Deeply religious minded business magnate and generous hearted Seth Moti Chand Shah was Bisa Oswal of Nahata gotra. His ancestors resided in Pali in Rajasthan. He was born to his parents Seth Amin Chand and Smt. Roopa Bai at Bombay. He was married to Diwali Bai.
Amin Chand had migrated from Khambat to Bombay in 1758 at the age of 13 where he took up to jewellery business. He died between 1794-1804 leaving the family in a critical financial condition. He had 3 sons and 2 daughters.
Seth Moti Chand was the second son. The eldest, Nemi Chand started brokerage and paid off father’s debts. He died at a young age of 31. Seth Moti Chand developed the business to great heights. He owned several ships, traded with China and other countries. He had fair complexion, good physique and impressive personality.
He was a great devotee of Godiji. He constructed Godi Paraswanath, Chintamani Paraswanath and Adinath (Byculla) temples at Bombay and guest houses at Bombay and Palitana. He started construction of Moti Shah Temple at Shatrunjayaji Tirthakshetra in 1829 which was completed in 1836.
Its 5000 artistic Jain images were chieselled by experts who observed strict piousness while on work under instructions from Seth Moti Shah. Since he fell seriously sick and expired on Sunday, Bhadra Sudi 2. V.S. 1892 (1835) its grand pratishtha was arranged by his son Seth Kheemji on Magh Sudi 10, V.S. 1893 (1836).
The total cost on construction and pratishtha ceremonies of this big and famous temple amounted to over Rs. 18 lakhs in those days. Much moved by the killing of stray dogs in Bombay, Seth Moti Chand helped establishment of the famous Pinjrapole (Animals Home) in 1832.
It now protects 5-6 thousand animals. Total donations made by him for construction and maintenance of Jain temples, guest houses, public and animal welfare amounted to over Rs. 28 lakhs besides several lakhs of rupees spent on other activities.