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Bharuch
Bharutakutchha
City
BAPS Sri Svaminarayana Mandiram, Bharuch
BAPS Sri Svaminarayana Mandiram, Bharuch
Nicknames: 
Peanut City, City of Fertilizers, Chemical Capital of India
Bharuch is located in Gujarat
Bharuch
Bharuch
Bharuch is located in India
Bharuch
Bharuch
Coordinates: 21°42′43″N 72°59′35″E / 21.712°N 72.993°E / 21.712; 72.993
CountryIndia
StateGujarat
DistrictBharuch
Government
 • BodyBharuch Municipality
Area
 • Total43.80 km2 (16.91 sq mi)
Elevation
15 m (49 ft)
Population
 (2011)
 • Total148,391
 • Density3,400/km2 (8,800/sq mi)
DemonymBharuchi
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
PIN
392001, 392002, 392010, 392011, 392012, 392015
Telephone code02642
Vehicle registrationGJ16
Websitehttps://bharuch.gujarat.gov.in/
A map showing the ancient western trade routes serviced by this ancient and historical port. The gateway city of Bharutkutccha 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 Mesopotamian plains with Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.

Bharuch (listen), formerly known as Bharutkutccha,[a] is a city at the mouth of the river Narmada in Gujarat in western India. Bharuch is the administrative headquarters of Bharuch District.

The city of Bharuch and surroundings have been settled since times of antiquity. It was a ship building centre and sea port in the pre-compass coastal trading routes for trading with the Occident and the East, perhaps as far back as the days of earliest trade connections. The route made use of the regular and predictable monsoon winds or galleys. Many goods from the Far East and Far West (the famed Spices 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 Parthian Empire, in the Roman Empire, the Chinese, and in other Western and Eastern centres of civilisation through the end of the European Middle Ages and other the middle ages of the world.[2][3]

In the 3rd century BCE to 3rd century CE, the port of Bharuch was mentioned as Barigaza.[4]

During the 8th century CE, the town of Bharuch was ruled by King Mayura giving rise to the Chaudharya Dynasty. The king ruled the city for 50 years and was popularly known as the 'Ace of Bharuch'.

Arab and other foreign traders entered Gujarat via Bharuch to do business. The British, French, Dutch, Portuguese with others later noted Bharuch's importance and established their business centres here.

At the end of the 17th century CE, it was plundered twice, but recovered quickly. Afterwards, a proverb was composed about it, "Bhangyu Bhangyu Toye Bharuch", which translates to "Bish-boshed, ever 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 European times it was officially known as Bharuch.

Bharuch has been the home to the Gujarati Bhargava Brahmana community for ages. The community traces its lineage to Bhrigu and Parashurama, who is the sixth avatara of Vishnu.[5] The Bharava community still administers a large number of public trusts in the city. However the present day Bhargava Brahmanas have migrated to Mumbai, Surat, Vadodara, Ahmedabad and other countries like France, Britain and Australia, New Zealand and many other countries in the world.

Being close to one of the biggest industrial areas including Ankleshvara GIDC, it is at times referred to as the chemical capital of India. The city has chemical plants, textile mills, long staple cotton, dairy products and much more. Gujarat's biggest liquid cargo terminal is situated 50 km to the west of Bharuch, in Dahej.[6] It also houses many multinational companies, such as Videocon, BASF, ONGC Petro-Additions, Reliance Industries, Adani Ports & SEZ, Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilisers & Chemicals, MRF Tires, Yokohama Off-Highway Tires, Jubilant, Aditya Birla Hindalco Industries, Gujarat Fluorochemicals Limited, ISGEC Hitachi, UPL (company), Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Limited, Deepak Nitrite, Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Petronet LNG, Godrej & Boyce, Piramal Group, Pidilite Industries, SRF Limited, Safari Equipments [7] and Welspun Maxsteel Ltd.[citation needed] The industrial estate of Vilayata houses the companies of Aditya Birla Grasim, Kansai Nerolac Paints etc., Jhagadia houses DCM Sriram Chemicals,[8] Saint-Gobain India Ltd., PepsiCo India Holdings Ltd. among others. Because of the distinctive colour of its soil (which is also ideal for cotton cultivation), Bharuch is sometimes referred to as 'Kanam Pradesham' (black-soil land).[citation needed] Bharuch is also nicknamed as 'Peanut City' for its salty peanuts, locally known as 'Khari Magaphali'.[9]

Etymology

Bharuch was known as Bharutkatccha in ancient times.[10]

It was known as Barygaza (Ancient Greek: Βαρύγαζα)[11] (meaning "deep-treasure"), Bargosa[12] etc. for the Greek, and later the Romans adopted the Greek name of this port in Latin as Barigaza in the Latin name of this city.

