The family of Raja Gokuldas immigrated to Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, earlier known as Central Provinces, from Jaiselmer in Rajasthan between 1750 and 1800 AD.

This hardworking and entrepreneurial Marwari family soon became one of the richest in India and had an empire spanning the country. Their businesses included malguzari, banking, trading and industries with offices from Bombay to Rangoon. 

The real life story of the family can make the story of the most dramatic Hollywood or Bollywood movie shy.

Raja Gokuldas became a merchant king, with a simple, hardworking and religious life. His son Jiwandas was honoured with the title of Diwan Bahadur and had the lifestyle of a prince, with over a hundred cars, dozens of horses, numerous carriages and several luxurious bunglows & villas at his disposal. Though Jiwandas always respected his father, they were always at loggerheads over their respective life styles. Thereafter, Seth Govinddas, son of Jiwandas and grandson of Raja Gokuldas, rebelled openly against his father and joined the Indian freedom movement relinquishing all his family property and wealth. Seth Govinddas shunned all the comforts of a noble family and was arrested and jailed by the British several times for his contribution to the freedom movement. He was an extremely learned man having read thousands of books, including the ancient Indian scriptures. He wrote dozens of plays and books and, after Independence, was a life Member of the Lok Sabha, the Lower House of the Indian parliament.

Over the last about three centuries, the family’s contribution to business, public works, charity, freedom struggle, literature and nation building is incomparable to anyone else in this part of the country. Several dharmshalas, hospital, town hall, water reservoirs, etc, etc have been built with support from them. Over one hundred and fifty titles in Hindi and English have been published on diverse subject viz. Mythology, history, travel, social problems, etc. Active pursuit and representation in the executive for promotion of Hindi language, establishment of government institutions in the region and overall development has been done by leaders from the family.

Raja Gokuldas

Diwan Bahadur Jiwandas

Seth Govinddas

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