Bharuch

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Bharuch is one of oldest cities of Gujarat and the second oldest city of India to have continuous inhabitation after Varanasi. Located in the southern region of the western coast of the state at the mouth of River Narmada, Bharuch, also known as Bhrigu Tirtha in the Hindu Puranas, is lined with a large number of temples along the river side. The region has been ruled by the Mauryans, Guptas, Gurjars, Rajputs, Chalukyas and the Mughals. Located at an elevation of 49 feet, the total population of the city is 1,70,000. Bharuch serves as the administrative headquarters of the Bharuch District, the 9th least populated district of the State. Historically, Bharuch was an important sea port of western India from ancient times and the city prospered because of its coastal location at the mouth of the Narmada River. In the 3rd century, Bharuch port was mentioned as Barugaza or deep treasure in Greek, and was well known to the Arab, Egyptian, Persian and European Traders. Excavations near the banks of the river Narmada in Bharuch have revealed many archaeological and architectural wonders, mostly temples. As per the census data of 2011, the total population of the district is 1.6 million, out of which 41 percent belong to the working age. Out of this, 53 percent are engaged in the agricultural sector, one percent in the household industry and 46 percent in industry and services to include Peanut Processing, Chemicals, Petrochemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Engineering, Ports, Ship building and Bandhini Textiles. Although Bharuch lost much of its ancient importance as a port on account of the increasing importance of Surat and Bombay under the East India Company, it still continues to be one of the major exporters of cotton. The East India Company started the first ginning factory at Bharuch which was soon closed, but the local businessmen took the lead in setting up more ginning factories and textile mills. The freedom movement in Bharuch gained momentum in 1905, with the city contributing to the Home Rule movement. On the 12th of the March in 1930, when Gandhiji started the Dandi Kuch with some of his supporters, the route undertaken passed through the Bharuch district and the citizens of Bharuch participated actively.