by having dinner with doodh-pauva under moonlight. There are many great delicacies to try out in Gujarati food.
Forests and Wildlife in Gujarat:
Other National parks include Vansda National Park, Blackbuck National Park, Velavadar and Marine National Park, Gulf of Kutch. Wildlife sanctuaries include: Wild Ass Wildlife Sanctuary, Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, Porbandar Bird Sanctuary, Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary, Kutch Bustard Sanctuary, Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary, Jessore Sloth Bear Sanctuary, Anjal, Balaram-Ambaji, Barda, Jambughoda, Khavda, Paniya, Purna, Rampura, Ratanmahal, and Surpaneshwar.
Major Rivers in Gujarat:
Narmada is the biggest river of Gujarat followed by Tapi, although Sabarmati covers the longest area in the state. Sardar Sarovar Project is built on Narmada river. Narmada is one of the major rivers of peninsular India with a length of around 1312 km. It is one of only three rivers in peninsular India that run from east to west – the others being the Tapi River and the Mahi River. Apart from this Vishvamitra, Dhadhar, Meshvo, Banas, Shedhi, Aji, Daman Ganga, Purna, Ambika, Bhadar, Vatrak etc. are other rivers of the state.
Economy of Gujarat:
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.
Gujarat's Contribution to India:
- 17% of Fixed Capital Investment
- 16% of Industrial output
- 22% of India's exports
- 16% of Value of Output
- 12% of Net Manufacturing Value
- 10% of Factories
- 98% of Soda Ash production
- 80% of Diamond Export
- 78% of Salt production
- 62% of Petrochemical production
- 53% of Crude Oil (Onshore)
- 51% of Chemical products
- 37% of Groundnut production
- 35% of Cargo Handling
- 31% of Cotton production
- 30% of Natural Gas (Onshore)
- 10% of Mineral production
- 25% of Textile production
- 35% of Pharmaceutical products
- Longest shoreline — 1,670 kilometres (1,040 mi)
The world's largest shipbreaking yard is in Gujarat near Bhavnagar at Alang. Reliance Industries Limited founded by Dhirubhai Ambani, operates the oil refinery at Jamnagar, which is the world's largest grass-roots refineries. India’s only Liquid Chemical Port Terminal at Dahej, developed by Gujarat Chemical Port Terminal Co Ltd. Gujarat has two of the three Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals in the country (Dahej and Hazira). Two more LNG Terminals are proposed, at Pipavav and Mundra.
Gujarat is the only state in India to have State Wide Gas Grid of 2,200 km. 87.9% of the total roads in the state are asphalt surfaced. 98.86% village connectivity with all‐weather roads, the highest in India. 100% of Gujarat's 18,000 villages have electricity connection for 24hr power through the Jyotigram Yojana. 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%.
Gujarat has largest OFC network of more than 50,000 km. The state owned Wide Area Network is the largest IP-based ICT network in Asia Pacific Region and second largest in the world, connecting 26 districts and 225 talukas through 12,000 nodes. There are more than 900,000 internet users and all villages are connected with broadband internet. The state registered 12.8% agriculture growth in the last five years against the national average of 2%.
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 in Gujarat:
Gujarat's major cities include Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar. In year 2010, Forbes list of world's fastest growing cities included Ahmedabad at number 3 after Chengdu and Chongqing from China. Surat is also one of the fastest growing city in India. Major resources produced by the state include cotton, groundnut, dates, sugarcane, and petrochemical products. 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 98% of India's required amount of Soda Ash and gives the country about 78% 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, Khambhat and Ankaleshwar are today known for their oil and natural gas production. Dhuvaran has a thermal power station, which uses coal, oil and gas. 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 manufactures its cars at Halol near Vadodara, Tata manufactures Nano from Sanand near Ahmedabad and AMW trucks are made near Bhuj. 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.
Gujarat passed an act for the SIRs and set up the first such hub—Petroleum Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR) spread across 453,000 square hectares—in Bharuch 2009. SIRs are special regions spread over a minimum 50,000 hectares where industries can buy lands directly from local owners. They are not offered concessions like tax benefits as in SEZs.
However, the main benefit of SIRs is that they provide quality infrastructure and development even before units become operational. In every SIR, 55 per cent area is to be set aside for residential townships and other non-processing units.
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 10 January 2007 to 13 January 2007, at Science City, Ahmedabad, the state government signed 104 Memoranda of Understandings for Special Economic Zones worth a total of Indian Rupee 2.5 lakh crore. However, most of the investment was from domestic industry. 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 Indian Rupee 12.5 lakh cr were signed, estimated to create 25 lakh new job opportunities in the state. In 2011, Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors' Summit MOUs worth Indian Rupee 20.83 lakh cr (21 trillion) were signed.
