About

Namaste! a Warm Welcome to the Global Website of the Mandhata Patel’s of the Kantha Vibhag area, Navsari District of Gujarat, India, a place for the community to collaborate and work together for future progress and joint development to make the world a better place.

Featured Site: IIT Kharagpur – National Digital Library for students for all subject

*** Over the next couple of weeks we are planning to run a series on the Customs, Traditions and Cultural Practices of Gujaratis, the entire series will be archived on the site for future reference, see bottom right navigation bar.

 

Decoding Gujarati Wedding: Everything You Need To Know About The Sacred Pre And Post Wedding Rituals


Video Clips on Marriage Songs – Lagna Geet

Non Stop Gujarati Lagna Geet

25 Popular Marriage Songs

Kinjal Dave | Non Stop Geet


Download full text: pdf Decoding Gujarati Weddings

A wedding is one of the most sacred rituals in India and every community or religion has its own traditions, ancient as well as modern, i.e., the sheer diversity that makes it even more special.
Gujarat is the land of colours, riches, culture and food. Gujarati people are warm and hospitable, and this hospitality is evident in their wedding functions also. The festive nature of the Gujarati people reflects in their wedding rituals and practices as their weddings are filled with fun and joy.

Hey Shubhaarambh, Ho Shubhaarambh, Mangal Bela Aayi, Sapnon Ki Dehri Pe, Dil Ki Baaji Re Shehnai…

a wedding in India is more than just two people tying the knot on an auspicious day in a traditional ceremony. It is more about the rituals and customs that add the oomph factor to one’s wedding. Gujarati weddings are no different as from pre-wedding rituals to post-wedding customs, they are vibrant, intricately planned, culture-rich festivities full of celebration and traditions. Here are the pre- and post-wedding rituals of a Gujarati wedding.

Pre-wedding traditions and rituals
Chandlo matli

This is the foremost Gujarati marriage function, which is all about the acceptance of the marriage. Chandlo is basically a red-coloured circle made in the centre of the groom’s forehead. The bride’s father along with four other male members from the bride’s side visit the to-be groom’s home to apply it. Along with this, shagun is also given as a token of love, and the marriage date is also fixed on the same day.

Gol dhana

The engagement ceremony in a Gujarati wedding is known as gol dhana, which means coriander seeds and jaggery. So basically, at the engagement ceremony, both these things are distributed amongst the guests. The bride-to-be and her family pay a visit to the groom-to-be’s house with sweets and a few gifts. The rings are exchanged in the presence of their respective families, and the couple seeks blessings from five married women from each side of the family.

Mehendi ceremony

Two days prior to the wedding, the mehendi function is hosted by the bride’s family. Just like any other Indian wedding, beautiful mehendi designs are applied to the bride’s hands with henna. Other female members of the family also apply mehendi on their hands.

Sanji/sangeet sandhya in a Gujarati wedding

A song and dance ceremony in Gujaratis is known as sangeet sandhya or sanji. It takes place after the mehendi ceremony and before the wedding day. This is one such function, where both the families get a chance to know each other even more. Traditional Gujarati wedding songs are sung, and guests enjoy tapping their feet on garba and dandiya.

Mangal mahurat

The mangal mahurat ceremony is held at both the bride and the groom’s houses. The bride and the groom along with their respective families offer their prayers to Lord Ganesha to seek his blessings and pray to him to remove all the obstacles coming in their way.

Griha Shanti puja

The griha shanti puja is also performed at both houses. As the name itself suggests, it is done for acquiring peace and calm in the houses.

Pithi

Pithi is the Gujarati name for the haldi ceremony. In this ceremony, the bride sits on a stool, and the ladies of her family apply a paste of sandalwood, turmeric, rosewater and perfume on her body.

Mameru/Mosaalu
2This ceremony takes place a day before the wedding day. The bride’s mama (her mother’s brother) visits her house and gifts her sarees, bangles, and jewellery along with many other things.

Jaan ritual

The jaan, held on the wedding day, is a very entertaining, sweet and funny ritual. After arriving at the marriage venue, the groom touches his soon-to-be mother-in-law’s feet for her blessings, and she tries to grab his nose while he tries to avoid her clutch. This playful ritual is to remind the groom that she is giving her precious daughter to him, so he should be humble and grateful.

Wedding traditions and rituals
Baaraat/varghoda in a Gujarati wedding

In a Gujarati wedding, the groom’s sister waives coins wrapped in a cloth over his head before he sets out of his house. This is a way to ward off the “evil eye” around her brother. The groom usually leaves for his baaraat on a horse.

Jaimala

This is the first ritual in the actual wedding ceremony. Here the wedding couple exchanges garlands made of fresh flowers.

