Much advanced has taken place and Rajkot has developed to be the second busiest city of Gujarat. Before, it used to be Saraushtra’s capital, which was a princely state. It used to be the centre of the Western States British Government office. In a very short period of time, this place has grown up to be a successful and thriving location for trade, also hinting in a parallel manner, a presence of an old city. It is a perfect example of the Gujarat of the present era. On the roads one can see farmers who sell ghee and fresh vegetables.
It is also the dwelling place of Mahatma Gandhi. He has a family residence here. Tourists can visit the place. Founded in the 19th century, the famous and much respected Rajkumar College is considered to be counted amongst one of the finest private educational institution till date. While roaming on the roads, one can catch glimpses of the joyful and vivacious dwellers of Rajkot. One can see people engaged in earning their livelihood in the business of making of machine tools and auto mobile parts and also relaxing infront of the Galaxy Cinema and relishing the mouthwatering street food in front of the cinema and playing a game of cricket on the playgrounds.
The name given to Rajkot ‘Rangilo Rajkot’ is well earned because of the vibrancy in every aspect of the city. On the bed of the River Aji and Nirari, the city of Rajkot is situated on a wide stretched land. It is a booming business centre. Broad roads and quite interesting building designs can be seen in Rajkot. The city of Rajkot is considered to be a intriguing assortment of the present day and old day customs and traditions, which attracts people to visit this place.
Apart from being a very busy and flourishing business centre, Rajkot has also been a home for the finest of the educational institutions, where people from different parts of the society, are accepted. It is said to the jewel of Kathiawar. There are many a interesting locations where people can go, such as the Watson Museum, Ramkrishna Math and the Lang Library. One can also enjoy the vibrant colors and sweet little sounds of bangles in the Bangdi Bazaar, while having a nice ice cream in the hot afternoons.
THINGS TO SEE
Aji River and Dam: The major source of water supply to Rajkot is the Aji River and the dam, which is located 8 Kms away. One of the most significant rivers of Saurashtra region is the Aji River. The starting point of the river is the hills located in the Sardhar and Lodhika area. The river flows across many places, such as through most of the Taluks of Rajkot district. After this, it meets the Arabian Sea. The term ‘Aji’ has been taken from a Sanskrit word. The word stands for mother. Under the initiation of the Gujarat government, the dam was constructed. The Rajkot Municipal Corporation looks after the downstream region of the dam. There are attractions for the residents as well as tourists, which are the gorgeous step gardens, children’s amusement part, zoo, bird aviary and Crocodile Park.
Asharamji Bapu Ashram: Sant Shri Asaramji Bapu created this ashram. It is one of the many ashrams founded by him. Many social services like educational programs, medical programs and other activities are carried out by this place, apart from the religious programs.
Community Science Centre and Planetarium: A NGO looks after the activities of this community Science Centre. The main aim of this place is to design an educational routines, different workshops, seminars regarding science and math for the kids. Apart from this, the people carry out awareness programs for important issues like AIDS in the slum areas. In the year 1992, the Planetarium was built.
Iswariya Temple: Located in the outer region of the city of Rajkot, this temple is a small scale temple built in the name of Lord Shiva. It is located close to the village of Madharpur on the Jamnagar Highway. It is so believed, that the “shiv-ling” which is idolized, is the Swayambhu. Each year, this place hosts a fair.
Jagat Mandir: In the year 1934, the construction of the Jagat Mandir took place. It is also known as the Universal Temple. It is situated on the Yagnik Road. It has been constructed with stones of red color and is a beautiful structure. The temple has been built in the name of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa. The Garbha Griha, which is the principal shrine, contains Bhagwan Sri Ramakrishna’s image which is made of white marble. The image shows Shri Ramakrishan sitting on a Lotus Vedi. Influences of different religions like Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism can be felt here.
Jubilee Garden: Numerous monuments from the time of colonial era are present in the Jubilee garden, which is a big park, located in the heart of the city. Connaught Hall is situated right in the middle of the garden. The Alfred High School, Watson Museum and Lang Library are some of the other attractions, located in and around this garden.
Kaba Gandhi no Delo: Kaba Gandhi no Delo is a Gujrati word. The words stand for the dwelling place of Kaba Gandhi. This house is the ancestral house of Mahatma Gandhi. He spent the days when he was a child, in this house. At present the house has been given the status of a national memorial. A museum names “Gandhi Smriti” is present here. The museum houses numerous pictures and other personal items of Gandhiji.
Lal Pari Lake and Randerda: At a distance of 5 Kms from the city if Rajkot, this famous and crowrd attracting picnic location is situated. One of most gorgeous and beautiful location located in the outer rim of Rajkot, this area is also famous for activities like bird watching. For resting, various species of migratory birds come here to these lakes. Black tailed godwit, rosy pastor, pheasant tailed jacan, purple moor hen, wigeon, common teal, pelican and spoon bill are some of the kinds of birds, which can be seen in and around this lake.
Mukti Dham: In the Ramnath para locality and on the bed of the river Nyari, the electric crematorium named Mukti Dham is situated. A library is situated inside Mukti Dham, where numerous books related to spiritual topics and religious topics are present for the visitors to read. In order to protect the visitors from the heat of the sun and the sudden rains, there are rest stops with umbrellas. The sculptures of many idols are carved onto the pillars of the umbrella. Occurrences of numerous mythical stories are shown in the sculptures and paintings. In Muhkti Dham, there is also the presence of step gardens, which enhances the exquisiteness of the place with its vibrant flowers and delicate bushes and shrubs.
