Bhuj

Bhuj ( pronunciation ) is a Municipality and District Headquarter of Kutch District in the state of Gujarat, India.

Bhuj
City
The Prag Mahal
Bhuj is located in Gujarat
Bhuj
Bhuj
Coordinates: 23°15′N 69°40′E / 23.25°N 69.67°ECoordinates: 23°15′N 69°40′E / 23.25°N 69.67°E
Country  India
State Gujarat
District Kachchh
Municipality Bhuj Municipality
Founded by Rao Hamirji
Government
 • Type Elected
 • Body Municipality
Area
 • Total 56 km2 (22 sq mi)
Elevation 110 m (360 ft)
Population (2011)Census 2011
 • Total 2,13,514
 • Density 3,800/km2 (9,900/sq mi)
Languages
 • Official Gujarati
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 370001
Telephone code 2832
Vehicle registration GJ-12
Sex ratio 0.97 /
Website http://www.bhujnagarpalika.org
source:Census of India[1]

Etymology

According to legend, Kutch was ruled by the Nāga chieftains in the past. Sagai, a queen of Sheshapattana, who was married to King Bheria Kumar, rose up against Bhujanga, the last chieftain of Naga. After the battle, Bheria was defeated and Queen Sagai committed sati. The hill where they lived later came to be known as Bhujia Hill and the town at the foothill as Bhuj. Bhujang was later worshiped by the people as snake god, Bhujanga, and a temple was constructed to revere him.[2]

History

Jadeja Chief
A Jadeja Chief in Kutchi attire during reign of Deshalji II : A sketch drawn in 1838

Bhuj was founded by Rao Hamir in 1510 and was made the capital of Kutch by Rao Khengarji I in 1549.[3] Its foundation stone as state capital was formally laid on Vikram Samvat 1604 Maagha 5th (approx. 25 January 1548). After 1590, when Rao was forced to acknowledge the Mughal supremacy, Bhuj was known as Suleiman Nagar among Muslims. The city's walls were built by Rao Godji I in 1723, and the Bhujiya Fort by Devkaran Seth in Rao Deshalji I's time (1718 - 1741).[4].

Chhatedi
Bhujia hill from Chhatedi

Bhuj has been attacked six times. In two instances, the defense was successful and in four other instances, the defense failed. In 1728, an attack by Sarbuland Khan, Mughal Viceroy of Gujarat, was repulsed by Rao Deshalji I, and, in 1765 Mian Ghulam Shah Kalhoro was, by a timely display of the strength of the fortifications, induced to withdraw. During the civil troubles of the reign of the Rao Rayadhan III, Bhuj was thrice taken, by Meghji Seth in 1786, by Hansraj in 1801, and by Fateh Muhammad in 1808. On the 26th March 1819, the hill fort of Bhujia was captured by a British detachment under Sir William Keir.[4]

Chhatedi of Bhuj
Chhatedi of Bhuj

In 1818, Bhuj had a population of 20,000 people. The earthquake on 16 June 1819 destroyed nearly 7000 houses with a loss of an estimated 1140 human lives. About one-third of the buildings that escaped ruin were heavily damaged, and the north face of the town wall was leveled with the ground.

Bhuj is home to one of the first Swaminarayan Sampraday temples, built in 1822. In 1837, Bhuj is said to have had a population of 30,000.[4]

After independence of India in 1947, Cutch State acceded unto the dominion of India and was constituted an independent commissionaire, Kutch State. In 1956, Kutch State was merged with Bombay state, which in 1960 was divided into the new linguistic states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, with Kutch becoming part of Gujarat state as Kutch district. Bhuj is the district headquarters of Kutch District, the largest district in India.

In the 21 July 1956[5] as well as in the 26 January 2001, the city suffered great losses of life and property. Many parts of Bhuj were demolished due to the extensive damage, whilst others were repaired. There has been great progress in rebuilding the City since the 2001 earthquake, with considerable improvements to roads, transportation, and infrastructure.

Geography

Skyline of Bhuj from Bhujia Fort atop Bhujia Hill
Skyline of Bhuj from Bhujia Fort atop Bhujia Hill

Bhuj has an average elevation of 110 metres (360 feet). On the eastern side of the city is a hill known as Bhujia Hill, on which there is a Bhujia Fort, that separates Bhuj city and Madhapar town ( considered one of the richest villages in Asia ). It has two lakes namely Hamirsar and Deshadsar (દેેેશળસર).

Khari Nadi-1, Bhuj
Khari Nadi, Bhuj
Khari Nadi, Bhuj
Khari Nadi, bhuj

Climate

The climate in Bhuj is called a desert climate. During the year, there is virtually no rainfall.The average annual temperature in Bhuj is 26.3 °C. The rainfall here averages 358 mm. Bhuj has a borderline hot desert climate (Köppen BWh) just short of a hot semi-arid climate (BSh). Although annual rainfall “averages” around 330 millimetres or 13 inches the variability is among the highest in the world with coefficient of variation of around sixty percent[6] – among the few comparably variable climates in the world being the Line Islands of Kiribati, the Pilbara coast of Western Australia, the sertão of Northeastern Brazil, and the Cape Verde islands.[7] Recorded annual rainfall has been as low as 21.9 millimetres or 0.86 inches in 1899 – yet in 1926 a total of 1,177.1 millimetres or 46.34 inches fell and in the incomplete year of 1959 rainfall exceeded 1,160 millimetres or 45.67 inches, of which 730.6 millimetres or 28.76 inches fell during Bhuj’s wettest-ever month of July 1959.

