The sixth largest Indian state by area and ninth largest by population, Gujarat is a state known for its rich heritage, vibrant culture and delicious cuisines. Located on the west coast of India, Gujarat shares it borders with Maharashtra and Rajasthan in India and with the Pakistani province of Sindh. Besides being the birth state of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel, this land of lions and legends has many other hidden gems.

So let’s explore and enlighten ourselves about these interesting facts about Gujarat:

1. Ancient History Of Gujarat

Gujarat was an important part of the Indus Valley Civilisation, having many ancient metropolitan cities like Lothal, Dholavira and Gola Dhoro. Chandragupta Maurya and then his grandson Ashoka ruled many states of what is now Gujarat, between 322B.C. and 232 B.C.. Subsequently, many other powerful rulers, including the Mughal emperor Akbar have also reigned in Gujarat.

Map of the Indus Valley Civilization - Unknown Facts about Gujarat

2. First Port Of India

The first sea port in India was established in the city of Lothal. The ancient inhabitants of Gujarat had trading and commercial ties with Egypt, Bahrain and Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) between the period 1000 B.C to 750 B.C.

first port in India Lothal Gujarat Facts

3. Lord Krishna’s Abode – Dwarka

Founded by Lord Krishna, Dwarka is said to have existed more than 10,000 years ago and is believed to be the first capital of Gujarat. Today this coastal city is one of the ‘Char Dhams’ (four religious seats) as per Hindu beliefs. Badrinath, Puri and Rameshwaram are the other three. The Dwarkadish temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna was originally built around 2500 years back, but was destroyed by Mahmud Shah. It was later rebuilt in the 16th century.

Dwarkadhish Mandir - City of Lord Krishna, Dwarka Gujarat

4. Gujarat is derived from a Sanskrit word

Originating from the Sanskrit word ‘Gurjaratra’, it means the “Land of Gurjaras”. The Gurjara tribe ruled the region between 8th and 9th centuries C.E.

Gurjarat name history

5. Non Alcoholic and a Vegan State

First Indian state to impose a complete ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages, Gujarat also has the most number of vegetarian people in the country.

Gujarat is Non-Alcoholic State - Facts about Gujarat

6. World’s Largest Salt Desert

Raan of Kutch’ is a large salt marsh located in the Thar Desert in Gujarat’s Kutch District. Spread over an area of 7500 km2, it is considered to be one of the largest salt desert in the world. With an area of 45674 km2, Kutch is the largest district in India. Kutch means ‘something that becomes wet and dry intermittently’.

Rann of Kutch - Must visit place in Kutch
Akash S

7. First ever Pure vegetarian outlets of popular fast food

Global restaurant chains like Subway and Pizza Hut have opened their pure vegetarian outlets in Ahmedabad. These are their first completely vegetarian restaurants in the world.

Pure vegetarian Subway in Ahmedabad Gujarat

8. Gujarat – A World Record Holder In Many Ways

Gujarat has some of the world’s largest entities. The Jamnagar Oil Refinery, owned by the Reliance Industries is the biggest oil refinery on the planet. The Alang shipyard in Gujarat, is the world’s biggest ship breaking yard, recycling almost half of all ships salvaged around the world.

Jamnagar Oil Refinery world largest Refinery

9. World’s Tallest Statue Of Unity

Dedicated to the Indian Independence movement leader, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Statue of Unity stands tall at 182 metres. The statue is located on the river island Sadhu Bet in Narmada district, Gujarat.

Statue Of Unity - World's Tallest Statue

10. Home to Asiatic Lions

The Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary was setup in 1965 with a total area of 1412 km2. It is the only area in Asia where Asiatic lions can be found. The last Asiatic Lion census in 2015 revealed the lion population to be at 523.

Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary Gujarat

11. Gandhinagar- The Greenest Capital City In Asia

The capital of Gujarat, Gandhinagar, is considered to be the greenest capital city in Asia, with almost 50% of its land covered with greenery. Till 1970, Ahmedabad was the capital city of Gujarat.

Gandhinagar - India's tree capital

12. Safest State in India

The crime rate in Gujarat is lowest as compared to all the states in India. After Goa, Gujarat has the least crime rate against women in India.

Women safety in Gujarat

13. AMUL and The White Revolution

Anand Milk Union Limited, better known as AMUL is based out of Anand in Gujarat. An Indian dairy cooperative, AMUL is managed by the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd., which is the largest food products marketing organisation in India and is jointly owned by 3.6 million milk producers in Gujarat. AMUL started the White Revolution in the country and today India is the world’s largest producer of milk and milk products.

Amul Asia biggest dairy in Gujarat

14. All too sweet in Gujarat!

Consumption of sugar is highest in Gujarat as compared to any other state in India. Use of sugar in most of the Gujarati recipes explains this fact!

About Gujarat- gujarati sweets

15. Surat, The Diamond City Of India

Surat is a major world hub for diamond cutting and polishing and is considered to be one of the richest cities in India in terms of per capita income. Almost 8 out 10 diamonds sold in the world are polished in Surat. It is also the third cleanest city in India after Chandigarh and Mysore.

Gujarat Diamond factory

16. The Magnificent Somnath Temple

Located in the town of Prabhas Patan on the western coast of Gujarat, Somnath temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. From ancient times, the site of Somnath has been a pilgrimage spot and the temple is believed to the first among twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva in India.

Temples in Gujarat- Somnath Temple

17. Longest Seashore In India

Stretching 1600 km, Gujarat has the longest coastline among all the States in India.

Gujarat has Longest Sea Shore and cost line

18. Best Management School in India

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, has been ranked first among business schools in India by National Institute Ranking Framework and many other B-School ranking surveys. IIM (A) is also among the top 50 premier B-Schools in the world.

Facts about Gujarat-IIM Ahmedabad

19. Highest number of Airports

Gujarat has 14 airports, 2 international and rest domestic, making it the state with highest number of operating airports in India.

Gujarat has highest number of Airports in India - Gujarat Facts

20. Hill having more than 850 Jain temples

The Shatrunjaya hill in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, is the world’s only mountain having more than 850 marble carved temples. The site is considered to be sacred by the Svetambara Jains. The Digambara Jains have only one temple on the hill.

Jain Temples in Bhavnagar - Gujarat Tourism

21. The Majestic Lakshmi Vilas Palace of Vadodra

Built by Maharaja Sayaji Rao Gaekwad III in 1890, the palace is spread over 500 acres of land. Reputed to be the largest private residence built in India, it is four times bigger than the Buckingham Palace of London.

Must visit places in Gujarat-Lakshmi Vilas Palace
Sanyam Bahga/Flickr

Hope these facts gave you some insights about Gujarat that you were not aware about earlier!