Ups and Downs of Ghogha : As a Port Town : Prof. Mehboob Desai

1. Background :

Ghogha was an important port of Gundighadh of Valbhi state. It is an ancient port, situated south east to Saurastra, at sea shore, 64 K.M. away from estuary of Khambhat and 18 K.M. away from Bhavnagar district. Shellfish named Ghoghla is found on some of the coastal area of Saurastra; Once upon a time such fishes were found in huge quantity at sea shore of Ghogha. It is believed that due to this fish, port is named Ghogha. It is also believed that as sailors of Ghoghari community resided at Ghogha, it was named as ‘Ghogha’. Sailors of Ghoghari community had very strong and tough bodies. Other people were got afraid of them. And that is why people residing in nearby ports Surat, Bharuch, of Ghogha , used to sing a song for their children to make them sleepy, “Suo suo bava ghoghara avya”. Same way a very famous proverb witnessing portal business between Ghogha and foreign countries is also necessary “Lankani Ladi ane Ghoghano var”1 (Bride of Lanka and Groom of Ghogha) Such traditional sentences preserves the ancient versions.

2. History of Ghogha:

2.1 Ghogha in Ancient Era

Scriptures created between fifth century B.C. and second century B.C. also mentioning the relations between sea shore of Gujarat and other nations. Due to longer coastal area of Gujarat and lots of small as well as big ports on cost, business relation is very ancient with foreigners .Though there is no authentic content as a proof is available. But our proverb highlighting those relations like “Lankani Ladi ne Ghoghano var” Such proverb shows that the Gujaratee residing at Lanka had matrimonial relationship with the original inhabitants of Ghogha near Bhavnagar. In the sixth century Gujaratees got settled in Java and there they established organization. That is a historical fact. About Java, there are also some well-known proverbs and tales. “ Je jay jave te kadi pachcho na aave, ane aave to pariyana pariya chave tetalu dhan laave”.It seems that from this proverb , many of Gujaraties who went to Java, got settled there and earned plenty of wealth. “Dipvans” (4th Century) and ‘Mahavans”(Sixth Century) , these Pali books, created in Cylon, express the relationship between merchants of Gujarat and Cylon (presently known as Shrilanka ). There are all possibilities that, Ghogha that time, might be in full swing and highly active port from business point of view that cannot be denied.
For the first time, it is found that Ghogha was referred during the Valbhi ruling period as a ‘Gundighadh’ (480-720). During the ruling period of Anahilwad, no remark is found for this matter. But this region had seen many ruling regime. The oldest Arabian stone inscription 677 B.C. is here.
Which indicates the Arabian attack and ruling. In 636 B.C. Arabs attacked over Ghogha.It is worth to know the role of attack. The rise and growth of Islam was initiated by Hazrat Mohhamad Paigamber sahib (571 – 633 B.C.) in 610 B.C. He never used any kind of force for religious propaganda of Islam. The khalifa came as a successor after his death had sent special emissaries for propaganda of Islam in foreign countries that imposed Hijari year 15, In 636 B.C. khalifa Umar bin Khitabe appointed ambassador of Bahrain and Oman,Usman Bin Abusas Skfi sent military by sea route from Oman, which returned back with victory. In the same year, he sent other military over Bharuch that also returned with victory. That time, in Bharuch, s commander ( feudatory), Dadd second was ruling. Then after 42 years, Hijari year 57 and in 677 B.C. commander in chief Ismail, made attack on Ghogha. In heavy fighting, Ismile and captain Yakub martyred.4 Supporting to this incident, one stone inscription is found in Ghogha as follows.

“ In Hijari year 57(677 B.C.), Commander Ismail attacked on Ghogha with very resilient army. There was a great fight with Hindu king of Ghogha. Plenty of men power got destroyed on both side, in which Commander Ismail and his general Yakub and others lost their lives.”

On the basis of the stone anchor found in Ghogha, Archaeologist Anti quatrain believe that at the time of Maurya and Khatrap , it was a very dynamic port. There it was a ship yard and to park ships there were so many stone anchors. During the ruling of Maytrak (470-788 B.C.), it was a famous port. Even though there is no traces found during the period of Mohammad Gazani. After that from Ghogha ,in Hijari year 591,1195 B.C., at the end of the month of Rabi-ul-Aakhir, at the coastal area of Ghogha, in the place of Piran Pir , there found write-up of one Muslim ,Badra-ud-Din baba, Taj-Ud- Din got killed.7 Which indicates that there was a Muslim population before.