Antarpaat

This is one such ceremony where there is a curtain between the bride and groom. In this Gujarati wedding ritual, the bride is escorted to the mandap by her maternal uncle. There is a cloth curtain between the bride and the groom. During the course of this ritual, the curtain is lowered.

Kanyadaan, hasta milap and varmala

Kanyadaan is the moment when the bride’s father gives his daughter’s hand in the hands of the groom. After this, the bride’s saree is tied to the groom’s shawl in a ritual known as the hasta milap. After that, a cord is tied around the couple’s necks by the elders in the family to ward off evil, which is known as varmala.

Madhuparka/panchamrut

In this ritual, a member of the bride’s family washes the groom’s feet, while he is offered a drink of milk and honey.

Joota Churai

This is the most exciting and very entertaining ritual of most Indian weddings. In Gujarati weddings, when the madhuparka is going on, the sisters of the bride try to hide the groom’s footwear and agree to return them only in exchange for money.

Mangalpheras and Saptapadi

Unlike most Hindu weddings, Gujarati weddings have 4 pheras rather than 7. The priest chants the mantras, while the couple takes rounds around the sacred fire. They take seven steps together that are known as the saptapadi. The married couple then seeks the blessings of all their elders.

Chero Pakaryo

This is another one of the funny rituals of a Gujarati wedding. Here the groom catches hold of his mother-in-law’s saree and asks for more gifts. Her saree is then filled with gifts and cash, and later, is given to the groom and his family.

Post-wedding traditions and rituals
Vidaai

In the vidaai ceremony, the bride says her goodbyes to her family. She takes rice in her hands and throws it back without looking and her mother is supposed to catch the rice in her pallu.

Gharni Laxmi

In this ceremony, the bride enters the groom’s house by gently kicking a small handi of rice with her right foot.

Aeki Beki

This ceremony is the most fun ceremony after the hectic wedding schedule. A bowl is filled with milk and a ring is dropped in it. Both the bride and the groom then have to find the ring, and whoever wins, gets a reward.

Reception

After all the wedding rituals are over, the groom’s family may or may not plan a wedding reception. The guests at the reception party include mostly the near and dear ones of the groom’s family.

Pheras – Four Goals of Life

Unlike other Indian cultures, in a Gujarati wedding, the couple takes four pheras, instead of seven, around the sacred fire. The four pheras have immense significance in the marriage. Each of them symbolizes one goal of human life –Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha.

Saat Pheras – Seven Vows

The typical Hindu wedding ritual consists of the bride and the groom taking seven vows in presence of their loved ones, with the holy fire as their witness. This is a way for the couple to confirm their commitment and sincerity to the new relationship they are about to begin.

With each phera, the bride and the groom take a vow in front of their loved ones for their happy married life. Though most couples, in their eagerness to get over with the ceremony, may tend to overlook these vows, each of these seven vows around the holy fire in the presence of their loved ones as their witness behind it. Let us take you through these seven wedding vows, and tell you what each of them means.

first phera

The first step of this journey of togetherness is a prayer to the Lord for nourishment. This phera has the bride and the groom seek divine blessings by asking the Lord to ensure that they are never short of food or money. As the groom vows to provide welfare and happiness to his better half; the bride promises to shoulder the responsibilities with him. Together they pray that they may work towards this goal together, and with respect for one another.

second phera

In the second phera, the couple seeks union on all levels– mental, emotional and spiritual. They vow to love each other forever, faithfully! They pray to the Lord to help them live as one complete being rather than two halves. Since they will be partners for life, they seek strength to be able to support and protect each other through all phases of life.

third phera

Stepping into the realm of worldly life; in the third phera, the bride and the groom beseech the Lord for wealth and prosperity. They seek wealth not only for their physical existence and desires but also to be able to fulfil their spiritual obligations. They also seek blessing for the ability and means to take care of their children, educate them and look after all their needs. They also pledge physical and spiritual loyalty towards each other throughout their life.

fourth phera

The family is an important entity in Indian society. Respecting elders and taking care of all the family members is a part of the social values. The couple pledges to strengthen their family together by ensuring that they uphold the family values, and maintain relationships within the family. The groom expresses gratitude towards his wife for completing his life and bringing auspiciousness and happiness. And, the bride takes the vow to love her husband in every way.

fifth phera

With the beginning of a new life together, the couple seeks blessings for their future progeny as well. They pray to the Lord to be blessed with strong and noble children, who will carry their family name forward. They also vow to be responsible parents to the children and provide them with education and a correct upbringing. The groom also tells his wife that he would always see her as his best friend. The bride promises to love and cherish their relationship forever.

sixth phera

To live a life that is honest and noble, the couple prays to the almighty to give them a healthy and disease-free life. They pray for strength so that they can fulfil their responsibilities towards their family, each other and their children. The bride and the groom wish for a balanced and joyful life for each other and with each other.

seventh phera

The final phera that seals this holy union is one, where the couple pledges to each other their love, trust, and companionship. They vow to be friends for life and stand by each other through everything. This phera also brings home the truth that they are now united through everything in life and must be true to each other and their relationship always. They pray for sweetness and love to fill their lives.

