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Radiant Gujarat - The Land of Legends

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Uploaded on Feb 20, 2010

Gujarat is the westernmost state in India and its capital is Gandhinagar. Its largest city is Ahmedabad. Gujarat is home to the Gujarati speaking people of India. The state encompasses major sites of the Indus Valley Civilization such as Lothal and Dholavira. Gujarat played an important role in the economic history of India throughout the history of India. It is home to major ports in India's ancient and modern history, leading it to become one of the main trade and commerce center of India. Lothal, one of the world's first ports, is located in Gujarat. Also, Mahatma Gandhi, India's father of the nation, was Gujarati and led the Indian Independence Movement against the British, as was Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the father of Pakistan. Today also, Gujarat has one of the fastest growing economies in India

Modern-day Gujarat is derived from Gujjar (Gujjar Rāshtra), which means Gujjar nation. The origins of the Gujjars are uncertain. The Gujjar clan appeared in northern India about the time of the Huna invasions of northern India. Some scholars, such as V. A. Smith, believed that the Gujjars were foreign immigrants, possibly a branch of Hephthalites ("White Huns"), however others, such as K.M.Munshi, stated them as Indian. The name of the tribe was Sanskritized to "Gurjara"

Historically, the present-day state of Gujarat has been one of the main centers of the Indus Valley Civilization. It contains major ancient metropolitan cities from the Indus Valley such as Lothal, Dholavira, and Gola Dhoro. The ancient city of Lothal is the site of the India's first port. Also, Dholavira, the ancient city, is one of the largest and most prominent archaeological sites in India, belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization. The most recent discovery was Gola Dhoro. All together, about 50 Indus Valley settlement ruins were discovered in Gujarat.

The ancient history of Gujarat was enriched by their commercial activities. There is a clear historical evidence of trade and commerce ties with Sumer in the Persian Gulf during the time period of 1000 to 750 BC. Later Gujarat was settled by the Aryans.
There was a succession of Hindu kingdoms including the era of the Gupta dynasty. Afterwards the region was ruled by the Maitrakas and then the‎ Solankis. The 9th century history of Gujarat saw the emergence of the Muslims in the political arena of the state. The first Muslim conqueror was Mahmud of Ghazna whose conquest of Somnath effectively ended the rule of the Solankis

Leaders like Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Morarji Desai, K.M. Munshi, Narhari Parikh, Mahadev Desai, Mohanlal Pandya, Bhulabhai Desai and Ravi Shankar Vyas all hailed from Gujarat. As well, Mohammed Ali Jinnah's, Pakistan's first Governor-General, father was from an area which later became Gujarat. Gujarat was also the site of some of the most popular revolts, including the Satyagrahas in Kheda, Bardoli, Borsad and the Salt Satyagraha

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