2.2 Ghogha in Saltanat and Mughal Age

During the ruling period of Turk – Afghan (1206-1526) in Delhi, mughal sultan ruling initiated.In that era, Ghogha again became active. Starting from 1309 B.C., up to hundred and twenty five years, Ghogha was capital city of Sohil community. Governor of Ahmedabad had gifted that to the Potentate of Bantava of Babi race. In 1311 B.C. was under control of Muslim ruler. Mokhdaji (1309-1347) the grandson of Sejakji (1240-1290) who was the founder of branch of Guhils in Gohilwad, had captured Umarala and established capital there. After that he drew away Muslim inhabitants from Ghogha, he captured Ghogha and Pirambet and stayed there. Mokhadaji stayed at Pirambet ,started collecting security tax from commercial ships passing by ports of Surat, Khambhat and Bharuch. Ships not paying such tax were getting robbed.

Once a businessman having 14 ships, full of valuables, from Delhi was asked to pay such tax as a custom. When he refused to pay, his ships were robbed. He complained to the king of Delhi, for the robbery of his ships. That time on the throne of Delhi, Mahhamad Bin Takhalagh ( 1325 -1351) was ruling. On the basis of the complain done by the merchant who’s ships were robbed, army of Delhi arrived at Saurastra. The royal army could not do much over Pirambet. So he seized all the routes going towards Piram. Food crises was felt. It happened that solders could not get enough food. Brave man, Mokharaji felt, inappropriate to remain trapped. And one night, he set down his army to opposite side situated Ghogha. By keeping main gates open, combated with royal army. Mokharaji got killed in this fighting. It is a saying that head part of Mokharaji fallen near kalika gate of Ghogha. And after getting head cut down, the headless trunk went seven miles away up to Khadadpar village. and that headless trunk fallen down near sweet-sour spring near Khadadpar in 1347 B.C. Till today there is a small temple of Mokharji and people worship there. Today also ships passing by Pirambet, its sailors ,in lieu of tax, drops their food, coconut or some coins drop down in the sea just with faith and mark of respect, they pay the charges.8

In 1388 B.C. after death of Firozshah Tukhlagh , his son was sworn in, on the thorn of Delhi. In 1391 B.C. He sent Zafarkhan to Gujarat making him as an ambassador. In the period of Zahirkhan, in 1375 – 76, Kamal Hamid had built a mosque in Ghogha.9 and thereby Ghogha had come under the ruling of Delhi, but that time also it was a large and developed portal city.
As a witness of this, it is supposed to know the description about Ghogha by the traveller Ibn Battuta.
Moor traveller of Africa, Ibn Battuta ( 1328-1353), during the ruling of emperor Mohammad Shah Takhlagh he came to Gujarat during the administration of Malek Mukbil ,from Delhi via Doltabad .
He first went to Khambhat and got stunned by looking at prosperity of the rich merchants.
Ibna Batuta had also visited Kavi, Gandhar (Dist.Jambusar), Pirambet and Ghogha in addition to Khambhat.10 During his visit, he had written in his travelling note,

“After two days travelling, we reached to Berum (Perum) island. There was no population on this island. We landed from ship and taken water from reservoir .On this place, main reason for not having population was Though Muslims defeated Hindus and taken control but could not make it prosper.”11

In this description, Ibn battuta had mentioned the recent terrible war between Mokhadaji of Piram and Mohhamad Takhlagh. There after described, visiting Ghogha, Ibn Batuta wrote,

“ From there we reached Kula (Gogo) next day. It is a very big port and markets also big here. We anchored four miles away from town. Due to reflux, myself and my other four companion sailed in a small boat. But when we were only one mile away from town, our boat got trapped in mud. When we got trapped in mud so I started walking with help of my two companions because people told, when water level get increased, it would be very difficult. I was not knowing how to swim. I wandered in market after reaching town. I saw one mosque, for which it was famous that it was a mosque of Khijra and Elyasi7. I prayed evening Namaz . In mosque group of Haidari Fakir was living and sheikh was also with them. Then I returned back on ship12”

In Gujarat, in 1573 B.C. at the beginning of Mughal era, this effected on the development of ports. First of all, Khambhat port became inactive. In that place Surat port developed. After that Ghogha port was also affected. Though Abul Fazal has described in his AÍN I AKBARI, Ghogha of Sorath as animportant port. Further he wrote that its’ annual excise income was 6, 66,560 ‘dam’. In shipyard of Ghogha, ships from 50 Ton to 250 Ton were prepared. And from Saurastra, these ships were filled with Ghee, cotton, cloth, over and above opium of Malva, reaching to Surat, Malbar, Zanzibar and Maskat. Thus Ghogha was a center port and so merchants from inside as well as outside the countries were gathered.14

