HISTORY

On this Page
Origin of Memons
History Of Dhoraji
Mouth Watering food of Dhoraji
History Of Veraval and Patan
History Of Vanthali
Vanthali by Abdur Razzak Thaplawala
History Of Bantva
Bantva-Birth place Revisited By Abdur Razzak Thaplawala
History Of Junagadh City
Last Days Of Junagadh By Abdur Razzak Thaplawala
History Of Morbi and Tankara




ORIGIN OF MEMONS


The Memon Community is basically a peace loving, business community. A community which has a history as magnificent as the present and as promising future as can be (inshaAllah). The origin of Memon community is obsecure. There are many interesting stories about the origins of this community. Some say that in the 15th century about 700 families from the Lohana caste converted to Islam at Nagar, Thatha on the hands of Pir Yusufuddin. The converts were first called Momins or Mumins and the term, with the march of time, changed to Memons. This was also stated by Hussain Kassim Dada from his Presidential Chail at the first ever All India Memon Conference in Rajkot in the year 1931. Some say that they converted to Islam at Mansura during the reign of Hazrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz (RA). British historian Richard Burton wrote that they embraced Islam in Kutch. Some say that they did so during the period of Muhamad bin Qasim and that the “me” in the word “memon” stands for business and “mon” for diamonds. Some historians claim that the people belonging to the Banu Tamim tribe in Memna later settled in Thatta and were known as Memons. Some hold that the Halai Memons, left Hala district of Sindh for economic reasons and spread out to other parts of the world. Okhai Memons belonging to Okha port spread out to various parts of the world in search of bussiness in their ships and boats.That was perhaps the reasons why some historians used the phrae “sailor businessmen” for Memons.
Okha port
Most members of the Memon community in the Indo-Pak subcontinent lived in Sindh, Gujarat and Kathiawar. They were known as Sindhi Memon, Gujarati Memon and Kathiawari Memon, respectively. Those living in Kenya are known as Nasarpuria Memon.
Memon community can be divided in three main groups. Those who traced their ancestors from Kutch region are identified as Kutchi Memon and they speak Kutchi dialects. Those who traced their ancestry to Kathiawar are identified as simply Memon or Kathiawadi Memons or Halai Memons and they speak the Memon language. Those Memon who remained in Sindh (their ancestor never migrated to neighboring regions such as Kutch and Kathiawar) are identified as Sindhi Memon and speak the Sindhi language. Many Memons, especially Kathiawadi Memons, further distinguished themselves into various sub-groups which generally refer to their ancestral villages or towns such as Kutyana Memons, originated from Kutyana in Junahgarh (now India). Bantva Memons, Jutpur Memons, Dhoraji Memons, Rajkot Memons with other 18 Jamaats are now collectively called Halari Memon which is the largest Jamaat of memons in Pakistan, Bombaywala Memon (whose ancestors used to live in the main city of Bombay and its suburbs) and Deeplai Memon. It is estimated that the number of Kathiawadi Memon, other than Kutchi and Sindhi Memon, worldwide are over one million.
All of these sub-groups or Jamaats have their central organization which are generally established for the social welfare of its members and development of the society which may include issuance of marriage license, matrimonial dispute resolution, adaptation and enforcement of the rules and guidelines against certain undesirable customs, establish healthcare and education centers, provides various facilities for the community need and also financial support and housing for the poor and needy members and sometime non-members.
Some famous organizations, welfare associations or Jamaats of the Memon community which generally refer to their ancestral town are:
  • Amreli
  • Bantva,Bagasra
  • Bombay
  • Dhoraji
  • Deeplai
  • Gondal
  • Halari Memon
  • Jetpur
  • Jamnagar Memon Jamaat
  • Kutiyana
  • Kathiawar
  • Ladhubhai
  • Morbi-Tankara Memon Association also called M.T.M.A
  • Nasserpuria Memon Jamaat - Kenya
  • Okhai
  • Porbandar
  • Rajkot
  • Sourashtra
  • Tharti
  • Upleta
  • Vanthli
  • Vasawad
  • Walakh
 Memons are by nature generous, kind-hearted and charitable people. Not only do they support their less fortunate Jamaat fellows and community members by monthly maintenance allowances, scholarships and other necessities but also help humanity at large by establishing hospitals, maternity homes, orphanages, schools, colleges, industrial homes and other humanitarian activities, whose benefits are traditionally open for all persons without distinction of caste, color or creed. All large nation-wide funds start with the donations of Memons and generally they are among the topmost donors.
Wherever the Memons have settled they first built a mosque and schools and if in considerable numbers, also established a Jamaat. Many mosques built by Memons have become outstanding architectural landmarks of their particular cities. Such mosques include Zakaria Masjid of Calcutta, Minara Masjid of Bombay. New Memon Masjid of Karachi and Bitul Muqarram Masjid of Dacca. Memons have also built large mosques in the countries spread from Japan to South Africa. The Jama Masjid of Durban built by the Memons, is the largest mosque in the Southern Hemisphere.
Kharadar, Karachi
Upon getting to know them better, one soon realizes that they are soft-spoken, amicable, kind and very patriotic. It would take a thick volume to describe all their services to the humanity and our country. Suffice it to say that whatever they have done for the economic, social welfare of Pakistanis since its creation is highly praiseworthy and to be proud of. Ordinary people connect the word “Memon” only with trade, but their services in other fields have been exemplary. After partition , they set up a number of important industrial units in East Pakistan: Bawa Jute Mills, Adamji Jute Mills, Adamji Tea Gardens, Karnafuli Paper Mills, Karnafuli Jute Mills, Dawood Rayon Mills and Chemical Factories, to name but a few.
After the seperation of East Pakistan (Now Bangladesh) many of them lost everything. However, they did not give up and concentrated all their efforts in building up the industrial infrastructure in (West) Pakistan. We are all familiar with names like Adamji, Pakola, Dawood, Fecto, Al-Noor, Dada, Hussain, Dadabhoy, Abdullah, Jaffer, Bawany, Machiara, Tabani, and many more.
According to available data, there are about 1-1/2 million Memons outside Pakistan. There are about 600,000 in Pakistan, about 700,000 in India, about 13,000 in America and about 25,000 in England.
It is debatable why a small community produced so many magnificient characters,but the number of highly successful people in this community is unmatched  to any other community big or small. Some famous Memons, past and present, are Haji Sir Abdullah Haroon, Haji Abdul Sattar, Seth Adamji, Haji Dawood, Haji Abdul Ghani Beg Mohammad Bawani, Usman Isa Bhai Vakil, Haji Dada Wali Mohammad Modi, Ahmad E H Jafar, Yusuf Haroon, Mahmood Haroon, Ashraf Wali Mohammad Tabani, Zain Noorani, Abdul Sattar Edhi, Alhaj Zakaria Kamdar, Haji Hanif Tayyab, Kassim Parekh, Abdullah J Memon, Ghulam Ali Memon, Ahmad Dawood, Hussain Dawood, Abdul Qadir Lakhani, Aqil Karim Dhedhi, Razzaq Balwani, Aziz Tabba, Abdul Razzaq Thalpawala, Hussain Lawai, Amin Ghaziani, Justice A Hafeez Memon, Justice Rahim Bux Memon, Justice M Bachal Memon, Justice Rahim Bux Munshi, Ghulam Mohammad. Adamji Fecto, Ahmad Ibrahim Wali Mohammad Bawani, Haji Ilyas Memon, Hussain Ibrahim, Latif Ibrahim Jamal, M Ibrahim Tabani, Yaqub Tabani, Usman Salman, Haji Abdul Razzaq, Amin Lakhani and many more.









