Bhavnagar

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This article is about the municipal corporation and metropolitan metro area in India. For its namesake district, see Bhavnagar district.
Bhavnagar
Bhavnagar is located in Gujarat
Bhavnagar
Bhavnagar
Coordinates: 21°46′N 72°09′E / 21.76°N 72.15°E / 21.76; 72.15Coordinates: 21°46′N 72°09′E / 21.76°N 72.15°E / 21.76; 72.15
Country  India
State Gujarat
Region Saurashtra (region)
District Bhavnagar
Founded 1723
Founded by Bhavsinhji Gohil
Government
 • Body Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation and BUDA(Bhavnagar Urban development authority)
 • Mayor Babubhai Solanki
Area
 • Total 117.89 km2 (45.52 sq mi)
Elevation 24 m (79 ft)
Population (2012)
 • Total 650,000
 • Density 5,500/km2 (14,000/sq mi)

Bhavnagar Listen Bhāvnagar) is the sixth largest city in the state of Gujarat, India. Bhavnagar was founded in 1724 by Bhavsinhji Gohil (1703–1764). It was the capital of Bhavnagar State, which was a princely state before it was merged into the Indian Union in 1948. It is now the administrative center of the Bhavnagar district.

Bhavnagar is situated 198 km from the state capital Gandhinagar and to the west of the Gulf of Khambhat. Bhavnagar is always an important city for trade with many large and small scale industries. Alang world's largest ship breaking yard is located just 30 kms away. Palitana Jain temples which is an important holy place for Jain's are situated just 27 km away from Bhavnagar. Velavadar national park situated just 40 km away and is home to endangered species like wolfs, antelopes, blackbuck.

History[edit]

The Gohil Rajput of the Suryavanshi clan faced severe competition in Marwar. Around 1260 AD, they moved down to the Gujarat coast and established three capitals; Sejakpur, Umrala and Sihor.[1]

In 1822–1823, forces led by Khanthaji Kadani and Pilaji Gaekwad attempted to raid Sihor but were repelled by Maharaja Bhavsinhji Gohil. After the war Bhavsinhji realised the reason for repeated attack was the location of Sihor (old Bhavnagar). In 1823, he established a new capital near Vadva village, 20 km away from Sihor, and named it Bhavnagar. It was a carefully chosen strategic location because of its potential for maritime trade. Naturally, Bhavnagar City became the capital of Bhavnagar State Bhavnagar Boroz.[2]

The old town of Bhavnagar was a fortified town with gates leading to other important regional towns. It remained a major port for almost two centuries, trading commodities with Africa Mozambique, Zanzibar, Singapore, and the Persian Gulf. The current Royal Family of Bhavnagar comprises Maharaja Vijayraj Singh Gohil and Maharani Samyukta Kumari, Prince Yuvraj Jaiveerraj Singh Gohil and Princess Brijeshwari Kumari Gohil.

State of Bhavnagar[edit]

Bhavsinhji ensured that Bhavnagar benefited from the revenue that was brought in from maritime trade, which was monopolised by Surat and Cambay. As the castle of Surat was under the control of the Sidis of Janjira, Bhavsinhji brokered an agreement with them, giving the Sidis 1.25% of the revenue by Bhavnagar port. Bhavsinhji entered into a similar agreement with the British when they took over Surat in 1856.Whilst Bhavsinhji was in power, Bhavnagar grew from a small chieftainship to a considerably important state. This was due to the addition of new territories as well as the income provided by maritime trade. Bhavsinhji's successors continued to encourage maritime trade through Bhavnagar port, recognising its importance to the state. The territory was further expanded by Bhavsinhji's grandson, Vakhatsinhji Gohil when he took possession of lands belonging to Kolis and Kathis, obtained Rajula from the Navab Saheb Ahmad Khan, and merged Ghogha Taluka into the state. In 1793, Vakhatsinhji conquered the forts of Chital and Talaja, and later conquered Mahuva, Kundla, Trapaj, Umrala and Botad.Bhavnagar remained the main port of the state, with Mahuva and Gogha also becoming important ports. Because of the maritime trade, the state prospered compared to other states. During the late 19th century, the Bhavnagar State Railway was constructed. This made Bhavnagar the first state that was able to construct its railway system without any aid from the central government, which was mentioned in the Imperial Gazetteer. Mr Peile, a political agent, described the state as follows: "With flourishing finances and much good work in progress. Of financial matters I need say little; you have no debts, and your treasury is full."[3] Between 1870 and 1878 the state was put under joint administration, due to the fact that Prince Takhtsinhji was a minor. This period produced some notable reforms in the areas of administration, revenue collection, judiciary, the post and telegraph services, and economic policy. The ports were also modernised. The two people who were responsible for those reforms were Mr E.H Percival of the Bombay Civil Service and Sri Gaurishankar Udayshankar Oza, Chief Minister of Bhavnagar State Bhavngar Boroz. In 1911, HH Maharani Nundkanvarba of Bhavnagar, was awarded the Order of the Crown of India, the highest Imperial award for women of the Empire. The former princely state of Bhavnagar was also known as Gohilwad; "Land of the Gohils" (the clan of the ruling family). The current royal family of Bhavnagar resides in the Nilambagh Palace. Part of the Palace have been converted to a heritage hotel. The current Royal Family of Bhavnagar comprises Maharaja Vijayraj Singh Gohil and Maharani Samyukta Kumari, Prince Yuvraj Jaiveerraj Singh Gohil and Princess Brijeshwari Kumari Gohil.