2.3 Ghogha in British Rule

In 1723 B.C. the king of Bhavnagar Bhavsinhji Gohil (1703-1764) had established city of Bhavnagar. That time at the Ghogha situated at west coast of bay of Khambhat, was very active. and Sherkhan Babi was ruling over there. The export business of Gujarat, Malva and Rajputana was done from Ghogha port.15That time population was around seventy thousand. Nagars of Vadnagar resided there. Jains and muslim communities were also in good proportion. That time Ghogha port was under control of famous Babi family of Bantva. Establishment of Bhavnagar city just far away only 25 kilometers, interrupted the progress of Ghogha city and port that is also but natural.
For the development of Bhavnagar port, Bhavsinhji, firstly developed relationship with Killeda Siddi of Surat. In 1739 by doing contract, given 1.25 percent share to Surat in Tari Jakat (Tax)of Bhavnagar. Over and above , to take less excise in Bhavnagar, for the goods coming from Surat to Bhavnagar. Goods going from Bhavnagar to Surat , then not take excise in Surat. Castellan of Surat always to help to Bhavnagar. To give protection to ships of the merchants from robbery or theft in sea. This contract clearly indicates that the successful efforts put by Bhavsinhji for the development of Bhavnagar port had affected on the development and income of Ghogha port. As a result of this, Babi ruler of Ghogha asked for the compensation of the damage of Ghogha port. So Bhavsinhji had settled the share for Ghogha port in Tari jakat of Bhavnagar. That way due to the growth of Bhavnagar port, development of Ghogha port was interrupted. There after Bhavsinhji captured his forfather’s original capital that is castle of Ghogha. Babi of Bantava was gifted Ghogha by the ruler of Ahmedabad. There after navab of Khambhat conquered Ghogha from Babies in 1761 B.C. and there established his military base. There for inhabitants of Ghogha invited Bhavsinhji to conquer Ghogha. Bhavsinhji marched to Ghogha with his army. Before his attack, Muslim ruler escaped to Khambhat by sea route. And so Bhavsinhji conqured castle of Ghogha without fight.
Akherajaji(1764-1772), the successor of Bhavsinhji, handed over Ghogha to Peshwa government instead of giving back to Navab of Khambhat. As a result Navab of Khambhat got annoyed and tried to damage the progress of Bhavnagar port. Due to this, Akherajsinh developed friendly relationship with Britishers. With a view to help Bhavnagar, British government done contract with Navab of Khambhat in 1771 B.C. According to that Navab , not to create any type of interference in the progress of Bhavnagar port and for any matter of Ghogha in future, not to put any claim. And so due to the growth of Bhavnagar port, the development of Ghogha port got interrupted and slowly its prosperity sets down to earth.

3 Historical Monument of Ghogha

3.1 Oldest Mosque

The followers of Islam pray their Namaz, towards the direction keeping their face and in that direction, and the direction towards which bending head down (Sijada), that is called as ‘Kiblah’ and in the center of the mosque to indicate the ‘Kiblah’ there is ‘Mihrab’. In the front of the ‘Mihrab’ that is to keep face towards ’Kaaba’ (keeping face towards Mecca, Saudi Arebia), each Muslim pray his Namaz.
But in the beginning phase of Islam, that is first thirteen years, Mohammad sahib and his all the followers, praying Namaz by keeping face towards Baitul Maqdis (Jerusalem, Israel). By the order of Allah, after 11th February, 624 B.C. Mohammad sahib started praying Namaz by keeping face towards Kaaba. Today in the world, each Muslim pray his Namaz keeping his face towards ’Kaaba’. But in the first thirteen years i.e. 610 to 623 B.C. each Muslim was praying Namaz by keeping face towards Baitul Maqdis. According to one belief, in the beginning phase of Islam, Arabs were coming to Ghogha from business point of view and stay there, so for praying Namaz, they build a small mosque of Baitul Maqdis type. Today the same mosque in ruined condition is there in Barvada Street of Ghogha.
This mosque, found in very threadbare condition and ‘Kiblah’ is towards Baitul Maqdis (Jerusalem, Israel). According to the rule in Islam as mentioned above, by keeping face towards Baitul Maqdis, from 610 B.C. to 623 noted in Islamic history. According to that it is believed that this mosque having ‘Kiblah’ towards Baitul Maqdis, might be built in between 610 B.C. to 623 B.C. It is so small that Approximately 25 persons at a time can pray Namaz and this mosque is having one main gate and near main gate there are two graves (tombs). Stone ceiling, just survived on ten to twelve pillars, and above the ‘Kiblah’ that is exactly above the ‘Mihrab’, there is one dome .Inside the mosque, on the both side of ‘Mihrab’, there is beautiful carvings. On the arch of ‘Mihrab’, it is written in Arabic “Bismillah ar Raheman Nirhim” means I start on the name of Allah who is very merciful and kind. and very near to this it is written in Arabic.

