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Gujarat


Gujarat  has an area of 1,96,077 km² with a coastline of 1,600 km, most of which 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 as well as the Pakistani province of Sindh on the west.

Its capital is Gandhinagar, while its largest city is Ahmedabad.

The population of the Gujarat State was 60,383,628 as per the 2011 census data. The density of population is 308/km2 (797.6/sq mi), a lower density compared to other states of the country.

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.

Mahatma Gandhi, considered India's "father of the nation", was a Gujarati who led the Indian Independence Movement against the British colonial rule.

Gujarat is derived from Gurjaratra that is the land protected or ruled by the Gurjars, or from Gurjar-Rashtra, the Gujjar nation.

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.

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.

Leaders like Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Morarji Desai, K.M. Munshi, Narhari Parikh, Mahadev Desai, Mohanlal Pandya, Bhulabhai Desai and Ravi Shankar Vyas all hailed from Gujarat.

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.

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.

Gujarat is the only home of Asiatic Lions. Outside Africa, Gujarat is the only present natural habitat of lions.

Gir Forest National Park in the south-west part of the state covers only part of the lions' habitat.


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.

The world's largest shipbreaking yard is in Gujarat near Bhavnagar at Alang.

Gujarat produces about 98% of India's required amount of Soda Ash and gives the country about 78% of its national requirement of salt.

Gujarat ranks first in the country in the production of cotton and groundnut and second in the production of Tobacco.

Gujarat is the main producer of tobacco, cotton and groundnut in the country and provides inputs for important industries like textiles, oil and soap. Other important cash crops are isabgol, paddy, wheat and bajra. Forest species available in Gujarat are teak, khair, sadad, haldariyo and manual bamboos.

Gujarat is the largest producer of milk in India. Amul - Anand milk co-operative federation products are well known all over India, and it is Asia's biggest dairy.

Gujarat at a glance
Area 1,96,024 sq. km    
Population 6,03,83,628
Capital Gandhinagar
Districts 25
Main Language Gujarati
Assembly seats 182
Lok Sabha seats 26
Rajya Sabha seats 11
State Day May 1

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