Rulers[edit]

Name Reign Title
Ratanji (d. 1703) II 1660–1703 Thakur Sahib
Bhavsinhji I Ratanji (1683–1764) 1703–1764 Thakur Sahib
Akherajji II Bhavsinhji (1714–1772) 1764–1772 Thakur Sahib
Wakhatsinhji Akherajji (1748–1816) 1772–1816 Thakur Sahib
Wajesinhji Wakhatsinhji (1780–1852) 1816–1852 Thakur Sahib
Akherajji III Bhavsinhji (1817–1854) 1852–1854 Thakur Sahib
Jashwantsinhji Bhavsinhji (1827–1870) 1854 – 11 April 1870 Thakur Sahib
Takhatsinhji Jashwantsinhji (1858–1896) 11 April 1870 – 29 January 1896 Thakur Sahib
Bhavsinhji II Takhatsinhji (1875–1919) 29 January 1896 – 1 January 1918 Thakur Sahib
1 January 1918 – 17 July 1919 Maharaja Rao
Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavsinhji (1912–1965) 17 July 1919 – 15 August 1947 Maharaja Rao
Virbhadrasinhji Krishnakumarsinhji Gohil (1932–1994) ^ 1 April 1965 – 26 Jul 1994 Maharaja Rao
Vijayrajsinhji Virbhadrasinhji Gohil (1968) ^ 26 July 1994 – Maharaja Rao

^ Titular only

Leading freedom fighters of Bhavnagar State[edit]

  • Blavanatrai Maheta (બળવંતરાય મહેતા)
  • Jadavajibhai Modi (જાદવજીભાઈ મોદી)
  • Jagubhai Parikh (જગુભાઈ પરીખ)
  • Nanabhai Bhatt (નાનાભાઈ ભટ્ટ)
  • Akhileshvribahen Mehta (અખીલેશ્વરીબેન મહેતા)
  • Ganjanan Purohit (ગજાનન પુરોહિત)
  • Gunvantbhai Purohit (ગુણવંતભાઇ પુરોહિત)
  • Atmaram Bhatt (આત્મારામ ભટ્ટ)
  • Rajabali Lakhani (રાજાભાઈ લખાણી)
  • Pruthvisinh Azad (પૃથ્વીરાજસિંહ આઝાદ)
  • Tarabahen Modak (તારાબહેન મોદક)
  • Gijubhai Badheka (ગીજુભાઈ બધેકા)

[4]

Royal family members of Gohil Rajputs[edit]

  • Gohil Gulabsinh
  • Gohil Gagubha Gulabsinh
  • Gohil Nanbha Gagubha
  • Gohil Raghuveersinh Nanbha
  • Gohil Bhagirathsinh Nanbha
  • Gohil Rajendrasinh Nanbha
  • Gohil Dashrathsinh Nanbha
  • Gohil Hitkarsinh Raghuveersinh

Merger with the Indian Union in 1947[edit]

Until the independence of India in 1947, Bhavnagar was an independent state ruled by the Rajput Gohil family. In 1947, the Deputy Prime Minister of the newly independent Indian Union Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel undertook the ambitious and complex process of unifying 565 princely states with the Union of India. The last Maharaja of Bhavnagar, Krishnakumar Sinhji handed over the administration of his Bombay State to the people's representative in 1948, and Bhavnagar was the first state to join the Indian Union. The erstwhile royal family of Bhavnagar continues to lead an active role in the public eye as well as in business (hotels, real-estate, agriculture & ship-breaking) and is held in high regard by the population both in the city as well as areas that comprised the former princely state of Bhavanagar.