“This mosque is of Allah, nobody else is deserve to be worshiped”. On the arch of the ‘Kiblah’ it is written a wholly sentence of Quran-E-Sharif, means “Those building mosque, for them Allah building a home in jannat (paradise)17

In this mosque situated in Barawada street, from years together, Namaz is not offered. So its historical importance is much more than religious. But according to history, the built of this mosque between 610 -613 is not found appropriate. As per the Islamic sculpture, beginning of making ‘Mihrab’ started in seventh century. Before that in place of ‘Mihrab’, wall or any symbolic stone was kept for praying Namaz. About this it is written in Dictionary of Islamic Architecture as follows.

“A mihrab is usually a niche set into the middle of the qibla ‘Kiblah’ wall of a building in order to indicate the direction of Mecca. The earliest mosques do not appear to have had mihrabs and instead the whole qibla wall was used to indicate the direction of Mecca. Sometimes a painted mark or a tree stump would be used to reinforce the direction. In the cave beneath the rock in the Dome of the Rock there is a marble plaque with a blind niche carved into it which, if contemporary with the rest of the structure, may be dated to 692 making if the oldest surviving mihrab. The first concave mihrab appears to have been inserted into the Prophet’s Mosque at Medina during some restorations carried out by the Umayyad caliph al-Walid I in 706.”18

Looking at this fact, the mosque of Ghogha having more possibility that of eighth or ninth century. And also arrival of Arab on Ghogha port in eighth century is supporting this fact.

3.2 The Step well ( vav) of Ghogha

This salty vav of 1577 B.C. is situated near Kupala Talav (Lack) ,which is nearby Ghogha. Near to this vav there is ‘Paliya’ (historical monument of stone containing drawing or text) on which there is mysterious drawing which is identified as ‘Gadhdhegal’ This vav is having eighth floor depth under the ground. Whole vav is made up of gray colored sandy stones. Vav is 180 ft. broad. ‘Padthal’ (Covering stone width) of vav is 12 ft. broad. Before getting down to vav, there is ‘Mandpika’ (Small pavilion like structure) having height of eight ft. Its shape is like round dome, surrounded by ‘Kangara’ (Thick wall of stones) There is an arch like shape on the upper floor of ‘Padthal.’ There are no carvings in the vav. It seems that construction of this vav might be in the beginning of Muslim era. Its script is written in Farsi language.

3.3 Temple of Shree Navkhanda Parshwnath :

Before the establishment of Bhavnagar, Ghogha was very developed port. From the ancient period, the holy place, Shree Navkhanda Parshwnath is established. In 1168 by preaching of Shree Mahendrasuri, the treasurer Shree Hirubhai of Shrimali community had constructed slab of Shree Navkhanda Parshwnath. Before that also there was Jain population and ‘Jinalay’ (Jain temple) in Ghogha.
Statue of Shree Navkhanda Parshwnath, has height with head of serpent is 36 inch and without head of serpent is 301/4 (75.25) inch.Width of the statue is 241/4 (60.25) inch. About the power of this statue, there is one exciting myth. On this holy place, Muslims attacked and deformed this statue into pieces. And its residual parts thrown by keeping it in a cloth bin, in well of Bapesara in Vadava of Bhavnagar.
And this way this dented statue was remained unknown for some period. One ‘Shravak’ (any lay Jain ) of Ghogha got dream, in which, according to the he was given indication by ‘ Adhishthayak Dev’ (Jain God) to get it appeared .According to the indication of dream, That ‘Shravak’ taken out that cloth bin from well.
He brought it to Ghogha, and placed these pieces into 180 Kg. ‘Lapsi’(Sweet made on auspicious day )
There was an indication that if that is taken out of ‘Lapsi’ after nine days then the statue will again of one piece. So everybody was so eager and waiting for completion of nine days but impatience was so high that on the eighth day statue brought out of ‘Lapsi’. Though all the nine parts were joined together but due to impatience of ‘Shravak’, the impression of joints can be seen today also.
The Jain temple of Shree Navkhanda Parshwnath is pleasant and magnificent. The construction of this temple is very glorious. Temples of Ghogha, Mahuva and Dholera is constructed by only one sculptor, pattern of construction of all the three temples are same. The Jain temple with beautified by three tops having very vast Quadrangle. Nearby the Jain temple, Shree Navkhanda Parshwnath of Ghogha ,there are other four Jain temples. In addition to that, other two Jain temples are in city. This matter shows that in Ghogha , Jain inhabitants were also there.

