Gunatitpur is 9 Kms from Bhachau and 75 Kms from Bhuj, and is unique
because it is a new village. The earthquake on 26.01.2001 damaged
or destroyed over 700 villages of Kachchh, which are being rebuilt
or re-located. Gunatitpur is a collection of 112 families who lived
in distant fields, whose houses were totally destroyed, who suffered
the loss of 14 lives because of remote isolation. In rebuilding their
lives they urged to live together in a new village. They were spread
out in area of approx. 27 Sq. Kms, bordering six villages, without
any roads to reach their homes, only zigzagging dirt trails and desert
landmarks as guides. BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha conceived and created
a new village, and resettled these devastated families in 17 acres
history Dates Back Just 17 Years :
A farmer from Jamnagar District set out in search of a better place,
tired of recurring droughts in his homeland. His search ended in another
drought prone area - Kachchh. He chose this area surrounding Bhachau
and worked the land. Over a period of time, other adventurous families,
from Kachchh and Sabarkantha regions, started settling in this area.
Their labour was not lost and this region began to bear fruits of
The land chosen was absolutely arid with
all the luxuries of Kachchh - sand storms, malaria menace, snakes
and scorpions aplenty, and no approach roads.. In subsequent years
geologists have confirmed that Vedic River Saraswati, now lost, is
flowing under this area with 35 Km wide and 150 Km long stretch of
20' deep waterbed, at 700 feet. The locals consider this land as most
pious land. Yet, time and again, they have suffered unimaginable hardships.
The devastating cyclone of 1998 had destroyed almost all the houses.
And now the earthquake had taken away lives.
Association with BAPS :
Sadhus from BAPS temple Bhuj visited these victims on 28-01-2001,
followed by relief materials next day. They pleaded to be rehabilitated
together in one place instead of their original isolated places. BAPS
accepted the proposal to settle them in one place with the blessings
of HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj, this new village, Gunatitpur, was born.
Fact Sheet - Construction
The village measures 17.0 Acres (68446 Sq. m), practically in the
center of 27 Sq Kms region, which touches the borders of 6 villages
Chopadava, Sikara, Kumbharadi, Kabarau, Ambaradi and Lunava.
|Total Land Area
|Total Court Yards
||112 : Type A: 82, Type B: 30
|Total Electric Poles
||57(15 on the main road)
||550 Mts. 1804 ft. (Coal tar surfaced)
Fact Sheet - Timeline
||29 June 2001
||Allocation of land and
governmental procedures took some time. No sooner land for the
new village was allotted, Bhumi pujan was performed on 29.06.2001.
||28 April 2002
Fact Sheet -
||16 m. x 25 m. = 400
||12 Mt. x 20 Mt. = 250
||54.08 sq. m.
||43.20 sq. m.
||50.00 sq. m.
||43.20 sq. m.
|| 7.20 m.
|| 7.20 m.
||9.20 m. & 6.0 m.
||3 rooms, kitchen, toilet,
||2 rooms, kitchen, toilet,
Amenities in Gunatitpur
1) Main Entrance Gate
24' high and 31' wide,
the traditional entrance gate welcomes all visitors. Lord Hanuman's
temple outside the entrance symbolizes protection to the village.
2 large donation plaques
in black granite with gold-leafed letters, one in Gujarati and another
in English give details of the village, the inspirer, the sponsors
inauguration and other data.
5 Classrooms each 20.0
' x 16.6 '
With beautiful elevation
and well-lit, well-ventilated school building
Separate toilet blocks
for Boys and Girls
A separate dining room
for "Mid-day Meal" scheme
A large, spacious play
School is close to cultural
complex for socio-cultural education
A 10" bore fills
up an underground tank of 80,000 liters from which an overhead tank
of 20,000 liters capacity is filled. Each house of the village gets
water via underground pipelines by the latest pressure-system technology
that ensures smooth and even distribution of water, with adequate
Water is available aplenty
and round the clock.
Each house and building
is provided with a 20' deep drainage well for sanitation purpose
as per requisite norms.
8) Socio-spiritual activity
6000 sq. f. temple for
festivals, celebrations and annual rituals
Two prayer halls, 64'
x 30' & 21' x 11' for regular prayers and assemblies
Beautiful gardens add
to the majesty of the Temple.
