Located on the country's
western coast, Gujarat is bounded by the Arabian Sea to the west and
southwest and Pakistan to the northwest. Rajasthan neighbours it to
the north, Madhya Pradesh to the east and Maharashtra to the
southeast. It has a fertile plain land in the south cut by several
rivers, low hills in the west, and broad mudflats in the north that
adjoin the Thar (Great Indian) Desert. A varied climate characterised
by a dry northwest, scorching summers, a cold winter have made this
state a land of unexplainable contrasts.
Ahmedabad is the first place to stop. Some of its sights include some
outstanding mosques, including the Jami Masjid, Siddi Bashir's Shaking
Minarets and Sabarmati Ashram. Gujarat's loveliest beach - and the
state is well endowed with them - is Ahmedpur Mandvi whose chief
attraction is the ethnic beach resort. Situated on the Gujarat Coast,
Dwarka is one of the holiest centres of Hindus.
Capital of Gujarat
Gandhinagar the capital of Gujarat, is in west-central India. It lies
on the banks of the Sabarmati River, north of the former capital of
Ahmedabad. Laid out in 30 residential sectors, in an ordered style
influenced by the work of Le Corbusier, who designed Chandigarh, its
near-symmetrical numbered streets are wide and strangely quiet, lined
with a total of 16 lakh trees. An expressway connects Gandhinagar with
The People of Gujarat
Gujarat's population is overwhelmingly Hindu, with Muslim and Jain
minorities. The diverse ethnic groups may be broadly categorized as
Indic (i.e., northern-derived) or Dravidian (southern-derived). The
former include the Nagar Brahman, Bhatia, Bhadela, Rabari, and Mina
castes (the Parsis, originally from Persia, represent a much later
northern influx); among the people of southern origin are the Bhangi,
Koli, Dubla, Naikda, and Macchi-Kharwa tribes. The rest of the
population, including the aboriginal Bhil tribe, exhibits mixed
characteristics. Members of the scheduled castes and of the aboriginal
tribes form nearly one-fifth of the state's population. Gujarati and
Hindi are the state's official languages.
Occupation in Gujarat
Gujarat has an agricultural economy; the total crop area amounts to
more than one-half of the total land area. Dairy farming, primarily
concerned with milk production, is also a job sector. The state's
textiles, petroleum, cement, vegetable oil, chemical, and
pharmaceutical industries are also highly important. New industries
include the production of fertilizers and petrochemicals.
CLIMATE OF GUJARAT
The northwestern part of the state is dry, with less than 500 mm rain
a year. In the southern part of Gujarat, rainfall averages 2000 mm a
year. In winter, temperature average between 12° and 27° C, although
freezing levels have been recorded in the state. In the summer,
temperatures average between 25° and 43° C and have been known to
reach as high as 48° C. Best time to visit is October to March.
Population of Gujarat
50,596,992 as per the provisional results of the Census of India 2001.
Festivals in Gujarat
Kite Festival in January; Modhera Dance Festival in January; Rann
Festival in February/March; Bhavanath Fair at Junagadh in
February-March; Chitra Vichitra Fair in March; Dang Durbar in March;
Janmashthami in August at Dwarka; Bhadra Purnima at Ambaji in
September; the three-day Tarnetar Fair in September; Navratri festival
in September; Shamlaji Fair in November; Vautha Nomelo fair in
November, near Ahmedabad; Somnath Fair in November/December.
Important Information about Gujarat
A devastating earthquake hit parts of Gujarat on January 26, 2001 and
has caused considerable loss of life and property. A few of the cities
have been been reduced to rubble, especially in the Kachchh region.
Quite a few monuments have also suffered damage. It is, therefore,
advisable to find relevant information before you set out to explore