4. Stone Inscriptions at Ghogha.


The stone containing this inscription is raised (was kept ) under an Ambli(Tamarind) tree grown on the side of the way leading to the shrine of Piranpir on the sea-beach at Gogha, a British port in the Gulf of Cambay on the east coast of Kathiavad. It contains five lines written in Arabic characters. It measures 18° X 15”, and mentions the death of a martyr named Baba Taju-ud-din in A.H. 591, A.D. 1195. The stone is the common sand-stone, but well preserved. The translation of that characters is,

“In the name of God, the merciful and compassionate. There is no god but God ; Mahomed is the prophet of God. Every creature which lives on the earth is subject to decay ; but the glorious and honorable countenance of thy Lord shall remain forever. Baba Taju-ud-din, son of Badr-ud-din, honored by men ; fortunate, martyred, the oppressed, forgiven (by God), migrated from this house of destruction to that of eternity, in the month of Rabi-ul-Akhir A.H. 591.”


The shrine of Hazrat Pir in which this inscription is found is situated on the seaside at Ghogha, a British port on the eastern coast of Kathiavad. It is cut into a white soft stone and has eight lines of Persian mixed with Arabic. The surface of the stone measures 10″ x 8″. It refers to the building of a mosque by a Tandel (the head officer in a ship) named Bapuji in the year A.H. 1146, A.D. 1733, during the reign of Emperor Mohamed Shah of Delhi. The translation of that characters is,

“In the name of God the merciful and compassionate : There is no god but God ; Mahomed is the prophet of God : Therefore invoke not any other therein together with God. Mahomed Sliah, the conqueror of the world, the favorite of fortune, the king of the world, the Khalif of God ; may God perpetuate his kingdom and nile ! This mosque was made by Tandel Bapuji, son of Musaji, a Khalif (deputy)of Kaderi Bad shah, son of Kazim Ali Mian Shah Syed, son of • * * in the year corresponding to that of the flight of Mahomed, the chosen ; may the blessing and peace of God be on him ! viz., in the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal, A.H.1146.


The stone in which this inscription is cut is built up in the wall of the Idagah,in a suburb at the town of Gogha, called Mosampura. It is a white stone containing nine lines of mixed Persian and Arabic composition, of which several letters are clear enough to make them out. It mentions the building of the Idagah bv one Kamal Hamid in the time of Zafar Khan in A.H. 777, A.D. 1375-76.The translation of that characters is,

“In the name of God, the merciful and compassionate. And when we ap-pointed the holy house of iMukkah to be a place of resort for inankind and a place of security, and said take the station of Abraham for a place of prayer.In the time of the refuge of the great sun of the world and religion, the refuge of victory, the Sultan and the great Khan, viz., Zefer Khan, son of Vajih-ul-Mulk. Kamal Hamid, pilgrim of Mecca and Medina, slave, hoping for the mercy of God, made this place of worship for the faithful. May God bless him who comes here ! May he remember the expectant slave with the blessing of safety. Dated the 15th of Rajab, A.H. 777.May the peace and blessing of God be on him.”


This stone is raised near the mosque built near the house of one Dada MuUa on the way leading to the Gundi Gate at Gogha. It is a hard black stone witli a face measuring1 7″ x 14”’. The inscription appears to have been in Persian, as, with the exception of a few words, the whole of it has become undecipherable. There are in all nine hnes. It is dated A.H. 780, A.D. 1378-79. As many of the letters cannot be deciphered it is difficult to find out what it contains. The word ” MuzeiFer” can be read, but it is doubtful. In the same line a name is distinctly read, which is Khan Anaj Mulamakan, A.H. 780.20

