Bharuch

Bharuch

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Bharuch (Gujarati
Gujarati language
Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language, and part of the greater Indo-European language family. It is derived from a language called Old Gujarati which is the ancestor language of the modern Gujarati and Rajasthani languages...

: ભરૂચ), also known as Broach, is the oldest city in Gujarat, situated at the mouth of the holy river Narmada
Narmada
Narmada may refer to:* Narmada River of central India* Narmada district of Gujarat, India* The Narmada Dam Project, involving the construction of a series of large irrigation and hydroelectric multi purpose dams on the Narmada River in India...

. Bharuch is the administrative headquarters of Bharuch District
Bharuch district
Bharuch in India, is a district in the southern part of the Gujarat peninsula on the west coast of state of Gujarat with a size and population comparable to that of Greater Boston...

 and a municipality of more than 1,50,000 inhabitants. As Bharuch is a major seaport city, a number of trade activities have flourished here. Located between Vadodara
Vadodara
Vadodara formerly known as Baroda is the third most populated city in the Indian State of Gujarat . It is one of the four cities with the population of over 1 million...

 and Surat
Surat
Surat , also known as Suryapur, is the commercial capital city of the Indian state of Gujarat. Surat is India's Eighth most populous city and Ninth-most populous urban agglomeration. It is also administrative capital of Surat district and one of the fastest growing cities in India. The city proper...

, the city derived its name from ‘'Bhrigukachchha’' (Sanskrit: भृगुकच्छ), the residence of the great saint Bhrigu Rishi, which was later abridged to Bharuch.

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 Shukaltirtha were famous up to the Kashi in the northern India.

The city of Bharuch
Bharuch
Bharuch , also known as Broach, is the oldest city in Gujarat, situated at the mouth of the holy river Narmada. Bharuch is the administrative headquarters of Bharuch District and a municipality of more than 1,50,000 inhabitants. As Bharuch is a major seaport city, a number of trade activities have...

 and its surrounds--today's district -- has been settled far back into antiquity and was a major shipping building center and sea port in the important pre-compass
Compass
A compass is a navigational instrument that shows directions in a frame of reference that is stationary relative to the surface of the earth. The frame of reference defines the four cardinal directions – north, south, east, and west. Intermediate directions are also defined...

 coastal trading
Trade
Trade is the transfer of ownership of goods and services from one person or entity to another. Trade is sometimes loosely called commerce or financial transaction or barter. A network that allows trade is called a market. The original form of trade was barter, the direct exchange of goods and...

 routes to points West, perhaps as far back as the days of the Pharaohs, which utilized the regular and predictable Monsoon
Monsoon
Monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea...

 winds or galleys. Many goods from the Far East
Far East
The Far East is an English term mostly describing East Asia and Southeast Asia, with South Asia sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons.The term came into use in European geopolitical discourse in the 19th century,...

 (the famed Spice
Maluku Islands
The Maluku Islands are an archipelago that is part of Indonesia, and part of the larger Maritime Southeast Asia region. Tectonically they are located on the Halmahera Plate within the Molucca Sea Collision Zone...

 and Silk trade) 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
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 and other Western centers of civilization right on through the end of the Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

.

In the first century A. D. Bharuch port has been mentioned as Barigaza. Bharuch which was prosperous and powerful port was an important port of Gujarat till 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. During the British Raj it was officially known as Broach.

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).

Etymology


Bharuch derives its name from the great sage Bhrigu. The original name of Bharuch is Bhrigukachchha (Sanskrit: भृगुकच्छ). As per Skanda Purana
Skanda Purana
The Skanda Purana is the largest Mahapurana, a genre of eighteen Hindu religious texts. The text is devoted mainly to the lilas of Kartikeya , a son of Shiva and Parvati. It also contains a number of legends about Shiva, and the holy places associated with him...

, Bhrigu rishi came here sitting on a tortoise. Tortoise is known as Kachchha (कच्छ) in Sanskrit. Hence the name Bhrigukachchha.

According to one argument, Bhrigukachchha later developed in to Bharuch (भरूच) in the local medieval vernacular - which seems quite possible according to linguistic developments in Prakrit
Prakrit
Prakrit is the name for a group of Middle Indic, Indo-Aryan languages, derived from Old Indic dialects. The word itself has a flexible definition, being defined sometimes as, "original, natural, artless, normal, ordinary, usual", or "vernacular", in contrast to the literary and religious...

, Apabharamsa and neo-Indian-Aryan. According to another argument, the present name Bharuch is derived form "Broach" though this unlikely as this seems to be a variant of Bharuch. 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 in to Bharuch without any reference to the rules of Indo-Aryan linguistics; for example, Indo-Aryan b- does not mutate into bh- (it doesn't the other way round either!). However, the port is surrounded by hills which can be still be seen from the old city

Various Names of Bharuch

  • Bhrigukachchha (भृगुकच्छ), Bhrigupur, Bhrigutirtha, Bhrigukshetra, Bhrigukaksha as per Hindu
    Hindu
    Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

     Puranas
    Puranas
    The Puranas are a genre of important Hindu, Jain and Buddhist religious texts, notably consisting of narratives of the history of the universe from creation to destruction, genealogies of kings, heroes, sages, and demigods, and descriptions of Hindu cosmology, philosophy, and geography.Puranas...

     and during B.C. and early C.E. eras
  • Shrinagar - as an abode of the goddess Lakshmi
    Lakshmi
    Lakshmi or Lakumi is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity , light, wisdom, fortune, fertility, generosity and courage; and the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm. Representations of Lakshmi are also found in Jain monuments...

  • Barygaza - the Greek, and, later, Roman name for this port
  • Bharukachchha (भरूकच्छ) - circa 8th to 10th century
  • Bharuch - under Muslim rule
  • Bhadoch - under Maratha rule
  • Broach - under British rule
  • Bharuch - current official name

Hindu Mythology


According to the Skanda Purana
Skanda Purana
The Skanda Purana is the largest Mahapurana, a genre of eighteen Hindu religious texts. The text is devoted mainly to the lilas of Kartikeya , a son of Shiva and Parvati. It also contains a number of legends about Shiva, and the holy places associated with him...

, before Bhrigu rishi came here, Bharuch was the residence place of Goddess Lakshmi
Lakshmi
Lakshmi or Lakumi is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity , light, wisdom, fortune, fertility, generosity and courage; and the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm. Representations of Lakshmi are also found in Jain monuments...

.

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
Lakshmi
Lakshmi or Lakumi is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity , light, wisdom, fortune, fertility, generosity and courage; and the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm. Representations of Lakshmi are also found in Jain monuments...

 since Bharuch is located on the banks of river Narmada
Narmada River
The Narmada , also called Rewa is a river in central India and the fifth largest river in the Indian subcontinent. It is the third largest river that completely flows within India after Ganges and Godavari...

 also known as Rudra Deha. Chanra Mauli Mahadev is the Kul Devata of Bhargavs of Bharuch Brighu never left the place and the Ashram
Ashram
Traditionally, an ashram is a spiritual hermitage. Additionally, today the term ashram often denotes a locus of Indian cultural activity such as yoga, music study or religious instruction, the moral equivalent of a studio or dojo....

 of Brighu Rishi is located on the banks of Narmada.

Bharuch was considered to be sacred among sage
Wise old man
The wise old man is an archetype as described by Carl Jung, as well as a classic literary figure, and may be seen as a stock character...

s, 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
Asura
-In Hinduism:In Hinduism, the Asuras constitute a group of power-seeking deities, sometimes considered sinful and materialistic. The Daityas and Danavas were combinedly known as Asuras. The Asura were opposed to the Devas. Both groups are children of Kasyapa...

 king Mahabali
Mahabali
Mahabali , also known as Bali or Māveli was a benevolent Asura King, and the grandson of Prahlada. The festival of Onam commemorates his yearly homecoming after being sent down to the underworld by Vamana, the fifth avatar of Vishnu.-Conquest of the Universe and banishment:Bali, an asura, was the...

, conducted a great sacrifice. In this sacrifice, a dwarf Brahmin
Brahmin
Brahmin Brahman, Brahma and Brahmin.Brahman, Brahmin and Brahma have different meanings. Brahman refers to the Supreme Self...

 called Vamana
Vamana
Vamana is described in the Puranic texts of Hinduism as the Fifth Avatar of Vishnu, and the first incarnation of the Second Age, or the Treta yuga. Also he is the first Avatar of Vishnu which appears with a completely human form, though it was that of a dwarf brahmin. He is also sometimes known as...

 (fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu
Vishnu
Vishnu is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God....

) 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
Mahabali
Mahabali , also known as Bali or Māveli was a benevolent Asura King, and the grandson of Prahlada. The festival of Onam commemorates his yearly homecoming after being sent down to the underworld by Vamana, the fifth avatar of Vishnu.-Conquest of the Universe and banishment:Bali, an asura, was the...

.

Sages like Shukra
Shukra
Shukra , the Sanskrit for "clear, pure" or "brightness, clearness", is the name of the son of Bhrigu, and preceptor of the Daityas, and the guru of the Asuras, identified with the planet Venus, one of the Navagrahas...

, Chyavana
Chyavana
Chyavana was a maharshi in Hindu mythology. He was son of sage Bhrigu and known for his rejuvenation after penances for several years. According to the Mahabharata, he was powerful enough to oppose the Vajra of Indra and was responsible for the Ashvins getting their share of the sacrificial...

, Markendeya and Jamadagni
Jamadagni
Jamadagni is one of the Saptarishis in the seventh, i.e. the present Manvantara. He was a descendant of the sage Bhrigu, one of the Prajapatis created by Brahma, the God of Creation...

 were from the linage of Bhrigu rishi. Parshurama (sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu) was born in the seventh generation of Bhrigu.

According to the Skanda Purana
Skanda Purana
The Skanda Purana is the largest Mahapurana, a genre of eighteen Hindu religious texts. The text is devoted mainly to the lilas of Kartikeya , a son of Shiva and Parvati. It also contains a number of legends about Shiva, and the holy places associated with him...

, there are fifty-five (55) tirtha
Tirtha
In Jainism, a tīrtha |ford]], a shallow part of a body of water that may be easily crossed") is used to refer both to pilgrimage sites as well as to the four sections of the sangha...

s located in Bharuch. Many great sages like Kashyapa, Kapila, Mandavya
Mandavya
Mandavya was a sage, who according to Hinduism, was wrongly punished by the king by being impaled. This occurred as the chief of a band of robbers had hidden their stolen goods in a corner of his hermitage when he was in deep contemplation, and he was wrongly assumed to have stolen the goods. Lord...

