Monday, May 20, 2024 | Dhu al-Qaadah 11, 1445 H
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From Musannah to Muttrah

The book Oman-India ties: Across Sea and Space takes its readers on a visual journey outlining the rich historical relationship between the two great civilizations of Sultanate of Oman and India which goes back more than 5,000 years. Published by Oman Observer in association Indian Embassy Muscat and written by Samuel Kutty (Senior Editor of the Observer) and Sandhya Rao Mehta (Associate Professor of SQU), the book is an attempt to document, archive and disseminate this relationship from its historical past to the present time where these relations have taken new wings. Extracts from the book:

Visoomal Damodardas migrated from Thatta, Sindh, undivided India (Sindh now in Pakistan), to Oman nearly 200 years ago and established business in the name of Visoomal Damordas in the wilayat of Musannah. The company dealt in general trading and export of Omani dates, and dried lemons to different overseas countries and import of grains, spices and other foodstuff items.

Visoomal was known as ‘Kara’ in the wilayat and his children, three sons and one daughter, were known as ‘Aulad Kara’.

His three sons namely, Jamnadas Visoomal, Kishandas Visoomal and Hemandas Visoomal helped run the family business. His daughter was married to Narandas Bhatia, (also from Thatta) a businessman in wilayat of Seeb.

After Visoomal’s death his sons separated and established their own businesses. Jamnadas Visoomal moved to the capital city Muscat (Muttrah) and started a company in his name, ‘Jamnadas Visoomal’. Kishandas Visoomal took the rights of the family business name, i.e., Visoomal Damordas, renaming it to ‘Visoomal Damordas & Son’ with the status of sole proprietorship. He then moved the business to Muttrah, Muscat in the year 1914.

He purchased land and constructed his family home in Muttrah Souq. He was known in the local business circle as ‘Kisoo Kara’. Hemandas Visoomal stayed in Musann’a and started business in his own name, ‘Hemandas Visoomal’. In 1940, after the birth of his eldest son, Khimji, Kishandas established another company in his name, Khimji Kishandas. After the birth of his second son Chandrasen (Chandan) Kishandas, the name of the company was changed to ‘Khimji Kishandas & Bros.’ and he made his sons partners in both the companies. Kishandas moved to the wilayat of Sur in the early 1950s with his family to explore more business opportunities, but returned back to his Muttrah base after a few years.

Khimji Kishandas, his son and daughter, Chandrasen Kishandas and his wife, Bharat Kishandas and Mahendra Kishandas with his wife and daughter have been granted Omani citizenship. Kishandas Visoomal’s grandchildren and their families are also residing in Oman at present. The late Visoomal Damodardas’ family has been residing in Oman for five generations.

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