History of the State of Gujarat in the Republic of India
Gujarat is a state in the
Republic of India. With 19.8% of the country's total industrial
output, it is the most industrialized state in India. Gujarat
borders Pakistan, and the states of Rajasthan to the north-east,
Madhya Pradesh to the east, Maharashtra and the Union territories of
Diu, Daman, Dadra and Nagar Haveli to the south. The international
border with Pakistan is to the north-west. The Arabian Sea makes up
the state's western coast. Its capital, Gandhinagar is a planned city and is located near Ahmedabad, the former state capital and the current commercial center of Gujarat.
Indus Valley Civilization of Gujarat
Many settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization, also known as the Harappan Civilization, have been found in Gujarat. The most important of these are the trade port of Lothal in south eastern Gujarat and Dholavira in western Gujarat.
Migration and Hindu Kingdoms of Gujarat
The name of the state is derived from Gujjaratta (Gurjar Rashtra), which means Gurjar nation. According to one theory, Gurjars were one of the Central Asian tribes that migrated to India beginning from around the 1st century B.C., according to another, they are an old clan that was already present in India in the Mahabharata period. Gujarat's coastal cities, chiefly Bharuch, served as ports and trading centres for the Maurya and Gupta empires. After the collapse of the Gupta empire in the 6th century, Gujarat flourished as an independent Hindu kingdom. The Maitraka dynasty, descended from a Gupta general, ruled from the 6th to the 8th centuries from their capital at Vallabhi, although they were ruled briefly by Harsha during the 7th century. In 775 the first Parsi (Zoroastrian) refugees arrived in Gujarat from Iran. The Arab rulers of Sind sacked Vallabhi in 770, bringing the Maitraka dynasty to an end. A branch of the Pratihara clan ruled Gujarat after the eighth century.
Gujarat in 1297 AD – 1850 AD
In 1297 to 1298 Ala ud din Khilji, Sultan of Delhi, destroyed Anhilwara and incorporated Gujarat into the Delhi Sultanate. After Timur's sacking of Delhi at the end of the 14th century weakened the Sultanate, Gujarat's Muslim governor Zafar Khan Muzaffar asserted his independence, and his son, Sultan Ahmed Shah (ruled 1411 to 1442), restructured Ahmedabad as the capital that was early established by Karndev Solanki of Solanki clan and named "Karnavati" after his name. Cambay eclipsed Bharuch as Gujarat's most important trade port. The Sultanate of Gujarat remained independent until 1576, when the Mughal emperor Akbar conquered it and annexed it to the Mughal Empire. It remained a province of the Mughal empire until the Marathas conquered eastern and central Gujarat in the 18th century; Western Gujarat (Kathiawar and Kutch) were divided among numerous local rulers.
Portugal was the first European power to arrive in Gujarat, acquiring several enclaves along the Gujarati coast, including Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The British East India Company established a factory in Surat in 1614, which formed their first base in India, but it was eclipsed by Bombay after the British acquired it from Portugal in 1668. The Company wrested control of much of Gujarat from the Marathas during the Second Anglo-Maratha War. Many local rulers, notably the Maratha Gaekwads of Baroda (Vadodara), made a separate peace with the British, and acknowledged British sovereignty in return for retaining local self-rule. Gujarat was placed under the political authority of Bombay Presidency, with the exception of Baroda state, which had a direct relationship with the Governor-General of India. From 1818 to 1947, most of present-day Gujarat, including Kathiawar, Kutch, and northern and eastern Gujarat were divided into dozens of princely states, but several districts in central and southern Gujarat, namely Ahmedabad, Broach (Bharuch), Kaira, Panch Mahals, and Surat, were ruled directly by British officials.