Monday, January 10, 2011

History- Dhoraji

Dhoraji is a large and flourishing town on the banks of small river Safura, a branch of the river Bhadar. Dhoraji is a city and a municipality in Rajkot district in the state of Gujarat, India.

It is said that Dhoraji was a beautiful place long before the history records with a river running on one side and a low lying area on the other. The beautiful green patch attracted many nomads, woodcutters, bird catchers and specially those who wished to graze their animals. These people started settling there making huts and small houses.They sold their dairy products, to close by town named Patarn. Among these people there was a very intelligent and courageous lady named 'Dhori' whose dairy products like ghee,butter,etc gained fame and popularity due to its good quality. Her products slowly gained popularity and people started calling the place "Dhori ji"meaning place of Dhori. These nomads who by now have settled there and had also done some farming which attracted farmers from close by and, as time went by, more people from other spheres of life came to settle down and, before long, a town had sprung up where there were only small shanty structures of huts. From "Dhori" or "Dhori ji" it came to be known as Dhoraji.

There is also another story to the name.There was a check post in a nearby region called DEVDI established by a muslim ruler. Muslim Soldiers, who used to gueard the post, spoke Persian language. they often went to the beautiful green area where there were remains of some old structure that had two gates and that, in Persian, was called "Durrajah". Thus, this place came to be known as Durrajah which, as the time went by, was corrupted to Dhoraji.
Old Palace of Gondal

Historians say that Dhoraji was first 'captured' and ruled by the Soomros, a band of thieves, hunters and decoits. One of their leaders, Umer Soomro, seized a small place near Dhoraji and that came to be known as Umerkot, while Hothi Soomro ruled Dhoraji. How long the Soomros ruled, no historical evidence is available, but in 1748 AD it came under the rule of Gondal monarchy. Actually Dhoraji was under the rule of the Nawab of Junagadh who gifted it to the Darbar of Gondal in return for helping him to defeat Vasant Rai Purbio, an administrator of Dhoraji appointed by Nawab Bahadur Khanji himself. So when the Memons arrived in Dhoraji, it was under the rule of the Gondal Darbar named Haloji.

Darbar Haloji welcomed the first few of the families with a warm heart.When news of the warm and cordial welcome as well as the facilities offered by the Ruler to new immigrants reached other villages in the vicinity, more Memon families reached Dhoraji for rehabilitation.After the death of darbar Haloji hi son Bhakunbhaji took over the throne.
Galaxy Chowk,Dhoraji India

When Memons started coming to Dhoraji, the fort was under construction.The fort was completed in 1753.The construction of the fort made the residents feel assured and secured against thieves and robbers who had been tormenting the town.

The year 1884 saw young Bhagwatsinghji take over the reigns of government of Gondal state so of Dhoraji.Sir Bhagwatsinhji, was born at Dhoraji Darbargadh. He was a fellow of Bombay University and received honours from Edinburough University. During his extensive travels to Europe and England, he was greatly impressed by Paris and got interested in the principles of European town planning. On his return to Gondal, he established a town planning department and in the late 19th century, introduced town planning principals to regularize and monitor the growth of the fortified town of Gondal, Dhoraji and Upleta and Patanvav.
Darbar Gadh

With the arrival of railways, a new part of the Dhoraji town, between the railway station and the old town, was designed using axial planning, having broad avenues, road junctions, parks, bazaars and public buildings. It is a good example of urban planning of an Indian town during British Raj.

At the time of partition many memon families migrated from Dhoraji to Karachi.Yet leaving a good number of Memon families back in Dhoraji presently in India.Over the years Dhoraji Colony and New Dhoraji are established in Karachi.

People of Dhoraji are known for their tasty and mouth watering food. People from Rajkot district used to come here for the great food.Some famous dishes are Ganthia – a product of Chick peas flour is a specialty. This is consumed especially during evening and night. Bhajiya – is another specialty of the town. Raghuvir bhajiya is favourite places for food-freaks in Indian Dhoraji. Bhajiya are usually consumed in rainy season but in Dhoraji people eat it every day. Potato( Lasaniya Batata) – boiled potatoes with spicy masala is also very famous in this town.In Dhoraji Colony people now call it Khatta Aalos.Many other foods like Dabeli – (It is like bread sandwich with masala.) Oil / Butter DABELI is very tasty,Kajjo Katri, Dotha Puri, Khajli and other Barfi sweets made from good quality Mava are also very famous and are very tasty.The Gola Gandas of Dhoraji Colony Karachi have gained world wide fame.


Anonymous said...

please post more pictures of present day dhoraji,india so i can enjoy my parents motherland.
thank you

Maulik Joshi said...

Awesome.... simply awesome...
There were tears in my eyes reading all these contents... :-)

Thanks for sharing this...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jayprakash Vyas said...

Dhoraji is lovely town as described.thank you very much for providing actual information.I personally witnessed the fact.

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