Sanjan (Gujarat)

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Sanjan
Town
Sanjan is located in Gujarat
Sanjan
Sanjan
Location in Gujarat, India
Coordinates: 20°12′4″N 72°48′4″E / 20.20111°N 72.80111°E / 20.20111; 72.80111Coordinates: 20°12′4″N 72°48′4″E / 20.20111°N 72.80111°E / 20.20111; 72.80111
Country  India
State Gujarat
District Valsad
Population (2001)
 • Total 12,760
Languages
 • Official Gujarati, Hindi, Dhodia
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Vehicle registration GJ 15
Nearest city Vapi

Sanjan or સંજાળis a town in Gujarat, India. It is in the Umargam taluka of Valsad district.

Geography[edit]

Sanjan is approximately 17 kilometres from the town of Daman, which was a Portuguese colony and an important trading station until 1961.

Sanjan is the location of the second railway station in Gujarat (the first station is on Umbergaon) on the Western railways (formerly the BB&CI Railways) just inside the Gujarat-Maharashtra border. Sanjan is in the Umargam taluka of Valsad district. Sanjan Bundar, the original settlement before the rail-head, is situated 2 km to the north of the railway station and is today a part of the extended town of Sanjan.

There is river name as Varoli which comes between Sanjan and Umbergaon but it is nearest from Sanjan Railway Station.This (River) varoli water comes from Maharashtra Dam name as khurunj Dam.Indian Festival named as Mahashivratri is also celebraed in Sanjan Varoli River.From many years to join this festival people come in large numbers from several places.

History[edit]

Sanjan is believed to have been founded by Zoroastrian refugees who sought asylum in Gujarat c. 936. Those Zoroastrians, whose descendants are today known as the Parsis, are thought to have named the settlement after Sanjan in Greater Khorasan, the city of their origin. Although originally a Zoroastrian city, Sanjan was captured by Mahmud Begada in the 1480s.

Later, Sanjan became part of the Portuguese Northern Provinces until it was liberated by the Marathas under Chimnaji Appa in his campaign against the Portuguese (1733–39). In the 18th century, there was a huge influx of Spanish and French Muslim traders who had come to trade in Indian spices which was a hugely profitable market at the time. Many of these traders married Hindu Gujarati women who later on went on to convert to Islam; the current Muslim population of Sanjan are believed to be the descendants of these people.

Modern Excavations[edit]

From 2002 to 2004, the World Zarathushti Cultural Foundation (WZCF) (Mumbai) and the Indian Archaeological Society(IAS) (New Delhi), conducted three seasons of archaeological excavations at the ancient mounds immediately North and East of Sanjan Bandar. The excavation Directors were (late) Dr S P Gupta of the IAS and Dr Kurush F Dalal. Three years (2002, 2003 & 2004) of excavations have revealed a large city (approx 2 km x 1 km) on the banks of the Varoli Creek/River which was occupied from the 8th to the 13th centuries AD. The houses were made of burnt brick and had solid stone foundations, they were equipped with sophisticated drainage in the form of adjacent Ringwells.

That the city was involved directly in the trade activities of the Indian Ocean littoral is evidenced by the large amounts of West Asian and Chinese ceramics as also by the numerous numismatic finds and the amazingly large amounts of West Asian Glassware and Beads.

West Asian ceramics identified for the first time include Sassanian-Islamic Turquoise Glazed Ware, sGraffito Ware, Kashan Lustre Ware, Tin Glazed Ware and other associated wares like Celadon and other Glazed wares. Chinese wares like Eggshell Ware, Yeuh and Qingbai Porcelains and Glazed Stone Ware were also recovered though in smaller numbers. The ceramics were studied and published by Dr. Rukshana Nanji. The published report is the first volume in the Sanjan Excavation Report Series. The glass was studied by Ms. Rhea Mitra-Dalal. Human remains were studied by Dr Veena Mushrif-Tripathi and published as the second volume in the series.

The site has also yielded the first definitive proof of Parsi (Zoroastrian) occupation at Sanjan in the form of a dokhma or Tower of Silence (a uniquely Zoroastrian mortuary structure). The excavations and explorations have also yielded interesting art historical data in the form of Hindu (Shilahara Period) sculptural and structural remains. Final report writing is in progress.

See also[edit]