Gujarat government has a front runner in development of solar energy in the state. It has alloted 716 MW of Solar Power capacity to 34 national and international solar project developers in 2009; against the planned 500 MW capacity under its Solar Power Policy. This is expected to bring in investments of INR 12000 crore and generate employmentment for 5,000 people.
It's a also biggest industrial is ceramic business around Morabi, Himatanagar.
Agriculture in Gujarat:
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.
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. 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.
As in much of India, since the 1960s farmers in Gujarat have increasingly relied on extensive groundwater irrigation to maintain production. In recent years, however, experts have become increasingly alarmed at the rate of water depletion in the state. The water table in Gujarat has been falling steadily for the last 15–20 years, leading to a risk of catastrophic, irreversible salt-water intrusion into the groundwater. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that electricity for farmers is subsidized, leaving little incentive to conserve water. To address this issue, the government of Gujarat has begun working with NGOs and universities to create new incentives for water conservation and to promote the adoption of water-saving technologies.
Demographics of Gujarat:
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.
About 89.1% of the population of Gujarat are Hindu. Muslims account for 9.1%, Jain 1.0% and Sikh 0.1% of the population.
Amongst Hindus, the deity of Krishna is famously worshiped in His form of Shrinathji throughout Gujarat.
Gujarat, as a heavily industrialized state of India, attracts lots of outsiders from various parts of India.
Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language evolved from Sanskrit, and part of the greater Indo-European language family. It is native to the Indian state of Gujarat, and is its chief language, as well as of the adjacent union territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
There are about 46.1 million speakers of Gujarati worldwide, making it the 26th most spoken native language in the world.
Along with Romani and Sindhi, it is among the most western of Indo-Aryan languages. Gujarati was the first language of Mohandas K. Gandhi, the "father of India", Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the "father of Pakistan," and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the "iron man of India".
Owing to its apparent youth with respect to its written history, the Gujarati script follows the Nagari writing system. Nagari is a derivative of the Devanagari script, with one notable difference being that the horizontal line is not utilised.
Gujarati script also has a few other variations in terms of certain consonants and employs a slightly different set of symbols for numbers. Gujarati has also been the language spoken by two of South Asia`s most prominent leaders: the Father of the Indian Nation, Mahatma Gandhi and the Founder of Pakistan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah.
The majority of the population in state speak Gujarati, while people from Kutch region of Gujarat also speak in Kutchi language. Other native languages spoken in low proportions are Bhili and Gamit. Religion-wise, 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. Apart from this, English, Sindhi, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Kannada, Oriya, Malayalam, etc. is also spoken by a lower proportion.
Education in Gujarat:
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.
Gujarat University providing a unique five year's integrated MBA Cource. The National Institute of Design (NID) in Gandhinagar 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 located in Surat is one of the best engineering colleges in India. It is one of the 20 National Institutes of Technology 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. Gujarat Science City, 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.
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. 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 1 August 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.
Government and politics of Gujarat:
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. Political instability followed major riots in which rioters raided the homes of thousands of Hindus and Muslims, killing around one thousand people. The BJP retained a majority in the 2002 election, and Narendra Modi has since served as Chief Minister of the state. Modi has been denied visas to the United States for his alleged involvement in the ethnic cleansing in Gujarat. On 1 June 2007, Narendra Modi became the longest serving Chief Minister of Gujarat. On 23 December 2007, the BJP won the state elections in Gujarat and Narendra Modi became the chief minister for the third time in a row.
In the recent civic elections in 2010, even Muslims and Christians voted whole-heartedly for Mr. Modi and his development initiatvies resulting in the BJP getting 80% victories.
List of 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).
Culture of Gujarat:
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, 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 or 3 AD.
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, another that it was Ulkapuri (modern Avakhal) and another that it was in Braoch or Bharuch. From Gujarat it spread north to Kashmir, South to Tamil Nadu, East to Nepal (where the Pashupatinath Temple stills exists popularly.)
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 a major figure in the Bhakti movement, born in Gujarat in 1194, 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. 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." 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. He is said to be the founder of the Khati sect. Jalaram, a devotee of Lord Rama is another popular figure. Jalaram's birthday is still celebrated by Gujarati people (in Gujarat and abroad) as Jalaram Jayanti.
Gujarat is a stronghold for the Jain community. Jainism preaches non-violence to all living creatures and vegetarianism. There are a large number of beautiful Jain temples in Gujarat. The Palitana temple (near Bhavnagar) is the biggest temple of Jain people. Some of the Jains have heavily influenced the cuisine of Gujarat with the famous Gujarati thali containing small vegetarian dishes. Morality in business is an important feature of Jain culture. The bania (traders) caste, predominant in Gujarat, comprises followers from both the Jain and Vaishnava traditions.
