Infobox Indian Jurisdiction
latd = 21.76|longd= 72.15
leader_name= Mrs. Rina Shah
altitude= 24
population_as_of = 2001 | population_total = 510974 | population_density = 9586
area_magnitude= ?
area_telephone= 0278
vehicle_code_range= GJ 04
footnotes = |

Bhavnagar ( _gu. ભાવનગર, _hi. भावनगर, IPAudio|Bhavnagar.ogg|Bhāvnagar) is a city in the Indian state of Gujarat. It was founded in 1723 AD by Bhavsinhji Gohil (1703-64 AD) and was named after its founder and ruler. It was capital of Bhavnagar State which was the first princely state to merge with the democratic Indian Union in 1948.

It is currently the administrative headquarters of the Bhavnagar District. It is the sixth-largest city of Gujarat, and the third-largest city in the Saurashtra region. Bhavnagar is also known as the cultural capital of Saurashtra.


Early history

The Gohil Rajputs of the Surya Vanshi clan, facing severe competition in Marwar, moved down to the Gujarat coast around AD 1260 and established three capitals - Sejakpur, Umrala and Sihor (then known as Sirohi). cite web
title=History of Bhavnagar city

In 1822-1823, Sihor was raided by Khanthaji Kadani and Pilaji Gaekwad, but they were repulse by Bhanvsinhji Gohil. After great losses in the battle, he realized the weakness in location of Sihor. In 1823, he established a new capital near Vadva village, 20 km away from Sihor, and named it Bhavnagar. It was a carefully chosen strategic location having potential of maritime trade. Naturally, Bhavnagar became the capital of Bhavnagar State.cite book
title=A History of Gujarat from the Earliest Period to the Present Time
publisher=United Print and General Agency

The old town of Bhavnagar was a fortified town with gates leading to other important towns of the region. Bhavnagar remained a major port, for almost two centuries, trading commodities with Africa, Mozambique, Zanzibar, Singapore and the Persian Gulf.

State of Bhavnagar

. To protect maritime trade of Bhavnagar, Bhavsinhji entered into agreement with them in 1739 ADcite book
title=Gazetteer Vol. VIII - Kathiawar, 1884
publisher=Govt. Central Press, Bombay Presidency
] , giving 1.25% of revenues generated by Bhavnagar port. When the English took over Surat in 1856 AD, Bhavsinhji entered into similar terms with them.

During his period, Bhavnagar rose from a small chieftainship to a considerably important state, with large addition of territories to the state as well as from maritime trade. This tradition was continued by successor of the founder who encouraged trade in similar manners.

Vakhatsinhji Gohil, grandson of Bhavsinhji Gohil, expanded the territory after taking possession of localities belonging to Kolis and Kathis. Also, he obtained Rajula from the Navab Saheb Ahmad Khan. Sultans of Gujarat had given the Ghogha Taluka to Babi family. It fell to Peshwa when Ahmedabad was conquered by the Marathas in 1757 AD. After falling under various hands (Momin Khan, Sher Zaman Khan), it was finally merged into Bhavnagar state by Vakhatsinji Gohil. In 1793 AD, Vakhatsinhji took over Chital, and also conquered forts of Talaja. Later, Mahuva, Kundla, Trapaj, Umrala and Botad became part of Bhavnagar state.cite book
publisher=Edu. Soc. Press, & Thaker & Co. Ltd.

Bhavnagar remained the main port of the state. Other important ports were Mahuva and Gogha. It prospered well among other states of the region. During late 17th century, it became the first state in India to have built its railway on its own as quoted by Sir W. Hunter, in his publication "Imperial Gazetteer".cite book
title=Poverty and Un-British Rule in India
publisher=S. Sonnenschein
] On one occasion, Mr. Peile, a Political Agent during that time, had described the state in following manner : "With flourishing finances and much good work in progress. Of financial matters I need say little ; you have no debts, and your treasury is full."

Between the years 1870-78 Bhavnagar was under a joint administration. This period produced some notable reforms. The two important people who were responsible for these reforms were Mr. E. H. Percival and Sri Gaurishankar Oza of Bhavnagar.

These reforms were in the areas of administration, revenue collection and judiciaries. Post and telegraph services along with railways were introduced and augmented. The port was also modernized and a new economic policy was introduced.

These reforms and changes in the system caused John Houston to say ""Bhavnagar is the most important and the most advanced of the native states of Kathiawar. From a very early date it became friendly with the British authorities.It was the pioneer of civilization and administrative activity in the peninsula and has ever set an example to the neighboring chiefs in the spread of education, in the prosecution of public works, in the development of commerce and in adoption of measures generally conducive to the welfare of its subjects." cite web
title =The Urban Structure Of Bhavnagar

Region of Bhavnagar state was also known as "Gohilwad".