, Adi Sankaracharya, etc. also have preformed penances in Bharuch.

Bharuch finds its mention in all major Hindu scriptures like Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata purana
The Bhāgavata Purāṇa is one of the "Maha" Puranic texts of Hindu literature, with its primary focus on bhakti to the incarnations of Vishnu, particularly Krishna...

, Shiva Purana
Shiva Purana
The Shiva Purana is one of the s, a genre of Hindu religious texts dedicated to Shiva. According to a tradition which is stated in the of this text, the original text was known as the ....

, Skanda Purana
Skanda Purana
The Skanda Purana is the largest Mahapurana, a genre of eighteen Hindu religious texts. The text is devoted mainly to the lilas of Kartikeya , a son of Shiva and Parvati. It also contains a number of legends about Shiva, and the holy places associated with him...

, Kurma Purana
Kurma Purana
-Contents:The printed editions of this text are divided into two s , the and the . The has 53 chapters and the has 46 chapters.According to the tradition, the originally consisted of four s : the , the , the and the . The extant text would correspond to the .The gives a brief overview of...

, Matsya Purana
Matsya Purana
Matsya Purana is the sixteenth purana of the Hindu scriptures. During the period of mahapralaya, Lord Vishnu had taken Matsya Avatar to save the seeds of all lives and Manu...

, Ramayana
Ramayana
The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon , considered to be itihāsa. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India and Nepal, the other being the Mahabharata...

, Mahabharata
Mahabharata
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and Nepal, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa....

, etc.

The Narmada
Narmada
Narmada may refer to:* Narmada River of central India* Narmada district of Gujarat, India* The Narmada Dam Project, involving the construction of a series of large irrigation and hydroelectric multi purpose dams on the Narmada River in India...

 happens to be one of the most sacred of the five holy rivers of India; the other four being Ganges, Yamuna
Yamuna
The Yamuna is the largest tributary river of the Ganges in northern India...

, Godavari and Kaveri. It is believed that a dip in any of these five rivers washes ones sins away. 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


Bharuch is also a sacred tirtha
Tirtha
In Jainism, a tīrtha |ford]], a shallow part of a body of water that may be easily crossed") is used to refer both to pilgrimage sites as well as to the four sections of the sangha...

 for Jains
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

.

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 eulogized 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. At so many places do we come across 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


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


Bharuch is the oldest city of Gujarat. It is also the second oldest city of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 having continuous inhitations, first being Kashi (Varanasi
Varanasi
-Etymology:The name Varanasi has its origin possibly from the names of the two rivers Varuna and Assi, for the old city lies in the north shores of the Ganga bounded by its two tributaries, the Varuna and the Asi, with the Ganges being to its south...

). Bharuch has a known history for about 8000 years.

Certainly by the 500s BC, the city was known at least by reputation, via land-sea routes reaching the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

 to the Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 and Ethiopian
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 traders feeding goods westwards to the Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

ians, Greeks
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

, Persians, Western Roman
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

s, Carthaginians, and eventually, the Eastern Roman Empires, and the Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

. 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
Far East
The Far East is an English term mostly describing East Asia and Southeast Asia, with South Asia sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons.The term came into use in European geopolitical discourse in the 19th century,...

 and the interior of the Indian sub-continent to the civilizations of South-west Asia, the Middle-East, the Mediterranean basin including Northern Africa and Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

.

The ancient Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

n chronicle, the Dipavamsa
Dipavamsa
The Dipavamsa, or "Deepavamsa", is the oldest historical record of Sri Lanka.It means Chronicle of the Island. The chronicle is believe to be compiled from Atthakatha and other sources around the 3-4th century. Together with Mahavamsa, it is the source of many accounts of ancient history of Sri...

, mentions that the legendary king Vijaya
Vijaya
Prince Vijaya was the first recorded King of Sri Lanka mentioned in the ancient Sri Lankan Pali chronicles. His reign is traditionally dated to 543 BC - 505 BC....

 stopped at Bharukaccha for three months c 500 BC.

The Theragatha
Theragatha
The Theragatha , often translated as Verses of the Elder Monks , is a Buddhist scripture, a collection of short poems supposedly recited by early members of the Buddhist sangha. In the Pali Canon, the Theragatha is classified as part of the Khuddaka Nikaya, the collection of short books in the...

, part of the Pali Canon
Pāli Canon
The Pāli Canon is the standard collection of scriptures in the Theravada Buddhist tradition, as preserved in the Pāli language. It is the only completely surviving early Buddhist canon, and one of the first to be written down...

 written down in Sri Lanka in the 1st century BCE, mentions Vaddha Thera and Malitavamba Thera of Bharukaccha, as contemporaries of the Buddha
Buddha
In Buddhism, buddhahood is the state of perfect enlightenment attained by a buddha .In Buddhism, the term buddha usually refers to one who has become enlightened...

, while the Therigatha
Therigatha
The Therigatha, often translated as Verses of the Elder Nuns , is a Buddhist scripture, a collection of short poems supposedly recited by early members of the Buddhist sangha in India around 600 BC...

 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
Kamboja-Dvaravati Route
The Kamboja–Dvaravati Route is the name given in old Jataka literature to an ancient land trade route that was an important branch of the Silk Road during antiquity and the early medieval era....

, it is mentioned extensively as a major trading partner of the Roman world, in the 1st century Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea or Periplus of the Red Sea is a Greco-Roman periplus, written in Greek, describing navigation and trading opportunities from Roman Egyptian ports like Berenice along the coast of the Red Sea, and others along Northeast Africa and India...

. One of the Periploi
Periplus
Periplus is the Latinization of an ancient Greek word, περίπλους , literally "a sailing-around." Both segments, peri- and -plous, were independently productive: the ancient Greek speaker understood the word in its literal sense; however, it developed a few specialized meanings, one of which became...

 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
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 letters, and the devices of those who reigned after Alexander the Great, Apollodotus I
Apollodotus I
Apollodotus I Soter was an Indo-Greek king between 180 and 160 BCE or between 174 and 165 BCE who ruled the western and southern parts of the Indo-Greek kingdom, from Taxila in Punjab to the areas of Sindh and possibly Gujarat.-Ruler of the Indo-Greek...

 and Menander
Menander I
Menander I Soter "The Saviour" was one of the rulers of the Indo-Greek Kingdom from either 165 or 155 BC to 130 BC ....

." Periplus Chap. 47


Excavations near the banks of the river Narmada
Narmada River
The Narmada , also called Rewa is a river in central India and the fifth largest river in the Indian subcontinent. It is the third largest river that completely flows within India after Ganges and Godavari...

 in Bharuch have revealed many archeological and architectural wonders, mostly temples. Later Bharuch was part of the Mauryan Empire (322–185 BC
185 BC
Year 185 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Pulcher and Puditanus...

), the Western Satraps, the Gupta
Gupta Empire
The Gupta Empire was an ancient Indian empire which existed approximately from 320 to 550 CE and covered much of the Indian Subcontinent. Founded by Maharaja Sri-Gupta, the dynasty was the model of a classical civilization. The peace and prosperity created under leadership of Guptas enabled the...

s and the Gurjars.

According to historical accounts, the kingdom with capital at Bhinmal
Bhinmal
Bhinmal is a town in the Jalore District of Rajasthan, India. It is 72 km south of Jalore town. The name Bhinmal is derived from the word Shrimal.Bhinmal was old capital of the kingdom of the Gurjars during medieval period....

 (or Srimal) was established by the Gurjars (or Gujjars).The kingdom of Bharuch was the offshoot of this Kingdom.

As part of the Sultanate of Gujarat, it was subsequently annexed by the Mughals
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

, 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 contemporary of Gautam Buddha. Maurya period was between 322 – 185 BC. Post Maurya period is mentioned between 185 B.C. 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 pilgrim in Bharuch out of the control of the Bauddhas.

Time Line


Kshatraya era (c.23 - 400 AD)

In the 1st century AD, kings of Shaka community established their rule in Gujarat. Nabhovaahan (Nahapana
Nahapana
Nahapana was an important ruler of the Western Kshatrapas, descendant of the Indo-Scythians, in northwestern India. According to one of his coins, he was the son of Bhumaka.-History:...

), 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)

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)

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 – 4 of Vallabhi
Vallabhi
Vallabhi is an ancient city located in Saurashtra peninsula in Gujarat, in western India, near Bhavnagar. Also known as Vallabhipura, it was the capital of the ancient Maitraka dynasty.- Origins and history :...

 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)

In 942, Moolaraj 1st established the rule of Solanki
Solanki
The Solanki was a royal Hindu Indian dynasty that ruled parts of western and central India between the 10th to 13th centuries. A number of scholars including V. A. Smith assign them Gurjar origin....

 dynasty in Anahilvaad Patan
Patan
Patan may refer to places in Afghanistan, India and Nepal:Afghanistan*Patan, AfghanistanIndia*Patan district, in the state of Gujarat**Patan, Gujarat, the main city of the same district*Patan, Rajasthan, an historical city in Rajputana...

. 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 era (1293 - 1872 AD)

The middle era history of Bharuch district can be divided in three main parts, out of which, we can say that Sultanat era – 1297 to 1572. Mughal era – 1572 to 1736 and Maratha era – 1783 to 1802 were the eras of struggle. Bharuch was ruled by Delhi Sultanat for 94 years, Gujarat’s independent Sultanat for 181 years, Mughal Sultanat 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 specially 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 sultanat 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. 75 lac. As given in the Tabakka – E – Akbari there is a description of severe draught and spread of contentious epidemic in Gujarat.

Jahangir Rule (1605 – 1627 AD)

On understanding the importance of Bharuch district as the trade centre, British had taken permission from Jahangir
Jahangir
Jahangir was the ruler of the Mughal Empire from 1605 until his death. The name Jahangir is from Persian جهانگیر,meaning "Conqueror of the World"...

 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 1700s, can be seen in the Kansarvaad in Bharuch. This building has a fort around it.

Attacks by the Marathas (1664 to 1685 AD)

Marathas had plundered Bharuch twice. Due to six draughts between 1681 and 1696 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)

During this period independent Nawaabs rule 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.

Contribution in Dandi Yatra and Satyagraha movement

In 1930 the movement of Satyagraha had spread in Gujarat which had affected Jambusar also. On the 12th of the March of 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 20th March and 22nd March, 1930 became a memorial day in Jambusar which is a proof of the history of freedom struggle.

The land of Jambusar reminds us of two historical moments of the freedom struggle.

