Bharuch

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Bharuch
ભરૂચ (Gujarati)
city
Swaminarayan temple at NH-8 Zadesvar, Bharuch
Nickname(s): Peanut city, City of Ferilizers
Bharuch is located in Gujarat
Bharuch
Coordinates: 21°42′43″N 72°59′35″E / 21.712°N 72.993°E / 21.712; 72.993Coordinates: 21°42′43″N 72°59′35″E / 21.712°N 72.993°E / 21.712; 72.993
CountryIndia
StateGujarat
DistrictBharuch
Elevation15 m (49 ft)
Population (2011)
 • city168,729
 • Metro224,210
DemonymBharuchi
Languages
 • OfficialGujarati, Hindi
Time zoneIST (UTC+5:30)
PIN392001
Telephone code02642
Vehicle registrationGJ16
Websitehttp://www.bharuchmycity.com[citation needed]
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Bharuch
ભરૂચ (Gujarati)
city
Swaminarayan temple at NH-8 Zadesvar, Bharuch
Nickname(s): Peanut city, City of Ferilizers
Bharuch is located in Gujarat
Bharuch
Coordinates: 21°42′43″N 72°59′35″E / 21.712°N 72.993°E / 21.712; 72.993Coordinates: 21°42′43″N 72°59′35″E / 21.712°N 72.993°E / 21.712; 72.993
CountryIndia
StateGujarat
DistrictBharuch
Elevation15 m (49 ft)
Population (2011)
 • city168,729
 • Metro224,210
DemonymBharuchi
Languages
 • OfficialGujarati, Hindi
Time zoneIST (UTC+5:30)
PIN392001
Telephone code02642
Vehicle registrationGJ16
Websitehttp://www.bharuchmycity.com[citation needed]
A map showing the ancient western trade routes serviced by this ancient and historical port. The gateway city of Bharakuccha is named on the map as Barigaza on the Gulf of Khambhat. The inhospitable mountains and deserts to the north of the Erythraean Sea suggests its importance in trade with ancient Axum, Egypt, Arabia and the sea-land trade routes via the Tigris-Euphrates valley and Ancient Rome.

Bharuch (Gujarati: ભરૂચ; About this sound listen ), also known as Broach, is a city at the mouth of the river Narmada in Gujarat (north-west India). Bharuch is the administrative headquarters of Bharuch District and is a municipality of about 370,000 inhabitants.

The city of Bharuch and its surroundings have been settled since times of antiquity. It was a ship building center and sea port in the pre-compass coastal trading routes to points West, perhaps as far back as the days of the Pharaohs. The route made use of the regular and predictable monsoon winds or galleys. Many goods from the Far East (the famed Spice and Silk trade) were shipped there during the annual monsoon winds, making it a terminus for several key land-sea trade routes. Bharuch was known to the Greeks, the various Persian Empires, in the Roman Republic and Empire, and in other Western centres of civilisation through the end of the European Middle Ages.[1][2]

In the 3rd century, Bharuch port was mentioned as Barugaza.[3] Arab traders entered Gujarat via Bharuch to do business. The British and Valandas noted Bharuch’s importance, and established their business centers there.

At the end of the 17th century, it was plundered twice, but resurged quickly. Afterwards, a proverb was composed about it, “Bhangyu Bhangyu Toye Bharuch”. As a trading depot, the limitations of coastal shipping made it a regular terminus via several mixed trade routes of the fabled spice and silk trading between East and West. During the British Raj it was officially known as Broach.

Bharuch has been the home to the Gujarati Bhargav Brahmin community for ages. The community traces its lineage to Maharshi Bhrigurishi and Bhagwan Parshuram who is considered to be incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The Bhargav community still administers a large amount of public trusts in the city. However the present day Bhargav Brahmins have migrated to Mumbai, Surat, Vadodara, Ahmedbad and other countries. Today, the community administers and protects a number of ancient temples whose idols have survived the centuries of fanatical religious aggression.

The city has textile mills, chemical plants, long staple cotton, dairy products and much more. Gujarat's biggest liquid cargo terminal is situated there.[citation needed] It also houses many multinational companies, such as Videocon, BASF, Reliance, Safari Construction Equipments Pvt. Ltd.[4] and Welspun Maxsteel Ltd.[citation needed] Bharuch is a shopping center well known for its salty peanuts.[citation needed] Because of the distinctive colour of its soil (which is also ideal for cotton cultivation), Bharuch is sometimes referred to as 'Kanam Pradesh' (black-soil land).[citation needed]

[table of contents]

Etymology[edit]

According to the Skanda Purana, the sage Bhrigu came to Bharuch sitting on a tortoise. The tortoise is known as Kachchha (कच्छ) in Sanskrit. Hence the place was named 'Bhrigukachchha'.[citation needed]

Another theory states that the city derived its name from "Bhr̥gukachchha" (Sanskrit: भृगुकच्छ, "Bhr̥gu's riverbank"), the residence of the great saint Bhrigu Rishi. The city then became known as 'Bharukachch', which was later abridged to Bharuch.[5]

It is believed Bhrigukachchha later developed into Bharuch (भरूच) in the local medieval vernacular – which seems quite possible according to linguistic developments in Prakrit, Apabharamsa and neo-Indian-Aryan.

