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Gujarat

General Information about Gujarat
Area
196,024 square kms.
Capital Gandhinagar
Language Gujarati
Districts 25
Population 55,696,629
Male 26,344,053
Female 24,252,939
Literacy 69.97%
Best time to Visit: October to March

Information about Gujarat
Gujarat is one of the most diverse states in India. Gujarat derives its name from the word 'Gujaratta'. Gujaratta means the land of gurjars. The gurjars  were a sub-tribe of the Huns who ruled the area
 

Gujarat Map, Map of Gujarat

during the 8th and 9th centuries AD. They passed through Punjab and settled in some parts of western India, which came to be known as Gujarat. The state of Gujarat is an industrially advanced state. The state of Gujarat is not a popular tourist destination among foreign and Indian tourists, but still holds an important place in India. Gujarat is bounded by the Arabian Sea in the west, by Rajasthan in the north and northeast, by Madhya Pradesh in the east and by Maharashtra in the south and south east. The state has an international border and has a common frontier with Pakistan at the northwestern fringe. It is situated on the north end of the west coast of India and covers an area of 196,024 square km. Gandhinagar, located near Ahmedabad is the state capital of Gujarat. The people of Gujarat are also known to be a successful business community. At present, Gujarat comprises of 25 districts. The official and primary language spoken is Gujarati. The state of Gujarat is known all over the world for its holy temples, historic capitals, wildlife sanctuaries, beaches, hill resorts, fascinating handicrafts, mouth watering cuisine and colourful lifestyle of the people of Gujarat. This state can also be visited during your trip to Mumbai or Rajasthan. The best time to visit Gujarat is from October to March.
 

History of Gujarat
The history of Gujarat dates back to 3500 years. The Harappa and Mohenjodaro civilization can be known from the archaeological findings at Lothal near Dhandauka in Ahmedabad district and Razdi in Saurashtra. The history of Gujarat flows through the dynamic kingdoms and principal states of Saurashtra. According to the legends, the Somnath shore temple was built by Soma, the moon god himself to mark the creation of the Universe. The Lord Krishna’s kingdom was also built at Dwaraka in Gujarat. Gujarat was also present in the exploitation of the great Buddhist emperor Ashoka and his Rock Edicts can be seen near Junagarh. Later, Gujarat

Gujarat History

also suffered invasions from Mahmud of Ghazni who demolished the Somnath Temple and carried away gold with him. Gujarat was also a battlefield at the time of the war between the Mughals and Marathas. It was also the earliest contact point with the West at Surat where the British set up their first commercial outpost in the 16th century. Daman and Diu, the two small Portuguese enclaves survived within Gujarat for over 450 years till 1961 when these were liberated by the Indian Army. During the British Raj, Gujarat was part of the larger Bombay Presidency and was ruled from Mumbai, and became a separate state in 1960 when the Indian States were divided on the basis of language. More...

Geography of Gujarat
Geographically, the state of Gujarat is divided into three areas. The mainland region includes the major cities of Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara (Baroda). The Gulf of Mumbai divides the mainland from the flat and barren plains of the Kathiawar Peninsula also known as Saurashtra. Before independence, the Saurashtra region was ruled by about 200 rulers who continued to rule it as they had made peace with the British. Later, these tiny states were merged in the larger state of Bombay Presidency after independence and later merged in the new state of Gujarat. The Gulf of Kutch separates the Saurashtra from Kutch. Kutch is virtually an island cut off from the rest of Gujarat that is wedged between Pakistan in the east and the low-lying Rann of Kutch in the north.
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Climate of Gujarat
The best time to visit Gujarat is in the mild winter months from November to March. During the monsoon season, most of the Gujaratis came back to home on leave. The monsoon period has its own charm when the air is cool and the sky is overcasted. The temperature in the Gujarat shows relatively little contrast, but there are great contrasts in the rainfall from South to North. In north, the temperature is about 42 to 43 degree Celsius in summers while in winters it is about 12 degree Celsius. In further south, the winter temperature never fall very far and the summer temperatures are moderate. The rainfall is also scattered throughout the state. The Kutch receives minimum rainfall while Ahmedabad receives moderate rainfall.

Economy of Gujarat

Agriculture in Gujarat forms a vital sector of the state's economy. It provides the required food grains for the state's population and raw materials for most of the agro-based industries. There was a development of industries like Chemicals, petrochemicals, fertilizers, engineering, electronics etc. With the largest Petro-chemical complex in the country, Gujarat is a major producer of inorganic chemicals such as soda-ash and caustic soda as well as chemical fertilizers. The most remarkable feature of Gujarat's recent industrial development has been the growth of the dairy industry, much of it is conducted on a cooperative basis.
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People of Gujarat
The people of Gujarat or the Gujaratis are known as a successful business community. Some of the famous businessmen and industrialists can be seen operating hotels and motels in California, running stores in Australia and New Zealand and newspaper kiosks in England. Mahatma Gandhi, the father of nation also belongs to Gujarat. He worked for the independence of India through non violence. One of the biggest billionaires of the world, Dhirubhai Ambani was also a Gujarati, who built his empire in three decades. Parsis also belong to this state where they had landed at a place called Sajjan in

Gujarat People

745 AD. Many of the Parsis still live here, but some of them have now migrated to Bombay. The Jains are also a very important community in Gujarat. These families own textile and chemical mills and spend lavishly on building new temple and on charities like schools and religious trusts. More...

