218 kms one way.
Though Rajkot was formerly the capital of the princely state of Saurashtra, yet today it is more famous as the town where Mahatma Gandhi spent the early years of his life. It is centrally located at the Kathiawar peninsula in Gujarat.
It is also famous as a shopper’s stop with traditional bandhni sarees, mirror work, bead work and silk embroidery, woollen and cotton textiles, and handicrafts. We also suggest shoppers to visit the Soni-Bazar, which is the largest gold market in Gujarat.
Aji Dam: The Aji Dam located around 8kms from the heart of the city fulfils the water supply needs of the whole city. This place has a step garden with an amusement park for children, a zoo, an aviary and a crocodile park for those perfect tourist visits.
Mahatma Gandhi's Home (Kaba Gandhino Delo): This was the house where Mahatma Gandhi spent the best years of his childhood when his father Kaba Gandhi worked as a diwan or prime minister for the prince of Saurashtra. It now holds a permanent exhibition of Gandhian items. It is within the old city on Ghee Kanta Road.
Lal Pari Lake & Renderda: These are picturesque picnic spots, around 5 km from Rajkot.
Jubilee Gardens: The Jubilee Garden is a large, open park area in the center of the city featuring many monuments of the times of the colonial rulers. Located prominently in the center of the garden is the Connaught Hall. Other notable points of interest near the Garden include the Watson Museum, and Lang Library.
Watson Museum and Lang Library: This museum has been dedicated to the memory of Colonel James Watson, political agent of Saurashtra from 1886-89. Located in the Jubilee Gardens the museum throws interesting light on the cultural heritage of Saurashtra. You can have a look at the dioramas of local tribal costumes and housing styles to get a glimpse of the same. There are also exhibits of copies of artifacts from Mohenjodaro, 13th century carvings, temple statues, artifacts belonging to the period of colonial rulers and natural history exhibits. One of the main attraction of this place is the imposing marble statue of Queen Victoria seated on a throne.
The Lang Library has thousands of documents and books covering every period in Rajkot and Saurashtra (region) history
The Rotary Dolls Museum: This museum has a collection of more than 1,400 traditional and ethnic dolls, from all over the world.
The dolls are actually replicas of real human beings that exist in the different parts of the world. A visit to the place, would surely give you a glimpse of the cultural heritage and tradition that each of the country has on whole. The collections of The Rotary Midtown Doll’s museums at Rajkot in India are well organized.
Jagat Mandir: This is the beautiful carved temple of Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa made of red stones.
Rashtriya Shala: One of the best centers of the famous traditional patola weaving is located in this place which was founded by Mahatma Gandhi. The Rashtriya Shala was started as a national educational institution by Gandhi during the non-cooperation movement when he asked the people of India to boycott government colleges and offices.
Race Course grounds: The large Race Course grounds in the heart of the Rajkot city has many components like Bal Bhavan, Children's Traffic Park, and Fun World and is a good place for family outings. Besides it also has sports facilities like Olympic standard Indoor Stadium, International Quality Cricket Ground, Hockey, Football and Volley ball grounds, gymnasium, swimming pool etc. It offers an extremely large seating arrangement in that it has cement benches embedded on the outer border of the ground all along its periphery.
The Ishwariya Temple: This is a very old temple and a popular tourist attraction in Rajkot. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is located on the outskirts of the city. The temple is revered by the Hindus and they take a dip in the pond nearby before visiting it. It is a popular spot even for the locals, as it is located on a lush green hilly terrain which can be used as a picnic spot. A small fair is also organized here annually.
The Swaminarayan Temple: This is a famous Jain temple and is a must visit not just as a religious place but also to admire its sheer beauty. Like all other Jain temples, this too is made from hand carved stone.
On the centre of the temple, a beautiful white idol of Lord Swaminarayan has been placed clad in gorgeous clothes. People flock in thousands to the temple everyday in order to offer their prayers.
The members of the temple are very popular for their humanitarian service to the society.
The best season to visit Rajkot is from October to March.
Apart from these on your way to Rajkot from Ahmedabad, you may pay a visit to the ancient temple of Ranik Devi at Surendranagar.
Bazaars in Rajkot: While at Rajkot, you should not miss the opportunity to shop at the bazaars which are located in the heart of the city. The bazaars sell the most authentic and traditional products of Gujarat. The Bazaars in Rajkot holds the essence of rustic India with the traditional Gujarati and ethnic products for sale. You can buy everything from grocery items to dress materials (specially the famous Bandhni prints) to handicrafts, and, jewelries. The Bazaars are known for the cheap price range of the authentic traditional products sold by especially rural tradesmen. The jewelry bazaars of Rajkot are known for the traditional jewelry with ethnic designs.
You may also use Rajkot as a gateway to visit the famous Tarnetar Fair that is held every year at a distance of 75kms from the city. The colorful fair is held on August/September in Tarnetar. The annual fair which spans for 3days is exceptional for the ‘swayambar’ or ‘betrothal ceremony’, an event that is integral to the traditional festivity. You can call the fair, a ‘marriage mart’, wherein gaily attired youths from the Bharwad community, in their traditional attire of jackets and turbans, come to be chosen by village belles dressed in colorful finery. It is believed that it is the site where Arjun won the hand of Draupadi during her swayambar in an archery contest and hence the tradition has continued since ages. Apart from their colorful costumes, the young men are identified by their large colorful embroidered umbrellas and their distinctive hairstyles. These umbrellas, which have become emblems of the fair, are embroidered by the tribal youth for over a year. The umbrellas are meticulously embellished with mirror work, intricate embroidery and enchanting lacework. Known as ‘Tarnetar Chhatri' (umbrella), these umbrellas are a delightful treat for the connoisseur of art.
The Trinetreshwar Mahadev Fair is also important from religious point of view, as it is a popular belief that taking a dip into the kund (reservoir) located nearby is as holy as a dip in the sacred River Ganges. The reservoir is also known as 'Papanshu' (the destroyer of sins).
The fair is attended by tribes from the adjoining areas of Koli, Bharwad, Rabari, Khant, Kanbi, Kathi, and Charan who indulge in dancing, competitive sports and other such forms of entertainment. The villagers in their best traditional costumes and exquisite jewelry are a sight worth watching. Apart from this, the beauty of this fair lies in the spontaneity with which the people joyously break into folk songs and folk dances to the rhythmic accompaniments of drums and an assortment of folk instruments. The young, both men and women, sway in gay abandon to the throbbing rhythm of the 'ras garba' and the 'hudo' dance.
The most thrilling sight of all is the 'rasada', the fascinating folk dance performed by hundreds of women. Moving gracefully in a single circle. Dancing gaily to the accompaniment of four drums and 'jodia pava' (double flutes.) their gorgeous traditional costumes and captivating dances makes the Tarnetar Fair a unique synthesis of folk art.
You would surely love to loiter around the 300 plus stalls erected for the purpose of selling food, refreshments, exhibiting embroidery and presenting cattle shows.
With its mouth-watering Gujarati delicacies and typical 'kuba' huts and tent village, Tarnetar fair is worth visiting.
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 Gujarat.
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