Apart from the cool mornings of the “winter” season from December to February, temperatures are very warm to sweltering throughout the year, which further reduces the effectiveness of the erratic monsoonal rainfall. During the “hot” season from mid-March to mid-June, temperatures of 40 °C or 104 °F are frequent, whilst during the monsoon season they exceed 34 °C or 93.2 °F with high humidity except during rainy spells accompanied by cooler temperatures but oppressive humidity.

Climate data for Bhuj (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 37.0
(98.6)
38.9
(102)
43.9
(111)
45.6
(114.1)
47.8
(118)
47.0
(116.6)
41.3
(106.3)
41.2
(106.2)
42.8
(109)
44.0
(111.2)
39.7
(103.5)
35.4
(95.7)
47.8
(118)
Average high °C (°F) 27.4
(81.3)
30.4
(86.7)
35.4
(95.7)
38.9
(102)
39.4
(102.9)
37.6
(99.7)
34.2
(93.6)
32.7
(90.9)
34.9
(94.8)
36.9
(98.4)
33.1
(91.6)
28.7
(83.7)
34.1
(93.4)
Average low °C (°F) 10.0
(50)
12.8
(55)
18.1
(64.6)
22.3
(72.1)
25.5
(77.9)
27.2
(81)
26.4
(79.5)
25.3
(77.5)
24.3
(75.7)
21.7
(71.1)
16.0
(60.8)
11.2
(52.2)
20.1
(68.2)
Record low °C (°F) −0.2
(31.6)
0.3
(32.5)
5.5
(41.9)
12.7
(54.9)
16.6
(61.9)
16.1
(61)
19.4
(66.9)
20.0
(68)
17.8
(64)
11.1
(52)
6.0
(42.8)
0.6
(33.1)
−0.2
(31.6)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 1.3
(0.051)
0.3
(0.012)
1.1
(0.043)
0.2
(0.008)
1.5
(0.059)
35.6
(1.402)
130.9
(5.154)
99.7
(3.925)
48.6
(1.913)
2.3
(0.091)
1.8
(0.071)
0.2
(0.008)
323.5
(12.737)
Average rainy days 0.2 0.0 0.2 0.1 0.3 1.8 5.0 3.8 2.2 0.4 0.2 0.1 14.3
Source: India Meteorological Department (record high and low up to 2010)[8][9]

Places of interest

Hamirsar Lake Bhuj 2013-08-01 00-20
Hamirsar Lake
  • The Fort: The old city was surrounded by a fort wall with five major gates (Mahadev, Patvadi, Sarpat, Bhid and Vaniyavad) and one small gate known as Chhathi Bari (sixth window). The fort wall is 35 feet high and four feet thick, and during its use was armed armed with fifty-one guns.[4] Much of the fort wall has either fallen down or been demolished, due to the damage sustained in the 2001 earthquake and the city's redevelopment.
  • Hamirsar Lake
  • Prag Mahal
  • Aina Mahal
  • Sharadbaug Palace
  • Chhatardi
  • Kutch Museum
    Chhatardi-2
    Chhatardi, near Hamirsar.
    Ramkund
    Hamsir Lake, Bhuj, GJ
    Hamirsar Lake.
    Mohammad Pannah Masjid
  • Bharatiya Sanskriti Darshan Museum
  • Swaminarayan temple
  • Bhujia Fort and Smritivan on Bhujia Hill
  • Hill Garden
  • Tapkeshwari Temple
  • Chhatardi-3
    Chhatardi, near Hamirsar
    Trimadir: Take a glance of Trimandir at Bhuj which signifies the Enlightened Vision of Gyaani Purush Dada Bhagwan.
  • The Bhuj House: A historic, 19th century courtyard estate that is the ancestral home to the Parsi Bhujwala family, which has been redeveloped into a private boutique hotel reflecting a very specific era in Kutch’s history when the Parsi community was prominent as close aides to the Rao court and friends to the British garrisons of Kutch in colonial India.[10]
Chhatardi-2
Chhatardi, near Hamirsar.
Hamsir Lake, Bhuj, GJ
Hamirsar Lake.
Chhatardi-3
Chhatardi, near Hamirsar
Ramkund Bhuj Kutch Gujarat

Ramkund

Chhatedi
Chhatardi.
Bridge on Khari Nadi
Bridge on Khari Nadi

Demographics

The total population of Bhuj was 2,13,514 in the year 2011, which consisted of 1,11,146 males and 1,02,368 females.[1]

Culture

Sindhi shoes
A pair of shoes

Bhuj is a famous destination within India for observing the historic crafstmanship of the Kutch region, including the textile crafts of bandhni (tie-dye), embroidery, and leatherwork. Artists of nearby villages bring their artwork for sale in 'Bhuj Haat', which is situated near Jubilee Ground. Locals often visit Hamirsar Lake for relaxation in natural surroundings.

