Guj: ભુજ bhuja
‘Bend’ City/Capital of Kutch District, Gujarat
From Skt: bhuj, ‘bend’, ‘curve’.
This neatly describes the course of the Khari river as it flows past the town. The town itself gives its name to the Bhuj axe-knife or dagger, so-called because its blade (also curved) is fixed onto an axe-like handle. There is also a legend that tells the story of Bhujanga, the last tribal chieftain. Both the town and Bhujia Hill are allegedly named after him. Local people revered him as a snake god and built a temple in his honour..
Rao Hamir founded Bhuj in 1510 and it first became Kutch’s capital in 1549.
Bhuj has been plagued by earthquakes: in 1819 (7000 houses were destroyed and over 1,000 people died); in 1956 (200 people died and 2,000 houses were damaged in Anjar, Bhuj, Gandhidham and Kandla); and 2001 (12,300 were killed and the city of Bhuj was devastated).