Panch Nath Mahadeo Temple: This temple is one of the most ancient temples situated in Rajkot. The temple had been constructed in the name of Lord Shiva. In the year 1933, this temple was constructed. Daily, the temple receives hundreds and hundreds of visitors, who come here to offer their prayers. One of the most significant occasions of temple is the puja named Shiv Maha Puja, which is held in the month of Shravan.
Race Course: Numerous people visit this place in order to take an early morning walk or an evening stroll. The area of the ground is quite big and it is situated right in the centre of the city. Children’s Traffic Park, Fun World, Baal Bhavan and some more places of fun are there in this ground. Apart from the attractions for the kids there are excellent facilities related to sports such as the Olympic standard Indoor Stadium, International Quality Cricket Ground, Hockey, Football and Volley ball grounds, gymnasium and swimming pool. A huge number of spectators can be accommodated by this place. Benches made of cement are there bordering the outer rim of the ground.
Raiya Naka and Bedi Naka Gate: Masum Khan constructed this ancient fort in the 1722 AD. He was Junagadh’s Deputy Faudar. This fort is located in the Ramnathpara locality and at present it is lying in a ruinous state. The gates of the fort are its only parts, which are still standing in the present time. Sir Robert Bell Booth, the Chief Engineer of British Agency, has restored the Raiya Naka and Bedi Naka in the year 1892. The clock tower having three floors was constructed by him.
Ramkrishna Ashram: Following Kolkata, the second most significant location for the devotees of Swami Vivekananda is the Ramkrishna Ashram. It is a part of the Belur Mutt, which is located in West Bengal. The structure has been constructed on the land which Late Shri Dharmendrasinhji gave away. He was the ruler of the Morbi State at that time. The Universal Sri Ramakrishna Temple hosts the daily prayers, worships, meditation and religious speeches. People coming from different religions can come here.
Rampara Wildlife Sanctuary: A tight and packed forest area, the Rampara Wildlife Sanctuary is situated within a distance of 47 Kms from the airport in Rajkot. As many as 280 different types of plants, 130 types of birds, 20 species of mammals and 20 different kind of reptiles and other varieties of amphibians and invertebrates are present here. Nilgai (bluebull), Chinkara, Wolf and Fox are the major species that are found here.
Rashtriya Shala: Mahatma Gandhi started the Rashtriya Shala. A deep link to the struggle for Indian independence is there to this Rashtriya Shala. The act of disagreeing with the British Government was depicted by Mahatma Gandhi with the help of Non-Cooperation Movement in the year of 1920. The ruler of that time state of Rajkot named Sri Lakhajiraj gave away a vast land having an area of 66000 square yards at a very low amount. The principal building of the Rashtriya Shala has been built here. At the present time, this place is the heart of the village industry. The moto of this place is to teach Gandhi’s basic ideology.
Rotary Dolls Museum: As many as 1,400 and counting, uncommon and distinct dolls from all the parts of India are there in the display of the Rotary Dolls Museum.
Sri Ranchhoddas Ashram: On the Kuvadava Road, the Sri Ranchhoddas Ashram is located. It is the ashram belonging to Sri Ranchoddas Bapu. Generally on the Thursday, many visitors come to this ashram. Many social services and activities are done by this ashram, as well as other spiritual activities. A hospital for the visually challenged people is run by the ashram.
Swaminarayan Temples: As an element in his philosophy of theism and idol worship, Swaminarayan constructed many a number of mandirs. He was also the creator of this Swaminarayan Temple. All these mandirs are also called Swaminarayan Temples.
The Lang Library: Hundreds and hundreds of books and manuscripts regarding the history of Rajkot in all time eras and also that of Saurashtra, are displayed in the Lang Library. Numerous other libraries are there located in and around the city of Rajkot.
Wankaner: Rajkot, a district in the state of Gujarat, contains a small city named Wankaner. Wankaner, which was previously called a princely state, is situated at a distance of 53 Kms from the Rajkot city. It is settled around a turn on the Machchhu River. Thus the name Wankaner came into being – ‘Wanka’, which means bend and ‘Ner’, which stands for river. The numerous palaces that are present in and around Wankaner, has been turned into heritage hotels. Wankaner has one of the last step wells to be constructed in Gujarat.
Watson Museum: Many specimens of human traditions and its rich history are displayed in the Watson Museum. The museum houses numerous items belonging to the colonial era in Indian history. Among all the other museums in Gujarat, this is the biggest one. In whole of the Saurashtra region, Watson Museum is counted amongst the 7 spectacular museums that are situated there.
HOW TO REACH
By Road: The major cities of Gujarat and other Indian states are connected to Rajkot via a number of state transport as well as private buses, which offer services. In the west direction of the Bedi gate, at a distance of 2 Kms, the state transport bus stand is located.
By rail: The railway station of Rajkot is located on the Western Railway Ahmedabad-Hapa wide gauge line. From the Teen Batti triple gateway, Rajkot Junction, the railway station, is located at a distance of 6 Kms.
By air: The city of Rajkot has a domestic air terminal. Numerous domestic flights connects the city to Mumbai.