Kutch Gurjar Kashtriya

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Mistris)
Jump to: navigation, search
Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya
Mistri
Mestri
Total population
51,000[citation needed]
Regions with significant populations
India
Languages
Gujarati, Kutchi
Religion
Hindu
Related ethnic groups
Mistri,Suthar, Gurjar Kshatriya Kadia, Kadia, Salaat, Chunara

Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya[1][2][3][4] also known as Mistri[5][6][7] or Mestri[8][9] are a minority Hindu and backward community of the Kutch district of Gujarat state in India, whom claim to be Kshatriyas.[9] They are an artisan community related with Kadia works. Most are employed as labourers under construction contractors [9] They are known for their artistic and master craftsman skills[citation needed] in constructing forts, temples, palaces, ornate decorations, idols and other buildings and statues that led to them being referred to as Mistri by the Portuguese.[citation needed] This term was later used to refer to them as a separate caste known as the Mistri a.k.a. Mistris of Kutch.[6][7][8][10][11]

History[edit]

Paliyas belonging to war heroes of Mistris of Kutch, standing at Dhaneti dating back to 1178 AD

Kutch Gurjar Kshatriyas are a group of clans who migrated from Rajasthan in the early 7th century AD[citation needed]. Kadia Kshatriyas first entered into Saurashtra at that time and founded thirty-six villages in the area, while others moved further into Kutch. Around 1177–78 AD (VS 1234), a major group migrated to Kutch from Saurashtra[8] under the leadership of Patel Ganga Maru. They settled in the village of Dhaneti.[12][13] There are several Parias of the community, located near village pond of Dhaneti, standing as memorials of the war that was fought in 1178 AD. The community members still go once every year to offer pooja and their respects to their fore-fathers.[14]

This group, later, made their distinct identity not only by building historical forts, palaces, temples and architects in Kutch but also all over British India primarily in the fields of railways and coal mining.[6][7]

The Kutch Gurjar Kshatriyas left Dhaneti and went on to establish eighteen villages in Kutch[8] which were granted to them by the King: Anjar, Sinugra, Khambhra, Nagalpar, Khedoi, Madhapar, Hajapar, Kukma, Galpadar, Reha, Vidi, Jambudi, Devaliya, Lovaria, Nagor, Meghpar, Chandiya and Kumbharia.[15]

Over the centuries, they have been known or identified by names like Mistri, Mistry, Mistris of Kutch, Kutchi Contractor, Kadia, Kadia Kshatriyas, Gurjar Kshatriya Kadia, Kumar Gnati, Kutch Gurjar Kshatirya, Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya Samaj, KGK Samaj, Kgk community, etc.[10]

Some of the group's members with Rajput surnames claim ancestry to the rulers of Kutch, beginning with Ajepal Chauhan of the Chauhan dynasty. This was followed by the Gohil, Solanki, Kathis, Vaghelas, Chawdas[12][13][16] and finally the Jadeja dynasty came to rule Kutch until the independence of India.

Culture[edit]

They are a Hindu community. Some are followers of Swaminarayan and Pranami sect of Hinduism.[9] They are vegetarian in diet and avoid consumption of alcohol.[9] The staple food is khichdi, vegetables, pulses and butter-milk.[9]

The community consists of clans like Rathod, Chauhan, Yadav, Chawda, Jethwa, Padhiar, Yadav, Chudasama, Parmar, Taunk, Solanki, Sawaria, Vegad, Varu, Maru, Bhalsod, etc., who enjoy same status.[9] However, most of people prefer to pre-fix Mistri to their name.[9]

The community are an endogamous community who practice the principle of clan exogamy.[9] Dowry is generally not asked for, neither practice of bride price is there in community.[9] Divorce is generally not encouraged, however, divorce can be claimed in certain cases.[9]

Betrothal ceremony generally precedes marriage, which is held usually within one year of engagement and marriage is observed as per Hindu rites by taking seven circumambulation of fire.[9]

Widow remarriage (ghargenu) is allowed, where the women is usually married outside husband's family.[9][17]

In Kutch[edit]

A Chabutro built by Seth Khora Ramji Chawda in year 1900 standing at village Sinugra, shows the unique architect and skill of Mistris of Kutch. Such huge Chabutra are rare to be found in whole of India

The Kutch Gurjar Kshatriyas were master craftsmen, architects and contractors and have played a major role in erection and construction of the majority of forts, palaces and architecture of Kutch. It was because of this quality that around the mid 16th century they came to be known as Mistri in Kutch.[8]

The word Mistri (or Mistry) means "skilled artisan" in Gujarati.[citation needed] The Portuguese were present in Gujarat from around 1500 AD and the Battle of Diu was fought in 1509 where the Portuguese later built Diu Fort. They also acknowledged the community's expertise in building fortress and called them mestre. Even the Muslim rulers accepted the expertise of the Kadias and were always sought after for building forts and fortress. The community was also known to travel far and wide for building such forts, palaces, etc. Their original roots were in Kota[8][9] in Rajasthan. The community members who were expert builders were patronized by kings of Cutch for their ability to design fort and some members of the community holding the post of Gaidher[18] or Raj Mistry.[12][13][full citation needed]

Not only the community members were expert and specialized in stone cutting and construction of forts, palaces, temples and buildings but they were also skilled architects and artisans who could do articulate carvings of doors, windows, pillars, and statues of gods and goddesses and ceilings.[6][7] They have been the main engineers of almost all historical monuments of the Princely State of Cutch.[citation needed] They have been involved in construction of forts of Tera, Kanthkot, Bhujia Fort and fortification of towns of Anjar, Mandvi, Lakhpat and Rapar.[citation needed]

The KGK community were major land holders and jagirdars (or garasdars) in Kutch from many centuries. They also farmed and maintained large land-holdings with vadis and khetars in and around the nineteen villages they settled. They were once a prosperous community and there was a proverb in Kutch "Mafa-vara Gada to Mistri-na-j hoy" meaning "Such decorated bullock-carts/camel-carts can only belong to Mistri community".[citation needed]

The temple of Ashapura Mata at Mata no Madh, the Kuldevi of Jadeja rulers of Kingdom of Kutch has been built by Mistri community.[19][full citation needed] Similarly, the Temple at Dhrang over the Samadhi of Mekan Dada and Akhara were also erected by craftsman of the Mistri community.[citation needed] The renovation and reconstruction of Bhadreshwar Jain Temples, Koteshwar Mahadev Temple, and Narayan Sarovar Temples, Mata-no-Madh; after devastating earthquakes of 1819, 1844–45 and 1875 all have been done by Kutch Gurjar Kshatriyas.[citation needed] The Chhatri of Rao Lakhpatji in Bhuj built in eighteenth century in 1761 AD and Chhatris of other royal family members have been built by this community.[citation needed]

Mistry Pitambar Padma was Gaidhar in 18th century. Later his son 'Gaidher' Jagmal Pitamber of Anjar[18] was Gaidher of the Kutch Raaj in early to middle of 19th century during time of Deshalji II,[20] when the forts of Bhuj, Anjar, Mandvi, Lakhpat and Mundra were constructed under Jagmal Pitamber[20] and other Mistri of the eighteen villages. The community also built other historic forts such as Lakhpat and Sindri Fort. The Lakhpat Gurudwara built by them in the 17th century resembles the houses in their villages.[citation needed] The beautiful carvings of elephants, idols, pillars and wooden ceilings in the Gurudwara housing are similar to those found in the Thakor Mandir of their villages in Sinugra, Chandiya, Madhapar and architecture of Gurudwara, similar to their houses in their villages.[citation needed]

