History of Gujarat


According to Hindu epics, Lord Krishna and his elder brother Balarama evacuated Mathura and established themselves at Kushasthali, now known as Dwarka and started what is known as the Yadava dynasty. Dwarka subsequently became one of the four seats (mathas) set up by Shri Adi Shankaracharya.

The Parsees when they fled from Iran in the eighth century first landed at Sanjan on the shores of Gujarat with the holy flame, which still burns in Udwada in Valsad. The Muslim influence left its lasting imprints on the local art and architecture and it became to be known as the Indo-Saracenic style.

In Gujarat, Portuguese were the earliest Europeans who settled in Diu, a small island off the southern coast of Saurashtra. After that came, the British, who set up warehouses in Surat in 1612.

Gujarat was a part of the erstwhile Mumbai state during the British Rule. But in 1960, the 'Gujarati' population decided to secede from that union, which resulted in the formation of two new states, namely Gujarat and Maharashtra. The new State of Gujarat came into existence on May 01, 1960 because of this bifurcation.

Gujarat is the birthplace for many who played an important role in shaping modern India. Prominent among them are Shri Dadabhoy Navroji, the grand old man of the freedom fight, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the architect of a united India and Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the Nation. These men carried the torch of national freedom and integration infusing the qualities of tolerance, brotherhood, non-violence and patriotism amongst Indians.

Gujarat gets its name from "Gujjar Rashtra", the land of the Gujjars, a migrant tribe who came to India in the wake of the invading Huns in 5th century. The history of Gujarat dates back to 2000 BC. It is also believed that Lord Krishna left Mathura to settle on the west coast of Saurashtra at Dwarka.