In ancient India, Bharuch was an important trading port with merchants from the Arabian peninsula using this port for trading with the lucrative Indian market. In popular etymology, Broach is derived form Bar and Oach (બર્+ઓચ). Bar (બર્) means "hill" and Oach (ઓચ) means "located" – so, allegedly without any reference to historical etymology, Broach is taken to mean "located on a hill". According to this popular derivation, Broach was later transformed into Bharuch.

Bharuch has been known by various names in various eras. It was known as Bhrigukachchha (भृगुकच्छ), Bhrigupur, Bhrigutirtha, Bhrigukshetra, Bhrigukaksha as per Hindu Puranas and during the BC and early AD eras and earlierShrinagar as an abode of the goddess Lakshmi.[citation needed] It was known as Barugaza for the Greek, and, later, Roman name of this port. It was known as 'Bharukachchha' (भरूकच्छ) in the 8th to 10th century, 'Bharuch' under Muslim rule, 'Bhadoch' under Maratha rule, and as 'Broach' under British rule.

Mythology[edit]

Hindu mythology[edit]

Sage Bhrigu's ashram is located on the Narmada banks.

According to the Skanda Purana, before Bhrigu Rishi came here, Bharuch was the residence of the Goddess Lakshmi.

Bharuch derives its name from the great sage Bhrigu. The original name of Bharuch is 'Bhrigukachchha'. Bhrigu Rishi was one of the ten sons of Lord Brahma. There is also a story which indicates that Brighu along with his kins asked for temporary access to Bharuch which then belonged to Lakshmi since Bharuch is located on the banks of river Narmada also known as Rudra Deha. Chanra Mauli Mahadev is the Kul Devata of Bhargavs of Bharuch Brighu never left the place and the Ashram of Brighu Rishi is located on the banks of Narmada.

Bharuch was considered to be sacred among sages, and they would come to Bharuch to pray. The priests of Bharuch were famous for their learning in the other regions too. As per the mythological stories, Agnihotri and Samvedi – the learned priests of Bharuch – were famous up to the Kashi in the northern India.

In Bharuch, the celebrated Asura king Mahabali conducted a great sacrifice. In this sacrifice, a dwarf Brahmin called Vamana (fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu) came and interfered with the king's sacrifice and put an end to his reign. A sage named Guru Shukracharya, from the lineage of Maharishi Bhrigu, was the priest of King Mahabali.

Sages like Shukra, Chyavana, Markendeya and Jamadagni were from the lineage of Bhrigu Rishi. Parshurama (sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu) was born in the seventh generation of Bhrigu.

According to the Skanda Purana, there are 55 tirthas located in Bharuch. Many great sages, such as Kashyapa, Kapila, Mandavya, Adi Sankaracharya, also have performed penances in Bharuch.

Bharuch finds its mention in major Hindu scriptures, such as Bhagavata Purana, Shiva Purana, Skanda Purana, Kurma Purana, Matsya Purana, Ramayana and Mahabharata.

The Narmada is one of the Seven Holy Rivers of India; the other six being the Ganges, Yamuna, Saraswati, Sindhu, Godavari and Kaveri. It is believed that a dip in any of these seven rivers washes away one's sins. According to a legend, the river Ganges is polluted by millions of people bathing in it. To cleanse herself, Ganges acquires the form of a black cow and comes to the Narmada to bath in its holy waters. Legends also mention that the Narmada River is older than the river Ganges.

Jain mythology[edit]

Bharuch is also a sacred tirtha for Jains.

This tirtha is situated in the Bharuch city on the rail and road path, in the Shrimali Pole. Here we see the idol of Muni Suvrata Swami; black in complexion and in Padmasana posture. In the history of the Jainas, this ancient city is important from many points of view. Guru Gautama Swami has eulogised Muni Suvrata Swami, who is installed in Bharuch, in his "Jagachintamani Stotra" composed on the eight tirthas, Bhagavan Muni Suvrata Swami gave sermons to a horse here itself.

Further, many prominent Acharyas have raised temples in this tirtha and have composed works also. In many places there are ancient pieces of art because this is an ancient town. In Bharuch, we are shown the Ashvavabodha tirtha of the times of Muni Suvrata Swami, Shakunika Vihara of princess Sudarshana of Simhaladvipa and also the Vihara which was ceremoniously raised by Acharya Hemchandra in which Kumarapala has waved ARATI; is now converted into a mosque.

In the opinion of the archaeologists, the Jamamasjid of present Bharuch is probably this ancient temple. It is believed that in times of such invasions the idol of Shri Prabhu was kept at a safe spot, and, as time passed, new temples were constructed and the old idols were installed. To-day the idol is found in the new temple. There are here eleven other temples besides this.