[5]

Geography and climate[edit]

Topography[edit]

Bhavnagar is a coastal city on the eastern coast of Saurashtra, also known as Kathiawar, located at 21°46′N 72°09′E / 21.77°N 72.15°E / 21.77; 72.15.[6] It has an average elevation of 24 metres (78 ft). It occupies an area of 53.30 km². The general slope dips towards the north-east at the apex of Gulf of Khambhat. A small non-perennial river named Kansara Nala passes through the outer area of the city.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Bhavnagar
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 44
(111)
40
(104)
44
(111)
44
(111)
54
(129)
42
(108)
40
(104)
42
(108)
41
(106)
43
(109)
42
(108)
40
(104)
54
(129)
Average high °C (°F) 27.7
(81.9)
30.2
(86.4)
34.7
(94.5)
37.6
(99.7)
39.4
(102.9)
34.5
(94.1)
33
(91)
32.2
(90)
33
(91)
34.2
(93.6)
31.7
(89.1)
28.6
(83.5)
33.07
(91.48)
Daily mean °C (°F) 19.4
(66.9)
22.4
(72.3)
27.1
(80.8)
30.7
(87.3)
32.6
(90.7)
32.3
(90.1)
29.5
(85.1)
28.5
(83.3)
28.5
(83.3)
28.3
(82.9)
24.8
(76.6)
21.3
(70.3)
27.12
(80.8)
Average low °C (°F) 11.2
(52.2)
14.7
(58.5)
19.5
(67.1)
23.8
(74.8)
25.9
(78.6)
27.1
(80.8)
26
(79)
24.8
(76.6)
24.1
(75.4)
22.4
(72.3)
17.9
(64.2)
14.1
(57.4)
20.96
(69.74)
Record low °C (°F) 7
(45)
8
(46)
9
(48)
18
(64)
20
(68)
11
(52)
16
(61)
12
(54)
16
(61)
15
(59)
9
(48)
2
(36)
2
(36)
Precipitation mm (inches) 1
(0.04)
0
(0)
3
(0.12)
3
(0.12)
4
(0.16)
49
(1.93)
223
(8.78)
154
(6.06)
122
(4.8)
25
(0.98)
8
(0.31)
1
(0.04)
593
(23.34)
Avg. rainy days 0 0 0 0 1 6 10 8 5 1 0 0 31
 % humidity 48 42 41 44 53 64 75 80 75 56 49 50 56.4
Source #1: Climate-Data.org (altitude: 26m)[7] Voodoo Skies for record temperatures[8]
Source #2: Weatherbase for rainy days and humidity[9][better source needed]

Bhavnagar has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen: BSh), with hot, dry summers from March to mid-June, the wet monsoon season from mid-June to October during which the city receives around 550 mm of rain on average, and mild winters from November to February. The semiarid classification is due to the city's high evapotranspiration. The average temperature from November to February is around 20 °C, with low humidity. Due to proximity to the sea, the climate remains fairly humid throughout the year.

The highest record temperature was 54 °C (129 °F) on 26 May 1988, while the lowest record temperature was 2 °C (36 °F) on 11 December 1973.[8]

Geology[edit]

The region of Saurashtra is a geologically active part of West India, and falls in the seismic zone 3 of the Zoning Map of the Bureau of Indian Standards. The region as a whole and the area around Bhavnagar in particular has been tectonically unstable.

Between 9 August 2000 and 15 December 2000, there was a series of earthquakes in east Saurashtra with epicenters in Bhavnagar. 132 earthquakes of 0.5M to 3.8M were recorded. There were five earthquakes greater than 3M, with a maximum magnitude of 3.8. These events were confined to an area which covered southern part of the Bhavnagar city and Tarsamiya village on the outskirts of the town. There were no loss of life recorded during this earthquake.

According to historical records, an earthquake of magnitude 7 occurred near Bhavnagar in February 1705. Earthquake swarm activity also occurred in and around Paliyad (60 km north of Bhavnagar) during July—August 1938 for about two months, with four earthquakes of magnitude greater than or equal to 5 and a maximum magnitude of 6.0.[10]

Culture and arts, socialism and reforms[edit]

Home to socialism, reforms, and cultural legacy, Bhavnagar is considered a city of education and culture, and is known as the cultural capital of Saurashtra.[11] People of Bhavnagar are considered to be easy-going, and art-loving. The artists and literary luminaries of Bhavnagar have immensely contributed to the culture of the city. Gujarati is the language of normal life, although Hindi is commonly understood. Knowledge of English is limited to the more educated population of the city.

