Mulji Jagmal Sawaria

Mulji Jagmal Sawaria, Rai Saheb (1889–1956) was a noted railway contractor, miner and Kutchi businessman, who established himself at Bilaspur, India.[1][2]

Early life

Moolji was born in 1889 to Jagmal Gangji Sawaria and Veera Bai at Kumbharia in erstwhile Princely State of Cutch.[3] He belonged to a small but enterprising Mestri community and born in noted Gangani family of Kumbharia.[4] Mulji Jagmal's father Jagmal Gangji and uncles all worked as a railway contractor in RajnandgaonRaigarh section of Bengal Nagpur Railway in 1888–90 and also Bilaspur – Katni section of BNR in 1890–91.[4] Jagmal Gangji also built Bilaspur railway station jointly with Jeram Mandan in 1890 and later made the town his home.[4][5] Mulji's father Jagmal Gangji were seven brothers, who worked together as a syndicate as Hindu Undivided Family to do large scale works of railway laying across British India with other contractors from their community.[3][6]

Railway contractor

He and his two brothers joined their father as Railway contractor at an early age, who had established himself as a contractor for Bengal Nagpur Railway.[3]

Mulji Jagmal and his brother Ranchhod Jagmal (1891–1963) were involved in laying of railway line from Anuppur to Barwadih section of Bombay, Baroda & Central India Railway in 1918,[4] Sini to Purulia doubling in 1921 for Bengal Nagpur Railway along with fellow contractors from his community and several other railway works for bridges and lines.[4]

He worked from Bilaspur as his head office and had other branches at Jharsuguda, Raigarh. On many contracts he worked jointly with Rai Bahadur Jairam Valji Chauhan of Jairamnagar, Shamji Gangji Sawaria of Raigarh,[6] Ruda Valji Sawaria of Raipur, the other noted railway contractors from his community.[3]

In 1935, Rai Sahib Moolji Jagmal laid a private 8 miles long narrow gauge rail line and bridge connecting their Bilaspur railway site with their brick-kiln across Arpa River at Lingiyadih. This privately owned line was dismantled in 1948 after independence of India.[3] The old road bridge across Arpa river of Bilaspur town connecting to Sarkanda area was also built by him in 1941.[3]


Mulji Jagmal inherited his share in Basra Colliery located in Jharia coalfied belt, which was founded by his father Jagmal Gangji and his brothers, Ramji Gangji of Jharia, Shyamji Gangji of Raigarh,[6] Jiwan Gangji of Bankura and others.[3] Jiwan Gangji also owned Pinalgoria Colliery at Nawagarh near Jharia and Kanudi colliery in Purulia district.[3][7]

Further, in 1921–22, he discovered coal near Pali,[3] in erstwhile Central Provinces and Berar while doing railway contracts and founded Donganala Colliery[8] and Pandilafa Colliery,[8] which he operated jointly with his younger brother Ranchhod Jagmal Sawaria.[3]

He started in decades of 1930–40 the limestone and dolomite mines near Akaltara at Latia-Pakaria,[2][9]Jairamnagar and also at Khaira.[3][10] He also owned a manganese mine near Tumsar.[3][11]

After independence of India, in 1953, he was responsible for discovery of Chromite near Pali in Madhya Pradesh, now a part of Chhattisgarh. He discovered Chromite near his Donganala colliery in on a hillock at a village called Agaria. Upon his information later the area was surveyed by Geological Survey of India.[2][3][12]


Mulji Jagmal also owned a huge brick kiln in Lingiyadih and another one at Lal Khadan area. The bricks made were largely supplied to railways. In 1935, Rai Sahib Moolji Jagmal Savaria and Ranchhod Jagmal laid a private 1.9 miles long narrow gauge rail line connecting their Bilaspur railway site with their brick-kiln across Arpa River to Lingiyadih. This line was dismantled in 1948 after independence of India.[3]

He started factories manufacturing match boxes and fire-works in Bilaspur at Jagmal Chowk, named as Laxmi Match Works[3][13] in year 1936 and was the first match factory[3] in Central Provinces and Berar.[1]

He owned large valuable estate in Bilaspur, Lingiyadih, Raigarh, Jharsuguda, Jairamnagar and at also agricultural lands, farmhouses and mansion in his native state in Kutch at Anjar and Kumbharia.[3]

