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Bhavnagar

City : Bhavnagar
Location : Western India
Language : Gujarati, Hindi etc.

Know About Bhavnagar

Bhavnagar is a city in the Indian state of Gujarat. It was founded in 1723 AD by Bhavsinhji Gohil (1703-64 AD) and was named after its founder and ruler. It was capital of Bhavnagar State which was the first princely state to merge with the democratic Indian Union in 1948.

It is currently the administrative headquarters of the Bhavnagar District. It is the sixth-largest city of Gujarat, and the third-largest city in the Saurashtra region. Bhavnagar is also known as the cultural capital of Saurashtra.

History

The Gohil Rajputs of the Surya Vanshi clan, facing severe competition in Marwar, moved down to the Gujarat coast around AD 1260 and established three capitals - Sejakpur, Umrala and Sihor (then known as Sirohi).

In 1822-1823, Sihor was raided by Khanthaji Kadani and Pilaji Gaekwad, but they were repulse by Bhanvsinhji Gohil. After great losses in the battle, he realized the weakness in location of Sihor. 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 having potential of maritime trade. Naturally, Bhavnagar became the capital of Bhavnagar State.

Between the years 1870-78 Bhavnagar was under a joint administration. This period produced some notable reforms. The two important people who were responsible for these reforms were Mr. E. H. Percival and Sri Gaurishankar Oza of Bhavnagar.

These reforms were in the areas of administration, revenue collection and judiciaries. Post and telegraph services along with railways were introduced and augmented. The port was also modernized and a new economic policy was introduced.

These reforms and changes in the system caused John Houston to say ""Bhavnagar is the most important and the most advanced of the native states of Kathiawar. From a very early date it became friendly with the British authorities.It was the pioneer of civilization and administrative activity in the peninsula and has ever set an example to the neighboring chiefs in the spread of education, in the prosecution of public works, in the development of commerce and in adoption of measures generally conducive to the welfare of its subjects."

Region of Bhavnagar state was also known as Gohilwad.

 

Geography

Bhavnagar is a coastal city in the eastern coast of Saurashtra, also known as Kathiawar, located at [show location on an interactive map] 21.77° N 72.15° E[7]. It has an average elevation of 24 metres (78 feet). It occupies area of 53.30 km². General slope dips in the northeasterly direction at the apex of Gulf of Khambhat. Small non-perennial river named Kansara Nala passes through outer area of the city.

Climate

Bhavnagar has a tropical wet and dry climate, with hot, dry summers from March to mid-June, the wet monsoon season from mid-June to October where the city receives around 550 mm of rain on average. The months from November to February are mild, the average temperature being around 20°C, with low humidity. Due to proximity to the sea, the climate remains a bit humid throughout the year.


Geology

The region of Saurashtra is a vital geo-dynamic part of the western continental margin of India, and falls in the seismic zone-III of the Zoning Map of Bureau of Indian Standards. The region as a whole and the area around Bhavnagar in particular has been tectonically unstable.

Between 9th August, 2000 and 15th December, 2000, there was a series of earthquakes in east Saurashtra which started in Bhavnagar. 132 earthquakes of 0.5M to 3.8M were recorded. There were five earthquakes greater than 3M, with maximum magnitude of 3.8. These events were confined to an area which covered southern part of the Bhavnagar city.

 

Culture and Arts

Bhavnagar is considered a city of education and culture, and is known as the cultural capital of Saurashtra. [9] People of Bhavnagar are considered to be easy-going, and art-loving. The artistes 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 poets and writers of Gujarati literature. Just to name few;

Narsinh Mehta - a poet-saint, an exponent of Hindu devotional religious poetry, author of the famous Bhajan 'Vaishnav Jan To', born in the village of Talaja in Bhavnagar district

Ganga sati - a medieval Gujarati saint and poet who wrote many bhajans on devotional themes, hailed from Samadhiyala village of Bhavnagar district

Jhaverchand Meghani - one of the greatest Gujarati poets and writers of Gujarati folk literature, worked as a teacher in Bhavnagar and produced most of his literary works while living in Bhavnagar

[Prahlad Parekh] and [Krishnalal Shridharani] Two notable poets.

[Kismat Qureshi],[Nazir Dekhaiya],[Barkat ViraNi]..writer of Gazals.

Kavi Kant - well known poet, served as the royal poet of Bhavnagar, born in Chavand village of Bhavnagar district

Prajaram Raval - poet, born in Bhavnagar, worked as principal of Ayurvedic college of Bhavnagar

Dula Kag - renowned poet, social reformer and freedom fighter, born in Mahuva town of Bhavnagar district

Kalaguru Ravishankar Raval- a painter, art teacher, art critic, journalist and essayist, born in Bhavnagar.

Vinod Joshi - poet, professor in Bhavnagar University, Head of Dept. of Gujarati language

The famous Gujarati novel "Saraswatichandra" by Govardhanram Tripathi was based on locations of Bhavnagar and Sihor. A Few chaptars were written during his stay in Bhavnagar.

[Somalal Shah ] painter did all his active work in Bhavnagar.

[Kishor Parekh] Internationally acclaimed Photographer was born in Bhavnagar.

Bhavnagar has rich tradition of having Educationist like [GijubhaiBadheka] [Nanabahi bahtt] [Mulshankar mo. bhatt]



Attraction

Takhteshwar Temple
Nilambag Palace
Seashore at Ghogha (About 22 km. from Bhavangar)
Victoria Park(one of the few forests in the world that are surrounded by the city) - 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.
Nava Bandar (New Port)
Barton Library
Darbargadh
Ganga Deri (Ganga Jalia Talav)
Gaurishankar Lake (Bor Talav) - named after a very able 19th century minister of the king, is a reservoir originally planned for water supply to the town. It is a popular picnic spot where one can watch a setting sun over lake and enjoy a stroll on the parapet wall of the lake.
Alang Ship Breaking Yard (About 50 km from Bhavangar on way of 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.
Aksharwadi (Saminarayan Temple)
Ghogha Beach (19 km away from Bhavnagar, a favorite outing spot around.)
Piram Bet (About 20 km away from Ghogha Beach, treasures fossils and old caves)

 

Ports

Bhavnagar had trade links with Southeast Asia, Africa, Arabia and ports of Red sea since early 18th century. The original port ( [show location on an interactive map] 21°48'N 72°09'E? / ?21.8, 72.15) built by the state of Bhavnagar was very important part of the commerce. It also hosted a lighted becon since 1860. This port was later modernized in 1930 under the supervision of J. Johnston, then Port Officer of Bhavnagar state. Wharfs, warehouses and transportation by rail systems were added. But heavy silting affected the old port, and a new port, 8 km south of the original port, was built and was operational in 1950s. This port too had a lighthouse, which was damaged in the 2001 earthquake.

Bhavnagar lockgate, built in 1963, is one of the oldest in the state, and is very useful to keep ships afloat during low tides.