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Coordinates: 21°46′N 72°09′E / 21.76°N 72.15°E / 21.76; 72.15
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From top: City view, Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Cable stayed bridge, Crescent tower
Bhavena Nagari
Bhavnagar is located in Gujarat
Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India
Bhavnagar is located in India
Bhavnagar (India)
Coordinates: 21°46′N 72°09′E / 21.76°N 72.15°E / 21.76; 72.15
Country India
Founded byBhavsinhji Takhtasinhji Gohil
 • TypeMunicipal Corporation
 • BodyBhavnagar Municipal Corporation and BADA (Bhavnagar Area Development Authority)
 • Municipal CommissionerM. A. Gandhi
 • MayorKirti Danidhariya
 • Total108.27 km2 (41.80 sq mi)
 • Rank5
24 m (79 ft)
 • Total643,365 (urban)
 • OfficialGujarati
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
364 001, 364 002, 364 003, 364 004, 364 005, 364 006
Telephone code(+91)278
Vehicle registrationGJ-04

Bhavnagar is a city and the headquarters of Bhavnagar district in the Indian state of Gujarat. It was founded in 1723 by Bhavsinhji Gohil. It was the capital of Bhavnagar State, which was a princely state before it was merged into the Indian Union in February 1948.

Bhavnagar is situated 190 kilometres away from the state capital Gandhinagar and to the west of the Gulf of Khambhat. It has always been an important city for trade with many large and small scale industries along with the world's largest ship breaking yard, Alang which is located 50 kilometres away. Bhavnagar is also famous for its version of the popular Gujarati snack 'Ganthiya' and 'Jalebi'.


Coat of arms of the Indian native state of Bhaunagar
Thakur of Bhavnagar in the 1870s

The Gohil Rajput of the Suryavanshi clan faced severe competition in Marwar. Around 1260 AD, they moved down to the Gujarat's coastal area and established three capitals: Sejakpur (now Ranpur), Umrala, and Sihor.[2] Sejakpur was founded in 1194.

In 1722–1723, the forces led by Khanthaji Kadani and Maratha Pilaji Gaekwad attempted to raid Sihor but were repelled by Maharajah Bhavsinhji Gohil. After the war, Bhavsinhji realized the reason for repeated attacks was the location of Sihor. In 1723, he established a new capital near Vadva village, 20 km away from Sihor, and named it Bhavnagar after himself. It was a carefully chosen and strategic location because of its potential for maritime trade. Naturally, Bhavnagar became the capital of Bhavnagar State. In 1807, Bhavnagar State became a British protectorate.[3][4]

The old town of Bhavnagar was a fortified town with gates leading to other important regional towns. It remained a major port for almost two centuries, trading commodities with Mozambique, Zanzibar, Singapore, and the Persian Gulf.

Bhavsinhji ensured that Bhavnagar benefited from the revenue that was brought in from maritime trade, which was monopolized by Surat and Cambay. As the castle of Surat was under the control of the Siddis of Janjira, Bhavsinhji brokered an agreement with them, giving the Sidis 1.25% of the revenue by Bhavnagar port. Bhavsinhji entered into a similar agreement with the British when they took over Surat in 1856. Whilst Bhavsinhji was in power, Bhavnagar grew from a small chieftainship to a considerably important state. This was due to the addition of new territories as well as the income provided by maritime trade. Bhavsinhji's successors continued to encourage maritime trade through Bhavnagar port, recognizing its importance to the state. The territory was further expanded by Bhavsinhji's grandson, Vakhatsinhji Gohil, when he took possession of lands belonging to Kolis and Kathis, obtained Rajula from the Navab Saheb Ahmad Khan, and merged Ghogha Taluka into the state.

In 1793, Vakhatsinhji conquered the forts of Chital and Talaja, and later conquered Mahuva, Kundla, Trapaj, Umrala and Botad. Bhavnagar remained the main port of the state, with Mahuva and Ghogha also becoming important ports. Because of the maritime trade, the state prospered compared to other states. During the late 19th century, the Bhavnagar State Railway was constructed. This made Bhavnagar the first state that was able to construct its railway system without any aid from the central government, which was mentioned in The Imperial Gazetteer of India. Mr. Peile, a political agent, described the state as follows: "With flourishing finances and much good work in progress. Of financial matters I need say little; you have no debts, and your treasury is full."[5] Between 1870 and 1878, the state were put under joint administration, due to the fact that Prince Takhtsinhji was a minor. This period produced some notable reforms in the areas of administration, revenue collection, judiciary, the post and telegraph services, and economic policy. The ports were also modernized. The two people who were responsible for those reforms were E. H. Percival of the Bombay Civil Service and Gaurishankar Udayshankar Oza, Chief Minister of Bhavnagar State Bhavnagar Boroz.