It was known as 'Bharuch' under Muslim times, 'Bharutkatchha' under Maratha times, and as 'Bharucha' under European times.

Mythology

Hindu mythology

Bhrigu's ashrama is located on the Narmada river's banks.

According to the Skanda Purana, when 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 was one of the many children of Brahma and Sarasvati. There is also a story which indicates that Bhrigu along with his kin 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. Chandramaulishvara Shiva is the Kuladevata of Bhargavas of Bharuch. Bhrigu never left the place and the Ashrama 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 Kashi in the northern Indian Subcontinent and the whole Indian Subcontinent.

Sages like Shukra, Chyavana, Markendeya and Jamadagni were from the lineage of Bhrigu. 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, 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, Mahabharata, and Kathasaritsagara and many more other Hindu Scriptures.

The Narmada is one of the Seven Holy Rivers of Hindu Indian Subcontinent; the other six being the Ganga, Yamuna, Sarasvati, Sindhu, Godavari and Kaveri and many more other rivers. It is known and said that a dip in any of these seven rivers and other rivers washes away one's sins. According to a legend, the river Ganga is polluted by millions of people bathing in it. To cleanse herself, Ganga 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 Ganga.

Mahanubhava Pantha

Bharuch is the Birthplace (Incarnation) of Sarvadnya Sri Chakradhara Svami who is, for some Hindus, the Mortal Incarnation of Vishnu. He established Mahanubhava Pantha (also known as Jai Sri Krishnyi Pantha) in Maharashtra in 1267. Bhagavan Sri Chakradhara Svami propagated a religious movement, as well as social movement, in which all members were accepted irrespective of their castes, and the traditional ritualistic religions was rejected.

Jain mythology

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 Munisuvrata Svami; black in complexion and in Padmasana posture. In the history of the Jains, this ancient city is important from many points of view. Guru Gautama Svami eulogised Muni Suvrata Svami, who is installed in Bharuch, in his "Jagachintamani Stotra" composed on the eight tirthas, Bhagavan Muni Suvrata Svami gave sermons to a horse here.

Further, many prominent Acharyas built temples and composed works in this tirtha. In Bharuch, we are shown the Ashvavabodha tirtha of the times of Muni Suvrata Svami, Shakunika Vihara of princess Sudarshana of Sri Lanka 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 Hindutvadi archaeologists, the Jama Masjid of the present Bharuch is "probably" this ancient temple. Some "believe" that in times of such invasions the idol of Sri Prabhu was kept at a safe spot, and, as time passed, new temples were constructed and the old idols were installed. Today the idol is found in the new temple. There are here eleven other temples besides this.

Buddhist mythology

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

History

Bharuch is the oldest city of Gujarat. It is also the second-oldest city of India having displayed evidence of continuous habitation, the first being Kashi (Varanasi). Chandragupta Vikramaditya and other kings and queens of the Gupta dynasty ruled this city up to the 5th century CE; it was then ruled over by the kings of the Gurjara tribe until the 7th century CE. The time period of 8th century CE to 13th century CE was said to be an important and very well-known part under the rule of Rajput Emperors mad Empresses. Solanki dynasty's great emperor Siddharaja Jaisingha had built up Kota (fortification) and Darvaja (doors) around the whole of Bharuch. The fort has a number of gates, which were later named 'Malbari Darvaja', 'Katopor Darvaja' and 'Zadeshvari Darvaja'. In the first half of the 16th century, Bharuch was ruled over by Changez Khan. Then, the Mughal king Humayun conquered and took over Bharuch as Mughal territory in 1534 CE.

BCE era

By the 6th century BCE, the city was readily accessible to outside trade via land-sea routes reaching the Levant to the Arab and Ethiopian traders feeding goods westwards to the Egyptians, Greeks, Parthians, Western Romans, Carthaginians, and eventually, the Eastern Roman Empires, and the Republic of Venice. It is likely even the Phoenicians knew of it; 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.

