Culture & Heritage
It is true that the known history of Morbi begins only in 1698, but a civilization existed in this region long before Kalyanji established his capital here. It is to be noted that, Saurashtra, of which Morbi is an important part, has a very ancient history dating back to Harappan Civilization. The region has been mentioned in the Indian epic of Mahabharata as Saurashtrene. Morbi, located in the heart of this region, is a proud inheritor of this legacy.
The people and the language of Morbi
Before we look into the different aspect of the cultural heritage of Morbi, we should look at the people who reside here. Saurashtra, made up of many small city-states, underwent a prolonged period of turbulence and this has left a deep impression on the character of the people of Morbi. People of this region are very brave, warlike, adventurous and enterprising. In addition, they are also very adept in trade and industry. That is why we found so many industrial units located in around the small city. Moreover, repeated disasters have not been able to dampen the spirit of the people. Each time, they have fought back and regained their position.
It is true that the people of Morbi had fight hard to earn their position. However, it does not mean that they are devoid of finer sense such as art and culture. Contrarily, thanks to the patronage of the Jadeja kings, Morbi has developed into a centre of excellence with a strong and vibrant culture.
The official language spoken here is Gujarati, but a dialect known as Kathiyawadi is also popular In this region. Although there is a difference in the vocabulary, Kathiyawadi differs from Gujarati mainly in its pronunciation. For example, ‘e’ in Gujarati is invariably replaced by ‘aa’ in Kathiyawadi.
Factors that influenced the cultural heritage of Morbi
As in the rest of the world, many groups have contributed to the cultural heritage of Morbi. Among them, the role played by Hindu mythologies and beliefs must come first. Garba and Dandiya Ras dances owe their origin to them. The visual art in Morbi, on the other hand, are much influenced by Jain culture. Besides, the different historical buildings owe their origin to a fusion of Rajasthani, Mughal and British architectural heritage.
Architecture in Morbi
The architecture in Morbi clearly shows the diverse influence on the culture of Morbi. While Mani Mandir showcases the architectural style of Rajasthan, the Art Deco Palace has been made following the Art Deco Movement of Europe. The Nehru Gate, on the other hand, highlights the successful fusion of architectural style of Rajasthan and England.
Traditional Dance in Morbi
As in rest of Gujarat Garba and Dandiya are two main dance form of this region. Traditionally Garba was a Spiritual dance performed around a lamp or an image of Mother Amba. Incidentally, the word Garba has been derived from Garva, meaning womb, which depicts Mother Goddess. Dandiya, on the other hand, was performed mainly by men, who depicted a scene from the life of Lord Krishna through their dance.