Bhavnagar has produced many reformists, thinkers, socialists, poets, writers, artists, educationists, and freedom fighters. A few of these are mentioned below:

  • Narsinh Mehta – a poet-saint and exponent of Hindu devotional religious poetry, author of the popular bhajan 'Vaishnav Jana To', was born in the village of Talaja in Bhavnagar district.
  • Ganga sati – a medieval Gujarati saint poet who wrote many devotional songs, hailed from Samadhiyala village of Umrala Taluka of Bhavnagar district. The shrine of Ganga Sati & Panbai is situated on the riverbed of the Kalubhar river.
  • Kavi Kant – royal poet of Bhavnagar state, was born in Chavand village of Bhavnagar district.
  • Nanabhai Bhatt (Lokbharti) – Founder of Lok Bharti, educationist, creative writer, thinker.
  • Gijubhai Badheka – Educationist and reformer.
  • Jhaverchand Meghani – Gujarati poet and writer of Gujarati folk literature
  • Ravishankar Raval- a painter, art teacher, art critic, journalist, and essayist, was born in Bhavnagar.
  • Manubhai Pancholi "Darshak": an educationist, writer, and politician
  • Prahlad Parekh and Krishnalal Shridharani – poets
  • Kismat Qureshi, Nazir Dekhaiya, Barkat Virani are writers of Ghazals.
  • Dula Bhaya Kag – renowned poet, social reformer and freedom fighter, born in Mahuva town of Bhavnagar district.
  • Morari Bapu – is a Hindu preacher famous for Ram Charit Manas Katha, from a small village Talgajarda near Mahuva of Bhavnagar district.
  • Gujarati novel Saraswatichandra by Govardhanram Tripathi was based on locations of Bhavnagar and Sihor. A few chapters were written during his stay in Bhavnagar.
  • Somalal Shah – painter
  • Educationist like Gijubhai Badheka, Nanabahi Bhatt, Mulshankar M. Bhatt, Ambashankar Bhatt

City planning and architecture[edit]

Multiple town planning schemes were designed and implemented under the guidance of the progressive rulers of Bhavnagar. During the reign of Sir Takhtsinhji, the British State Engineer Proctor Sims supervised the construction of Barton Library, the High Court, Alfred High School, and Sir Takhtsinhji Hospital.[1]

Nilambagh Palace, Bhavnagar

A few architectural examples include:

  • Takhteshwar Temple (1893) is located on a hill, on a high plinth, offering a commanding view of Bhavnagar. The high shikhara rising above the pillared rectangular mandapa makes it an important landmark.
  • Gangajalia (1893) is a temple dedicated to Ganga-devi, with a chhatri, pavilion and bridge all in white marble. It is located in the middle of a former tank. It was designed by Sir John Griffith, principal of Sir J J School of Arts, Bombay.
  • Nilambag Palace (1894), now a heritage hotel, is set amidst a huge estate of 10 acres (4.0 ha). It was designed by a British architect, William Emerson as a royal residence, who also designed the Sir Takhtsinhji Hospital and later Victoria Memorial in Calcutta.[12] It combines elements of Indian architecture with a modern outlook.
  • Barton Library (1895) is a two-storeyed building, appropriately designed for a road junction. It has two wings and a central tower, constructed in ashlar stone masonry, with Gothic arch windows and a sloping roof with Mangalore tiles. It is one of the oldest libraries of Gujarat and also houses a museum.
  • Town Hall (1932) was formerly a Darbar Hall, where the coronation of Sir Krishnakumarsinhji took place. It is an imposing structure in the colonial style, set in a well laid out garden.

Modern Bhavnagar comprises Takhteshvar Plots, Krishnanagar, Sardarnagar and surrounding area. During 1935–1937, Krishnanagar area was planned and developed by late Shri Virendrabhai C. Mehta, the official town planner for the State of Bhavnagar. In 1961, he extended his Krishanagar plan towards Sardarnagar. In 1975, he created a master plan for Bhavnagar.

Beautiful garden at junction of the roads is the salient feature of town planning. Other gardens are located at Ghogha Circle, Mahila College Circle, Rupani Circle, Meghani Circle, Shivaji Circle, Sardarnagar Circle, Jewels Circle and Crescent Circle.