Contribution of the leaders from Bharuch in other national movements

Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi of Bharuch district had participated in the Home Rule movement. He was imprisoned for participating in struggles of Bardoli movement in the year 1938, “Savinay Kanoon Bhang” in the 1930 and personal movement in the year 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 the year 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 the year 1930.

Manishankar Ranchhoddas Sukawala of Bharuch had played an active role in non co-operation movement in the year 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 the year 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 the year 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


Bharuch is located at 21.7°N 72.97°E. It has an average elevation of 15 metres (49 feet). Bharuch is a port city situated on the banks of the Narmada
Narmada
Narmada may refer to:* Narmada River of central India* Narmada district of Gujarat, India* The Narmada Dam Project, involving the construction of a series of large irrigation and hydroelectric multi purpose dams on the Narmada River in India...

 river (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
Gulf of Khambhat
The Gulf of Khambhat is an inlet of the Arabian Sea along the west coast of India, in the state of Gujarat. It is about 80 miles in length, and divides the Kathiawar peninsula to the west from the eastern part of Gujarat state on the east. The Narmada and Tapti rivers empty into the Gulf...

.

Bharuch has a tropical savanna climate
Tropical savanna climate
Tropical savanna climate or tropical wet and dry climate is a type of climate that corresponds to the Köppen climate classification categories "Aw" and '"As."...

 (under Koppen's Climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

), moderated strongly by the Arabian Sea. The summer begins in early March and lasts till June. April and May are the hottest months, the average maximum temperature being 40 °C (104 °F). Monsoon
Monsoon
Monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea...

 begins in late June and the city receives about 800 millimetres (31.5 in) of rain by the end of September, with the average maximum being 32 °C (89.6 °F) during those months. October and November see the retreat of the monsoon and a return of high temperatures till late November. Winter starts in December and ends in late February, with average temperatures of around 23 °C (73.4 °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


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
Peanut
The peanut, or groundnut , is a species in the legume or "bean" family , so it is not a nut. The peanut was probably first cultivated in the valleys of Peru. It is an annual herbaceous plant growing tall...

 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 bacfor vacations & spend their earnings here.

Historical trading center


Bharuch was a major sea port in the important pre-compass
Compass
A compass is a navigational instrument that shows directions in a frame of reference that is stationary relative to the surface of the earth. The frame of reference defines the four cardinal directions – north, south, east, and west. Intermediate directions are also defined...

 coastal trading
Trade
Trade is the transfer of ownership of goods and services from one person or entity to another. Trade is sometimes loosely called commerce or financial transaction or barter. A network that allows trade is called a market. The original form of trade was barter, the direct exchange of goods and...

 routes to points West, perhaps as far back as the days of the Pharaohs, which utilized the regular and predictable Monsoon
Monsoon
Monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea...

 winds or galleys. Many goods from the Far East
Far East
The Far East is an English term mostly describing East Asia and Southeast Asia, with South Asia sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons.The term came into use in European geopolitical discourse in the 19th century,...

 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
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 and other Western centers of civilization right on through the end of the Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

.

In the first century A. D. Bharuch port has been mentioned as Barigaza. Bharuch which was prosperous and powerful port was an important port of Gujarat till 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
Narmada River
The Narmada , also called Rewa is a river in central India and the fifth largest river in the Indian subcontinent. It is the third largest river that completely flows within India after Ganges and Godavari...

's inland access to central and northern India and with a location in the sheltered Gulf of Khambhat
Gulf of Khambhat
The Gulf of Khambhat is an inlet of the Arabian Sea along the west coast of India, in the state of Gujarat. It is about 80 miles in length, and divides the Kathiawar peninsula to the west from the eastern part of Gujarat state on the east. The Narmada and Tapti rivers empty into the Gulf...

 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 a era
Era
An era is a commonly used word for long period of time. When used in science, for example geology, eras denote clearly defined periods of time of arbitrary but well defined length, such as for example the Mesozoic era from 252 Ma–66 Ma, delimited by a start event and an end event. When used in...

 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
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

.

Present Industrial city


Modern Bharuch is one of the most heavily industrialized areas, not only in Gujarat but in India as a whole, with many large chemical plants producing fertilizer
Fertilizer
Fertilizer is any organic or inorganic material of natural or synthetic origin that is added to a soil to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants. A recent assessment found that about 40 to 60% of crop yields are attributable to commercial fertilizer use...

s, paint
Paint
Paint is any liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition which after application to a substrate in a thin layer is converted to an opaque solid film. One may also consider the digital mimicry thereof...

s, dye
Dye
A dye is a colored substance that has an affinity to the substrate to which it is being applied. The dye is generally applied in an aqueous solution, and requires a mordant to improve the fastness of the dye on the fiber....

s, cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

, textile
Textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

s, and dairy
Dairy
A dairy is a business enterprise established for the harvesting of animal milk—mostly from cows or goats, but also from buffalo, sheep, horses or camels —for human consumption. A dairy is typically located on a dedicated dairy farm or section of a multi-purpose farm that is concerned...

 products.

Bharuch has also advantage of Gujarat's biggest Liquid cargo terminal. A very large fertilizers, chemicals co. like, GNFC Ltd. is also located in Narmadanagar (a suburb of Bharuch) since 1976.

Large multinationals like the Guardian Corporation, 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,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,

Demographics


India census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

, 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.

The primary religious grouping is Hinduism, at 70%. However, Muslims make a significant minority at 27%.

Civic Administration


Bharuch is administered by the Bharuch Nagar Seva Sadan (Bharuch Nagar Palika). It is a municipality with more than 1,50,000 inhabitants. Bharuch is the administrative head quarters of Bharuch District
Bharuch district
Bharuch in India, is a district in the southern part of the Gujarat peninsula on the west coast of state of Gujarat with a size and population comparable to that of Greater Boston...

.

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.

The city elects one member to the Gujarat Vidhan Sabha
Vidhan Sabha
The Vidhan Sabha or the Legislative Assembly is the lower house or the sole house of the provincial legislature in the different states of India. The same name is also used for the lower house of the legislatures for two of the union territories, Delhi and Pondicherry...

 and the district elects one member to the Lok Sabha
Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha or House of the People is the lower house of the Parliament of India. Members of the Lok Sabha are elected by direct election under universal adult suffrage. As of 2009, there have been fifteen Lok Sabhas elected by the people of India...

. Bharuch is considered to be a strong hold of BJP and since past 20 years BJP has been winning in Bharuch Vidhan Sabha, Bharuch Lok Sabha and Bharuch Municipality.

Present elected members are:
  • Mayor – Sanat Rana (BJP)
  • MLA – Dushyant Patel (BJP)
  • MP (Lok Sabha) – Mansukh Vasava (BJP)
  • MP (Rajya Sabha) – Bharatsinh Parmar (BJP) and Ahmed Patel (Congress)

Culture


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
Tirtha
In Jainism, a tīrtha |ford]], a shallow part of a body of water that may be easily crossed") is used to refer both to pilgrimage sites as well as to the four sections of the sangha...

 also known as Bhrigu Tirtha in many of Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 Puranas
Puranas
The Puranas are a genre of important Hindu, Jain and Buddhist religious texts, notably consisting of narratives of the history of the universe from creation to destruction, genealogies of kings, heroes, sages, and demigods, and descriptions of Hindu cosmology, philosophy, and geography.Puranas...

, it is a host of huge number of temples along the river side.

Art & Literature


Bharuch has remained on top in the matters of education and culture. Bharuch is shining since years back because of the internationally famous Pt. Omkarnath Thakur
Omkarnath Thakur
Omkarnath Thakur was an Indian educator, musicologist, and Hindustani classical singer. He is famously known as "Pranav Rang", his pen-name.Thakur was born 1897 in a village in the Princely State of Baroda into a poor military family...

 in the field of music. In the field of literature, the literature Gurus like Dr. Kanaiyalal Munshi, Balwantray Thakore
Balwantray Thakore
Balwantray Thakore , as popularly he is known, was born at Bharuch in Gujarat.He was very well known poet of Gujarati literature.-Contribution:...

 and Sundaram
Sundaram
Mugur Sundar is a popular dance choreographer in South Indian cinema. He has directed more than 10,000 dance sequences for various south-Indian films. Sundar was born in Mugur, a village located in Mysore district, Karnataka. He has three sons, Prabhu Deva, Raju Sundaram and Nagendra Prasad, who...

 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 2,00,000 books including some rare manuscripts.

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
Uttarayana
Uttarāyaṇa , or Uttarayana, is the six-month period between Makar Sankranti and Karka Sankranti , when the sun travels towards the north on the celestial sphere. The name Uttarayana comes from joining two different Sanskrit words "Uttara" and "ayana"...

—an annual kite-flying day on 14 January. The nine nights of Navratri are celebrated with people performing Garba
Garba (dance)
Garba is an Indian form of dance that originated in the Gujarat region. The name garba comes from the Sanskrit term Garbha and Deep . Many traditional garbas are performed around a central lit lamp or picture/statues of different avatars of Goddess Shakti...

—the folk dance of Gujarat—at venues across the city. The festival of lights—Deepavali
Diwali
Diwali or DeepavaliThe name of the festival in various regional languages include:, , , , , , , , , , , , , popularly known as the "festival of lights," is a festival celebrated between mid-October and mid-December for different reasons...

 is celebrated with the lighting of lamps in every house, the decorating the floors with the rangoli
Rangoli
Rangoli is a traditional decorative folk art from India. These are decorative designs made on floors of living rooms and courtyards during Hindu festivals and are meant as sacred welcoming areas for the Hindu deities. The ancient symbols have been passed on through the ages, from each generation to...

 and the bursting of firecrackers. Other festivals such as Holi
Holi
Holi , is a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus. Holi is also known as festival of Colours. It is primarily observed in India, Nepal, Pakistan, and countries with large Indic diaspora populations following Hinduism, such as Suriname, Malaysia, Guyana, South Africa, Trinidad, United...

, Ganesh Chaturthi
Ganesh Chaturthi
Ganesh Chaturthi , also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi is the Hindu festival of Ganesha also called Vinayagar in Tamil Nadu, the son of Shiva and Parvati, who is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees in the duration of this festival...

, Eid ul-Fitr
Eid ul-Fitr
Eid ul-Fitr, Eid al-Fitr, Id-ul-Fitr, or Id al-Fitr , often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting . Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity," while Fiṭr means "breaking the fast"...

 and the procession of Tajia during the Muslim holy month of Muharram
Muharram
Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the four sacred months of the year in which fighting is prohibited...

 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
Ghari (sweet)
Ghari or Surati Ghari is a sweet dish from Gujarati cuisine, from the region of Surat. Ghari are made of puri batter made into round shapes with sweet filling....