In 1911, HH Maharani Nundkanvarba of Bhavnagar was awarded the Order of the Crown of India, the highest Imperial award for women of the British Empire. The former princely state of Bhavnagar was also known as Gohilwad, "Land of the Gohils" (the clan of the ruling family).

Merger with the Indian Union in 1947[edit]

Until the independence of India in 1947, Bhavnagar was an independent state ruled by the Rajput Gohil family. In 1947, the Deputy Prime Minister of the newly independent Indian Union Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel undertook the ambitious and complex process of unifying 562 princely states with the Union of India. The last ruling Maharajah of Bhavnagar, Krishnakumar Sinhji handed over the administration of his Bombay State to the people's representative in 1948.

Maharaja Krishna Kumarsinhji was one of the first to merge his kingdom to the Union of India.[6]

The erstwhile royal family of Bhavnagar continues to lead an active role in the public eye as well as in business (hotels, real estate, agriculture, and ship-breaking) and is held in high regard by the population both in the city as well as areas that comprised the former princely state of Bhavnagar.[7]

Geography and climate[edit]


Bhavnagar is a coastal city on the eastern coast of Saurashtra, also known as Kathiawar, located at 21°46′N 72°09′E / 21.77°N 72.15°E / 21.77; 72.15.[8] It has an average elevation of 24 metres (78 ft). It occupies an area of 53.3 km2 (20.6 sq mi) and 5th most populated city of Gujarat. The general slope dips towards the northeast at the apex of Gulf of Khambhat. A small non-perennial river named Kansara Nala passes through the outer area of the city.


Like most of Gujarat, Bhavnagar has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen: BSh), with hot, dry summers from March to mid-June, the wet monsoon season from mid-June to October, and mild winters from November to February. There is essentially no rainfall outside the monsoon season, whilst during the monsoon the city receives around 655 millimetres or 26 inches of rain on average, though variability is extreme as can be seen from annual totals as high as 1,428.9 millimetres or 56.26 inches in 1970 but as little as 157.2 millimetres or 6.19 inches in 1974.[9] The semi-arid classification is due to the city's high evapotranspiration. The average temperature from November to February is around 23 °C or 73.4 °F, with low humidity.

Climate data for Bhavnagar Airport, (1981–2010, extremes 1969–2012)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 35.0
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 28.3
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 13.9
Record low °C (°F) 0.6
Average rainfall mm (inches) 2.1
Average rainy days 0.2 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 5.0 9.4 8.5 4.3 1.1 0.4 0.1 29.4
Average relative humidity (%) (at 17:30 IST) 35 29 27 30 39 54 70 72 63 42 35 36 44
Source: India Meteorological Department[10][11]


The region of Saurashtra is a geologically active part of West India, and falls in the seismic zone 3 of the Zoning Map of the Bureau of Indian Standards. The region as a whole and the area around Bhavnagar, in particular, has been tectonically unstable.

Between 9 August 2000 and 15 December 2000, there was a series of earthquakes in east Saurashtra with epicenters in Bhavnagar. 132 earthquakes between magnitude 0.5 to 3.8 were recorded. There were five earthquakes greater than magnitude 3, with a maximum magnitude of 3.8. These events were confined to an area which covered the southern part of Bhavnagar city and Tarsamiya village on the outskirts of the town. There was no loss of life recorded due to this earthquake.

According to historical records, an earthquake of magnitude 7 occurred near Bhavnagar in February 1705. Earthquake swarm activity also occurred in and around Paliyad (60 km north of Bhavnagar) during July–August 1938 for about two months, with four earthquakes of magnitude greater than or equal to 5 and a maximum magnitude of 6.0.[12]

City planning and architecture[edit]

Ghogha Circle

Multiple town planning schemes were designed and implemented under the guidance of the progressive rulers of Bhavnagar. During the reign of Sir Takhtsinhji, the British State Engineer Proctor Sims supervised the construction of Barton Library, Sir Takhtsinhji Hospital.[2]

Nilambagh Palace, Bhavnagar

A few architectural examples include:

