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Bharuch History

History The city of Bharuch and its surrounds today's district has been settled far back into antiquity and was a major shipping building center and sea port in the important pre-compass coastal trading routes to points West, perhaps as far back as the days of the Pharaohs, which utilized the regular and predictable Monsoon winds or galleys. Many goods from the Far East (the famed Spice and Silk trade) were trans-shipped there for the annual monsoon winds making it a terminus for several key land-sea trade routes and Bharuch was definitely known to the Greeks, the various Persian Empires and in the Roman Republic and Empire and other Western centers of civilization right on through the end of the European Middle Ages. With the advent of the Age of Discovery, the presence of deep draft sea going shipping it began a long slow decline in importance as it was a bit too far north to be convenient to shipping not confined to keeping within sight of shore.

Mythological History

It was considered to be sacred among sages, and they would come to Bharuch to pray. In Bharuch, the celebrated Asura king Mahabali, conducted a great sacrifice. In this sacrifice, a dwarf Brahmin called Vamana came and interfered with the king's sacrifice and put an end to his reign. A sage named Guru Shukracharya, from the lineage of Maharishi Bhrigu, was the priest of King Mahabali. There is also a story which indicates that Brighu along with his kins asked for temporary access to Bharuch which then belonged to Lakshmi since Bharuch is located on the banks of river Narmada also known as Rudra Deha. Chanra Mauli Mahadev is the Kul Devata of Bhargavs of Bharuch Brighu never left the place and the Ashram of Brighu Rishi is located on the banks of Narmada.

Archaeological history

Excavations near the banks of the river Narmada in Bharuch have revealed many archeological and architectural wonders, mostly temples. Later Bharuch was part of the Mauryan Empire (322,185 BC), the Western Satraps, the Guptas and the Gurjars.[1] According to historical accounts, the kingdom with capital at Bhinmal (or Srimal) was established by the Gurjars (or Gujjars).The kingdom of Bharuch was the offshoot of this Kingdom.[2] As part of the Sultanate of Gujarat, it was subsequently annexed by the Mughals, and finally by the British. It is also situated near a small village called Halderva where two Islamic priests were found performing miracles. It was known to the Greeks and Romans as Barygaza, and probably had a settlement of Greek traders. As one southern terminus of the Kamboja-Dvaravati Route, it is mentioned extensively as a major trading partner of the Roman world, in the 1st century Periplus of the Erythraean Sea. One of the Periploi describes numerous Greek buildings and fortifications in the area, although mistakenly attributing them to Alexander the Great who never reached this far south, as well as the circulation of Indo-Greek coinage in the region: "The metropolis of this country is Minnagara, from which much cotton cloth is brought down to Barygaza. In these places there remain even to the present time signs of the expedition of Alexander, such as ancient shrines, walls of forts and great wells." Periplus, Chap. 41 "To the present day ancient Drachmae are current in Bharuch|Barygaza, coming from this country, bearing inscriptions in Greek letters, and the devices of those who reigned after Alexander the Great, Apollodotus I and Menander."