Saptapadi – Seven Steps of Togetherness

This ritual involves the couple taking seven steps together, as the priest cites mantras. Then they recite the seven sacred vows

Every different religion and culture has its own set of vows for newlyweds. But, behind all of them, the significance is the same- commitment, devotion and respect towards one another. All these vows mean that the couple love, respect, stand and understand each other… ‘till death do us apart’.

Download full text: pdf Decoding Gujarati Weddings


Janhavi Dadarkar | We SHOULD Have Confidence in Modi’s Government | Oxford Union. UK



 

Urgent Action needed for protecting villages from rising sea levels because of Global Warming (Sea Barrier Conservation Project)

 


 

A. Introduction

An extensive portion of the land alongside the sea at Dandi and further south along the coastline in the Kantha Vibhag area has a problem of sea erosion and sea water overflowing into agricultural lands and over time this area has become unusable because of the saltiness of the land (know as Khanjar). This will continue to be a bigger problem because of rising oceans. Seasonal Monsoon flooding is another problem that has to be addressed, flooding in the villages during the rainy season disrupts life and it takes months to recover, proper draining and preparedness for the annual rains will alleviate the issue.

There is now an increasing need to protect the coastline and inner areas of our gams from sea water and erosion, especially because of rising waters due to global warming. Sea Water that has been flowing into the Khanjar areas over the years has been turning good arable farm land into unusable land caused by salty sea water and sea erosion. This can readily be reversed by erecting natural sea barriers where sea water overflows into the land in the form of sand and rock barriers and mangrove vegetation. Fish farmers who currently use sea water can continue doing so by piping sea water to the required pond areas.

Any solutions implemented should take into consideration monsoon rains together with the problems of drainage and runoff of much needed fresh water into the sea, it may be desirable to store this water perhaps in a lake. A feasibility study of all possible solutions should be presented before any project is started, this will all be done with the help and collaboration of the regional government departments.

As part of the Tree Planting Project, thousands of trees should be planted on the Dandi coastline as protection against natural calamities like cyclone, hurricane, Tsunami, etc.

B. Key Issues

– Severe sea erosion problems in some areas on the beachfront and further inland
– Sea levels rising every year due to climate change
– the solution of P.P. Gabions is not suitable
– Protection by using tetrapod mays be part of the solution, though high cost may be an issue
– If protection work is carried out by larger size stones, Gabions, Tetrapods, Beach will loose its
natural beauty
– a study needs to be conducted before a solution is implemented
– requires a permanent long term solution
– time is of the essence, if the government is unable to help with a timely solution then a community funded solution will be the only alternative.

C. Potential Solutions and Opportunities

The one solution is to put up barriers that will prevent sea water from overflowing into land areas, these barriers should be as high as the height of the highest watermark during high tide multiplied by two, this will ensure a permanent long term solution. Routine maintenance has to be planned on a periodic basis, perhaps quarterly to ensure that the barriers are not compromised due to soil erosion and wave action.

Land Reclamation – preventing sea water from overflowing into the area and reversing the saltiness of the Khanjar area will suddenly make hundreds of acres of land available for farming and other non-agricultural uses.

D. Challenges

1. Currently, sea water is used by the fishing industry in ponds, continuation of this supply is necessary by providing piping from the coastal area to the inland ponds on a limited basis.
2. Funding for the project
3. If nothing is done then there is a threat the entre Kantha Vibhag area may be overrun with sea water and it will result in loss of farmland and habitat.