Merger with the Indian Union in 1947

Till the independence of India, Bhavnagar was an independent state ruled by the Gohil Rajput clan.

In 1947, the Deputy Prime Minister of newly independent Indian Union Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel undertook the ambitious and complex process of political integration of India to unify 565 princely states with the Union of India. The last princely ruler of Bhavnagar Late Sri Krishnakumar Sinhji handed over the administration of his State to the people's representative in 1948, and Bhavnagar became the first state to join the Indian Union. Krishnakumar Sinhji later served as the Governor of Madras Province.

Geography and Climate

climate chart|Bhavnagar
source= [ Weatherbase]


Bhavnagar is a coastal city in the eastern coast of Saurashtra, also known as Kathiawar, located at coord|21.77|N|72.15|E|cite web
publisher=Falling Rain Genomics, Inc.
title=Bhavnagar, India Page
] . It has an average elevation of 24 metres (78 feet). It occupies area of 53.30 km². General slope dips in the northeasterly direction at the apex of Gulf of Khambhat. Small non-perennial river named Kansara Nala passes through outer area of the city.


Bhavnagar has a tropical wet and dry climate, with hot, dry summers from March to mid-June, the wet monsoon season from mid-June to October where the city receives around 550 mm of rain on average. The months from November to February are mild, the average temperature being around 20°C, with low humidity. Due to proximity to the sea, the climate remains a bit humid throughout the year.


The region of Saurashtra is a vital geo-dynamic part of the western continental margin of India, and falls in the seismic zone-III of the Zoning Map of Bureau of Indian Standards. The region as a whole and the area around Bhavnagar in particular has been tectonically unstable.

Between 9th August, 2000 and 15th December, 2000, there was a series of earthquakes in east Saurashtra which started in Bhavnagar. 132 earthquakes of 0.5M to 3.8M were recorded. There were five earthquakes greater than 3M, with maximum magnitude of 3.8. These events were confined to an area which covered southern part of the Bhavnagar city.

According to historical records, an earthquake of magnitude 7 occurred near Bhavnagar in February 1705. Earthquake swarm activity also occurred in and around Paliyad (60 km north of Bhavnagar) during July–August 1938 for about two months, with four earthquakes of magnitude greater than or equal to 5 and maximum magnitude of 6.0.

cite web
title=Earthquake Sequence in and around Bhavnagar

Culture and Arts

Bhavnagar is considered a city of education and culture, and is known as the cultural capital of Saurashtra.cite web
title=Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation
] People of Bhavnagar are considered to be easy-going, and art-loving. The artistes and literary luminaries of Bhavnagar have immensely contributed to the culture of the city.

Gujarati is the language of normal life, although Hindi is commonly understood. Knowledge of English is limited to the more educated population of the city.

Bhavnagar has produced many poets and writers of Gujarati literature. Just to name few;

*Narsinh Mehta - a poet-saint, an exponent of Hindu devotional religious poetry, author of the famous Bhajan 'Vaishnav Jan To', born in the village of Talaja in Bhavnagar district

*Ganga sati - a medieval Gujarati saint and poet who wrote many "bhajan"s on devotional themes, hailed from Samadhiyala village of Bhavnagar district

*Jhaverchand Meghani - one of the greatest Gujarati poets and writers of Gujarati folk literature, worked as a teacher in Bhavnagar and produced most of his literary works while living in Bhavnagar

[Prahlad Parekh] and [Krishnalal Shridharani] Two notable poets.

[Kismat Qureshi] , [Nazir Dekhaiya] , [Barkat ViraNi] ..writer of Gazals.

*Kavi Kant - well known poet, served as the royal poet of Bhavnagar, born in Chavand village of Bhavnagar district

*Prajaram Raval - poet, born in Bhavnagar, worked as principal of Ayurvedic college of Bhavnagar

*Dula Kag - renowned poet, social reformer and freedom fighter, born in Mahuva town of Bhavnagar district

*Kalaguru Ravishankar Raval- a painter, art teacher, art critic, journalist and essayist, born in Bhavnagar.

*Vinod Joshi - poet, professor in Bhavnagar University, Head of Dept. of Gujarati language

The famous Gujarati novel "Saraswatichandra" by Govardhanram Tripathi was based on locations of Bhavnagar and Sihor. A Few chaptars were written during his stay in Bhavnagar.

[Somalal Shah ] painter did all his active work in Bhavnagar.

[Kishor Parekh] Internationally acclaimed Photographer was born in Bhavnagar.

