Saturday, March 2, 2024

Gujarat History


Rani Ki Vav stepwell at Patan-Solanki PeriodGujarat forms an area that housed the regions of the Indus Valley civilization and Harappan sites. Around 50 Harappan sites are found in Gujarat. Lothal, Rangpur, Amri, Lakhabaval, Rozdi etc. are some of these sites. This makes it an important territory that reveals the history of India. The Dravidian tribes were said to be the original inhabitants of this region. Even before the Aryan occupation of Gujarat it is said to have had trade contracts with Sumer, the Persian Gulf in about 1000-750BC. 

Rock edicts in the Girnar hills indicate that Ashoka extended his domain into Gujarat. It was during the Mauryan rule that this region witnessed the influence of Buddhism. The Mauryans also promoted trade and helped in spread of its culture. In about 150BC the Bactarian Greeks under Meander is said to have instilled their rule. Till 40AD they are said to have had trade contracts with Rome. From  about AD130-390 the Scythians ruled it. After 300AD the Guptas established their reign which lasted till 460AD. The Vallabhi established their sway in between (500-700AD). After the death of Harshvardhana, the Gujjars controlled it till 746AD. The Solankis ruled over Gujarat till 1143. Gujarat attained its greatest territorial extend under the Solanki dynasty, from the 9th century. Muhammud of Ghazni attacked Somnath in Gujarat leading to the downfall of the Solankis. The conquest of Ala-ud-din Khilji king of Delhi in 1288 also influenced the conditions in Gujarat. The Sultans of Delhi had their sway over Gujarat from 1298-1392AD. Ahmad Shah I, the first independent Muslim ruler of Gujarat founded Ahmadabad in 1411. Then the Mughals ruled for about 2 centuries till the Marathas terminated their rule in the mid 18th century. It was during the18th century that Gujarat was divided among number of chiefs. 

From 1803-1827 the British set up their administration. The British East India companies first head quarters in India was at Surat. It was later moved to Bombay. Finally in May1,1960, the state of Gujarat was formed from the north and west portions of Bombay state, the remainder being renamed the state of Maharashtra.