Orientation & Geography

Asia, India, Gujarat

Bharuch (Gujarati: ભરૂચ ) is today is a large seaport city of more than a million inhabitants and a municipality in the Bharuch district, in the state of Gujarat, India. As a trading depot, the limitations of coastal shipping made it a regular terminus via several mixed trade routes of the fabled spice and silk trading between East and West, so that it became known to history by various names such as Bharakuccha, Bhrigu Kaksha (the domain of Bhrigu, an ancient Indian sage), Bhroach, as well as Bhrauch. During the British Raj it was officially known as Broach. Narmada River's inland access to central and northern India and with a location in the sheltered Gulf of Khambat in the era of coastal sea travel grew and prospered as a trading transshipment center and ship building port. Until very modern times the only effective way to move goods was by water transport, and Bharuch had sheltered waters in a era without weather forecasting, compasses, and when shipping was necessarily limited to coastal navigation, and the general East-West course of the Narmada gave access to the rich inland empires at the upper reaches of the Narmada, including easy caravan access to the Ganges valley and the plains of Delhi. Certainly by the 500s BC, the city was known at least by reputation, via land-sea routes reaching the Levant to the Arab and Ethiopian traders feeding goods westwards to the Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, Western Romans, Carthaginians, and eventually, the Eastern Roman Empires, and the Republic of Venice. It is likely even the Phonecians knew of it and so it has acted since antiquity as a link port to the luxury goods trade from the Far East and the interior of the Indian sub-continent to the civilizations of South-west Asia, the Middle-East, the Mediterranean basin including Northern Africa and Europe. Bharuch is the oldest city of Gujarat. It is also the second oldet city of India having continuous inhitations, first being Kashi (Varanasi). Bharuch has a known history for about 8000 years.