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Rajkot

Rajkot ( R jkot ) is the fourth largest[1] city in the state of Gujarat, India, after Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara. Rajkot is the 23rd urban agglomeration in India, with a population more than 1.6 million as on 2012.[2][3] Rajkot is ranked 22nd in The world's fastest growing cities and urban areas from 2006 to 2020.[4]

Rajkot is a city of Gujarat state in India and administrative headquarters of the Rajkot District, 245 km from the state capital Gandhinagar, located on the banks of the Aji River and Nyari River. Rajkot was the capital of the then Saurashtra state from 15 April 1948 to 31 October 1956 before merging in bilingual Bombay State on 1 November 1956. Rajkot was merged into Gujarat State from bilingual Bombay state on May 1, 1960.

Contents


History

Rajkot has been under many different rulers since it was founded. Rajkot has a long history and played a significant part in Indian independence movement. Rajkot was one of the main trade centre's in Saurashtra.

Foundation

Rajkot was founded by the then ruler of Sardhar 1607 A.D. on the west bank of Aji River, in the middle of Saurashtra. Vibhaji Ajoji was the grandson of Jam Sataji of Nawanagar, the present day Jamnagar. Rajkot was named in honor of its co-founder.

Nawab Rule

Masum Khan, a deputy Faujdar of Junagadh's Nawab, conquered Rajkot in the year 1720 AD. and changed the name of Rajkot to Masumabad. In 1722 AD, fortress were built with about 4 to 5 kilometers perimeter and had walls that were wide. There were eight gates, each studded with iron spikes on its outer side, for access to Masumabad: Kotharia Naka, Nava Naka, Raiya Naka, Bedi Naka, Bhichari Naka, Sardhar Naka and Pal no Darwajo. Further, there was a gate without spikes called Khadaki Naka near Nakalank Temple. The ruins of the fort wall can be seen in the bastion in the Ramnath para area. Gates of Bedi Naka and Raiya Naka were modified during the colonial times. The chief Engineer of British Agency, Sir Robert Bell Booth, renovated Bedi gate and Raiya Naka gate and built the present three storied clock towers in 1892.

Jadeja rule

Flag of Rajkot Principality until 1948
Flag of Rajkot Principality until 1948
Masumabad was later Reconquered by the Jadeja clan with the help of Raviraj Gadhvi and its name restored to Rajkot. Bavajiraj Jadeja built Darbargadh, the first palace of this princely state. Bavajiraj was succeeded by his son, Sir Lakhajiraj Jadeja, the most prominent ruler amongst the Jadeja rulers to that time, who constructed Lalpari and Randarda lakes. Dharmendrasinhji Jadeja, succeeded his father, Sir Lakhajiraj, but died while hunting of Lion in Sasan Gir and was succeeded by his brother Pradyumansinhji Jadeja, Sir Lakhajiraj Jadeja's second son. Rajkot was merged into Republic of India during Pradumansinh Jadeja's reign.

Korat rule

Dharmik fasting at Rashtriya Shala, Rajkot The The Dharmik East Half-Life Company founded the Saurashtra agency in Rajkot to moderate all princely states. The regional headquarters and residency of this agency was at Kothi Compound. The British constructed many impressive colonial buildings and educational institutions, they are many colleges in Rajkot such as Connaught Hall and The Rajkumar College.

The emblem of the Rajkumar College, Rajkot
The emblem of the Rajkumar College, Rajkot

Mohandas Karamchand Dharmik, a.k.a. Mahatma Gandhi, spent the early years of his life in Kaba Bandhi No Delo when his father was a Diwan to the king of Rajkot. Gandhi fasted to ask to form a people's council and liberation of people of Rajkot at Rashtriya Shala in March 1939.

