Rajkot is a sprawling and bustling city which is not the first destination that comes to mind when you are thinking of a holiday. But there are so many amazing places to visit here that introduce you to its history and let you explore the natural allure. Among the many must-sees is the home of Gandhi’s childhood, a museum that lets you take a walk-through Rajkot’s chronology and a library with an extensive collection of books that showcase Gujarati literature.
Rajkot was the capital of the former Saurashtra state and now it is one of the key commercial and transport hubs of Gujarat. The state-of-the-art Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium- or more generally the Khandheri Cricket Stadium is also expanding into a platform for international cricket matches. So, while you are travelling via the town or are here to supervise a cricket match and ensue to have some spare time on your hands, try devouring it our way.
1. The Mahatma Gandhi Museum
If you’re a history enthusiast, begin your day with a hoop of memorials associated with Mahatma Gandhi and the museums. Mahatma Gandhi devoured his childhood here when his father Karamchand Gandhi was the Diwan of Rajkot. He returned only in 1939 to designate an institution that would instruct people about Swaraj.
The Mahatma Gandhi Museum is termed as the biggest and most attractive museum in Rajkot housed in what was earlier the Alfred High School where the Father of the Nation studied. The museum is an attraction documenting and exhibiting the life and work of Gandhiji. He was an activist who battled for India’s independence against the British Colonizers by operating non-violent strategies thereby encouraging freedom combatants all over the world.
Apart from the photographic displays disseminated across several galleries displaying the modification from Mohandas to Mahatma, there is also a state-of-the-art projection about the life of the Mahatma narrative through a colourful light and sound design.
2. Khambhalida Caves
The Khambhalida caves which are way back to the 4th or 5th century AD features beautiful carvings hewn from limestone. They compromise three caves of which the central one has a chaitya and a life-size figure of Bodhisattva flank the entrance to the Chaitya. According to the characterisation at the site, the sculptures are the only comprehended portrayals of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara in cave architecture in Gujarat. Khambalida is where Buddhism made a profound influence around the 4th century. Leftovers of this can be seen in the clasp of 15 caves that have a chaitya-griha or a sanctum in the epicentre. Elaborate sculptures of Boddhisattvas, Avalokiteshvara and Vajrapani side the doorway of these limestone caves.
3. Jubilee Garden
Jubilee Park, a colonial legacy that houses the Watson Museum named after Col John Watson, a British political agent of the Kathiawar agency (1886-89). Look out for exhibit copies of artefacts from Mohenja-Daro, 13the century carvings, temple statues, and costumes and house designs of local tribes, as well as archaeological findings and coins. The museum also exhibits memorabilia from the former princely states.
This museum is often known as the commercial hub of the city and the garden is an amusement park that has rides for both children and adults. They have also small shops and food stalls which make the place bustling with people. The garden is renowned for its snack ‘Chevdo’ that is made of rice flakes and is served here by the local vendors. The garden is famous for being enveloped around Alfred High School, Watson Museum, Connaught Hall, and Lang Library.
4. Aji Dam
Aji Dam is one of the most popular sightseeing places and also an ideal place for a picnic. It has a beautiful walkway atop the dam along with a manicured garden and plenty of spaces for children to play. Also, sometimes you can witness some migratory birds that flock near the dam. The dam is located on the outskirts of Rajkot city but is one of the major dams in Saurashtra and among the famous tourist attractions of Rajkot.
According to history, the dam was built across the Aji river in 1952 and was completed in 1954. The length of the dam is 2426 m and the total volume range of the dam is 894 tmc. This is the main origin of water for the people of Rajkot hence it is often called the lifeline of Rajkot City. The dam is maintained by the Rajkot Municipal Corporation. It has also an amusement park and food court where you can saviour some delicious dishes. During the winter season, the Aji Dam Garden looks more stunning as the trees and the flowers are in full blush.
5. Swaminarayan Temple
Swaminarayan temple which was established by Shastriji Maharaj from Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha in 1907 reflects the skills of artisans of the past. The temple was constructed with stones that had been hand-carved and enhanced the natural beauty. The temple is one of the major tourist attractions in Rajkot where people come here for a tour and is also famous for its spirituality and humanitarian deed that it offers to the people. People with a spiritual propensity of mind should make it a juncture to visit this temple while on the Rajkot tour. The act of doing such a praiseworthy social service gives it a more elevated distinction than just a temple.
The central figure of The Swaminarayan Temple at Rajkot in Gujarat in India is the Lord Swaminarayan. The idol set in the temple is a white idol of Lord Swaminarayan, beautifully encased in attractive cloth. Further, the Swaminarayan temple follows some philosophic approaches which are set by the BAPS, where they try to understand the five basic eternal units which comprise Jiva, Ishwar, Maya, Brahman and Parabrahman.