Junagadh district is a district of Gujarat state, situated at its western part with its administrative headquarters located at Junagadh city. The place Junagadh was ruled by different dynasties during different periods of time such as Mauryans, Kashatrapas, Guptas, Vallabhas, Chaudasamas, Gujarat Sultans and Babi Nawab. The present culture as well as the architecture of Junagadh depicts the blend of political Mughals and religious powers. Nawab Mahobat Khan II (1851-82 A.D.), the Babi ruler of Junagadh had not only decorated the place but also built several marvellous buildings inspired by urban design proposes like Aina Mahal, Circle Chowk with clock tower and Dewan Chowk. During the period of Nawabs, some other beautiful buildings were also constructed in this place which comprises the Bahauddin College, Manoranjan Guest House, Mahobat Madresa (Narsi Vidya Mandir) and the maqbaras (mausoleums) of the royalty. The place of Junagadh was founded in the year 1730. Then in 1807 it was served as a British protectorate. The region went under the control of the East India Company by 1818, whereas the area named Saurashtra never came under the direct administration of British India. Rather, the British divided the territory of Saurashtra into more than one hundred princely states and these remained in existence till India got its independence in 1947. The present town of Junagadh, emerged as well as developed during the 19th and 20th centuries is one of the former princely states which was outside but under the domain of British India.
Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani, an eminent Indian business tycoon and the founder of Reliance Industries in Bombay was born on 28th December, 1932 at Chorvad in the Junagadh district. The Sunday Times had mentioned his name in the list of top 50 businessmen in Asia.
Geographically, the district lies at 21°52'N latitude, 70°46'E longitude and 107 m altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 19.69% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 8,831 sq km. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 7th in the state and 75th in India. It is bordered by Rajkot district on the North, Porbandar district on the North West, Amreli district on the East and Arabian Sea on the South and West. People of the district experiences extreme hot during the summer. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1250.5 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 3 sub-divisions namely Junagadh Subdivision, Mangrol Subdivision and Somanth Sub-Division. There are 17 talukas and 9 assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 15 towns and 1,029 villages. The administrative language in the district is Gujarati.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 27,43,082 out of which 14,04,356 are males and 13,38,726 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 953 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 12.05% including 12.14% were males and 11.95% were females. The population density in the district is 311 persons per sq. km. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 23,012 out of which 12,162 were males and 10,850 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 13,531 out of which 7,618 were males and 5,910 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 87.39% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Gujarati with 96.84%.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the district. More than half of the population in the district are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. Some of its chief agricultural products are oil seeds, wheat, millet, cotton seeds, arenda, jowar, sugarcane, coriander, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the farmers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. Some part of the population in the district is involved in some principal business of the district such as mineral based industries, agriculture based industries, Marine based industries, etc. The well known industries of the district are Agro Marine Exports, Creative Castings Ltd, Gujarat Dairy Development Corporation, Austin Engineering, etc. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from these industries helps in its economy to a great extent.
There is a renowned Agricultural University in this place named Junagardh Agricultural University which offers courses in agriculture, agriculture engineering and fisheries. A Fisheries College is also located in the Veraval taluka of the district which provides education in Pisciculture. Junagardh district is an abode of numerous reputed educational institutions namely Bahauddin Science College, Kamani Science College, Dr. Subhash College of Physical Education, H.M.V. Arts and Commerce College, Patel K.M. College of Tech, Sardar Patel Mahi LLA BBA College, Mahila Arts and Commerce College, Dr. Subhash College of Education, Vacchani Mahila Arts and Home Science College, Devmani Arts and Commerce College, Choksi Arts and Commerce College, Bahaudin Arts College, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 75.8% including 84.38% are males and 66.86% are females.
Bhavna Chikhalia, a former Minister of State of Parliamentary Affairs and of Tourism and Culture in Government of India (2003-2004) and the first lady of Gujarat who has won four consecutive terms of Lok Sabha from Junagadh constituency i.e. from 1991 to 2004 was born on 14th February, 1955 at a small town Devalki near Junagadh. Jashubhai Dhanabhai Barad, an illustrious Indian politician and a member of the 14th Lok Sabha from the Junagadh constituency of Gujarat was born on 15th September, 1955 at Junagadh city. He is a former Cabinet Minister of water resources and irrigation of Gujarat state.
There are several centres of attraction in the district which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Mahabat Maqbara, an extraordinary mausoleum of a Nawab of Junagadh which depicts the blend of Indo-Islamic architecture. Narsinh Mehta's Choro is a pious place where the famous poet and Saint Narsinh Mehta used to generally hold his assemblies, religious discourses and Bhajans in the 15th century. Durbar Hall Museum, a marvellous museum with a large collection of antique silver chains, chandeliers, thrones, palanquins, weapons and armour of the Nawab’s period. Upperkot Fort, located on the eastern side of Junagadh is a fort constructed in 319 BC by Chandragupta Maurya. But during different periods of time the fort has been rebuilt and extended by various rulers. Some other places of interest in the district are Mount Girnar, Damodar Kund, Ashoka's Rock Edicts, Jama Masjid, etc.