Nine decades ago in the year 1926, the people of our community moved away from the homeland to Inhambane, Mozambique for the purpose of their livelihood. The members of the community hired a small room and to preserve our Hindu culture and customs founded an organisation called Hindu Sarvajanik Sabha.

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Shortly after, in around 1932, the members of the committee took a loan from the affluent Hindu merchants and bought a land where they constructed a vast hall.
At the rear of the plot, some benefactors helped monetarily to construct some rooms. In the beginning, devotees got together to recite religious hymns and to celebrate Hindu festivals. They also made a small wooden cupboard and established a picture of the deity inside it.

In around 1969, Mr. Vitoldás Aracchande, the son of Mr. Aracchande Emchande, brought the marble statues of Radha Krishna from India and established them on the altar in a room. In time, the organisation developed profusely with the tireless efforts of zealous members.

Migration of Vanza and Darji and other Hindu members from homeland to Inhambane in Mozambique

A small wooden cupboard where the image of the deity is established. In the picture, from the left to the right, we can see the devotees Miss Hemnalini Cantilal, Shreemati Hiragauri Dullabhdas, Shreemati Jadau Premchand, Shreemati Sushilabai Quessaugy, Shreemati Vijya Amarchande, Miss Shila Vitoldas, Miss Devika Quessaugy, Miss Jevanti Mansukhlal, Miss Pramilabai Mulchande, Shreemati Hiralacxmibai Mathuradas, ?, ?, Miss Indravati Devchand, Miss Hasmukhibai Carsandas, Miss Dhimant Cantilal, Shreemati Nirmala Raichand, Shreemati Lacxmi Bai Laxmidas, Miss Pramodini Pranlal, Master Rajendra Vitoldas. Photo courtesy Mr. Champaclal Mulchande. The individuals in the picture have been recognised by Mr. Champaclal Mulchande. If you notice any mistake, we kindly request you to contact us to rectify the error.

Image with old memories

A small wooden cupboard where the image of the deity is established. In the picture, from the left to the right, we can see the devotees Master Subhendra Pranlal, Miss Shila Vitoldas, Miss Pramodini Pranlal, Master Rajendra Vitoldas, Miss Hasmukhibai Carsandas, Miss Jyotsna Navinchandra and Master Vipinchandra Navinchandra. In the back row one can see Shreemati Nirmala Raichand, Shreemati Jadau Premchand, Shreemati Lacxmi Bai Laxmidas, Master Anil Vitoldas, Miss Indravati Devchand, Miss Pramilabai Mulchande and Shreemati Chandraprabha Aracchande. Photo courtesy Mr. Champaclal Mulchande. The individuals in the picture have been recognised by Mr. Champaclal Mulchande. If you notice any mistake, we kindly request you to contact us to rectify the error.

Image with old memories

The auspicious occasion of the establishment of Radha Krishna idols during which the girls are prepared for Kumbh Sthapan. In this picture, from the left to the right, we can see the girls with the kumbh on their heads, namely Miss Crimila Chandracante, Miss Jyoti Pranlal (back row), Miss Varsa Cantilal, Miss Divendra Vitoldas, Miss Mahalakshmi Chunilal, Miss Dacxa Laxmicant, Miss Tacsha Jassantilal, Miss Dinacumari Amrathelal and Miss Rajesvari Givandas. In the back row one can see ?, Shreemati Indravatibai Jamnadas, Shreemati Hiragauri Dullabhdas, Miss Jaya Manji, Miss Ashvini Chunilal, ?, Shreemati Pramilabai Mulchande, ?, ?, Shreemati Motibai Bhikha, Shreemati Najnibala Vithaldas, Shreemati Nirmala Raichand, Shreemati Harigangabai Valji, Miss Sharda Chunilal. Photo courtesy Shreemati Divendra Vitoldas. The individuals in the picture have been recognised by Shreemati Divendra Vitoldas. If you notice any mistake, we kindly request you to contact us to rectify the error.

Image with old memories

The auspicious occasion of the establishment of Radha Krishna idols during which the yagna is being conducted. In the picture we can see Shreeman Babu Gor, Shreemati Anantacumaribai Narcim, Shreeman Jaientilal Aracchande and Shreeman Vitoldas Aracchande. Photo courtesy Shreemati Divendra Vitoldas.

Image with old memories

The devotees present in the yagna which was conducted during the Praan Pratishta of Radha Krishna idols. Seated above, from the left to the right, one can see Mr. Mansin Varazidas, Mr. Subhashchandra Nagardas, ?, ?, ?, Master Guinesh Badracim, Master Crisnacumar Jaientilal, ?. Seated on the floor, one can see Miss Dhimant Cantilal, Miss Divendra Vitoldas, Miss Suhasini Cantilal, Miss Lata Jugaldas, Miss Dacxa Amrathelal, Miss Hemnalini Cantilal, Miss Mahalakshmi Chunilal, Miss Ashvini Chunilal, Miss Dipindra Amichande, Mr. Pratapcim Valobdas. Photo courtesy Shreemati Divendra Vitoldas. The individuals in the picture have been recognised by Shreemati Divendra Vitoldas. If you notice any mistake, we kindly request you to contact us to rectify the error.

Image with old memories

The devotees present during the vastupujan ceremony conducted by Shreeman Babu Gor with the participation of Shreemati Anantacumaribai Narcim, Shreeman Jaientilal Aracchande and Shreeman Vitoldas Aracchande. In the picture one can also see Shreemati Shantagauri Vithaldas, Shreemati Kusum Tulcidas and Miss Dhimant Cantilal. Photo courtesy Shreemati Divendra Vitoldas

Image with old memories

The marble statues of Radha Krishna established on the altar in a room. In this picture one can see Shreemati Jadau Premchand offering prayers. Photo courtesy Mr. Champaclal Mulchande.

Mozambique achieved independence from the Portuguese rule in 1975. In 1976, the communist government announced nationalisation. Shree Sarvajanik Sabha, registered officially as Associação Hindu Sarvajanique Sabhá, was taken possession by the communist government. After much persuasion, the temple and the rooms were handed over back to us.

The derelict building was renovated in 1981. Its courtyard and the adjacent rooms were given a new shape and the building was renamed as Shree Radha Krishna Mandir. There are excellent lodging facilities for Hindu members, a huge hall for weddings, and a large square for the children and youth to play. The temple has no permanent income. It relies on the monthly membership fees and on the funds voluntarily contributed by the devotees. Today, Shree Radha Krishna Mandir is a symbol of honour across the country.

The building of Hindu Sarvajanik Sabha in Inhambane. Photo courtesy Mr. Minesh Bhadrassene.

The building of Hindu Sarvajanik Sabha in Inhambane. Photo courtesy Mr. Minesh Bhadrassene.

The main entrance of Sarvajanik Sabha leading to the courtyard at its rear and to the temple. Photo courtesy Mr. Minesh Bhadrassene.

The main entrance of Sarvajanik Sabha leading to the courtyard at its rear and to the temple. Photo courtesy Mr. Minesh Bhadrassene.

Shree Radha Krishna Temple’s lodging facilities and large square. Photo courtesy Mr. Minesh Bhadrassene.

Shree Radha Krishna Temple’s lodging facilities and large square. Photo courtesy Mr. Minesh Bhadrassene.

The entrance on the west side of Hindu Sarvajanik Sabha. Photo courtesy Mr. Minesh Bhadrassene.

The entrance on the west side of Hindu Sarvajanik Sabha. Photo courtesy Mr. Minesh Bhadrassene.

The performance stage found in the courtyard of Sarvajanik Sabha where public performances could be displayed for the community to enjoy. Photo courtesy Mr. Minesh Bhadrassene.

The performance stage found in the courtyard of Sarvajanik Sabha where public performances could be displayed for the community to enjoy. Photo courtesy Mr. Minesh Bhadrassene.

The main hall seen from the courtyard. Photo courtesy Mr. Minesh Bhadrassene.

The main hall seen from the courtyard. Photo courtesy Mr. Minesh Bhadrassene.

The peepul tree found in the east of Sarvajanik Sabha which still stands today as a symbol of our culture and tradition in Inhambane. Photo courtesy Mr. Minesh Bhadrassene.

The peepul tree found in the east of Sarvajanik Sabha which still stands today as a symbol of our culture and tradition in Inhambane. Photo courtesy Mr. Minesh Bhadrassene.

The entrance to Shree Radha Krishna Temple. Photo courtesy Mr. Minesh Bhadrassene.

The entrance to Shree Radha Krishna Temple. Photo courtesy Mr. Minesh Bhadrassene.

The beautiful plaque, mounted on the wall of Radha Krishna Temple after its renovation. Photo courtesy Mr. Minesh Bhadrassene.

The beautiful plaque, mounted on the wall of Radha Krishna Temple after its renovation. Photo courtesy Mr. Minesh Bhadrassene.

