Gujarat Bhawan
Gujarat Bhawan

Visionaries

National Visionaries and Leaders

Mahatama Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or Bapu as he was fondly called was born in Porbandar and was at the forefront of the Freedom Struggle in British-ruled India. Between 1917 and 1930, upon returning from South Africa, much of Mahatma Gandhi's activities for India's freedom and his experiments with life were carried out from his home in Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad. It was from this Ashram that the famous Dandi Salt March was launched in 1930 to protest the levying of salt tax by the British. Today, the Sabarmati Ashram, a quiet haven with its underlying simplicity, epitomizes Gandhi's life and mission and serves as a source of inspiration and guidance for its visitors.

For more information on Sabarmati Ashram: http://www.gandhiashram.org.in/ External website that opens in a new window

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel - the Iron Man of India - was born on October 31, 1875, in a small village in Nadiad. He was one of the key figures in India's freedom struggle, and after the country became independent, he was India's first home minister and Deputy Prime Minister. When India became an independent nation, there were 550 independent and divided states controlled by local rulers. It was Sardar Patel who played a crucial role in bringing the states together and was among the key architects of modern and united India. The Statue of Unity, the tallest by far in world at 597 ft, is being planned facing the Narmada Dam, as a tribute to his legacy.

For more information on Sardar Patel and the Statue of Unity: http://www.statueofunity.in/External website that opens in a new window

Literature

Mirabai

Mirabai, a mystic poet, was a Rajput princess from Rajasthan who devoted her life to Lord Krishna. It is believed that she spent her last years in Gujarat, in the temple town of Dwarka.

Hemchandracharya

He was a 12th century Jain scholar and a prodigious writer who wrote on grammar, philosophy, history and prosody. He had a deep impact on King Kumarpala who later made Jainism the state religion.

Narsinh Mehta

He was a 15th century poet-saint from Gujarat and is regarded as the pioneer poet of Gujarati literature. His bhajan 'Vaishnava Jana To' was Mahatma Gandhi's favourite.

Premanand Bhatt

He lived between the period 1649 and 1714 and is popular as the 'Ras Kavi' of Gujarat. He was best known for his 'Aakhyan' form of poetic recital.

Akha Bhagat

Referred as Akho, he was a goldsmith h by profession who later took to a life of devotion. He put his philosophy in verse by writing chhappas.

Religion & Spirituality

Swami Sahajanand

Popularly known as Swaminarayan, he started the Swaminarayan Sampraday sect, a form of modern Vaishnavism. After his seven-year religious travels across the country as a young boy, he settled in Gujarat. He is venerated as a God by his disciples.

Dayanand Saraswati

He was a leading 19th century religious reformer and the founder of Arya Samaj, a Hindu reform movement. He was born in Takara in Rajkot district, and had a profound impact on the country through his revival of Vedic ideologies.

Shrimad Rajchandra

Shrimad Rajchandra was considered a spiritual guide to Mahatma Gandhi. During his brief lifespan of 34 years, he wrote Shri Atma Siddhi Shastra, which was his interpretation of Jainism in short verse form.

Pujya Shree Mota

He was a spiritual leader with ashrams in Nadiad and Surat. He is the founder of the Maun Mandir, also known as the Hari Om Ashram, in Nadiad.

Arts

Maula Baksh

He was born to a zamindar family and was the grandfather of Inayat Khan. Early on in his life he came into contact with a dervish, through him he became interested in the study of music. He studied under the master from Gujarat, Ghasit Khan as well as Subramani Ayar in Malabar. As he traveled through the country and the different princely states, his fame spread everywhere. Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad recognized the immense talent in Maula Baksh and appointed him as the first director in the Academy of Music he had founded in Baroda.

Ustad Fayaz Khan

Ustad Fayez Mohammed Khan was the court musician of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad. He had trained under Ghagge Khuda Baksh and Qadir Baksh.