The Aina Mahal of Bhuj was built around 1750 during the reign of Rao Lakhpatji (1741–1761). The main architect of the palace was Ramsinh Malam who had spent seventeen years in the Netherlands and Belgium learning the techniques of making clocks, enameling, tiles, architecture and glass works. Rao Lakhpatji appointed him as main architect for Aaina Mahal. The Kadias of Kutch worked with him in on Aaina Mahal quickly grasped the art of making tiles, tiling, enameling and stained glass works and later used these techniques in building other palaces and majestic houses of their own.[citation needed]

Next in line of succession to Jagmal Pitamber was his son Ruda Jagmal Gajdhar and later his son Jairam Ruda Gajadhar Rathod, who became Gaidher in the reign of Maharao Pragmalji II who built Prag Mahal in Bhuj in 1865 to 1878 AD (V.S. 1922 to 1935).[citation needed] The main designer of Prag Mahal was the British architect Colonel Wilkins, who designed it in the Italian Gothic style and the Kadias of Kutch worked with him in its construction. Started by Rao Pragmalji, who died in 1875, the construction was completed by his son Maharao Khengarji III in 1878.[citation needed] His Assistant Engineer was "Giadher" Devshi Gova of Khedoi. Maharo Shree Pragmalji and later Maharao Shree Khengarji Bawa held special affection for Gaidher Jairam Ruda and the Mistris of the nineteen villages were hired on the recommendation of Gaidher. the Alfred High School, the Fergusson Museum, library, embankment of Hamirsar Lake, Aara Ghat in Bhuj, were all constructed during the reign of Maharao Shree Pragmalji when Gaidher Jairam Ruda of Anjar was the Gaidher for the State.[citation needed] Also the Mistris were involved in construction of Sharad Baag Palace of Bhuj built in 1867 commissioned during the reign of Rao Dashalji II in 1859–60 and completed during the reign (1860–1875) of Rao Pragmalji II.

Mistri Kanji Gova Rathod of Khedoi was Gaidher in the court of Gagubha, the Darbar of Kothara, from 1855 to 1895 and the Jain Dersar (now known as one of Abdasa-ni-Panchtirthi), the Derasar of Kothara and other Palaces of Kothara Darbar were built under the supervision of Mistri Kanji Gova of Khedoi with help of other Mistris in 1858. The other Jain temples of Naliya, Tera, Jakhau and Suthari also have been built by artisans of Mistri community of Kutch, along with their counterparts from Saurashtra.[citation needed]

The Brother of Kanji Gova, Mistri Ruda Gova Rathod of Khedoi was also the Gaidher, who constructed in Nagalpar, the beautifully carved Dargah of Hussain Pir Shah also known as the Aga Khani Kubo of the Khoja community, which was inaugurated by Hasan Ali Shah, the Aga Khan I him-self. Ruda Gova Rathod of Khedoi started construction in 1860 and completed it in about five years.[citation needed]

The Mistris of Kutch were also involved in construction and erection of Vijay Vilas Palace built on sea-beach of Mandvi by Khengarji III of Kutch, as summer palace for his son and heir Vijayaraji. The carved stone works of Jalis, Jharokas, Chhatris, Chhajas, murals and many other artistic stone carvings, colored glass work on windows and door panels all have been done by them, an art in which they were expert. The architect and craftsman from other places like Jaipur, Rajasthan, Bengal and Saurashtra, were also involved. The construction started in 1920 completed in 1929.[21]

The Sanatan Thakor Mandir, the Juna Vaas and many new infrastructures at Madhapar were built by Mistris of the village. Renovation work and expansion of the Suralbhit – Jadeshwar Mahadev Temple near Bhuj was done by Mistris Manji Jeram Rathod and Valji Bhimji Rathod of Madhapar Village in 1914 (V.S. 1971) financed by Maharao Sri Khengarji Bawa of Kutch. In year 1943 (V.S. 2000) Manji Jairam Rathod of Madhapar again did the renovation of Suralbhit – Jadeshwar Temple. The Step-wells popularly known as Sellor Vaav near Dhorava and the adjacent Hanuman Temple were built by father-son Mistri Jeram Madhavji & Manji Jeram Rathod of Madhapar in 1927 from his personal finance.[citation needed] Mistri Valji Bhimji Rathod of Madhapar was among the few persons who, apart from Royal family, owned a car by special permission of the King of Kutch.[citation needed]

Besides being in construction works Mistris were also entrepreneurs and many of them owned fleets of ships used to import and export dry fruits and spices as well as trading in Muscat, Mombasa, Mzizima, Zanzibar and other countries. Notable among them were Seth Raja Narayan Chawda of Kumbharia, Seth Khora Ramji Chawda of Sinugra, and Jairam Teja Chawda of Sinugra in 1880–1900.[citation needed]

Mistris were a major revenue earner for the Princely State of Cutch. Besides being major land holders jagirdars of Anjar, Bhuj and Mandvi Taluka of Kutch the majority of them worked as railway contractors and public works contractors in British India. They were paid in Indian Rupees which they bought to Kutch and converted into Kutchi currency (Koris). British Indian Rupees were paper currency and Kori were Silver Coins and on conversion the Koris had to be loaded into many bullock-carts and brought to the villages of the Mistris. The bullock carts were guarded by rifle and sword bearing guards from Bhuj to their houses. Many Mistris also kept Miyana as their guards. Many Miyana families were patronized by Mistirs and they were employed to work as guards for the whole village and also to work and look after their farmhouses and farms. KGK Community paid their tax on their huge income earned from Railway and other Contracts job to the Princely State of Cutch, instead of to British India and were therefore respected by the Jadeja kings of Kutch. Many families of the Mistri community held friendly relationships with the Kings of Kutch.[citation needed]

Many of them also worked as private bankers, notable among whom were Seth Khora Ramji Chawra of Sinugra, Jetha Lira Jethwa of Sinugra, Seth Raja Narayan Chawda of Kumbharia, Jairam Teja Chawra of Sinugra, Patel Mandan Ramji Vegad of Anjar etc. Some of them were so rich that their children studied at the prestigious Rajkumar College, Rajkot and the Rajkumar College, Raipur between 1920 and 1950.[citation needed]

Migration out of Kutch[edit]

The major migration of KGK from Kutch began when the British started laying railway lines in India. The KGK community which had been skilled in construction works decided to move out of Kutch and try to adapt their skills to railway lines and allied constructions for which the British needed a skilled workforce. The community were expert in stone-cutting, lime-paste making and brick manufacturing as well as in the construction of buildings and forts for centuries and decided to cash in on these new opportunities as there was a dearth of new jobs and opportunities in Kutch. Kutch was also going through a famine in those years. The KGK made a major contribution to the history of Indian railways, laying railway lines throughout British India.[citation needed]