Buddhist mythology[edit]

Bharuch is mentioned in various Buddhist Jatakas. Bharuch was an important Buddhist center in the 7th century and considered to be sacred among sages.

History[edit]

Bharuch is the oldest city of Gujarat. It is also the second-oldest city of India having continuous inhitations, first being Kashi (Varanasi). Bharuch has a known history for about 8000 years.

BC era[edit]

Certainly by the 6th century BC, the city was known at least by reputation, via land-sea routes reaching the Levant to the Arab and Ethiopian traders feeding goods westwards to the Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, Western Romans, Carthaginians, and eventually, the Eastern Roman Empires, and the Republic of Venice. It is likely even the Phonecians knew of it and so it has acted since antiquity as a link port to the luxury goods trade from the Far East and the interior of the Indian sub-continent to the civilisations of South-west Asia, the Middle-East, the Mediterranean basin including Northern Africa and Europe.

The ancient Sri Lankan chronicle, the Dipavamsa, mentions that the legendary king Vijaya stopped at Bharukaccha for three months c. 500 BC.[6]

The Theragatha, part of the Pali Canon written down in Sri Lanka in the 1st century BC, mentions Vaddha Thera and Malitavamba Thera of Bharukaccha, as contemporaries of the Buddha, while the Therigatha of the same canon mentions Vaddhamta Theri of Bharukaccha.

It was known to the Greeks and Romans as Barygaza, and probably had a settlement of Greek traders. As one southern terminus of the Kamboja-Dvaravati Route, it is mentioned extensively as a major trading partner of the Roman world, in the 1st century Periplus of the Erythraean Sea. One of the Periploi describes numerous Greek buildings and fortifications in the area, although mistakenly attributing them to Alexander the Great who never reached this far south, as well as the circulation of Indo-Greek coinage in the region:

"The metropolis of this country is Minnagara, from which much cotton cloth is brought down to Barygaza. In these places there remain even to the present time signs of the expedition of Alexander, such as ancient shrines, walls of forts and great wells." Periplus, Chap. 41
"To the present day ancient Drachmae are current in Bharuch|Barygaza, coming from this country, bearing inscriptions in Greek letters, and the devices of those who reigned after Alexander the Great, Apollodotus I and Menander." Periplus Chap. 47[7]

Excavations near the banks of the river Narmada in Bharuch have revealed many archaeological and architectural wonders, mostly temples. Later Bharuch was part of the Mauryan Empire (322–185 BC), the Western Satraps, the Guptas and the Gurjars.[8]

According to historical accounts, the kingdom with capital at Bhinmal (or Srimal) was established by the Gurjars (or Gujjars). The kingdom of Bharuch was the offshoot of this Kingdom.[8]

As part of the Sultanate of Gujarat, it was subsequently annexed by the Mughals, and finally by the British. It is also situated near a small village called Halderva where two Islamic priests were found performing miracles.

Princess of Sinhal, Sudarshana had built the Shakunika Vihara in the Bhragukutchh during the rule of Sampati (229–220 BC), and a Bharuch trader became responsible for the memories of the princess. This depicts trade relations between Laat and Ceylon. During the Prarga–Maurya period in Gujarat, King Pradyot Mahaveer of Ujjain ruled over Bhragukutchh in 550 AD.

He was a contemporary of Gautama Buddha. The Maurya period was between 322 and 185 BC. The post-Maurya period is mentioned between 185 BC and 23 AD. During the decade of 70–80 AD, coins of Greek writing were used in Bharuch. The activity region of Jain priest Arya Khapoot (1st century AD) was in the Aatapata region of Bharuch. He had released the Ashvaavabodh pilgrims in Bharuch out of the control of the Bauddhas.

King Nahapana (119 AD – 124 AD) of Kshatraya era

Kshatraya era (c. 23–400 AD)[edit]

In the 1st century AD, kings of Shaka community established their rule in Gujarat. Nabhovaahan (Nahapana), the king of Bharukutchh was very prosperous. During the Kshatraya era Bharuch port was very prosperous. It was a gateway of trading through land and waters both routes. Like other ancient ports, trading of slaves also took place at the Bharuch port.

Seven caves have been discovered from Kadiyadungar near Jhajhapore, near Ankleshwar, of the Bharuch district. These caves seem as the Bauddha Vihaaras. It seems that they were sculpted in 1st or 2nd century.

Gupta era (c. 415–470 AD)[edit]

During this time kings of Trekootaka dynasty ruled the north of the Konkan and south of the Laata. Trekootaka ruled over the Surat district but the border of their state could not be decided. In the lines of Daspur of the weavers of Laata ( South Gujarat ) it has been mentioned that Sun-Temple was built in 437.

Maitrak era (c. 470–788 AD)[edit]

It is known that in 540 AD which dynasty ruled over the Bharuch state in 540, a Mahasamant named Sangramsinh ruled over Bharukutchh, But nothing is known about the king. During this period Hakem Usmanbhai Hakem had attacked over Bharuch. In 648 AD, King Dhansen – four of Vallabhi had put winning camp in Bharukutchh. A Muslim traveller Al – Biladuri had written in his notes that in 713 – 714 AD.