.

The rain (Meghraja) festival celebrated in Bharuch during monsoon is unique in the whole 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
Indra
' or is the King of the demi-gods or Devas and Lord of Heaven or Svargaloka in Hindu mythology. He is also the God of War, Storms, and Rainfall.Indra is one of the chief deities in the Rigveda...

) 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


Bharuch cuisine is similar to that of Surti cuisine. The most popular form of meal—a typical Gujarati thali—consists of rotli
Roti
Roti is generally a South Asian bread made from stoneground wholemeal flour, traditionally known as atta flour, that originated and is consumed in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. It is also consumed in parts of the Southern Caribbean, particularly in Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and...

, dal
Dal
Dal is a preparation of pulses which have been stripped of their outer hulls and split. It also refers to the thick stew prepared from these, an important part of Indian, Nepali, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, and Bangladeshi cuisine...

, rice and shaak (cooked vegetables, sometimes with curry
Curry
Curry is a generic description used throughout Western culture to describe a variety of dishes from Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Thai or other Southeast Asian cuisines...

), with accompaniments of pickles and roasted papads. Bharuch cuisine also includes perennial favorites 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
Vegetarianism
Vegetarianism encompasses the practice of following plant-based diets , with or without the inclusion of dairy products or eggs, and with the exclusion of meat...

 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 savored with much gusto. Apart from this the traditional mutton preparation of tapela, fish (patra macchi), and lemon chicken can also be relished.

Bharuch is famous for...


Bharuch is famous for....
  • Rosted Salty Peanuts
  • Sweets, especially Malai Ghari
  • Peanut Chikki
  • Bakery items
  • Hilsa
    Hilsa
    Ilish , also spelled Elish, is the most popular fish to Bengalis. Its the national fish of Bangladesh and extremely popular in parts of India such as West Bengal, Orissa, Tripura, Assam as well. Ilish also can be found at India's Assamese-, Bengali- Oriya-speaking regions and in Telugu-speaking...

     Fish
  • Textile products
  • Katopore Bazar
  • Meghraja festival
  • Raichand Deepchand Library
  • Shree Narmada Sanskrit Ved Pathashala

Transport


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
Jambusar
Jambusar is a city and a municipality in Bharuch district in the Indian state of Gujarat.-Geography:Jambusar is located at . It has an average elevation of 4 metres .-Demographics:...

. 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 is at Vadodara, at a distance of about 71 km. Indian Airlines and other private airlines connect the city to most important cities of India.

Rail :Bharuch railway station, 'Bharuch Junction' is on 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) and towards south is Surat (68 km.)

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

Education


Schools

There are a number of good schools in Bharuch which provide education in English and Gujarati mediums. Schools are affiliated to Gujarat Board or CBSE Board. A few schools to name are as under:
  • Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan's Narmada Vidyalaya (GNFC)
  • Amity High School
  • Holy Angels' Convent High School
  • St. Xavier's High School
  • Queen of Angles Convent
  • Rungta Vidhyabhavan
  • Sanskar Bharati
  • Sarvanaman Vidya Mandir
  • Swami Narayan Goodwill School
  • Narayan Vidyalaya
  • Shanti Niketan Vidyalaya
  • Aditya Birla Public School
  • Chandrabala Modi Academy
  • Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya
  • R. S. Dalal High School
  • Pioneer High School
  • Kalrav School (for mentally retarded and handicapped)

and many others.

Colleges

There are a number of good colleges in Bharuch. A few to name are as under:
  • Narmada College of Science & Commerce (B.Sc., B.Com., M.Sc., M.Com., BBA) http://www.new.narmadacollege.org
  • Narmada College of Management (MBA, Evening MBA & Part Time Diploma Courses) http://www.ncmbharuch.org
  • Narmada College of Computer Applications (MCA)
  • J. P. Arts and Science College (B.Sc.,BA, M.Sc., MA)
  • M. K. Commerce College (B.Com, M.Com)
  • M. K. Institute of Computer Studies (BCA)
  • SVM Engineering College (BE, ME)
  • Government Engineering College (BE)
  • Polytecnic College (Diploma Engineering)
  • Laxminarayan Dev College of Pharmacy
  • Krushnalal Majmudar College Of Fine Arts
  • Agriculatural University

and many more.
Also there are colleges for LLB, LLM, B.Ed., Physical Education, etc. courses.
Shree Narmada Sanskrit Ved Pathashala is 115 year old institute which 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


Cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

 is the most popular sport in the city. 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
Ranji Trophy
The Ranji Trophy is a domestic first-class cricket championship played in India between different city and state sides, equivalent to the County Championship in England and the Sheffield Shield in Australia...

 matches are also held here), Golf
Golf
Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....

 Course, Tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

, Table Tennis
Table tennis
Table tennis, also known as ping-pong, is a sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight, hollow ball back and forth using table tennis rackets. The game takes place on a hard table divided by a net...

, Badminton
Badminton
Badminton is a racquet sport played by either two opposing players or two opposing pairs , who take positions on opposite halves of a rectangular court that is divided by a net. Players score points by striking a shuttlecock with their racquet so that it passes over the net and lands in their...

, Scatting, Swmming Pool, etc.

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

Shopping and Recreation


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 but fascinating bazaar
Bazaar
A bazaar , Cypriot Greek: pantopoula) is a permanent merchandising area, marketplace, or street of shops where goods and services are exchanged or sold. The term is sometimes also used to refer to the "network of merchants, bankers and craftsmen" who work that area...

 in old Bharuch. One can find a number of things in this market.

Bharuch is well known for textile products. Salted Peanuts and Sweets of Bharuch are renowned and admired 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. Shopping malls like Big Bazar, Reliance Hyper Market, V-Mart are also there in Bharuch. Multiplexs like INOX, Fame are also there in Bharuch.

Healthcare


There are a number of nice hospitals in Bharuch. Some of them are run by charitable and private trusts. Few to name are as under:
  • Sevashram Hospital
  • Civil Hospital
  • Welfare Hospital
  • Divya Jivan Sangh Hospital
  • Rangoon General Hospital
  • Govardhan Hospital
  • Narmada Nagar (GNFC) Hospital
  • Rungta Eye Hospital
  • Shree Kamnath Mahadev Ayurvedic Hospital
  • Anantlal Tribhovandas Ayurvedic Hospital
  • Baroda Heart & Multispeciality Hospital
  • Global Bharuch Hospital
  • Narayan Hospital & Research Institute


Also there are many clinics and hospitals owned and operated by individual doctors and medical professionals. Pharmacies are also operated and run by individual people. Private hospitals are generally in good condition and include modern technology.

Renowned Persons from Bharuch


Renowned mythological personalities of Bharuch include Bhrigu rishi, Shukra
Shukra
Shukra , the Sanskrit for "clear, pure" or "brightness, clearness", is the name of the son of Bhrigu, and preceptor of the Daityas, and the guru of the Asuras, identified with the planet Venus, one of the Navagrahas...

, Chyavana
Chyavana
Chyavana was a maharshi in Hindu mythology. He was son of sage Bhrigu and known for his rejuvenation after penances for several years. According to the Mahabharata, he was powerful enough to oppose the Vajra of Indra and was responsible for the Ashvins getting their share of the sacrificial...

, Chandra
Chandra
In Hinduism, Chandra is a lunar deity and a Graha. Chandra is also identified with the Vedic Lunar deity Soma . The Soma name refers particularly to the juice of sap in the plants and thus makes the Moon the lord of plants and vegetation. He is described as young, beautiful, fair; two-armed and...

, Dattatreya
Dattatreya
Dattatreya or Datta is a Hindu deity encompassing the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, collectively known as Trimurti. The name Dattatreya can be divided into two words - "Datta" and "Atreya" referring to the sage Atri, his physical father.Various Hindu sects worship him differently...

, Durvasa
Durvasa
In Hindu mythology, Durvasa , or Durvasas, was an ancient sage, the son of Atri and Anasuya. He is supposed to be an incarnation of Shiva. He is known for his short temper. Maledictions or curses he gave in his rage ruined many lives. Hence, wherever he went, he was received with great reverence ...

, Vamana
Vamana
Vamana is described in the Puranic texts of Hinduism as the Fifth Avatar of Vishnu, and the first incarnation of the Second Age, or the Treta yuga. Also he is the first Avatar of Vishnu which appears with a completely human form, though it was that of a dwarf brahmin. He is also sometimes known as...

, Mahabali
Mahabali
Mahabali , also known as Bali or Māveli was a benevolent Asura King, and the grandson of Prahlada. The festival of Onam commemorates his yearly homecoming after being sent down to the underworld by Vamana, the fifth avatar of Vishnu.-Conquest of the Universe and banishment:Bali, an asura, was the...

, Jamadagni
Jamadagni
Jamadagni is one of the Saptarishis in the seventh, i.e. the present Manvantara. He was a descendant of the sage Bhrigu, one of the Prajapatis created by Brahma, the God of Creation...

, Parshurama, etc.

Notable historical figures include King Nahapana
Nahapana
Nahapana was an important ruler of the Western Kshatrapas, descendant of the Indo-Scythians, in northwestern India. According to one of his coins, he was the son of Bhumaka.-History:...

, King Bharumala, King Dadda Chalukya, Princess Shobha (Refer: Shobha Somnath Ki
Shobha Somnath Ki
Shobha Somnath Ki is a historical television series on Zee TV, based on a Gujarati legend. In the 11th Century, Shobha is born to a mother who goes through pain of delivering her, a bitter father who blames her for her mother's death. But the bright-eyed Shobha ignores negativity of her parents...

), Lallubhai Desai, etc.

Notable personalities from recent times include K. M. Munshi
K. M. Munshi
Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi was an Indian independence movement activist, politician, writer and educationist from Gujarat state. A lawyer by profession, he later turned to literature and politics. He was a well known name in Gujarati literature...

, Omkarnath Thakur
Omkarnath Thakur
Omkarnath Thakur was an Indian educator, musicologist, and Hindustani classical singer. He is famously known as "Pranav Rang", his pen-name.Thakur was born 1897 in a village in the Princely State of Baroda into a poor military family...

, Chhotubhai Purani, Kirat Antani, Ambubhai Purani, Feroze Gandhi
Feroze Gandhi
Feroze Jehangir Gandhi was an Indian politician and journalist, and publisher of the The National Herald and The Navjivan newspapers from Lucknow....

, Sundaram
Sundaram
Mugur Sundar is a popular dance choreographer in South Indian cinema. He has directed more than 10,000 dance sequences for various south-Indian films. Sundar was born in Mugur, a village located in Mysore district, Karnataka. He has three sons, Prabhu Deva, Raju Sundaram and Nagendra Prasad, who...

