Exploring the Changing Dynamics of Gaothans: Rediscovering the Development at Majiwada, Thane
The definition of Gaothan says “the land included within the site of a village, town or a city and not the total land shown in the village record"(www.landsofmaharashtra.com).Therefore the distinctiveness of an urban village, compared with other land parcels introduces the case for ‘Gaothans’ recognised as historic foundations of the city. These urban sprawls that give the city its unique identity have diminished over time with the expansion of the metropolitan. However, the growth is based on the changing needs of the inhabitants and entry of migrants affecting the space, development, and architectural character from a previously agrarian society. The individuals have adapted to these changes over the years causing traceable transformations through the physical form of the township, culture, and livelihood. The introduction of new building techniques, industrial growth, employment opportunities, and also the need of proximity for public transit in the city increases the rate of transformations. Hence Gaothans should retain themselves creating a strong character of an indigenous community or they will become a lost identity in the city due to development as this development causes drastic variations in the architectural character of the settlement. This research identifies the area of Majiwada, a deep-rooted settlement located right in the middle of Thane a neighbouring city of the Mumbai Metropolitan. This study analyses the changes through the lens of advancement with the help of plans, maps, streets, housing typologies, culture that have transformed the existing settlement into an urban city.