Shree Radha Krishna Temple in the city of Inhambane. Photo courtesy Mr. Minesh Bhadrassene.

Shree Radha Krishna Temple in the city of Inhambane. Photo courtesy Mr. Minesh Bhadrassene.

The beautiful and vibrant idols of Radha and Krishna that were brought from the homeland by Mr. Vitoldas Harakhchand and established in the temple. Photo courtesy Mr. Minesh Bhadrassene.

The beautiful and vibrant idols of Radha and Krishna that were brought from the homeland by Mr. Vitoldas Aracchande and established in the temple. Photo courtesy Mr. Minesh Bhadrassene.

At the moment, every Saturday, womenfolk get together to sing religious hymns and also to offer prayers to Lord Hanuman. The recitation of the Vedmata Gayatri is held every Sunday from 8 to 9pm. The aarti is offered every day and to enjoy the benefit of the aarti, everyone brings, in turns, the thalis for the aarti from home. There are approximately 46 houses of our community in Inhambane and the population ranging from children to adults is of around 176 people. A Hindu cremation ground is in a coastal area a few kilometres away from the city.

Almost all of the Hindu festivals are celebrated like they are in India. Up until now, the Vedmata Gayatri Mahayagna has been held twice. In addition, on Shravan Sud Poonam the organisation’s anniversary is celebrated with great pomp and pleasure. Also, this year, the 90th anniversary of the organisation will be celebrated as usual.

The Management Committee is always committed to maintaining the flourishment of Hindu culture.

Read this blog post in: Português | ગુજરાતી

Post by: Dipac Canacsinh

First and foremost, I offer my sincerest gratitude to the late Mr. Manicant Vassramo who left a written document which shared valuable insights for the preparation and completion of this article. I want to thank my cousin, Pradip Vassantlal, for his creative support during the time when I was working on the manuscript. There are many people to whom I owe my gratitude, namely Mr. Paresh Amarchande, Mr. Champaclal Mulchande, Shreemati Divendra Vitoldas, Mr. Minesh Bhadrassene and Mr. Vimal Paresh for sparing their valuable time to contribute in one way or another to this article.


Additional information received after the publication of the article

The plaque, mounted on the wall of Radha Krishna Temple after its renovation was designed and worked out by Mr. Ariscrisna Parmanande.

The renovation of the building of the Hindu Sarvajanik Sabha in 1981 was the responsibility of Mr. Pracash Aracchande with the collaboration of all members of the community.

In approximately 1969, Mr. Vitoldas Aracchande, deceased, son of the late Mr. Aracchande Emchande (from Diu, Saurashtra), brought the marble statues of Radha, Krishna and Mahalaxmi from Bombay, India on a trip aboard the Karanja, one of the legendary ships of the British India Line that made voyages to the east coast of Africa in crossings that lasted a month. These statues were arranged on the altar in a room.

One thought on “Migration of Vanza, Darji and other Hindu members from homeland to Inhambane in Mozambique

  1. Jai Shree Krishna!
    Gostei do trabalho. Está bem estruturado e traz elementos que eram até hoje certamente desconhecidos da esmagadora maioria das pessoas sobre os primeiros tempos da Associação Hindu Sarvajanique Sabha e do Shree Radha-Krishna Mandir de Inhambane (Moç.) cuja evolução e desenvolvimento vivi e acompanhei e de que me honro ter sido um colaborador e membro activo até aos meados da década de 60. Por isso, tudo o que se reporte à vida comunitária em Inhambane e particularmente da Comunidade Hindu (AHSS) de Inhambane, é-me especialmente grato.
    Felicito o Dipac e todos quantos estiveram envolvidos na preparação deste artigo, ricamente ilustrado e que constitui um esplêndido contributo para a posteridade, para a História da Comunidade Hindu em Inhambane e da sua AHSS e Mandir.
    Felicito igualmente Diu Vanza Darji Samaj UK e todos os seus Órgãos, Membros e Associados, desejando-lhes os maiores sucessos.
    Um especial tributo ao saudoso Manicantbhai Vassaram, um grande Amigo e Camarada, com quem tive o gôsto de compartilhar grandes momentos da vida da AHSS!
    Jai Shree Krishna!
    Champaclal Mulchande Raghuvanshi
    (Santo António dos Cavaleiros (Portugal)-28.04.2017)

    (P.S.-Agradeço a referência feita ao meu nome, mas acho que não era importante…)

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