Gujarat is a state located in India's western coastal region. Its name comes from a tribe of people that once protected it called the Gurjars. It was officially established as a state on May 1st 1960, after India gained its Independence from Great Britain. The population here is about 60,383,000, making it India's 10th most populated state. The primary language spoken here is Gujarati, but people speak a variety of languages. The largest city is Ahmedabad.
As mentioned above, the Gurjar clan once protected Gujarat from other who tried to take it over by force. They were a sun-worshipping tribe. The clan arrived in northern India during the Huna invasion, which occurred during India's ancient history. In fact, this state is where the famous ancient Harappan civilization once flourished. Harappa was one of the major Indus Valley Civilzations that really began human history in India!
India's very first trade port was established here in an area known as Lothal. This coastal port resulted in the state becoming the serious business hub, that it still is today. There were a number of different dynasties and empires that ruled the state over the years, some were not Indian at all. One of first major Muslim migrations into India occurred right here. The Portuguese first entered India through this state too, while doing trade with the Indian people. They ended up occupying this port area along the coast.
Great Britain was the second European nation to occupy the state. The British East India Tea Company established its first factory here, in the city of Surat. Gujarat was actually the home base for the British until they took Mumbai (Bombay) away from Portugal during India's modern history.
In the 18th century, an Indian political superpower called the Maratha Empire controlled almost all of India! During a major fight, that was known as the second Anglo-Maratha War, the Marathas wrestled the British for power in this region.
Eventually, this state, Mumbai and other important regions of India made peace the British, after determining the British were a superpower that could not yet be defeated. This enabled the Indian people to rule their own states, under British control; these Indian ruled states were referred to as the Princely States.
This all changed in 1947 with India's Independence Movement lead by Gandhi. This movement occurred in India's modern India history era and gave India complete independence from Britain. This important period of time involved the famous Indian man Mahatma Gandhi.
This is one of India's major hubs for business and houses corporations like Reliance Industries and the oil refinery at Jamnagar. Some agricultural exports include nuts, cotton, dates, sugar cane, milk products, cement and petrol. The economy here is stronger than most economies of India. More than 20% of the S&P CNX 500 conglomerates have offices in Gujarat.
The Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya is a famous museum set up in Ahmedabad which contains a collection of Mahatma Gandhi's memorabilia, and the Kankaria Lakefront is a gorgeous place where you can witness amazing outdoor light shows.
The famous, beloved Gandhi was from this region of India, which adds to the state's rich culture and history, making it an excellent place to visit. For example, Dholavira's Water Reservoir is a popular destination. It's a water reservoir system that was created by people in ancient India. Laxmi Villas Palace is a beautiful site to see, with intricately carved marble and overall breath-taking architecture!
In addition to all of this, there are beautiful, uncrowded beaches that I recommend you visit!
Hinduism is by far the most followed religion in this state, but you will find that Jainism, Christianity and Islam are present here as well. This state is known as the land of festivals and celebrations because so many take place here, more than 100 per year! If you visit, you're bound to catch at least a few celebrations taking place while you're there. Another exciting thing about the state, is that the Gujarati film industry is one of the largest film industries in India! There is a lot to see and a lot going on in this busy India state.