The earliest name of the present-day Vadnagar one comes across is Anartapur. Anartapur was the capital of the Kingdom of Anarta. The Kingdom of Anarta was named after Manu’s grandson Anarta whose father was Sharyati. Before the Mahabharata period Anarta was a powerful and resourceful kingdom in the western part of India. It comprised of the present day Gujarat and parts of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra. Ä€nartapur was its capital city.

There is a reference to Anarta in Mahabharata. It says warriors from Ä€narta participated in the Kurukshetra war on the side of the Pandavas as well as that of the Kauravas. “Satyaki was a general in the Pandava army. He was a chief of Anartas. Kritavarman was a general in the Kaurava army.” (Mahabharata, 9.17). Kritavarman is described as the dweller of Anarta. Mahabharata notes that Vivingsati, one of the 100 Kaurava brothers, killed hundreds of Anarta warriors in the Great War. During the Mahabharata period the Kingdom of Anarta was divided into two independent kingdoms with two capital cities of Anartapur and Dwarika. There is a reference to this effect in Mahabhagavata.