Godhra is a municipality in Panchmahal district in Indian state of Gujarat. It is the administrative headquarters of the Panchmahal district. Originally the name came from gou which means "cow" and dhara- which have two meanings depending on how you pronounce the word: 'dharaa' means a feminine thing or person that "holds" something and it usually means"land", and the other pronunciation is 'dhaaraa' in which means "flow". However, the second pronunciation is not popular nor is usually associated with this word.[citation needed] Hence, 'Godhra or Godharaa' means the Land of the Cow.

Ramsagar Lake near Bus Stand, Godhra
Ramsagar Lake near Bus Stand, Godhra
Land of Cows
Godhra is located in Gujarat
Godhra is located in India
Coordinates: 22°46′38″N 73°37′13″E / 22.77722°N 73.62028°E / 22.77722; 73.62028
Country India
Named forCows
 • Total20.16 km2 (7.78 sq mi)
73 m (240 ft)
 • Total143,644
 • Density7,100/km2 (18,000/sq mi)
 • SpokenGujarati
 • OfficialGujarati, Hindi, English and Urdu
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone code02672
Vehicle registrationGJ-17
Sex ratio935/1000 /
Literacy rate87.51 %

Godhra is widely known in India and internationally for being the starting point of the 2002 Gujarat riots. Statewide religious riots between Hindus and Muslims began after the Godhra train burning incident near the Godhra railway station on 27 February 2002, where about 59 train passengers were burnt alive.[1] It was in Godhra that Vallabhbhai Patel first met Gandhi in 1917 and was subsequently drawn into the Indian freedom struggle.[2]

Godhra is a road and rail junction and a commercial centre for timber and agricultural produce. Industries include oilseed pressing, flour milling, and glass manufacture.

Godhra has a science, commerce, arts, law, ITI ,engineering and medical colleges.[citation needed]


The word "Godhra" means the land of cows. As per local folklore, cows used to come here from Pavagadh for grazing.[citation needed]

Gujarati Historic Novel named Gujaratno Jay written by Zaverchand Meghani based on various Jain Prabandhas describes city as Godhpur(ગોધપુર).[3]


A bronze of Lord Rishabhanath from AD 975 was found at Akota which mentions Gohadra kula, i.e., the school of Jain monks at Gohadra.[4] The historical name of Godhra is "Godhrahk", which was established by Parmar king named Dhudhul Mandalik in A.D. 1415.

Five hundred years ago, in the 15th century, the respectable Saint Shrimad Vallabhacharya in his morning ritual speech gave the example of his dream city. He explained how the city which was seen in the dream by her daughter was handed over by a Muslim resident to a Hindu family.


Religions in Godhra
Religion Percent
Distribution of religions
Includes Sikhs (0.2%), Buddhists (<0.2%).

As of the 2011 India census, Godhra had a population of 143,644. Males constitute 51.67% of the population and females 48.32%. Godhra has an average literacy rate of 87.51%, higher than the national average of 74.04%. Male literacy is 92.25%, and female literacy is 82.44%

As of 2001 India census,[5] Godhra had a population of 121,852. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Godhra has an average literacy rate of 73%, higher than the national average of 59.5%. Male literacy was 79.5%, and female literacy was 64.5%.

In 1901 the population was 20,915.[6]

Government and politicsEdit

Godhra city is governed by a municipality.[7] The city is divided into 12 wards for the purpose of administration, and each ward is represented by 3 councillors.[8] The city is also represented by an MP elected from the Panchmahal Lok Sabha constituency (erstwhile Godhra Lok sabha constituency), Ratansinh Rathore from the BJP,[9] and an MLA elected from the Godhra Assembly constituency, CK Raulji.[10]

I. I. Chundrigar, former Prime Minister of Pakistan was born in Godhra in 1897.

Religious violenceEdit

Several incidents of communal violence have taken place in Godhra before and after the independence of India. Notable acts of violence include:

  • During 1947–48, riots broke out in Godhra between the Ghanchi Muslim community and Sindhis who had emigrated from Pakistan after the Partition of India. About 3,500 properties were burnt down in the violence.[11]
  • Between October 1980 and September 1981, six major communal riots, arson and pillaging took place between the majority Muslim community and Sindhi people in Godhra. Five members of a Sindhi family were burnt alive in the Muslim-dominated area of Signalfalia.[12] As a result of the violence and loss of life, the town was placed under curfew for about 245 days during this period.[13][14]
  • In 1990, four Hindu teachers were killed by a Muslim mob in Vorwad area of Godhra.[12]
  • Godhra train burning – In 2002, a Muslim mob was accused to set fire to the Sabarmati Express near Godhra railway station. 59 Hindu pilgrims who were returning from Ayodhya were killed in the fire. This incident is perceived as the trigger for the 2002 Gujarat riots.[15]


Godhra junction railway station
Godhra GSRTC Bus Station

Godhra is connected to all major towns of Gujarat by public transport service operated by GSRTC. And Godhra is a Railway Junction that connects Godhra with different parts of the state and nation.

India's biggest national highway Delhi-Mumbai expressway pass through godhra.


Religious importanceEdit


Nehru Park Godhra located near bus station

Geographic and manmade features in the area include the Mesri River, Ramsagar Lake, Voharwad Masjid Tower, Polan Bazar, Methodist Church, Naheru Garden and, in the far east, Kanelav Lake.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Dasgupta, Manas (6 March 2011). "It was not a random attack on S-6 but kar sevaks were targeted, says judge". The Hindu. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  2. ^ Gandhi, Rajmohan (1 January 2011). Patel a Life. Navjivan trust. ISBN 978-8172291389.
  3. ^ Meghani, Zaverchand (April 2011). Gujaratno Jay. Ahmdabad: Gurjar Sahitya Bhavan. p. 65. ISBN 978-81-8461-481-7.
  4. ^ Akota Bronzes, Umakant P. Shah, 1959, p. 57-58.
  5. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  6. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Godhra" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 173.
  7. ^ "Public Utilities | Panchmahals, Gujarat, India | India". Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  8. ^ Naqvi, Jawed (9 March 2011). "Godhra: fact and fiction". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Panchmahal MP (Lok Sabha) Election Results 2019 Live: Candidate List, Constituency Map, Winner & Runner Up - Oneindia". www.oneindia.com. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  10. ^ "No intention to vote for Cong in RS polls: BJP MLA from Godhra". The Indian Express. 19 March 2020. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  11. ^ Engineer, Asghar Ali. “Communal Riots in Godhra: A Report.” Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 16, no. 41, 1981, pp. 1638–1640. JSTOR. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.
  12. ^ a b "Gujarat election 2012: Deeply divided by religion, Godhra braces for second phase poll - Indian Express". Indian Express. 14 December 2012. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  13. ^ "Communal holocaust simmers dangerously over Godhra town in Gujarat". India Today. 15 December 1981. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  14. ^ "Curfew Eased in West India". New York Times. 3 August 1981. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  15. ^ "What is the 2002 Godhra train burning case?". Indian Express. 9 October 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  16. ^ "The Godhra Trimandir". Retrieved 20 April 2018.