Bhavnagar has rich tradition of having Educationist like [GijubhaiBadheka] [Nanabahi bahtt] [Mulshankar mo. bhatt]

City Planning and Architecture

The town planning schemes were designed and implemented under the guidance of progressive rulers of Bhavnagar. During the reign of Sir Takhtsinhji, the British State Engineer Proctor Sims supervised the construction of Barton Library, High Court, Alfred High School and Sir Takhtsinhji Hospital.

Takhteshwar Temple (1893) is located on a hill, on a high plinth, offering a commanding view of Bhavnagar. The high "shikhara" rising above the pillared rectangular "mandapa" makes it an important landmark.

Barton Library (1895) is a beautiful two storeyed building, appropriately designed for a road junction. It has two wings and a central tower, constructed in ashlar stone masonry, with Gothic arch windows and a sloping roof with Mangalore tiles. It is one of the oldest libraries of Gujarat and also houses a museum.

Gangajalia (1893) is a temple dedicated to Ganga-devi, with a chhatri, pavilion and bridge all in white marble. It is located in the middle of a former tank. It was designed by Sir John Griffith, principal of Sir J J School of Arts, Bombay.

Nilambag Palace, now a heritage hotel, is a magnificent building set amidst a huge estate of 10 acres. It was designed by a German architect, as a royal residence in 1859. It combines elements of Indian architecture with a modern outlook.

Town Hall (1932) was formerly a Darbar Hall, where the coronation of Sir Krishnakumarsinhji took place. It is an imposing structure in the colonial style, set in a well laid out garden.

Modern Bhavnagar comprises of Takhteshvar Plots, Krishnanagar, Sardarnagar and surrounding area. During 1935-1937, Krishnanagar area was planned and developed by late Shri Virendrabhai C. Mehta, the official town planner for the State of Bhavnagar. In 1961, he extended his Krishanagar plan towards Sardarnagar while he planned Congress Adhiveshan. In 1975, he again got involved in planning of Bhavnagar and made a master plan of Bhavnagar.

The city of Bhavnagar was one of the earliest to have an underground drainage in the whole of Gujarat.cite book
title=Gujarat State Gazetteers, 1969
publisher=Directorate of Govt. Print., Stationery and Publications, Gujarat State

Bhavnagar was among the first cities in Gujarat to have Water Filtration Plant.Fact|date=February 2007


Bhavnagar is known for pioneering and laudable efforts in the fields of rural child as well as liberal women's education.

Nanbhai Bhatt, Gijubhai Badheka and Harbhai Trivedi were the trinity who experimented and sew new trends in rural and liberal child education. Nanbhai's Gram Dakshinamutri and Lokbharati have prepared three generations of brilliant workers and leaders engaged in reshaping village India. Gijubhai's Dakshinamurti became the cradle of new liberal children's education and charted a new direction in the field. Harbhai Trivedi pioneered a similarly new trend in secondary education and his Home School became a model for contemporary educators in Western India.

Liberal women's education was born in Bhavnagar through the efforts of another illustrious educator-social reformer Amrutlal Dani. What has become a vibrant cluster of women's schools and colleges today is due to his devoted and pioneer work.

Bhavnagar's Samaldas College is the oldest institution of higher education in the region. Mahatma Gandhi studied here in 1884 AD. Bhavnagar University is well known in the region having nearly 23,000 students, number of graduate colleges, 17 post graduate departments including MBA, MCA, MSc, engineering, and medical college.

Some of the famous educational institutes are:(This is not a list of all schools in Bhavnagar)
* Bhogilal Maganlal Commerce High School
* Ramjibhai Kamani Ghar Shala (AKA the Home School)
* Shree Dakshinamurti Vinay Mandir
* Shantilal Shah High School (AKA Alfred High School)
* Sanatan Dharma Vividhlakshi High School
* Vishuddhanand Vidhya Mandir

Some famous institutions for higher education:
* Bhavnagar University
* Sir Prabhashankar Pattani Institute of Science
* Shamaldas Arts College
* Shantilal Shah Engineering College
* Bhavsinhji Polytechnic Institute (BPTI)


Bhavnagar is an important center for the diamond cutting and polishing industry in Gujarat as well as India. Thousands of skilled diamond-polishing workers are employed in diamond-cutting and polishing firms,whose subsidiary offices involved in cities like Surat, Mumbai, and Antwerp. Bhavnagar’s commercial importance is enhanced by its proximity with the Gulf of Cambay and the Arabian Sea. Alang ship breaking yard is the biggest in the world, recycling about 50% of the salvaged ships of the world. This has also helped developing supporting industries, such as Oxygen bottling plants, re-rolling mills and induction furnaces. The prominent industries located in Bhavnagar are Alcock Ashdown (Government of Gujarat Undertaking), Tamboli Castings Limited., Excel, SteelCast Bhavnagar, Investment & Precision Castings etc. Ruvapari Road and Nari Road are areas where most industries are clustered.