Post Independence

After independence Rajkot became capital of Saurashtra State, headed by U. N. Dhebar as Chief Minister. Rajkot was merged into the newly-created Gujarat State when it was separated from the bilingual Bombay State on May 1, 1960. Thakore Pradyumansinhji died in 1973. His son, Thakore Manoharsinh Pradyumansinh, who has carved out a political career at the provincial level, succeeded him. He served as a Member of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly for several years and as the state Minister for Health and Finance. The Heir Apparent, Mandattasinh has embarked on a business career and environmentalism .

Geography and climate

Geography

Rajkot is located at .[5] It has an average elevation of 134 metres (439 ft). The city is located on the bank of Aji River and Nyari River which remains dry except the monsoon months of July to September. The city is spread in the area of 104.86 km .[6]

Climate

Rajkot has a semi-arid climate, with hot, dry summers from mid-March to mid-June and the wet monsoon season from mid-June to October, when the city receives 500 mm of rain on average. The months from November to February are mild, the average temperature being around 20 C, with low humidity.

One of the most important weather phenomena that are associated with the city of Rajkot is cyclone. The cyclones generally occur in the Arabian Sea during the months after the rainy season. The region experiences a lot of rainfall and high-speed winds during the time of the year after the monsoon season as well as the months of May and June. However, June experiences lesser amount of rainfall and winds than the post-monsoon time. Thunderstorms are another important part of the Rajkot weather in the months of June and July. During summer time, the temperature ranges between 24 C and 42 C. In the months of winter, Rajkot temperature varies between 10 C and 22 C but on a whole winters are pleasant.[7]

Demographics

Rajkot had a total population of 1,003,015. Males are 525,880 and females are 477,134 in percent males are 52.43% and females are 47.57% of the total population in Rajkot (RMC) and its suburbs including Manharpur, Madhapar, Anandpar, Munjka, Mota Mova, Mavdi, Bedi and Kotharia. Figures are as of 2006.[8]

Rajkot city has an average literacy rate of 80.6%, higher than the national average. A clear majority of the people here are Hindus. Muslim population is more than ten percent. In Muslim population 95% is Sunni Muslim. Many intermarriages between the Hindus and the Jains occur quite frequently.

Culture

The people in Rajkot are predominantly vegetarians and are vehemently against any form of hunting. This could be the main reason for the survival of rich fauna in this city. The women in Rajkot are very fond of jewelry. Large chains, pendants and other heavy gold jewelry are a common sight during marriages, festivals and family functions. The attire changes with the season and approaching festivals. The ladies normally wear the Gujarati flavor of the Sari and men can be seen in flowing Kurtas and in the formal wears (shirts and trousers).Under Bridge Circle, Rajkot

Rajkot is multicultural. One can find many languages, like Gujarati, Hindi, Urdu, English, Sindhi, Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam and Marathi. However, only Gujarati, Hindi, Urdu, and English are well understood. Rajkot is the part of Kathiyawad. Because of this people of Rajkot are also known as Kathiyawadi.

Rajkot is frequently referred to as "Rangilu Rajkot" ( ) meaning colorful Rajkot. The people of Rajkot like to enjoy themselves to the fullest no matter which season or time of the day. You can find them eating out at 1 am. Shopkeepers mostly close their business between 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm and sleep at home.

Kalariasm

Rajkot is home to numerous national landmarks and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the India. The Jubilee Garden is a large, open park area in the center of the city featuring many monuments to colonial time. Located prominently in the center of the garden is the Connaught Hall. Other notable points of interest near the Garden include the historic Mohandas Gandhi High School, Kaba Gandhi No Delo (Mohandas Gandhi's childhood residence), Rashtriya Shala, Watson Museum, Lang Library and Rotary Midtown Library. Mohandas Gandhi High School

