Early History

There are no written records of the ancient period. The earliest known history is about Chandragupta Maurya having conquered parts of this region around 322 BC to 294 BC. He deputed Pushyamitra who ruled the region from Junagadh. Emperor Ashoka too left his legacy here in the form of the edits on the rocks near Junagadh.

At around the same time Demetrius from Greek made incursions into Gujarat but could not establish a strong foothold.

Around 10 AD it was the Sakas who ruled parts of Gujarat for about 400 years. Mahakshatrap Rudradaman I founded the Kardamaka dynasty that held sway over regions extending from Bharuch to Punjab. With the decline of the Guptas it was left to Senapati Bhatarka, a general in the Gupta army to declare independence and establish his own Maitrak kingdom around 470 AD, with their capital located in Valabhipur near Bhavnagar. The Maitrakas held sway over regions extending up to the Malwa plateau and were also renowned for their scholarly pursuits. The dynasty lasted from 475 to 767 AD. The Gurjara Pratiharas dominated from 8th to 9th century AD after which the Solankis took over.

The Solanki Dynasty

Rajputs rules Gujarat from 960 to 1243 AD. The Solankis, descended from the Chalukyas that ruled parts of Western and Central India from 10th to 13th centuries, established supremacy in this region. Mulraj I overthrew the Chavdas and established supremacy in Anhilwad Patan, later going on to found the city of Siddhpur. Under his rule Gujarat flourished as a centre of arts and commerce. His successors included Karndev I who ruled from 1064 to 1094 AD and expanded the territory to include Konkan areas even as he went about building temple and founding Karnavati that later came to be known as Ahmedabad. However, he was defeated and killed by Dushshal Chauhan. However, his son Siddhraj Jaysinh I ascended the throne and went on to become the most famous of the Solanki dynasty. Patan shone under his rule and became a flourishing city. Incidentally, Ahmedabad was modelled after Patan. Generations succeeded him but could not outshine him. The Vaghelas were the next to rise to power.