|List of districts of IndiaDistrict||Palghar|
|• Type||Municipal Corporation|
|• Body||Vasai-Virar City Municipal Corporation|
|• Official||Marathi language Marathi|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (Indian Standard Time IST)|
Kharbhat refers to a village in the Saloli area in Vasai. Vasai is also referred as Bassein.It currently falls under the VVMC jurisdiction. Kharbhat is spread across 22 acres. It has its boundaries shared with St Thomas church and paddy fields (along Chulna road) to the east ; Lewdi wadi , Sutarbhat and Kaular wadi on the west ; Dupal wadi to the north and Mothebhat to the south. People of Kharbhat belong to the Vadval sub-ethnic group and speak the Vadval dialect. Vadval sub ethnic group belongs to the umbrella category of East Indians of Bombay.
The name "kharbhat" has been derived as a truncated form of the word "sakharbhat". "Sakhar" implies sugar in marathi. It is believed that the villagers here used to grow sugarcane and produce jaggery prior to 1870. Sugar in crystallized form did not exist back then. The sugarcane juice was extracted in the land to the right hand side of the village cross (the land being referred as ghanichi bhumi i.e. local marathi for place of the mill).
Sub sections of Kharbhat
Kharbhat is comprised of different wadis. Wadi is a marathi word for farm orchard. They are listed as below (from north to south):
- Small kharbhat ( भटातले घर जवळ)
- Karval bhat
- Main kharbhat ( near cross)
- Handodi wadi
- Vatthani wadi
Agriculture has been the main occupation from centuries. From early 1900 , people started to take up service occupations at Bombay(now Mumbai). Many people started working for BEST , Railways , Bombay port trust. Some people worked in local schools as teachers. The balance has now shifted from agriculture to salaried occupation. Some people still continue with agriculture. Kharbhat has been traditionally famous for the cauliflower grown here. Lately even broccoli also has been started to be grown. During monsoon , rice is grown in the paddy fields. This has decreased now due to the unavailability of labour and recent flooding which used to destroy the crop. Once monsoon finishes , various vegetables like cauliflower , brinjal , okra , bitter gourd , sweet gourd , pumpkins , onion , tomato and other leafy vegetables are grown here.
There is little known about the history prior to 1600. The St. Thomas church was built in 1566 and is adjoining to Kharbhat. People from the village have been following christianity since then. There is an uncertainty to the fact whether the people of Kharbhat were nestorian christians or if they were converted by the portuguese during the conversion of 24 December 1564. The was a great earthquake in Bassein on 15th May 1618. This was followed by a cyclonic storm. There was immense loss of property , crops and human lives. Kharbhat may also have been affected however due to prevailing illiteracy there is no written documentation around this. The oldest house in Kharbhat which is now dilapidated and razed to the ground was built sometime after this. It was a very strong house made of wood and having a long 40 feet porch. There was a staircase to the first storey which housed the granary. As the family expanded , an annexe wing was built to the east side. A wooden plank set on top of this annexe was marked with year as 1730. This was the "Mothe ghar" or the big house. There were 3 brothers who occupied this house around 1780. Due to space constraints , the younger brothers chose to build their independent houses. The second brother built a house across the canal to the other end touching karval bhat. As he did not have his own children , he adopted an orphan child to continue his legacy. The child when he grew up opted to keep his original last name (of his biological father). Thus this came to be known as "Aloj che ghar" or house of Aloj. The youngest brother built a house across the water canal right in the center of the village towards the west side. This house came to be known as "Madhle ghar" or the house in the middle. Later one part of family from this house built a separate house towards the north side touching karval bhat. This house was called "Apayche ghar" or house of the old man. The above four houses formed the core of Kharbhat and were protected by a fence made of dense trees. A cross was placed at the entrance of the village in 1902. The fifth main house is called "bhatatle ghar" or house in the farm. This house was away from the center of village to the north side by about 100 meters. These five houses comprise the entire population of Kharbhat.
The village administration is usually looked after by the secretary of the village. This includes the annual meeting , fund management for various welfare activities and other allied activities carried out under the patronage of the church. In earlier days there were many activities like help for funeral undertaking , wedding pandal setup which used to come under this. Some of the leaders in the village undertook great work of paving roads , repairing the water wheels , maintaining law and order. There was no legal binding to the decisions of the secretary. However a code of conduct has always been maintained and accepted as a matter of discipline , respect and authority. Below is the list of village leaders (secretaries) since inception of the village.
|Sr No||Name||Time period|
|1||Peter Francis Pereira
Alias पेद्रीन फ्रान्सिस पिरेल
|1920 to 1950|
|2||Francis Joseph Pereira|
|3||Anthony Peter Pereira||1950 to 1967|
|4||Ignatius Peter Pereira||1967 to 1971|
|5||Stephen Ignatius Pereira||1971 to 1976|
|6||Pascal Philip Pereira|
|7||Francis Thomas Pereira|
|8||Augustine Santiago Pereira|
|9||Sebastian Francis Pereira||1992 to 2000|
|10||Nixon Angel Pereira||2000 to Present|
- Baptista, Elsie Wilhelmina (1967). The East Indians: Catholic Community of Bombay, Salsette and Bassein Volume 3 of Anthropos Institute Bandra ,Publications of the Issue 3 of Publications, Anthropos Institute Indian Branch. Bombay East Indian Association, 1967.
- खरभाट गावकी क्रॉस शतकोत्सव. Vasai: Kharbhat. 2002.
- "Vasai goes bananas over broccoli crop". Times of India. February 14, 2013.
- "Gazetteers of the Bombay Presidency".