, Burjorji Sorabji Godrej (father of Ardeshir Godrej
Ardeshir Godrej
Ardeshir Burjorji Sorabji Godrej was an Indian businessman, who co-founded the Godrej Brothers Company, the precursor of the Godrej Group of companies.-Early years:...

 and Pirojsha Godrej
Pirojsha Godrej
Pirojsha Godrej was an Indian businessman who laid the foundations for what is today the Godrej Industries Group. He was the son of Burjorji Godrej and a member of the Parsi community....

, founders Godrej
Godrej
Godrej may refer to:* Godrej family, a wealthy business family in India* Godrej Group, a group of companies founded by the Godrej family* Godrej Infotech Ltd‎‎, a group company of Godrej Group* Godrej Industries Ltd, a group company of Godrej Group...

 company), Roychand Deepchand, Premchand Roychand
Premchand Roychand
Premchand Roychand was a 19th-century Indian businessman known as the "Cotton King" and "Bullion King".Born in 1831 he was the son of Roychand Dipchand, a merchant from Surat. The Roychand family moved to Bombay when Premchand was a young boy. Recorded as the first Indian broker to speak, read and...

, Ahmed Patel
Ahmed Patel
Ahmed Patel is a senior leader of Indian National Congress party. He is the present political secretary to Congress President and Leader Sonia Gandhi. Patel is among the core think tank of the INC today. He is one of the crucial leaders in the decision making process of the party at national level...

, Munaf Patel
Munaf Patel
Munaf Musa Patel Urdu:مناف موسی پٹیل is an Indian cricketer who has also played for the West Zone in the Duleep Trophy and Gujarat, Mumbai cricket team and Maharashtra cricket team....

, etc.
  • Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi (Gujarati: કનૈયાલાલ માણેકલાલ મુનશી) or Kulapati Dr. K. M. Munshi (December 30, 1887 - February 8, 1971) was born in Bharuch. He was an Indian independence movement activist, politician, writer and educationist. A lawyer by profession, he later turned to literature and politics. He is a well known name in Gujarati Literature
    Gujarati literature
    The history of Gujarati literature may be traced to 1000 AD, and this literature has flourished since then to the present. It is unique in having almost no patronage from a ruling dynasty, other than its composers...

    . He founded Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
    Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
    Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan is an Indian educational trust. It was founded on November 7, 1938 by Dr. K. M. Munshi, with the blessings of Mahatma Gandhi...

    , an educational trust, in 1938. He also founded Institute of Agriculture at Anand
    Anand
    *Ananda was one of the principal disciples of the Buddha, Siddhartha GautamaAnand may refer to:-Given name:* Anand Agarawala, Canadian software programmer and creator of BumpTop* Anand Lal Shimpi, founder and editor-in-chief of AnandTech...

    , Gujarat. Munshi was an active participant in the Indian Independence Movement. After the independence of India, Munshi was appointed diplomatic envoy and trade agent (Agent-General) to the princely state of Hyderabad. He was on the ad hoc Flag Committee that selected the Flag of India in August 1947, and on the committee which drafted the Constitution of India under the chairmanship of B. R. Ambedkar. He was also the main driving force behind the renovation of the historically important Somnath
    Somnath
    The Somnath Temple located in the Prabhas Kshetra near Veraval in Saurashtra, on the western coast of Gujarat, India, is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of the God Shiva. Somnath means "The Protector of Moon God". The Somnath Temple is known as "the Shrine Eternal", having been destroyed...

     Temple. He was the first Union Minister of Food and Agriculture of independent India. During this tenure, he initiated the Vanmahotsav in 1950, to increase area under forest cover. Since then Van Mahotsav a week long festival of tree plantation is organised every year in the month of July.

  • Omkarnath Thakur
    Omkarnath Thakur
    Omkarnath Thakur was an Indian educator, musicologist, and Hindustani classical singer. He is famously known as "Pranav Rang", his pen-name.Thakur was born 1897 in a village in the Princely State of Baroda into a poor military family...

     (1897–1967) from Bharuch was an Indian educator, musicologist, and Hindustani classical singer. During the 1920s he worked for the non-cooperation movement on a local level and in 1933 became one of the first Indian musicians to perform in Europe
    Europe
    Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

    , which also included a private concert for Benito Mussolini
    Benito Mussolini
    Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

    . He performed in Europe until 1954 and received the Padma Shri
    Padma Shri
    Padma Shri is the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India, after the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan...

     in 1955 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
    Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
    Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar is an award given by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy of Music, Dance & Drama. It is the highest Indian recognition given to practicing artists. The award consists since 2003 of Rs. 50,000, a citation, an angavastram , and a tamrapatra...

     in 1963.

  • Purani Brothers known as Purani Bandhu in Gujarat. Two brothers named Chhotubhai Purani and Ambubhai Purani born in Bharuch were the propagators of Indian gymnastics (Vyayam in Gujarati) in Gujarat. When Chhotubhai Purani took an oath of propagating gymnastics he was just 22. In 1908, Chhotubhai founded the first gymnasium (vyayam mandir) in Vadodara
    Vadodara
    Vadodara formerly known as Baroda is the third most populated city in the Indian State of Gujarat . It is one of the four cities with the population of over 1 million...

    . It is known as Shri Laxminath Vyayam Mandir. He also started Shri Batuknath Vyayam Shala in Bharuch in 1913. His brother Shri Ambubhai Purani helped him in this works. Later other gynasiums were opened all over Gujarat. They envisioned that this will help people get physical strength and help them to fight with the British rule even before Gandhiji came bake to India. Their envision became true when Gandhiji started non-violent movement for independence. Due the physical strength attained by people in these gymnasiums, they were capable to combat the lathi charge of the British. Mahatma Gandhi
    Mahatma Gandhi
    Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi , pronounced . 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement...

     (Father of India) used to address the Purani brothers as Guruji as a mark of respect towards them for their great envision.

  • Premchand Roychand
    Premchand Roychand
    Premchand Roychand was a 19th-century Indian businessman known as the "Cotton King" and "Bullion King".Born in 1831 he was the son of Roychand Dipchand, a merchant from Surat. The Roychand family moved to Bombay when Premchand was a young boy. Recorded as the first Indian broker to speak, read and...

     (born 1831) was the son of Roychand Dipchand, a merchant from Bharuch/Surat. He was a 19th-century Indian businessman known as the "Cotton King" and "Bullion King". The Roychand family moved to Bombay when Premchand was a young boy. Recorded as the first Indian broker to speak, read and write English, he entered the lists as a stock broker in 1849. Apart from the capital markets, Premchand Roychand had significant business interests in the cotton and bullion markets along with stock market. He was the founding member of The Bombay Stock Exchange
    Bombay Stock Exchange
    The Bombay Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located on Dalal Street, Mumbai and is the oldest stock exchange in Asia. The equity market capitalization of the companies listed on the BSE was 1.63 trillion as of December 2010, making it the 4th largest stock exchange in Asia and the 8th largest...

    . He reaped enormous profits from the cotton boom that changed Bombay's economy for all times to come. He was also the founder of the Bank of Bombay. The Rajabai Clock Tower in the University of Bombay, named after his mother, was built from a donation of Indian Rupees 2,00,000 by him, as was the library. He once made a single pay-in of Rs 11.5 crore, which would equal Rs 1,000 crore today (as of 2008)! Such single-day transactions by a lone broker are unheard of even in stock markets today. He is also well known for his contribution to society and his donations to causes and institutions that are still very much a part of India today. Nobody knows the extent of Premchand Roychand's gifts to education, particularly education of the girl child.

  • Feroze Gandhi
    Feroze Gandhi
    Feroze Jehangir Gandhi was an Indian politician and journalist, and publisher of the The National Herald and The Navjivan newspapers from Lucknow....

     (Hindi: फिरोज गांधी; 12 September 1912 – 8 September 1960), belonged to a Parsi
    Parsi
    Parsi or Parsee refers to a member of the larger of the two Zoroastrian communities in South Asia, the other being the Irani community....

     family of Bharuch. He was an Indian politician and journalist. He married Indira Nehru (later known as Indira Gandhi
    Indira Gandhi
    Indira Priyadarshini Gandhara was an Indian politician who served as the third Prime Minister of India for three consecutive terms and a fourth term . She was assassinated by Sikh extremists...

    , Prime Minister of India). They had two sons, Rajiv Gandhi
    Rajiv Gandhi
    Rajiv Ratna Gandhi was the sixth Prime Minister of India . He took office after his mother's assassination on 31 October 1984; he himself was assassinated on 21 May 1991. He became the youngest Prime Minister of India when he took office at the age of 40.Rajiv Gandhi was the elder son of Indira...

     (also later a Prime Minister) and Sanjay Gandhi
    Sanjay Gandhi
    Sanjay Gandhi was an Indian politician. The younger son of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Feroze Gandhi, he was a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family...

    . Their ancestral home, which belonged to his grandfather, still exists in Kotparsiwad area in Bharuch. Thus the biggest political familiy of India, the Nehru-Gandhi Family
    Nehru-Gandhi family
    The Nehru–Gandhi family or Nehru - Feroze Gandhi family is an Indian political family which has been dominant in the Indian National Congress for most of India's history since independence...

     has their ancestral origins in Bharuch.

  • Ahmed Patel
    Ahmed Patel
    Ahmed Patel is a senior leader of Indian National Congress party. He is the present political secretary to Congress President and Leader Sonia Gandhi. Patel is among the core think tank of the INC today. He is one of the crucial leaders in the decision making process of the party at national level...

     (born 21 August 1949) is a senior leader of Indian National Congress
    Indian National Congress
    The Indian National Congress is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is the largest and one of the oldest democratic political parties in the world. The party's modern liberal platform is largely considered center-left in the Indian...

     (INC) party. He was born in the village Piraman near the industrial city of Ankleshwar, near Bharuch. He is the present political secretary and advisor to Congress President Sonia Gandhi
    Sonia Gandhi
    Sonia Gandhi is an Italian-born Indian politician and the President of the Indian National Congress, one of the major political parties of India. She is the widow of former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi...

    . He is among the core think tank of the INC today. He is one of the crucial leaders in the decision making process of the party at national level. He has also worked alongside Sonia Gandhi and was a key player in getting the Congress Party re-elected in the 15th Lok Sabha. He is also the Treasurer of All India Congress Committee since October, 1996.