Gujarat, with a shoreline on the Arabian Sea, was one of the first regions in India where the Muslims migrated to after the founding of Islam. King Arjun of Gujarat permitted Muslim traders from Ormuz to build a mosque within his realm.
The Sufi saints are very popular in Gujarat. Shaykh Makhu was a Sufi saint of the Shattari lineage. "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 Sheikh Wajihuddin Gujarati are well known."
The 'Khojas', Muslims of the Shi'a Nizari Ismaili Satpanth tradition are historically rooted in Gujarat since the 14th century, though the first Ismaili Muslim community in Gujarat dates back to the missionaries of the Fatimid Empire in 1067.
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. 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. It is declared to be a panacea for all bodily and moral evils. It is drunk as well as applied externally. 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.
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.
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"
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.
Khushboo Gujarat ki:
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - Somnath Temple:
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - Gir Forest:
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - Kutch:
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - Dwarka:
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - Porbandar:
Khushboo Gujarat Ki - Lothal:
Religious sites of Gujarat:
Dwarakadhish 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 named Bodana.
Becharaji temple: This temple is another important seat of Mother Goddess at Becharaji in Mehsana district. This temple is thronged by Hindu devotees, especially childless women.
Chotila : This place is in Surendranagar district where there is a famous temple of Goddess Chamunda situated.
Sidi Saiyyed Mosque: The Sidi Sayed Mosque in Ahmedabad is a famous and ancient mosque of the city. The mosque was built in the year 1411. 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, 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 Dawoodi 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 of Gujarat:
Gujarat fairs and festivals are well known world wide. It is due to the celebration of numerous fairs and festivals in Gujarat that it is also called the 'Land of fairs and festivals'. Around 3500 fairs and festivals at Gujarat are celebrated all the year around. The fairs and festivals of Gujarat can be celebrated for the change of season, at harvesting time of a green field, on some religious event.
Fairs in Gujarat:
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 atmidnight 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 isfirmly 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 of Gujarat:
Other than those festivals observed throughout India, there are festivities specific to Gujarat.
Makar Sankranti and Kite Flying Festival (14 January):
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):
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):
Holi – Festival of Colour (March - April):
Holi is a festival of colour. With age being no bar, the young and old alike take to sprinkling coloured water and Guial (coloured powder) on one another. Bonfires are lit in the main squares of the villages, localities and colonies, Men, women and children collect at the time of the bonfire and sing and dance. The bonfire is the symbolic repetition of the victory of good over evil.
The festival of Rakhi has taken a broader significance worldwide as it spreads harmony and bring together the family members under one roof. Rakhi stands for the love between brothers and sisters, the bond of love that they have shared since their childhood. This festival holds immense significance in India. The custom of celebrating raksha bandhan started in ancestral period and even today people consider it must to express their affection in traditional manner. Rakhi has strengthen the bond of love between brothers and sisters.
Janmashtami Festival (August-September):
The Ras, introduced by Lord Krishna himself in, Gujarat, is performed in temple and homes. Men and Women both participate in this rhythmic and colourful folk dance.
Tarnetar Fair (August / September):
Tarnetar is a small village about 75 kilometers from Rajkot in Saurashtra. Here, one of the most colourful fairs in the State takes place. Elegantly dressed in colourful dhot s, waistcoat and head cloth twisted at an angle on their heads, they hold large colourful embroidered umbrellas which indeed have become emblems of the fair. Tarnetar is one of the most important matchmaking melas. An ancient Shiva temple is stood on the site. The present temple was built on the banks of a rivulet and has a kund or reservoir in the traditional manner. It is usually attended by at least 50,000 people. The participants are tribal people belonging to various groups, such as the koli, Bharwad, Rabari, Kanbi, Kathi, Charan, and other Castes. The folk music and folk dances are the principal attractions of the fair. Tribal folk dressed in their most colourful embroidered garments and dashing headgear, give themselves up to merrymaking.The fair is held for three days in September.
Ravechi Fair (August / September):
Ravechi Mata Temple is located near Nana Reva in Rapar Taluka of Kutch. A grand fair is held on Bhadra Sud Atham of Hindu Calender. More then 30 thousand people participate in Ravechi Fair, mainly Ahir, Rabari & Charan communities. Special buses are made available during the fair.
Bhadra Purnima (September/October):
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.
