Situated on the west coast of India between 20-6' N to 24-42' N north latitude and 68-10'E to 74-28'E east longitude, Gujarat is one of India's most industrialized states in western India. Gujarat has geographical area of 196,024 sq km and accounts for 6.19 percent of the total area of the country. It is bounded by the Arabian Sea in the West, by the States of Rajasthan in the North and North-East, by Madhya Pradesh in the East and by Maharashtra in the South and South East. The State has an international boundary and has a common border with the Pakistan at the north-western fringe. The two deserts, one north of Kachchh and the other between Kachchh and the mainland Gujarat are saline wastes. Gujarat has the 'Tapti' river flowing through its southeastern part. This river meets the Arabian Sea at Surat. Higher up, is the 'Narmada' River, which carries large quantities of alluvium down from Madhya Pradesh. It too, like the Tapti flows into the Gulf of Cambay (Khambhat). The 'Sabarmati' river, flowing past Ahmedabad and the 'Mahi' river, both empty out into the gulf of Khambhat. Gujarat state came into existence as a separate State on 1st May 1960, when the ‘Bombay’ State was divided into Maharashtra and Gujarat.. The state capital is Gandhinagar. Gujarat State at present comprises of 25 districts, sub-divided into 226 talukas, having 18618 villages and 242 towns. The State of Gujarat, located on the West Coast of India, has 1600 km. long coastline, representing a third of the nation's water front. The State has 40 minor and intermediate ports geographically dispersed across South Gujarat (13 ports), Saurashtra (23 ports) and Kachchh region (4 ports). One Major port of Kandla, is under the administrative control of the Central Government. The number of commercial bank offices in the State was 3661 at the end of March, 2003. It is one of India's wealthiest states, supporting modern industrial complexes as well as thriving village handicrafts. It is a flourishing state and even its villages have hidden talents in artisanship. Though Gujarat has relatively little forest cover left (9.61% forest cover), it still supports more than 40 species of animals-including the rare Asiatic Lion, wild ass and blackbuck. 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. Gujrat, the home state of Mahatma Gandhi, is rich in crafts, history and natural beauty. With just 5 per cent of the India’s total population and 6 per cent of geographical area, Gujarat contributes to 16 per cent of the country’s total investment, 10 per cent of expenditure, 16 per cent of exports and 30 per cent of stock market capitalization. The state’s annual growth rate has been 10 to 2 per cent for the last five years.
The population was 5.06 crores at the 2001 census, giving it an average density of 238 persons per sq km. In 2001, 69.97 percent (excluding children in the age group 0-6 years) of the population was literate. About 37.67 per cent population of Gujarat resides in urban areas (Excluding earthquake affected areas). Out of the total population of 483.87 lakh in the state (excluding the earthquake affected areas), 203.7 lakh (42.10 per cent) were workers and 280.2 lakh (57.90 per cent) were non-workers. The geographic diversity and strategic location has made Gujarat home to an incredible diversity of people. People have developed lifestyles to suit their surroundings. Gujarat is a melting pot of several civilizations resulting in a vibrant culture and a rich heritage. Gujarat is home to several architectural marvels, witnesses of its glorious history and pilgrim centres for many faiths. It is also the land of several mythological & historical figures like the legendary Krishna and Mahatma Gandhi the apostle of non-violence. Inspite of the regional cultural diversities, there is an inherent unity of being a part of the state of Gujarat. As Gujrat is a heavily industrialized state of India, it invites lots of outsider residents mostly from North India, Bihar,and South India. Thousands of non - Gujrati workers live in Gujrat. Gujarati people are very well known for their travelling nature.The economic development of a place depends not only on the natural resources of the place but also on the number and type of people who live there. This state has people with natural artistic talents. You can find workers in the villages who are master artisans. The men in Gujarat (mostly rural) wear turbans, pleated jackets which have long sleeves and high waists ; and jodhpurs which are trousers with long tight drainpipe legs and baggy bottoms or seats. Men as well as women of Gujarat are fond of jewellery and even the hawkers and people below the poverty line love to buy gold if they can. The women too wear colorful 'Ghagharas' and ‘Cholis’, which are backless blouses and are colorfully embroidered. The cholis are called by different names but the most common is 'Kanjeri'. Gujarat has an arid and desert type of climate and yet it is one of India’s' most culturally sound states. It is the will and aspirations of the people of Gujarat which makes it an economically rich place. Human skill has turned this state into a place of valuable resources.
