historical places in gujarat
Gujarat is a state in the Republic of India. With 19.8% of the countries 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 centre of Gujarat.
Situated on the western coast of India, the nanie of the state is derived from Gujjartta (Gurjar Rshtra), which means the land of the Gujjars. It is believed that a tribe of Gujjars migrated to India around the 5th century. The history of Gujarat, however, began much earlier. Settlements of the Indus Valley Civilisation, also known as the Harappan Civilisation, have been found in the area now known as Gujarat.
Gujarat’s coastal cities, chiefly Bharuch, served as ports and trading centers in the Mauryp and Gupta empires. After the fall 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. 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. ·In 775 the first Parsi (Zoroastrian) refugees arrived in Gujarat from Iran.
Early History: Mauryas to Maitrakas
The early history of Gujuarat is full of imperial grandeur of Chandragupta Maurya who conquered a number of earlier States of Gujarat. Pushyamitra, a Vaishya, was appointed Governor of Saurashtra by the Mauryan regime. He ruled (322 B.C to 294 B.C) Giringer (present Junagadh) and built a dam on the Sudarshan lake.Emperor Ashoka, the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya, not only ordered engraving of his famous edicts on the rock at Junagadh, but asked his Governor Tusherpha to take out canals from the lake where an earlier Mauryan Governor had built a dam.
Between the decline of the Mauryan power and Saurashtra coming under the sway of Samprati Mauryas of Ujjain, there was a Greek incursion into Gujarat led by Demetrius. –
For nearly 400 years from the start of the first century, Saka rulers played prominent part in Gujarat’s history. Weather beaten rock at Junagadh gives a glimpse of the Ruler Rudradaman I (100 A.D .) of the Saka satraps known as Western Satraps, or Kshatraps. Mahakshatrap Rudradaman I founded the Kardamaka dynasty which ruled from Anupa on the banks of the Narmada up to Aparanta region which bordered Punjab.
The Kshatrap dynasty was replaced by the Gupta reign with the conquest of Gujarat by Chandragupta Vikramaditya. Vikramaditya’s successor Skandagupta has left an inscription
(450 AD) on a rock at UJunagadh which gives details of the repairs of the embankment, damaged by floods, of Sudarshan lake by his Governor. Anarta and Saurashtra regions were both part of the Gupta empire. Towards the middle of the 5th Century AD. the Gupta empire started to decline. Senapati Bhatarka, the Maitrak general of the Guptas, took advantage of the situation and in 470 AD he set up what came to be known as the Maitrak kingdom. He shifted his capital from Giringer to Valabhipur, near Bhavnagar, on Saurashtra’s east coast.
Maitrakas of Valabhi became very powerful and their writ prevaild over large parts of Gujarat and even over adjoining Malwa. Maitrakas set up a university which came to be known far and wide for its scholastic pursuits and was compared with the famous Nalanda university. Itwas during the rule of Dhruvasena Maitrak that Chinese philosopher traveller Huan Tang visited in 640 AD.
The Solanki clan of Rajputs ruled Gujarat from c. 960 to 1243. Gujarat was a major centre of Indian Ocean trade, and their capital at Anhilwara (Patan) was one of the largest cities in India, with population estimated at 100,000 in the year 1000. In 1026, the famous Somnath temple in Gujarat was destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni. After 1243, the Solkanis lost control of Gujarat to their feudatories, of whom the Vaghela chiefs of Dholka came to dominate Gujarat. In 1292 the Vaghelas became tributaries of the Yadava dynasty of Devagiri in the Deccan. ·
Dadda, the founder of Pratihara dynasty, established the Gurjar rule at Nandipur (Nandol). Dadda III wrested Broach from the Maitraks whose citadel had started shaking. In fact, there were three powerful dynasties which were ruling different parts of Gujarat: the Gurjars had their sway over the north, the Chalukyas ruled the south and the Maitraks were saddled in Saurashtra. The vacuum created by the fall of the Maitrak dynasty was filled up by the Pratiharas from the north and Rashtrak.utas from the south.
As vassals of the Valabhis, Chavadas held their sway over parts of north Gujarat. They assumed independent control after the fall of Valabhi. Vanraj, the most prominent of the eight Chavada kings, founded a new capital at Asnhilpur Patan. He reconquered his father’s lost territories and founded the Chavada dynasty which lasted a shade under a century.
Samantsinh, the last Chavada ruler, did not have an issue and he adopted Mulraj who overthrew him in 942 AD and set up what came to be known as the Solanki dynasty. Ambitious as he was, he started expanding his frontiers and established his complete and total hold over Saurashtra and Kachchh by defeating Grahripu of Juna:gadh (Saurashtra) and Lakho Fulani of Kachchh. Mulraj Solanki’sreign marked the start of the most glorious period in the history of Gujarat during which Gujarati culture flowered as manifested in art, architecture, language and script.
It is described as the golden period in Gujarat chequered history. Mulraj himself adopted the title of Gurharesh ( King of Gurjardesh). The territoporieds under the sway of the Solanki dynasty same to be known by different variations f the word Gurjar like Gurjardesh, Gurjararastra, Gurjaratta and finally Gujarat.