E. Project Implementation

– All work that has to be done should be conducted with the help and permission of the relevant government authorities.
– A detailed project plan and timeline should be established
– Proper project management and controls to be in place

 
pdf 1. Download Kantha Vibhag Sea Barrier Project – English
pdf ?. Download Kantha Vibhag Sea Barrier Project – Gujarati
pdf 3? Download Kantha Vibhag Sea Barrier Project – Hindi
 


National Jal Shakti Abhiyan Project


*** Tree Planting Project
Tree Planting Project
pdf 1. Download Sanskrutik Vano – Gujarati
pdf 2. Download Sanskrutik Vano – English

*** Proposed Hotel and Supermarket Project
. Proposed Hotel and Supermarket Project


pdf 1. Download Gam Development Report – English

pdf 2. Download Gam Development Report – Gujarati

pdf 3A. Download Report – Kantha Vibhag Friendship Trust Report – English

pdf 3B. Download report Kantha Vibhag Friendship Trust Report – Gujarati

pdf 4. Download Brief History of Koli Samaj

pdf 5. Download Health and Healing, a series of articles on the Science of Health and Healing by Dr. Devananda Tandavan


pdf 1. Download Essence of Hinduism by Gandhi

pdf 2. Download 11 Vows of Gandhi

pdf 3. Download The Man Who Saved India – Sardar Patel (The Gospel of Selfless Action)

pdf 4. Download Gandhi’s book – From Yeravda Mandir


pdf   Download “We are Hindus” (illustrated) by Dineshbhai Patel (Swinden)


*** Featured Sites:
. Gujarat Online
. Gujarat State – NRI Site
. Divyabhaskar – Gujarati News/Samachar ePaper
. Divyabhaskar – Gujarati News/Samachar
. Gujarati One India News Site
. World Hindu News
. One India News Site
. Aksharnaad.com
. DeshGujarat.com
. India Barriers
. Gujarati Lexicon
. Gujarat Tourism
. Shodh Ganga – Reservoir of Indian Thesis
. PDF DRIVE – Download Free PDF Files
. News India Times
. The Better India
. State of the Planet

*** Astrology:
. Ask Ganesha
. Drik Panchang (all year)
. Daily Panchang
. Vedic Calendar
. Download iCal, Outlook and Google calendar format Vedic Calendars
. Gujarati Calendars – Vikram Samvat Hindu Tithi Calendar


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Old Banyan Tree – Matwad

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Purpose of the Website:

    1. First and foremost, is to recognize our roots and rich culture and heritage and social and community practices which is prevalent in all our communities around the world.
    2. Valuing and drawing up existing knowledge, skills and talents of the members of the Mandhata Community Globally.
    3.  Networking with each other, helping and guiding members and affiliated associations to optimise their abilities in order to fulfil set objectives.
    4. Addressing specific issues on their own merits and proven experiences.
    5. Develop and enhance the quality of life in our village areas in India by promoting education and development in all spheres of life.
    6. Record and Archive our roots and heritage and make it available globally.
    7. Promote Hindu Religious, Spiritual, Cultural and Social Practices
    8. Recognize and acknowledge achievements by our people around the world.
    9. Network and share Best Practices to ensure a peaceful and sustainable future for our communities around the world by living in harmony with people and nature and to protect the environment.
    10. Make positive contributions to society in general and to all the people and countries that we live in, around the world

[n.b. If you would like to contribute material for the site (photos or documents) or to become an Editor, please send a message to the email account mandhataglobal@gmail.com.]

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Mandhata Community – Who are We ???

Mandhata Community refers to all the Koli Patel Community people who originated from the Kantha Vibhag area in Navsari District of South Gujarat in India and also those who migrated to various overseas countries.

The first Koli Patel immigrants from Navsari District are recorded to have sailed for South Africa in 1860. Over the years since then many more joined them. Others traveled to Fiji and then to New Zealand as early as 1902. During the War years and later large numbers traveled to East Africa.

Initially they came to work on the plantations and to build roads and railways. As years passed the vast majority of them settled in the countries where they worked. The first immigrants were all young men who went back to their local villages to get married and return to be followed by their wives a little later.

It is these immigrants who identified themselves as Mandhata Community. It is estimated that they number over a hundred thousand. UK has over 40,000 settled mainly in large cities and are now involved in almost all professions and in every industry, as in other countries too.

A vast number of us settled overseas are now sixth and seventh generation. Even the later arrivals boast third and forth generation. Yet we have continued close relationship with our extended families in India. Most of us visit regularly and many have built homes on their ancestral land.

This site highlights the history and life of the Mandhata Patel Community.

Site Specifics

This site has been built using a web content management framework, this will enable many people around the world to contribute content without any programming skills, all that is required is basic computer skills, this will ensure that content is contibuted by our communities around the world and also will ensure independance, so that no one person is tasked with the responsibility of maintaining the site. If you’d like to become a contributor, simply send an eMail message to our group email address, mandhataglobal.com. (exclude the period).

The site has been kept as simple as possible. Anyone with a basic knowledge of computing and internet will be able to interact. We are aware that a large number of you have a fund of knowledge to contribute to this site so that it can become a comprehensive repository of our history and heritage illustrated in words and pictures. In years to come this site would develop into a resource that our coming generations would refer to learn about their roots. We invite you to volunteer yourself as an administrator.

