A large city of Saurashtra, Rajkot was an important city of the British raj and a major princely state capital. The city has a number of impressive colonial buildings and educational institutions. It is famous for it's Watson museum and association with Mahatma Gandhi who spent much of his childhood here. Handicrafts like silver and textiles are a highlight of Rajkot, which has the National weaving institute which is working to promote traditional weaves.
FESTIVAL: International Kite Festival Besides Ahmedabad, Rajkot, too celebrates the International Kite Festival. This festival is held every year in the month of January and kite-flying enthusiasts from all over the country participate in it.
Navratri Festival The Navratri Festival is celebrated throughout Gujarat with great fervour. It precedes the Dussehra festival for nine nights. During the festival, people participate in the Dandiya dance.
Wankaner About 50 km from Rajkot, on the way to Kutch, is the Royal Palace of Wankaner. The palace has been converted into a hotel and is one of the more exotic holiday resorts in the state. A museum, a game reserve, and the erstwhile Maharana's vintage car collection are the other attractions here.
Lal Pan Lake and Randerda About 5 km from Rajkot, Lal Pan Lake and Randerda are picturesque picnic spots that attract a lot of tourists around the year.
Morvi 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, and rocks as one passes through it.
Surendranagar Surendranagar is situated on the Rajkot-Ahmedabad main route and houses the ancient temple of Ranik Devi.
Gondal Gondal is 39 km south of Rajkot on the River Gondali and famous for some impressive buildings like the Naulakha Darbargadh Palace.
Jamnagar Eighty-eight kilometres west of Rajkot, situated a little off the Gulf of Kutch, is the 450-year-old city of Jamnagar. At the centre of the city is a lake around which are located two majestic buildings-the Kotha Bastion and the Lakhota Palace. The Kotha Bastion is an arsenal while the Lakhota Palace is a museum with collections of art, craft, and sculpture.
Bhavnagar One hundred and seventy-eight kilometres to the south-east of Rajkot is the city of Bhavnagar, originally the capital of a state by the same name and ruled by Suryavanshi Rajputs from Marwar. The prime attraction here is the Takteshwar Mahadev Temple.
Porbandar Porbandar, the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, is 187 km away from Rajkot. The great leader's ancestral home-Kirti Mandir-is almost 200 years old and houses his personal effects, a photo exhibition, and a library. In ancient times, the place was known as Sudamapuri and brisk trade with Persia and Africa was carried on from its port. A temple dedicated to Sudama, a compatriot of Krishna, is still found here, and bears testimony to the city's ancient roots.
Nehru Gate Nagar Darwaja of Rajkot
Attractions and Places to Visit in Rajkot
Watson Museum and Library Located in the Jubilee Gardens, the Watson Museum and Library is a memorial dedicated to Colonel James Watson, who was a political agent of Saurashtra from 1886-89. Two imperial lions flank the entrance of the museum. Among the exhibits are copies of artefacts from Mohenjodaro, 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. Some other exhibits here are impressive collections of statues, silverware, textiles, ancient coins and rare books, which provide a glimpse of the cultural traditions of Saurashtra.
Jagat Mandir Jagat Mandir is the beautiful carved temple of Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa. Built of red stones, it is a replica of Belurmath.
Kaba Gandhi No Delo 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.
Alfred School/Mohandas Gandhi Vidyalaya When Gandhiji's father shifted to Rajkot as Diwan of the local ruler, the young Gandhi was sent to Alfred School in the town, now known as Mohandas Gandhi Vidyalaya. The famous incident of Gandhi not copying the spelling of "kettle", despite his class teacher repeatedly prompting him to do so during the visit of a school inspector, took place here.
Rajkumar College The British built the Rajkumar College for the education of princes of Indian state in 1870. It is still regarded as one of the best private institutions in the country.
Rashtriya Shala The Rashtriya Shala founded by Gandhi is also worth visiting. It is from here that Gandhi undertook his fast unto death during his Rajkot Satyagraha. It is now a centre of village industry. All these memorials are well preserved.
How to Reach Rajkot
By Air: Indian Airlines connects Rajkot with Bombay and Vayudoot connects Rajkot with Bombay and Kandla. East West Airlines also operate flight from Bombay-Rajkot.
By Rail: Rajkot is a junction on the Western Railway broad gauge line.
By Road: Rajkot to : Bombay 798 km, Ahmedabad 218 km, Junagadh 98 km, Jamnagar 86 km, Dwarka 238 km, Porbandar 178 km,Bhavnagar 165 km,Sasangir 155 km. Bus connect Rajkot to all major cities of state.