The city of Bhavnagar was one of the earliest towns to have underground drainage in Gujarat,[13] and was among the first cities in Gujarat to have a water filtration Plant. When set up by Krushnakumarsinhji, the filtration plant was the largest plant in Asia.[citation needed]

Education[edit]

Bhavnagar is known for pioneering and laudable efforts in the fields of rural, children's as well as women's education. Nanabhai Bhatt, Gijubhai Badheka, Manbhai Bhatt (Founder of Shishuvihar), Harbhai Trivedi, Gijubhai Badheka, and Taraben Modak were the pioneers who experimented and sowed new trends in rural and children's education. Nanbhai's institutions of Dakshinamurti at Bhavnagar, Gram Dakshinamurti at Amala, and Lokbharti at Sanosara have prepared three generations of brilliant workers and leaders engaged in reshaping village India. Gijubhai's Dakshinamurti became the cradle of children's education and charted a new direction in the field. Harbhai Trivedi pioneered a similarly new trend in secondary education and his Home School became a model for contemporary educators in Western India.Liberal women's education was born in Bhavnagar through the efforts of another illustrious educator-social reformer Amrutlal Dani. Sheth J. P. Govt. Ayurved College is one of the colleges of the well-known Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar that offers BAMS (Ayurvedacharya) course (35 seats per year). The college is situated in Vadva area and is named after Sheth Jivandas Prabhudas. Tapibai Ayurvedic Hospital which is the district level Ayurvedic hospital is part of this college.

Maharaja Krishna Kumar Sinhji Bhavnagar University[edit]

The new name of Bhavnagar University is 'Maharaja Krushan Kumar Sinhji Bhavnagar University' it is located in Bhavnagar city in the western province of Gujarat, India. The University Most probably covered a District area of Bhavnagar. The university provides teaching and research programs in Arts, Commerce, Science, Engineering, Medicine, Management, Rural Studies and Law Faculties. It has 25 departments, 18 postgraduate centres and four recognised institutes and research centres. 100 colleges affiliated to university belong to Arts, Science, Commerce, Law, Education, Engineering, Management, Rural and Medical disciplines. Twenty two post graduate courses are run by some of the colleges which are affiliated to University. Bhavnagar University came into being in 24 May 1979. Its land-estate area is 198.29 acres. A recent breakthrough in field of optical science was achieved by scientist Rasbindu Mehta of the university to trap light.

Shamaldas Arts College is the oldest institution of higher education in the region. Mahatma Gandhi studied here in 1884 AD. Maharaja Krishna Kumar Sinhji Bhavnagar University is well known in the region having an enrolment of nearly 23,000 students,a number of graduate colleges, and 25 post graduate departments including B.A, B.Com. BSc M.A. M.Com. M.C.A, MSc[14] There are two engineering colleges Shantilal Shah Engineering College and Government Engineering College, Bhavnagar. Both the colleges are affiliated with Gujarat Technological University.

Natural heritage sites[edit]

Velavadar Black Buck National Park is the only tropical grassland in India recognised as a National park. It is spread over an area of 34.08 km2. The park contains mainly blackbuck, antelopes, nilgai, wolves, jackals, hyenas, jungle cats, fox, and wild boar. Endangered birds such as Houbara Bustard, Lesser Florican, Sarus White Storks, White Pelican, Montagu, and Pallid Harriers also call the park home. Raptors including the Greater Spotted Eagle, Juvenile Imperial Eagle, Bonelli's Eagle, Short-toed Snake Eagle, and Long-legged Buzzard are also seen in the park. The climate in Velavdar makes it one of the best places for the migrating birds to breed.

Piram bet is an island approximately 6 km offshore off Ghogha. It is said that this island was created about 3.5 million years ago. It is well known for its diversity of life, including many vulnerable or endangered species. There is a ruined fort which was built in 1325.

Economy and industrial profile[edit]

Industrial development in Bhavnagar district could be attributed to the presence of a large number of diamond cutting and polishing units, salt and marine chemicals, plastics, ship building, and ship-breaking industries. Bhavnagar is an important centre for the diamond cutting and polishing industry in Gujarat as well as India. Thousands of skilled diamond-polishing workers are employed in diamond-cutting and polishing firms, whose subsidiary offices are involved in cities like Surat, Mumbai, and Antwerp. Bhavnagar stands second in the diamond cutting & polishing industry after Surat in India, with 6,000 units operating from the district and employing more than 300,000 people. Bhavnagar's commercial importance is enhanced by its proximity with the Gulf of Cambay and the Arabian Sea.

