Bhavnagar district is a district of Gujarat state with its administrative headquarters located at Bhavnagar town. The district got its name from its headquarters town named Bhavnagar, which was founded by a Rajput prince called Bhav Sinhji in 1743. He was a prince from the Gohil Rajput clan that were originally from Rajasthan and came to Saurashtra coast in the 12th century. During that period the Gohil Rajputs of the Surya Vanshi clan were involved in severe competition in Marwar. Therefore, they came to Gujarat and established three capitals namely Sejakpur, Umrala and Sihor. At the same time Bhav Sinhji set up a new capital named Bhavnagar, situated near Vadva village, at a distance of 20 km. from Sihor. Earlier, it was a fortified town which gates were leading to some other important towns of the region. Gohil Rajput clan ruled over the place Bhavnagar till India got its independence in 1947. Late Sir Krishnakumar Sinhji, the last princely ruler of Bhavnagar who had handed over the administration of the place to the representative elected by the people in 1948. As a result, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was highly impressed by this humble act of him and then made him the Governor of Madras State after Independence of India. The district came into existence in the year 1723 AD.
Geographically, the district lies at 21°76'N latitude, 72°15'E longitude and 24 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 2.92% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 10,034 sq km. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 6th in the state and 63rd in India. It is bounded by Ahmedabad district and Surendranagar district on the North, Amreli district and Arabian Sea on the South East, Gulf of Cambay on the East and Rajkot district and Amreli district on the West. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 807.8 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into nine talukas namely Bhavnagar, Sihor, Umarana, Gariyadhar, Palitana, Mahuva, Talaja, Ghogha, and Vallbhipur. There are 1 Lok Sabha seat and 9 Assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 21 towns and 793 villages. The administrative language in the district is Gujarati.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 28,80,365 including 14,90,201 are males and 13,90,164 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 933 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 16.63% out of which 16.89% were males and 16.36% were females. The population density in the district is 287 persons per sq. km. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 45,450 out of which 23,881 were males and 21,569 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 20,288 out of which 12,312 were males and 7,976 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 91.40% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Gujarati with 97.87%.
The well developed industrial sector of the Bhavnagar district is the backbone of its economy. The district is fortunate enough to have a large number of industries of salt and marine chemicals, diamond cutting and polishing units, plastics, ship building, breaking industries, etc. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from these industries helps in its economy to a great extent. Moreover, after Surat it is the Bhavnagar which comes in the second position in diamond cutting and polishing industry. Some of its population are also engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are groundnut, onion, cotton, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the famers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items.
Bhavnagar is an abode of several reputed educational institutions. Bhavnagar's Samaldas College is the oldest institution of higher education in the Bhavnagar town. The Bhavnagar University is renowned university of the district and most of its colleges are affiliated to it. Some other recognised educational institutions in the district are B.P.T.I. College, Sheth H. J. Law College, Shantilal Shah Pharmacy College, Medical College, Samaldas Arts College, Sir P.P. Institute of Science, Shantilal Shah Engineering College, S.N.D.T. Mahila College, V.P. Kapadia Mahila Arts College, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 75.52% including 84.39% are males and 66.08% are females.
Rajendrasinh Ghanshyamsinh Rana, an eminent Indian politician and a member of 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th Lok Sabha was born on 22nd May, 1956 at Bhavnagar town. He represented the Bhavnagar constituency for five consecutive terms of the Parliament. He is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The district has numerous centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Takhteshwar temple, built by Maharaja Takhtasinhji in 1893 is located on a small hill which holds historical significance. It is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Gaurishankar Lake, a perfect destination for picnic and bird watching was originally constructed in order to supply water to the whole town. Barton Museum and Gandhi Smriti was built in the year 1895 AD. The museum has a vast collection of antique wood carvings, bead work, farming tools, musical instruments, religious carvings, sculpture, stamps and numerous folk objects. On the other hand Gandhi Smriti has photographs and articles related to Mahatma. There is also a library which comprises books and photographs of Mahatma Gandhi. Some other places of interest in the district are Nilambagh Palace, Gangajalia, Victoria Park, Alang, Velavadar National Park, Trambak Falls, etc.