During the Prarga–Maurya period in Gujarat, King Pradyota Mahavira of the Pradyota dynasty of Ujjain ruled over Bharutkutchha in 550 BCE. He was a contemporary of Gautama Buddha. The Theragatha, part of the Pali Canon written down in Sri Lanka in the 1st century BCE, 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. The ancient Sri Lankan chronicle, the Dipavamsa, mentions that the legendary king Vijaya stopped at Bharutkutchha for three months in 500 BCE.[13]

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 BCE–185 BCE), the Western Satraps, the Guptas and the Gurjara-Pratiharas.[14]

The Maurya period was between 322 BCE and 185 BCE. The post-Maurya period is mentioned between 185 BCE and 23 CE. Princess of Sri Lanka, Sudarshana had built the Shakunika Vihara in the Bharuch during the rule of Samprati (229 BCE–220 BCE), and a Bharuch trader became responsible for the memories of the princess. This depicts trade relations between Lata (South Gujarat) and Sri Lanka.

It was known to the Greeks and Romans as Barygaza, and had a settlement of Greek and Roman traders. As one southern terminus of the Kamboja-Dvaravati Route, it is mentioned extensively as a major trading partner of the Roman and Greek worlds, 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 early Greeks who never reached this far south in the Indian Subcontinent as they ruled only lands to the west of the Indian Subcontinent before the Indo-Greeks ruled the western and northern Indian Subcontinent along with the Indian Subcontinental countries, 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 visit of Greeks, such as ancient shrines, walls of forts and great wells." Periplus, Chapter. 41
"To the present day ancient Drachmae are current in Barygaza, coming from this country, bearing inscriptions in Greek letters, and the devices of those who reigned after Alexander III of Macedonia, Apollodotus I and Menander I." Periplus Chapter. 47[15]

Kshatrapa era ( 23 CE–400 CE)

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

During the decade of 70 CE–80 CE, coins of Greek writing were used in Bharuch. The activity region of Jain priest Arya Khapoota (1st century AD) was in the Aatapata region of Bharuch. He had released the Ashvabodha pilgrims in Bharuch out of the control of the Buddhists.

King Nahapana (119 CE – 124 CE) of Kshatrapa era's silver coin.

Seven caves have been discovered from Kadiyadungar near Jajhapura, near Ankleshvara, of the Bharuch district. These caves are known as the Buddhist Viharas. It is believed that they were sculpted in the 1st century CE and 2nd century CE.

Gupta era (415 CE–470 CE)

During this time kings and queens of Trekutaka dynasty ruled the north of the Konkan and south of the Lata. Trekutaka ruled over the Surat district but the border of their state could not be decided. In the lines of Daspur of the weavers of Lata (South Gujarat) it has been mentioned that the Surya and Sanjana Temple was built in 437 CE at Bharuch.

Maitraka era (470 CE–788 CE) and Rashtrakuta era (788 CE–942 CE)

According to historical accounts, the Pratihara Empire with the capital at Bhinmal (or Srimal) was established by the Prathiharas. The kingdom of Bharuch was created by this Empire.[14]

It is known that in 540 CE which dynasty ruled over the Bharuch state in 540 CE, a Mahasamanta named Sangramasingha ruled over Bharuch, But nothing is known about the king. Chinese traveller Xuanzang crossed Narmada river in 640 CE and recorded that Bharutakutchha (Po Lu Ka Che Po) had around 10 Buddhist monasteries with around 300 monks.[16] After this period, in 648 CE, the Rashuddin Caliph Uthman had tried to attack Bharuch but the Maitraka forces killed all the Arab forces and won over them. In 648 AD, King Dhanasena –the fourth king of Vallabhi had put his winning camp in Bharuch with his forces after killing off all Arab forces and winning over them with fully ruling the Maitraka nation. A Muslim traveller Al–Biladuri had written in his notes about this in 713 CE – 714 CE.

