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  Gujarat gets its name from "Gujjar Rashtra", the land of the Gujjars, a migrant tribe who came to India in the wake of the invading Huns in the 5th century. The history of Gujarat dates back to 2000 BC. It is also believed that Lord Krishna left Mathura to settle on the west coast of Saurashtra at Dwarka.
The state saw various kingdoms like Mauryas, Guptas, Pratiharas etc, but it was under the regime of Chalukyas (Solanki) Gujarat witnesses progress and prosperity. Inspite of the plundering of Mahmud of Ghazni, the Chalukyan kings were able to maintain general prosperity and well being of the state. After this glorious respite, Gujarat faced troubled times under the Muslims, Marathas and the British rules.
  

 

The Present state of Gujarat was formed in 1st May 1960, as a result of Bombay Reorganization act, 1960. The state is bounded by the Arabian Sea on the west, Pakistan and Rajasthan in the north and north-east respectively, Madhya Pradesh in the south east and Maharashtra in south.

The state has witnessed all-round progress in every field. It has been recognized as one of the leading industrialized states in the country. There are 1500 large and medium, 1,84,119 small scale industrial units registered as on March 1996. The principal industries are textiles, chemicals, and petro-chemicals complex of IPCL and Gujarat Oil refinery located near Vadodara. Gujarat is also the main producer of tobacco, cotton and groundnut in the country.

  

 

The diverse ethnic groups represented in the Gujarati population may be broadly categorized as Indic (i.e., northern-derived) or Dravidian (southern-derived). The former include the Nagar Brahman, Bhatia, Bhadela, Rabari, and Mina castes (the Parsis, originally from Persia, represent a much later northern influx); among the peoples of southern origin are the Bhangi, Koli, Dubla, Naikda, and Macchi-Kharwa tribes. The rest of the population, including the aboriginal Bhil tribe, exhibit mixed characteristics.

Members of the Scheduled (formerly "untouchable") Castes and of the aboriginal tribes form nearly one-fifth of the state's population. There is one entirely tribal district of Dangs. Ahmadabad district has the highest proportion of Scheduled Castes. Gujarati and Hindi are the official languages of the state. About 70% of the population are Hindus ahead of minorities of Muslims and Jains. About one-third of the population is urban. The most urbanized part of the state is the Ahmadabad-Vadodara (Baroda) industrial belt. Major towns that were once capitals of princely states are Rajkot, Junagadh, Bhavnagar (Bhaunagar), and Jamnagar.

The folklore and folk culture of Gujarat are traced to the mythology of Lord Krishna. Dance forms and festivals in honour Krishna exist, Garba and Bhavai being two examples. Among the most durable and effective of the state's cultural institutions are the trade and craft guilds known as mahajans which often solves disputes, acted as channels of philanthropy, and encouraged the arts. Gujarat's handicrafts are famous the world over.

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