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Samatra Lake
Samatra Lake
Samatra is located in Gujarat
Location in Gujarat, India
Coordinates: 23°11′32″N 69°29′49″E / 23.192224°N 69.497041°E / 23.192224; 69.497041Coordinates: 23°11′32″N 69°29′49″E / 23.192224°N 69.497041°E / 23.192224; 69.497041
Country India
 • OfficialGujarati, Hindi
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Nearest cityBhuj
Mahadev Temple, Samatra

Samatra is a small village located in the Kutch district of Gujarat state, India. The first settlement was established by two Varsani brothers by the names of Velji Bapa and Manji Bapa. From this other families, such as, the Gami, Pindoria, Hirani, Bhanderi, Kerai and Bhudiya families, gradually joined in and strengthened and united the community as a whole. However, this is not the earliest known Varsani history. In 1386, in a small village called Savalia, it is acknowledged that Varsanis once lived here before travelling and inhabiting several other small villages until finally settling down.

The village of Samatra is located on a substantially big hill, thus making its surrounding slopes naturally attractive and unique amongst the other nearby villages. It is one of twenty-four main villages of the Leva Patel Samaj in Kutch and is situated only 12 miles west of Bhuj, the nearest city, on the main state highway to Narayan Sarovar - Tirth Dhaam.

One of the key advantages of living in Samatra is that one gets access to a secluded village by the name of Fotdi, which is smaller by choice compared to Samatra. They are separated by a 3-mile road, lined with farms on both sides.

The village of Samatra has since evolved with time. many captivating buildings and architectural sites can now be seen in the village. Amongst these are the two Swaminarayan Temples for men and women and the Samaj Community Centre. Several other Hanuman and Mahadev mandirs can also be seen. Also after the extensive development programme and tree plantations, the Ujaani Talav has transformed into a beautiful lake and a place of pilgrimage.

Worldwide Kutchi Kanbi communities can be found in the USA, Canada, Uganda, Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, Australia, Portugal, Switzerland, Sultanate of Oman, UAE and a vast population in the UK. The first wave of migration from Kutch were to Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya, in the early 1930s, in the search of a better life. The 1960s and 1970s saw the immigration of Kanbis to the UK and USA. In the 1970s and 1980s many Kanbis secured working in the Middle East.

Since immigration to many parts of the world, people of Samatra has established organisation in order to maintain links to their place of origin. These organisations have since helped to achieve its purpose and maintain links through various educational, religious, social and sporting activities. This unity that has nurtured has become stronger over the years has helped set up various projects in their home village of Samatra.

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