A weekend in Rajkot
Posted on January 30, 2020 by Ghoomophiro
If you are looking for an offbeat tourist destination, we recommend considering Rajkot. Also known as Rangilu Rajkot (or colorful Rajkot), the city is home to many ashrams, gardens, lakes, and temples along with the school where Mahatama Gandhi received his earliest education and Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground. Here we bring you a plan on how to get the best Rajkot has to offer on a weekend.
How to reach Rajkot?
Located in the heart of the Kathiawar Peninsula and around 72 km from the Gulf of Kutch, Rajkot is well connected to the major cities in the region by state highways. Being one of the fastest-growing cities of the country, Rajkot has its domestic airport and railway junction and enjoys brilliant connectivity with the rest of the country whether it be through rail, road or air.
The best time to visit Rajkot
Though Rajkot has a relatively pleasant temperature most time of the year, we recommend visiting it between October and February; especially around the International Kite Festival celebrated in February every year and for which Rajkot serves as a center filling the city with enthusiasts from all over the country and its skies with colorful kites.
If you will like to have a taste of local culture, visit it during Navratri when popular local folk dance Garba is performed throughout the city.
Another major event is Janamashtami when a five-days long Lok Mela is also held and the city is alive in all its colors. Garba is a popular form of dance and is performed during the festival of Navratri. Mata Ambe, who rides a lion, has a special spiritual status. Diwali and Holi are also popularly celebrated.
Where to stay in Rajkot?
Though Rajkot is full of accommodation options catering to people of all pocket sizes and tastes, we highly recommend Fortune Park ITC at GPS road. This beautiful hotel has spacious, clean and well-ventilated rooms and two restaurants to take your choice of cuisine along with a breakfast buffet. They had high-speed wifi, a hairdryer, etc among other amenities. The staff was most polite and friendly. It also has a swimming pool, parking, gym, and a bar. They also have an in-house laundry, a doctor available on call for 24 hours, and currency exchange options. For business class, they have proper conference rooms while for old people there is the option of wheelchairs.
What to buy in Rajkot?
Rajkot has grown popular for its handicrafts, jewelry, Bandhani which you can buy as souvenirs to take back home. We particularly recommend buying beautiful Bandhanis.
The city of Rajkot was founded by Vibhaji Jadeja and Raju Sandhi in 1610, Rajkot served as the capital of the princely state of Saurashtra during the times of British Raj and it has ever since grown to be one of the fastest developing city of the world. Today’s it’s historical significance is most marked in the fact that it was home to Mahatama Gandhi during his childhood when his father served as Dewan or prime minister to the then king of Saurashtra.
Places to see in Rajkot
- Kaba Gandhi No Delo
Perhaps the most popular place in Rajkot is Kaba Gandhi No Delo, the home where Mahatama Gandhi spent his childhood. Located within the old city on Ghee Kanta Road, it today is the Gandhi Smriti, a museum for showcasing his life through photographs. Additionally, it is also used to hold sewing and embroidery classes for young girls.
- Rotary Dolls Museum
One of the unique attractions Rajkot has to offer, Rotary Dolls Museum which is exactly what its name signifies – a museum that exhibits over 1400 dolls from various countries showing the difference between different cultures through these beautiful artifacts.
- Watson Museum and Jubilee Garden
If you are looking for a quick getaway from the hustle and the noise of Rajkot, Jubilee Garden. The garden also has the Watson Museum in it.
Named after Colonel John Watson, political agent of Saurashtra from 1886 to 1889, this museum of Rajkot displays artifacts dating found from around the state and that date as far back as India Valley Civilisation and is a paradise for history lovers. Its entrance is flanked by two imperial lions.
Among the exhibits, you will find in this museum are copies of artifacts from Mohanjodaro, some 13th-century carvings, some temple statues, some natural history exhibits, and dioramas of local tribal costumes and housing styles but what stands out amid all this is a huge marble statue of Queen Victoria sitting royally on her throne.
- Nyari Dam
Taking a break from museums, let us now talk Nyari Dam. One of the most scenic places in or around Rajkot. Located at a distance of mere 5 kilometers from the city. It is the perfect place to go out for a picnic and to enjoy a lovely sunset.
- Prem Mandir
Despite its name which figuratively means ‘temple of love’, Prem Mandir is not a temple but a cathedral. This Syro-Malabar cathedral is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Besides its architecture which shows influences of different cultures including domes that seem to be inspired by mosques and a mosaic of Christ that is seated above a lotus; the church has several other unique features – an Aarti, for example, is also performed.
- Khambhalida Caves
Rajkot has much more to offer to history lovers than mere museums. And one of such attractions is Khambhalida Caves that date back to the 4th or 5th century AD. They are three caves made of limestone. The entrance to the chaitya is flanked by life-size figures of Bodhisattva – Avalokiteshvara Padmapani and Avalokiteshvara Vajrapani.
- Lang Library
Something for bibliophiles, the next item in our list of places to visit in Rajkot is Lang Library. Home to over three lakh books of Kathiwadi and Gujarati literature, whether it be fiction or reference books, this library also holds some books that are written in gold on handmade paper. Lang library is only one of several in the city of Rajkot which has several major libraries including those like Rotary Midtown of Rajkot City Library and G.T. Sheth Library.
- Lal Pari Lake
This picturesque lake is yet another picnic spot in Rajkot that is a must-visit for tourists.
Places Around Rajkot
Gondal is located 39 km south of Rajkot on the river from which it derives its names – Gondali and has grown to have some minor popularity among tourists for being home to several buildings.
Somnath temple one of the most important Jyotirlingas is located at a distance of a mere 200 kilometers. The temple is also surrounded by several other places of spiritual importance.
Gir National Park
The famous Gir National Park is located at a distance of mere 169 kilometers from Rajkot and offers an amazing opportunity to see exotic animals
Located at a distance of 226 kilometers from Rajkot is Dwarka, the place that enjoyed the prestige of being Lord Krishna’s kingdom. The Dwarkadesh temple here is of special spiritual importance for Hindus.
The region is famous for Jain and Hindu temples that are of great spiritual importance and attract thousands of pilgrims.
You can choose for yourself from the large number of attractions that the colorful city of Rajkot has to offer but we must end this article with it’s biggest USP – that is it’s people as the city is home to one of the friendliest community of the world. We hope you too fall in love a little with Rajkot’s zillion colors.