Mythological Facts

  • Bharuch derives its name from the great sage Bhrigu. The original name of Bharuch is Bhrigukachchha (Sanskrit: भृगुकच्छ), which was later shortened to Bharuch during the Muslim rule. Bhrigu rishi was one of the ten sons of Lord Brahma. He selected Bharuch for his residence due to nine Swayambhu (self-menifested) Shivalingas and its proximity to the holy River Narmada.
  • Many years before Bhrigu rishi came here, Bharuch was the residence place of Goddess Lakshmi
    Lakshmi
    Lakshmi or Lakumi is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity , light, wisdom, fortune, fertility, generosity and courage; and the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm. Representations of Lakshmi are also found in Jain monuments...

    . At that time Bharuch was known as Shrinagar. The palace of Goddess Lakshmi was fully made of gold. Today this golgen palace is not there but a place named Soneri Mahel (Golden Palace) is still there in Bharuch.
  • Bhrigu rishi was well-versed in all the Shastras. He is also known as the Father of Jyotish Shastra
    Shastra
    ' is a Sanskrit term used to denote rules in a general sense. The word is generally used as a suffix in the context of technical or specialized knowledge in a defined area of practice; e.g., Bhautika Shastra , Rasayana Shastra , Jeeva Shastra , Vastu Shastra , Shilpa Shastra , Artha Shastra ' is a...

     (Indian Astrology). The first book on Jyotish Shastra known as Bhrigu Samhita
    Bhrigu Samhita
    The Bhrigu Saṃhitā is an astrological classic attributed to Maharishi Bhrigu during the Vedic period, Treta yuga. It is said that it was compiled by the Sage out of compassion for humanity so that humanity could cope with the pressures of its existence and move towards a more spiritual nature...

     was written by Bhrigu rishi at his ashram in Bharuch.
  • Shukra
    Shukra
    Shukra , the Sanskrit for "clear, pure" or "brightness, clearness", is the name of the son of Bhrigu, and preceptor of the Daityas, and the guru of the Asuras, identified with the planet Venus, one of the Navagrahas...

     (शुक्र), popularly known as Shukracharya (शुक्राचार्य) was the son of Bhrigu rishi, and preceptor of the Daityas, and the guru of the Asuras, identified with the planet Venus, one of the Navagrahas. He presides over Shukravar (Devanagari: शुक्रवार) or Friday.
  • Chyavana
    Chyavana
    Chyavana was a maharshi in Hindu mythology. He was son of sage Bhrigu and known for his rejuvenation after penances for several years. According to the Mahabharata, he was powerful enough to oppose the Vajra of Indra and was responsible for the Ashvins getting their share of the sacrificial...

     (Sanskrit: च्यवन) was also the son of sage Bhrigu and was known for his rejuvenation after penances for several years. He was well known for his knowlwdge about Ayurveda
    Ayurveda
    Ayurveda or ayurvedic medicine is a system of traditional medicine native to India and a form of alternative medicine. In Sanskrit, words , meaning "longevity", and , meaning "knowledge" or "science". The earliest literature on Indian medical practice appeared during the Vedic period in India,...

    . He prepared a tonic known as Chyawanprash
    Chyawanprash
    Chyawanprash, also spelled chyavanaprasha, chyavanaprash, chyavanaprasam and chyawanaprash, is a jam-like mixture of spices and other ingredients from the Ayurvedic tradition. It is widely used in India due to claimed health benefits. The market size of chyawanprash in 2010 was Rs 4 billion...

    , which is widely used in India, as a rejuvenative, energizer and immunity booster. It is often called "the elixir of life" due to its numerous nutritional properties and benefit to the body.
  • Sages like Markendeya, Dadhichi
    Dadhichi
    Dadhichi, also known as Dadhyancha, is an important character in Hindu mythology. He is revered amongst the greatest of sages and is portrayed as an example that no sacrifice is too great when the result is the good of the world. His bones are marked as symbol on the India's highest gallant award...

    , Jamadagni
    Jamadagni
    Jamadagni is one of the Saptarishis in the seventh, i.e. the present Manvantara. He was a descendant of the sage Bhrigu, one of the Prajapatis created by Brahma, the God of Creation...

     and Parshurama were from the linage of Bhrigu rishi.
  • In Bharuch, the celebrated Asura king Mahabali
    Mahabali
    Mahabali , also known as Bali or Māveli was a benevolent Asura King, and the grandson of Prahlada. The festival of Onam commemorates his yearly homecoming after being sent down to the underworld by Vamana, the fifth avatar of Vishnu.-Conquest of the Universe and banishment:Bali, an asura, was the...

    , conducted great sacrifices (ten ashwamedha yagyas). In this sacrifice, Lord Vishnu came in the disguise a dwarf Brahmin called Vamana
    Vamana
    Vamana is described in the Puranic texts of Hinduism as the Fifth Avatar of Vishnu, and the first incarnation of the Second Age, or the Treta yuga. Also he is the first Avatar of Vishnu which appears with a completely human form, though it was that of a dwarf brahmin. He is also sometimes known as...

     (fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu), interfered with the king's sacrifice and measured the whole universe with his three steps. Shukracharya was the priest of King Mahabali.
  • Parshurama (sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu) was born in the sixth generation of Chyavana.
  • Bharuch is the only place in India to have the honour as a place where Lord Vishnu incarnated for three times. These three incarnations are of Dattatreya
    Dattatreya
    Dattatreya or Datta is a Hindu deity encompassing the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, collectively known as Trimurti. The name Dattatreya can be divided into two words - "Datta" and "Atreya" referring to the sage Atri, his physical father.Various Hindu sects worship him differently...

    , Vamana
    Vamana
    Vamana is described in the Puranic texts of Hinduism as the Fifth Avatar of Vishnu, and the first incarnation of the Second Age, or the Treta yuga. Also he is the first Avatar of Vishnu which appears with a completely human form, though it was that of a dwarf brahmin. He is also sometimes known as...

     and Parshurama. Other two incarnations, Rama
    Rama
    Rama or full name Ramachandra is considered to be the seventh avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism, and a king of Ayodhya in ancient Indian...

     and Krishna
    Krishna
    Krishna is a central figure of Hinduism and is traditionally attributed the authorship of the Bhagavad Gita. He is the supreme Being and considered in some monotheistic traditions as an Avatar of Vishnu...

     also visited Bharuch during the course of pilgrimage (tirthyatra).
  • Out of nine Navagrahas (planets), three namely Chandra
    Chandra
    In Hinduism, Chandra is a lunar deity and a Graha. Chandra is also identified with the Vedic Lunar deity Soma . The Soma name refers particularly to the juice of sap in the plants and thus makes the Moon the lord of plants and vegetation. He is described as young, beautiful, fair; two-armed and...

     (or Soma), Budha
    Budha
    In Hindu mythology, Budha is the name for the planet Mercury, a son of Chandra with Tara or Rohini. He is also the god of merchandise and protector of Merchants....

     and Shukra
    Shukra
    Shukra , the Sanskrit for "clear, pure" or "brightness, clearness", is the name of the son of Bhrigu, and preceptor of the Daityas, and the guru of the Asuras, identified with the planet Venus, one of the Navagrahas...

     are from Bharuch. Thus out of the seven days of a week, three are named after them namely Somavar, Budhavar and Sukravar. This is a great honour for Bharuch.
  • The great sage Durvasa
    Durvasa
    In Hindu mythology, Durvasa , or Durvasas, was an ancient sage, the son of Atri and Anasuya. He is supposed to be an incarnation of Shiva. He is known for his short temper. Maledictions or curses he gave in his rage ruined many lives. Hence, wherever he went, he was received with great reverence ...

     (generally known for his anger) was also from Bharuch. He is supposed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva.
  • Many great sages like Kashyapa, Kapila, Mandavya
    Mandavya
    Mandavya was a sage, who according to Hinduism, was wrongly punished by the king by being impaled. This occurred as the chief of a band of robbers had hidden their stolen goods in a corner of his hermitage when he was in deep contemplation, and he was wrongly assumed to have stolen the goods. Lord...

    , Adi Sankaracharya, etc. also have preformed penances in Bharuch.
  • There are around 1000 temples in Bharuch city.
  • According to the Skanda Purana
    Skanda Purana
    The Skanda Purana is the largest Mahapurana, a genre of eighteen Hindu religious texts. The text is devoted mainly to the lilas of Kartikeya , a son of Shiva and Parvati. It also contains a number of legends about Shiva, and the holy places associated with him...

    , there are fifty-five (55) tirtha
    Tirtha
    In Jainism, a tīrtha |ford]], a shallow part of a body of water that may be easily crossed") is used to refer both to pilgrimage sites as well as to the four sections of the sangha...

    s located in Bharuch.
  • Bharuch finds its mention in all major Hindu scriptures like Bhagavata Purana
    Bhagavata purana
    The Bhāgavata Purāṇa is one of the "Maha" Puranic texts of Hindu literature, with its primary focus on bhakti to the incarnations of Vishnu, particularly Krishna...

    , Shiva Purana
    Shiva Purana
    The Shiva Purana is one of the s, a genre of Hindu religious texts dedicated to Shiva. According to a tradition which is stated in the of this text, the original text was known as the ....

    , Skanda Purana
    Skanda Purana
    The Skanda Purana is the largest Mahapurana, a genre of eighteen Hindu religious texts. The text is devoted mainly to the lilas of Kartikeya , a son of Shiva and Parvati. It also contains a number of legends about Shiva, and the holy places associated with him...

    , Kurma Purana
    Kurma Purana
    -Contents:The printed editions of this text are divided into two s , the and the . The has 53 chapters and the has 46 chapters.According to the tradition, the originally consisted of four s : the , the , the and the . The extant text would correspond to the .The gives a brief overview of...

    , Matsya Purana
    Matsya Purana
    Matsya Purana is the sixteenth purana of the Hindu scriptures. During the period of mahapralaya, Lord Vishnu had taken Matsya Avatar to save the seeds of all lives and Manu...

    , Ramayana
    Ramayana
    The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon , considered to be itihāsa. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India and Nepal, the other being the Mahabharata...

    , Mahabharata
    Mahabharata
    The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and Nepal, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa....

    , etc.
  • 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 and Shukaltirtha were famous up to the Kashi in the northern India.

Historical Facts

  • Bharuch is the oldest city of Gujarat. It is also the second oldest city of India. Bharuch has a known history for about 8000 years.
  • Bharuch had trade relationships with the ancient Greek and Roman Empires. Bharuch was called by the name of Barygaza by Greeks/Romans. North India also traded with western and southern nations via Ujjain
    Ujjain
    Ujjain , is an ancient city of Malwa region in central India, on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River , today part of the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is the administrative centre of Ujjain District and Ujjain Division.In ancient times the city was called Ujjayini...

     and Bharuch. (Also see: Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
    Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
    The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea or Periplus of the Red Sea is a Greco-Roman periplus, written in Greek, describing navigation and trading opportunities from Roman Egyptian ports like Berenice along the coast of the Red Sea, and others along Northeast Africa and India...

