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Major Cities


Ahmedabad, the largest city in the state of Gujarat located on the left bank of the river Sabarmati is named after Sultan Ahmed Shah who built the city in 1411 AD. Also known as Amdavad and Karnavati, it was the former capital and a prominent centre of India's freedom struggle. With a vibrant past and an equally interesting present, Ahmedabad is one of those few cities which can boast about its well preserved ancient heritage along with being a highly industrialised centre and it is also home to one of the best known management institutes of the world- Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A). The city has grown into a great textile and commercial centre rightly called the 'Manchester of the East'. The city offers a lot to visitors in terms of aesthetic experience- there are many beautiful monuments of historical and archaeological importance, places of religious significance, picnic spots, excursion sites etc.


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)


Godhra is the capital town and the administrative headquarters of Panchmahal district in Gujarat. It was an important centre during the Mughal and Maratha periods. Godhra which derived its name from the two words 'Gou' means cow and 'Dhara' means flow, is a developing town with the establishment of several industrial units and educational institutions for higher education coming up. As the nearby towns of Devgadhbaria and Dohad, located north of Godhra forms a tribal and forest belt, it is also a market place and a small trade center for forest products. Dahod, the birthplace of Mughal emperor Aurangazeb, and Godhra are the twin cities in the state of Gujarat. Godhra is widely known for the riots in 2002 which began with the train burning


A small 16th century pearl fishing town and capital of the Jamthe Jadeja, the Rajput ruler of Nawanagar, Jamnagar was built around the small Ranmal Lake around 1540. The city is today well-known for having the only Ayurvedic university in India and a temple listed in the Guinness Book of Records. A walled city with several gateways, typical of traditional towns, Jamnagar is also famous for pearl fisheries, tie & die fabrics and Bandhini work. It is one of the fastest growing towns in the state of Gujarat.


Kheda also known as Kaira, one of the 25 districts of Gujarat, is located 35 km away from Ahmedabad. Located on the bank of the rivers "Vatrak" and "Shedhi", Kheda is one of the major trading towns of the state bounded by the districts of Sabarkantha on the north, Panchmahals on the east , Ahmedabad on the west and Anand on the south. Dating from the 5th century AD, Kheda, an ancient settlement is believed to have been in existence at the time of 'Mahabharatha' and was known by the name 'Chakravati Nagar'. The reign of the town of Kheda remained with the Babi family from the early 18th century till 1763, and was later taken by the Marathas. In 1803, British took over the control of the district, made it a part of the Bombay Presidency of British India and developed a military garrison there until 1830. The district of Kheda has great historical significance as it was the breeding ground of India's national struggle against the British rule. It is at this place that Gandhiji started the Satyagraha struggle against oppressive taxation by the British. The town has a Jain Temple with superb carvings, a church consecrated in 1822 by Bishop Herber, and an early 19th Century Town hall.


Rajkot is located on the banks of the Aji river in the west Indian state of Gujarat. Founded by Vibhoji AjojiJadeja in 1612, it was once the capital of the princely state of Saurashtra and the seat of the erstwhile Jadeja clan. The city has a rich cultural history and is also associated with India's freedom struggle. It is the place where Mahatma Gandhi spent the early years of his life. The city was a former British government headquarters and still has a number of massive structures and educational institutions which remind one of the city's colonial past. It is famous for silver, textiles and furniture, Bandhani sarees, bead work,patch work, silk embroidery, jewellery and a National weaving institute which promotes traditional weaves. The city is also a religious centre and is a must visit for those interested in colonial history and architecture.


The second largest city in Gujarat and the ninth largest city in India, Surat is known for its textile and diamond business. This administrative headquarters of Surat district is located on the banks of Tapti river. The city narrates the history of thousands of years, from the period of Mahabharatha to the period even after the independence of the country. It was one of western India's major ports and trading towns in the 17th and 18th centuries and the first European settlement in India. Surat is renowned for its silk weaves like the Tanchoi and Gajee sarees and Kinkhab brocades sometimes woven with gold and silver threads. The first warehouses was established in Surat by the East India Company in the year 1612. It is famous for its jewellery market and diamond cutting as well as ivory and wood inlay work. 92% of world's diamonds are cut and polished from this city. Surat is also known for its culture and cuisines.


The eighteenth largest and one of the cosmopolitan cities of India, Vadodara alias Baroda is located on the banks of Vishwamitri River. This garden city is the industrial capital and the third most populated town of Gujarat and also the administrative headquarters of Vadodara District. Due to its rich cultural traditions, the district is referred to as Sanskari Nagari. With many museums and art galleries, this upcoming hub of industries and IT is a favorite spot of tourists. Vadodara was once called Chandravati, after its ruler Raja Chandan, then Virakshetra or Viravati, the abode of the brave and then Vadpatra because of the abundance of banyan trees on the banks of the Vishwamitri. From Vadpatra it derived its present name.

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