Bhuj
The Prag Mahal
Bhuj is located in Gujarat
Bhuj
Bhuj
Bhuj is located in India
Bhuj
Bhuj
Coordinates: 23°15′N 69°40′E / 23.25°N 69.67°E / 23.25; 69.67Coordinates: 23°15′N 69°40′E / 23.25°N 69.67°E / 23.25; 69.67
Country India
StateGujarat
DistrictKutch
MunicipalityBhuj Municipality
Founded byRao Hamirji
Government
 • TypeElected
 • BodyMunicipality
Area
 • Total56 km2 (22 sq mi)
Elevation
110 m (360 ft)
Population
 (2011)Census 2011
 • Total213,514
 • Density3,800/km2 (9,900/sq mi)
Languages
 • OfficialKutchi, Gujarati
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
PIN
370001
Telephone code2832
Vehicle registrationGJ-12
Sex ratio0.97 /
Websitehttp://www.bhujnagarpalika.org
source:Census of India[1]

Bhuj (pronunciation ) is a Municipality and District Headquarters of Kutch District in the state of Gujarat, India.

Etymology

According to legend, Kutch was ruled by the Nāga chieftains in the past. Sagai, a queen of Sheshapattana, who was married to King Bheria Kumar, rose up against Bhujanga, the last chieftain of Naga. After the battle, Bheria was defeated and Queen Sagai committed sati. The hill where they lived later came to be known as Bhujia Hill and the town at the foothill as Bhuj. Bhujang was later worshiped by the people as snake god, Bhujanga, and a temple was constructed to revere him.[2]

History

A Jadeja Chief in Kutchi attire during reign of Deshalji II : A sketch drawn in 1838
A Jadeja Chief in Kutchi attire during reign of Deshalji II : A sketch drawn in 1838

Bhuj was founded by Rao Hamir in 1510 and was made the capital of Kutch by Rao Khengarji I in 1549.[3] Its foundation stone as state capital was formally laid on Vikram Samvat 1604 Maagha 5th (approx. 25 January 1548). From 1590 onwards, when Rao was forced to acknowledge the Mughal supremacy, Bhuj came to be known as Suleiman Nagar amongst Muslims. The city's walls were built by Rao Godji I in 1723[dubious ], and the Bhujia Fort by Devkaran Seth in Rao Deshalji I's time (1718 - 1741).[4]

Bhuj has been attacked six times. In two instances, the defense was successful and in four other instances, the defense failed. In 1728, an attack by Sarbuland Khan, Mughal Viceroy of Gujarat, was repulsed by Rao Deshalji I, and, in 1765 Mian Ghulam Shah Kalhoro was, by a timely display of the strength of the fortifications, induced to withdraw. During the civil troubles of the reign of the Rao Rayadhan III, Bhuj was thrice taken, by Meghji Seth in 1786, by Hansraj in 1801, and by Fateh Muhammad in 1808. On 26 March 1819, the hill fort of Bhujia was captured by a British detachment under Sir William Keir.[4]

In 1818, Bhuj had a population of 20,000 people. The earthquake on 16 June 1819 destroyed nearly 7000 houses with a loss of an estimated 1140 human lives. About one-third of the buildings that escaped ruin were heavily damaged, and the north face of the town wall was leveled with the ground.

The British garrison at Bhuj peaked in 1826 with nearly 1400 British troops (685 infantry, 543 dragoons, 90 foot artillery and 74 horse artillery)[5] supported by over 5000 Indian soldiers. Amongst the highest profile British figures during this time was Alexander Burnes who was based here between 1826 and 1829.

In 1837, Bhuj is said to have had a population of 30,000, including 6,000 Muslims.[4]

After independence of India in 1947, Kutch State acceded unto the dominion of India and was constituted an independent commissionaire, Kutch State. In 1956, Kutch State was merged with Bombay state, which in 1960 was divided into the new linguistic states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, with Kutch becoming part of Gujarat state as Kutch district. Bhuj is the district headquarters of Kutch District, the largest district in India.

On 21 July 1956[6] as well as on 26 January 2001, the city suffered great losses of life and property due to earthquakes. Many parts of Bhuj were demolished due to the extensive damage, whilst others were repaired. There has been great progress in rebuilding the City since the 2001 earthquake, with considerable improvements to roads, transportation, and infrastructure.

Bhuj is home to one of the first Swaminarayan Sampraday temples, built in 1822. Bhuj temple is one of the six original temples built during the earthly presence of the Lord Swaminarayan. The devotees living in Bhuj including Gangaram Mull, Sundarji Suthar and Hirji Suthar requested Lord to construct a temple at Bhuj. Lord instructed Vaishnavanand Swami to construct the temple, and Lord himself installed the murti of Lord NarNarayan Dev in Bhuj on VS 1879 on the 5th day of the bright half of the month of Vaishakh (Friday 15 May 1823 AD).[7]

Geography

Bhuj has an average elevation of 110 metres (360 feet). On the eastern side of the city is a hill known as Bhujia Hill, on which there is a Bhujia Fort, that separates Bhuj city and Madhapar town ( considered one of the richest villages in Asia ). It has two lakes namely Hamirsar and Deshadsar (દેેેશળસર).