Bhavnagar is the largest producer of salt,[citation needed] with 34,500 tons of salt being produced annually in the district. The Alang ship breaking yard is the biggest in the world, recycling about 50% of the salvaged ships of the world. This has also helped developing supporting industries, such as oxygen bottling plants, re-rolling mills, and induction furnaces. Bhavnagar manufactures FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic) boats and steel vessels at the ship building facility of Alcock Ashdown (Gujarat) Ltd. The prominent industries located in Bhavnagar are Alcock Ashdown (Government of Gujarat Undertaking), Tamboli Castings Limited, Excel, SteelCast Bhavnagar, Investment & Precision Castings, Elite Chemicals and Sound Build Care Pvt Ltd. Ruvapari Road and Nari Road are areas where most industries are clustered. Bhavnagar has about 150 units manufacturing plastic monofilaments, and more than 400 units manufacturing plastic cloth, twine, ropes, films, and multifilament yarn. Some sections of the society depend upon agriculture for their livelihood. The city is a prominent trading post for cotton products. There are 112 medium and large scale industries located in Bhavnagar district.

One of the most important Antacid chemical, Magnesium Hydroxide was first manufactured in India by a Bhavnagar based company, Elite Chemicals(www.elitechemical.com). Till then it was imported.

Small-scale industries (SSI)[edit]

The district has 10,080 SSI units with employment of 49,587 involving a total investment of INR 28,955 lakhs (USD 70.62 million). Around 4,460 SSI units are present in Bhavnagar taluka, witnessing investments to the tune of INR 995.6 million (USD 24.28 million). Other industries are repairing & servicing, textiles, chemicals, glass & ceramics, and wood products.

Industry investment trends[edit]

As per the Industrial Entrepreneur Memoranda (IEMs) filed, the total investment during 1988–97 was INR 2,693 Crore (USD 657 million), and during 1998–2007 investments worth INR 47.75 billion (USD 1,164.6 million) were undertaken. Around 87% of the investments during 1998–07 has been contributed by infrastructure projects, and the cement and gypsum, and chemicals sectors, while 89% of the investments during 1988–97 was contributed by industries such as chemicals, cement and gypsum. Miscellaneous machinery and engineering sector showed increase in number of units while chemicals, plastic and food processing industries showed remarkable growth in investments during 1998–2007.

Investment trends: 1998-07[edit]

Infrastructure sector attracted the highest investment of INR 2,200 Crore (USD 536.5 million) contributing 46% to total investments generated during 1998–07.The next highest investment was generated by cement and gypsum sector of INR 1,637 Crore (USD 399.26 million) growing by 39% and contributing 34% to the total investments.Highest employment was generated by the chemical sector creating 3,997 jobs contributing 36% to the total jobs created.Food processing industries grew by over 250 times during 1998–07 with an investment of INR 790 million (USD 19 million).

Investments in pipeline[edit]

A total of 11 (Memorandum of Understanding) MoUs were signed during Vibrant Gujarat Global Investor Summits (VGGIS) 2003, 2005 and 2007, in several sectors such as ports, power, agricultural & food processing, tourism, and mineral-based industries. The power sector witnessed investments of over INR 40 billion (USD 975.60 million) during VGGIS 2003 and 2005 by Nirma Chemicals Limited and Gujarat Petro Chemical Limited respectively. The maximum number of MoUs were signed in relation to the port sector during 2003 and 2005 in the district. Gujarat State Petronet Corporation (GSPC), has signed an MoU during Vibrant Gujarat 2007, for the privatisation of Bhavnagar port.

Economy drivers[edit]

Major investments were witnessed in infrastructure projects during 1998–2007 which would further enhance the image of the district as a commercial region. Recent surge in the growth of food processing industries in the district has increased employment opportunities for the masses. Presence of Bhavnagar port has helped in catalysing the growth of industries, making it an important terminal for trade. Proximity with other major industrial hubs of the State, such as Ahmedabad and Rajkot has helped the district in attracting investments. Small scale industry sectors such as repairing & servicing, textiles, chemicals, glass & ceramics, and wood products are the supporting pillars of the economy providing numerous employment opportunities.