Gujarat has two official languages: Gujarati, which is derived from Sanskrit, and Hindi. Gujarat has a strong Jain Community influence over it. The Jains are hard working, energetic, well placed people.
The major food crops in the State are Rice, Wheat, Jowar, Bajra, Maize, Tur, Gram, Groundnut while major non food crops are Cotton, Tobacco. Gujarat has an agricultural economy; the total crop area amounts to more than one-half of the total land area.
Animal Husbandry and Dairying have played a vital role in the rural economy of Gujarat. Dairy farming, primarily concerned with milk production, functions on a cooperative basis and has more than a million members. Gujrat is the largest producer of milk in India. The ‘Amul’ products are well known all over India. Among livestock raised are buffalo and other cattle, sheep, and goats. As per the results of livestock census 1997, there were 209.70 lakh livestock in Gujarat State. As per the estimates of the survey of major livestock products, during the year 2002-03 the production of milk, eggs and wool was of 6.09 million tonnes, 385 million eggs and 2.71 million kg. respectively. The state is the main producer of tobacco, cotton, and groundnut in the country. Gujarat also contributes inputs to industries like textiles, oil and soap.
One of India's most industrialized states, Gujarat maintains a variety of industries, the principal ones being general and electrical engineering and the manufacture of textiles, vegetable oils, chemicals, soda ash, and cement. New industries include the production of fertilizers and petrochemicals. Major resources produced by the state include cotton, peanuts, dates, sugarcane, and petrol. The state is rich in calcite, gypsum, manganese, lignite, bauxite, limestone, agate, feldspar and quartz sand and successful mining of these minerals is done in their specified areas. Gujarat produces about 90% of India’s required amount of Soda Ash and gives the country about 66% of its national requirement of salt. It is one of India's most prosperous states, having a per-capita GDP significantly above India's average. Kalol Khambat and Ankaleshwar are today known for their oil and natural gas production. ‘Dhuranan’ has a thermal power station, which uses coal, oil and gas. The Tarapur nuclear station in Maharashtra supplies the remaining power. Also on the Gulf of Khambat, 50 kilometers southeast of Bhavnagar , is the Alang Ship Recycling Yard (the world's largest). General Motors produces the ‘Astra’ car near Vadodara. Jalalpur is a large town of Gujrat, where several small and large textile industrial unit have been established. Surat, a city by the Gulf of Khambat , is hub of global diamond trade.
|Gujrat a glance :
||1,96,024 sq km
||Gujarati, Hindi, English
|Best Time to Visit
||October to March
||10 (Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Bhuj, Jamnagar, Kandla, Keshod, Porbandar, Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara)
||Bangalore, Calcutta, Delhi, Madras, Mumbai, and Vadodara
|National highway length
|Industrial zones & parks
|Export processing zones
|State-identified priority sectors
||Ancillary Development, Electronics, Garments, Gems and Jewellery, Handlooms, Leather
- Leader in various industrial sectors -, Chemicals, Petrochemicals, Drugs & Pharmaceuticals, Dairy, Cement & Ceramics, Textiles, Engineering and Gems & Jewellery.
- Gujarat’s State Domestic Product (SDP) rising at an average growth rate of 12.4% per annum in real terms (from 1994-2002).
- Gujarat achieved as much as 35% of augmentation in its power generation capacity during the period 1995-96 and 2000-2001.
- Three LNG terminals to come up.
- Gas grid system in operation.
- Gujarat in fact is one of the first few states in India to have encouraged private sector investment in the infrastructure.
- Gujarat accounts for almost 21% share in the export basket of India.
- Longest coastline of 1600 kms, dotted with 41 ports, 1 major, 11 intermediate and 29 minor ports.
- Country’s first private sector ports, Pipavav and Mundra, are already in operation. In addition, the liquid cargo(chemicals) handling port at Dahej is also set up in joint sector and made operational.
- Excellent road network - exceeding 74000 kms. The first phase Ahmedabad-Nadiad- of the Expressway in Gujarat now open for transportation. The total road length available per 100 sq.km was 37.77 km in 2003.
- The total no. of telephones per 100 population in the State was 5.89 in 2003.
- The total no. of vehicles registered in the State were 65.08 lakh and vehicle density i.e. no. of vehicles per sq.km. was 33 in 2003.