Governor of Sindh, Hasam Bin Amru Tughlakhi came to Gandhar port by boat. He destroyed the idols and the temples and built Mosques in place of them in the time of 760 AD Arab Hakem Hisham of Sindh had attacked the Gandhar port near Bharuch. In the post Maitrak era during 788 – 942 AD Rashtrakuta kings of south Laata ruled over Bharuch.

Solanki era (942–1304 AD)[edit]

In 942, Moolaraj 1st established the rule of Solanki dynasty in Anahilvaad Patan. Till this time the importance of Bharuch as the trade centre was continued. It was the capital of Laata region at the starting of 11th century. It was the centre for the ships coming from China and Sindh in the 12th century Mahatma Vastupal had established a library in Bharuch.

The priest Chakradhar Swami of Bharuch was during the era of Bhimdev 2nd. He established the Mahanubhav community which was spread in Maharashtra. One Madresa was built during the Solanki era in Bharuch.

Middle Ages era (1293–1872 AD)[edit]

The middle era history of Bharuch district can be divided in three main parts, out of which, we can say that Sultanate era (1297–1572), Mughal era (1572–1736) and Maratha era (1783–1802) were the eras of struggle. Bharuch was ruled by Delhi Sultanate for 94 years, Gujarat’s independent Sultanate for 181 years, Mughal Sultanate for 164 years, independent emirs for 36 years and Maratha rule for 19 years.

During these times, revenue was collected from Bharuch and hundreds of people, especially the rich people, were killed. Same way in the cities on the banks of river Kavi in Jambusar taluka there were many big and rich Muslim communities. They were mainly formed by the foreign traders.

On taking a bird’s eye view of the financial structure of the whole era of Gujarat’s sultanate, it can be seen that the era was cheaper and prosperous also when Akbar had won over Bharuch during Mughal era it had 12 Paraganas. The annual growth of all 559 villages of the Bharuch, Hansot, Olpad, Mandvi, Galaa, Jambusar, Dahej, Koral, Ankleshwar and Tadakeshwar paraganas was Rs. 7.5 million. As given in the Tabakka – E – Akbari there is a description of severe draught and spread of contentious epidemic in Gujarat.

Mughal era (1605–1627 AD)[edit]

On understanding the importance of Bharuch district as the trade centre, British had taken permission from Jahangir for establishing the office during this era. Jahangir also gave permission for trade to the British. A big office building built by the Valandas in the 18th century, can be seen in the Kansarvaad in Bharuch. This building has a fort around it.

Attacks by the Marathas (1664 to 1685 AD)[edit]

Marathas had plundered Bharuch twice. Due to six droughts between 1681 and 1696, the prosperity of both the ports was ruined. By the end of the 17th century their place was taken over due to the development of Mumbai port. In 1772, after the control of Bharuch was taken by the British, Valandas also left their trade centre in Bharuch.

Independent Nawaabs of Bharuch (1736 to 1772 AD)[edit]

During this period independent Nawaabs ruled over Bharuch. Nizamumude, Abhesinh, Damaji Gayakawad of Vadodara, Mirza Baig, Ahemad Baig, Hakem, Nawab Mozumkhan, Prabhudas Seth of Bharuch, Peshwa Bajirao etc. rulers fought and ruled over Bharuch during this period. It can be said that the movement for freedom struggle against foreign rulers in Bharuch started in 1905. But before that in the struggle of 1857 also Bharuch district had played an important role. Bharuch had contributed in the Swadeshi and Home Rule movements also. In which Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi of Bharuch also joined the national struggle.

Pre-independence era[edit]

In 1930 the movement of Satyagraha had spread in Gujarat which had affected Jambusar also. On 12 March 1930 when Gandhiji started the Dandi March with some of his supporters, the route of Dandi Kuch in Bharuch district was from Devaataa village of Borsad taluka via Jambusar Amod on the other side of the river Mahi via Bharuch and Ankleshwar on the other side of the river Narmada and reaching Dandi via Surat. The Dandi Kuch arrived in Kareli village on 20 and 22 March 1930 became a memorial day in Jambusar which is a proof of the history of freedom struggle.

Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi

Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi of Bharuch district had participated in the Home Rule movement. He was imprisoned for participating in struggles of Bardoli movement in 1938, "Savinay Kanoon Bhang" in the 1930 and personal movement in 1940. Chunilal Shivlal Modi, who was born in 1913 in Bharuch, participated in the struggle of "Savinaya Kaanoon Bhang" in the 1930 at the age of 18 years. Chandrashankar Manishankar Bhatt of Amod played a leading role in spreading the movement of "Hind Chhodo".

