|Facts and Figures|
|Area||69 sq km (district)|
|Languages||Gujarati, Hindi, & English|
|Best time to visit||October to March|
Rajkot is situated in the Saurashtra region of the western Indian state of Gujarat. The city extends from latitude 23°32’ in the North to longitude 70°4’ in the East. Rajkot has good air, road, and railway networks that connect it to other parts of the region.
The climate of Rajkot is generally pleasant. The summer season extends from March to June with daytime temperature reaching a high of around 42°C. The monsoons are from July to September. Winter season sets in during October and extends until February. In association with cyclonic storms or depressions in the Arabian Sea in the post-monsoon months, and to a lesser extent in May and June, Rajkot experiences strong winds and heavy rain.
Thunderstorms occur in June and July. In the cold season occasional fog occurs. The summer temperature ranges from 24°C to 42°C and winter temperature ranges from 10°C to 24°C. The average annual rainfall is around 276 mm.
Rajkot (literally, the City of Princes) was founded in the year of 1610 by Vibhaji Jadeja and Raju Sandhi. This bustling city was once the capital of the princely state of Saurashtra and the headquarters of the British Government Headquarters. Today it is best known as the town where Mahatma Gandhi spent the early years of his life when his father was a Diwan or Prime Minister to the king of Saurashtra.
Today Rajkot is a city vibrant with business activities and one of the major cities of Gujarat.
SITES TO VISIT
The Watson Museum and Library, located in the Jubilee Gardens, commemorated Colonel James Watson, political agent of Saurashtra from 1886-89. The museum is a good introduction to Saurashtra's cultural heritage. The entrance is flanked by two imperial lions.
Among the exhibits are copies of artifacts from Mohanjodaro, 13th-century carvings, temple statues, natural history exhibits, and dioramas of local tribal costumes and housing styles. There is a huge marble statue of Queen Victoria seated on a throne.
Kaba Gandhi No Delo is the house where Mahatma Gandhi grew up. It now holds a permanent exhibition of Gandhian items. It is within the old city on Ghee Kanta Road.
The Rajkumar College was established by the British government as early as in 1870. Built for the education of the princes of the Indian state, it is still regarded as one of the best private institutions in the country.
Rashtriya Shala was founded by Mahatma Gandhi and has a center of patola weaving.
Jagat Mandir is the beautiful carved temple of Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa. It is made of red stones.
About 50 km from Rajkot, on the way to Kutch, is the palace of Wankaner, now converted into a heritage hotel. The palace was built in 1907 and is a curious Greco-Roman-cum-Gothic-cum-Indo-Scottish extravagance.
Lal Pan Lake and Randerda are picturesque picnic spots, around 5 km from Rajkot.
Aji Dam is situated 8 km from Rajkot and supplies the town with water.
Morvi, an off-track tourist destination, is situated around 65 km north of Rajkot. There is an interesting swinging bridge here and it actually shakes, creaks, creaks, and rocks as one passes through it.
Surendranagar is situated on the Rajkot-Ahmedabad main route and houses the ancient temple of Ranik Devi.
Tarnetar is around 65 km northeast of Rajkot and hosts the Tarnetar Fair every year around September at the Trineteshwar Temple.
Gondal is 39 km south of Rajkot on the River Gondali and famous for some impressive buildings like the Naulakha Darbargadh Palace.
FAIRS AND FESTIVALS
Rajkot is one of the centers that celebrate the International Kite Festival. This festival is held every year in the month of January and kiting enthusiasts from all over the country participate in it.
SHOPPINGThe city of Rajkot is mainly known for the handicrafts and jewelry that it produces. Especially famous are its bead and mirror work, tie and dye (bandhini), silk embroidery and appliqué work.
WHERE TO STAYThere are good accommodation options available in Rajkot. Most of the hotels are in the budget to mid-range categories. Some of the hotels also provide facilities for currency exchange.
HOW TO REACHBy Air: There is an airport in Rajkot and the major domestic airlines run flights between Rajkot and Mumbai. Indian Airlines has four flights a week to Mumbai while Jet and Sahara have daily flights.
By Rail: Regular trains connect Rajkot to other important cities in Gujarat and India. There are trains for Delhi, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Cochin, Coimbatore, and Bhopal from Rajkot. There is also a meter-gauge service to Veraval.
By Road: The State Transport Corporation runs regular buses to and from Rajkot to other cities of Gujarat. There are buses for Jamnagar, Junagarh, Porbandar, Veraval, and Ahmedabad. There are a number of private bus operators connecting this city with Mumbai, Bhuj, Bhavnagar, Una, Mt Abu, and Udaipur.
Local Transport: To move around in the city, taxis, auto-rickshaws, and cycle rickshaws are the best options.
INFORMATIONThere is a tourist office (Ph. 234507) on the Jawahar Road, which is open from Monday to Friday and the first and third Saturdays of the month. The State Bank of India, north of Jubilee Park, has money exchange facilities.
The distance of Rajkot from some important cities in India are: Ahmedabad, 216 km; Bhavnagar, 167 km; Bhopal, 784 km; Calcutta, 2140 km; Delhi, 1131 km; Jaipur, 873 km; Jamnagar, 86 km; Mumbai, 761 km; Udaipur, 468 km; Varanasi, 1460 km; and Vadodara, 329 km.
|Indian Culture History|