This site will be bilingual. We shall use English and Gujarati to reach as many of our people as possible.

On this site you will be able to read shorter articles in full, and where need be a .pdf version to copy. Large articles and other printed material will be in .pdf format for copying and printing.

Migration History

Preamble

When in the quiet of the night the question arises in your mind as to who your forefathers were? Where did they come from? How did they live? And you desperately want to explore your roots, this website may help you..

Perhaps the obvious starting point of this inquiry could be our own first hand knowledge of the stories told by our fathers and grandfathers of their experiences in their villages and how they made it to the foreign lands all over the world.

From their own lips we have heard how a few young men from the villages found construction jobs building railways in Surat and other nearby cities. Back in village for holidays their offers of help led more youths to join them. At work they came in contact with other peoples and particularly the English who valued their construction knowledge. This broadened their horizon. When opportunities came their way to work for railways in East Africa, plantations in South Africa and New Zealand many volunteered and packed their bags.

From their own lips we have heard how a few young men from the villages found construction jobs building railways in Surat and other nearby cities. Back in village for holidays their offers of help led more youths to join them. At work they came in contact with other peoples and particularly the English who valued their construction knowledge. This broadened their horizon. When opportunities came their way to work for railways in East Africa, plantations in South Africa and New Zealand many volunteered and packed their bags.

My paternal and maternal grandfathers both came to Mombasa, in East Africa to work on the Railways in 1919/21. They were perhaps among the first there and in their own words life was terrible. They lived in tents and were always in fear of the wild animals. For the first year or two they survived on boiled lentils with some pepper and salt. Later they grew chillies and ginger. Apart from bhajan singing in the dim light of a lantern, other entertainment was zero. Life in South Africa or New Zealand was no different. This was soon after the First World War period. Political power struggle was intense among the European powers and British were digging in wherever they went.

Period prior to the Second World War was the 2nd wave of immigration for our people. Passports were easily available and hundreds of youths leaving their families behind boarded sea-going clippers and left in search of a better life. A number of them perished and for the many who made it, life was very, very hard in every respect. Homesickness gripped many.

Read further about our History in the articles below.

1A. Read/Download the story of India’s Historic People by Ashok U Patel – 2nd Edition (April 2021) – English

1B. Read/Download the story of India’s Historic People by Ashok U Patel – 2nd Edition (April 2021) – Gujarati

1C. Read/Download the story of India’s Historic People by Keshavbhai J Patel – 1st Edition (201)

2. Read/Download the Early Katha Migration in Gujarati by Maganbhai B Karadia

3. Read/Download ‘Our Finest Patriotic Years by Maganbhai B Karadia

4. Read/Download ‘Koli Samaj, a Historical Perspective’ by Dr. Arjun Patel

5. Read/Download ‘ History of Koli/Mandhata Patel People’

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Sultanpur – Migrating Flamingos

Borifalia

Borifalia

Coastal Area new Dandi

Coastal Area near Dandi

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Jalaram Bapa Mandir

Bridge near Aatgam

Bridge near Aatgam

Karadi

Karadi

Keshavbhai meeting school children


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New Avdafalia Shiv Mandir (2017)

Karadi School

Karadi School

School Children during Assembly - Karadi School

School Children during Assembly – Karadi School

School Children - Republic Day Celebrations

School Children – Republic Day Celebrations

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Youth Leadership and Educational Seminar

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Shree Amratbhai Jerambhai Patel (in blue Shirt) And Shreemati Taraben Amratbhai Patel of Machhad are residents in USA. Both are generous donors of our Samaj. They visit Gam almost every year and sponsor a number of project in Machhad, other Kantha Vibhag gams. They are particularly interested in educational projects which we organise year after year. Their generous sponsorship help students with scholarships and various educational seminars for the students. This Leadership Seminar was hosted by them and was held on 12th April 2014.

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UmeshBhaiHouse


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Babubhai Patel UK (MBE) Residence in Avdafalia

Download Gujarat Travel Guide 1: pdf Gujarat Travel Guide

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Download Gujarat Travel Guide 2: pdf Gujarat Travel Guide

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Download Lonely Planet Gujarat Travel Guide 3: pdf Gujarat Travel Guide

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GujTube.com GujTube.com TOP Gujarati Entertainment Site

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Gujarat State Portal Gujarat State Portal

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Navsari Area

 

Gams

Villages

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Gujarat Travel Map (click on map to enlarge)

GujaratMap2

GujaratMap1

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List of Villages in Jalalpore, Navsari, Gujarat

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