Gujarat At A Glance
Situated on the West Coast of India, the state of Gujarat has a lively character to it, which has helped to enrich the Indian canvas of art, architecture, culture, music, painting, folk and other fine arts. It is known for a rich heritage of handicrafts, customs and traditions, fairs and festivals and an amazing variety of wildlife. This land is also famous for personalities like Mahatama Gandhi - the father of the nation, Sardar Patel - the iron man of India and social reformers like Swami Dayanand Saraswati.
With a rich coastline extending to 1,600 kms, which accounts for over one third of Indian coastline, Gujarat traded with western countries since the days of Greeks and Romans and is said to have an ancient Indian port at Lothal which had maritime connections with Egypt and Mesopotamia. Earlier ruled by the Hindu Rajput kings and then the Mughal emperors, Gujarat came under British rule as part of the Bombay presidency. Today, with a large Jain population and a strong influence of Buddhist culture since Ashoka's time, Gujarat boasts of a secular culture, which accounts for its glory and character.