The Arab Muslim ruler of Sindhu, Husam bin Amru came to Gandhara port by boat with his forces, trying to attack Bharuch. He and his forces tried to destroy the Hindu deities's idols and the Hindu Temples and to build Mosques in place of them in the time of 760 CE, but the Maitraka forces killed Hussain Bin Amru and all his forces and won over them and the Hindu Temples with their Hindu deities's idols were present without any mosques. In the post Maitraka era, during 788 CE – 942 CE Rashtrakuta kings and queens of south Lata ruled over Bharuch. Their reign was attempted to be stopped by Umayyad incursions and raids but however, the Rashtrakutas killed all the Umayyad incursions and raids and they fully ruled Bharuch and the Prathiharas conquered Sindhu, Baluchistan, Punjab, Kangra, and Gandhara, Kamboja all from the Indian Subcontinental nations and the Umayyad Caliphate, all happening with the collaboration of the Rashtrakutas and other Indian Subcontinental nations and near Bharuch itself.

Chalukya era (942 CE–1304 CE)

In 942, Mularaja established the rule of Chaulukya (Solanki) dynasty in Anahilvada Patan. Till this time the importance of Bharuch as the trade centre was continued. It was the capital of Lata region at the starting of the 11th century CE. It was the centre for the ships coming from China and Sindhu and other regions of the world and the Indian Subcontinent in the 12th century and the Chalukya minister Vastupala had established a library in Bharuch. It was also during the time around from 1008 CE-1030 CE that Mahmud of Ghazni and his forces had made several attempted raids into Gujarat to raid the land and the Indian Subcontinental rulers of Gujarat and other lands with their forces defeated them all and all the forces of Mahmud of Ghazni were killed and defeated by them, and the surviving forces of Mahmud of Ghazni and Mahmud of Ghazni himself fled back to Central Asia each time they tried to sack the Somnath Temple and Gujarat. Later Mahmud of Ghazni himself was killed by Bhoja and Ghazni's forces where killed by the Paramaras and their allies as known in historical sources. The destruction and killing of the Ghaznavid incursions by the Indian Subcontinent occurred in the Gujarati countryside including the area of Bharuch and outside it too.

Chakradhara Svami of Bharuch was during the era of the Chalukya Emperor Bhimadeva II. He established the Mahanubhava community which was spread in Maharashtra. In the 1100 CEs the region was subject to more attempted raids and their destruction by the Indian Subcontinental rulers and their forces by the Ghurids under Muhammad of Ghor and his forces and the Ghurid invasions of Muhammad of Ghor and his forces had all their forces killed by the Indian Subcontinental rulers and their forces and Muhammad of Ghor was killed by Prithviraj Chauhan and Ghori's forces were killed by the Indian Subcontinent rulers and their forces too as said in historical sources.

Middle Ages era (1293 CE–1872 CE)

"Bharuch", by Peeters Jacob, 1690 CE

The middle era history of Bharuch district can be divided in three main parts, out of which, we can say that Delhi Sultanate era (1297 CE–1407 CE), Gujarat Sultanate era (1407 CE–1573 CE) and Mughal era (1573 CE–1736 CE). Bharuch was a center of a prosperous merchant community, and was one of the chief ports of Gujarat from ancient times to the first half of the 16th century.

Portuguese Attacks

Until the beginning of the 16th century, the Portuguese Catholic Christians had little contact with the city, only in 1536 CE and 1547 CE, when there were attacks on operations from Daman and Diu against the governors of Gujarat for not paying for the Posters (Cartaz) system. After the attacks when Jorge de Menezes plundered Bharuch in 1547 CE, the city fell into insignificance.

In the 17th century CE the Dutch and British made it a center of their cotton purchases in Gujarat,[17] and commercial warehouses were established in 1616 CE and 1618 CE by the British and Dutch respectively and others later. After that, in 1675 CE and 1686 CE, it was sacked by the Marathas. During this time period, Bharuch was handed over to Kutubuddin. Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb demolished the fortification and the fort in 1660 CE by attacking. Later on, he had built it again in 1686 CE. In 1772 CE, the British again attacked Bharuch, defeating Nawab Mu'azzaz Khan, allegedly with the help of his treacherous minister, Diwan Lallubhai. The British handed over Bharuch to the Marathas who ruled between 1783 CE and 1802 CE. From 1802 CE, Bharuch was returned to the East India Company under the terms of the Treaty of Salbai.

