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Destinations in Gujarat
Situated on the west coast
of India between 20-6' N to 24-42' N north latitude and 68-10'E to
74-28'E east longitude, Gujarat is one of India's most industrialized
states in western India. Gujarat has geographical area of 196,024 sq
km and accounts for 6.19 percent of the total area of the country. It
is bounded by the Arabian Sea in the West, by the States of Rajasthan
in the North and North-East, by Madhya Pradesh in the East and by Maharashtra in the South and South East. The State has an
international boundary and has a common border with the Pakistan at
the north-western fringe. The two deserts, one north of Kachchh and
the other between Kachchh and the mainland Gujarat are saline wastes.
Gujarat has the 'Tapti' river flowing through its southeastern part.
This river meets the Arabian Sea at Surat. Higher up, is the 'Narmada'
River, which carries large quantities of alluvium down from Madhya
Pradesh. It too, like the Tapti flows into the Gulf of Cambay (Khambhat).
The 'Sabarmati' river, flowing past Ahmedabad and the 'Mahi' river,
both empty out into the gulf of Khambhat. Gujarat state came into
existence as a separate State on 1st May 1960, when the ‘Bombay’ State
was divided into Maharashtra and Gujarat.. The state capital is
Gandhinagar. Gujarat State at present comprises of 25 districts,
sub-divided into 226 talukas, having 18618 villages and 242 towns. The
State of Gujarat, located on the West Coast of India, has 1600 km.
long coastline, representing a third of the nation's water front. The
State has 40 minor and intermediate ports geographically dispersed
across South Gujarat (13 ports), Saurashtra (23 ports) and Kachchh
region (4 ports). One Major port of Kandla, is under the
administrative control of the Central Government. The number of
commercial bank offices in the State was 3661 at the end of March,
2003. It is one of India's wealthiest states, supporting modern
industrial complexes as well as thriving village handicrafts. It is a
flourishing state and even its villages have hidden talents in
artisanship. Though Gujarat
has relatively little forest cover left (9.61% forest cover), it still
supports more than 40 species of animals-including the rare Asiatic
Lion, wild ass and blackbuck. A devastating earthquake hit parts of
Gujarat on January 26, 2001 and has caused considerable loss of life
and property. A few of the cities have been been reduced to rubble,
especially in the Kachchh region. Quite a few monuments have also
suffered damage. Gujrat, the home state of Mahatma Gandhi, is rich in
crafts, history and natural beauty. With just 5 per cent of the
India’s total population and 6 per cent of geographical area, Gujarat
contributes to 16 per cent of the country’s total investment, 10 per
cent of expenditure, 16 per cent of exports and 30 per cent of stock
market capitalization. The state’s annual growth rate has been 10 to 2
per cent for the last five years.
The population was 5.06 crores at the 2001 census, giving it an
average density of 238 persons per sq km. In 2001, 69.97 percent
(excluding children in the age group 0-6 years) of the population was
literate. About 37.67 per cent population of Gujarat resides in urban
areas (Excluding earthquake affected areas). Out of the total
population of 483.87 lakh in the state (excluding the earthquake
affected areas), 203.7 lakh (42.10 per cent) were workers and 280.2
lakh (57.90 per cent) were non-workers. The geographic diversity and
strategic location has made Gujarat home to an incredible diversity of
people. People have developed lifestyles to suit their surroundings.
Gujarat is a melting pot of several civilizations resulting in a
vibrant culture and a rich heritage. Gujarat is home to several
architectural marvels, witnesses of its glorious history and pilgrim
centres for many faiths. It is also the land of several mythological &
historical figures like the legendary Krishna and Mahatma Gandhi the
apostle of non-violence. Inspite of the regional cultural diversities,
there is an inherent unity of being a part of the state of Gujarat. As
Gujrat is a heavily industrialized state of India, it invites lots of
outsider residents mostly from North India, Bihar,and South India.
Thousands of non - Gujrati workers live in Gujrat. Gujarati people are
very well known for their travelling nature.The economic development
of a place depends not only on the natural resources of the place but
also on the number and type of people who live there. This state has
people with natural artistic talents. You can find workers in the
villages who are master artisans. The men in Gujarat (mostly rural)
wear turbans, pleated jackets which have long sleeves and high waists
; and jodhpurs which are trousers with long tight drainpipe legs and
baggy bottoms or seats. Men as well as women of Gujarat are fond of
jewellery and even the hawkers and people below the poverty line love
to buy gold if they can. The women too wear colorful 'Ghagharas' and ‘Cholis’,
which are backless blouses and are colorfully embroidered. The cholis
are called by different names but the most common is 'Kanjeri'.
Gujarat has an arid and desert type of climate and yet it is one of
India’s' most culturally sound states. It is the will and aspirations
of the people of Gujarat which makes it an economically rich place.
Human skill has turned this state into a place of valuable resources.
Gujarat has two official languages: Gujarati, which is derived from
Sanskrit, and Hindi. Gujarat has a strong Jain Community influence
over it. The Jains are hard working, energetic, well placed people.