5. Stone anchors

There are nearly two dozens of stone anchors recorded in inter tidal zone of Ghogha. Interestingly, a large quantity of pottery of glazed ware was also found along with the stone anchors. The stone anchors have been noticed close to the present lighthouse in inter tidal zone . Being in the high tidal range, the stone anchors that are lying in 5 to 10 m water depth during high tide get exposed during low tide. These stone anchors are found either partially buried or exposed on the gravel bed. The seabed at the finding spot of the anchor comprised of gravel and fine sand. The majority of the anchors are of IndoArabia type and one stone anchor falls in the category of composite type .The Indo-Arabia type anchors of typically made from a vertical stone block with often square section with two lower holes are rectangular/ square and an upper circular hole .Two anchors in the group of Indo-Arab type are having uniform vertical deep and wide groove on all the four faces of the anchor. The broken single composite anchor is made of a thin limestone block with two lower holes are square and two circular holes are placed randomly on upper side .Many stone anchors are fragmented in nature (Figure 8Majority of the anchors are parted with lower 2 holes and sometimes holes also broken which might have been broken during manufacturing stage. The raw material used for these anchors are hard basaltic, sedimentary and a few of conglomeratic material. A fragmentary anchor is the biggest anchor found from here. Only lower portion is surviving and is very similar to those reported from Mithi Virdi. There is a stone block without any holes noticed similar to the Indo-Arabia type anchor.
Four anchors were recorded at Hathab a historical period site about 10 km southwest of Gogha. Three anchors falls in the group of Indo-Arab type and one stone anchor with a wide and shallow grooved provision for the tying the rope around it similar to those reported from Chinese and Japanese seas was noteworthy discovery.
Though the stone anchors from inter tidal zone are not unknown from the Saurashtra coast as earlier reported from Dwarka and Bet Dwarka ,but the number of anchors found from Gogha are outstanding. Interestingly, the finding of anchors in inter tidal zone are closely linked with the tidal variations. For instance, the area of Dwarka and Bet Dwarka has high tidal range of 0-5 m and Gogha 0-10 m whereas other sites of Saurashtra such as Miyani, Visawada, Porbandar and Somnath where stone anchors from inter tidal zone are not reported has tidal range of 0-3 m. Therefore, the findings of stone anchors or in other words the ancient anchoring system was closely interlinked with the tidal ranges in a particular area.
Another important aspect is the number of fragmentary anchors and the observation of the surface suggests that they were broken during the manufacturing stage and not during the lowering or lifting the anchor. An anchor from Gogha and two from Hathab are without any hole suggests that this region may be a manufacturing centre.
It has been rather first time along the Indian coast where stone anchors have been found associated with the Islamic glazed ware. Earlier a site at Qalhat on Oman coast Islamic glazed ware have been found associated with stone anchors. These are blue green and brown besides a few sherds decorated with incised designs. Noteworthy shapes are ring-footed base bowl, dishes, storage jar and Surahi (narrow and high necked water vessel). Similar type of glazed ware has been reported from Kamrej where it has been dated to the 9th -10th century AD. Excavations at Sanjan also yielded though in small quantity of glazed ware dating back to the 9th to 12th century AD . From the east coast of India particularly at Kottapattanam (Sasaki, 2004:16-20) and Mantai, medieval glazed ware have been found in significant quantity. A large number of archaeological sites in India yielded glazed ware dating back to the 9th and 16th century AD. However, the Glazed ware of coastal area may be earlier as the Arab traders were active along the Indian coast since the 7th-8th century AD on wards. Therefore, the study of glazed ware may suggest that stone anchors could well be connected with Indo-Arab trade along the Indian coast in general and Gogha in particular. The study of chemical analysis suggests that to obtain green and blue colour of glaze copper oxide is used in small quantity whereas the same is completely absent in brown glaze. As usual silica is major component (3/4) in the glaze ware is similar in all the three varieties. The discovery of glazed ware also suggests that this area was used as loading and unloading of cargoes.
The port of Gogha has been active since the 5th century AD and flourished as a major trading post during the 10th to 16th century AD before Bhavnagar took the place of Gogha as trading center. Being located at strategic position in the Gulf Gogha has always been subject of an important trading center. Due to this reason Gogha had been several times attacked and captured by local rulers like Gohel Rajputs and Mohammedans during the medieval period . Stone anchors have been found from several locations along the Indian coast particularly from early the Medieval period ports such as Dabhol Sindhudurg and Vijaydurg which are fairly dated between 8th to 14thcentury AD.
The comparative studies of such stone anchors along the Saurashtra coast suggest that Indo-Arab trade was very active between during the 10th to 16th century AD before the ultimate arrival of the European power in the Indian Ocean. Similarly the glazed ware, which are very similar to the glazed ware from the other sites of India suggest a possible time as the medieval period. Gogha has also been mentioned as a great boat-building center during the Mughal period.
Archaeological remains around the Gulf suggest that it has been focal point of the human activities since the Harappan times and its extraordinary tidal phenomena had been major cause of the attraction. Gogha was the important port town during the medieval period and played as transit port between the ports of the upper part of the Gulf of Khambhat and rest of the ports along the Indian Ocean Countries. The discovery of various types of anchors suggests that boats of different origin visited Gogha port. The most important find is an anchor with wide groove on the all four section is probably of the Chinese origin. For the first time glazed ware has been found associated with the stone anchors suggest that these may be dated between the 10th and the 16th century AD. Such a large number of stone anchors in inter tidal zone suggest the correct description provided in the Periplus of the Erythrenean Sea.