    ) (Also refer: http://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/texts/periplus/map/periplus_map.html)
  • Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
    Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
    Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan is an Indian educational trust. It was founded on November 7, 1938 by Dr. K. M. Munshi, with the blessings of Mahatma Gandhi...

    , an educational trust wad founded by a Bharuchian K. M. Munshi
    K. M. Munshi
    Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi was an Indian independence movement activist, politician, writer and educationist from Gujarat state. A lawyer by profession, he later turned to literature and politics. He was a well known name in Gujarati literature...

    . He is a well known name in Gujarati Literature. He was also the main driving force behind the renovation of the historically important Somnath
    Somnath
    The Somnath Temple located in the Prabhas Kshetra near Veraval in Saurashtra, on the western coast of Gujarat, India, is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of the God Shiva. Somnath means "The Protector of Moon God". The Somnath Temple is known as "the Shrine Eternal", having been destroyed...

     Temple. He was the first Union Minister of Food and Agriculture of independent India.
  • Omkarnath Thakur
    Omkarnath Thakur
    Omkarnath Thakur was an Indian educator, musicologist, and Hindustani classical singer. He is famously known as "Pranav Rang", his pen-name.Thakur was born 1897 in a village in the Princely State of Baroda into a poor military family...

    , the first Indian musician to perform in Europe was from Bharuch.
  • Chhotubhai Purani and Ambubhai Purani born in Bharuch were the propagators of Indian gymnastics (Vyayam in Gujarati) in Gujarat. They founded the first gymnasium (vyayam mandir) known as Shri Laxminath Vyayam Mandir in Vadodara
    Vadodara
    Vadodara formerly known as Baroda is the third most populated city in the Indian State of Gujarat . It is one of the four cities with the population of over 1 million...

     and Shri Batuknath Vyayam Shala in Bharuch in 1908. Even Mahatma Gandhi
    Mahatma Gandhi
    Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi , pronounced . 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement...

     (Father of India) used to address the Purani brothers as Guruji as a mark of respect towards them.
  • Bombay Stock Exchange
    Bombay Stock Exchange
    The Bombay Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located on Dalal Street, Mumbai and is the oldest stock exchange in Asia. The equity market capitalization of the companies listed on the BSE was 1.63 trillion as of December 2010, making it the 4th largest stock exchange in Asia and the 8th largest...

     and Bank of Bombay was founded by Premchand Roychand
    Premchand Roychand
    Premchand Roychand was a 19th-century Indian businessman known as the "Cotton King" and "Bullion King".Born in 1831 he was the son of Roychand Dipchand, a merchant from Surat. The Roychand family moved to Bombay when Premchand was a young boy. Recorded as the first Indian broker to speak, read and...

     (born 1831). He was the son of Roychand Dipchand, a merchant from Bharuch. He was known as the "Cotton King" and "Bullion King". He donated Rupees 2,00,000 for building Rajabai Clock Tower in the University of Bombay, named after his mother, as was the library. He is also well known for his contribution to society and his donations to causes and institutions that are still very much a part of India today.
  • Feroze Gandhi
    Feroze Gandhi
    Feroze Jehangir Gandhi was an Indian politician and journalist, and publisher of the The National Herald and The Navjivan newspapers from Lucknow....

     belonged to a Parsi family of Bharuch. He was the husband of Indira Gandhi
    Indira Gandhi
    Indira Priyadarshini Gandhara was an Indian politician who served as the third Prime Minister of India for three consecutive terms and a fourth term . She was assassinated by Sikh extremists...

      His ancestral home still exists in Kotparsiwad area in Bharuch. Thus the biggest political familiy of India, the Nehru-Gandhi Family
    Nehru-Gandhi family
    The Nehru–Gandhi family or Nehru - Feroze Gandhi family is an Indian political family which has been dominant in the Indian National Congress for most of India's history since independence...

     has their ancestral origins in Bharuch.
  • Ahmed Patel
    Ahmed Patel
    Ahmed Patel is a senior leader of Indian National Congress party. He is the present political secretary to Congress President and Leader Sonia Gandhi. Patel is among the core think tank of the INC today. He is one of the crucial leaders in the decision making process of the party at national level...

     was born in Ankleshwar, near Bharuch. He is the political advisor to Congress President Sonia Gandhi
    Sonia Gandhi
    Sonia Gandhi is an Italian-born Indian politician and the President of the Indian National Congress, one of the major political parties of India. She is the widow of former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi...

    . He is among the core think tank of the INC today. He is also the Treasurer of All India Congress Committee.
  • One of the oldest library of Gujarat, Raichand Deepchand Library (started 1858) is located in Bharuch. It has a collection of around Two Lacs books.
  • Bharuch is one of the Indian cities which has a Martian crater named after it. The crater is named Broach.

Bharuch City

  • Bhrigu Rishi Temple. The temple of Bhrigu Rishi, one of the famous and sacred temples of Gujarat, is situated on the east of the city in Dandia Bazar area on the banks of the holy river Narmada. This temple, being visited by a number of pilgrims, has great religious importance to the people of Bharuch. Bharuch which was originally called 'Bhrigukachchha' derived its name from this temple. The temple was built in honour of the great saint Maharishi Bhrigu who was able to attain sainthood by reaching the perfect balance between wisdom and activity. It was here that Bhrigu Rishi wrote first Indian Astrological work, Bhrigu Samhita
    Bhrigu Samhita
    The Bhrigu Saṃhitā is an astrological classic attributed to Maharishi Bhrigu during the Vedic period, Treta yuga. It is said that it was compiled by the Sage out of compassion for humanity so that humanity could cope with the pressures of its existence and move towards a more spiritual nature...

    . He is said to have documented five million horoscopes, in which he wrote down the fate of every being in the universe.

  • Nav Nathas. There are nine Swayambhu
    Swayambhu
    Swayambhu means Self-manifested or that which is created by its own accord.-Vaishnavism:Based on details in Bhagavata Purana and Matsya Purana, Narayana or Krishna is said to be the Self-manifested Swayambhu form of Brahman as the first cause of creation...

     (self menifested) Shivalingas located at different places in old Bharuch city. These Shivalingas are known as Nav Naths in Bharuch. They are Kamnath, Jwalnath, Somnath, Bhimnath, Gangnath, Bhootnath, Pingalnath, Siddhnath and Kashi Vishwanath. These nine shivlingas are said to be exist since time immemorial. It was due to these shivlingas that Bhrigu Rishi choose Bharuch for his ashram.

  • Dashashwamedh Ghat. It is situated on the bank of river Narmada
    Narmada
    Narmada may refer to:* Narmada River of central India* Narmada district of Gujarat, India* The Narmada Dam Project, involving the construction of a series of large irrigation and hydroelectric multi purpose dams on the Narmada River in India...

     near Dandia Bazar. This is the place where King Mahabali
    Mahabali
    Mahabali , also known as Bali or Māveli was a benevolent Asura King, and the grandson of Prahlada. The festival of Onam commemorates his yearly homecoming after being sent down to the underworld by Vamana, the fifth avatar of Vishnu.-Conquest of the Universe and banishment:Bali, an asura, was the...

     performed ten ashwamedha sacrifices. It is at this place where Lord Vishnu
    Vishnu
    Vishnu is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God....

     came in the disguise of Vamana
    Vamana
    Vamana is described in the Puranic texts of Hinduism as the Fifth Avatar of Vishnu, and the first incarnation of the Second Age, or the Treta yuga. Also he is the first Avatar of Vishnu which appears with a completely human form, though it was that of a dwarf brahmin. He is also sometimes known as...

     and measured the whole universe with his three steps. There are many old temples constructed on this ghat which includes Ambaji Mata Temple, Umiya Mata Temple, Narmada Mata Temple, Kotirudreshwar Mahadev, Vamana Temple and many others. One must not forget to visit this ghat at early morning hours to enjoy the spiritual peace of this place.

  • River Narmada. Many ghats are situated on the banks of the River Narmada in Bharuch, which hosts a number of temples. The Narmada happens to be one of the most sacred river of India. It is believed that a dip in the Narmada river washes ones sins away, and that her divine sight alone makes one pure. 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 bathe in its holy waters. Legends also mention that the Narmada River is older than the river Ganges.

  • Temples swarm the city and each holds its own religious significance. The Swaminarayan Temple in Dandia Bazar area of city is 175 years old and hosts a palette of colour on its walls. Narmada Mata Temple, also in Dandia Bazar, is 150 years old and dedicated to Goddess Narmada. The Vaishnav Haveli enshrines an idol of Bal Krishna said to have come from Mathura in 1725. Behind the old Civil Hospital, the Khodiyar Mata Temple overlooks the low lying area of furja and offers one of the best views of sunset in the city.

  • Other temples in old Bharuch city include Bahuchara Mata Temple, Sindhvai Mata Temple, Santoshi Mata Temple,Nilkanth Mahadev, Doodheshwar Madhavev, Nav Graha Temple, Kala Raam Temple, Dwarkadhish Temple, Dattatreya Temple, Bhrigvishwar Mahadev, seat of Vallabhacharya,, Gyaneshwar Hanuman, Rokadiya Hanuman, Bhid Bhanjan Hanuman, Ganapati Temple and many others.

  • There are many ashramas along the river side. Some of these ashrams also runs meditation centers, adhyatama discourses, etc. A few prominent ashramas to name are Ashoka Ashrama, Swami Omkarnath’s Narmada Ashrama, Kusuma Pagala Ashrama, Swami Swyamjyotitirtha’s Gyan Sadhan Ashrama, Vishwa Gayatri Alakha Dham, Brahmakumari’s Anubhuti Dham, Swami Tadrupananda’s Manan Ashrama, Hansdevji’s Hans Ashramas, etc.

  • The Golden Bridge. It was built by the British in 1881 across the Narmada River to improve access to traders and administrators to Bombay. The structure was built with rust-resistant iron, and therefore, more expensive than modern steel, lending to the name Golden Bridge. This bridge connects Bharuch and Ankleshwar.

  • Bharuch has three Golden things viz. Golden Bridge
    Golden Bridge
    The Golden Bridge that connects Ankleshwar to Bharuch was built in 1881 by the British, who needed a bridge across the Narmada River to create better access to trade and administration officials in Bombay ....

    , Sona no Patthar (Golden Stone) and Soneri Mahel (Golden Palace).

