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Ghogha is a census town in Bhavnagar district in the state of Gujarat, India. Also known as Gogo, it was an important commercial port until the development of nearby Bhavnagar in the nineteenth century.
As of 2011[update] India census, Ghogha had a population of 12,208. Males constitute 49% of the population and females 51%. Ghogha has an average literacy rate of 70%, lesser than the national average of 74.4%: male literacy is 77%, and female literacy is 63%. In Ghogha, 12.71% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Gogha is situated on the mid-western bank of the Gulf and about 15 km south of the present port town of Bhavnagar. Gogha was known as the port of Gundigar during Vallabhi kingdom (AD 480-720). The Imperial Gazetteer of India (1908:301) mentions that “the natives of this town are reckoned the best sailor or lascars in India. The ships touching here may procure water and supplies or repair damages”. A famous proverb about Gogha is “Lankani Ladi ane Ghoghono var” (Bride of Lanka and groom of Gogha) which perhaps indicates some kind of direct overseas relations of Gogha with Sri Lanka. According to the historical account, Arabs had established their colony at Gogha in the year 636 AD.The presence of ancient Jaina temples at Gogha dating back to the 10th -11th centuries suggest that this was a religious center also. The earliest Arabic inscription fromGogha dates to 1170 AD. During the British period ships up to 1500 tons were laden here. Pinkerton (1811) mentions that Gogha provided a harbour for the largest ships though they would lie dry on mud at low water. Gogha served as a port for Cambay, cargo being conveyed on small boats from Cambay to Gogha to be loaded on ships, the cargo unloaded from ships at Gogha being similarly transported to Cambay. Cambay was really open only to very small vessels, e.g. boats called tawri (Habib, 1982), one of which said to have been 80 tons.
The port of Gogha has been active since the 5th century AD and flourished as a major trading post during the 10th to 16th century AD before Bhavnagar took the place of Gogha as trading center. Being located at strategic position in the Gulf Gogha has always been subject of an important trading center. Due to this reason Gogha had been several times attacked and captured by local rulers like Gohel Rajputs and Mohammedans during the medieval period (Bell, 1980:73). Stone anchors have been found from several locations along the Indian coast particularly from early the Medieval period ports such as Dabhol (Gaur et al. 2007b) Sindhudurg (Sila and Gaur, 1997), and Vijaydurg (Sila et al., 1998) which are fairly dated between 8th to 14thcentury AD.
Gogha was the important port town during the medieval period and played as transit port between the ports of the upper part of the Gulf of Khambhat and rest of the ports along the Indian Ocean Countries. The discovery of various types of anchors suggests that boats of different origin visited Gogha port. The most important find is an anchor with wide groove on the all four section is probably of the Chinese origin. For the first time glazed ware has been found associated with the stone anchors suggest that these may be dated between the 10th and the 16th century AD.Such a large number of stone anchors in inter tidal zone suggest the correct description provided in the Periplus of the Erythrenean Sea.
Stone Anchors of Ghogha
The stone anchors have been noticed close to the present lighthouse in inter tidal zone. Being in the high tidal range, the stone anchors that are lying in 5 to 10 m water depth during high tide get exposed during low tide. These stone anchors are found either partially buried or exposed on the gravel bed. The seabed at the finding spot of the anchor consisted of gravel and fine sand. The majority of the anchors are of Indo-Arabia type and one stone anchor falls in the category of composite type. The Indo-Arabia type anchors of typically made from a vertical stone block with often square section with two lower holes are rectangular/ square and an upper circular hole. Two anchors in the group of Indo-Arab type are having uniform vertical deep and wide groove on all the four faces of the anchor. The broken single composite anchor is made of a thin limestone block with two lower holes are square and two circular holes are placed randomly on upper side. The detail measurements and drawing could be completed just of 14 anchors due to tidal time and muddy seabed and hence rest anchors were only photographed. Many stone anchors are fragmented in nature. Majority of the anchors are parted with lower 2 holes and sometimes holes also broken which might have been broken during manufacturing stage. The raw material used for these anchors are hard basaltic, sedimentary and a few of conglomeratic material. A fragmentary anchor is the biggest anchor found from here. Only lower portion is surviving and is very similar to those reported from Mithi Virdi. There is a stone block without any holes noticed similar to the Indo-Arabia type anchor.
Oldest Mosque of Islam
The first Arab traders landed at Ghogha around the early seventh century and built a masjid here. This was the time when Qibla (direction to be faced while offering namaaz,) of the Muslims was Baitul Mukaddas(Jerusalem) instead of Mecca. For a brief period of 16 to 17 months, between 622 and 624 A.D., after Hijra (migration) to Medina, Prophet Nabi Muhammed Sale Allahu Alayhi Wasalam and his believers faced Jerusalem while offering Namaaz during 610 to 623 A.D. Its 1500 years old. This ancient masjid, locally known as the Baarwaada Masjid or Juni(Old) Masjid, was built during this period and is one of the oldest mosque in India. Later, Prophet Nabi Muhammed Sale Allahu Alayhi Wasalam received Wahi (Revelation) commanding him to change the orientation point from Jerusalem in the north to Mecca in the south. This mosque, therefore, predates all the other mosque in India whose mehrab face Mecca. It also bears the oldest Arabic inscriptions in India. The masjid falls under the care of Barwaada Jammat.