  • Takhteshwar Temple (1893) is located on a hill, on a high plinth, offering a commanding view of Bhavnagar. The high shikhara rising above the pillared rectangular mandapa makes it an important landmark.
  • Gangajalia (1893) is a temple dedicated to Ganga-Devi, with a chhatri, pavilion, and bridge all of white marble. It is located in the middle of a former tank. It was designed by Sir John Griffith, principal of Sir J J School of Arts, Bombay.
  • Nilambag Palace (1894), now a heritage hotel, is set amidst a huge estate of 10 acres (4.0 ha). It was designed by a British architect, William Emerson as a royal residence; he also designed the Sir Takhtsinhji Hospital and later Victoria Memorial in Calcutta.[13] It combines elements of Indian architecture with a modern outlook.
  • Barton Library (1895) is a two-storeyed building, appropriately designed for a road junction. It has two wings and a central tower, constructed in ashlar stone masonry, with Gothic arch windows and a sloping roof with Mangalore tiles. It is one of the oldest libraries of Gujarat and also houses a museum.
  • Town Hall (1932) was formerly a Darbar Hall, where the coronation of Sir Krishnakumarsinhji took place. It is an imposing structure in the colonial style, set in a well laid out garden.
  • Modern & Contemporary Architectural services is provided by various leading Architectural firm like SAGA whose work is diverse yet of unified character, not only functional, aesthetic and techno-savvy.

Modern Bhavnagar comprises Takhteshvar Plots, Krishnanagar, Sardarnagar and surrounding area. During 1935–1937, Krishnanagar area was planned and developed by late Shri Virendrabhai C. Mehta, the official town planner for the State of Bhavnagar. In 1961, he extended his Krishnanagar plan towards Sardarnagar. In 1975, he created a master plan for Bhavnagar.

A salient feature of town planning is to have gardens at the junction of roads. Gardens are located at Ghogha Circle, Mahila College Circle, Rupani Circle, Meghani Circle, Shivaji Circle, Sardarnagar Circle, Jewels Circle and Crescent Circle.

The city of Bhavnagar was one of the earliest towns to have underground drainage in Gujarat,[14] and was among the first cities in Gujarat to have a water filtration plant. When set up by Krishna Kumarsinhji Bhavsinhji, the filtration plant was the largest in Asia.[citation needed]


Bhavnagar has various schools and educational institutions. Nanabhai Bhatt, Gijubhai Badheka, Manbhai Bhatt (founder of Shishuvihar), Harbhai Trivedi, and Taraben Modak helped develop the rural and women's education. Samaldas Arts College where Mahatma Gandhi studied in 1888 is one of the oldest institutions to provide higher education. Some of the other institutions which provide higher education are Bhavnagar University, Shantilal Shah Engineering College, Government Engineering College, Bhavnagar.


Universities and colleges[edit]

Research and development[edit]

Because of its salt and marine environment, Bhavnagar has a research and development centre known as - Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI).

Economy and industry[edit]

Bhavnagar is an important center for the diamond cutting and polishing industry in Gujarat as well as India. Thousands of skilled diamond-polishing workers are employed in diamond-cutting and polishing firms, whose subsidiary offices are involved in cities like Surat, Mumbai, and Antwerp. Bhavnagar stands second in the diamond cutting and polishing industry after Surat in India, with 6,000 units operating from the district and employing more than 300,000 people.

Industrial Estates[edit]

Bhavnagar district has various Industrial estates where many MSME industries are growing very rapidly with a great reputation around the world. Many aides from the state and central government helped increase the

  • Exports of cotton, ship machinery and dehydrated onions
  • Manufacturing of ISO & Shipping Containers
  • Diamond cutting, polishing, and marketing
  • Manufacture of diamond jewellery
  • Manufacture of plastic rope, yarn, twine
  • Re-rolling mills for steel recovered from the ship-breaking yard at Alang
  • Manufacture of investment castings with lost wax process (ferrous and non-ferrous)
  • Other large-scale manufacturing industries, such as fert


Main crops:


Religions in Bhavnagar city (2011)[21]
Religion Percent

As of 2011 India census,[22] Bhavnagar had a population of 593,768. Bhavnagar has an average literacy rate of 86%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with male literacy of 91% and female literacy of 80%. 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.[23] Adult males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%.[24]


Aircraft at Bhavnagar Airport

Bhavnagar is well-connected to other cities of Gujarat such as Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara by road, with bus services operated by the state-owned transport corporation. Buses serve as local transport within the city.

The city is well-served by railways. Bhavnagar Terminus under the Bhavnagar railway division, provides connections to Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Surat, Vadodara, Mangalore, Kochi, Trivandrum, Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Kanpur, Kakinada (Train No. 12756) and other major cities of India.[25]

Bhavnagar airport is connected to Mumbai by air links. Daily flights are currently operated by Alliance Air (India).

Private auto rickshaws are other modes of transport within the city and nearby villages.


Bhavnagar has several places and sites of interest to tourists :

Takhteshwar Temple
  • Nilambag Palace is the residence of the current Maharajah of Bhavnagar, HH Maharaol Vijayrajsinhji Virbhadrasinhji Gohil, and his family. It is now also a heritage palace hotel and a restaurant too.
  • Seashore at Ghogha features a sea-side palace, about 22 kilometres (14 mi) from Bhavangar, which was once a retreat of the Bhavnagar royal family, and is now a hotel-guesthouse for travellers.
  • Barton Library is a two-storeyed building, with two wings and a central tower, constructed in ashlar stone masonry with gothic arch windows and a sloping roof with Mangalore tiles. Opened in 1882, it is one of the oldest libraries in Gujarat and also houses a museum.[26]
Temples of Bhavnagar
Bhavnath Mahadev Temple, Opp. vegetable market, Bhavnagar.

