History of Gujarat – Modern and British Rule

Home » History of Gujarat – Modern and British Rule

Gujarat is a well-known destination not only for travel but also for making India reach its heights of industrialization. However, this westernmost state that we know today dates back to the time when human civilization was developing. Being located on the coast it has served as a place where human life developed during the stone ages. Ever since the beginning of human development people have been connected to Gujarat through trading routes and with time it multiplied into one of the fastest-growing metropolitans of India.

Gujarat has been home to a number of various tribes ever since the 1st century AD. Various excavations and historical sites have shown that the region of Gujarat has been inhabited ever since 3,000 to 1,500 BC. The excavation sites in Gujarat are over 50 which clearly indicates that this place has always been an attraction for travelers and explorers from faraway lands as well.

But how did it happen? Here is everything you need to know about this land of spirituality, relaxation and good vibes.

History of Gujarat:

The known Gujaratis history can be traced back to the Mauryan dynasty whose rule was extended up to the 3rd century BCE. This is clear through the Ashokan edicts and rock carvings present on the Girnar hills. Once this Mauryan Empire was fallen, the entire Gujaratis land came under the rule of the Shakas during 130-390 CE and the greatest known Shaka Ruler, Mahakshatrapa Rudradaman, established his control over the whole region of Saurashtra and Kutch along with other such neighboring provinces and areas that are located close to Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Ever since the late 4th and 5th century Gujarat came under the rule of the Gupta Dynasty and was then later on succeeded by the Maitraka Dynasty. The capital of Gupta Rule, Vallabhipur, Quickly became a very well renowned name in the fields of Learnings about Buddhism, Vedic and Jainism. Then the following 8th and 9th centuries were succeeded by the rule of the Pratiharas and Gurjars. Finally, after their rule, the Solanki Dynasty established their stronghold over Gujarat. Not just this, they even extended their border to the highest limits. They are also credited with making remarkable progress in the fields of economy and culture as well.

Gujarat eventually came under the Muslim rule by 1299 after Ala Al-Din Khilji defeated the Solanki Ruler. Ahmedabad was then founded in the year 1411 by Ahmed Shah which was also the 1st independent sultan of Gujarat. By the end and the final half of 16th century Gujarat was ruled over by the Mughals whose reign lasted till mid-18th century after which they were replaced by the British.

History of Gujarat under British Rule:

It was the year 1818 when Gujarat had come under the rule of the British regime or the British East India Company. Post the mutiny that had taken place in the year 1857-58 the entire land of Gujarat became a part of the British province that consisted of an area of 10,000 sq. miles along with numerous native states. With India gaining independence in the year 1947 the Gujarati province became a crucial part of the state of Bombay with the province being enlarged and also including the Saurashtra and Kutch region. Finally on 1st may 1960 the Bombay state was split up into what is currently known as Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Way before the annexation of Gujarat by the East India Company, the Dutch, French, English and the Portuguese had already established their bases on the coastal region of Gujarat since 1600s. Technically speaking Portugal was the very first European power to have landed in Gujarat who had, later on, acquired a number of different enclaves as well located on the coastal areas of Gujarat, after the battle of Diu and post the signing of the treaty of Bassein. These certain enclaves were completely administered by the Portuguese powers for over 450 years and it was also later on included within the Indian republic after a military conquest by India in the year 1961.

Gujarat has been one of the most well-known for its contributions in the freedom struggle for India. They have had the highest number of enthusiastic participants for Indian independence. Some of the most prominent names for pushing the British out of India and the motherland towards freedom include – father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Morarji Desai, Mahadev Desai, Ravi Shankar Vyas, etc. Some of the most iconic movements which had completely shook the foundations of the British roots in India and garnered attention on an international level like Satyagrahas and civil disobedience movement among a range of others.

Modern History of Gujarat:

Gujarat was shaken by a devastating earthquake in the year 2001 which claimed over 20,000 lives and 40 million families were severely affected. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel then had to resign as the chief minister due to his declining health conditions. In the year 2002, the 3 days riot of Gujarat which was a result of the inter-communal violence amongst the communities of Hindus and Muslims affected thousands of people as well. Then in the latter half of the year of 2002, the Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar was also attacked the same year when Narendra Modi was elected as the chief minister of Gujarat. In the years of 2005 and 2006, the entire Gujarati landscape was severely affected due to the flooding.

The years 2007 and 2012 BJP led by Narendra Modi has regained power during the general assembly Elections. Succeeding him was Anandiben Patel – the 1st woman chief minister of Gujarat in the year 2014, as Narendra Modi had left his position as CM to contest the general Indian elections which he, later on, went on to win. After Morarji Desai, Narendra Modi went on to become the 2nd prime minister of India who was of Gujarati descent. Currently, Gujarat stands as a powerful industrialized power which has been playing a significant role in the prosperity of India.