Many families also migrated to other British Colonies, such as Aden, East Africa, Zanzibar, South Africa, Fiji, Burma, Ceylon and the Maldives during the middle of 19th century.[6][7] They were encouraged by the British as these countries lacked skilled persons. They have worked in building the Aden railway, the Ceylon Government Railway, for the Burma Railway Company, Sittang Valley State Railway, Mu Valley State Railway, Thaton-Duyinzaik Railway, Irrawaddy Valley State Railway, East African Railways Corporation, Uganda Railway and the South African Railways. Today their descendants are found in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, etc. Although at present many have moved out of East Africa and settled in the United Kingdom, the USA or have returned to India after the political uncertainty during 1960–80. This was especially true during the Zanzibar Revolution in the mid-1960s and during the rule of Idi Amin in Uganda.[22]

In the 1950s, they also built and owned cinemas in several major cities of India[citation needed] and owned many rice mills and oil mills in states of India.[citation needed]

Indian railways[edit]

It was during 1850 to 1930 AD that the KGK migrated outside Kutch and were involved in the construction of major rail-bridges and the laying down of railway tracks in almost all major rail routes of undivided British India doing the "Railway Thekedari" (Railway Contractors also Thikadari) and as Thekedar (or Thikadar) in Irrigation projects and Forest Department and Public Works Department.[23] They have also done major roadway, road bridges, canal works, irrigation dams and barrage work throughout British India from 1850 to 1980. The communities largest contribution is in the building of the early railway lines and bridges throughout British India. Their works in Railway construction span from 1850 to 1980 for more than one and a quarter of century.

Starting as small time masons in Railway Construction in decade of 1850 and later working as Sub-contractors or Agent to British Engineers, they rose to a level of First Class Railway Contractors by 1880. By 1900 they had established their Monopoly in various divisions of Railways throughout North, South, East and West of British India and by 1920 they became masters in this field that many of them were given title of Rai Bahadur by British exclusively for their engineering feats in erection of Railway Bridges and laying lines in most difficult terrain. Their feats are amazing also because almost all of the early pioneering Mistri Contractors could only write in Gujarati and had hardly studied up to third standard in vernacular schools of their dusty villages, still they managed to build bridges and lay railway lines, which required scientific measurement and calculation and could manage to work and speak with British Railway Officers and Engineers.[citation needed]

They preferred to work as a syndicate, where the railway contracts would be taken by them and sub-let to fellow Mistri contractors belonging to their 19 villages. Thus they held sway in many divisions of Railways in British India. There was dearth of skilled persons in India who were ready to work in difficult terrains of mountains and jungles due to the risk of being killed by diseases like malaria, cholera, plague and by wild animals or gangs of robbers and outlaws. The early British records of many railway companies have noted that many British engineers and labour resigned, left or even perished due to killer diseases like malaria, cholera and from the effects of the heat and sun while laying the railway lines. Working as a railway contractor in these early days meant staying away from home for many months, or even years. In these difficult circumstances the KGK were the pioneers, laying lines as far as Assam, Chittagong, Peshawar and Madras, thousands of miles away from their homes in Kutch. Before the arrival of the railways the main means of transport were horse-cart, bullock-cart or moving on foot. They used to travel with their families and children and there are many records of their children being born in remote jungles.[citation needed]

The laying of the railways needed a lot of physical labor and stamina for jobs like leveling the earth, the cutting back of the jungle, blasting of mountain passes and cuttings, laying ballast along tracks and walking several of miles daily. Mechanical knowledge for track interlockings, switching, and advanced engineering calculations for building bridges and their arches and abutments, laying foundations in river beds, deep well-sinking, laying spans and many such technical jobs. Similarly they built the platforms, the station buildings, the station master's room, ticket counters, rest rooms and other facilities such as over-head water tanks, the digging of ponds nearby for an uninterrupted supply of water, building the signal cabin, rail yard and staff quarters.[citation needed]

The railways needed an uninterrupted supply of bricks, boulders and lime-paste for building of the infrastructure in those early days between 1850 and 1900. The KGK also known as Chunaras (lime workers) for many decades,[24] cashed in on this opportunity and many of them started brickworks and lime-kilns in remote, forested and inaccessible areas of British India to supply the materials. The railways needed bricks of specific sizes and dimensions which were a little bigger and stronger than the ordinary bricks used in house construction. It should be noted here that in those days lime-paste was used for construction. The community were also expert in the art of stone cutting that they had inherited from their fore-fathers, who were masters at building forts. These cut-rocks have been used in most old bridges and platform buildings and can still be seen surviving today.[citation needed]

In history of India, Mistris of Kutch are probably the only community, whose migration out of their home land Kutch, was attributed to construction of Railways in British era. This is a unique fact about association of Railways and Mistris of Kutch[citation needed]

Docks, dams and canals in British India[edit]

The KGK contributed to the building of docks, dams, barrages and irrigation canals between 1850 and 1980,[citation needed] and they in the eighteenth century had been among the communities who built the first ports of Bombay and Hornby Vellard. Other docks were developed in Bombay during 1870–1895 (Prince's Docks built in 1885 and Victoria Docks built in 1891[25]) in which many Mistris of Kutch and Kadia Kshatriyas of Saurahstra worked.

In 1883 the Mandvi Port Docks and a bridge over the Rukmavati River at Mandvi were built by Vishram Karman Chawda of Chandiya. It is the longest stone bridge of its kind in India.[26] In 1924 the extension of Calcutta Port Trust at Khiddirpur was made by building a new dock named the "King George Dockyard" and was done by Rai Bahadur Jagmal Raja Chauhan with Bhimjee Pancha Chauhan and Mavji Punja Chauhan, all from Nagor. This work was completed in 1927. The dock has now been renamed as "Netaji Subhas Docks".[citation needed]

Jairam Karsan Chauhan of Nagor, stationed at Sambalpur, was one of the major contractors who worked in construction of the Hirakud Dam, construction of which started in 1948 and was completed in 1957.[citation needed]

In 1956, when construction of Tawa Dam began on Tawa River near Hoshangabad, one of the major Contractor for the work was Mavji Ruda Chawra of Madhapar, who was son of late Rai Sahib Ruda Ladhha Chawra. The Dam was completed in 1974.[citation needed]

Narayan Bhawan Maru and Amarshi Pragji Maru of Devaliya were the contractors who built the Parola Dam near Hingoli, construction of which began in 1964 and was completed in 1971.[citation needed]

Mining[edit]

Coal mining[edit]

In the regions of British India known as Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, the Kutch Gurjar Kshatriyas pioneered Indian involvement in coal mining from 1894. They broke the previous monopolies held by British and other Europeans, establishing many collieries at locations such as Khas Jharia, Jamadoba, Balihari, Tisra, Katrasgarh, Kailudih, Kusunda, Govindpur, Sijua, Sijhua, Loyabad, Dhansar, Bhuli, Bermo, Mugma, Chasnala-Bokaro, Bugatdih, Putki, Chirkunda, Bhowrah, Sinidih, Kendwadih, and Dumka.[22][27]

Seth Khora Ramji Chawda of Sinugra was the first Indian to break the British monopoly in the Jharia Coalfields.[22][28] Natwarlal Devram Jethwa says that

