Once a small riverside village where the Narmada river emptied into the sea, Bharuch offered its sheltered waters to the shipping world and prospered as a center of international trade. Situated 78 km from Vadodara, Bharuch is one of the oldest seaports in western India which flourished as far back as in the 1st century AD.  
Bharuch has both mythological and religious significance. The city is said to derive its name from the great sage Bhrigu and was considered to be sacred among sages, as they would come to Bharuch to pray. Bharuch is also a sacred pilgrim place for Jains and has been mentioned in several Jataka tales as well.
Modern Bharuch is one of the most heavily industrialised areas in Gujarat with many industries and plants including fertilisers, paints, dyes, cotton, textiles and dairy products.