Public life

He was appointed as a member of District Council of Bilaspur and was also on Advisory board to Bilaspur Municipal Committee and town planning. He was awarded title of Rai Sahib by British in 1927.[3]

He encouraged to keep alive the Gujarati culture and the all Gujaratis living in and around Bilaspur, used to assemble at his house in decade of 1940s to play Garba and hold Navaratri celebrations and thus all Gujarati people united to form later an umbrella organisation of Gujarati Samaj.[3][14]


He donated four of his shops in market area for maintenance of the Hindu temple built by his father Jagmal Gangji in 1890, which stands near Bilaspur railway station. He with his brother had built a charitable hospital and dispensary at Ratanpur in 1937.[3]

After his death, in year 1969, one of his widow Laxmi Bai, built a hall-cum-guest house, in his memory, which is named as Rai Saheb Moolji Jagmal Mahila Satsang Bhawan. It is used for satsang by local Hindu women and also provides free staying facility to overnight travellers, especially to sadhus and poor people.[3]


He died in year 1956 due heart attack at Bilaspur.[3]


Present day Jagmal Chowk and Jagmal Block in Bilaspur are named after his father, Jagmal Gangji Sawaria. Jagmal Block was also known as Mulji Jagmal Marg.[3]

Further, he instituted a fund for Mulji Jagmal Running Trophy for yearly Football tournament held by railway department, which are held at railway sports stadium, which also was erected by him in year 1935.[3]


  1. ^ a b Commercial & general directory of C. P. & Berar. 1941. pp. 138, 665.
  2. ^ a b c Records of the Geological Survey of India , Volume 84. The Survey- Geology. 1953. p. 371.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Diary of Golden Days at Jharia – A Memoir and History of Gurjar Kashtriya Samaj of Kutch in Coalfields of Jharia – written by Natwarlal Devram Jethwa of Calcutta (1998):pp:41:Rai Sahib Mulji Jagmal Sawaria – Life sketch.
  4. ^ a b c d e Nanji Bapa ni Nondh-pothi(નાનજી બાપાની નોંધપોથી)(Gujarati) (1999),Vadodara. It is a diary of Railway Contracts done by KGK community noted by Nanji Govindji Tank of Jamshedpur during his life-time last entry in 1954. The diary was later discovered his son Govardhan Nanji Tank and released as a book compiled by Dharsibhai Jethalal Tank. The book was given Aank Sidhhi national award ( અંક સિદ્ધિ રાષ્ટ્રીય એવોર્ડ ) by Kutch Shakti (કચ્છ શક્તિ) in 2000.
  5. ^ Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya Community : A brief History & Glory :by Raja Pawan Jethwa. (Kolkata, 2007). Section II: Mileage wise available Details of Railway lines laid.Pages:63 to 70
  6. ^ a b c Commercial & general directory of C. P. & Berar. 1941. p. 174.
  7. ^ Indian Coal Statistics by India (Republic). Dept. of Mines Manager of Publications, 1915 – Coal pp:17
  8. ^ a b Gazette of India. 1954. p. 254. Mulji Jagmal Sawaria Donganala, Pandilafa Colliery
  9. ^ Geological Survey of India (1949). Records, Volume:84."Pakaraia Quarry:There are two quarries close by one in Latia and another in Pakaria. The owner, Mr. Mulji Jagmal, is not now working the Pakaria quarry which has an area of 18 acres and is now filled with water. The northern quarry — Latia-Pakaria quarry as it is called — is 24 acres in area and is worked at present."
  10. ^ Commercial & general directory of C. P. & Berar. 1941. pp. 138, 665.
  11. ^ Records of the Geological Survey of India, Volume 83. Government of India. 1951. p. 641.
  12. ^ Records of the Geological Survey of India , Volume 88. Government of India. 1958. p. 84. Sri Moolji Jagmal, Contractor, Bilaspur had informed Madhya Pradesh government.. of finding Chromite in hillock...
  13. ^ All-India Trade Directory and Who's who. Barque & Co. Lahore. 1943. p. 126.
  14. ^ History – Gujarati Samaj – Bilaspur Archived 13 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.