The East Indian Railway in 1894-95 extended its line from Barakar to Dhanbad via Katras and Jharia. Messrs. Khora Ramji in 1894 was working on railway lines contract of Jharia branch line and with his brother Jetha Lira was also building Jharia Railway Station, when he discovered coal in Jharia belt. The location of his three collieries named Jeenagora, Khas Jherria, Gareria is mentioned also in 1917 Gazetteers of Bengal, Assam, Bihar and Orissa.[29]

Other Indian communities followed the example of the KGK in the Dhanbad-Jharia-Bokaro fields after the 1930s. These included the Punjabis, Kutchis, Marwaris, Gujaratis, Bengalis and Hindustanis. Encyclopaedia of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa -1920 mentions:- "Out of 92 collieries belonging to Gujaratis in Jharia Coalfields Area during 1920s - 50 belonged to Mistris of Kutch with Seth Khora Ramji as Head of them all." Seth Khora Ramji of Sinugra was also honored by King of Kutch by giving him a Paghdi.[22][30][31][32][33][34]

Mineral mining[edit]

Arjan Ladhha Rathod and Varjang Harji Rathod of Kumbharia founded the Manganese Ore mines at Chaibasa in 1910 and Arjan Ladhha Mines sometimes misspell as Arjun Lodha Mines at Balagoda. Lalji Jhina of Anjar also owned Manganese ore mines in Chaibasa. Rai Sahib Mulji Jagmal Savaria of Kumbharia and Rai Bahadur Jairam Valji Chauhan of Kumbharia owned Manganese, Dolomite and Limestone Mines in at Jairamnagar, Akaltara, Tirodi, Katni in Central Provinces. Jeevram Jairam Chawda of Sinugra owned Minerals mines in Saraikela. The community members also owned Slate and Granite mines in Markapur and Minerals Mines in Keonjhar. Rai Bahadur Jagmal Raja Chauhan of Nagor owned Silica mines in Shankargarh. Hirji Premji Parmar of Kukma and Deoji Jairam Solanki of Madhapar owned soap-stone and kaoline mines at Asansol and Hazaribagh.[22][35] At present in Kutch, many members of Mistri community own China Clay and Bentonite mines.[citation needed]

Contribution in architects and development of cities of India[edit]

Apart from laying first Railway lines and building docks of Bombay, the Mistris of Kutch and Kadias of Saurashtra were also involved in construction of Victoria Terminus for Great Indian Peninsula Railway, Bombay Central and Colaba Terminus both for Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway, Bombay High Court, Taj Hotel, J. J. School of Art, Town Hall, Wilson College, Apollo Bundar to name a few in city of Bombay.[citation needed] Cutch Castle of Bombay, the royal palace belonging to Rulers of Kutch was erected by Rai Bahadur Jagmal Raja Chauhan of Nagor of KGK Community for Maharao Shri Khengarji Bawa, who shared a personal friendship with Jagmal Raja.[21]

In Nasik, the temple complex of Muktidham, was built and donated by Industrialist and Contractor of the community Jairam Dahya Chauhan of Kumbharia.[citation needed]

The huge Chabutro, just outside Railway Station at Raigarh, a landmark of town, was built and donated by Shyamji Gangji Savaria of Kumbharia in 1910.[citation needed]

In 1929, the British Authorities, named a Railway Station as Jairamnagar, after Railway Contractor of the community Rai Bahadur Jairam Valji Chauhan of Kumbharia, a rare honor in those days.[22]

In Raipur, the Ramdev Market was built by Madhavji Kunvarjee Vadher of Sinugra in the 1930s. Also the Ramji Building housing many Hotels and Restaurants at Jai Stambh Chowk in Raipur was built by Ramji Karaman Rathod of Khambhra in the 1940s and the Raja Bhawan at Fafadih Chowk, built like a royal palace was built by Lira Raja Rathod of Khambhra in 1935.[citation needed]

In Calcutta apart from building Docks of Calcutta Port and Railway lines and building complex of Howrah Station for East Indian Railway and Sealdah for Eastern Bengal Railway, the community were involved in construction of Howrah Bridge. Many Victorian buildings in Kolkata have been built by the karigars (artisans) of the Mistri community of Kutch, says Pramod Jethi[nb 1],[6] an authority on Kutchi art.[6] They were also involved in construction of Victoria Memorial[6]

Lira Raja Rathod of Khambhra erected many buildings in Calcutta in decades of 1925 to 1945 namely Raja Bhawan at Central Avenue, Raja Court and Raja Terrace at Mission Row, Raja Mansion and Raja Chambers near Strand Road and Godavari Bhawan at Bhawanipur and gained a name as a Real Estate owner in city. Many of these buildings are now land-marks of the city.[citation needed]

In Dhanbad the present day Rathod Market and Chawda Market both standing adjacent to each other in heart of the city were built in decade of 1930-40 by Kanji Premji Rathod of Khambhra and Ghela Devraj Chawda of Devaliya, respectively.[citation needed]

In Orissa, the Shail Sadan Palace in Bolangir belonging to royal family of Patna Raj was constructed in 1886 by Karsan Bhima Rathor of Madhapar, while he was stationed at Cuttack doing Railway Contracts.[citation needed]

Again in Balangir, the temple of Narasimha, was built by Mistri Parbat Veera of Khambhra during the years during 1890-95.[citation needed]

At Rameshwaram, while working on Pamban Bridge the Mistris Lakhu Devji Vegad of Anjar and Gangji Narayan of Khedoi also built Temple of Neel-Mandir having seven domes, construction which, they started in 1899 and completed in about five years by 1905.[citation needed]

In 1923 by request of Commissioner, Kadia Bhanji Dhanji Rathod of Devaliya had done repair and rehabilitation of Dwarakadheesh temple with Ranchhod Ramji Chauhan of Nagalpar, as per tablet in Temple's records.[22]

In 1932 upon completion of Bally Bridge, Rai Bahadur Jagmal Raja Chauhan of Nagor was recommended by the erstwhile Viceroy of India, The Earl of Willingdon to Rana of Nepal, Shree Juddha Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana, who needed Contractor of repute to do renovation and rehabilitation of his Palaces and temples. He was given the Contract for the same and Parbat Harji Chauhan, Karaman Devji Chauhan both of Kukma and Manji Shivjee of Madhapar were delegated by Jagmal Raja to go to Kathmandu, Nepal with a team of artisans and masons to supervise and complete the work. It took about two and half years for the job to be completed.[21]

Religious and charitable contributions outside Kutch[edit]

Members of the KGK community have funded the construction of and also built many temples, Dharamshalas and schools. These buildings include the Kutchi Ashram at Haridwar in 1954–56, the Kutchi Kadia Dharamsala in Mathura, the Gujarati Jalaram Dharamshala in Amarkantak, and the Ram Temples at Kharagpur and at Bilaspur.[citation needed] In 1920 a charitable trust for promoting education called Jharia Vidhhyotejak Fund was started by Mistri Colliery owners at Jharia. This Fund started the Jharia Gujarati Primary School in 1920 and also gave scholarship to the children of their society.[22] At Cuttack, a school named Gujarati Pathshala started in 1928, which was renamed as Anglo Gujarati School in 1941 was started by Rai Saheb Kunwarji Karsan Rathod of Madhapar. A public library was also started by him in 1931.[36] Jairam Daya Chauhan of Kumbharia, who built Muktidham Temple at Nashik Road also donated a large sum to start a College in Nasik named J. D. Bytco Commerce And N. S. Chandak Science College and D D Bytco Boys High School and Jr College both at Nasik.[22] Rai Sahib Mulji Jagmal and Ranchhod Jagmal Savaria built a hospital in Ratanpur.[22] Nanji Govindji Tank of Hajapar built the existing Hindu Cemetorium and also a Ram Temple both at Jamshedpur and was one of the founder-trustee of the "Gujrati Sanatan Samaj" Community Center at Bistupur. Kanji Daya Chawda of Sinugra, built a Dharamsala in Keonjhar now named Kanji Daya Dharamsala for public and charitable use in 1934.[37]

