First Grower of Chikoos in India

6a. Ardeshir Cursetji Irani (c. 1849-1939) – First Grower of Chikoos in IndiaOn Dinshaw Petit’s Mission to Build a Sanatorium on the Coast

Interview with Kitty (Ghover) Irani Continued
We had left our narrative about Ardeshir Irani at the point where he and the Petits – Dinshaw and Hamabai – had become good friends. The Petits had returned from a voyage to South America with a chikoo tree sapling, a sapling Dinshaw Petit entrusted to Irani who in turn planted the sapling at his Nana Chowk/Gowalia Tank/Papenas Wadi farm. The sapling grew and bore fruit and we can assume that Irani grew further saplings from the seed of the initial Petit sapling’s fruit. 
The next phase of our narrative begins with Dinshaw Petits desire to build a sanatorium. He asked Irani if the latter would mind surveying the Bombay Presidency coast north of Bombay and Irani obliged. [In the late 1800s, parts of today’s Maharashtra and Gujarat were part of the Bombay Presidency.] Around 1899, Ardeshir Irani travelled north by train on the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway (BB&CI) line that had been first established in 1855 with its headquarters of at Churchgate. 
If anyone is travelling to Udvada from the south, say from Mumbai or Pune, it is well worth considering travelling along the coast from Dahanu to Udvada. That coastal route passes through Gholvad, Bordi and Zai.
Sanjan, where the Parsi refugees from Irani are said to have finally established themselves is in Gujarat State just a short distance north of Bordi and Zai.

1. Map showing the location of Gholvad and Bordi.

2. Bordi Beach and casuarina trees.


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