Bharuch – Gujarat Ancient Port City
After Varanasi, Bharuch happens to be the oldest city of India that is located in the beautiful state of Gujarat. It is nestled at the mouth of river Narmada and used to be a major port city over 2000 years ago. Although the city’s architectural marvels and historical prominence is currently forgotten, Bharuch can be a refreshing visit for a history enthusiast. Tourism in Bharuch is not a priority; therefore, visiting Bharuch has to be your own journey. For the traveller in you, this ancient city is the perfect destination to explore on your own. It is located around 190 km from Ahmedabad and is currently an industrialised city that has many plants producing fertilisers, cotton, dye, etc.
How Did The City Get Its Name?
Bharuch was formerly known as Broach. But in ancient Roman and Greek texts written centuries ago, it is referred to as Barygaza. It is believed that the city was visited by the well-known saint Bhrigu, due to which the city was named as Bhrigu Kaccha, which in turn evolved into the name Bharuch.
Walk Through The Streets Of Bharuch The regal city of Bharuch was ruled by numerous powerful empires, such as the Gupta dynasty, Rajputs and Mughals. The best way to witness their presence is through the architecture of certain structures that were built in their time. Undai Darwaja is one of the 9 gateways of the city, now in ruins, that can be found near the riverbed of Narmada river. You can stroll further to find a Vamana Temple that is believed to be the spot where the famous Hindu mythological character Vamana, took the 3 universal steps that displaced Bali to live in a different world.
Swaminarayan Temple is a famous attraction at Bharuch, which is dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan, who is believed to be the final avatar of God. This beautiful temple remains open from 7.30 am to 8.15 pm, with a major break between 12 pm to 4 pm. A souvenir shop is found nearby which consists of an array of books, puja items and gift items.
Saunter through the streets of Bharuch and observe old, rustic buildings that have architecture of the past rulers and other invaders like the Greek and Romans. Visit the Raichand Dipchand Library, which is an ancient library that was built in 1858. It possesses rare Gujarati manuscripts and lakhs of books that will take you back in time.
The Golden Bridge that connects Bharuch to Ankleshwar is an ancient bridge that was built by the British in 1881, across the river Narmada. In order to keep the iron bridge from rusting, it was painted golden. Right beside the Golden Bridge, you can see a Silver Bridge that was built in order to connect Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Dashashwamedh Ghat, Narmada Park and Lallubhai Haveli, are some of the other places to visit in Bharuch.