Languages in Gujarat
The three important languages of Gujarat are Gujarati, Urdu and Sindhi. There are eleven variants or dialects of Gujarati. The majority of the people of Gujarat speak Gujarati which belongs to the Indo-Aryan family. This language is derived from Sanskrit and other ancient languages. It was also highly influenced by Apabrahmsa, which was widely spoken in the north west India from the 10th to 14th centuries. The maritime contact with Persia, Arabia, Portugal and England further led to the introduction of many words from these languages. Kachchi as a mother tongue was spoken in Kutch.

Cuisine of Gujarat
The Gujarati food is mostly vegetarian. The dishes of Gujarat are not very spicy and sweet than those of the neighboring states. Some of the popular dishes of Gujarat are Kadhi, Undhyoo and Paunk. The diet of the Gujarati's consists of the rice, chapatis, wide variety of beans and pulses, coconut, pickles and sweetened yoghurt. You can experience all these constituents of the vegetarian Gujarati meal by having a Thali at Vishala, about 5 kms. from Ahmedabad. It is a restaurant and part of a complex is described as a Gujarati village with a small museum, local crafts and performing arts. Besides Vishala, there are various other good restaurants in

Gujarat Cuisine

Ahmedabad which offers the Gujarati food, Chinese and Continental cuisine. More...

Fairs & Festivals of Gujarat
Various fairs and festivals are celebrated in every month in Gujarat. Some of the main festivals which are celebrated in Gujarat are the Kite Flying Festival or Makar Sankranti, Navaratri Festival, Sarkhej Fair and Tarnetar Fair. The Navratri festival is celebrated during September-October and devoted to the three goddesses of the Hindu mythology. The Kite Flying Festival is celebrated on 14th January. On this day, the people of every age fly kites of various shapes and sizes.
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Handicrafts of Gujarat

The handicrafts of the Gujarat are also unique like the Gujarati cuisine. Gujarat also has a rich tradition of high quality weaving, unique Kutch embroidery and hand-block printing, the most common are the tie-and-dye fabrics. These fabrics are known all over the world for their variety and excellent colors. Apart from these fabrics, the hand-painted cloth is also available in traditional black, red, maroon and ochre colors and is also inexpensive. Besides these, you can also buy various items like nut-crackers, silver, wood, brass and other items. The Patola silk sarees are another famous item of Gujarat that are extremely fine and quite expensive and made by very small master craftsmen at Patan. Surat is known for silk sarees and zari or gold thread embroidery. Jamnagar is known for its woolen shawls, blankets, rugs, wooden chest and furniture.
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Music and Dances of Gujarat
In the field of music, Gujarat has made its own contribution. Gujarat has preserved folk music in its pure and pristine form by Charans and Gadhavis, a community whose hereditary profession is folk music and folk arts. Lullaby, Nupital songs, festive songs, Rannade songs are the different types of folk songs in Gujarat. Besides its contribution to classical and folk music, Gujarat has produced its own folk instruments. Gujarat has a unique distinction of having a legendary origin of folk dance forms. There are certain folk dances which typically represent the community activities and their functional aspect. The tribes in Gujarat have their own forms of the folk dances. The most popular and known folk dances of

Dances of Gujarat
Gujarat are Garba, Garbi, Rasaka, Tippani, Padhar-Nritya, Dangi-Nritya etc. More...

Cities in Gujarat
Some of the famous cities in Gujarat are Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Gandhinagar, Gondal, Junagadh, Lothal, Palitana, Saputara, Somnath, Surat, Dwarka, Porbandar and Vadodara. In Ahmedabad there are many fine examples of Muslim architecture. Baroda was the capital of the princely state of Gaekwad. The first British factory was established in Surat in 1612. Junagadh is known for its fort and temples and also a suitable base for visiting the Gir national park.
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Pilgrimage in Gujarat

There are various places of pilgrimage in Gujarat like Somnath, Dwaraka, Junagadh, Palitana, Modhera. The Mount Girnar in Junagadh and Shatrunjaya Hill in Palitana are the two famous pilgrimage places of the Jain community. While, the Somnath temple in Somnath, Dwarakadhish temple in Dwaraka, Sun Temple in Modhera and Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar are the other famous pilgrimage of the Hindus. Ahmedabad is also visited by many tourists for its mosques and temples.
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Wildlife Sanctuaries in Gujarat

Gujarat is a paradise for bird-watchers and wildlife enthusiasts. Deciduous forests, desert plains, grasslands, wetlands and coastal and marine locations have made Gujarat one of the most pleasant place for bird watching and wildlife viewing. There are about four national  parks and twenty one wildlife sanctuaries in Gujarat. Some of the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks are the Marine National Park, Gir National Park, Indian Wild Ass Wildlife sanctuary, Velavadar National Park. Nalsarovar, Khijadia Bird Sanctuary and the Porbandar Bird sanctuary are the other bird sanctuaries in Gujarat.
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How to reach Gujarat

Gujarat is very well connected with all parts of India. Indian Airlines and other private airlines link Ahmedabad daily with many cities of India like Mumbai and Delhi. Ahmedabad is also located on the main rail network. The roads in Gujarat are in excellent condition and travel by car can be fun.

 

 

 
 

 

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