The city of Nadiad is said to have been settled by rope dancers, hence the historical name of "Natapadra" (outskirts of/for natas) or "Natpur" (city for natas). It is also referred to as 'Nandgam'. The city has nine routes, and on each route there is a step well. The city is also well known for the number 9: there are 9 villages or towns located to all the 9 roads that exit from Nadiad; 9 step wells around the city; and 9 lakes in the city. Nadiad was also known as 'Sakshar Bhumi', or The land of educated.
The city was formerly ruled by Muslims, and later on by the Gaekwad of Baroda. Malhar Rao Gaekwad built the first Hindu temple called Narayan Dev Mandir located in the centre of the city.
It is said that during the reign of Ramalhad, Nadiad was ruled by seven patis. Around Salun Boarder and mosque was the ‘jagir’ (property) of Jerambhai Bechardas, was the area of Sidibaxi. Ramaldhad’s ‘pati’ located in Alhadvaga. These ‘patis’ suggest that the people living in these areas are ‘Patidars’ who are the main agricultural landlords of Kheda district. The government revenue department has based its revenue system on thiese. There are seven ‘patis’: Alad pati, Kakarkhad pati, Chaklashi pati, Lakhavaad pati, Hirjee pati, Ratanjee pati and Killedari pati.
Nadiad is located at 22.7°N 72.87°E / 22.7; 72.87. It has an average elevation of 35 metres (114 feet).
Nadiad usually has mild winters and very hot summers, with an average of from 32 °C (90 °F) to 46 °C (115 °F), and an average rainfall from 70 centimetres (28 in) to 120 centimetres (47 in). Monsoon floods can be catastrophic, dropping from 300 millimetres (12 in) to over 500 millimetres (20 in) of rain, causing widespread flooding such as the 2005 Gujarat floods or the 2008 Indian floods.
As of 2011 India census, Nadiad had a population of 225,071. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Nadiad has an average literacy rate of 95%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 96%, and female literacy is 94%. In Nadiad, 9% of the population is under 6 years of age.
The seat of Santram Maharaj and the Santram Mandir are important not only for its religious following, but for the public service activities undertaken there, such as free medical care for low-income individuals and feeding programmes for the poor and sadhus.
Nadiad was also the land of laureates and writers during the later years of 19th century and beginning of the 20th. The author of the epic Gujarati novel 'Saraswatichandra', Govardhanram Tripathi, Indulal Yagnik freedom fighter and writer who lead Mahagujarat Movement demanding separate statehood to Gujarat was born here.
Nadiad is the birthplace Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Praful Patel and Dinsha Patel.
Pujya Shree Mota, or Chunilal Asharam Bhavsar, was a spiritual leader who established ashrams in Nadiad and Surat in Gujarat. Pujya Mota was born on 4 September 1898, in Savli, a village the district of Panchmahals, Gujarat to a poor low caste family of the Bhavasars (dyers). He founded the Hari Om Ashram, also known as the Maun Mandir, near Nadiad.
Akshar Patel (born 20 January 1994) is an Indian cricketer. He plays as an all-rounder for the Gujarat cricket team. He is a left-hand batsman and slow left-arm orthodox bowler. He was signed to the IPL franchise Mumbai Indians in 2013, and then by Kings XI Punjab in 2014.
Vishvesh Parmar works as a singer, music composer, record producer and sound engineer for Bollywood. He is famous for his song Pankhida for the film Kevi Rite Jaish. He has sung for the films Rakta Charitra, Gang of Ghosts and Kevi Rite Jaish.
Some of educational institutes located in Nadiad are:Dharamsinh Desai University
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan