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Cutchi Memon Jamath, Kochi (Cochin), Kerala, India

In 1815, a large number of   Cutchi Memons migrated from their homeland, Cutch to places such as Bombay (now Mumbai), Calcutta (now Kolkata), Madras (now Chennai), Alleppey (now Alappuzha) and Cochin (now Kochi).  Those days, these places were considered important ports and commercial centers.  The Cutchi Memons desired to expand their businesses by settling in these cities.  Having learnt that Cutchi Memons were honest, hardworking and trustworthy businessmen, gave permission to them to settle down in Cochin.  He wanted them to live permanently in his kingdom so that it would become prosperous y means of foreign trace and commerce.

Cutchi Memon Jamath, Quilon, Kerala, India

Though we have no authentic information about early Cutchi Memon settlers in Quilon, we gather from some elders that, during their initial years of migration here, they were aware of five or six Cutchi Memon families settling in this city and neighboring areas such as Nadayara (near Varkala) and Anjengo, which were then both developing ports. This was when Raja Kesava Dasa was the Dewan of Travancore State.  He was magnanimous in granting them all facilities to conduct their business of import and export of rice, coconut products and hill produces.   Anjengo was, at that time, a British colony; the Cutchi Memon settlers had great contacts with Europeans who frequented the colony.  These Cutchi Memons were sincere, honest, kind-hearted and deeply religious, earning them the respect and honor of other peoples of the area as well as the ruling Maharajah.

Cutchi Memon Jamath, Mysore, Karnataka, India

The origins of Cutchi Memons of Mysore City are not entirely known.  It is believed that a century or so ago some Cutchi Memon families migrated to Mysore city from Bangalore, and started involving themselves in business and agriculture. They cultivated paddy fields, which they acquired on lease.  There were twelve families initially; five more followed from Bangalore, Nilgiris, Cochin and Bombay.  Division among these families has resulted in forty sub-families.

Most Cutchi Memons speak Urdu at home; only a few families have retained Cutchi as their mother tongue.  They are well educated.  "Purdah" was observed strictly in some families.

As Cutchi Memons are generally known to have business acumen, most Cutchi Memons in Mysore City are found to be in business:  furniture hire and sale, optical goods, real estate, electrical appliances, carets and furnishings, textiles, etc.  Education has ensured Cutchi Memons becoming engineers, computer professionals, etc.  Some have migrated to distant lands.

Weclome to this virtual home of Cutchi Memons

You will find here articles relating to history of Cutchi Memon Jamat (or community centers).

For a global history, family trees, leaders, email directory, news bulletin, and much more go to Cutchi Memon Community Online:

More information coming soon about:
* All India Cutchi Memon Federation
* Cutchi Memon Jamath, Alleppey. Kerala, I
* Cutchi Memon Jamat, Bhuj, Cutch, Gujarat, India
* Cutchi Memon Jamath, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
* Cutchi Memon Jamath, Kochi (Cochin), Kerala, India
Cutchi Memon Jamat, Kolkata (Calcutta), West Bengal, India
* Cutchi Memon Jamat, Mumbai (Bombay)
* Cutchi Memon Students' Circle, Mumbai
* Cutchi Memon Jamath, Mysore, Karnataka, India
* Cutchi Memon Jamath of the Nilgiris, India
* All Orissa Cutchi Memon Jamat, Orissa, India
* Cutchi Memon Jamath, Quilon, Kerala, India
* Cutchi Memon Jamat, Satara, Maharashtra, India
* Cutchi Memon Jamat, Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
* Cutchi Memon Jamath, Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala, India

Information courtesy: Arif G. Kadwani, Cutchi Memon Jamat of North America

All India Cutchi Memon Federation


Achievements and Programs

Cutchi Memons migrated from Cutch at the beginning of the 19th century and settled down as traders mainly in port towns. Some even went to other places in Africa and the Middle East. Their honesty, hard work and charitable nature resulted in enormous prosperity in business. They became so well known in main trading centers of coastal India that the words “Cutchi Memon” meant “businessman”. The local people were so impressed by their generous nature that almost every Cutchi Memon was called “Sait” as a mark of respect. [“Sait” in the Gujarati language and the Cutchi dialect mean a male of great power and control]

Cutchi Memon Jamath, Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala, India

Cutchi Memons began to settle in Travancore from The beginning of the 19th century. A few Cutchi Memons were invited from Bombay by the then Dewan of Travancore, Raja Kesava Dasa.  These families first began to settle in Alleppey and Arattupuzha, which were then very important ports on the west coast of former Travancore state. This trading community was encouraged to settle in Travancore with a view to increasing its export trade.  At that time, coconuts and allied products were not much in demand outside the state, and the coir industry was in its infancy. Cutchi Memons exported dried coconut (copra), coir, coir matting, etc. to Bombay and Gujarat provinces.  Gradually these products found a good market in other parts of India. The coir industry grew rapidly, and even a few English firms started factories in Alleppey and Cochin. Some Cutchi Memons settled in Cochin to develop export trade through the Cochin port.  The port of Arattupuzha gradually lost its importance as the land strip between the sea and the backwaters was diminished as a result of the sea advancing eastwards. The people of Arattupuzha left the place and settled in Alleppey, which was at that time on a fishing yard.  The commercial importance of Alleppey began only from that time and reached its zenith in a short time.

Cutchi Memon Jamat, Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

The origin of the Cutchi Memon Jamat Andhra Pradesh, Secunderabad, can be traced back to almost the same period when our forefathers migrated from Cutch with a desire to improve their lives, expand their businesses, and settle down in various parts of the country.  Those Cutchi Memons that came to the former princely state of Hyderabad preferred to settle down in Secunderabad, a cantonment area inhabited mainly by British civilians and army personnel and a place suitable for their business activities.

Cutchi Memon Jamat, Satara, Maharashtra, India

Satara is located in Maharashtra State in Western India, and has about 150 Cutchi Memons from 22 Cutchi Memon families.  Although Cutchi Memons migrated to Satara from various parts of India as traders and merchants over the span of a century, it is only during the last five decades that the Cutchi Memon population has increased dramatically.  When the need for a Jamat was felt, Kasam Umer Kacchi (Galaria), Abdul Gaffar, Ishaque Kacchi (Isani), Mohammed Memon invited all members of the 22 families to a meeting to discuss its formation,   This meeting was held on October 19, 1992, and was a great success.  All Cutchi Memons present at the meeting decided to form a Jamat, and to elect a Managing Committee. This proved that there was unity among Cutchi Memons of Satara, and great love among the brethren. The following members were elected unopposed to the Managing Committee:

All Orissa Cutchi Memon Jamat, Orissa, India

Cutchi Memons came to Orissa via Calcutta during the latter part of the 18th century.  They landed by boat in Chandbali, the then port of Orissa.  They were businessmen, and their main source of income was exports of goods to far-away countries such as Ceylon, Mauritius, Burma and Indonesia.  They had cordial relations with the people of Orissa, and very soon became prominent due to their integrity, honesty, and truthfulness, hallmarks of a true Islamic way of life.  They conducted their business activities through the port of Chandbali, and from the coasts of Paradip, Puri and Gopalpur-on-Sea by means of small country boats which plied up to the steamers that were anchored in deep sea.  It is said that the first steam launch which touched the port of Chandbali belonged to the famous Late Haji Mohamed Zakaria Sait of Calcutta, father of Sir Abdul Razzaque Mohamed Kt., a cabinet minister of Mauritius.

Cutchi Memon Jamath of the Nilgiris, India

The Nilgiri (literally: Blue Mountains), often referred to as the Nilgiri Hills or as Nilgiris, are a range of mountains with at least 24 peaks above 2,000 meters (6,562 ft), in the westernmost part of Tamil Nadu at the junction of Karnataka and Kerala states in Southern India. They are part of the larger Western Ghats mountain chain making up the southwestern edge of the Deccan Plateau.

Cutchi Memon Students' Circle, Mumbai

The Making of the Cutchi Memon Students’ Circle

When the Cutchi Memon community was organized, it decided to process all its decisions through institutional means.  The Cutchi Memon Jamatkhana at 131 Kambekar Street was the first important institution to begin an organized community life.  It was the place where meetings were held for discussions, planning and deciding on implementation.  Though the early history of the of the Cutchi Memon Jamatkhana begins as early as 1807, it was in 1930-31 that the trustees of the Kammoo Suleman Trust rebuilt it.  From then on, the Jamatkhana has gained immense importance, not only as an impressive edifice but also as a central place from where all activities can be carried out in an efficient manner.

Cutchi Memon Jamat, Mumbai (BOMBAY)

Cutchi Memons came to Bombay (now known as Mumbai) sometime between 1813 and 1816 as they were attracted by its business opportunities.  After settling down, Cutchi Memons organized themselves.

In 1898, Cutchi Memons of Bombay got together under the leadership of prominent members known as Patels.  These persons had unquestionable authority over matters relating to the affairs of their brethren.

Gradually, democratic concepts crept into the members' thinking, and in 1922, for the first time in its history, the community elected a Managing committee. Later, rules and regulations were established; these were modified and amended from time to time to suit changing conditions.

Cutchi Memon Jamat, Kolkata (Calcutta), West Bengal, India

The arrival of Cutchi Memons in Calcutta (now known as Kolkata) dates back to 1840, and was necessitated by their need to feed and foster their trade with Burma (now Myanmar), Java, Singapore, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Mauritius where they were established in business since the early thirties of the eighteenth century. 

Cutchi Memon Jamath, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

CUTCHI MEMON JAMATH, CHENNAI (FORMERLY KNOWN AS MADRAS),
TAMIL NADU, INDIA

The history of Cutchi Memons of Chennai (formerly known as Madras) is more than 150 years old. [We will intermittently use both names, Chennai and Madras – Editor] There is no authentic record of the first migration of Cutchi Memons to Madras.  It is, however, known that a Cutchi Memon, Mr. Abdul Rahim Patel was deputed from Karachi as the “Patel of Madras” sometime before 1870.  He is known to have conducted business in Madras after his arrival.  Records show that his son, Mr. Zackaria Abdul Rahim Sait “Mateen”, who became a prolific writer, was born in 1884 in Madras.  Early records also show that, in 1880, the Corporation of Madras allotted land for Cutchi Memons to use as their cemetery.

Cutchi Memon Jamat, Bhuj, Cutch, Gujarat, India

Al hamdo lillah, all of us are well conversant, directly or indirectly, with regard to the existence of Cutchi Memon Jamat, Bhuj.  The report below will shed light on our activities and their betterment.

It is a pleasure to note that Cutchi Memon brethren visiting Cutchi Memons for their social activities and using our Jamatkhana are pleased with and appreciative of our services and facilities.

Bhuj has 180 Cutchi Memon families engaged in business activities such as sale of grain seeds, cloth, cutlery, vegetables, and wholesale of general merchandise, pan galla and bidi shops, etc.

Cutchi Memon Jamath, Alleppey

Cutchi Memon Jamath, Alleppey, (NOW KNOWN AS ALAPPUZHA), Kerala, India

A few Cutchi Memon families from Cutch and Bombay (now Mumbai) came to Alleppey in the early part of the 19th century.  The illustrious and famous Dewan of Travancore State, Raja Kesava Dasa, invited them to establish trade and business in Alleppey, then a developing port.  A few Gujarati and Parsi families were also invited.  Traditionally a business community, Cutchi Memons found Alleppey   to have all facilities for conducting proper business, and migrated in large numbers. Prospering in business and making good fortunes, Cutchi Memons helped the public and earned good revenue for the state.  They soon became respectable   owing to their honesty and integrity in their business dealings. Even the Maharajas of Travancore noticed the Cutchi Memons’ business acumen and honesty, and granted interviews to prominent Cutchi Memons whenever they visited Alleppey. The two canals connecting the backwater lake and the sea were constructed for the sake of these merchants so that they could bring their merchandise into the town economically.  Thus, Alleppey soon developed into a major port, and became a big commercial center, earning the name, "Venice of the East".