Bhavnath Mahadev Temple is a historical and old temple of the city. It was built in 17th century. This temple is heritage protected site.


Bhavnagar port had trade links with Southeast Asia, Africa, Arabia and ports of Red Sea since the early 18th century. The old port Bhavnagar Harbar was built by the state of Bhavnagar, and hosted a light beacon since 1860. Bhavnagar port was later modernized in 1930 under the supervision of J. Johnston, then port officer of Bhavnagar state. Wharfs, warehouses, and railway transportation were added. A new port, 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) south of the old port, was built and made operational in the 1950s due to heavy silting at the location of the old port. This port also had a lighthouse, which was damaged in the 2001 earthquake.[27]

Notable people[edit]

Bhavnagar has produced many reformists, thinkers, socialists, poets, writers, artists, educationists, and independence activists.[28][29]


Bhavnagar is popular for its fafadiya ganthiya, bhavnagari samosa, Kathiyawadi Chanamath, pav ganthiya and bateta bhungla.[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "BMC – Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation". Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b "History of Bhavnagar city". Archived from the original on 17 August 2007. Retrieved 15 August 2007.
  3. ^ Dosábhai, Edalji (1894). A History of Gujarat from the Earliest Period to the Present Time. United Print and General Agency. p. 177.
  4. ^ Cahoon, Ben. "Indian Princely States A-J". Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  5. ^ Naoroji, Dadabhai (1990). Poverty and un-British rule in Inda. Low Price Publications. p. 229.
  6. ^ "District Bhavnagar, Government of Gujarat". History of Bhavnagar. 20 August 2018. Retrieved 24 March 2024.
  7. ^ "Bhavnagar king's sacrifice to feature in school textbook – Times of India". The Times of India. 2 November 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  8. ^ "Bhavnagar, India Page". Falling Rain Genomics, Inc. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 15 August 2007.
  9. ^ Dewar, Robert E. and Wallis, James R; ‘Geographical patterning of interannual rainfall variability in the tropics and near tropics: An L-moments approach’; in Journal of Climate, 12; pp. 3457
  10. ^ "Climatological Normals 1981–2010" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. July 2020. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  11. ^ "Extremes of Temperature & Rainfall for Indian Stations (Up to 2012)" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. December 2016. p. M50. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  12. ^ "Earthquake Sequence in and around Bhavnagar" (PDF). Retrieved 10 June 2008.
  13. ^ Philip Ward (1998). Gujarat–Daman–Diu: A Travel Guide. Orient Blackswan. p. 280. ISBN 8125013830.
  14. ^ Gujarat State Gazetteers, 1969. Directorate of Govt. Print., Stationery and Publications, Gujarat State. p. 538.
  15. ^ "Bhavnagar - ASIS Education". 20 March 2023.
  16. ^ "Home". fatimaconventhighschool.com.
  17. ^ "Shree Dakshinamurti Vinay Mandir, Shree Dakshinamurti, Dakshinamurti Vinay Mandi". 24 March 2012. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  18. ^ "Gyanmanjarividyapith - Home". Archived from the original on 6 February 2017. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  19. ^ "Welcome | NAIMISHARANYA Campus".
  20. ^ "KPES".
  21. ^ "C-16 Population By Religion - Gujarat". census.gov.in. Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India.
  22. ^ "Bhavnagar City Population Census 2011 – Gujarat". Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  23. ^ [Geographic reference|India]
  24. ^ "Demographic Details: District: Bhavnagar" (PDF). s3waas.gov.in. Retrieved 24 March 2024.
  25. ^ "BVC/Bhavnagar Terminus Railway Station Map/Atlas WR/Western Zone – Railway Enquiry". Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  26. ^ "~~ Barton Library – Bhavnagar ~~". Archived from the original on 21 October 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  27. ^ "Bhavnagar Old Port Lighthouse". Archived from the original on 14 August 2007. Retrieved 10 June 2008.
  28. ^ Pandya, Jaywant. "ભાવનગર: કલ, આજ ઔર કલ". Mumbai Samachar (in Gujarati). Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  29. ^ "Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation". Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2008.
  30. ^ "Bhungara Bateta recipe".

External links[edit]

  • Government/Administration:
Bhavnagar Area Development Authority
Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation
Bhavnagar Collectorate
Bhavnagar District Panchayat