Dinkar Rao Nabheram Desai of Bharuch participated in all the movements of freedom struggle and was imprisoned for five times. Tribhuvandas Chhaganlal Paalejwala of Palej village had played a leading role in picketing the foreign cloths shops in Bharuch in 1930. Manishankar Bhatt of Panjareli village had motivated the youth of the district to participate in the freedom struggle. Maganbhai Rugnathdas Patel of Bhadaam village had played a leading role in the Dholera movement in 1930.

Manishankar Ranchhoddas Sukawala of Bharuch had played an active role in non-co-operation movement in 1920–21.

Ratuprasad Nathalal Bhatt of Bharuch participated in all freedom movements and was imprisoned, Vinodchandra Chunilal Shah, "Savinaya Kaanoon Bhang" movement, Chunilal Dharamlal Shah of Amod and Chhotubhai Mitilal Patel of Tegava village had devotedly served the freedom fighters, Tribhuvandas Purushottamdas Luhaar ( Sundaram ) of Matar village, non-co-operation movement in 1920, Desaibhai Bakorbhai Patel of Kahanava village, historical Dandi Kuch, Nathuram Kashiram Bhatt of Raima village, Yashvantray Rajaram Joshi of Malanpore village of Hansot district, Shanabhai Jhaverbhai Patel of Uber village, Vitthalbhai Ranchhodabhai Patel of Sarbhan village, Raysangh Dabhai Parmar and Vishnu Dattatrey Bhoder of Bajodara village had participate in all the freedom movements in the district along with Chhotubhai Purani.

Surajben Hardev Banarasi of Aasta village of Hansot Taluka, who was born in 1905 and widowed at a young age, got renowned as the leading lady freedom fighter and female worker. She was imprisoned for participating in the freedom movement, contributed significantly in the activities related to the uplift of the women and activities of creative programs. Like the other districts of Gujarat Bharuch district also had participated actively in various freedom struggles and had suffered loss of property and lives of their citizens. Almost all the talukas of Bharuch district had enlightened their people about political and national spirit by participating in freedom struggle through local leadership and history is the proof of the activities of the uplift of the people by implementing the creative programs instructed by Gandhiji.

Geography and climate[edit]

Bharuch is located at 21°42′N 72°58′E / 21.7°N 72.97°E / 21.7; 72.97.[9] It has an average elevation of 15 metres (49 feet). Bharuch is a port city situated on the banks of the Narmada river. The damming of the Narmada caused the original port facilities to close, the nearest port is now in Dahej. The Bharuch district is surrounded by Vadodara (North), Narmada (East) and Surat (South) districts. To the west is the Gulf of Khambhat.

Bharuch has a tropical savanna climate (under Köppen's Climate classification), moderated strongly by the Arabian Sea. The summer begins in early March and lasts until June. April and May are the hottest months, the average maximum temperature being 40 °C (104 °F). Monsoon begins in late June and the city receives about 800 millimetres (31 in) of rain by the end of September, with the average maximum being 32 °C (90 °F) during those months. October and November see the retreat of the monsoon and a return of high temperatures until late November. Winter starts in December and ends in late February, with average temperatures of around 23 °C (73 °F).

Very often heavy monsoon rain brings floods in the Narmada basin area. The city had witnessed major floods in the past, but now the floods have been controlled after the damming of the Narmada.

Economy, commerce and industry[edit]

Salty Peanuts
Cotton

Bharuch has always been prosperous because of its location on the Narmada River. Although water tends to be scarce in Gujarat, one never finds difficulty in getting water in Bharuch. As a result of this, agriculture and other linked commercial activities have flourished in Bharuch. Bharuch is also a central stopping point for many villages spread around its boundaries. People from these small villages come to Bharuch when they want to shop for new clothes, or make a major purchase. Lately a lot of retiring expatriates have been returning to Bharuch and building new houses giving the economy a boost.

Traditionally, Bharuch has been the center of the peanut processing and marketing industry with a well established brand name around the country. Almost none of the peanuts are grown in Bharuch itself but the best of the crops from neighbouring regions are brought here for processing. Mr. Kirit P Modi a local resident and businessman holds the Intellectual Property rights for manufacturing roasted salted peanuts in a hygienic process. Bharuch is also the home of the Bandhni method of clothing design and is well known for this traditional art form.

At present, this heavily industrialised city is renowned for its textile mills, chemical plants, long staple cotton, dairy products and much more. Gujarat's biggest liquid cargo terminal is situated here. It also houses many reputed multinational companies like Videocon, BASF, Reliance, Welspun Stahl etc. Bharuch is a shopping center well known for its salty peanuts. Because of the distinctive colour of the soil here that is ideal for cotton cultivation, Bharuch is sometimes referred to as 'Kanam Pradesh' (black soil land).

In the past 10 years or so, a major part of population has moved to countries like United Kingdom, United States of America, The African continent, & other parts of Europe. This definitely brings some economical boost to the local businesses as people come back for vacations & spend their earnings here.

