Houston Matters

Gandhi District Serves As A Focal Point For South Asian Culture

Houston Matters visits the Mahatma Gandhi District on the city’s southwest side.

Gandhi District Interviewees
Members of Houston’s India Culture Center talk about the city’s Gandhi District. (L-R): Pramod Bengani, Raj Bhalla, Nisha Mirani, and Swapan Dhairyawan.

Southwest Houston is home to a large number of people from South Asia – so much so that, in 2010, the area around Hillcroft and highway 59 was officially dubbed the Mahatma Gandhi District.

The dense concentration of Indian restaurants, clothing stores, and other shops draws people from all over Greater Houston – and even outside the city and the state – to the area in search of products and cuisine from that part of the world.

But it wasn’t always that way. There was once a time when Houston only had one Indian grocer, for example  

In the audio above, Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty pays a visit to a restaurant in the Gandhi District where he met up with several members of the local India Culture Center — Pramod Bengani, Raj Bhalla, Nisha Mirani, and Swapan Dhairyawan — who tell him about the district and how it’s changed over the years.

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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