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The Birth and Death of a Style The Vohrawaads of Sidhpur

Author Name: Zoyab A Kadi | Format: Paperback | Genre : History & Politics | Other Details

The heritage houses of the Dawoodi Bohra Community at Najampura in Sidhpur, Gujarat, have been a subject of many scholarly studies and documentations over the last several decades. It is clearly evident from the design of at least half-a-dozen structures that their builders were familiar with the contemporary European architectural trends at the beginning of the twentieth century. What is delightful about this development is that it occurred in a shy, remote place like Sidhpur, far away from any global exposure and with no history of being a hub of trade or commerce.

What is to be commemorated are not these ‘fountainhead’ European style buildings but their contribution in launching an absolutely unique vernacular language. The local craftsmen, to their supreme credit, took inspiration from these models but never really imitated them.

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Zoyab A Kadi

Zoyab A. Kadi is a native of Sidhpur, a Dawoodi Bohra by birth and an architect-academician by profession. He, thus, holds a triple advantage to talk about the heritage of Vohrawaads of Sidhpur in detail. His earlier two works Sidhpur and its Dawoodi Bohra houses and The Vohrawaads of Sidhpur deal with the documentation of the Community’s residential enclaves. His articles on the subject in various architectural and cultural magazines in India, his talks at various forums and his photo exhibitions at DakshinaChitra, Chennai and elsewhere have raised considerable interest in the region among academic and tourist groups. A retired Dean and Advisor of a private architecture college under Anna University, Chennai, he is currently a visiting faculty at a few architecture colleges in the city. In 2017, he received a UNESCO-Sahapedia Fellowship to document the cultural and architectural heritage of Sidhpur. Along with son Tahaer, their initiative ‘Madras Inherited’ has taken up the mantle of tracing the history of various localities of Chennai through popular heritage walks.