Skyline of Bhuj from Bhujia Fort atop Bhujia Hill

Climate

Bhuj has a borderline hot desert climate (Köppen BWh) just short of a hot semi-desert climate (BSh). Although annual rainfall "averages" around 330 millimetres or 13 inches the variability is among the highest in the world with coefficient of variation of around sixty per cent[8] – among the few comparably variable climates in the world being the Line Islands of Kiribati, the Pilbara coast of Western Australia, the sertão of Northeastern Brazil, and the Cape Verde islands.[9] Recorded annual rainfall has been as low as 21.9 millimetres or 0.86 inches in 1899 – yet in 1926 a total of 1,177.1 millimetres or 46.34 inches fell and in the incomplete year of 1959 rainfall exceeded 1,160 millimetres or 45.67 inches, of which 730.6 millimetres or 28.76 inches fell during Bhuj's wettest-ever month of July 1959.

Apart from the cool mornings of the "winter" season from December to February, temperatures are very warm to sweltering throughout the year, which further reduces the effectiveness of the erratic monsoonal rainfall. During the "hot" season from mid-March to mid-June, temperatures of 40 °C or 104 °F are frequent, whilst during the monsoon season they exceed 34 °C or 93.2 °F with high humidity except during rainy spells accompanied by cooler temperatures but oppressive humidity.

Climate data for Bhuj (Bhuj Airport) 1981–2010, extremes 1963–2012
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 37.0
(98.6)
38.9
(102.0)
43.9
(111.0)
45.6
(114.1)
47.8
(118.0)
47.0
(116.6)
41.3
(106.3)
41.2
(106.2)
42.8
(109.0)
44.0
(111.2)
39.7
(103.5)
35.4
(95.7)
47.8
(118.0)
Average high °C (°F) 27.4
(81.3)
30.4
(86.7)
35.4
(95.7)
38.9
(102.0)
39.4
(102.9)
37.6
(99.7)
34.2
(93.6)
32.7
(90.9)
34.9
(94.8)
36.9
(98.4)
33.1
(91.6)
28.7
(83.7)
34.1
(93.4)
Average low °C (°F) 10.0
(50.0)
12.8
(55.0)
18.1
(64.6)
22.3
(72.1)
25.5
(77.9)
27.2
(81.0)
26.4
(79.5)
25.3
(77.5)
24.3
(75.7)
21.7
(71.1)
16.0
(60.8)
11.2
(52.2)
20.1
(68.2)
Record low °C (°F) −0.2
(31.6)
0.3
(32.5)
5.5
(41.9)
12.7
(54.9)
16.6
(61.9)
16.1
(61.0)
19.4
(66.9)
20.0
(68.0)
17.8
(64.0)
11.1
(52.0)
6.0
(42.8)
0.6
(33.1)
−0.2
(31.6)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 1.3
(0.05)
0.3
(0.01)
1.1
(0.04)
0.2
(0.01)
1.5
(0.06)
35.6
(1.40)
130.9
(5.15)
99.7
(3.93)
48.6
(1.91)
2.3
(0.09)
1.8
(0.07)
0.2
(0.01)
323.3
(12.73)
Average rainy days 0.2 0.0 0.2 0.1 0.3 1.8 5.0 3.8 2.2 0.4 0.2 0.1 14.3
Average relative humidity (%) (at 17:30 IST) 32 29 29 29 39 51 64 66 54 33 31 33 41
Source: India Meteorological Department[10][11][12]

Places of interest

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April 2016)
Hamirsar Lake
Hamirsar Lake

Demographics

In 2011 the population of Bhuj was 213,514, which consisted of 111,146 males and 102,368 females.[1] A 2003 source reported that 24% of Bhuj's population was Muslim.[14]

The slums of Bhuj are inhabited primarily by Muslims, Dalits and other minorities.[15][16] For example, in the slums of Western Bhuj, an estimated 80% of the population is Muslim.[17]

Culture

A pair of shoes
A pair of shoes

Bhuj is a famous destination within India for observing the historic craftsmanship of the Kutch region, including the textile crafts of bandhni (tie-dye), embroidery, and leatherwork. Artists of nearby villages bring their artwork for sale in 'Bhuj Haat', which is situated near Jubilee Ground. Locals often visit Hamirsar Lake for relaxation in natural surroundings.

Bhuj is also famous for its regional cuisine, especially Pakvans, chikki, Kutchhi Dabeli, (a vegetarian burger made with mashed potato, cooked with masala curry and chutneys), and regional Gujarati sweets.

Media and communications

State-owned All India Radio has a local station in Bhuj which transmits various programmes. Local TV channels and newspapers are the most popular media.

Education

Main Gate of Kutch University
Main Gate of Kutch University
GEC-Bhuj
GEC-Bhuj
Gujarat adani institute of medical sciences
Gujarat adani institute of medical sciences

Alfred High School, the first high school of Kutch, established in 1870, is also an architectural heritage of the town.