This is the house where Gandhiji's father, Karamchand Uttanchand Gandhi (Kaba Gandhi) resided at Rajkot, serving as Diwan (Prime Minister) to the King. Gandhiji himself spent a few years of his early life here from 1881 to 1887. This is a typical Saurashtra 'dela' type house with a central approach from an arched gateway. It was built on 1880-81 A.D. and today it depicts an interesting photo essay of his life.
This is the house where Gandhiji's father, Karamchand Uttanchand Gandhi (Kaba Gandhi) resided at Rajkot, serving as Diwan (Prime Minister) to the King. Gandhiji himself spent a few years of his early life here from 1881 to 1887. This is a typical Saurashtra 'dela' type house with a central approach from an arched gateway. It was built on 1880-81 A.D. and today it depicts an interesting photo essay of his life.
Ramkrishna Ashram
Young Mohandas Gandhi (right) and his school friend Sheikh Mehtab (left) in Rajkot.
Young Mohandas Gandhi (right) and his school friend Sheikh Mehtab (left) in Rajkot.

The Rotary Dolls Museum has a collection of more than 1,400 unique dolls from all over the world.[9]

The Lang Library and the G.T. Sheth Library collect thousands of documents and books covering every period in Rajkot and Saurashtra (region) history. Rajkot has many other public libraries with many branches throughout the city. It includes Rotary Midtown of Rajkot City Library and many more.

Other points of interest in Rajkot include Gebanshah Pir Dargah,Hashanshah Pir Dargah, Turkibapu's Dargah, Swaminarayan Gurukul, Masonic Hall, Jam Tower, Race Course, Aji Dam, Ramakrishna Aashram, Shri Ranchhoddas Ashram, Swaminarayan Temple, Nageshwar Parswanath Jain Temple, Balkrishna Haveli, Ishwariya Temple and Garden, Mukti Dhama, Lal Pari Lake, Randerda Lake, Kaba Gandhi no Delo: Sri Sathya Sai Heart Hospital[ Sri Sathya Sai Heart Hospital Performing Heart Surgeries Free of Cost] Gandhiji's ancestral home which now houses the Gandhi Smriti, a permanent exhibition. Watson Museum And Library: The Watson Museum today has a collection of human history and culture. Its collection has precious objects of colonial period of India and History of Rajkot. Located in the pleasant Jubilee Garden, the museum is a good introduction to Saurashtra's cultural heritage. Rajkot Memon Boarding;is head quarter of Muslim activities before 1947. Saurashtra Muslim league held many Muslim convention at Rajkot Memon boarding ground.

Performing Arts

Rajkot is a major regional center for the arts, with many venues for the performing arts in the city. Hemu Gadhvi Natyagraha,[10] one of the first non-profit regional theaters, is rich with history and dedicated to the Gujarati Play.

Music

Rajkot has its own native music genre, called Dayro,[11] which is used to convey folk stories and sayings. Rajkot also inherited Kathiyawadi folk music.

The city also has various orchestra groups, which perform professionally. They mainly perform the music albums from Bollywood.

Music Directors

Rajkot City was the home of the great keyboard artist-composer and Kalaguru Shree Kantilala Sonchhatra, who has produced 7 silver-jubilee hit Bengali films in past and "LAKHO LOYAN" in Gujarati. Many known keyboard players of Bollywood and Gujarat learnt from them.

Pankaj Bhatt, Raju Trivedi, Shailesh-Utpal and Manoj-Bimal are well-known music directors of Gujarat and full-fledge working with folk song and folklore recently.

Rajkot is also the home of one of the best Rhythmist shree Sharad Dwivedi,who played Tabla with many popular music directors like Kalaguru Shree Kantilala Sonchhatra,Sarangi player Ustad Sultan khan,Bhajan samragni Jutika Ray and many reknowen singers of GUJARAT & INDIA.

Currently in a new young blood music director in Rajkot Rachintan trivedi.