Stone Inscription at Ghogha
1. The stone containing this inscription is raised under an Ambli tree grown on the side of the way leading to the shrine of Piranpir on the sea-beach at Gogha, a British port in the Gulf of Cambay on the east coast of Kathiavad. It contains five lines written in Arabic characters. It measures 18° X 15", and mentions the death of a martyr named Baba Taju-ud-din in A.H. 591, A.D. 1195. The stone is the common sand-stone, but well preserved.The translation of that characters is, "In the name of God, the merciful and compassionate.There is no god but God ; Mahomed is the prophet of God. Every creature which lives on the earth is subject to decay ; but the glorious and honourable countenance of thy Lord shall remain for ever. Baba Taju-ud-din, son of Badr-ud-din, honoured by men ; fortunate, martyred,the oppressed, forgiven (by God), migrated from this house of destruction to that of eternity, in the month of Rabi-ul-akhir A.H. 591."
2. The shrine of Hazrat Pir in which this inscription is found is situated on the seaside at Ghogha, a British port on the eastern coast of Kathiavad. It is cut into a white soft stone and has eight lines of Persian mixed with Arabic. The surface of the stone measiu-es 10" x 8". It refers to the building of a mosque by a Tandel (the head officer in a ship) named Bapuji in the year A.H. 1146, AD. 1733, during the reign of Emperor Mahomed Shah of Dellii.The translation of that characters is, "In the name of God the merciful and compassionate : There is no god but God ; Mahomed is the prophet of God : Therefore invoke not any other therein together with God. Mahomed Sliah, the conqueror of the world, the favourite of fortune, the king of the world, the Khalif of God ; may God perpetuate his kingdom and nile ! This mosque was made by Tandel Bapuji, son of Musaji, a Khalif (deputy)of Kaderi Badrshah, son of Kazim Ali Mian Shah Syed, son of • * * in the year corresponding to that of the flight of Mahomed, the chosen ; may the blessing and peace of God be on him ! viz., in the month of Rabi-ul-awwal, A.H.1146.
3. The stone in which this inscription is cut is built up in the wall of the Idagah,in a suburb at the town of Gogha, called Mosampura. It is a white stone containing nine lines of mixed Persian and Arabic composition, of which several letters are clear enough to make them out. It mentions the building of the Idagah bv one Kamal Hamid in the time of 2iafar Khan in A.H. 777, A.D. 1375-76.The translation of that characters is, "In the name of God, the merciful and compassionate. And when we ap-pointed the holy house of iMukkah to be a place of resort for inankind and a place of security, and said take the station of Abraham for a place of prayer.In the time of the refuge of the great sun of the world and religion, the refuge of victory, the Sultan and the great Khan, viz., Zefer Khan, son of Vajih-ul-Mulk. Kamal Hamid, pilgrim of Mecca and Medina, slave, hoping for the mercy of God, made this place of worship for the faithful. May God bless him who comes here ! May he remember the expectant slave with the_blessing of safety.Dated the 15th of Rajab, A.H. 777.May the peace and blessing of God be on him."
4. This stone is raised near the mosque built near the house of one Dada MuUa on the way leading to the Gundi Gate at Gogha. It is a hard black stone witli a face measuring 1 7" x 14. The inscription appears to have been in Persian, as, with the exception of a few words, the whole of it has become undecipherable.There are in all nine hnes. It is dated A.H. 780, A.D. 1378-79. As many of the letters cannot be deciphered it is difficult to find out what it contains. The word "MuzeiFer" can be read, but it is doubtful. In the same line a name is distinctly read, which is Khan Anaj Mulamakan, A.H. 780.
Ibn Battuta Dscribe the Ghogha (1342)
"वहां से चलकर हम दुसरे दिन कुका (गोगो) पहुंचे . वह एक बहुत बड़ा नगर है . और वहां के बाज़ार भी बहोत बड़े बड़े है. हमने नगर के चार मिल पर लंगर डाला. क्योकि वह भाते का समय था. में भाते के समय अपने कुछ साथियों सहित नगर में जाने के लिए एक छोटी हलकी तरनी में चला गया. किन्तु जब हम नगर से एक मिल की दूरी पर थे, तो नौका कीचड़ में फंस गई. जब हम कीचड़ में फंस गए तो में अपने दोनों आदमियों के सहारे से चल पड़ा. क्योंकि लोंगो ने बताया की यदि पानी चढ़ गया तो बड़ी कठिनाई होगी. और इस लिए भी में तैरना न जानता था. मेने नगर में पहुँच कर बाजारों में भ्रमण किया. मेने वहां एक मस्जित देखी, जिसके विषय में प्रसिध्ध था की वह खिज्र तथा इलियास की मस्जित है. उसमे मेने मगरिब की नमाज़ पढ़ी. इस मस्जित में हैदरी फकीरों का एक समूह रहता था. उनका शेख उन्हीके साथ था. फिर में जहांज पर वापिस आ गया."