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.


The Mouth Watering Food Of Dhoraji

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.


The Famous Gola Ganda,Gathia,Pav Bhaji,Lasaniya batata and Khatta Aaloo















Khatta Aaloo






Gathia






lasaniya batata



Pav Bhaji





History Of Veraval- Patan

Veraval was once a fortified town of the royal family of Junagadh.It is said that memons migrated to this city somewhere in the 17th century,they are reffered to as a trading community who spoke Gujrati and Kathiawari by the historians.It is also said that this community originated in the town of Patan in Gujarat. The community spread from Patan to the cities of Veraval, Govindpura, Naodra, Kalji, Chourbad, Kesod and Junagadh.Patan was the capital of Gujarat in medieval times.History of Patan dates back to 745 AD.This city had been of great importance in the history.It still contains many Hindu and Jain temples as well as few mosques, dargahs and mazars. The city has many historical places also.Hence it can be said that Veraval memons are a sub group of Patni Memons.

Veraval is a port town that is located in the Junagadh district of the state of Gujarat.The recorded history of Veraval dates back to 13th or 14th century when Rao Veravalji Vadher, a Rajput brought significant progress to this port. The port town had claimed great importance in trade and business over the years, It had been the departure point for many Muslims who wished to travel to Mecca before the port of Surat had flourished.


summer palace now sanskrit university
The town still has many of its old buildings and boasts of a rich cultural heritage as well. It was once a fortified town and was the home of the royal family. There are many old palaces that are located in the town, the Summer Palace of the Nawabs is one if the main attractions of the place.The palace was converted into a college after it was abandoned by the nawab.At present it is the building of a Sanskrit university. Tourists flock to witness this exquisite feat of architecture. Near the palace, the ruins of the old fort can still be seen today and the gates of the fort which are impressive are still standing. However they are in a bad state due to lack of maintenance. The Pathan Gate and the Jungadh Gate are the main entrances of the fort.

Veraval also has long stretch of beaches that are uninhabited and are free of tourists. Only a small portion of the stretch has been made commercial.Its importance now is as a fishing port which is one of largest in India. Sea going dhows and fishing boats are still being built by the sea without the use of any instruments other than a tape-measure. Traditional skills are passed down from father to son.


It is also the city nearest to the great Somnath Temple which had an extremely chequered history. Legend has it that the original temple was built by Somraj, the moon-god himself, out of gold. Later, Ravana made with silver, then Krishna in wood and finally King Bhimdev in stone.A temple which has a long history of being built and demolished and being rebuilt again.It is the temple which is also famous for being demolished by one of the greatest soldiers Mehmood Ghaznavi.Here is where he is reffered as the Mehmood But shikan

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