6. Streets and Markets of Ghogha :

As the port of Ghogha was highly active, city was also very developed. There are proof of this since eighth century. In medieval age, foreign traveller Ibn Batuta also written about markets of Ghogha “This is a very big city and its markets are very big.” The statement of Ibn Battuta expresses the glorious era of Ghogha of that time. Since starting of 19th century, Ghogha had a municipal corporation which draws attention towards the glorious past of Ghogha. Today also the names of the streets and markets are in the remembrance of the people, witnessing its glory. In Ghogha, the names of Hindu and Muslim streets and markets give the idea of the versatility of the profession. ‘Bharwadvad, Vahavad, Kolivad, Vaniavad, Sonivad, Pakhalivad, Malifaliu’ like that there were 19 big streets were located in Ghogha. Same way there were about ten big Muslim streets in which ‘Barvad, Varkuvad, Munarvad, Machchivad, Morvada, Kasbativad, Malamvada, Ghanchivad, Morkavada, Mosapura,’ like such Muslim area were aligned with the business centers like ‘Danpith, Ambachowk, Gundigate, Varaichowk, and Khajuria chawk.’ today also been live in the memory of people and in history. About ‘Khajuria chawk ‘ it is believed that Arab merchants were bringing a huge lot of ‘Khajur’(dates) in their ships, and these dates were getting down in that ‘chawk’. and from there it was getting distributed in Gujarat as well as in other parts of India for business purpose. That time ships of about 84 countries were anchored and for that stone anchors were used.
Ghogha was a loving place for not only Arab businessmen but also for Sufi saints. Witnessing this there are ten shrines of Muslim saints are present today also. ‘Asharaf shah bava, Navagaj lamba pir, Gospak no chillo, Sherali Shah, Vagad Shah Pir, Zamzam Shah Pir, Geban Shah Pir, Madar Shah Pir, Shah Firozshah, Babagor no Chchillo’ like that there are many shrines exist in such small Ghogha, the only reason for this is that of port business activities and there by developed city. According to the study of Muslim architectures, mostly it is found that mostly one ‘Idgah’ (place where Id – Namaz is prayed.) found in one city. In Ghogha there are two ‘Idgah’ availableMachchivad , there Ramzan Namaz is prayed. and‘Idgah’ situated near Sat Talav, there ‘Bakari Id’ Namaz is prayed. Which indicates that of huge population of Muslim community. In Ghogha there is also located ‘Jumma Masjid’ where every Friday, Namaz is prayed22

6. Famous Personalities of Ghogha:

Ghogha has given a great contribution in progress of Bhavnagar State. Many Nagar from Vadnagar moved to Ghogha, an ancient port on the Gulf of Combay (khanbhat) in the Dhandhuka Taluka of Ahmadabad about ten miles from Bhavnagar. It was a busy port on the western coast of India from which sailing goods far and wide across the Indian Ocean to Africa and the Parsian Gulf. The samaldas family had an unbroken connection with the Bhavnagar state for nearly hundred years. Lallubha’s elder brother, Vithaldas, his father Samaldas and grandfather, Parmananddas had all served as ‘Diwans’ of Bhavnagar State11. Gaganvihari Lallubhai Mehta (1900–1974) was the ambassador of India to the United States from 1952 to 1958. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1954 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1959.His forefathers are also from Ghogha.12
Ghogha’s Nagar Served and Developed Bhavnagar during the presence of 1. Parmananddas Ranchhoddas chief minister of Bhavnagar state during 1806-1817 2. Gaurishanka Udayshankar Oza (1805–1891) (also known as Gaga Oza) was chief minister of Bhavnagar state, India from 1850 to 1879. He was very well known and well respected for his keen statesmanship. 3. Samaldas Parmananddas served as chief minister of Bhavnagar state during 1879-1884 4. Vithaldas Samaldas chief minister of Bhavnagar state during 1884-1899 5. Vajeshankar Gaurishankar chief minister of Bhavnagar state during 1899-1902.