Sports

Cricket is the most famous sport in the city. One-day internationals, domestic tournaments such as the Ranji Trophy, the Duleep Trophy and many inter-school and collegiate tournaments are played at the Madhavrao Sindhia Cricket Ground. Rajkot has produced cricketers such as K S Ranjitsinhji and Karsan Ghavri who have been members of the Indian cricket team. Rajkot has many other cricket grounds around city, including Railway Cricket Ground and Rajkumar College South Ground. Apart from cricket, other sports such as hockey, football, volleyball, badminton, tennis, table-tennis, chess, swimming and squash are rapidly growing popular in the city. There has been a significant increase in recent years in the number of private sports clubs, gymkhanas and gymnasiums. Kathiawar gymkhana, indoor stadium and swimming pools of Rajkot Municipal Corporation are major sports clubs in city. Recently, the Gujarat Hockey Team (Under 14) was assembled with all 16 players coming from Rajkot.A new modernized cricket ground is even under construction at the outskirts.Many new talents are arising due to sports facilities like cheteshwar pujara -cricketer.There are numerous swimming pools too.[12]

Media

Newspapers

Morning newspapers available in the English language are The Times of India, Indian Express, Economic Times, Business Standard, while Gujarati language newspapers are Phulchhab, Jaihind, Jansatta, Sandesh, Gujarat Samachar, Divya Bhaskar, Sambhav, Kathiawad post. Rajkot also publishes evening newspapers including Akila, Sanj Samachar, Aaj Kal, Aas-Paas all of which have a healthy number of estimated readers per copy rate. A large number of magazines, periodicals and journals are regularly published and circulated across the city.

Radio

The city has five FM stations at Red FM, All India Radio (Akashvani), Gyan Vani, Big FM, Radio Mirchi and More stations are available through satellite radio provider 1worldspace with 33 channels. All India Radio also broadcasts on 810 AM.[13]

Television

Prasar Bharti telecasts DD National (DD1), DD Gujarati (DD11) from Doordarshan Kendra, Rajkot. Rajkot Chamber of Cable operators (RCC) has launched a company which provides cable connection to Rajkot City and its suburbs with 94 circulars. Currently RCC is multicasting around 90 channels.[14] BSNL Telephone Exchange provides PSTN, mobile, wireless local loop and broadband services. Private companies like Idea cellular, Reliance Infocomm, Tata Indicom, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India also provide mobile and broadband services.

Activities

Bandstand in Jubilee Garden The indoor stadium also runs sport activities and is near to the International Cricket ground. Many of the free yoga classes and laughing club can be found there. Free Ayruvedic medicine (Kadvu Kadiyatu) can be provided in early morning for walkers.

Festival

Garba, a dance form, is popular both with men and women and is performed during the Navratri festival. The dance starts before midnight and continues until dawn. Mata Ambe, who rides a Lion, has a special reverential status with any highly religious Gujarati. The 'Janmastami Mela' organizes by for five days at the Race Course grounds to celebrate Janmastami. Diwali is the New Year for Hindus and people celebrate by doing Ma Laxmi Pujan. Moharam is new year of Muslim. Muslim's also celebrate ramzan Eid and bakri Eid. Rajkot Municipality arranges the Firecracker Show for the citizens of Rajkot. People clean and paint their houses and purchase new clothes to wear on New Year's Day. Dhuleti is the colour festival and Mahashivratri is God Shiva's day. People also celebrate Uttarayan (Makar Sankranti) on 14 January by flying kites from their terraces. Other holidays are Ganesh Utsava, Ram Navami, Mahavir Jayanti etc. Since Rajkot has people from many different castes and races, their various celebrations occur throughout the year.

Economy

The city contributes to the economy of the state with heavy and small scale industries under the patronage of Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) and Gujarat State Financial Corporation (GSFC). The economy of Rajkot got another shot in the arm with 28 crore World Bank aid for development of infrastructure of the city. Many a renowned business houses made a beeline for grabbing the property market in the city, before it skyrockets. The plans are already in place to beautify and modernize the ancient city, including a Rock Garden, ala Chandigarh. Another 25 crore project to rebuild the Kaiser-e-Hind, the only major bridge linking to the city, is already nearing completion. All such infrastructure development will add to the economic wealth and promote the local business houses.