Bharuch was ruled by Delhi Sultanate for 94 years, The independent Gujarat Sultanate for 181 years, Mughal Empire for 164 years, Independent Nawabs 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 Hindu and Muslim communities. They were mainly formed by the foreign and native traders.

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 City called Halderva where two Islamic priests were found performing miracles.

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 area was cheaper and prosperous also when Akbar had won over Bharuch during Mughal era it had 12 Paraganas. The annual growth of all 559 City of Bharuch, Hansot, Olpad, Mandvi, Galaa, Jambusar, Dahej, Koral, Ankleshvara and Tadakeshwar parganas was Rs. 7.5 million. As given in the Tabaqat-i Akbari, there is a description of severe drought and spread of contentious epidemic in Gujarat, which was later fertilized and cured to the end.

Mughal era (1605 CE–1627 CE)

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 Dutch in the 18th century, can be seen in the Kansarvad in Bharuch. This building has a fort around it.

Attacks and Sackings by the Marathas (1664 CE to 1685 CE)

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

Independent Nawabs of Bharuch (1736 CE to 1772 CE )

The Picture of Mirza Moazziz Khan Ex Nawab Son Of Mirza Mohabbat Khan the Last Ruled Nawab Of Bharuch
This is the letterhead and logo that Mirza Moaziz Khan Ex Nawab of Bharuch Used that time

When the Mughal subahdar Nizam-ul-Mulk was given the independent control of Bharuch as his personal fief, the Nizam soon threw off the suzerainty of the Mughals and started acting independent of Mughal rule. He appointed a loyal commander named Abdullah as the administrator of Bharuch with the title 'Nek Alam Khan'. Nek Alam Khan become independent of the Nizam's control in 1736 CE and assumed independent control of Bharuch. This is start of a very short lived dynasty of the Nawabs of Bharuch. Nek Alam Khan died in 1738 CE and was succeeded by his son Mirza Beg who also assumed the title of Nek Alam Khan. During this period independent Nawabs ruled over Bharuch. Mirza Baig, Ahmed Baig, Hakim Mirza, Mirza Mohabbat Khan Those who were given poison, due to which they died and their son who was Mirza Moazziz Khan, he took the title of Nawab of Bharuch And then a treaty was signed with the East India Company and the pension was implemented, hence this pension will be given to the future generations of Nawab of Bhauch. He did not get along with the East India Company So he left Bharuch and then started living with his Royal Family in the Jaora State in Indian State of Madhya Pradesh They all were originally from Bharuch but they shifted their residence to Jaora State in Madhya Pradesh in the 18th century CE and it is their current residence, far away from their ancestral residence, which is Bharuch, Gujarat. After their immigration to Jaora State in Madhya Pradesh, India, Bharuch was ruled by the many royal states of the Indian Subcontinent in Gujarat under many Indian subcontinent rulers and Europeans from many nations in Europe together for many centuries together.

Pre-independence era and Post-independence era

It is known that the movement for freedom struggle against foreign rulers in Bharuch started in 190,5 CE. But before that in the struggle of 1857 CE 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.

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

Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi

Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi a Gujarati Bhargava Brahmana of Bharuch district had participated in the Home Rule movement. He was imprisoned and released by the government for participating in struggles of Bardoli movement in 1938 CE, "Savinay Kanoon Bhang" in the 1930 CE and personal movement in 1940 CE and India with Pakistan and the Indian Subcontinent eradicated British rule in 1947 CE and became independent countries. Bharuch, Gujarat became the territory of India. Chunilal Shivlal Modi, who was born in 1913 CE in Bharuch, participated in the struggle of "Savinaya Kaanoon Bhang" in the 1930 CE 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 City had played a leading role in picketing the foreign cloths shops in Bharuch in 1930 CE. Manishankar Bhatt of Panjareli City had motivated the youth of the district to participate in the freedom struggle. Maganbhai Rugnathdas Patel of Bhadaam City had played a leading role in the Dholera movement in 1930 CE.

Manishankar Ranchhoddas Sukawala of Bharuch had played an active role in non-co-operation movement in 1920 CE–1921 CE.

Ratuprasada 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 CE, 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 participated in all the freedom movements in the district along with Chhotubhai Purani.