7. Conclusion :

Foreign traveller the statement of Ibn Batuta expresses the glorious era of Ghogha “This is a very big city and its markets are very big.” This today also marked on the pages of History. The wideness -extensiveness of the markets is expressed in his words. Its wide buildings, markets, shrines, Jain temples, and architectures witnessing the glorious and developed image of Ghogha. As a very busy business centre is expressed in the words of Abul Fazal. In AÍN I AKBARI Part II ABUL FAZL ALLÁMI wrote “Mughal Empaire got Revenue from Ghogah,(Gogo)exclusive port 666,560 Dáms.”Further he mentioed Ghogha port as under,

“The ports of Ghogah* and Kambháyat (Cambay) are included in this Sarkár. The later is a large city where merchants of divers kinds reside and wherein are fine buildings and much merchandise. Vessels sail from and trade to Ghogah. The cargoes are put into small ships called Táwari which transport them to Kambháyat”

“In the third district at the foot of the Satrúnjah (Satrunjaya) hill is a large fort and on its summit, the fort of Pálithánah. Though in ruins, it deserves restoration. It is in great veneration with the Jains. The port of Ghogah (Gogo) is a dependency of this district. The island of Biram (Perim) was formerly the residence of the governor; it is 9 kos square and is a low rocky island in the midst of the sea. The Zamíndár is of the Gohel tribe. This district possesses 2,000 horse and 4,000 foot”

It is very humble effort is done for giving some glimpses about such glorious and well developed port and for glory of Ghogha city. Although its actual greatness and development was much more than narrated here will not be any way to be considered as exaggerated.


1. Shastri Keshavram K, Saurastrani Aeitihasik Nagario – 1, Jawaharlal Nehru Education Institute, Porbandar, 1967, Page 14, 15.
2. Mehta Gaganvihari, ‘Gujaratnu Vahanvatu’ (Article), Bhavnagar Samachar, 2 July 1960, Page 3.
3. Parikh Rasiklal Chchotalal and Shastri Hariprasad Gangashankar (Editors ), Gujaratno Rajkiya ane Sanskrutik Itihas , Part – 2, Bho. J. Vidyabhavan, Ahmedabad, 2011. Page 209.
4. Shastri Durgaprasad, ‘Gujaratno Madhyakalin Rajput Itihas’, Ahmedabad, 1953, Page 30
5. Mehta Makarand, Gujarat ane Dariyo, Darshak Itihas Nidhi, Ahmedabad, 2012, Page 53.
6. Mehta Gordhandas Nagardas, Saurastra Itihas Darshan, 1937, Page 19,20.
7. Shastri Keshavram K. Saurastrani Aitihasik Nagario – 1, Page 25
8. Parikh Rasiklal Chchotalal and Shastri Hariprashad Gangashankar (Editors), Gujaratno Rajkiy ane Sanskrutik Itihas Bhag – 5
9. Bhavnagarna Farsi – Arbi lekho, Page 7.
10. Two Prophets became immortal by taking Khij Aabehayat . Who show the path to those, having lost the direction .
11. Saiyed Athar Abbas Rijvi, ‘Tugalkalin Bharat -1, Rajkamal Prakashan, New Delhi, 2008, Page 276
12. Ejan Page 277
13. The AÍN I AKBARI, Abul Fazl Allami, translated from the original Persian by H.Blochmann and Colonel H.S.Jarrett, published by the Asiatic Society of Bangal, Calcutta, Page 241-247
14. Maheta Makarand, ‘Gujarat ane Dariyo’, Darshak Itihas Nidhi, Vadodara ,2012 Page 56
15. Mehta Gordhandas,’ Saurastra Itihas Darshan’ Shihor Page 54
16. Bhavnagar Distinct Gazetteer, P. 64.
17. Personal visit of shrine Date 5th May 2012
18. Andrew Petersen, Dictionary of Islamic architectural, published by Routledge, 11 New fetter Lane, London EC4P FEE in 1996.
19. Shree Navkhanda Parshwnathaji, Pr.Sheth shree Kala Mitha Pedhi, Shree Navkhanda Parshwnath Jain Derasar, Ghogha, Page 7,8
20. Corpus Inscripationum Bhavnagar Edited During the rule of H.11. The Maharaja Takitisihghji,India(State), Antiquarian Dept, Bhavnagar State, India ,1839, p.
21. Andrew Petersen, Dictionary of Islamic architectural, published by Rutledge, 11 New fetter Lane, London EC4P FEE in 1996.


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June 12, 2013 · 5:26 PM

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