Omkarnath Thakur

He was a Hindustani classical singer who had his roots in Gujarat, being born in the princely state of Baroda. He later went on to become the principal of Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Lahore and the first dean of the music faculty the Banaras Hindu University.

Ravishankar Raval

The grandmaster of art, Ravishankar Raval is renowned for introducing the place of art in Gujarat's cultural scene. An eminent painter, art teacher and critic, he was instrumental in creating a new cadre of young artists in the State.

Jayshankar Sundari

He was an actor associated with Parsi theatre in his early days and later went on to achieve phenomenal success once he began to perform in Bombay. He was an example of the close association between the Parsi and Gujarati theatre at the turn of the 19th century.

Research and Science

Dr. Vikram Sarabhai

Dr. Vikram Sarabhai is one of the greatest scientists India has ever produced. Not merely a physicist, Dr Sarabhai was a rare combination of an innovator, industrialist and visionary. He spearheaded the establishment of the Indian Space Research Organisation and the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad. He was also Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. With active support from Homi Bhabha, Vikram Sarabhai, set up the first Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) in the country at Thumba near Thiruvananthapuram on the Arabian Coast. Further, he also partnered with other Ahmedabad-based industrialists, and played a major role in the creation of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. Dr. Vikram Sarabhai was awarded with Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Medal in 1962 and Padma Bhushan in 1966.

Reuben David Dandekar

He was a zoologist from the tiny Bene Israeli community who founded the Kamala Nehru Zoological Garden and Balvatika in Ahmedabad.

Tribhovandas Gajjar

He was a famous 19th century chemist of Gujarat, who came from an established artisanal family from Surat. He founded the Kala Bhavan in Baroda.

Industrialists and Philanthropists

Vastupal and Tejpal

They were 13th century two Jain brothers known for their virtue and intelligence. The Vastupal Tejpal temples in the Jain temple complex in Mount Girnar have been created by them. One of the five magnificent temples dedicated to Lord Nemiath at Dilwara in Mount Abu has also been built by the two brothers.

Premchand Raichand

He belonged to a Jain business family in Surat. A was a successful businessman, especially in the stock market, and also donated generously for public purposes. He constructed the Rajabhai Tower in Mumbai, and established several educational institutions in Gujarat.

Jamshedji Tata

He was a pioneer industrialist born in the small town of Navsari in 1839. During his illustrious life, he went on to found what is today known as the Tata Group of companies. He is renowned in the country as the 'Father of Indian Industry'.

Kasturbhai Lalbhai

He was an industrialist with strong nationalist leanings, and the co-founder of Arvind Mills in Gujarat. He also co-founded the Ahmedabad Education Society that later went on to start several educational institutes and also helped establish several premier institutions in the city. Lalbhai founded a number of institutions such as L.D. College of Engineering, L.D. Institute of Indology and Gujarat Chamber f Commerce and Industries. He, along with Vikram Sarabhai, also established Ahmedabad Textile Industries Research Association. World-renowned architects such as Louis Kahn, Le Corbusier and Charles Correa were commissioned by him to set up some of the institutions.

Gijubhai Badheka

He was an educationist from Saurashtra who introduced the Montessori method of teaching in India. He is known for education reforms in the country and established Bal Mandir.

Social Reformers

Ravi Shankar Vyas

He was born in Kheda district and was a social reformer who worked closely with Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel during the nationalist movements.

Indulal Yagnik

He was the leader of the All India Kisan Sabha and the Mahagujarat Movement which lobbied for the formation of a separate state of Gujarat. Yagnik was also a noted writer and film maker.

Shyamji Krishna Varma

Shyamji was the son of a labourer in a cotton company from Kachchh. During his life he studied at the Oxford University, London and went on to become a freedom fighter, lawyer and a journalist. After his death in 1930, a new town was developed in 1970 in Kachchh and named after him, known as Shyamji Krishna Varmanagar.

Back to top