  • Fort. Around 1000 year old fort, built by Siddhraj Jaysinh, the then king of Gujarat. The fort is situated on a hill top which overlooks the Narmada river. Within the fort there are the Collector's office, Civil Courts, the Old Dutch factory, a church, the Victoria Clock tower and other buildings. Around 3 km from the fort there are some early Dutch tombs, overlooked by some Parsee Towers of Silence. Also there are many historical monuments built by the Dutch
    Netherlands
    The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

    , Portugese
    Portugal
    Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

     and British
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

    .

  • Gurudwara Chadar Saheb. In the 15th c. Nanak Dev, the first Shikh guru, visited Bharuch. It is believed that when a boatman refuses to take him across the Narmadda, he crosses over on a cloth sheet or chadar. The gurudwara was later constructed in Kasak area, on the site where he landed in Bharuch.

  • Some important temples in new Bharuch city includes Shaktinath Mahadev, Chandramaulishwar Mahadev (this shivalinga is made from mercury), Sai Baba temple, Gayatri Mata temple, Amba Mata temple and many others.

  • A unique feature of Bharuch is the Meghraja festival celebrated in the month of Shravan (Aug-Sept) for 25 days. A 5.5 feet idol if Meghraj (Lord Indra
    Indra
    ' or is the King of the demi-gods or Devas and Lord of Heaven or Svargaloka in Hindu mythology. He is also the God of War, Storms, and Rainfall.Indra is one of the chief deities in the Rigveda...

    ) 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. The unique feature is that this festival is celebrated only in Bharuch in whole of India.

  • Jainism
    Jainism
    Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

     and Buddhism
    Buddhism
    Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

     had also a significant role in history of Bharuch and there are many Jain temples with architectural excellence.

  • Islamic architecture like Eidgah (built in 1326), Jama Masjid (originally a Jain temple), Madresa Mosque and others are worth seeing.

  • The crowded but fascinating bazaar
    Bazaar
    A bazaar , Cypriot Greek: pantopoula) is a permanent merchandising area, marketplace, or street of shops where goods and services are exchanged or sold. The term is sometimes also used to refer to the "network of merchants, bankers and craftsmen" who work that area...

     known as Katopore Bazar.

  • J. B. Modi Park in Shaktinath area attracts a number of people. Also there are a few very good parks maintained by the municipal commission.

  • Siddhi Vinayak Ganapati Temple and Maharudra Mahadev Temple are located at Maktampur area situated at a distance of 3 km east of Bharuch railway station.

  • Zadeshwar situated at a distance of 7 km east of Bharuch railway station is a rapidly developing suburban area of Bharuch. It also hosts many temples like Nilakantheshwar Mahadev, Doodheshwar Mahadev, Shitala Mata and Gayatri Mata.

  • Swaminarayan
    Swaminarayan Faith
    Swaminarayan Hinduism, also known as the Swaminarayan faith or the Swaminarayan sect, is a modern tradition in the Vaishnava denomination of Hinduism, in which followers offer devotion to and worship Swaminarayan as the final manifestation of God....

     Mandir in Zadeshwar lies on the NH-8 and attracts a huge number of devotees from Bharuch and nearby areas.

  • Bharuch hosts one of the oldest libray of Gujarat - Raichand Deepchand Library, started in 1858. It has a collection of around Two Lacs books. There are many other libraries in the city.

  • Dudh Dhara Dairy is also located in bharuch which now comes under the management of Amul Dairy.

Places around Bharuch

  • Shuklatirth. It is situated at a distance of about 12 km east of Bharuch is a host of many old temples. The most famous of them is Shukleshwar Mahadev Temple. Legend says that Shiva was pleased with the devout Chanakya and guided him to salvation. He instructed Chanakya to start his journey in a black boat at the mouth of the Narmada dress in black and accompanied by a black cow. The place were black would transform into white would mark the location of his liberation. The transformation occurred in Shuklatirth. Shiva stayed with Chanakya at this site in the form of a linga. It is believed that this temple houses that same linga, and that by praying here all sins are purged and desires fulfilled. The Omkarnath Vishnu Mandir has a tall white idol of Vishnu said to have emerged from the Narmada. This idol is made up of sand (it is a self manifested idol), but it appears as if it is made from marble.

  • Kabirvad. – It is the island of Banyan trees. Kabirvad is an island on the river Narmada at a distance of about 16 km east of Bharuch city. The main attraction here is a gigantic banyan tree covering an area of more than 2.5 acres. According to legend, it is at this place that saint Kabirdas meditated and the tree grew from a meswak stick (used for brushing the teeth) that was thrown here by the saint. A single tree has over years polifrated into a tree with several trunks and spread in over 2.5 acres of land. Other added attractions here are the lotus shaped marble temple, Kabir museum and boat ride on Narmada river.

  • Kukarwada situated at a distance of 5 km west of Bharuch hosts Panchmukhi Hanuman temple.

  • Osara located about 17 km north-east Bharuch has a temple of Kali
    Kali
    ' , also known as ' , is the Hindu goddess associated with power, shakti. The name Kali comes from kāla, which means black, time, death, lord of death, Shiva. Kali means "the black one". Since Shiva is called Kāla - the eternal time, Kālī, his consort, also means "Time" or "Death" . Hence, Kāli is...

    . This temple opens only on Tuesdays attracting huge number of devotees.

  • Gumandev (near Jhagadia
    Jhagadia
    Jhagadia is a taluka in the state of Gujarat, India. Jhagadia is located south of on southern bank of the Narmada river. On its north lies the historical town of ShuklaThirth, where Chanakya lived until he returned to PatliPutra...

    ) at a distance of about 20 km soutn of Bharuch, is a temple of Lord Hanumanji. It is said that temple is very old. Large number of people from different parts of the world visit this temple is the testimony of people faith in the divine power of this grand old deity. A fair is organised at this place on every Saturday in the month of Shravan. At this time, deevotees from Bharuch, Ankleshwar and other places go to this place walking.

  • Hathila Hanuman, at a distance of about 30 km north of Bharuch towards Amod
    Amod
    Amod is a major weekly newspaper in Bangladesh, published from Comilla in the Bengali language. It claims to be the oldest weekly newspaper in the country, being published since May 1955....

    , is another place of Hanuman temple.

  • Nareshwar at a distance of 25 km north-east of Bharuch is the place of hermitage of Rang Avadhoot Maharaj.

  • Ankleshwar situated at a distance of 12 km south of Bharuch is also an ancient city. Imoprtant places here include Antarnath Mahadev and Ram Kund. Today Ankleshwar is a highly industralised city and it has the honour of being the biggest Industrial Complex in whole of Asia
    Asia
    Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

    .

  • Kadia Dungar situated at a distance of 40 km south of Bharuch is a Buddhist cave, believed to have been occupied by Pandavas.
  • Other important places on the banks of Narmada include Angareshwar, Mangleshwar, Nikora, Janor, Sajod (hermitage of sage Chyavana
    Chyavana
    Chyavana was a maharshi in Hindu mythology. He was son of sage Bhrigu and known for his rejuvenation after penances for several years. According to the Mahabharata, he was powerful enough to oppose the Vajra of Indra and was responsible for the Ashvins getting their share of the sacrificial...

    ), Hansot, Jageshwar, Dahej, and many more.

Other places of interest near Bharuch

  • Stambheshwar Mahadev - Kavi Kamboi (45 km from Bharuch) at the confulance of Mahi River
    Mahi River
    The Mahi is a river in western India. It rises in Madhya Pradesh and, after flowing through the Vagad region of Rajasthan, enters Gujarat and falls into the sea by a wide estuary near Khambhat. Its total length is 500 km. and its estimated drainage area 40,000 km2...

     and Sea. This Shivalinga gets submerged in to the sea during high tides and is only visible during low tides. (http://www.stambheshwarmahadev.org/)
  • Rajpipla
    Rajpipla
    Rajpipla is a city and a municipality in the Narmada district in the Indian state of Gujarat.It was the capital of the former Kingdom of Rajpipla.-Geography:Rajpipla is located at . It has an average elevation of 148 metres ....

     (65 km)
  • Garudeshwar - Samadhi of Vasudevanand Saraswati
    Vasudevanand Saraswati
    Shri Vasudevanand Saraswati is also known as Shri Tembe Swami.His original name is Vasudeo, father's name is Ganeshbhatt, mother's name is Ramaabai and Grandfather's name is Haribhatt...

     (60 km)
  • Sardar Sarovar Dam (90 km)
  • Chandod (40 km)
  • Anasuya (near Chandod) - birth place of Dattatreya
    Dattatreya
    Dattatreya or Datta is a Hindu deity encompassing the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, collectively known as Trimurti. The name Dattatreya can be divided into two words - "Datta" and "Atreya" referring to the sage Atri, his physical father.Various Hindu sects worship him differently...

    , Chandra
    Chandra
    In Hinduism, Chandra is a lunar deity and a Graha. Chandra is also identified with the Vedic Lunar deity Soma . The Soma name refers particularly to the juice of sap in the plants and thus makes the Moon the lord of plants and vegetation. He is described as young, beautiful, fair; two-armed and...

     and Durvasa
    Durvasa
    In Hindu mythology, Durvasa , or Durvasas, was an ancient sage, the son of Atri and Anasuya. He is supposed to be an incarnation of Shiva. He is known for his short temper. Maledictions or curses he gave in his rage ruined many lives. Hence, wherever he went, he was received with great reverence ...

  • Kayavarohan
    Kayavarohan
    Kayavarohan is a village in the Vadodara district of the state of Gujarat, India. Kayavarohan is popularly known as Karvan and is situated on the National Highway 8 at a distance of 30 km from Vadodara. Kayavarohan is the birth place of Lakulish, the 2nd Century C.E. Shaivite revivalist,...

     (50 km)
  • Soolpaneshwar Wildlife Scantury (95 km)

and many more.

See also


  • http://gu.wikipedia.org/wiki/ભરૂચ
  • Indo-Greek Kingdom
    Indo-Greek Kingdom
    The Indo-Greek Kingdom or Graeco-Indian Kingdom covered various parts of the northwest regions of the Indian subcontinent during the last two centuries BC, and was ruled by more than 30 Hellenistic kings, often in conflict with each other...

  • Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
    Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
    The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea or Periplus of the Red Sea is a Greco-Roman periplus, written in Greek, describing navigation and trading opportunities from Roman Egyptian ports like Berenice along the coast of the Red Sea, and others along Northeast Africa and India...

  • The Imperial Gazette Entry
  • http://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/texts/periplus/map/periplus_map.html