Gujarat has a long historical and
cultural tradition dating back to the days of
the Indus valley civilization established by relics found at Lothal.
Situated in the western part of the Indian sub-continent, Gujarat derives its name from the "Gurjars" who passed through Punjab and settled in some parts of Western India.
According to the Hindu epics, Lord Krishna and his elder brother Balarama, evacuated Mathura and established their kingdom Kushasthali, now known as Dwarka and started what is known as the Yadava dynasty. Dwarka subsequently became one of the four seats (mathas) set up by Adi Shankaracharya. The Parsees when they Led from Iran in the eighth century first landed at Sanjan on the shores of Gujarat with the holy flame, which still burns in Udwada in Valsad. The Muslim influence left its lasting imprints on the local art and architecture and it came to be known as the Indo-Saracenic style.
Among the earliest Europeans in Gujarat were the Portuguese who settled in Diu, a small island off the southern coast of Saurashtra. After that came the British who set up warehouses in Surat in 1612.
Gujarat was a part of the erstwhile Mumbai state during the British Rule. However, in 1960, the 'Gujarati' population decided to secede from that union, which resulted in the formation of two new states, namely Gujarat and Maharashtra. The new State of Gujarat came into existence on May 01, 1960.
Gujarat is the birthplace of many leaders who played an important role in shaping modern India. Prominent among them are Shri Dadabhai Navroji, the grand old man of India's independence struggle, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the architect of a united India and Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the Nation. These men carried the torch of national freedom and integration infusing the qualities of tolerance, brotherhood, non-violence and patriotism amongst Indians.
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