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Bhavnagar (Gujarati: ભાવનગર, Hindi: भावनगर) is a city in the Indian state of Gujarat. Founded in 1723 by Bhavsinhji Gohil (1703–1764), the city was named after its founder and ruler. It has been the capital of Bhavnagar State, which was a princely state before it was merged into the Indian Union in 1948. It is now the administrative center of the Bhavnagar district.

Bhavnagar is situated 228 km from the state capital Gandhinagar and to the west of the Gulf of Khambhat. Bhavnagar is the fifth largest city of Gujarat, and the second largest city in the Saurashtra region. It is also known as the cultural capital of Saurashtra.

During pre-independence era, Bhavnagar was the main and the largest state in the region erstwhile known as Gohilwad. Maharaja Bhavsinghji founded state of Bhavnagar near Vadava village in 1743. As per the Hindu calendar, the day Bhavnagar was founded was the third of vaishakh. The erstwhile princely states of Palitana and Vallabhipur are now a part of the district. Maharaja Shree Krishnakumar Singhji was the first king to merge his state with the union of India, at the behest of Shree Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Bhavnagar is a peninsular district of South-Eastern Gujarat. It covers an area of over 9940 km2. There are close to 800 villages in this district. Bhavnagar borders with Ahmedabad and Surendranagar districts to the North, the Gulf of Cambay to the East and South and Amreli and Rajkot districts to the West.

The enchanting tales about Bhavnagar fascinate tourists who visit this city in the state of Gujarat. Founded in 1723, Bhavnagar has evolved as one of the important cultural and commercial centers of the state.

The striking historical and geographical features about Bhavnagar enamor the tourists who visit this city in the state of Gujarat. This coastal city is also the second largest in the Saurashtra region. For its eminent institutes and ethnic centers, Bhavnagar Gujarat is also renowned as the cultural capital of the state.

History

The Gohil Rajput of the Suryavanshi clan faced severe competition in Marwar. Around 1260 AD, they moved down to the Gujarat coast and established three capitals; Sejakpur, Umrala and Sihor.

In 1822-1823, forces led by Khanthaji Kadani and Pilaji Gaekwad attempted to raid Sihor but were repealed by Maharaja Bhavsinhji Gohil. After suffering defeat, he realized the reason was the location of Sihor (old Bhavnagar). In 1823, he established a new capital near Vadva village, 20 km away from Sihor, and named it Bhavnagar. It was a carefully chosen strategic location because of the potential of maritime trade. Naturally, Bhavnagar City became the capital of Bhavnagar State.

Prior to independence, this region was known as Gohilwad. It was the legent amongst all the other states of the entire region. Maharaja Bhavsinghji founded state of Bhavnagar near Vadava village in 1743 on the third of Vaishakh. The small princely states such viz Palitana, Vallabhipur and a few others are a part of the Bhavnagar district of the present day. Upon the behest of Shree Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, when the princely states were asked to get merged into the Union of India, the great king of Bhavnagar state, Shree Krishna Kamalsinghji, was the first king to handover his kingdom to the Union of India.

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