Gujarat Overview

Gujarat - known as 'The Jewel of West India' shares its borders with Pakistan in the North, Rajasthan in the Northeast, Madhya Pradesh in the Southeast, Maharashtra in South and the enormous Arabian Sea in the West. It has the longest coastline in India and thus has immense economic value. Gandhinagar is the state capital, but major economy comes from Ahmadabad and Surat. Gujarat derives its name from Gujjaratta, which means land of Gujjars (supposedly a subtribe of Huns) who migrated in during 5th century AD. The capital is Gandhinagar that is located on the outskirts of the north-central of Ahmadabad (former capital) and is the biggest city in the state, and is one the most important centres for textiles in India. Since Gujarat shares its borders with many states, it is one of the most industrialised state in India. Gujrat also produces minerals like bauxite, clay, dolomite, agate, kaolin, lignite, etc. The Gulf of Kambhat, till date, remains the largest site for the extraction of crude oil and petroleum. Gujarat, a state reflecting Jain and Buddhist influences, is a vegetarian gourmand's dream come true. Simple and wholesome Gujarati food truly reflects the heart of the state. The goodness of millet, yogurt, coconut, groundnut, buttermilk, sesame seeds and jaggery are a source of protein in the Gujrati diet. Gujarat is blessed with the beautiful beaches, holy shrines, temples, architectural and archaeological splendours, hill stations and wildlife sanctuary make Gujarat the state of many adventures, fascination, pious, serenity and economically strong. Gujarat is famous for its terra-cot, especially votive terra-cot figurines. Crafts in Gujarat is a way of life, be it a weaver, craftsmen, metalworker or a woman who does embroidery or mirrorwork. These small-scale handiwork find their way into various cities to fetch income and reputation. Navrati is celebrated for 10 days preceding the festival of Dusshera which usually falls in October. Gujarat is known for its rich tradition of song, dance and drama. Ras, Garba and Bhavai are the original folk dance forms of the state. Dandiya Ras is performed or played during the Navratri festival, which is joined by both men and women. The Ras dance is usually performed to depict the childhood antics of Lord Krishna in Gokul and Vrindavan.

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