Downturn in fortunes[edit]

The fortunes of the KGK community were damaged in the post-independence years by two tranches of legislation:

The KGK community continues to struggle as their land holdings and coal mines have gone. Further, the skills of their fore-fathers in building and erecting railway lines and bridges is also gone as young generations are neither interested nor are there opportunities as railway contracts are now given to big engineering conglomerates. At present they are mainly involved in small time business and services.[citation needed]

The majority of the once-prosperous KGK community living in Kutch and Saurashtra today are devoid of agricultural land and have been included in the list of Other Backward Classes for Gujarat. Those who migrated from the state cannot take advantage of this reservation.[10]

Present status[edit]

Distribution in India[edit]

KGK community members are found throughout India, notably near to the major rail routes and junctions associated with the work of their forebears.[citation needed] Communities exist in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal.[15]

Social organization and activities in present times[edit]

KGK associations exist today in various Indian states,[38] and there are meetings and events organised at local, state and national level. These include match-making events, called Sagpan-Sanmmelan,[39] and the traditional dispute resolution by elected community elders continues with the Panch. There is an annual gathering in Kutch, their native state and their national President is elected every three years by way of voting.[1][9]

They also have a woman's wing called Mahila Mandal at state and national level. Every three years a woman president is also elected by ladies of the community. The woman's wing works independently and in co-operation with the president of the community. The national level women's body of Kutch Gurjar Kshatriyas is called Akhil Bharatiya Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya samaj Mahila Mandal.[40][41] The woman president of this wing then appoints her working committee members. The Mahila Mandal was founded in 1976 and first Mahila Mandal Pramukh or President of Women's Wing of Kutch Gurjar Kshatriyas was elected.[1] In 1996 the community elected a woman to be Mahasabha Pramukh, or President of the community.[citation needed]

Similarly, they also have a youth wing at state and national organizational levels called All India Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya Samaj Yuva Mahamandal. The young generation helps in organizing major national and state level events and the youths also organize a sports event every three years called Kutchyad,[42] taking cue and inspiration from the Asiad of 1982 Asian Games. The event also coincides with Dance, Music and match-making event.[42] Every year a mass-marriage event is also held called Samuh-Lagna where the marriages of financially weak families or couples are held with blessings and financial co-operation of the whole community. The first such event by the community was held on 10 May 1966, with six marriages at Dhanbad and later on a larger scale in 1972 at Raipur. It continues to be held every year since then at different locations in India.[2]

Religious customs and beliefs in present days[edit]

Community members are still carrying forward the religious customs and beliefs embedded in them since many centuries ago and continue to follow Hindu religious customs. They are still followers of different sects of Hinduism.[citation needed]

The newly wed couple come at least once to bow to their Kuldevi at the temples which are located in the eighteen villages in Kutch originally founded by their ancestors. The newly weds also go and offer their respects at the Parias of their Satis and Shurapuras located in Kutch.[14]

There is a custom to offer special prayers and pooja called Kar to their Kuldevis whenever a boy is born in the family.[citation needed]

Present day identity[edit]

Other than being referred to as the Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya, the terms "KGK Community" or "Kgk Samaj" are more often used acronyms for the community in present day India at a national level. "Mistri", which was mostly used during the last century and before is nowadays only used in Kutch and Gujarat. However, the OBC Certificate as per the Bakshi Panch report are given in the name of the Mistri only.[10]

KGK Community in other fields[edit]

  • Seth Khora Ramji Chawda (1860–1923) of Sinugra has been credited by British themselves as the first Indian to break monopoly of Europeans in Jharia coalfields belt in year 1894 going on to establish ten collieries. He was also a Railway Contractor and Banker of repute and his life sketch is mentioned by British authorities in Encyclopaedia of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, Year 1920.[22][28]
  • Govamal Jiwan Chauhan (1855–1929) of Kumbharia was also a Railway Contractor of repute and Coal Mines owner and Banker at Jharia. His exploits as Railway Contractor and life sketch is also noted by British authorities in Encyclopaedia of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, Year 1924-25. The coal mines business established by him in 1910 was carried on by his sons Amarsinh Gowamal and Manji Gowamal carried on his coal mines business after his death till nationalization of coal mines in 1972-73.[22][43]
  • Nanji Govindji Taunk (1885–1954) of Hajapar was a railway and civil contractor of repute who lived in Jamshedpur. He did many railway contracts job from years 1900-1945 in Bengal Nagpur Railway including building of Tatanagar Railway Station in 1910. He was also one of the first civil contractors to be associated with Tata Steel. He ventured into other businesses like hotel, cinema, gold, and textiles and gained name as top businessman and a philanthropist in Jamshedpur. He built the existing Hindu crematorium and a Hindu temple at Bistupur. The excepts from his personal diary with documented record were published as a book Nanji Bapa ni Nondh-pothi, throwing light with documented and year-wise record of railway contracts over more than seven decades in British India by generations of the KGK community as well other structures built in Princely State of Kutch. The book published in 1999 was given the prestigious Kutch Shakti award in 2000.[citation needed]
  • Moolji Jagmal Sawaria (1889–1956) of Kumbharia was a noted railway and civil contractor, miner & businessman, who lived in Bilaspur. He carried on legacy of his father Jagmal Gangji as Railway Contractor with his brother Ranchhod Jagmal Sawaria. He was partner in Basara Colliery near Jharia. Further, in 1921-22, he discovered coal near Pali, while doing railway contracts and founded Donganalla and Pandilafa Collieries. He started first match factory of Central Provinces and Berar in 1936 and also in 1953 discovered chromite in Madhya Pradesh.[54]
  • Lira Raja Rathod (Bhalsod) (1889–1972) of Khambhra was a noted railway Contractor, real estate owner & philanthropist who established himself in Calcutta. He did major Railway works like, Gomoh to Hazaribag section in 1919, Raipur to Vizianagram section in 1926. His father Raja Ruda was also a Railway Contractor who did jobs narrow gauge line of Raipur Dhamtari Railway in 1898. His brother Vishram Raja also worked with him in many Railway contracts. Later he shifted from Raipur and settled in Calcutta and from years 1925 to 1945 he built many majestic buildings namely Raja Bhawan at Chittaranjan Avenue, Raja Court and Raja Terrace at Mission Row, Raja Mansion and Raja Chambers near Strand Road and Godavari Bhawan at Bhowanipore and gained name as a Real Estate owner in city. Many of these buildings are now land-marks of the city. He was known for his charities and donated money and lands in various places in India.[22]
  • Jairam Dahya Chauhan (1885–1968) of Kumbharia, who established himself at Nasik as a reputed Railway Contractor, industrialist & philanthropist. He was founder the J. D. Bytco Limited. Bytco is a known name in oral health-care. He is noted for founding of Muktidham. Further, he donated land and money to start several school & collages.[51]
  • Rajesh Chauhan (b 1966) of Bhilai is a former Spin Bowler, who played for Indian Cricket team from 1993 to 1998, belongs to the community. His father Govind Raja Chauhan hailing from Vidi and later settled in Ranchi was also a cricketer and played Ranji Trophy in 1957 & Duleep Trophy in 1964. He has been Chairman of youth wing of Kutch Gurjar Kshatriyas for years 1993-96.[56]
  • Bharat Purshottam Tank (1966–2009) son of Purshottam Jagmal Tank of Kukma living in Raipur was a drummer, who created a national record in beating drums non-stop for 123 hours and 20 minutes at the age of 22 in year 1988.[57]
  • Vaidhya Pragji Mohanji Rathor (1918–2006) of Nagalpar, who lived in Bhavnagar and later in Navsari, was a noted person in Ayurvedic medicines and science. He was an authority in Urine therapy and have written many books on Shivambu Chikitsa or self-urine therapy and Ayurvdic medicines in Gujarati language. Some of which were also later translated and published in English. His weekly articles used to be published in various Gujarati publications and newspapers. He was honored by Gujarat Government. The noted book written by him is Vigyan Ki Kasauti Par: Swamutra Chikitsa . He was attached to many social and charitable organizations and used to visit free medical camps in Calcutta and Bombay. He was also known social leader of the community.[58] During his lifetime he was President of Gujarat Vaidya Mandal and worked on several posts of Gujarat Ayurved University.[59]
  • Dharshi Jethalal Tank (1919–2010) of Nagalpar, living in Jamshedpur has his name recorded in Limca Book of Records for Mathematical Calculations. He was also the editor and compliar of the book Nanji Bapa ni Nondh-pothi published in 1999. The book was given Ank-Sidhhi award by Kuth Shakti at a function held in Mumbai in 2000.[citation needed]