The city is a prominent trading post for cotton products.


Main Crops:
*Groundnut, onion, cotton, and bajra.
*Guavas and pomegranates. Local red colored variety is especially well known.


*Exports of cotton, ship machinery and dehydrated onions.
*Diamond cutting, polishing, marketing, Diamond jewellery manufacturing.
*Plasting ropes, yarns, twines Manufacturing.
*Re-rolling mills due to ship-breaking yard at Alang.
*Other large scale manufacturing industries like Fertilizer, Soda-Ash, Steel-Casting etc.


As of 2001 India census [GR|India] , Bhavnagar had a population of 510,958. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Bhavnagar has an average literacy rate of 72%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with male literacy of 77% and female literacy of 66%. 13% of the population is under 6 years of age.


The city offers vibrant shades of traditional Gujarati culture to the traveler. Bhavnagar is also a suitable stopover for tourists who are venturing to the Jain temples at Palitana on the Shatrunjaya Hills, Sihor and the Blackbuck National Park, Velavadar - the home of the famous Indian Blackbuck.


Bhavnagar is well connected to other major cities of Gujarat such as Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Surat and more by road, with bus services operated by state-owned transport corporation (GSRTC) as well as private operators.

The city is also connected to Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Surat and Vadodara and some major cities of Saurashtra by rail road.

It was one of the first cities in Gujarat to have an airport. It is connected to Mumbai by air and railway. Daily flights are operated by Jet Airways and Air Deccan from Bhavnagar airport.

Intracity bus service is operated by VITCOS. Private auto-rikshaw is other mode of transport within the city and nearby villages.

Points of Interest

* Takhteshwar Temple
* Nilambag Palace
* Seashore at Ghogha (About 22 km. from Bhavangar)
* Victoria Park - It covers an area of about 500 acres(2 km²) with diverse flora and fauna. This park is a paradise for bird watchers and nature lovers.
* Nava Bandar (New Port)
* Barton Library
* Darbargadh
* Ganga Deri (Ganga Jalia Talav)
* Gaurishankar Lake (Bor Talav) - named after a very able 19th century minister of the king, is a reservoir originally planned for water supply to the town. It is a popular picnic spot where one can watch a setting sun over lake and enjoy a stroll on the parapet wall of the lake.
* Alang Ship Breaking Yard (About 50 km from Bhavangar on way of Talaja)
* Gandhi Smriti - a memorial, with a library of Gandhian books and photographs about the life of Mahatma Gandhi. It also has a fine collection of art objects representing the culture of the Saurashtra region.
* Aksharwadi (Saminarayan Temple)
* Ghogha Beach (19 km away from Bhavnagar, a favorite outing spot around.)
* Piram Bet (About 20 km away from Ghogha Beach, treasures fossils and old caves)


Bhavnagar had trade links with Southeast Asia, Africa, Arabia and ports of Red sea since early 18th century. The original port (coord|21|48|N|72|09|E|) built by the state of Bhavnagar was very important part of the commerce. It also hosted a lighted becon since 1860. This port was later modernized in 1930 under the supervision of J. Johnston, then Port Officer of Bhavnagar state. Wharfs, warehouses and transportation by rail systems were added. But heavy silting affected the old port, and a new port, 8 km south of the original port, was built and was operational in 1950s. This port too had a lighthouse, which was damaged in the 2001 earthquake.cite web
title=Bhavnagar Old Port Lighthouse

Bhavnagar lockgate, built in 1963, is one of the oldest in the state, and is very useful to keep ships afloat during low tides.

ister city

Bhavnagar is twinned with:

Other details

The Central Salt and Marine Chemical Research Institute (CSMCRI) [] is located in Bhavnagar. It is a well-known laboratory of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.

Bhavnagar state is the first state that established major rail road network and trains in Saurashtra, in 2nd half of the nineteenth century, by the Great King Sir Takhtasinhji Gohil. Fact|date=February 2007

The city due to its economy, has noteworthy modern day architectural contributions to the residential bungalows that are prominent and in many a number in the city. Over the years, these will go down in history as well.

Bhavnagri Ganthia is very famous farsan.


External links

* Government/Administration: [ Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation] , [ Collectorate]
* History: [ Gohil Dynasty] , [ Historical Vignettes]
* Photos and videos: [ Bird's Eye View of the city] , [ Some old pictures/paintings of the city] [ Bhavnagar Ship Scrap Market, video 9:48 min]
* Other Information: [ Information]

* Business:: [ Tamboli Castings Limited.]

* Educational Institutes:: [ Bhavnagar University] : [ R. K. Home school (Ghar shala)] : [ Shree Dakshinamurti] : [ Shantilal Shah Engineering College, Sidsar] : [ Shree Swaminarayan College of Computer Science]


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