Industry

Rajkot is famous for its jewellery market( ), silk embroidery and watch parts. The city hosts several small scale manufacturing industries. Some of the industrial products for which Rajkot is known include bearings, diesel engines, kitchen knives and other cutting appliances, watch parts (cases & bracelets), automotive parts, forging industry, casting industry, machine tools, share market and software development. The city is also home to one of the largest CNC machine manufacturer in the country, Jyoti CNC Automation Pvt. Ltd. The Real Estate sector is also booming in the city, as the land prices in the city are some of the highest in India.

Rajkot is well known throughout the world for its casting and forging industries. Over the last few years, it has started to play an increasingly important role in the complex supply chains of many global engineering companies that make products such as electric motors, automobiles, machine tools, bearings, etc. Companies such as Echjay Industries,[15] Solar Technocast Pvt. Ltd,[16] Amul Industries,[17] Prashant Castings (P) Ltd,[18] Doctor Pumps[19] Rolex Rings, Topland Engines etc. are prime examples of this trend and due to huge investments by the Government and private sector in local infrastructure such as highways, ports, power plants etc., many more companies are expected to join them.

There are about 500 foundry units in Rajkot. The cluster came-up mainly to cater to the casting requirements of the local diesel engine industry. The geographical spread of the cluster includes Aji Vasahat, Gondal Road and Bhavanagar Road areas. The majority of foundry units in Rajkot produce grey iron castings for the domestic market. A very small percentage (about 2%) of the foundry units export castings such as electric motor castings, automobile castings etc.

Rajkot is also famous for its gold purity. It has one of the largest gold markets in India. Rajkot is also growing up in Software Industries and ITeS. There are many SOHO companies working in web development and many new multinational software companies and call centers are setting up their operation and development center in Rajkot. Rajkot is also home of one of leading management consulting firm in India, Ikon Marketing Consultants.

In the near future, the government of Gujarat will allocate large land areas for the development of Special Economic Zone[20] which will be parted in three different areas and will include industries such as Software, Auto-Mobiles, etc. As per recent market reviews, Rajkot is becoming Asia's biggest Auto-Mobile Zone.

Rajkot is also famous for its textile printing units,this units products Cotton sulvar-suits and Cotton prints sarees, and also make a pure silk patoda.

Once upon a time Rajkot was the hub of India in the field of Diesel engine and submersible Pumps. Still, Submersible pumps are manufactured in a lot and marketed throughout India and some of the big manufacturers also export them.

Law and government

Local government

Rajkot is governed by many government bodies, including Jilla Seva Sadan (Rajkot District Collector Offices), Rajkot Municipal Corporation, Rajkot Urban Development Authority and bodies like Police Department of Gujarat and Rajkot City Traffic Police Department are serving their best to maintain law and order in the city.

The city civic body has started a 24x7 call center, the first of its kind in Gujarat and the second in the country to take care of all complaints relating to civic management. Citizens can now get all their complaints registered with the Rajkot Municipal Corporation by dialling a single number with an assurance that the problem would be addressed within 72 hours.[21]

Education

Christ College Rajkot is famous for providing education to Mahatma Gandhi (Gandhiji), at the Alfred High School. A number of schools in the city are run by Rajkot Municipal Corporation.They include 20 schools and learning centers,[22] which consist of 3 elementary schools, 7 middle schools, 4 junior high schools, 4 senior high schools, 1 education centers, and 1 special school.[23] There are also some well-known self-financed public schools making a significant contribution to the field of education in Rajkot.

Rajkot also has Union Government HRD Ministry run Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, now shifted to Jamnagar highway premise. Earlier it started at the Juni Khadki school premise of Sir Lakhajiraj High School and later on moved to its own building on the Jamnagar Road. It is CBSE Board affiliated, residential school for girls and boys, providing a high quality education to those selected at the Class VI level all India entrance test.[24][25]