Surajben Haradeva Banarasi of Aasta village of Hansot Taluka, who was born in 1905 CE 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 and released later during independence. 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 Gandhi. Later, the Indian Subcontinent eradicated British rule in 1947 CE and became independent countries and eradicated other European rules. At that time, Bharuch, Gujarat became a territory of India in the Indian Subcontinent and it is to this day.

Geography and climate

Bharuch is located at 21°42′N 72°58′E / 21.7°N 72.97°E / 21.7; 72.97.[18] 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 Village 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 Village had witnessed major floods in the past, but now the floods have been controlled after the damming of the Narmada.

Economy, commerce and industry

Salty peanuts
Cotton
Bandhni

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 centre 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. 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 area 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 centre 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).

Over the past 60 years, a major part of the population has moved to countries like the UK, USA, the African continent, and other parts of Europe.[19] This brings some economical boost to the local businesses as people come back for vacations and spend their earnings here.

Trade

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, through the end of the European Middle Ages.[2][3]

In the 1st century AD, Bharuch port has been mentioned as Barigaza. Bharuch which was a prosperous and powerful port was an important part of Gujarat until the 16th century. Arab traders used to enter Gujarat via Bharuch. British, Valandas, and others accepted the importance of Bharuch and established premises and local staff here. At the end of the 17th century, the city was plundered twice but resurged quickly after the plunder and a proverb/refrain arose, "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 centre and shipbuilding 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.

Broach then (1500-1700) was a major textile manufacturing hub. The Broach city was famous for its bafta in the West and Southeast Asian markets. Bafta cloth was among the leading textile products exported to Europe and other parts of the world.[20]

Present industrial city

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

Large Indian and multinational companies, like the Torrent Group, PepsiCo International, Guardian Corporation, Hitachi, Heubach Colors, Zydus Cadila, Cadila Health Care, Survival Technologies, Videocon, China Light and Power, BASF, Reliance, Tata Group, Aditya Birla Group, Welspun Stahl, Aventis, Gulbrandsen Technologies, Wockhardt, Rallis, Pfizer, Ciba, L&T, Bayer, Glenmark, UPL, Lupin, J B Chemicals, Gujarat Fluorochemicals, NTPC, ONGC, GAIL, OPaL SOlvay, Breeze Intermediates For Flavor & Fragrance Intermediates, Alliance Tyre Group, Fireminich, Astra Specialty Compounds, Dahej 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, Alliance Tyre Group, ABG Shipyard, First carbon, Indofil, Birla copper, Adani, Reliance,[21]

Demographics

As of 2011 India census,[22] Bharuch had a population of 148,391. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Bharuch has an average literacy rate of 97.06%, much higher than the national average of 74%; with male literacy of 98.5% and female literacy of 95.5%. 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Civic administration

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

Bharuch Nagar Seva Sadan comprises 11 election wards and 44 seats (corporators). In the 2015, Bharuch Municipality elections, BJP won 31 seats, Congress won 12 and one seat went to Independent. R. V. Patel of Bharatiya Janata Party is the present mayor. Amit Chavda of Bhartiya Janata Party is the present President (Mayor) of Bharuch Nagar Palika.

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.

Bharuch is considered to be a stronghold of BJP, and since past 25 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

There are many religions being followed by the people of this city. 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. The majority are followers of Hinduism with a very large Muslim minority.

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. There exists also a number of mosques in this city many of them having been built in the medieval area and the most famous one is known as Jamia Masjid Bharuch built in 1644 during reign of Shah Jahan.[23]

Art and literature

Bharuch is renowned because of the internationally famous Pt. Omkarnath Thakur in the field of music. Writers such as 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 libraries in Western India. 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

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 of 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 four days of this festival. This festival is celebrated only in Bharuch in whole of India.

Cuisine

Ponk sellers thrashing the stalk to release the ponk

Bharuch cuisine is similar to that of Surati 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 "Mawa Ghari" (a type of sweet pastry made from a laminated dough and filled with Khoa, different than Surati Ghari ), "Malai Ghari" (filled with sweetened clotted cream, 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. The roasted salty peanuts of Bharuch are famous worldwide.

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

Golden Bridge Bharuch
Cable bridge of Bharuch

Bharuch is well connected to the rest of India by Indian National Highway 48 (Mumbai to New Delhi) and by the Western Railway Division of Indian Railways.