KGK as pioneers of social reforms[edit]

The Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya community have not practiced the system of compulsory or forced dowry for many years. In addition, widows were in general allowed to remarry by community elders, i.e. the "Moti Naat" and the "Community Panch", on a case to case basis for more than two centuries – much before the Widow Remarriage Act was brought into British India in 1856. The word used for such widow remarriage was "Ghar-gharana".[17] Even the young widows having infants were also allowed to re-marry in case the second husband guaranteed to take care of child born from first marriage. There was a word called "agandiyaat" used for the young boy which came to his stepfather's house holding the finger of its mother. The word "angadi" in Gujarati language means finger and "angadiyaat" means the one who has come holding the finger.[citation needed] Sometimes, when the family of first husband, wished that son born from her first marriage should carry the name and title or surname of his deceased father, such arrangements were also given.[55]

The KGK also understood the importance of education and, during the early 1900s, had started schools and boarding houses in many villages and cities of Kutch (Sinugra, Madhapar, Bhuj, Anjar, etc.) and other cities (Jharia, Raipur, Cuttack, Valsad, Kharagpur, etc.) of India. They donated large sums to Vikas Vidhyalaya of Wadhwan, Gurukul Kangri Vidhyalaya of Haridwar, Banaras Hindu University and Rajghat Besant School of Varanasi, Gurukul Supa at Navsari, Shantiniketan Gurukul, Dakshinamurti Vidhya Mandir at Bhavnagar and Navajivan Trust of Ahmedabad, Sastu Sahitya Vardhak Karyalaya of Ahmedabad and Gita Press of Gorakhpur etc. They also understood the importance of Girls education and had started girls schools in some of their villages like Madhapar, Kookma etc. and helped Arya Kanya Gurukul at Porbandar and pioneered sending their girls to schools in the early years of schooling in India (1890–1900). Besides building boarding houses for students at Bhuj and Anjar so that their children can stay in the towns to study and opening co-educational primary schools in Sinugra, Madhapar, Chandiya, Kukma. At Kukma an exclusive girls hostel-cum-school named Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya Kanya Chhatralaya was built by the community. They also built a boarding house in Poona for students willing to go for higher education in 1935. A hostel building was built by them named "Jharia House" at Rajghat Besant School in Benaras in 1935.[citation needed]

In Hindu rites and rituals there is a system of giving a funeral feast called, Parojan or Barmu-Termu, after the death of a family member. It is believed that the spirit of the dead does not get salvation until such a feast is given in his or her memory. In such feasts the whole community was to be invited. Due to such beliefs even economically weak members of community took loans to hold them. In 1931 the whole community (Naat or Moti-Naat) of eighteen villages assembled at Village Sinugra and a historic resolution called, Parojan Nishedh Tharav was passed in Sinugra stating that no member of community, henceforth, is bound to give this feast after the death of their family members. The elders of the community were against the resolution that religious beliefs should not be tempered with. Younger generations of leaders convinced them, arguing that elders could feed the poor and help the needy and do other charitable works or even give the feast in their lifetime, if they can afford to earn their salvation. Why should they wait for or expect that their next of kin would give funeral feast after their demise.??[60]

In 1968, a Samuh-Lagna (mass community marriage) event was held on experimental basis by the Dhanbad Ghatak (unit) of the KGK community. Six couples were married in this first such mass-marriage event[55] and the KGK were probably one of the first Indian communities to arrange such a thing in post-independence India.[citation needed] In 1972, another Samuh-Lagna for financially weak families of the community was held at Raipur. There are now Samuh-Lagna held annually at different locations in India.[2]

Re-organization of KGK in post-independence India[edit]

Around 1942 onwards the historic "Naat" and "Patel" system came to an end due to some internal problems as well as national level turbulence including World War-II, the Indian Independence movement, the partition of India, merger of the princely states and formation of the Union of India. The community, most of which were involved in railway "Thekedari" and lay scattered across the various states of India could not re-organize themselves and for almost three decades the Kutch Gurjar Kshatriyas lost their unity and leadership. The Patel system and Moti-Naat started to collapse around 1945 and was ended by 1950.[55]

In Raipur a community organization called Kshatriya Seva Sangh was established in 1935 and later a greater organization called Shree Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya Ganti Samaj was established in 1948 and in 1954 the community center was built in Raipur.[citation needed]

Although the Moti-Naat went into a state of limbo around 1950 the Dhanbad and Raipur organizations were considered an extended part of Moti-Naat and were given the status of Gaam or village in addition to the 18 villages of Kutch. This status was given to them in view of the large population of KGK members living in both cities. Until 1960 both Dhanbad and Raipur units continued to pay their community taxes and subscription to the Moti-Naat in Kutch.[citation needed]

Later on a Yuvak Mahasabha, or Young Man's Association, of the community was formed in 1954 in Dhanbad. This Yuvak Mahasabha worked until 1968, with blessings from elders of the community, to bring a form a unity in Samaj but it could not replace Panch, Naat and the Patel system of historic times and the need for a greater organization was always needed. A community center was built by members of community during 1959–60 in Dhanbad at which later a Samuh-Lagna event was also organized by them in 1968, which can be said to be first such mass-marriage event before much publicized 1972 event held at Raipur.[55]