Commerce[edit]

  • Exports of cotton, ship machinery and dehydrated onions.
  • Diamond cutting, polishing, and marketing.
  • Manufacture of diamond jewellery.
  • Manufacture of plastic ropes, yarns, twines.
  • Re-rolling mills driven by the ship-breaking yard at Alang.
  • Other large scale manufacturing industries like fertiliser, soda-ash, steel casting etc.

Agriculture[edit]

Main crops:

Demographics[edit]

Bhavnagar Airport

As of 2011 India census,[15] Bhavnagar had a population of 593,768. Bhavnagar has an average literacy rate of 86%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with male literacy of 91% and female literacy of 80%. 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.[16] Adult males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%.

Electricity[edit]

Bhavnagar State Electricity 1920

Broadcasting[edit]

Broadcasting Bill India 1976

Transportation[edit]

Bhavnagar is well connected to other cities of Gujarat such as Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat, etc. by road, with bus services operated by the state-owned transport corporation as well as private operators such as VTCOS. The city is also connected to Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Surat, Vadodara, Mangalore, Kochi, Quilon, Trivandrum, Mumbai, New Delhi, CALCUTA, Chenai, Bangalore and other major cities of India by rail road.[17] Bhavnagar was one of the first cities in Gujarat to have an Domestica airport Domestica Airline Office. Daily flights to Mumbai are operated by Jet Airways daily from Bhavnagar Airport.[18] Private auto rickshaw, bicycle, and motorcycles are other modes of transport within the city and nearby villages.

Tourism[edit]

Takhteshwar Temple
Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
  • Takhteshwar Temple is one of the prime places to see in Bhavnagar. Takhteshwar Temple (1893) is a white marble temple, on a high plinth, offering a commanding view of Bhavnagar. The high shikhara rising above the pillared rectangular mandapa makes it an important landmark. Lord Shiva is worshipped as the main deity of this shrine
  • Nilambag Palace: The residence of the current Maharaja of Bhavnagar, HH Maharaol Vijayrajsinhji Virbhadrasinhji Gohil & his family; is now also a heritage palace hotel.
  • Mangalsinhji Mahal Palace: This palace is the residence of the members of the Bhavnagar royal family (family of Maharajkumar Mangalsinhji Takhatsinhji of Bhavnagar). It is a historical property in the heart of Bhavnagar city and is designed on traditional Kathiawari architectural principles. It is now the formal residence of the descendants of Rajkumar Chandrajitsinhji Mangalsinhji of Bhavnagar.
  • Bhav Vilas Palace: This palatial property was formerly the club-house for the royal family of the erstwhile princely state of Bhavnagar, now the residence of Maharajkumar Shivbhadrasinhji Krishnakumarsinhji Gohil & his family. It is famous for its wildlife collection & lake-side views.
  • Gaurishankar Lake is beautiful lake between small hills. It was made by Shree Gaurishankar Oza, the Deewan of Bhavnagar.There is Balvatika for Children, and temple of Lord Shiva. There is a big palace for Highness Family. It is peaceful and lovely place.
  • Seashore at Ghogha (About 22 km. from Bhavangar): Sea-side palace retreat of the Bhavnagar royal family, also now a hotel-guesthouse for travellers with excellent sea-side views & cuisine.
  • Victoria Park: It covers an area of about 500 acres (2 km²) with diverse flora and fauna. This park is a paradise for bird watchers and nature lovers.It is a forest conserved by the Indian Government within the boundary of the Bhavnagar city. The forest has varieties of Indian birds like waders, raptors and perching birds that attract bird watchers and nature admirers.
  • Gopnath Beach being profusely supplied with a dainty and colourful birdlife along with the presence of limestone cliffs and other adjuncts to the Gopnath Beach like a pleasurable sea breeze and breathtakingly beautiful views to enthrall the tourists who come down to the Gopnath Beach. It also houses the world's biggest ship breaking zone and along with that there is the sacred presence of the Talja temple, which is built on a 350 feet high Volcanic hill.
  • Nava Bandar (New Port)
  • Barton Library
  • Darbargadh: Once the seat of the Bhavnagar royal family, now rented out to the State Bank of India is also their headquarters (formerly the State Bank of Saurashtra)
  • Ganga Deri (Ganga Jalia Talav): This monument is a miniature of the Taj Mahal constructed entirely in marble and is one of the masterpieces of old times given by the Maharaja.
  • Alang Ship Breaking Yard: (About 50 km from Bhavangar on the way to Talaja)
  • Gandhi Smriti: A memorial, with a library of Gandhian books and photographs about the life of Mahatma Gandhi. It also has a fine collection of art objects representing the culture of the Saurashtra region.
  • BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, Aksharwadi, Bhavnagar.
  • CSMCRI (Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute): The only constituent laboratory of CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) in Gujarat. A significant research effort is being carried out here to develop Bio-Diesel from Jatropha.
  • Ghogha Beach (19 km away from Bhavnagar): It is a favourite spot for local trips.
  • Oldest Mosque during the period of Hazarat Muhanmad Paygambr of Gujarat is in Ghogha.[19]
  • Piram Bet (About 20 km away from Ghogha Beach): treasured fossils and old caves
  • Malnath Shiv Temple (About 15 to 20 km from Bhavnagar)
  • Khodiyar Temple.
  • Pillgarden: A beautiful garden in the city. Also called Sardar Baug.
  • Palitana: Famous for its beautiful Jain temples. A pilgrimage place for Jains.
  • Velavadar: Blackbuck National Park.
  • Bhavnagar has Saurashtra Largest Mall named "Himalaya Mall", There are various shops like Reliance Market, Reliance Footprint, Reliance Digital, Greenfiber and many more and there is one cinema also which is Maxus and soon going to open 9D Digital Cinema.