Navratri / Navratra ( October – November):
Navratri Festival, is “a circle of ecstasy” that throbs non-stop for nine nights with millions of fantastically costumed devotees swaying in a fusion of dance and devotion. Although this festival is celebrated throughout India, nowhere is it performed with more panache and fervor than in Gujarat.
The significance of Navratri is offering devotion to Goddess Amba (Durga), who is believed to exist in many forms. These Goddesses are believed to be known as "Shakti" as the tales narrate their power over killing of demons. Parvati, the wife of Shiva is said to have taken different forms of goddesses. Devotees perform the 'devi-sthaapna' in their homes wherein they invite the Goddess and perform 'pooja-path' for nine days with fasting.
The festival is enjoyed by all communities, all age groups and in all cities in Gujarat. People all over the world come to Gujarat especially to enjoy this traditional and religious festival.
Deepavali – The Festival of Lights:
Vautha is some 60 kilometers from Ahmedabad where a fair is held at the Sangam Tirth which is the conf luence of seven rivers. This is one of the biggest fairs in the State. A magnificent fair is held every year at Vautha, where two rivers, the Sabarmati and the Vatrak, meet. The Vautha Mela site is 3 square miles in area. In the now temporary township at the fair site, visitors have a choice or several pastimes to indulge in. This is the only major animal trading fair in Gujarat. About 4000 donkeys are brought every yearfor sale, usually by Vaniara traders.
Shamlaji Fair ( Kartik Purnima Fair):
The Shamlaji Melo, also called the Kartik Purnima fair is held in the month of November every year and lasts for about two weeks. The Shamlaji Temple is a renowned Vaishnav Shrine and the deity housed here is known by various names included Gadadhar (bearer of the mace) and Shaksi Gopal. The temple is of great archaeological significance as it was built in the 11th century.
Gujarat Heritage Hotels:
Heritage Hotels in Bhavnagar:
Nilambagh, Dist. Bhavnagar, Gujarat-364002
Heritage Hotels in Chitrasani:
Balaram Palace Resort
Balaram Palace Resort Chitrasani Village,
Off. Abu – Palanpur Highway No. 14 ( B.K.) Gujarat
Heritage Hotels in Gondal:
Riverside and Orchard Palace
Palace Road, Gondal Gujarat – 360311
Heritage Hotels in Wadhwan:
Rajmahal Palace Wadhwan
Rajmahal Palace Wadhwan Dist. Surendranagar, Gujarat, India
Heritage Hotels in Rajkot:
Via Jasdan, District Rajkot, Gujarat, India
Heritage Hotels in Chandod:
Sarita Mandvi Mahal
Juna Mandwa Chandod Dist. Vadodara
Heritage Hotels in Utelia
The Palace Utelia
Village Utelia Via Lothal Burkhi Ahmedabad - 382 230
Heritage Hotels in Balasinore:
Garden Palace Hotel
Balasinore Dist. Kheda Gujarat Ph : 02690-62008
Heritage Hotels in Poshina:
Darbargadh Poshina Sabarkantha
Village Poshina Via Khedbrahma Dist.Sabarkantha Guajrat
Heritage Hotels in Palitana:
Vijay Vilas Palace Hotel and Resorts
Adpur, Palitana, Gujarat.
Heritage Hotels in Danta:
Danta, bhavangadh, Dist. Banaskantha,Gujarat - 385120 INDIA
Heritage Hotels in Ahmedabad:
The House of Mangaldas Girdhardas
Opposite Sidi Saiyad Mosque, Lal Darwaja, Ahmedabad
Heritage Hotels in Wankaner:
Royal Oasis and The Residency
City:Rajkot Pincode:363621 State:Gujarat
Gujarat luxury hotels:
Here follows a list of Gujarat luxury hotels in different cities of Gujarat
Nilambag Palace Hotel
Balaram Palace Resort
Hotels in Ahmedabad
Five Star Hotels in Ahmedabad
- Holiday Inn Hotel
- Taj Residency Ummed
Four Star Hotels in Ahmedabad
- Cama Park Plaza
- Comfort Inn Sunset
Three Star Hotels in Ahmedabad
- Hotel Fortune Landmark
Five Star Hotels in Surat
- Hotel Holiday Inn
Three Star Hotels in Surat
- Hotel Park Inn
- Yuvraj Hotel
Heritage Hotel in Bhavnagar
- Neelambagh Palace
Five Star Hotels in Vadodara
- Welcome Hotel
Four Star Hotels in Vadodara
- Express Hotel
Three Star Hotels in Vadodara
- Express Alkapuri Hotel
- Holiday Inn Hotel
- Yuvraj Hotel
Three Star Hotels in Rajkot
- Hotel Kavery
Three Star Hotels in Jamnagar
- Express Hotel