The village has total
1800 ft coal tar road, paved on both sides. Main Road from the entrance,
12 feet wide, is well connected with side roads, covering the entire
village. Tree plantations at a regular distance of 10 ' along all
the roads help bring down the temperature of the place as also provide
10) Electricity & Street lights
Considering that the land was remote, isolated with no roads to transport
materials in the initial months, the challenge was enormous. Sand
storms reduced visibility to 4 feet and gales uprooted tents and equipments.
Engineers and laborers alike were attacked by cerebral malaria. Once,
120 out of 258 site workers were down with malarial fever. Scare of
snakes and scorpions appearing any time, anywhere especially at nights
inside tents was rampant. To add to it all, as the site is near the
epi-center Bhachau, it was daily rocked with after-shocks. Even after
the houses were erected, more than 300 after-shocks, some measuring
as high as 4.9 Richter, have occurred and yet not a crack has appeared
in the buildings. The construction is both earthquake-resistant and
cyclone-guarded as every roof tile has been fastened by metal wire.
BAPS has completed such high quality houses in minimum possible time
with outstanding planning and projections for future development.
Ceremony on Sunday 28 April 2002
The entire village, each individual house was cleaned, washed and
decorated with AsoPalav Torans to greet the residents on the auspicious
occasion of lokarpan ceremony.
As HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj could not
visit the place personally on his behalf Pujya Doctor Swami blessed
the ceremony. He was welcomed at the main entrance by all village
heads and residents, BAPS sadhus and Donors from Oman who had flown
in from there to attend the ceremony.
Pujya Doctor Swami consecrated the Hanuman
Shrine and did Pujan of the two donation plaques on the sides of the
entrance announcing official dedication of the village Gunatitpur
to the villagers. By breaking open the coconut and un-tying the Nadachhadi,
he pronounced the village Gunatitpur open to the residents.
Gunatitpur was graced by his presence
in the assembly there. People not only from Gunatitpur but also from
nearby villages had come in tractors, cars etc.
Pujya Devcharan Swami welcomed the gathering,
which included BAPS saints from various places, invited guests, residents
and neighboring village folks. The donors representing GRECO, Sultanate
of OMAN, had delegated a team of 9 members, to attend the ceremony.
Pujya Brahmavihari Swami introduced BAPS
organisation and its various activities. He highlighted the earthquake
relief work and BAPS' keen interest to provide multifarious support
to the sufferers by taking care of their total needs instead of meeting
with one or two.
The villagers thanked BAPS and the donors
profusely. Thereafter, Dr. Satish Nambiar, Shri C M Sardar and Shri
Kiran Asher from the Donors spoke their feelings and conveyed their
HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj could not attend
the ceremony but he had remembered the Gunatitpur residents. In his
personal message to them, he conveyed his blessings and prayers for
their Peace and Prosperity. His letter of Blessings was read to all
by Pujya Siddheshwar Swami.
Addressing the assembly, Pujya Doctor
Swami stressed that God should be kept at the center of all our activities.
A village is not just houses and roads, but it is a collection of
values. Children should respect their parents, while the parents should
turn their houses into schools of culture and values. He inspired
the people to leave addictions and wrong habits of smoking, chewing
tobacco, etc. so that family bonds become stronger. Reading of religious
texts and daily satsang in the house will strengthen family ties and
ensure good character.
He honored the delegation of donors,
architects of the project and other key persons who had worked hard
to complete the project in time by presenting them with beautiful
shawls. The eagerly awaited ceremony of handing over the keys was
performed very traditionally and religiously. All the eight members
of the donor delegates handed over the keys to 13 residents and Mr.
Kirtibhai Khatri, editor of Kachchh Mitra daily to the remaining eight
members. Each key was traditionally packed with betel nut and Gol-Dhana,
symbolic of the pious ceremony, in a beautiful transparent plastic
container. Each container was numbered to convey the house which they
Pujya Doctor Swami handed over a copper
kalash bedecked with coconut and asopalav leaves, which is considered
most auspicious. He also blessed them for peace, prosperity, and progress
so that people always take example of Gunatitpur.