Trade[edit]

Bharuch was a major sea port in the important pre-compass coastal trading routes to points West, perhaps as far back as the days of the Pharaohs, which utilised the regular and predictable Monsoon winds or galleys. Many goods from the Far East were trans-shipped there for the annual monsoon winds making it a terminus for several key land-sea trade routes and Bharuch was definitely known to the Greeks, the various Persian Empires and in the Roman Republic and Empire and other Western centres of civilisation right on through the end of the European Middle Ages.[1][2]

In the 1st century AD, Bharuch port has been mentioned as Barigaza. Bharuch which was prosperous and powerful port was an important port of Gujarat until the 16th century. Arab traders used to enter Gujarat via Bharuch and do their business. British, Valandas etc. accepted the importance of Bharuch and established their business centre here. At the end of the 17th century, it was plundered twice but resurged quickly after the plunder and a proverb was also phrased for it, "Bhangyu Bhangyu Toye Bharuch".

As a trading depot, the limitations of coastal shipping made it a regular terminus via several mixed trade routes of the fabled spice and silk trading between East and West.

Narmada River's inland access to central and northern India and with a location in the sheltered Gulf of Khambhat in the era of coastal sea travel grew and prospered as a trading transshipment center and ship building port. Until very modern times the only effective way to move goods was by water transport, and Bharuch had sheltered waters in an era without weather forecasting, compasses, and when shipping was necessarily limited to coastal navigation, and the general East-West course of the Narmada gave access to the rich inland empires at the upper reaches of the Narmada, including easy caravan access to the Ganges valley and the plains of Delhi.

Present industrial city[edit]

Modern Bharuch is one of the most heavily industrialised areas, not only in Gujarat but in India as a whole, with many large chemical plants producing fertilisers, paints, dyes, cotton, textiles, and dairy products.

Bharuch has also advantage of Gujarat's biggest liquid cargo terminal. A very large fertilizer, chemical companies, like GNFC Ltd. are also located in Narmadanagar (a suburb of Bharuch) since 1976.

Large multinationals, like the Torrent Group, PepsiCo International, Guardian Corporation, Heubach Colors, Zydous Cadila, Cadila Health Care, Survival Technologies, Videocon, China Light and Power, BASF, Reliance, Tata Group, Aditya Birla Group, Welspun Stahl, Aventis, Wockhardt, Rallis, Pfizer, Ciba, L&T, Bayer, Glenmark, UPL, Lupin, J B Chemicals, Gujarat Fluorochemicals, NTPC, ONGC, GAIL, OPAL and GPEC have set up manufacturing units in and around Bharuch and Ankleshwar.

Petronet LNG Ltd, one of the fastest growing companies in the Indian energy sector, has set up the country's first LNG receiving and regasification terminal at Dahej. Dahej nowadays is considered to be fastest growing industrial area with companies like ONGC, GNFC, ABG Shipyard, First carbon, Indofil, Birla copper, Adani, Reliance,[10]

Demographics[edit]

As of 2001 India census,[11] Bharuch had a population of 148,391. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Bharuch has an average literacy rate of 78%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with male literacy of 82% and female literacy of 73%. 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Civic administration[edit]

Bharuch is administered by the Bharuch Nagar Seva Sadan (Bharuch Nagar Palika). Bharuch is also the administrative head quarters of Bharuch District.

Bharuch Nagar Seva Sadan comprises 14 election wards and 42 seats (corporators). In the 2010, Bharuch Municipality elections, BJP won 30 seats, 11 seats went to Congress and one seat went to NCP. Sanat Rana belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party is the present Mayor.

The city elects one member to the Gujarat Vidhan Sabha, and the district elects one member to the Lok Sabha. Dushyant Patel (BJP) is the representative to the Gujarat Vidhan Sabha. Mansukh Vasava (BJP) is the representative to the Lok Sabha. Bharatsinh Parmar (BJP) and Ahmed Patel (INC) are members elected to the Rajya Sabha

Bharuch is considered to be a stronghold of BJP, and since past 20 years BJP has been winning in Bharuch Vidhan Sabha, Bharuch Lok Sabha and Bharuch Municipality. Bharuch city would be soon getting a municipal co-operation

Culture[edit]

Balwantray Thakore

There are many religions being followed by the people of this town. Usually there is a sense of harmony and co-existence without incident. However, there have been situations in the past in which this delicate social fabric has broken down. Today the city is considered to be a great example of communal equality.

As Bharuch is a renowned tirtha, also known as Bhrigu Tirtha, in many of the Hindu Puranas, it is a host of huge number of temples along the river side.

[12]

Art & literature[edit]

Bharuch has remained on top in the matters of education and culture. Bharuch is renowned since years back because of the internationally famous Pt. Omkarnath Thakur in the field of music. In the field of literature, the literature Gurus like Dr. Kanaiyalal Munshi, Balwantray Thakore and Sundaram has bestowed Bharuch unique pride.

Raichand Deepchand Library was established in 1858. It is one of the oldest library in Gujarat. It has a collection of about 200,000 books including some rare manuscripts.

