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Chabutro or Chabutaro or Chabutra is a structure mostly found in India. They are a tower-like structure with octagonal or pentagonal shaped enclosures at the top. In the upper enclosure are several holes, wherein birds can make their nests. In Gujarat these are constructed at the entrances villages, especially for use and breeding of pigeons. Inside this structure mostly pigeons reside and breed. Mostly such monuments are found in village centers or at village entrances in the Gujarat & Kutch in India. At the base of the structure a sitting platform is usually made. The base and the surrounding area of this structure serves as a gathering place for villagers and as a playing area for children.
Another type of Chabutro, which can be seen in Gujarat & Rajasthan have different design and are built only for feeding & resting place for birds & not for breeding purpose. The upper enclosure of such Chabutra are artistically craved and designed like a window of house with conical dome or Chhatri.
In English it can vaguely be defined as "Pigeon-Tower" or "Pigeon-hole-tower". Actually, Chabutaro is a word of Gujarati language. In Gujarati language Pigeon is called Kabutar. The word Chabutro has arrived from word Kabutar, since Chabutaro is specially constructed for use and breeding of Pigeons only in Gujarat, especially Kutch. People and specially ladies of Gujarat, belonging to Hindu faith, consider it auspicious to feed Pigeons. Therefore, this structure is made in villages, where pigeons can live. In early morning, you can find ladies, children and gents alike feeding grains to Pigeons below Chabutro. The Chabutaro is, therefore, usually found in villages dominated or established by Hindu, Kshatriya & Brahmin communities of Gujarat.
For example, In Kutch district of Gujarat, Chabutro can be normally found in almost all villages of Mistris, a Hindu & Kshatriya clan, who were themselves master-craftsman and specialized in such construction. For example, Chabutro at Sinugra in Kutch, the image is shown here.
A famous example of Chabutro found outside Gujarat is in Chhattisgarh. Just outside Raigarh Railway Station in Chhattisgarh a huge white colored Chabutro is standing as a landmark of the town. The erection of which was done by one Shyamji Gangji Sawaria of town in 1900. He was a famous railway contractor & entrepreneur of Raigarh, founder of Shyam Talkies, who hailed from Mistri community of Kumbharia, Kutch.
Chabutro can also be seen in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Here is it called Chabutra. Chabutra is Hindi language word for Chabutro. In these States of India, it is normally found within Royal Palaces or Temples. But in States other than Gujarat, the Chabutra is not made exclusively for Pigeon but used for all type of birds. Although, in Hindi a pigeon is also called Kabutar.
The word Chabutra or Chabutro is also sometimes used to indicate a sitting platform, usually under a tree or beside any water-body like lake, pond, etc. But commonly it is used to indicate the tower-like structure explained above.
- Shree Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya Samaj : A brief History & Glory of our fore-fathers : by Raja Pawan Jethwa. (2007) Calcutta. Section:(I) KGK and Architect built by them mainly in Princely State of Cutch.
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