Bharuch (About this soundlisten formerly known as Broach, is a city at the mouth of the river Narmada in Gujarat in western India. Bharuch is the administrative headquarters of Bharuch District.
The city of Bharuch and its surroundings have been settled since times of antiquity. It was a ship building centre and sea port in the pre-compass coastal trading routes to points West, perhaps as far back as the days of the pharaohs. The route made use of the regular and predictable monsoon winds or galleys. Many goods from the Far East (the famed Spice and Silk trade) were shipped there during the annual monsoon winds, making it a terminus for several key land-sea trade routes. Bharuch was known to the Greeks, the various Persian Empires, in the Roman Republic and Empire, and in other Western centres of civilisation through the end of the European Middle Ages.
In the 3rd century, Bharuch port was mentioned as Barugaza. Arab traders entered Gujarat via Bharuch to do business. The British and the Dutch (Valandas) noted Bharuch's importance and established their business centres here.
During the eight century, the town of bharuch was ruled by King Mayur giving rise to the Chaudhary Dynasty. The king ruled the city for 50 years and was popularly known as the 'Ace of Bharuch'.
At the end of the 17th century, it was plundered twice, but resurged quickly. Afterwards, a proverb was composed about it, “Bhangyu Bhangyu Toye Bharuch”, which translates to "Although battered and shattered at by the tidal waves of time, it is still Bharuch". As a trading depot, the limitations of coastal shipping made it a regular terminus via several mixed trade routes of the fabled spice and silk trading between East and West. During the British Raj it was officially known as Broach.
Bharuch has been the home to the Gujarati Bhargav Brahmin community for ages. The community traces its lineage to Maharshi Bhrigu rishi and Bhagwan Parshuram who is considered to be incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The Bhargav community still administers a large number of public trusts in the city. However the present day Bhargav Brahmins have migrated to Mumbai, Surat, Vadodara, Ahmedabad and other countries like the US, UK and Australia.
Being one of the biggest industrial areas including Ankleshwar GIDC, it is at times referred to as the chemical capital of India. The city has chemical plants, textile mills, long staple cotton, dairy products and much more. Gujarat's biggest liquid cargo terminal is situated there. It also houses many multinational companies, such as Videocon, BASF, Reliance, Safari Construction Equipments Pvt. Ltd. and Welspun Maxsteel Ltd. Because of the distinctive colour of its soil (which is also ideal for cotton cultivation), Bharuch is sometimes referred to as 'Kanam Pradesh' (black-soil land). Bharuch is a shopping centre well known for its salty peanuts. citation needed