Gujarat is situated on the west coast of India. This state is bounded by the Arabian Sea on the West Pakistan and Rajasthan in the north and north east, Madhya Pradesh in the south east and Maharashtra in the South. It has a very long coastline, extending to more than 1290 kms. Gujarat is made up of three geographical regions. The peninsula traditionally known as saurashtra is essentially a hilly track sprinkled with low mountains.
Kutch on the north east is barren and rocky and includes the famous Rann desert. The third region extends from the Rann of Kutch and the Aravalli Hills to the river Damanganga. It is on the whole a level plain of alluvial soil. The Gujarat is relatively little, with only 9.61% area covered with forest. However it still supports more than 40 species of animals including the rare Asiatic lion, wild ass and black buck. The rivers of this state are mostly seasonal streams and the highest point in Gujarat is in the Girnar Hills.
The history of Gujarat goes back to the Indus valley civilization. The Dravidian tribes were the original inhabitants of the region. Gujarat saw an Aryan invasion, followed by a brief period of Greek rule. Later there was a succession of Hindu Kingdoms including the era of the Guptas. This era ended in the political area of the state. The rule of the Mughals lasted for two centuries before the Marathas ended it in the 18th century.
The British Raj came to Gujarat in 1803. After Independence, Gujarat was included under the old Bombay state. Bombay was finally divided into two separate states Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Gujarat and the freedom struggle
Gujarat played a leading role in India’s struggle of independence. It was the birth place of many freedom fighters like legendary Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabai Patel and others. Some of the popular revolts against British rule, like the salt sathyagraha also originated in Gujarat.
Gujarat is one of the most prosperous states of India owing to its agricultural productivity and industrial development the state leads the country in various industrial sectors namely textiles, automobiles, engineering, chemicals, petrochemicals, drugs and pharmaceutical dairy, cement, ceramics, gems and jewellery. Major agricultural products include cotton, groundnuts, dates, sugarcane, milk and milk products. The world’s largest grass root refinery is the oil refinery in Jamnagar. The world’s largest ship breaking yard is in Gujarat. Gujarat is the only state in India to have a state wide gas grid of 2,200kms. Gujarat ranks first in the nation in gas based thermal electricity generation during the past few years from 1994 to 2011 Gujarat has had an average growth rate of 12.4% per annum, which has a very impressive growth rate indeed.
Gujarat General Information
The capital of Gujarat is Gandhi Nagar.
There are 26 districts in this state.
The principal languages spoken by this people are Gujarati.
Greater Flamingo is this state’s bird.
Asiatic Lion is this state’s animal.
Marigold is this state’s flower.
Gujarat has rich natural resources, a vast reservoir of skilled man power and it is one of the most developed industrial infrastructures in the country. Its rank among the state has steadily risen from 8th in the 1960 and it is now vying for the top slot.
From its traditional textile base, Gujarat has diversified into fields like chemicals, petrochemicals, engineering, pharmaceuticals, dyes and dye intermediates, food processing agro based industries, dairy, edible oils and a host of other sectors. The political pursued by the state has resulted in increasing employment opportunities promoting entrepreneur belonging to weaker sections and also in improving the export performance of the state. The state has been to able to attract substance flow of investment to the industrial sector during the couple of decades.
Garba and Bandini
Gujarat is famous for its garba dance and bandini work. Garba is a popular dance that is associated with Lord Krishna. Bandini is an ancient art that involves tying and dying pieces of cotton or silk with natural colours.