|District||Devbhoomi Dwarka district|
|• Official||Gujarati, Hindi|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Vehicle registration||GJ-37 (Devbhoomi Dwarka RTO)|
Okha is a coastal town in Devbhoomi Dwarka district of Gujarat state in India. It has a sea port. Dwarka situated some 32 km south and Bet Dwarka island situated 2.9 km across a small creek from Okha port are a major Hindu pilgrimage sites due the temple dedicated to Krishna.
The town is mentioned in ancient Indian epic literature. It is associated with story of marriage of Aniruddha, the grandson of Krishna and Usha (called Okha in Gujarati), the daughter of Banasur. 18th century Gujarati Akhyana entitled Okhaharan by Premanand Bhatt recounts the same story.
Okha, along with Dwarka and Bet Dwarka, was under Gaekwad of the Baroda State. During Indian rebellion of 1857, the Vaghers captured the region in 1858. Later by joint offensive of British, Gaekwad and other princely states troops ousted the rebels and recaptured the region in 1859.
Okha is situated on a narrow strip of land that projects into sea. It is surrounded by sea on three sides and has a sandy beach on Arabian Sea coast. It has a sea port on the lee side. Bet Dwarka lies on the other side of a small creek from Okha port.
Okha is a busy and historical port in Gujarat strategically located. Historically it was the first port on west coast of India that a ship travelling along the coast from Arabia encountered. Indian Navy, Indian Coastguard, Indian Customs and Gujarat marine police have their operational command centre in Okha. Okha port imports mainly lignite from the Indonesia for the thermal power stations of Gujarat and for soda ash plant of Tata Chemicals. Okha has an automobile-assembly plant. Fishing and salt processing are also industries. Some of the major companies in Okha is Tata Chemicals at Mithapur, about 10 km away towards Dwarka city.
Okha is connected by railway at Okha railway station, and by bus, to major cities of Gujarat and the rest of India. The population of the city was estimated at 18,885 in 2001.
There are four main schools in Okha.
1) Kendriya Vidyalaya, Okha
2) Okha Gram Panchayat School
3) V A English Medium School
4) Bansi Highschool
About 1.5 million Hindu devotes visit Bet Dwarka, one of the major temples of Krishna. Bet Dwarka is a small island reached by ferry service from Okha. The first sea bridge of Gujarat is proposed between Okha and Bet Dwarka. The 2 km long sea bridge is estimated to cost 400 crore. The construction work will start in early 2015 and will be completed by early 2016.
Okha is very well known among marine lovers. There are hundreds of small islands in surrounding area and natural coral reefs. Dolphins are very easy to Locate in their natural habitat. Dwarka city is about 30 km from Okha. A ferry connection also has started between Okha and Mandvi from December 2015 by Gujarat state government. This facility has given fast connectivity to Kutch region.
- Ramanlal Kakalbhai Dharaiya (1970). Gujarat in 1857. Gujarat University. p. 120.
- "Gujarat During The Great Revolt: The Rebellion In Okhmandal". People's Democracy. October 7, 2007. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- Okha, India, Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved September 2009.
- Kaushik, Himanshu (1 January 2015). "State’s first sea bridge to link Bet Dwarka, Okha". The Times of India. Retrieved 2 January 2015.