The ancient city of Anahilvada Patan was founded by Vanraj Chavda, the first of the Chavda dynasty. Legend has it that he laid the foundation at the place pointed out by Anahil, a shepherd friend from his younger days, and named the city after him.
The city was the capital of Gujarat for 650 years, from 746-1411, after the center of power moved from Saurashtra around the same time that the separate kingdoms of the area were integrated into roughly what we today call Gujarat. It was ruled by a series of dynasties: the Chavda, Solanki, and finally Vaghela. Under the Solanki rule, 942-1244, Anahilvada shone as a center of trade, learning, and architectural achievements. It was also a thriving center for Jainism, and the Solanki rulers commissioned a large number of Hindu and Jain temples, as well as other civic and religious constructions.