Krantiguru Shyamji Krishna Verma Kachchh University is located in Bhuj. The university has 41 colleges affiliated, nineteen of which are in Bhuj. The university grants degrees in arts, science, commerce, law education, management, pharmacy, social welfare, medicine and engineering.[18]

Little Steps Montessori School is the first Montessori School in Kutch established in the year 2000 by the royal family of Tera-Kutch.

Primary and secondary

Matruchhaya Kanya Vidyalay Little Steps Montessori School Bhuj

Higher education

Government Engineering College, Bhuj

Radio Station & Television

Bhuj has its own Radio Station with Studio. Prasar Bharati under Information and Broadcasting Ministry is operating Radio Studio. MW is available on 1314 kHz and FM is available on 103.7 MHz. There is also terrestrial DD channel available. DD National and DD Girnar available.

Transportation

Bhuj Railway Station - Main Building
19132 Kutch Express at Bhuj railway station
Aircraft at Bhuj Airport

Bhuj is connected to Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Gaziabad, Jaipur, Ajmer, Hapur, Moradabad, Bareilly, Kharagpur, Ujjain and other cities within India by railway. The city has a domestic airport, from which daily flights connect to Mumbai with flights operated by Air India. State Transport buses are available from the ST stand in the middle of the town to various places in Gujarat. Additionally, many private tour operators also run frequent buses to major cities within and outside of the state of Gujarat. Kandla Airport is 53 km from Bhuj. The city may be navigated by the city bus and auto rickshaw.

Trains

Train no. Train Name Runs From Destination Departure Days Arrival Days
11091-11092 Ahimsa Express Bhuj Pune Wednesday Tuesday
14312-14311 via Ahmedabad & 14322-14321 via Bhildi Ala Hazrat Express Bhuj Bareilly Tuesday, Thursday & Sunday for 14312. Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday for 14322 Friday, Saturday, Monday for 14311. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday for 14321
22829-22830 Shalimar - Bhuj Weekly SF Express Bhuj Shalimar Tuesday Monday
22904-22903 Bandra Terminus Bhuj AC Superfast Express Bhuj Bandra Monday, Thursday, Saturday Thursday, Saturday, Monday
12960-12959 Bhuj Dadar Superfast Express Bhuj Dadar Monday, Thursday Wednesday, Saturday
19132-19131 Kutch Express Bhuj Bandra Daily Daily
19116-19115 Shayajinagari Express Bhuj Dadar Daily Daily

References

  1. ^ a b "Census of India". The Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India, New Delhi, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 26 June 2007. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  2. ^ Ward (1 January 1998). Gujarat–Daman–Diu: A Travel Guide. Orient Longman Limited. pp. 316–317. ISBN 978-81-250-1383-9.
  3. ^ "History of Bhuj". Bhuj Online. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency: Cutch, Palanpur, and Mahi Kantha. Printed at the Government Central Press. 1880. pp. 215–216.
  5. ^ Sikunder Burnes, by Craig Murray, p36
  6. ^ "Quake rocks Kutch". The Hindu. 24 July 1956. Archived from the original on 24 August 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  7. ^ "Swaminarayan.faith - Home of Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan".
  8. ^ Van Etten, Eddie J.B.; 'Inter-annual Rainfall Variability of Arid Australia: greater than elsewhere?'; Australian Geographer; 40 (2009), pp. 109-120
  9. ^ Dewar, Robert E. and Wallis, James R; 'Geographical patterning of interannual rainfall variability in the tropics and near tropics: An L-moments approach'; in Journal of Climate, 12; pp. 3457-3466
  10. ^ "Station: Bhuj (Rudramata)(A) Climatological Table 1981–2010" (PDF). Climatological Normals 1981–2010. India Meteorological Department. January 2015. pp. 143–144. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  11. ^ "Extremes of Temperature & Rainfall for Indian Stations (Up to 2012)" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. December 2016. p. M50. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  12. ^ "Bhuj Climatological Table Period: 1981–2010". India Meteorological Department. Archived from the original on 14 April 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  13. ^ "Introducing The Bhuj House: An Interview with Jehan Bhujwala". Greaves Tours. 2 May 2016.
  14. ^ A. P. Joshi, M. D. Srinivas, Jitendra Bajaj (2003). Religious Demography of India. Centre for Policy Studies. p. 68. ISBN 9788186041154.((cite book)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ Ashish Kothari and Shrishtee Bajpai (9 June 2020). "Towards urban direct democracy in Bhuj, India".
  16. ^ Damayantee Dhar (18 September 2018). "Life of Muslims in Bhuj -- A Saga of Political Alienation And Discrimination".
  17. ^ Miwa Kanetani (2006). "Communities Fragmented in Reconstruction after the Gujarat Earthquake of 2001". Journal of the Japanese Association for South Asian Studies: 62.
  18. ^ "ક્રાંતિગુરુ શ્યામજી કૃષ્ણ વર્મા કચ્છ યુનિવર્સિટી". Kskvku.digitaluniversity.ac. Retrieved 5 August 2012.