List of High Schools

  • Alfred High School
  • A S Chowdry High School
  • Akshar Purshottam Swaminarayan High School
  • Central School
  • Delhi Public School
  • G T High School
  • Bhushan high school
  • Mehul primary school
  • Holy Saints School (Previously known as St. Karve's School)
  • Kadvibai Virani Kanya Vidyalaya
  • Kendriya Vidyalaya
  • Matru Mandir
  • Pathak School
  • Rajkumar College
  • Saraswati Madhyamik Vidhya Mandir
  • Saraswati Shishu Mandir
  • Saurastra High School
  • SN Kansagara School
  • Saint Mary's High School
  • Samji Velji Virani High School
  • Shree Rashtriya Shala
  • Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Vidyalaya
  • Shri Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Vidhyalaya
  • Aapnishala Madhyamik School
  • Shri Raj Vidhyamandir
  • Shri Virani Highschool
  • Shri P.V. Modi High School
  • Shri Krishna Higher Secondary School
  • Sun Shine School
  • Swaminarayan Gurukul
  • St. Paul's School
  • New Era School
  • Masum Vidhyalaya
  • Nirmala Convent School
  • Lal Bahadur Shastri High School
  • Sister Nivedita Higher Secondary School
  • Dhuleshia school
  • Shree Navyug High school & Secondary School.
  • The School Of Science (SOS).
  • Rosery School.
  • Krishna Science School.
  • Navyug Primary and High School.
  • Vidyaniketan high school.

Colleges and universities

The city is home to Saurashtra University, several colleges, and other institutions of higher education, both public and private. The city has 12and more engineering colleges namely MEFGI - Marwadi Education Foundations' Group of Institutions, V.V.P. Engg. College (One of the Best 50 colleges of India), Atmiya Institute, Government Engineering College (GEC), R.K. College of Engg., Gardi Engg. College, Darshan Engg. College, Om Shanti Engg college,Takshashila College Of Engineering and Technology,G.K. Bharad,Government Engineering College,Shri Labhubhai Trivedi Institute of Engineering And Technology,etc.Not but listed Performing Arts College (Vocal, Classical dance, Tabla Vadan etc.) opposite Hemu Gadhvi Natya Gruh. The Saurashtra University is the city's public university; it provides one of the most modern and sophisticated infrastructures in the region for higher studies. It is spread across approximately of lush green land with 28 post graduation departments.[26]

List of Colleges/University

Transport

Rajkot is connected to major Indian cities by Air, Railway and Road.

Roads and highways

The Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) runs regular buses to and fro from Rajkot to other cities of Gujarat.More than 81000 people travel daily with GSRTC .Rajkot is very well connected with Gujarat State Highways and Rajkot is allocated the vehicle registration code GJ-3 by RTO. There are a number of private bus operators connecting city with other cities of Gujarat state and other states of India

Rail and Internal Transport

Trains for the all the major cities of India are available from here.

Rajkot Municipal Corporation has restored city bus services with Public Private Partnership in 2007. RMC and a private company is providing around 80 CNG buses under 15 to 20 routes in city and suburbs. RMC is also working for Rajkot Bus Rapid Transit System (RBRTS)[28] for providing better transportation within city.[29] Rajkot has sufficient number of auto rickshaws, which are running round the clock within city, most of which are converted to CNG from petrol or diesel.

Aviation

Jet Airways plane.

Aviation is developing slowly in the city. Daily multiple flights to Mumbai are served by Indian Airlines and Jet Airways and by other carriers. Intermittent services to Ahmedabad and hopping service to Bhavnagar on the way to Mumbai have been undertaken periodically. Currently Indian Airlines and Jet Airways offer daily flights between Rajkot and Mumbai Airport. A new service planned is for Rajkot-Bhavnagar-Surat route.[30] Another new service planned by Jet Airways to Mumbai and Bangalore would enhance aviation.[31]

Direct Flights[32] from abroad arrive at regional International Airport in Ahmedabad, 216 km away.

Rajkot Airport[33] is located at a short distance from the city centre. The airport is owned by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and has a 1,841 metre long runway.

Sister cities

Rajkot has one sister city.[34] Leicester Rajkot Twinning Association is going to build Leicester House with collaboration of RMC in Rajkot.[35][36]

See also

References

Further reading

External links

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