- Highest number of Airports in India - 11 including an international airport in Ahmedabad.
- An extensive rail network connecting all major centers in the state.
- Largest producer of Salt and Soda Ash in the country.
- Largest grass-root Petroleum Refinery in the world operational at Jamnagar.
- Network of quality educational institutions.
- Business-friendly environment and rich heritage of entrepreneurial skill.
Districts of Gujrat
Ahmedabad Amreli , Anand , Nadiad (Kheda) , Banaskatha (Palanpur) , Bharuch , Bhavnagar , Dahod , Dang (Ahava) , Gandhinagar , Jamnagar , Junagadh , Kutchh , Mehsana , Navsari , Panchmahal(Godhara) , Patan , Porbandar , Rajkot , Narmada (Rajpipla) , Sabarkantha (Himmat Nagar) , Surat , Surendra Nagar , Vadodara , Valsad
Major Cities having population over 100000
Ahmedabad , Jamnagar , Rajkot , Surendranagar , Bhavnagar , Junagadh , Porbandar , Gandhinagar , Nadiad , Anand , Vadodara , Broach , Surat , Navsari , Gandhidham
Gujrat - Art and Craft
The Gujaratis have a natural talent for singing and dancing. They have songs and dances for every occasion and festival that is celebrated throughout the year. Gujarat has successfully preserved its rich tradition of song, dance and drama. Most of the art traditions trace back their origin to the ancient period of Lord Krishna. The most popular amongst these are the Ras and Garba. Other popular forms of folk dances in Gujarat are Tippani Nritya, Siddi dance, Padhar Nritya, Dangi Nritya and other local tribal dances. Folk drama in Gujarat is known as Bhavai.
The Ras dance is considered a form of Ras Leela, which Lord Krishna used to perform at Gokul and Vrindavan. The Ras is simple and is generally performed by a group of youthful people who move in measured steps around a circle, accompanied by a singing chorus and a host of musical instruments like the dhol, cymbals, zanz, shehnai (flute). The typical folk costume for this dance is a small coat called kedia, with tight sleeves and pleated frills at the waist with highly embroidered borders, tight trousers, colourfully embroidered cap or coloured turban and colourful kamarbandha (cummerbund).
Dandia - Ras
Also known as the 'stick' dance, this is another form of dance that is also a feature of Navratri. Here, men and women join the dance circle, holding small polished sticks or dandias. As they whirl to the intoxicating rhythm of the dance, men and women strike the dandiyas together, adding to the joyous atmosphere. The best Ras dancers are the Kathiawari Ras dancers, who hail from the Saurashtra region.
Just as Lord Krishna popularized the Ras dance, Usha, the grand daughter-in-law of Lord Krishna gets the credit for popularizing the Lasya Nritya, which came to be known as Garba Dance. It is a circular dance performed by women around an earthenware pot called a garbo, filled with water. A betel nut and a silver coin are placed within the pot, called a kumbh, on top of which a coconut is placed. As the dancers whirl around the pot, a singer and a drummer provide the musical accompaniment. The participants clap in a steady rhythm.
Gujarat has a great tradition of music and it has given the country some of the best talents in the field. Tansen and Baiju Bawra, greatest of all the musicians in India, were from this part of the country. Narsinh Mehta, the writer of the famous bhajan 'Vaishnava jan to tene kahiye', was also Gujarat's contribution to Indian music. Famous Indian ragas like Gujjar Tod, Bilaval, Khambhavati are all said to be named after Gujarat, Veraval, and Cambay.
The traditional Gujarati's have safe guarded their rich cultural heritage for centuries, which is very well exhibited by the art and craft of the region. Crafts in Gujarat are a way of life, a process that transforms even the most mundane object of daily use into a thing of beauty. The major handicraft works are :
The variety in textiles lies in the differences of raw materials, the combinations of yarns and in the effective use of traditional techniques. Variations in design used by different communities, castes and regions of the state, have further enriched the range. The most popular textile styles are :
The famous Patola weaving of Patan is known for its colorful geometrical pattern which are strikingly beautiful. The unique tie and weave method of Patola results in identical patterns on the both the sides of the fabric.
