Kathiawar

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Kathiawar is a peninsula in western India. It is part of Gujarat state, bounded on the north by the great wetland of the Rann of Kutch, on the northwest by the Gulf of Kutch, on the west and south by the Arabian Sea, and on the southeast and east by the Gulf of Cambay. A person from Kathiawar is called Kathiawadi. The major cities of Kathiawar are Jamnagar on the Gulf of Kutch, Rajkot in the center of the peninsula, Bhavnagar on the Gulf of Cambay, and Porbandar on the west coast. Diu, an island town formerly part of Portuguese India and now part of the Indian union territory of Daman and Diu, lies off the south coast of Kathiawar. The city of Somnath and its famous temple are are also located on the south coast.

A range of low hills, known as the Gir Hills, occupy the south central portion of the peninsula, the highest of which is Girnar. The natural vegetation of the peninsula is tropical dry broadleaf forest, and makes up the Kathiawar-Gir dry deciduous forests ecoregion. Gir National Park, which includes the forested hills around Girnar, is home to the last remaining Asiatic lions left in the wild. Other national parks on Kathiawar are Velavadar National Park on the Gulf of Cambay and Marine National Park, on the Gulf of Kutch near Jamnagar.

Before Indian independence in 1947, most of Kathiawar was divided into numerous princely states, ruled by local potentates who acknowledged British sovereignty in return for local autonomy. The rest of the peninsula, chiefly in the east along the Gulf of Cambay, was part of Bombay state. Upon independence, Kathiawar became part of India, although the Muslim ruler of Junagadh sought to become part of Pakistan; India intervened, and Junagadh acceded to India, although Pakistan still maintains a claim to it. The former princely states of Kathiawar were grouped into the new province of Saurashtra, which became a state in 1950. In 1956, Saurashtra was merged into Bombay state, and in 1960, Bombay state was divided along linguistic lines into the new states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. Diu remained in Portuguese hands until 1961, when it was occupied by Indian troops, and was integrated into India as part of the union territory of Goa, Daman and Diu in 1962.fr:K‚thi‚war

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