How the Mahatma Gandhi District went from dream to reality

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- "The city of Houston, when we first moved to Texas, was pretty bland."

Sharan Gahunia remembers when her family first moved to Houston from India, and the lack of diversity they saw in the city.

But decades later, her family is credited as one of the founders of the Mahatma Gandhi District in southwest Houston.

Sharan's father wanted to bring a piece of home to Texas, and saw the need for a restaurant that could serve the food he loved when he was growing up. They opened Raja Sweets, and it is now the longest-running Indian restaurant in the state of Texas.

Aku Patel, president of Karat 22 Jewelers, moved to Houston from the UK in 1982. His wife wanted to open a jewelry store, and he found the perfect location in the Gandhi District after meeting Sharan's father.

Other businesses followed and the community grew over the years.

The district finally earned its name in 2010, and has gone from 10,000 residents to 150,000.

Families now hope it continues to grow and they can be a home for Houston's South Asian culture and community.

SEE ALSO: Raja Sweets is a sweet taste of India in Houston!
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The desserts are almost too pretty to eat at Raja Sweets, the oldest Indian restaurant in Texas!



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