Bandhej (tie and dye fabric)
Tie and Dye Fabric of Jamnagar, Mandvi and Bhuj are famous for their intricate designs and patterns which are used in wedding outfits called as gharchola odhni and sarees. The tie-dyed fabrics of Gujarat are perhaps the best produced in India. Also known as Bandhej, it is produced on superfine cotton mulmul, muslin sometimes combined with gold checks and motifs worked in the jamdani technique. The highest intensity of Bandhini dyeing is in Kutch, but some of the best works are from Jamnagar and Saurashtra, on the Southern coast of Gulf of Kutch. The printed portion of the fabric are pinched and pushed into small points and then knotted with 2 or 3 twists of thread. The knotted parts remain uncoloured and the fabric is dyed in the lightest shade first, retied and dyed in the darker colour. The fabric may be tied and dyed several times, depending on the number of shades in the final colour scheme. The price of the bandhini depends not only on the fabric, but also on the number of times it has to be tied and dyed and the intricacy of the design.
Pachedi prints are made in honor of goddess Durga by the vahgari community priests.
Surat is one of the biggest and the most important Jari manufacturing centre of India. It is one of the oldest industries, which dates back to the Mughal period. The principal types of products are made of real gold and silver threads or imitation gold and silver threads. The major embroidery patterns are chalak, salaiya, kangri, tikki, ring and katori.
It is a fabric woven with a combination of silk and cotton. Mashru is well known for its bold patterns and colours. Mashru was essential for the use of Muslim men as there was a prohibition on them wearing pure silk. Weaving traditions prevalent in Iraq and the Arab countries may have influenced the tradition of mashru. Mashru was woven all over India, though it survives today only in Gujarat. Today Patan is one of the most important centres where mashru is woven.
Worn originally by tribes of Gujarat, this fabric is printed in geometric patterns with bold black outlines, in deep earthy colours.
It is heavily decorated and embroidered decoration hung over the entrance and is considered a symbol of warm welcome.
Dhamadka & Ajrakh
The intricate art of printing fabrics using wooden blocks thrives in the riverside town of Jetpur, midway Gondal and Junagadh, and earns valuable foreign exchange along side the more modern screen-printing workshops. Wood is cut and flattened into blocks ranging from around 1 ½ " to 3" thickness, pin pricked with the outline of the design to be transferred to the fabric and finally minutely carved by chiseling. Next, the colours are separated to fill the niches, and the Chhipa or Khatri expertly runs the block along the length and breadth of the fabric.
The dyed fabric is then fixed in river Gondali and kept to dry. Kutch also specializes in block printing, and vegetable dyes, paraffin wax resist, patricate-printing material. Bright ajrakh prints are still used though now synthetic dyes and modern techniques have been adopted. Dhamadka are block prints that derive their name from the village of origin, well known for its river water that brightens the colours. A range of contrasting maroons, yellows, blues and reds with patterns generated through tiny dots.
This fabric from Surendranagar is inlayed with thread during weaving to create geometrical patterns and peacock motifs.
Gujarat is especially known for its Saris. Different styles of sarees available in Gujrat are :
Sarees woven with gold and silver thread known as ganga-jamuna. The borders retain the flowing patterns of old chanderi and paithani sarees, which were a specialty of western India.
Chinese weavers first introduced tanchoi in Surat and the Parsi community used it extensively. They continue to be woven into sarees as well as fabric in silk.
Gharchola and Panetar
These silk sarees from Cambay are first woven with silk and zari threads and then tie-dyed or block printed.
The Patola Silk from Patan is famous and one of the biggest selling fabrics in some of the larger cities.The patola is one of the finest hand-woven sarees produced today. This is a specialty of Patan, and is famous for extremely delicate patterns woven with great precision and clarity. Besides Patan, Surat is acclaimed for velvets with patola patterns. There were four distinct styles in the patolas woven originally in Gujarat by the Salvi community. The double ikat sarees with all over patterns of flowers, parrots, dancing figures and elephants were used by the Jains and Hindus. For the Muslim Vora community special sarees with geometric and floral designs were woven for use during weddings. There were also the sarees woven for the Maharashtrian Brahmins with a plain, dark-coloured body and borders with women and birds, called the Nari Kunj. There was a cloth specially woven for the traditional export markets in the Far East. The weaving is done on simple traditional handlooms, and the dyes used are made from vegetable extracts and other natural colours, which are so fast that there is a Gujarati saying that "the patola will tear, but the colour will not fade." A patola saree takes 4 to 6 months to make, depending on how complicated the designs is and if the length is 5 or 6 metres, it can cause from Rs.50, 000/- to over Rs. 100,000/- a piece.