Ports[edit]

Bhavnagar had trade links with Southeast Asia, Africa, Arabia and ports of Red sea since the early 18th century. The original port Bhavnagar Harbar located at 21°48′N 72°09′E / 21.800°N 72.150°E / 21.800; 72.150 built by the state of Bhavnagar was a very important part of the commerce. It also hosted a light beacon since 1860. This port was later modernised in 1930 under the supervision of J. Johnston, then Port Officer of Bhavnagar state. Wharfs, warehouses, and railway transportation were added. A new port, 8 km south of the original port, was built and made operational in 1950s due to heavy silting at the location of the old port. This port also had a lighthouse, which was damaged in the 2001 earthquake.[20]

Bhavnagar lockgate, built in 1963 & the first of its kind in India when built, is one of the oldest bundar in the state, and is very useful to keep ships afloat during low tide.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "History of Bhavnagar city". Archived from the original on 17 August 2007. Retrieved 15 August 2007. 
  2. ^ Dosábhai, Edalji (1894). A History of Gujarat from the Earliest Period to the Present Time. United Print and General Agency. p. 177. 
  3. ^ Naoroji, Dadabhai (1990). Poverty and un-British rule in Inda. Low Price Publications. p. 229. 
  4. ^ Prof.Mehboob Desai,Bhavnagar Prajaparishad and Popular Movements in the Context of Freedom Straggle of India (1920–47),Gurjar Granth Ratan Kariyaly,Ahmedabad,p 153 to 173.
  5. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/rajkot/Bhavnagar-kings-sacrifice-to-feature-in-school-textbook/articleshow/10585349.cms
  6. ^ "Bhavnagar, India Page". Falling Rain Genomics, Inc. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 15 August 2007. 
  7. ^ "Climate: Vadodara – Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 5 January 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Bhavnagar, India". Voodoo Skies. Retrieved 5 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "Bhavnagar Climate". Retrieved 2 May 2012. [better source needed]
  10. ^ "Earthquake Sequence in and around Bhavnagar" (PDF). Retrieved 10 June 2008. 
  11. ^ "Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation". Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2008. 
  12. ^ Philip Ward (1998). Gujarat–Daman–Diu: A Travel Guide. Orient Blackswan. p. 280. ISBN 8125013830. 
  13. ^ Gujarat State Gazetteers, 1969. Directorate of Govt. Print., Stationery and Publications, Gujarat State. p. 538. 
  14. ^ "Gujarat Technological University". Technical education in Professional courses. Archived from the original on 22 June 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  15. ^ Bhavnagar City Census 2011 data
  16. ^ [Geographic reference|India]
  17. ^ Bhavnagar Terminus/BVC Railway Station Rail Info
  18. ^ (BHU) Bhavnagar Airport Departures, Arrivals, and Information
  19. ^ Prof.Mehboob Desai,Masjit during the time of Muhanmad Paygamber(s.a.v.),Divy Bhasakar,Gujarati News Paper, Thursday, column 'Rahe Roshan',24 May,page 4
  20. ^ "Bhavnagar Old Port Lighthouse". Retrieved 10 June 2008. [dead link]

External links[edit]

  • Government/Administration:
Bhavnagar Area Development Authority
Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation
Bhavnagar Collectorate
Bhavnagar District Panchayat