Habib Mawji Nathani

From Khoja Wiki


Habib Mawji Nathani
Place of Death
  • Porbandar

Born in

Habib Bhai was a partner in an oil mill with his 4 brothers.

He was approached to become a building contractor for the Princely State of Porbandar.

As a building contractor, he has built 25 buildings. Amongst the more well known are the Khoja Ismaili Jamatkhana, which was donated by Hasham Premji, the father of Azim Premji of the Wipro fame.

He has built the boarding house in Junagadh.

Another building, the Musafar Khana in Porbandar was also built by him. It has an interesting history. Prior to the steamships to Africa,all Khojas travelled by dhows from Mandvi or Mundra. Once the British India Steamship Line began service of large vessels from Bombay to Mombasa and Zanzibar with one stop in Gujarat, all Kutch/Kathiawar Khojas needed to come to Porbandar for embarkation before boarding the State of Bombay or the S.S. Karanja for the 15 day journey. Many family and friends would come to wish them away across the "Kala Paani" and due to the poverty, there was less likelihood of seeing them ever again.

The wealthy merchants decided to build place for them and built in 1925 by Habib Bhai. A Dharamshala for widows was also built around this time.

Habib Bhai passed away in Porbandar.