Jewellery making is the art of highest anituity, the famous among these are filgree work, open wire work. carving etc. Wnamelling is another noteworthy artistic craft. Kutch region is renowned for its necklaces, ear-rings etc. Silver jewellery is always in great demand with Rajkot and Ahmedabad being centres for silver ornaments.The brass industry of Jamnagar is one of the largest in India. Gujarat's other paramount craft is silver and iron works, found nowhere better than in the former princely state of Saurashtra and Kutch. Beads stones are prepared from Agate, a semi-precious stone mostly in Cambay region for ear rings, necklace and other ornamental articles. Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Junagadh and other places are also known for bead work.
Saurashtra and Sanked in the Vadodara district are also known for their lacquer work. Toys, stands, parts of bedstead, cradles, cradles, low chairs are some of the important items of lacquer work. Ivory is mostly used in inlay work and preparation of artistic bangles. Mahuva in Bhavnagar district and Idar in Sabarkantha district are known for the manufacturing of wooden lacquer toys.
Exquisite wood carvings can be observed in the temples, havelis and many houses in various parts of Gujarat. The major centres of wood carvings are Visnagar, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Mahuva, and Bilimora. Sandalwood boxes from Surat are very popular. Wood carving is another important craft in Gujarat, evident in the many elaborately carved temples, havelis (mansions) and palaces as well as objects of daily and ritual use. Utensils are another area where the craftspersons of Gujarat have excelled. Gujarat is also famous for its terracotta work, especially votive terra-cotta figurines which one can find by the hundreds at small shrines built in forests, along roads, outside villages, on lonely hill-tops and under large trees, especially in south Gujarat.
Another handicraft industry that has become synonymous with Southern Gujarat is the lacquered furniture of Sankheda near Vadodara. Wood is rounded with tools and painted with floral and abstract designs in bright shades of gold, silver, maroon, green, vermilion, and brown by using sticks dipped in a coloured mixture of dyes, powdered zinc, lac and resin. The furniture and woodcrafts of Surat, Kutch and Saurashtra are also popular. The artisans of Kutch make wood take on beautiful designs and intricate filigreed appearance of lace. Lacquered furniture similar to that of Sankheda is also made in Mahuva near Bhavnagar, Surat and Kutch.
The temple curtain work is a specially of some Vaghari Harijan families of Ahmedabad. Its is prepared in the old madder process and depicts the Goddes Durga riding tiger a well as other illustrations from Puranic legends.
The state's oldest handicraft is certainly pottery, which achieved great standards of excellence in ancient times. The commonest of art forms, pottery is also one of the most fascinating. With the few turns of the wheel and expert flicks of the hand, village potters mould an ordinary lump of mud into a well proportioned and useful clay utensils, embellished by their wives with paintings and colourful lines. Terracotta toys are another craft of the potters of Kutch, but it is in the Aravallis and Chhota Udepur tribal lands that potters make the famous long necked terracotta figurines of the Gora Dev (tribal horse God), said to protect crops, villages and families from evil spirits, evil intentions and natural calamities.
Embroidery is Gujarat's quintessential handicraft and many of the artisans are wives of herdsmen, nomads and agriculturists battling for a second income. Techniques vary with the community and region look for the simple needle work but exquisite effects of Bavalia embroidery to the fabulous bright yellow and red Banni embroidery; the embroidery of the Rabari cameleers, reminiscent of their pastoral life style, inlaid with triangular, square and almond shaped mirrors; the geometric and floral motifs of the Ahir community with circular mirrors; the chain stitches and tiny mirrors used by the Jats; the delicate soof embroidery of the Sodha Rajputs around Lakhpat ; the tiny broken mirrors embroidered into fabrics by the Mutwa cameleers; and the exquisite Mukka embroidery of the Hali Putras, Rasipotra and Node herds people.
Dhurries, carpets, blankets and rugs are woven on primitive pitlooms in the villages of Kutch. Wankars dexterously weave designs with their hands while the machine is worked by foot pedals. The result, gorgeous patterns and remarkable colours combinations. Durries can be made from wool, goat hair and cotton. Colourful quilts and camel comparison are also woven traditionally on pitlooms, shuttle looms and other handlooms. Handloom weaving is an important occupation in villages on the Ahmedabad - Bhavnagar highway.