Gaudhara (ગૌધારા )
|Elevation||73 m (240 ft)|
|• Official||Gujarati, Hindi|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Godhra is a municipality in Panchmahal district in Indian state of Gujarat. It is the administrative headquarters of the Panchmahal district. Originally the name came from gou which means "cow" and dhara which has two meanings: one in Sanskrit which means "hold" or "land" and the other in Hindi which means "flow": It means the Land of the Cow.
Godhra is widely known in India and internationally for being the starting point of the 2002 Gujarat violence. Statewide religious riots between Hindus and Muslims began after the Godhra train burning incident near the Godhra railway station on 27 February 2002.
Godhra is one of the religious places in the India which has four bethaks (temples) for Vaishnav Sampraday. There are two main seats of Lord Gokulnathji and one each for Lord Gusaiji and Lord Mahaprabhuji. Godhra is the only city in India that has all three seats (or bhaitaks) of the Mahaprabhuji, Gusianji, and Gokulnathji.
As of 2001[update] India census, Godhra had a population of 121,852. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Godhra has an average literacy rate of 73%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 79.5%, and female literacy is 64.5%.
There are several primary and high schools like Anaj Mahajan Sarvajanik Shikshan Mandal, Nalanda school English and Gujarati medium, St. Arnolds High School, Sharda Mandir, Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidyamandir, Rotary English Medium School, Nityam International School, Nityam Vidhya Vihar School, Kangaroo Pa Pa Pagli School, M & M Mehta High School, Kendriya Vidyalaya Godhra, The Iqbal Union High School, The Saifee Jamali English High School.
There is a technical school and colleges in Godhra for Homeopathy studies, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Arts, Diploma in Engineering, ITI, Bachelor of engineering, and a Law College.
Godhra means the land of cows. In mythological terms it can be called as land which is used for the grazing of cow. Cows used to come here from Pavagadh for grazing.
A bronze of Lord Rishabhanath of AD 975 found at Akota mentions Gohadra kula, i.e., the school of Jain monks at Gohadra. The historical name of Godhra is "Godhrahk", which was established by Parmar king named Dhudhul Mandalik in A.D. 1415. Five hundred years ago, the respectable Saint Shrimad Vallabhacharya in his morning ritual speech gave the example of his dream city. He explained how the city which was seen in dream by her daughter was handed over by a Muslim resident to a Hindu family.
- Godhra is the location of Gandhi Ashram. Bharat Ratna Shri Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel began practicing as a barrister at Godhra; Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Vallabhbhai Patel personally met for the first time in Godhra in 1917.
- Godhra is a birthplace of Shri Rang Avdhoot Maharaj, a famous spiritual advisor or guru.
- Narendra Modi dwelt in Godhra for a long time before he became Chief Minister of Gujarat.
- Personalities like Poet Punjalal Dalwadi, Manilal Mehta, Vamanrao Mukaddam, Mama Phadke are the jewels of past.
- Morarji Desai worked here as a commissioned officer.
- Shri Piloo Mody who was known internationally for special Member of Parliament from Godhra.
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- Akota Bronzes, Umakant P. Shah, 1959, p. 57-58.