Finally in 1971 the community re-organized themselves and first some leaders with good wishes of elders of community, met at Jaipur and a resolution was passed to contact all families of the community spread throughout India and unite to elect a new leader by the next year.[22][55]

Accordingly in 1972 the community again got together at Raipur and at a huge gathering at their Samaj Bhawan on 3 June 1972, they unanimously elected their first President – Mahasabha Pramukh of post-independence India. The pre-independence Moti Naat was re-christened as Mahasabha and Patel was rechristened as Pramukh and the Panch system was re-established. The new constitution of the community, charitable trusts and state and national level units were formed. A detailed a census with a list of community members was carried out.[citation needed][55] The community name Shree Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya Mahasabha was registered under The Societies Registration Act with its registered office at Calcutta in 1972.[citation needed]

In the 2001 Gujarat earthquake, which had its epicenter in Kutch, the following villages of Mistris were largely affected and destroyed – Anjar, Sinugra, Khambhra, Devaliya, Chandiya, Nagalpar, Lovaria, etc. Many heritage houses and havelis belonging to rich Mistri families, built almost 100 years ago, with ornate facades, intricate door carvings and metal grill windows and verandas depicting the life of Queen Victoria were all razed to the ground. There were also huge wall and ceiling paintings depicting scenes from Mahabharata and Ramayana which are no more. The majestic interiors, doors and window panels of some of the houses were similar in design, which can still be seen in Prag Mahal.[6][7]

Along with other communities of Kutch, the KGK suffered significant casualties as a result of the earthquake of 26 January 2001. In many cases whole families of the KGK community were buried alive. The houses built by their fore-fathers were also lost, all being razed to the ground.[6][7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "મહારાષ્ટ્રના નાગપુર ખાતે કચ્છ ગુર્જર ક્ષત્રિય સમાજ રાષ્ટ્રીય મહાસભાનું અધિવેશન (Election of President of Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya Samaj held at Nagpur, Maharashtra)". Gujarat Samachar. 7 June 2011. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "સમૂહ લગ્નોથી સમાજ ગિઠત થાય / 38th Mass community marriage Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya held at Anjar". Divya Bhaskar. 9 February 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "HC raps mgmt of Gurjar Kshatriya Samaj-Gondia". Times of India. 24 June 2011. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "कर्मठ है कच्छ गुर्जर क्षत्रिय समाज (Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya Samaj people are hardworking)". Dainik Bhaskar. 6 December 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "મંદિર પ્રકરણમાં ખોટા કેસ થાય તેવો મિસ્ત્રી સમાજને ભય Barla Mandir case - Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya / Mistri Samaj of Madhapar afraid of false implication". Divya Bhaskar. 6 February 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Sinougra houses no longer live up to their claim to fame - Express India". Archive.is. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "In the shambles of Pride of Kutch lies priceless art". Expressindia.com. 2001-03-12. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f India's communities by Kumar Suresh Singh. Oxford University Press. 1998. p. 2287. "MESTRI: They are also known as Mistri. Kota in Rajasthan is believed to be their native place from where they came to Kutch in vs 1234 in search of livelihood. In Gujarat, the community is distributed in about eighteen villages of the Bhuj and Anjar" 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Gujarat, Part 1 By Kumar Suresh Singh, Rajendra Behari Lal. 2003. pp. 912–915. 
  10. ^ a b c d Mistri Encyclopaedia of Backward Castes By Neelam Yadav Page 316.
  11. ^ Kadia, Gurjar Ksahtriya Kadia, Gurjar Kadia Encyclopaedia of Backward Castes By Neelam Yadav Page 264, 316
  12. ^ a b c Kumar Ganti Itihass (History of Kumar Gnati) Published in year 1896.
  13. ^ a b c Kadia Kshatriya Abhudaya
  14. ^ a b "ધાણેટી ખાતે કચ્છ ગુ.ક્ષ. સમાજ...(Pooja held at Dhaneti by Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya for their Shurapura & Dada)". Kutch Mitra Daily. 23 June 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  15. ^ a b "Pradeshik Samiti and Ghatak of KGK". Chawra.com. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  16. ^ Solanki Vansh nu Kutch ma utran. (A brief history of Kutch and migration and rule of Solanki to Kutch)
  17. ^ a b Article on Widow Re-marriage (custom of Ghar-gharana) prevalent in Samaj by Nanji Mulji Chauhan of Kurnool. (Samaj Sandesh: 1996 August Page 12)
  18. ^ a b Gazetteer, Volume 5 By Bombay (India : State). 1880. p. 210. 
  19. ^ Kutch Tari Asmita
  20. ^ a b Mrs. Postans (1839). Cutch or random sketches taken during a residence in one of the northern provinces of Western India. p. 84. 
  21. ^ a b c d Kutch Darpan (Gujarati magazine published from Vadodara) August 2009 issue (article on Jagmal Raja Chauhan)
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Diary of Golden Days at Jharia – A Memoir and History of Gurjar Kashtriya Samaj of Kutch in Coalfields of Jharia – written by Natwarlal Devram Jethwa of Calcutta (1998).
  23. ^ Shri K. G. Kshatriya Samaj is a small Gujrat based community of around 50,000 people. The K.G.K. community is known for its commitment to hard work and initially made its presence felt as a contractors in Railways, Road, Forest and Construction.
  24. ^ "The Kadias and Bricklayers are also called Chunaras or lime-men whose main profession is brick laying, though a few among them work as masons". Gurjarkadia.com. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  25. ^ Thomas Gatten, TNN Dec 13, 2008, 04.29am IST. "Prince's and Victoria docks in state of decay". Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  26. ^ Ratna Bhagat ni Chopdi 1930
  27. ^ Census of India, 1981: Bihar. Series 4. Controller of Publications - Bihar. 1981. p. 22. "It was the existence of coal that first attracted the railway authority to extend the railways and with them came the Gujrati people as an expert railway contractor with an experience of railway construction work at Thana. They then met Raja of Jharia and purchased some having underneath wast wealth in shape of coal." 
  28. ^ a b Encyclopedia of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa by British Authority (1920)
  29. ^ "Gazetteers of Bengal, Assam, Bihar and Orissa 1917 Khora Ramji Colliries". Archive.org. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  30. ^ Khora Ramji Mines capsized in 1938. Books.google.co.in. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  31. ^ Jharia Coalfields: Khora Ramji, Narayan Chowra, etc. Books.google.co.in. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  32. ^ India at a Glance: A comprehensive reference book on India by T. V. Rama Rao, G. D. Binani. Published by Orient Longmans in 1954 (Coal Mines Section)
  33. ^ Indigenous Enterprise in the Indian Coal Mining Industry c. 1835–1939, C.P. Simmons. Published in 1976.
  34. ^ Report on the production and consumption of coal in India of 1921 India. Dept. of Statistics (Superintendent Government Printing, 1921 – Technology and Engineering).
  35. ^ Records - Geological Survey of India. Books.google.co.in. 2011-06-02. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  36. ^ a b [1] Cuttack, one thousand years, Volume 2, Page 293
  37. ^ Samaj Sandesh: 2009 December
  38. ^ Rethinking Indian culture: challenges and responses by Sitakant Mahapatra, Harish Chandra Das, Abhiram Biswal, Institute of Oriental and Orissan Studies - 2001- Page 32
  39. ^ Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya Samaj, Pune: Sagpan Sanmelean Press Report dated 22 February 2009[dead link]
  40. ^ Indian Anthropologist - Volumes - 1966- 26-28 - Page 44
  41. ^ Trading Community of India: An Anthropological Study of Ethnicity by Nilakantha Panigrahi, Premananda Panda, Premanatha Panda (anthropologist.)- 2000 - Page 188
  42. ^ a b "જબલપુરમાં કચ્છ ગુર્જર ક્ષત્રિય સમાજની ક્રિકેટ ટીમ ચેમ્પિયન.. (Kutch team wins Cricket championship beating Chhattisgarh team at Jabalpur Kutchyad of Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya Samaj)". Divya Bhaskar. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  43. ^ Encyclopaedia of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa by British Authorities (1925): Life sketch of Govamal Jiwan Chauhan
  44. ^ Society of Glass Technology, Sheffild, England 1941: John Northwood and Rai Bahadur Jagmal Raja. Books.google.co.in. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  45. ^ Rai Bahadur Jagmal Raja – Life-sketch Modern Bombay and Indian states: T. Peters, Who's Who Publishers (India), 1942
  46. ^ Modern Bombay and Indian States by T. Peters, Who's Who Publishers (India), 1942 (Pg 250 Life-sketch of Rai Bahadur Jagmal Raja Chauhan)
  47. ^ Modern Bombay and her patriotic citizens: Published by Who's Who Publishers (India), 1941 – Article on Jagmal Raja Chauhan.
  48. ^ Willingdon Bridge, Calcutta. The work was carried out by Rai Bahadur Jagmal Raja, Assoc. Inst. CE Minutes of proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Institution of Civil Engineers (Great Britain) 1934: Willingdon Bridge and Rai Bahadur Jagmal Raja Pg 80–110
  49. ^ Proceedings of the Indian Science Congress, Volume 17 Asiatic Society of Bengal, Asiatic Society (Calcutta, India), Indian Science Congress Association Reference on Rai Bahadur Jagamal Raja.
  50. ^ Cuttack Electric Supply Co Ltd. Founded 1929 Director Rai Sahib Koovarji Karsen Rathor. Books.google.co.in. 2010-05-03. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  51. ^ a b Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya Samaj Mahasabha-Vasti Patrak (1972) – (History section). Published in 1972 in Gujarati language.
  52. ^ Purshottam Khimji Chauhan, Jharia. Books.google.co.in. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  53. ^ The Times of India directory and year book including who's who , Volume 28. 1941. p. 1087. 
  54. ^ Records of the Geological Survey of India , Volume 88. Government of India. 1958. p. 84. "Sri Moolji Jagmal, Contractor, Bilaspur had informed Madhya Pradesh government.. of finding Chromite in hillock..." 
  55. ^ a b c d e f g Sansmriti: A memoir written by Nanalal Amarsinh Chauhan of Bagalkot in Gujarati language published in 2004. (The book gives details of re-organization and history of KGK Samaj after 1950 till 1985 and also brief life-sketch of some noted people)
  56. ^ "कच्छ गुर्जर समाज का मिलन समारोह". Dainik Bhaskar. 1 November 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  57. ^ Samaj Sandesh (January, 2010)
  58. ^ International Catalogue of Ayurvedic Publications – naming the book Vigyan Ki Kasauti Par: Swamutra Chikitsa, Pragji Mohanji Rathore
  59. ^ "Gujarat Samachar Online dated 10 March 2006 : Obitury : Vaidh Pragji Mohanji Rathor died 7th March 2006". Webcache.googleusercontent.com. 2013-08-26. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  60. ^ Kadia Kshatriya Abhudaya: December 1931

