Kutch district

Location of Kutch district in Gujarat
Kutch district (also spelled as Kachchh) is a district of Gujarat state in western India. Covering an area of 45,674 kmĀ², it is the largest district of India. The population of Kutch is about 2,092,000. It has 10 Talukas, 939 villages and 6 Municipalities.

Kutch literally means something which intermittently becomes wet and dry; a large part of this district is known as Rann of Kutch which is shallow wetland which submerges in water during the rainy season and becomes dry during other seasons. The same word is also used in Sanskrit origin for a tortoise. The Rann is famous for its marshy salt flats which become snow white after the shallow water dries up each season before the monsoon rains.

The district is also famous for ecologically important Banni grasslands with their seasonal marshy wetlands which form the outer belt of the Rann of Kutch.

Kutch District is surrounded by the Gulf of Kutch and the Arabian Sea in south and west, while northern and eastern parts are surrounded by the Great and Little Rann (seasonal wetlands) of Kutch. When there were not many dams built on its rivers, the Rann of Kutch remained wetlands for a large part of the year. Even today, the region remains wet for a significant part of year. The district had a population of 2,092,379 as of 2011 census, of which 30% were urban. Motor vehicles registered in Kutch district have their registration Number starting with GJ-12. The district is well connected by road, rail and air. There are four airports in the district: Naliya, Kandla, Mundra, and Bhuj. Bhuj is well connected with Mumbai airport. Being a border district, Kutch has both an army and an airforce base.

The history of Kutch can be traced back to prehistorical times. There are several sites related to Indus valley civilization in region and is mentioned in Hindu mythology. In historical times, Kutch is mentioned in Greek writings during Alexander. It was ruled by Menander I of Greco-Bactrian Kingdom which was overthrown by Indo-Scythians followed by Maurya Empire and Sakas. in the first century, it was under Western Satraps followed by Gupta Empire. By fifth century, Maitraka of Valabhi took over from which its close association with ruling clans of Gujarat started. Chavdas ruled the eastern and central parts by seventh century but were came under Chaulukyas by tenth century. After fall of Chaulukya, Vaghelas ruled the state. Following conquest of Sindh by Muslim rulers, Rajput Samma started moving southwards to Kutch and ruled western regions initially. By tenth century, they controlled significant area of Kutch and by thirteenth century they controlled whole of Kutch and adopted a new dynastic identity, Jadeja.

For three centuries, Kutch was divided and ruled by three different branches of Jadeja brothers. In sixteenth century, Kutch was unified under one rule by Rao Khengarji I of these branches and his direct decedents ruled for two centuries and had good relationship with Gujarat Sultanate and Mughals. One of his descendants, Rayadhan II left three sons of whom two died and third son, Pragmal Ji took over the state and founded the current lineage of rulers at the start of the seventeenth century. The decedents of other brothers founded states in Kathiawar. After turbulent periods and battles with armies of Sindh, the state was stabilized in the middle of eighteenth century by council known as Bar Bhayat ni Jamat who placed Rao as a titular head and ruled independently. The state accepted suzerainty of British East India Company in 1819 when Kutch was defeated in battle. The state was devastated by an earthquake in 1819. The state stabilized and flourished in business under subsequent rulers.

This page was last edited on 15 May 2018, at 10:05.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kachchh under CC BY-SA license.

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