One of the largest cities in Gujarat, Rajkot is situated on the periphery of Aji and Nyari rivers. Built by the Thakur Saheb Vibhaji Ajoji Jadeja from the lineage of Jadeja clan in 17th century AD, the city has been a seat for the Jadeja rulers. Famous for its silk work, gold jewellery and watch parts, Rajkot is a fast developing city of the nation. It also holds a position in top 10 cleanest cities of India. The city was also a home to Mahatma Gandhi as he spent the initial days of his childhood here. Here are top 10 places that are a must visit when in Rajkot.
1. Rotary Midtown Dolls Museum
The one of its kind museum, The Rotary Midtown Dolls Museum has a display of dolls from over the world. It has a display of over 1500 dolls from over 100 nations. The dolls have been brought from different countries and bear the flags of their respective nation. This theme based museum has dolls of different countries in different showcases along a write up about the tradition and culture of that place on the side. The museum also encourages activities like doll making, sculpting, etc.
2. Watson Museum
Watson Museum depicts the history of India and the colonial history of Rajkot. Precious items from both the periods are on display. The museum focuses on the human history and culture. The museum houses painting from Indus Valley Civilization and splendid pictures of royal princess of Saurashtra. Being one of the finest museums in Gujarat it allows guided tours along with photography and also has sales counters for spreading the word about the museum.
3. Aji Dam
Aji Dam is built on river Aji which satisfies the water supplies of the city people. The Dam is maintained by the local municipal corporation. The place has an amusement park and a zoo in the surroundings that makes it an ideal picnic spot. The purpose of the dam is to channelize the water of the river as well as maintain the ecological balance of the city and helping to keep the city clean.
4. Jagat Mandir
Carved in beautiful red stones Jagat Mandir or The Universal Temple is dedicated to Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa. The main deity is a white marble structure which is sitting on a lotus flower. The temple depicts different religions namely Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism and hence is called the Universal Temple. The temple has 60 pillars which are carved out of granite and sandstone.
5. Nyari Dam
Another major attraction for the tourists and the locals is this beautiful Nyari Dam built on the Nyari River. The Dam is a peaceful place and has poise. It is also a window to the nature in the busy city. The Nyari Dam is a scenic delight and a bird watchers paradise. Apart from being a vibrant picnic spot it also meets the water supplies of the city.
6. Kaba Gandi No Delo
Mahatma Gandhi spent his early years in Rajkot. His paternal home where he used to live with his parents is also known as Kaba Gandhi No Delo. The place is now converted into Smriti Museum. The place is of historic importance as it helps one to see and understand the early phases of Mahatma Gandhi’s life. It is a picture representation of the life lived by Gandhiji and his family.
7. Prem Mandir
Prem Mandir also translates as the Temple of Love. Much to one’s surprise, architecturally looking like a temple Prem Mandir is a cathedral. The cathedral is dedicated to The Sacred Heart of Jesus. This cathedral also depicts various religions and has five domes, each of which is inscribed with the writing of different religion. The main dome has a lotus and the cross. The place also has imprints of Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and Hinduism.
8. Jubliee Garden
Jubliee Garden is often known as the commercial hub of the city is located in the centre of Rajkot. The garden is an amusement park and has rides for both children and adults. Also small shops and food stalls make the place bustling with people always. The garden is famous for its snack ‘Chevdo’ that is made of rice flakes and is served here by the local vendors. The garden is famous for being wrapped around Alfred High School, Watson Museum, Connaught Hall, and Lang Library.
9. Khambhalida Caves
Khambhalida Caves is a group of three caves. Carved out of a local limestone rock these caves date back to the 4th and the 5th century AD. There is a ‘Chaitya’ and a Stupa on the entrance of the central cave. There are two human size sculptures of two of the Bodhisatvas named Padmapani and Vajrapani that stand on the sides of the entrance on the right and left respectively. The caves speak a lot of Buddhist sculptures and carvings.
10. Lal Pari Lake
On the outskirts of the city is this beautiful natural treasure and is called as the Lal Pari Lake. It is popular amongst the people because of the variety of birds that can be easily spotted here. The birds are both migratory and the locals. The mainly spotted birds are the pelican, rosy pastor, spoon bill, pheasant tailed jacon and the purple moor hen. It is a delightful sight always.
Rajkot has its own charm and is a city that dwells both the past and present well. With its own captivating charm the city takes you by awe.