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Pramod Jethi is curator of Aina Mahal Trust, an authority on Kutchi art & artisans of Kutch region. He is also author of several books like: KUTCH : People & their handicrafts (2008), Co-author of A glorious heritage : Maharao Lakhpatji and the Aina Mahal by Pramod J. Jethi and W. Christopher (2000) & other several books in Gujarati & English

Bibliography[edit]

  • Kumar Ganti Prakash by Gaurishankar Harishankar Ojha. Publisher: Patel Ramji Mandan (1898) (Gujarati book)
  • Gazetteers of Bengal, Assam, Bihar and Orissa 1917 Khora Ramji Collieries
  • Nanji Bapa ni Nondh-pothi published from Baroda, in the Gujarati, 1999. It is a diary of railway contracts done by the KGK community, noted by Nanji Govindji Tank at Jamshedpur throughout his lifetime with his last entry in 1954. The diary was discovered his son Govardhan Nanji Tank and released as a book compiled by Dharshibhai Jethalal Tank. It was given the Aank Sidhhi award by Kutch Shakti at Mumbai in 2000. Book also has a section with photos on historical monuments and architects built by the Mistris of Kutch and has life-sketches of noted people of community. It has excerpts from the Encyclopedia of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa 1920 & 1925.
  • Kadia Kshatriya Samaj- Itihas, a Gujarati book published by Nutan Prakashan, 1920.
  • Diary of Golden Days at Jharia - A Memoir & History of Gurjar Kashtriya Samaj of Kutch in Coalfields of Jharia - written by Natwarlal Devram Jethwa of Calcutta (1998). Gives history of community pioneers in coal mining in Jharia from 1894 till 1972 with life sketches of Seth Khora Ramji, Jetha Lira, Khimjee & Gangjee Dossa, Ramji Rupa, Jagmal Raja, Manji Jeram. Also the life-sketches of people of Jharia from other communities like Lala Karamchand Thapar, Diwan Bahadur D. D. Thacker, Kripashankar & Harishankar Worah, Jatashankar Dossa Chanchani, Mavji Kalyanji, Ramjush Agarwalla, Waliram Taneja, Amritlal Ojha & many others from Jharia coalfields.
  • Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya Samaj : A brief History & Glory: by Raja Pawan Jethwa. (2007) Calcutta. The Book has separate sections: INTRODUCTION : Gives an over view of Kutch Gurjar Kshtriya community and its ancient history (I) KGK and Architect built by them mainly in Princely State of Cutch. (II) KGK and Railway : Gives details of some major Railway work with mileage wise details (III) KGK Surnames & History : Section gives details of various Kshatriya clan's history and origin of their surnames. (IV) Section deals with Kuldevi names various clans of KGK worship.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bhuj: art, architecture, history by Azhar Tyabji, Environmental Planning Collaborative (Ahmadābād, India) 2006
  • A glorious heritage : Maharao Lakhpatji and the Aina Mahal by Pramod J. Jethi and W. Christopher (2000)
  • "KUTCH : People & their handicrafts" by Pramod J. Jethi & Nayana P. Jethi, 2008.
  • "Kutchi Leva Patel - Our Journey to prosperity" by S. P. Gorasia. (June 2004). Published by Cutch Social & Cultural Society (London) and Printed by Umiya Printers (Bhuj, Kutch) The book mentions about Mistris of Kutch & their railway works & architects.
  • Indian Coal Statistics . India (Republic). Dept. of Mines. 1915