Saurashtra (region)


Saurashtra (region)

Infobox Indian Jurisdiction
type = region
native_name = Saurashtra
other_name =
state_name = Gujarat
skyline =
skyline_caption =
base_



base_map_label = no
map_caption = Districts included in Saurastra highlighted
latd = 22.3000
longd = 70.7833
largest_city = Rajkot
official_languages = Gujarati
area_total =
area_total_cite =
population_total =
population_as_of =
population density =
population_density_cite =
blank_title_1 =
blank_value_1 =
website =

Saurashtra (also Soruth and Sorath) is a region of western India, located on the Arabian Sea coast of Gujarat state. It is a peninsula also called Kathiawar after the Kathi Darbar rulers who ruled part of the region once. The Peninsula is shared with the Kutch region which occupies the north, Saurashtra or Sorath forming the southern portion.

History

Surastrene, or Saraostus is mentioned in the 1st century CE Periplus of the Erythraean Sea: cquotetxt
"Beyond the gulf of Baraca is that of Barygaza and the coast of the country of Ariaca, which is the beginning of the Kingdom of Nambanus and of all India. That part of it lying inland and adjoining Scythia is called Abiria, but the coast is called Syrastrene. It is a fertile country, yielding wheat and rice and sesame oil and clarified butter, cotton and the Indian cloths made therefrom, of the coarser sorts. Very many cattle are pastured there, and the men are of great stature and black in color. The metropolis of this country is Minnagara, from which much cotton cloth is brought down to Barygaza.
Periplus, Chap. 41
[http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/periplus.html Source]
color=silver
size=360%
Sorath was the former name of the Muslim-ruled Princely State of Junagadh ("Junagarh" or the "Old City"). In 1947, Junagadh's Muslim ruler desired to accede his territory to Pakistan, but the predominantly Hindu population rebelled, and while he fled to Pakistan, a plebiscite was conducted as a result of which the kingdom was merged into the Indian Union.

During British rule, Junagadh and its neighboring princely states were supervised by the Western India States Agency (WISA).

After India's independence in 1947, 217 princely states of Kathiawar and Saurashtra, including the former kingdom of Junagadh, were grouped together to form the province of Saurashtra. The capital of Saurashtra was Rajkot. On November 1, 1956, Saurashtra was merged into Bombay state. In 1960 Bombay state was divided along linguistic lines into the new states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. The territory of Saurashtra, including that of the former kingdom of Sorath or Junagadh is now part of the state of Gujarat.

Language

Saurashtra (alternate names and spellings: Sourashtra, Sowrashtra, Palkar, Saurashtri) is also the name of an Indo-Aryan language of Kathiawar-Saurashtra.

Postage stamps

The first postage stamps of the state were issued for Junagadh in 1864. They consisted of three lines of Hindi script in colorless letters on black, and were produced by handstamping with watercolor ink. A second issue, in 1868 used colored letters, printed in black or red on several colors of paper.

The issue of 1877 was the first to include Latin letters; the circular design included the inscription "SORUTH POSTAGE" at the top, and "ONE ANNA OF A RUPEE" (or "FOUR ANNAS...") at the bottom. Some of these were surcharged in 1913-14, followed by redesigned stamps in 1914.

The next issue came in 1923, and featured a portrait of Nawab Mahabat Khan III, along with the inscription "SAURASHTRA POSTAGE". A set of eight stamps in 1929 including pictures of Junagadh, the Gir Lion, and the Kathi Horse in addition to the Nawab. In 1937 the one anna value was reissued reading "POSTAGE AND REVENUE".

The Indian province of Saurashtra did not design any of its own stamps, but before adopting the stamps of India, Saurashtra issued a court fee stamp overprinted for postal use, then created more one anna stamps by surcharging three stamps of the 1929 issue.

See also

*2006 Gujarat earthquake
*Rajkot
*Junagadh
*Jamnagar
*Bhavnagar
*Porbandar
*Amreli
*Somnath
*Veraval
* Further information regarding the culture and people of surashtra can be found in the books of Late Shri Harilal Upadhyay, Well known, Famous & Great Gujarati Author - [http://www.harilalupadhyay.org http://www.harilalupadhyay.org] .

References

* Ron Wood, "Soruth" (Handbook of Indian Philately, Series 2, Hampshire, UK: The India Study Circle for Philately, 1999)



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