Ganpatram Desai of the Bhargav Brahmin caste of Bharuch wrote the famous book "Bharuch Shaher No Itihaas" in 1900. This classic piece of history is an excellent reference even today. He wrote another historical novel called "Alexander Na Samay Nu Hind" or " India at the Time of Alexander"

Festivals[edit]

All major Indian festivals are celebrated in Bharuch. Bharuch enjoys a thriving cultural tradition and diverse traditions of different ethnic and religious communities. Popular celebrations and observances include Uttarayan—an annual kite-flying day on 14 January. The nine nights of Navratri are celebrated with people performing Garba—the folk dance of Gujarat—at venues across the city. The festival of lights—Deepavali is celebrated with the lighting of lamps in every house, the decorating the floors with the rangoli and the bursting of firecrackers. Other festivals such as Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi, Eid ul-Fitr and the procession of Tajia during the Muslim holy month of Muharram are integral parts of the city's culture. It is also well known for the celebration of Chandi Padvo which usually occurs around October. This day comes after one of the two biggest full moon days of the Hindu calendar year, "Sharad Purnima". On this day, people buy tons of Ghari.

The rain (Meghraja) festival celebrated in Bharuch during monsoon season is unique in the whole of India. In the whole country, the festival depicting the importance of ancient agricultural traditions is celebrated only here. Meghraja Festival is celebrated in the month of Shravan. A 5.5 feet idol if Meghraj (Lord Indra) is prepared from the soil of Narmada river and is worshiped for 25 days. A fair (mela) is organised during the last 4 days of this festival. This festival is celebrated only in Bharuch in whole of India.

Cuisine[edit]

Ponk sellers thrashing the stalk to release the ponk

Bharuch cuisine is similar to that of Surti cuisine. The most popular form of meal—a typical Gujarati thali—consists of roti, dal, rice and shaak (cooked vegetables, sometimes with curry), with accompaniments of pickles and roasted papads. Bharuch cuisine also includes perennial favourites such as "Ghari" (a type of sweet), "Malai Ghari" (a unique sweet of Bharuch), Khichu, Undhiyu, Khaman, Nylon Khaman, Phaphada and Jalebi. Unlike cuisines in other parts of Gujarat, Bharuch cuisine is quite spicy. In the cooler winter months, people eat Ponk, a roasted cereal. Roasted salty peanuts of Bharuch are famous world-wide.

Most of the food outlets serve only vegetarian food, as a strong tradition of vegetarianism is maintained by the city's Jain and Hindu communities. Roadside kiosks, called "laaris" or "rekdis", are quite popular.

Non-vegetarian food is also available in some Muslim-dominated areas. Novel dishes made from eggs (ghotala, kheema, half fry) are specialties which are savoured with much gusto. Apart from this the traditional mutton preparation of tapela, fish (patra macchi), and lemon chicken can also be relished.

Transport[edit]

Bharuch is well connected by Indian National Highway 8 (Mumbai to New Delhi) and by the Western Railway Division of Indian Railways. The railway division also runs the narrow gauge train services to Dahej and Jambusar. The 132-year-old Golden Bridge connects Bharuch to Ankleshwar across the Narmada on the station front while a new bridge connects the highway, the other bridge on the highway has been under maintenance for some time causing regular traffic jams at the four-lane NH:8.

There are many auto rickshaws (3-wheeled passenger accommodating petrol/diesel vehicles) and utility vehicles in Bharuch providing the means of transport within the city. Intra-district and Inter-state buses also serve Bharuch frequently, to most of the nearby cities and states. In addition to this there are private bus operators ferrying passengers across Bharuch.

Air : The nearest airport to Bharuch are Vadodara & Surat, at a distance of about 73/72 kilometres (km, 45/45 mi) respectively. Indian Airlines and other private airlines connect the city to most important cities of India.

Rail : Bharuch Junction railway station is on the Mumbai- Delhi- Ahmedabad line, which connects the Northern, Central & Western Railway link. The main trains which passes through the station are Mumbai-Ahmadabad Shatabdi Express, Mumbai-Vadodara Express, Jammu Tawi-Mumbai Central Swaraj Express and Bandra-Dehradun Express. The major railhead towards north of Bharuch is Vadodara Junction railway station (71 km or 44 mi) and to the south is Surat (68 km or 42 mi).

Bus : National Highway 8 passes through Bharuch and has a good road network. The bus station in the heart of the city is one the busiest in Western India. State transport buses and private luxury coaches connect Bharuch with various centres of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan.

Education[edit]

There are a number of schools and colleges in Bharuch which provide education in English and Gujarati mediums. Schools here are either affiliated to Gujarat Board, CBSE Board or the ICSE Board. Colleges provide education in various under-graduate and post-graduate courses.

Shree Narmada Sanskrit Ved Pathashala is a 115-year-old institute that imparts education in Sanskrit at school, graduate and post-graduate levels. It imparts education in the fields of vedas, jyotisha, vyakrana, nyaya, mimansa, etc.