Ghogha In AÍN I AKBARI
In the time of Mughal period Ghogha Port was under the Empire Akbar(14 October 1542 – 27 October 1605). In AÍN I AKBARI Part II ABUL FAZL ALLÁMI wrote that Mughal Empaire got Revenue from Ghogah,(Gogo)exclusive port 666,560 Dáms.Further he mentioned Ghogha port as under,
"The ports of Ghogah* and Kambháyat (Cambay) are included in this Sarkár. The latter is a large city where merchants of divers kinds reside and wherein are fine buildings and much merchandise. Vessels sail from and trade to Ghogah. The cargoes are put into small ships called Táwari which transport them toKambháyat"
"In the third district at the foot of the Satrúnjah (Shatrunjaya) hill is a large fort and on its summit, the fort of Pálithánah. Though in ruins, it deserves restoration. It is in great veneration with the Jains. The port of Ghogah (Gogo) is a dependency of this district. The island of Biram (Perim) was formerly the residence of the governor; it is 9 kos square and is a low rocky island in the midst of the sea. The Zamíndár is of the Gohel tribe. This district possesses 2,000 horse and 4,000 foot
Gogha had large Jain population in past. But due to natural calamities and constant attacks from the sea, people migrated to other safer places in the interior. Many Digambar Jain families from Bhavnagar are originally from Ghogha.
There are three notable temples.
- The Digambar Jain temple has an idol belonging to the fourth century with Chandraprabhu as a central deity. It is also known as Chopra Mandir. It also have idol of Neminath.
- Gujarati Mandir with Adinath as its central deity was erected in the fifteenth century. This idol is supposed to be more than 2500 years old and is without inscription and symbol. In this temple is a beautiful metallic 'Sahastra Kut' Chaityalaya (1008 idols carved on it) installed in the fifteenth century.
- Dandia Temple has Adinath as a central deity which is white idol in Padmasana posture.
Well Known Personalities of Ghogha
ghogha has given a great contribution in progress of Bhavnagar State.Many Nagar from vadnagar moved to Ghogha,an ancient port on the Gulf of Combay (khanbhat)in the Dhandhuka Taluka of Ahmadabad about ten miles from Bhavnagar. It was a busy port on the western coast of India from which sailing goods far and wide across the Indian Ocean to Africa and the Parsian Gulf. The samaldas family had an unbroken connection with the Bhavnagar state for nearly hundred years.Lallubha"s elder brother,Vithaldas, their father Samaldas and grandfather,Parmananddas had all served as Dewans of Bhavnagar State. Gaganvihari Lallubhai Mehta (1900–1974) was the ambassador of India to the United States from 1952 to 1958. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1954 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1959.His forefathers are also from Ghogha
Ghogha's Nagar Served and Developed Bhavnagar as and when as under. 1. Parmananddas Ranchhoddas chief minister of Bhavnagar state during 1806-1817 2. Gaurishanka Udayshankar Oza (1805–1891) (also known as Gaga Oza) was chief minister of Bhavnagar state, India from 1850 to 1879. He was very well known and well respected for his keen statesmanship. 3. Samaldas Parmananddas served as chief minister of Bhavnagar state during 1879-1884 4. Vithaldas Samaldas chief minister of Bhavnagar state during 1884-1899 5. Vajeshankar Gaurishankar chief minister of Bhavnagar state during 1899-1902.
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- Prof. Mehboob Desai, Ups and Downs of Ghogha: As a Port Town,unpublished research paper,p.2
- A.S. Gaur,Gogha: An Indo-Arab Trading Post in the Gulf of Khambhat (Cambay), India.The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology (2010) 39.1: 146–155
- Prof.Mehboob Desai,Masjit during the time of Prophet Nabi Muhammed Sale Allahu Alayhi Wasalam,Divy Bhasakar,Gujarati News Paper, Thursday, column 'Rahe Roshan',24 May,page 4
- Kumar(Gujarati Magazine), Ahmadabad,July 2012,P 444
- Corpus Inscripationum Bhavnagar Edited During the rule of H.11. The Maharaja Takitisihghji ,India(State), Antiquarian Dept, Bhavnagar State, India ,1839, p.5 to 15
- सैयद, अतहर अब्बास रिज़वी, तुग़लकालीन भारत-१, राजकमल प्रकाशन, न्यू दिल्ही, २००८,पृ.२७६.
- "Akbar" TENNYSON'S OWN NOTES TO AKBAR'S DREAM. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- Aín i Akbari, translated by Heinrich Blochmann and Colonel Henry Sullivan Jarrett, Asiatic Society of Bengal, pp. 241-247
- Basu,Aparna,G.L.Mahta,P.Ashok Kumar Mittal,New Delhi,2001,P.23
- G.L. Mehta: A Many Splendoured Man by his daughter, Dr. Aparna Basu (Concept Publishing, 2001).