The Main Entrance Gate of Madhapar
|• Total||26.67 km2 (10.30 sq mi)|
|Elevation||105.156 m (345.000 ft)|
|• Official||Gujarati, Hindi|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Madhapar is a large village located in the south western Kutch district in the state of Gujarat, India. Bhuj is the regional hub of the town where the nearest airport exists. It serves three flights daily to Mumbai.
The town of Madhapar, with a population of more than thirty two thousand people, some 3 km from the main town of Bhuj in the province of Kutch (Gujarat), is wealthiest town in the whole of Southern Asia with an average GDP of $12,0000 per person.
In recent times, the town has become greener, with new lakes, check dams and deep bore artisaaln wells that provide fresh water all year round. It has new health centers, playing fields, parks and temples.
Madhapar is one of the 18 villages established by the Mistris of Kutch. In the 12th century, many people of the Mistris community moved into a village named Dhaneti and later settled between Anjar and Bhuj. Madhapar is named after Madha Kanji Solanki who had shifted from the Dhaneti village to Madhapar in the year 1473-1474 (VS 1529). Madha Kanji was the third generation of Hemraj Hardas of Solanki dynasty of Gujarat, who moved from the Halar region to Dhaneti and then to Madhapar. This early Madhapar today is known as Juna Vaas (Old Residence). These warrior Kshatriyas later came to be known by Mistri mainly because of their occupation. These Mistris have founded the Juna Vaas and contributed a lot to the development of all early infrastructure, temples of the village and erection of other architects of Kutch.
The Patel Kanbi community moved into the village around 1576 AD (V.S. 1633). Navo Vaas (New Residence) was started in around 1857, by which time Madhapar had become congested and other communities like the Kanbis had also increased and prospered.
The village was not harshly affected by the 2001 Gujarat earthquake that had caused severe damage in the region. However, some of the century old houses of Mistris in Juna Vaas (Old Residence) with unique architect were damaged in the earthquake of 26 January 2001.
During the years of laying of railway lines by the British, 1850–1930, many of the Mistris moved out to become railway contractors.
Some of them also entered into colliery businesses in Bengal - Bihar, Jharia - Bokaro Coalfields area. Among them three persons of Madhapar, a record in itself, were given the title of "Rai Sahib" from the British:
- Rai Sahib Vishram Walji Rathor (1898-1953) - noted railway contractor and coal miner, who with his father Walji Bhimji founded Ghoraghori, Ghoradongri & Tava valley collieries near Chhindwara and also worked as railway  and civil contractor from Bulsar and Ahmedabad. Mistri Walji Bhimji Rathod was among the few persons who, apart from Royal family, owned car in Cutch State. Founder of Schools at Madhapar and Valsad.
- Rai Sahib Koovarji Karsan Rathor - noted railway contractor & businessman, who established himself in Cuttack, Orissa.
- Rai Sahib Ruda Ladhha Chawra - noted railway contractor & industrialist, who established himself at Hoshangabad.
Other notable are:-
- Manji Jairam Rathore, (1886-1957) who with Rai Bahadur Jagamal Raja Chauhan of Nagor jointly started Rajapur Colliery and also owned coal mines at Argada and Mohuda. He was also a noted railway contractor, having worked chiefly as a contractor for Bengal Nagpur Railway's various new railway lines laid during 1890-1921. As an architect he renovated Suralbhit Temple in 1914 with Walji Bhimji and again in 1943 himself. As a philanthropist, he built Dhorava Hanuman Temple and sellor in 1927. As an associate of Odhavram he funded monies for Ashram & Blind School at Vandhay, Kutchi Ashram at Haridwar. He and his son Narsinh Manji were among the trustees of the Jharia Gujarati Hindi High School at Jharia, the Anjar Mistri Boarding School, Anjar, the Poona Mistri Boarding House, Pune, the Bhuj Misrti Boarding School, Bhuj and the J. B. Thakkar Commerce College, Bhuj.
- Dhanji Devji Rathod of the village also started Central Jharia colliery at Tisra and other mines during years 1910-15, which were taken over by the government in 1971 after nationalization of coal mines in India.
- Nathoo Lalji Solanki of the village working from Secunderabad, was given Shir-Pav by Nizam of Hyderabad for building more than 100 miles of railway single-handedly for Nizam's Guaranteed State Railway. He also did notable works for Hyderabad State, which include construction of the Hyderabad State Library, Nizam Sagar Canal Works, Raipur Well Sinking works, Raipur Electric House, New Zanana Royal Palace, conservation of Bagh-e-Ala Mecca Masjid, works of King Kothi Palace, and the Summer Palace of Nizam's at Gulbarga. He was founder of the Gujarati Library and Gujarati School at Secunderabad.