The 132-year-old Golden Bridge connects Bharuch to Ankleshwar across the Narmada, which connects Bharuch and Ankleshwar towns, has turned golden literally. This is the first time since independence that the bridge has been painted golden. Bharuch roads and buildings department has painted the bridge golden. Golden Bridge is a part of Bharuch's rich history. The British, who needed a bridge across Narmada to enable easier access for trade and administration officials in Mumbai, built the Golden Bridge, or Narmada Bridge as it is named, in 1881.

The bridge got its name due to the massive expenditure incurred in its construction. It was constructed seven times after being damaged several times due to strong currents of Narmada water. It was said that the cost incurred was so high that with the amount spent the bridge could be constructed in gold. The bridge has withstood many floods and natural disasters like earthquakes and provides daily transportation to the people of Ankleshwar and Bharuch.

A new bridge connects to the national highway.

Local transport is provided mainly by auto rickshaws (3-wheeled passenger taxis running on petrol or diesel). Intra-district and Inter-state buses also serve Bharuch frequently, and services are available to most nearby cities within and outside Gujarat. Private bus operators also offer local services in and around Bharuch.

Air: The nearest airports to Bharuch are Surat and Vadodara, at a distance of about 72 kilometres (45 mi) respectively.

Indian Airlines and other private airlines connect Surat and Vadodara to Delhi and Mumbai, with onward connections to major cities throughout India and abroad.

Rail: Bharuch Junction railway station is a very busy junction, handling over 40 pairs of trains on the Mumbai-Delhi line via Ahmedabad.

Bharuch Junction

The main trains which pass through the station are Mumbai-Ahmadabad Shatabdi Express, August Kranti Rajdhani Express, Mumbai-Vadodara Express, Jammu Tawi-Mumbai Central Swaraj Express and Bandra-Dehradun Express.

Daily or multiple daily trains connect Bharuch to all major cities in Gujarat. Daily or multiple daily trains also connect to many smaller towns as well.

Long-distance connections are available to virtually all major cities in India with multiple daily services to Mumbai and Delhi.

There are also daily (or multiple-daily) trains to Jaipur, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Kota, Ajmer, Indore, Kolkata, Nagpur, Solapur, Raipur, Bilaspur, Rourkela, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Firozepur, Bhatinda, Ambala, Panipat, Rohtak, Faridabad, Mathura, Dehradun, Pune, Goa, Mangalore, Kozhikode and Kochi (Ernakulam)- (and to several other stations en route).

Weekly (or multiple-weekly) trains are available for Udaipur, Lucknow, Bhubaneswar, Pury, Hyderabad, Mysore, Bangalore, Coimbatore and Tuticorin among others.

The major railhead to the north of Bharuch is Vadodara (71 km or 44 mi) and to the south is Surat (68 km or 42 mi).

Indian railways also runs narrow gauge train services to Dahej and Jambusar.

Bus: National Highway 8 passes through Bharuch and has a good road network. The bus station in the heart of the city is one of 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

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 to name few Sabari Vidya Peedom, Aditya Birla Public School, AMICUS, Queen of Angels' Convent School, Holy Angels Convent School, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavans' Narmada Vidyalya, DPS, Sanskar Vidya Bhavan, Faith Calivary, J.B.Mody Vidyalaya.

Several colleges provide education in various undergraduate and postgraduate streams including commerce and science, Narmada College of Science & Commerce is the prominent known college since last many decades. Narmada College of Computer Application (NCCA) in its campus is the only college in Bharuch District providing Master of Computer Application (MCA) course since 1999.

There are also several engineering colleges affiliated to the Gujarat Technical University including Government Engineering College, Bharuch which is centrally monitored, and SVM( Sa'd Vidya Mandal) Institute of Technology which offers graduate and post-graduate courses.

There are also several pharmacy colleges, a medical college, Agriculture College.

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, and mimansa.

Sports

GNFC Sports Complex has a number of modern sport facilities, which includes Cricket Stadium (Ranji Trophy matches were also held here), golf course, tennis, table tennis, badminton, skating, swimming pool, gym, community science centre, snookers, pool, billiards, chess, cards, volleyball, and basketball.

Rotary Club also has facilities for sports like table tennis, swimming pool, skating, badminton and other indoor games.

