Bhavnagar About this sound pronunciation (help·info) is a city in the Bhavnagar district of the Saurashtra region of the Gujarat state of India. It was founded in 1724 by Bhavsinhji Gohil (1703–1764). It was 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 headquarter of the Bhavnagar district.
Bhavnagar is situated 198 km from the state capital Gandhinagar and to the west of the Gulf of Khambhat. It has always been an important city for trade with many large and small scale industries along with the world’s largest ship breaking yard (Alang) located 50 km away. Palitana Jain temples, which are important holy places for Jains, are situated 56 km away, and Velavadar national park, home to endangered species of wolves, antelopes and blackbucks, is situated 42 km away.
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 1722–1723, forces led by Khanthaji Kadani and Pilaji Gaekwad attempted to raid Sihor but were repelled by Maharaja Bhavsinhji Gohil. After the war Bhavsinhji realised the reason for repeated attack 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 its potential for maritime trade. Naturally, Bhavnagar City became the capital of Bhavnagar State Bhavnagar Boroz.
The old town of Bhavnagar was a fortified town with gates leading to other important regional towns. It remained a major port for almost two centuries, trading commodities with Mozambique, Zanzibar, Singapore, and the Persian Gulf. The current Royal Family of Bhavnagar comprises Maharaja Vijayraj Singh Gohil and Maharani Samyukta Kumari, Prince Yuvraj Jaiveerraj Singh Gohil and Princess Brijeshwari Kumari Gohil.