City : Bharuch
Location : Western India
Language : Gujarati
Know About Bharuch
Bharuch alias Bhroach, an ancient town, one of the oldest in Gujarat with a 2000 year history, is situated at the mouth of the holy river Narmada. It was an important Buddhist center in the 7th century and considered to be sacred among sages. Located between Vadodara and Surat, the city derived its name from 'Bhrigukachba', the temple of the great saint Bhrigu Rishi, which was later abridged to Bharuch.
As it is a major seaport and the administrative headquarter of the district Bharuch, a number of trade activities have flourished here. 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).
Bharuch was once but a small village on the banks of the Narmada River but that rivers inland access to central and northern India and with a location in the sheltered Gulf of Khambat 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 Baruch had sheltered waters in a era 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 Delhi plain.
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.
There are various avenues for leisure time activities in Bharuch, and there are a few very good parks maintained by the municipal commission. There are river banks where people go for walks and strolls, as well as a couple of libraries and a few auditoriums. The auditoriums along with movie halls make the theatrical entertainment available in the city.
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.
The 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 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 'Bhrigukachba' 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.
Bharuch Fort (Lallubhai Haveli)
The magnificent Bharuch fort, perched on a hilltop overlooks the Narmada river. This one-storeyed building was erected in 1791 A.D by an ex-Divan of the former Nawab of Broach named Lallubhai. Hence the fort is sometimes known as Lallubhai Haveli. There is a small 'bungli' (room) on the second floor that has arrangements for placing matchlock guns. The facade of the fort is designed with rich and lavish wood carvings. It also has underground passages.
Within the fort there is the Collector's office, Civil Courts, the Old Dutch factory, a church, the Victoria Clock tower and other buildings. Around 3km from the fort there are some early Dutch tombs, overlooked by some Parsee Towers of Silence.
Jama Masjid is located at the base of the hilltop of the Bharuch fort. This 14th century masjid is said to have been constructed from the remains of a Jain temple. It was rebuilt in a conventional mosque design.
Madresa Mosque believed to be built by Mohammad in 1038 AD is one among the oldest mosques in Gujarat. The special feature here is the Persian inscription engraved on wooden plates that date back to 1609AD. The pillars of the mosque and the front door built of black wood are beautifully adorned with elegant engravings that are about 200 to 300 years old.
The Golden Bridge that connects Bharuch to Ankleshwar across the Narmada River was built in 1881 by the British. It is called so because the iron used for the construction of the bridge is very sturdy, resistant to rust and rare hence it is much much more expensive than modern steel.
Kabirvad is an island on the river Narmada at a distance of about 16km from Bharuch city. The main attraction here is a gigantic banyan tree covering an area of 3.7 acres. According to legend, it is at this place that saint Kabirdas meditated and the treegrew from a meswak stick (used for brushing the teeth) that was thrown here by the saint. Other added attractions here are the lotus shaped marble temple, Kabir museum and boat ride on Narmada river.
Shuklatirth is a small holy village located on the way to Kabirvad. It has many old temples of Mahadevji, Vishnuji and other Hindu deities like Brahma and many goddesses. A temple of Mahadev here claims to solve problems of children who are unable to speak.
Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary located on the outskirts of Bharuch stretches over an area of 608sq. kms. Earlier known as Dhumkal Sanctuary, it was established with a view to protect the Sloth Bear. The sanctuary is a peaceful abode for a large variety of birds and animals. Leopards, wild sloth bears, hyena, panther, sambar, four-horned antelope, wild dogs are some of the fauna's protected here. Crocodiles and otters have been sighted along the river. Best season for visiting the sanctuary is from October to March.
How to get there
The nearest airport to Bharuch is at Vadodara, at a distance of about 71kms. Indian Airlines and other private airlines connect the city to most important cities of India.
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 (96 km.)
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.