Bharuch (Bhroach) one of the oldest towns of Gujarat with a 2000 year history, is situated at the mouth of the river Narmada. It was an important Buddhist center in the 7th century and considered to be sacred among sages. Located between Vadodara and Surat, the city derived its name from 'Bhrigukachba', the temple of the great saint Bhrigu Rishi, which was later abridged to Bharuch.
This heavily industrialised city is renowned for its textile mills, chemical plants, long staple cotton, dairy products and much more. Bharuch is well known for its salty peanuts. Because of the distinctive colour of the soil here that is ideal for cotton cultivation, Bharuch is sometimes referred to as 'Kanam Pradesh' (black soil land).
The Bhrigu Rishi Temple
The temple of Bhrigu Rishi, is situated on the east of the city on the banks of the holy river Narmada. Bharuch which was originally called 'Bhrigukachba' derived its name from this temple. The temple was built in honour of the great saint Maharishi Bhrigu who was able to attain sainthood by reaching the perfect balance between wisdom and activity.
Bharuch Fort (Lallubhai Haveli)
The magnificent Bharuch fort, perched on a hilltop overlooks the Narmada river. This one-storeyed building was erected in 1791 A.D by an ex-Divan of the former Nawab of Broach named Lallubhai.
Within the fort there is the Collector's office, Civil Courts, the Old Dutch factory, a church, the Victoria Clock tower and other buildings. Around 3 kms from the fort there are some early Dutch tombs, overlooked by some Parsee Towers of Silence.
Jama Masjid is located at the base of the hilltop of the Bharuch fort. This 14th century masjid is said to have been constructed from the remains of a Jain temple. It was rebuilt in a conventional mosque design.
Madresa Mosque believed to be built by Mohammad in 1038 AD is one among the oldest mosques in Gujarat. The special feature here is the Persian inscription engraved on wooden plates that date back to 1609AD. The pillars of the mosque and the front door built of black wood are beautifully adorned with elegant engravings that are quite old.
The Golden Bridge that connects Bharuch to Ankleshwar across the Narmada River was built in 1881 by the British. It is called so because the iron used for the construction of the bridge is very sturdy, resistant to rust and rare and more expensive than modern steel.
Kabirvad is an island on the river Narmada at a distance of about 16km from Bharuch city. The main attraction here is a gigantic banyan tree covering an area of 3.7 acres. According to legend, it is at this place that saint Kabirdas meditated and the treegrew from a meswak stick (used for brushing the teeth) that was thrown here by the saint. Other added attractions here are the lotus shaped marble temple, Kabir museum and boat ride on Narmada river.
Shuklatirth is a small holy village located on the way to Kabirvad. It has many old temples of Mahadevji, Vishnuji and other Hindu deities like Brahma and many goddesses.
Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary located on the outskirts of Bharuch stretches over an area of 608 sq. kms. Earlier known as Dhumkal Sanctuary, it was established with a view to protect the Sloth Bear. The sanctuary is a peaceful abode for a large variety of birds and animals. Leopards, wild sloth bears, hyena, panther, sambar, four-horned antelope, wild dogs are some of the fauna's protected here. Crocodiles and otters have been sighted along the river.