Gujarat is known as the land of legends situated on the Western part of India. It is the native land for the Gujarati-speaking people of India and also the State’s official spoken language is Gujarati. The capital city of Gujarat is Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad is regarded to be the largest city. It has a total 33 districts. Gujarat is known to be the birthplace of many Indian legends like Mahatma Gandhi and Vallabhbhai Patel. This place has a rich heritage of culture and traditions which glorifies the state.
|Established||1 May 1960|
|High Court||Gujarat High Court|
|Rivers||Sabarmati, Tapi, Narmada, Mahi River, Hiran, Kalubhar, Kankawati, Kareshwar, Khokhra, Padalio, Utavali and Vegdi etc.|
|National Parks||Gir National Park, Vansda National Park, Blackbuck National Park, Velavadar, Jambughoda Wildlife Sanctuary|
|State Animal||Asiatic lion|
|State Bird||Greater flamingo|
|Literacy Rate (2011)||79.31%|
|Females per 1000 males||920|
|Lok Sabha constituencies||26|
The history of Gujarat is divided into ancient, medieval and modern eras. The ancient history is associated with the Indus Valley Civilization since Gujarat was one of the main parts of this great ancient civilization with sites of Indus Valley Settlement ruins at Lothal, Dholavira and Gola Dharo. Altogether around 50 Indus Valley settlement ruins have been discovered in Gujarat so far. There is clear historical proof of trade and commerce ties with Egypt, Bahrain and Sumer in the Persian Gulf during the time period of 1000 to 750 BC during ancient times. Gujarat has been successively ruled by the dynasties of Mauryan Dynasty, Western Satraps, Satavahana dynasty, Gupta Empire, Chalukya dynasty, Rashtrakuta Empire, Pala Empire and Gurjara-Pratihara Empire, as well as local dynasties such as the Maitrakas and then the Chaulukyas. Gujarat was also ruled and conquered by Mahmud of Ghazni to Allaudin Khilji to King Akbar but soon the Muslims were thrown out by the Maratha King Shivaji. Finally the Britishers ruled here till Indian Independence. After India’s independence Gujarat was part of the Bombay State ruled by Indian National Congress it was only in 1960 when Bombay State was split into Maharashtra and Gujarat and the State of Gujarat was formed.
Gujarat has an area of 196,024 km2 with a coastline of 1,600 km and most of its area lies on the Kathiawar peninsula. The state is bordered by Rajasthan to the north, Maharashtra to the south, Madhya Pradesh to the east, and the Arabian Sea and the Pakistani province of Sindh to the west. The rivers of Sabarmati, Tapi, Damanganga and Narmada flows all over Gujarat. There are three geographical subdivisions in Gujarat. These are the barren and rocky Kutch in the north east including the famous Rann or desert of Kutch, the hilly region is made of small mountains known as the Saurashtra and the Kathiawar while the main plain land starts from the Kutch to the river Damanganga and is filled with plain alluvial soil.
The population of Gujarat State was 60,383,628, according to the 2011 census data and its density is approximately 308 per km square which is lower is comparison with other States of India. Gujarat has a sex ratio rate of 918 females per 1000 males which is considered lower than other States of India.
Gujarat is the third most industrialized state in India the majority of Industries present here are textiles, chemicals, electrical engineering, pharmaceuticals, food processing industry, vegetable oils, soda ash and fertilizers. This State is also rich in minerals. The State of Gujarat produces 66% of the salt required by India and 35% of the chemical demands gets fulfilled from the state. Ankleshwar and Khambat are famous for natural gas and oil production. Rajkot is famous for engineering manufacturing industries for auto engines, auto components, CNC machines, forging and casting parts. Gujarat is also well known for manufacturing and trading gems and jewellery. Surat is well known for diamond trade. Gujarat is also an agrarian economy where cotton, tobacco, rice, groundnut, wheat, bajra, jowar, maize gram, etc are produced. Dairy and animal husbandry is also a source of rural economy for the state. It is also the largest producers of milk in entire Asia and this is done through the Amul milk co-operative federation (AMUL) which is situated at Anand. The largest ship breaking yard of the world is at Bhavnagar and Reliance petroleum is a part of the Reliance Industries Ltd. is located at Jamnagar which is the largest grass root refinery in the world. Gujarat has the best economy among all since Gujarati people are born for doing business.
Gujarat tourism is a treat for tourists since it is a tourist haven offering everything from nature, temples and historical monuments and wildlife. Bollywood actor- Amitabh Bachchan is brand ambassador for Gujarat tourism and due to this there is 14 % growth in tourism which twice the national growth rate. Tourists throng to this State to witness the beauty and charm of Rann of Kutch especially for Rann Utsav, Hills of Saputara, Home of Asiatic lions – Gir, Uparkot Fort, Nazar Bagh Palace, Dabhoi fort, Dholavira, Dwarka, Pavagarh, Somnath, Shamlaji, Jain temples at the Palitana Hills and the Girnar Hills, Mandvi beach and many more countless tourist spots in Gujarat.
Gujarat is the sports hub of India where various sports equipments are manufactured and this State is the biggest dealers and retailers of sports goods and equipments. Apart from this Cricket is the most popular sports played here. Gujarat even has its own IPL team- Gujarat Lions.
The location of Gujarat makes this place accessible from all parts of India as well as world. Gujarat is well connected via air and has 17 airports across Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bhavnagar, Bhuj, Deesa, Kandla, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Porbandar, Rajkot, Surat, Mandvi and Mehsana. Gujarat comes under the Western Railway Zone of the Indian Railways and Vadodara Railway Station is the busiest railway station in Gujarat. Other important railway stations are Surat railway station, Ahmedabad Railway Station and Rajkot Railway Station. Gujarat State has the longest sea coast of 1600 km in India. Kandla Port is one of the largest ports in Western India. Other important ports in Gujarat are the Port of Navlakhi, Port of Magdalla, Port Pipavav, Bedi Port, Port of Porbandar, Port of Veraval and the privately owned Mundra Port.The State also has a ferry service. Gujarat also has good roadways transport where autos were popular in cities for the commuters. Other than this there are good bus network too in various cities which are managed by Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC).
Gujarat has a vibrant and flourishing cultural heritage and tradition. This State is known for its fairs and festivals. Apart from traditional Indian festivals like Holi, Diwali, Navratri, Dussera, other Hindu festivals are widely celebrated here like the Makar Sankranti or kite flying festival, Modhera, Kutch Mahotsav and the Bhadra Purnima. Dance forms of dandiya raas, garba, garbi and padhar are famous worldwide. Gujarat is rich in handicrafts too especially in Embroidery, wood carving printing, jewellery as well as stone work.
Literacy and Education
As per 2011 data census the literacy rate of Gujarat was 76.64 %. Gujarat is also having a good education system with establishment of educational institutes like Gujarat University, the Saurashtra University, Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University, IIM, Ahmedabad, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Institute of Technology, Surat as well as the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. There are several engineering colleges in the state and some of them like the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Institute of Technology, Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology and Mudra Institute of Communications Ahmedabad(MICA) rank top in India. Moreover, institutes like the Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute encourages various research works mainly on marine salt, inland lake salt, and sub-soil brine.
Hospitals and Health Care
Gujarat is also developed in providing health care services in an advanced method by some of the reputed hospitals like Zydus Hospitals, Adventist Wockhardt Heart Hospital, Lifecare hospital, CIMS, etc.