The first government boys' school was started in 1884. Bhimji Devji Rathod of Mistri Community built and started the first girls' school in Madhapar in 1900. The first high school, Madhapar Vidhyalay Saraswati High School, was founded in 1968.
There are two huge lakes in Madhapar. One is called Jagasagar and was built by Mistri railway contractor Jagamal Bhima Rathod around the year 1900; it is named after him. The other is called Meghrajji Lake, named after Meghrajji, the last ruler of the Cutch State. Karasan Bhima Rathod also built an artificial lake with steps near the Suralbhit Temple, which today is known as Karasan Bhimjee's Pond.
As per records of the old Thakor Madir, Shiva Mandir and the noted Barla Temple were built by Mistri Mandan Jiwani Chauhan of the Mistri community around 1880-90 from the monies he earned as railway contract works in Sindh
Many residents of Madhapar work abroad in the UK, USA, and Canada. But they prefer to save their money in India, which has made Madhapar one of the richest villages in terms of bank deposits worth over 2000 crores. The village has earned a special name in India and is considered a barometer of NRI deposits.
The migrant population of Madhapar living outside India have huge love for their village and have formed community associations. In 1968, Kutch Madhapar Karyalay was formed in London to bind the UK Madhapar community together and maintain their cultural activities and traditions.
- 18 villages founded by Kutch Gurjar Kshatriyas
- Gurjar Kshatriyas, also known as Mistris, came to Kutch from Rajasthan. They are skilled in building construction. They first established themselves at Dhaneti and were granted 18 villages by the rulers of Kutch. They are famous designers and developers of buildings and bridges
- Report after earthquake Giving details of Villages, Art & Skills of Mistris of Kutch
- Press Report on Houses, History of Mistiris of Kutch
- The name of village Madhapar was given on the name of one Mr. Madha Kanji Solanki (3rd generation of Mr. Hemraj Hardas) who had shifted from Dhaneti village to Madhapar in the year 1473-74.
- Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya Community : A brief History & Glory:by Raja Pawan Jethwa. (Kolkata, 2007). Section II: Mileage wise available Details of Railway lines laid.Pages:63 to 70
- Mistri of Kutch, Madhapur History, Madhapar was founded by Madha Kanji Solanki, Suralbhit Temple Renovation, History of development of Madhapar over centuries, etc. in Patel community document
- Diary of Golden Days at Jharia - A Memoir & History of Gurjar Kshatriya Samaj of Kutch in Coalfields of Jharia - written by Natwarlal Devram Jethwa of Calcutta -1998. Book gives names of founders of various Colliries of Mestri community & life sketch of many including the life sketch of coal mine pioneers of other communities
- Transactions, Volume 29. Mining, Geological, and Metallurgical Institute of India. 1935. p. 5.
- Bulletin of the Institution of Engineers (India). - Volume 19. Bulletin of the Institution of Engineers (India). 1969. p. 34.
- Raysaheb Vishram Walji Rathor - lifesketch
- Nanji Bapa ni Nondh-pothi(નાનજી બાપાની નોંધપોથી) published in Gujarati in year 1999 from Vadodara. It is a diary of Railway Contracts done by KGK community noted by Nanji Govindji Tank during his life-time last entry in 1954. The diary was later discovered his son Govardhan Nanji Tank and released as a book compiled by Dharsibhai Jethalal Tank. This book was given Aank Sidhhi national award ( અંક સિદ્ધિ રાષ્ટ્રીય એવોર્ડ ) by Kutch Shakti ( કચ્છ શક્તિ ) at Mumbai in year 2000.
- Indian Coal Statistics. India (Republic). Dept. of Mines. 1915. p. 17.
- Monthly Review of Coal Production and Distribution by India. Coal Board - 1962
- Nathoo Lalji Solanki
- All India Architects Directory - 1976 - Page 141
- સને 1881માં રેલ્વેમાં કામોમાં કમાણી કર્યા બાદ માધાપર ગામે માંડણભાઇ જીવાણીએ ઠાકર મંદિર અને શિવમંદિર, બારલા મંદિર બંધાવેલ
- "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 5 March 2014.
- For three decades, NRIs in small Kutch village have been depositing money in bankshas grown to Rs 2,000 crore.
- Kutch village bank flush with NRI cash
- Meltdown hits Madhapar's deposits : Madhapar village, considered as a barometer of NRI deposits and remittances in the country, is now facing the brunt of the recession with banks in the region witnessing a decline in NRI deposits