Sports[edit]

Cricket is the most popular sport in the city. Munaf Patel and Rashid patel both played for Indian cricket team. However, other sports are also played.

Shri Batuknath Vyayam Shala was established in 1913 by Chhotubhai Purani and Ambubhai Purani (propagators of Indian gymnastics/vyayam in Gujarat).

GNFC Sports Complex has a number of modern sport facilities, which includes Cricket Stadium (Ranji Trophy matches are also held here), Golf Course, Tennis, Table Tennis, Badminton, Scatting, Swmming Pool, etc.

Rotary Club also has facilities for sports like Table Tennis, Swmming Pool, etc.

Shopping and recreation[edit]

There are various avenues for leisure time activities in Bharuch, and there are a few very good parks maintained by the municipal commission. Privately owned parks are also there. Among them, J. B. Modi Park and Vasu Van Nisarg Udyan are very famous.

There are river banks where people go for strolls, as well as a couple of libraries and a few auditoriums. The auditoriums along with movie halls make theatrical entertainment available in the city. There is a crowded bazaar in old Bharuch.

Bharuch is well known for textile products. Salted peanuts and sweets of Bharuch are renowned world-wide.

Of late there has been a boom in the retail sector in the city and there are new shopping malls and multiplexes opening up all over the place. There are shopping malls like Big Bazar, Reliance Hyper Market, V-Mart, Mayuri. Multiplexes like INOX & Fame are also there in Bharuch.

Healthcare[edit]

Bharuch has provided health care through hospitals and clinics. There are hospitals run by the government, private entities as well as charitable trusts.

It also has several clinics owned and operated by individual doctors and medical professionals. Pharmacies are also operated and run by individual people.

People from Bharuch[edit]

Renowned mythological personalities of Bharuch include Bhrigu Rishi, Shukra, Chyavana, Chandra, Dattatreya, Durvasa, Vamana, Mahabali, Jamadagni, Parshurama, etc.

Notable historical figures include King Nahapana, King Bharumala, King Dadda Chalukya, Princess Shobha (Refer: Shobha Somnath Ki), etc.

Notable personalities from recent times include K. M. Munshi, Omkarnath Thakur, Feroze Gandhi, Sundaram, Burjorji Sorabji Godrej (father of Ardeshir Godrej and Pirojsha Godrej, founders Godrej company), Premchand Roychand, Ahmed Patel, Munaf Patel etc.

Ganpatram Himmatram Desai was Sub Registrar of Bharuch and an Educationalist. He wrote the historical account of Bharuch city and its history in 1900. The historical work "Bharuch Shaher No Itihass" was preceded by another book named "Alexander Na Samay Nu Hind". Ganpatram Desai grandson Chunilal Desai was a Civil engineer working for the district administration building a number of schools in the district. He was a graduate of College of Engineering Pune.[13]

Interesting facts[14][15][edit]

Mythological[edit]

Historical[edit]

Places of interest[edit]

Bharuch City[edit]

Surrounding area[edit]

Other places of interest[edit]

and many more.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
  2. ^ a b Periplus of the Erythraean Sea. Depts.washington.edu. Retrieved on 28 July 2013.
  3. ^ Campbell, Sir James MacNabb (1896). Gazetteer of Bombay Presidency Volume 1, Part 1 – The History of Gujarat. Bombay: Govt. Central Press. p. 58. 
  4. ^ http://www.safariequipments.co.in/
  5. ^ P. 157 Foreign Influence on Ancient India By Krishna Chandra Sagar
  6. ^ Herman Odenberg, The Dipavamsa, New Delhi: Asian Educational Services, 2001. (first printed Berlin 1879)
  7. ^ Periplus
  8. ^ a b Malabari, Behramji Merwanji; Krishnalal M. Jhaveri (1998). Gujarat and the Gujaratis: Pictures of Men and Manners Taken from Life. Asian Educational Services. p. 2. ISBN 81-206-0651-5. 
  9. ^ Falling Rain Genomics, Inc – Bharuch
  10. ^ "Petronet LNG Limited". Petronetlng.com. 30 September 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  11. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  12. ^ From the book Bhruch Shaher No Itihaas in Gujarati
  13. ^ From the heirs of Ganpatram Desai
  14. ^ Ganpatram Desai, ભરૂચ શહેર નો ઈતિહાસ: પ્રાચીન તથા અર્વાચીન (Gujarati Book- History of Bharuch City: Ancient and Modern)
  15. ^ Hargovan Bechardas, ભરૂચ શહેર નું વર્ણન (Gujarati Book- Description of Bharuch City)
  16. ^ a b c Desai, Anjali (2007). India Guide Gujarat. India Guide Publications. p. 155. ISBN 978-0-9789517-0-2. 
  17. ^ Anjali Desai, India Guide Gujarat, India Guide Publications, 2007, page 159, ISBN 978-0-9789517-0-2
  18. ^ Anjali Desai, India Guide Gujarat, India Guide Publications, 2007, page 160, ISBN 978-0-9789517-0-2

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]