Cricket is the most popular sport in the city. Munaf Patel and Rashid patel both played for Indian cricket team.

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

Shopping and recreation

There are various avenues for leisure time activities in Bharuch, and there are a few parks maintained by the municipal commission such as Narmada River Front. The city also has numerous privately owned parks; among them, J. B. Modi Park and Vasu Van Nisarg Udyan are the most popular and well-known. The river banks in the city provide places for walking and leisure activities, together with a couple of libraries and a few auditoriums. Bharuch is well known for its textile products. Salted peanuts and sweets of Bharuch are renowned worldwide. Jabsons, a well known export brand for peanuts is a notable shop in the Peanut Market. 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 now shopping centers including Reliance Smart Bazaar, Reliance Super Market and D-Mart and places like Pantaloons, Croma and Zudio. Bharuch City Center is where most of the famous brands can be found.

Healthcare

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

Mythological figures related to Bharuch include Bhrigu Rishi, Shukra, Chyavana, Chandra, Dattatreya, Durvasa, Vamana, Mahabali, Jamadagni and Parshurama. Notable historical figures include King Nahapana.

Notable people from recent times include:

Broacha and Bharucha are common surnames among Parsis and Dawoodi Bohras originally from Bharuch.

Places of interest

Bharuch City

Surrounding area

Other places of interest

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The name is also sometimes given as Parocco.[1]

References

  1. ^ Neill, A History of Christianity in India, p. 73
  2. ^ a b Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
  3. ^ a b Periplus of the Erythraean Sea. Depts.washington.edu. Retrieved on 28 July 2013.
  4. ^ Campbell, Sir James MacNabb (1896). Gazetteer of Bombay Presidency Volume 1, Part 1 – The History of Gujarat. Bombay: Govt. Central Press. p. 58.
  5. ^ Munśī, Dhanaprasād Candālāl (1929). Bhārgava brāhmaṇo-no itihās (History of the Bhargava Brahmins). Mumbai: Navlakhī Printing Press, Kālbādevī.
  6. ^ "Dahej Port, Gujarat". Dahej Port, Gujarat. Archived from the original on 29 July 2019. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  7. ^ "Home". safariequipments.co.in.
  8. ^ "About Us". dcmshriram.com/. Retrieved 10 February 2023.
  9. ^ "Bharuch Special Peanuts". kheteshwar.com. SHREE KHETESHWAR SWEETS. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  10. ^ Majumdar, M. R. (1960). Historical and Cultural Chronology of Gujarat. Vadodara, India: Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. p. 26.
  11. ^ "Περίπλους της Ερυθράς Θαλάσσης - Βικιθήκη". el.wikisource.org. Retrieved 7 March 2023.
  12. ^ "LacusCurtius. Strabo's Geography — Book XV Chapter 1". penelope.uchicago.edu. pp. 39‑73. Retrieved 7 March 2023.
  13. ^ Herman Odenberg, The Dipavamsa, New Delhi: Asian Educational Services, 2001. (first printed Berlin 1879)
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ "Internet History Sourcebooks". sourcebooks.fordham.edu. Retrieved 17 October 2022.
  16. ^ "Hiuen Tsang's Gujarat travel: 'Valabhi was at par with Nalanda' - TOI Mobile". The Times of India Mobile Site. 14 September 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  17. ^ D.Barbosa,"The Book"
  18. ^ "Bharuch". fallingrain.com. Retrieved 7 March 2023.
  19. ^ "About". Retrieved 7 March 2023.
  20. ^ "Surat in the seventeenth century". 1978.
  21. ^ "Petronet LNG Limited". Petronetlng.com. 30 September 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  22. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  23. ^ From the book Bhruch Shaher No Itihaas in Gujarati
  24. ^ a b c Desai, Anjali (2007). India Guide Gujarat. India Guide Publications. p. 155. ISBN 978-0-9789517-0-2.
  25. ^ Anjali Desai, India Guide Gujarat, India Guide Publications, 2007, page 159, ISBN 978-0-9789517-0-2
  26. ^ Anjali Desai, India Guide Gujarat, India Guide Publications, 2007, page 160, ISBN 978-0-9789517-0-2
  27. ^ Archived copy Archived 20 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine

Further reading