Bhuj is also famous for its regional cuisine, especially Pakvans, Kutchhi Dabeli (a vegetarian burger made with mashed potato, cooked with masala curry and chutneys), and regional Gujarati sweets. Bhuj is also famous for offering its Gujarati thali, an array of Gujarati food.

Media and communications

State-owned All India Radio has a local station in Bhuj which transmits various programs of mass interest. Local TV Channels and Newspapers are most used media.

Education

Krantiguru Shyamji Krishna Varma Kutch University Main Gate Bhuj
Main Gate of Kutch University
GEC-Bhuj.
GEC-Bhuj

Alfred High School, the first high school of Kutch, established in 1870, is also an architectural heritage of the town.

Krantiguru Shyamji Krishna Verma Kachchh University is located in Bhuj. The university has 41 colleges affiliated, nineteen of which are in Bhuj. The university gives degrees in Arts, Science, Commerce, Law Education, Management, Pharmacy, Social Welfare, Medicine and Engineering.[11]

Primary and secondary

Gujarat adani institute of medical sciences bhuj.
Gujarat adani institute of medical sciences Bhuj

Higher education

Transportation

Bhuj railway station - Main Building
Bhuj Railway Station - Main Building
YP class loco outside Bhuj railway station
YP class loco outside Bhuj railway station
19132 Kutch Express at Bhuj railway station
19132 Kutch Express at Bhuj railway station

Bhuj is connected to Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Gaziabad, Jaipur, Ajmer, Hapur, Moradabad, Bareilly, Kharagpur, Ujjain and other cities within India by railway. The city has a domestic airport, from which daily flights connect to Mumbai with flights operated by Jet Airways and Air India. State Transport buses are available from the ST stand in the middle of the town to various places in Gujarat. Additionally, many private tour operators also run frequent buses to major cities within and outside of the state of Gujarat. Kandla Airport is 53 km from Bhuj. The city may be navigated by the city bus and auto rickshaw.

Trains

Train no. Train Name Runs From Destination Departure Days Arrival Days
11091-11092 Ahimsa Express Bhuj Pune Wednesday Tuesday
14312-14311 via Ahmedabad & 14322-14321 via Bhildi Ala Hazrat Express Bhuj Bareilly Tuesday, Thursday & Sunday for 14312. Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday for 14322 Friday, Saturday, Monday for 14311. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday for 14321
22829-22830 Shalimar - Bhuj Weekly SF Express Bhuj Shalimar Tuesday Monday
22904-22903 Bandra Terminus Bhuj AC Superfast Express Bhuj Bandra Monday, Thursday, Saturday Thursday, Saturday, Monday
12960-12959 Bhuj Dadar Superfast Express Bhuj Dadar Monday, Thursday Wednesday, Saturday
19132-19131 Kutch Express Bhuj Bandra Daily Daily Daily
19116-19115 Shayajinagari Express Bhuj Dadar Daily Daily

Flight

Jet Airways aircraft at Bhuj Airport
Jet Airways aircraft at Bhuj Airport

Bhuj has well connected flights to Mumbai provided by the airlines of Jet Airways and Air India Regional.

Airline Departs Arrives
Jet Airways Bhuj Mumbai
Air India Regional Bhuj Mumbai

The Jet Airways flight from Bhuj to Mumbai continues on to Delhi

References

  1. ^ a b "Census of India". The Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India, New Delhi, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2007-06-26. Retrieved 2015-09-03.
  2. ^ Ward (1 January 1998). Gujarat–Daman–Diu: A Travel Guide. Orient Longman Limited. pp. 316–317. ISBN 978-81-250-1383-9.
  3. ^ "History of Bhuj". Bhuj Online.
  4. ^ a b c d Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency: Cutch, Palanpur, and Mahi Kantha. Printed at the Government Central Press. 1880. pp. 215–216.
  5. ^ "Quake rocks Kutch". The Hindu. 24 July 1956. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  6. ^ Van Etten, Eddie J.B.; ‘Inter-annual Rainfall Variability of Arid Australia: greater than elsewhere?’; Australian Geographer; 40 (2009), pp. 109-120
  7. ^ 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. 3457-3466
  8. ^ "Bhuj Climatological Table Period: 1981–2010". India Meteorological Department. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  9. ^ "Ever recorded Maximum and minimum temperatures up to 2010" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 21, 2013. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  10. ^ "Introducing The Bhuj House: An Interview with Jehan Bhujwala". Greaves Tours. May 2, 2016.
  11. ^ "ક્રાંતિગુરુ શ્યામજી કૃષ્ણ વર્મા કચ્છ યુનિવર્સિટી". Kskvku.digitaluniversity.ac. Retrieved 2012-08-05.

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