Dandi is situated on the coastline, at a distance of 5 kms from the heart of the city, Surat. This is center for salt production. It also has historical importance, as Gandhiji in March, 1930 had performed famous ‘Dandi March Salt Satyagraha’ here, against Salt laws of British Government. Gandhiji and his 78 followers had walked about 241 miles from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi. This was one of the movement, which helped India to get independence.
Before independence and during the ‘Dandi March’, Dandi had lack of food, roads, water, education, electricity, housing and health. 95% of the population is Koli Patels. Few families of Dawoodi Bohras and Desai families from Surat and Bombay had constructed bungalows for vacation, as they were affluent. One of the bungalows, where Gandhiji had stayed is taken up by Government and has put up photographs of Dandi March for exhibition.
A monument is erected under a banyan tree, where Gandhiji used to call for prayer meetings, to honour all religions equally. This monument was inaugurated by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, on 6th March, 1961.
Bohras visit Hajani Bibi ni Dargah as it is a holy place for them in Dandi.
Dandi is a small village across the Arabian Sea shore, with natural beauty and beautiful environment. It has a population of about 1260 people. It is said that during the famous ‘Dandi March’ movement, the population was only 460.
The name ‘Dandi’ might have been derived by two reasons.
Dandi might have been derived from “diva Dandi”, which was a light house on the sea shore, many years ago. Or
In Gujarati “dando” means a part of the land that is covered by water. And it was a small area covered by water so it might have been named as Dandi.
Earlier Dandi used to get surrounded by water. During high tides in the Arabian Sea, as Dandi is on the coast of Purna river, the village used to get surrounded by water like an island. In the areas which are on the lower side, the water got entrapped in small lands and got evaporated by next high tide. By this Cycle, Salt was produced naturally.
Sometimes tides get increased and reach into houses in the village. Due to this salt water, many agricultural land and meadows were washed away. So in order to save Dandi, a Soil Dam was constructed to block water. Due to this production of salt naturally was stopped.
Now, Dandi has all the facilities, like roads, tap in every house, electricity, telephone, agriculture, dairy, schools with hostels and housing.