Gujarat, on the western coast of India, has experienced the advent of a man
and is fortunate in having a rich heritage of historical records among the
states of Indian sub-continent. The history of Gujrat is very ancient and
dates back to pre-historic age. The entire history of Gujrat can be
summarized into three periods- ancient, medieval and modern periods.
The name Gujarat is derived from 'Gujaratta' or 'Gujartra' that is the land
protected by or ruled by Gujars. The word Gujarat gained currency during
Chalukya period (942-1299 AD). Before this, parts of Gujarat were known as
Anarta, Lata and Saurashtra.
The period before the advent of writing is called as pre-history to
differentiate it from authentic documented history. The pre-history of
Gujrat begins with the first appearance of the early man on banks of
The period, which bridges the gulf between pre-history and history, is
proto-history. The proto-history period of Gujarat covers the period between
2500 BC to 500 BC. During this period it was Harappan culture and Yadav rule
that has dominated the historical account. As per references from Vedas,
Puranas, Buddha and Jain literature, Lord Krishna has established dynastic
rule of Yadavs at Dwarka around 1000 BC.
Maurya, Indo-Greek, Kahatrapas, Gupta, Maitrak & Chalukya period
upto 1297 AD
The real political history of Gujarat begins with the establishment of
Mauryan rule in Gujarat. Between the decline of Mauryan power and Saurashtra
coming under the sway of Samprati Mauryas of Ujjain, there was Greek
incursion into Gujarat lead by Dernetrious. For nearly 400 years from the
start of first century, Saka rulers played a prominent part in Gujarat's
Sultans of Delhi & Gujarat and Muslim period upto 1758 AD
Before Muslims finally entrenched themselves into Gujarat in 1298 AD, the
Muslims had only an occasional contact with this part of India. It was only
after the defeat of Karnadeva Vaghela at the hands of Alauddin Khilji,
Muslim rule continued for nearly 400 years either under Delhi's viceroyalty
or under Muslim Sultanate.
The decline of Sultanate started with the assassination of Skinder Shah.
The defeat of Bahadur Shah, the last sultan under the hands of the great
Mughal emperor Akber marked the beginning of the Mughal rule, which lasted
for almost 185 years.
The Marathas and British Rule upto 1947 AD
Chatrapati Shivaji, the great Maratha ruler, attacked Surat twice that
marked the entry of Marathas in Gujrat. However, before Marathas inroads
into Gujarat, the Europeans had made their presence felt here with
Portuguese leading them followed by the Dutch and English. Madhorao Gaekwad
joined alliance with the British in 1802 and gradually it resulted in in the
end of Maratha rule over Gujarat and paramountcy of British rule in 1819.
Gujarat has played a key role in the freedom struggle specially after
Mahatma Gandhi's taking over the leadership of the freedom movement. India
achieved independence on 15th August 1947 and a bilingual state of Gujarat
and Maharashtra were formed. Then the sun once again rose over the glory of
Gujarat on 1st May 1960 when a separate state of Gujarat was formed. Today,
the state has once again taken the lead in industry, commerce and culture
for which it was known for thousands of centuries.