Rajkot is most famous as the place where Mahatma Gandhi pursued his early education. The city is also famous for traditional sweets and dandiya/garba raas dances. Founded in 1620 by a member of Jadeja clan, whose descendants ruled the city until 1947, Rajkot gained economic importance in the early 19th century, under British protectorate. Farmers' and traders' councils were encouraged to grow under British Rule. Later the city plunged into the industrial Age with the first years dominated by casting industries. Even today Rajkot is a wealthy city that ranks the 22nd-fastest-growing city in the world. It's also one of the cleanest cities of India.
Rajkot lies in the middle of Kathiawar peninsula, halfway between Ahmedabad and Porbandar. It's well worth one or two days stop although it's not a monumental city. Rajkot rather appeals to spiritual tastes. As in Ahmedabad, many ashrams, that offers the teachings of yoga and meditative retreat, are located in the city and its surroundings, amidst forested hills and beautiful lakes. Unfortunately these traditions are not apparent to foreign visitors, especially to those in a hurry.
Rajkot being one of the major cities of Gujarat is well connected to other cities by air and land transport.
Rajkot has a 1 Domestic Airport (IATA: RAJ) which has several flights to Mumbai everyday (but no flights to Ahmadabad, due to its relative proximity), which in turn is well connected with the rest of the world.
2 Rajkot Junction is the main railway station. There are several direct trains from all parts of India to Rajkot. Some of them include longer routes trains from Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Jammu, Kochi, Secunderabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Bhopal etc. It is advisable to book train tickets as early as possible (in India for the matter of fact), because they are generally not available (ie, in waiting) after the booking slot opens. Booking tickets 2-3 months prior to the journey is recommended. For those who take long distance trains, it is even more advisable.
For tourists, its common for them to either board a flight from Mumbai (for international arrivals) to Rajkot. For others who are already in India, its advisable to reach Ahmadabad (either by train or by flight), and then take a quick bus ride to Rajkot.
As Rajkot lies in the middle of the Saurashtra region, it is very easy to visit many famous places from here, whose relatives distances from Rajkot are small.
- 1 Watson Museum, Dhebar Rd, ☎ . The Watson Museum was established in 1888 and was named after the British Political Agent of Kathiwad, Colonel John Watson. The Museum exhibits copies of artifacts from Mohenjodaro, sculptures, costumes of the local tribal people.
- 2 The Lang Library, Jawahar Road, Lohana Para (Near by Watson Museum), ☎ , . The library has an extensive collection of old books and a repository of reference material linked to the colonial era.
- 3 Mohandas Gandhi High School (formerly known as Alfred High School), Jawahar Rd, Jubilee Chowk. Where Mahatma Gandhi got his primary education. The buildings were built by the Nawab of Junagadh and took the name of the Duke Alfred of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
- 4 Kaba Gandhi No Delo, Gheekantha & Dharmendra Rds Crossing. Mahatma Gandhi's childhood residence. It has now been converted in to a memorial called "Gandhi Smriti". The museum displays and consists of photographs, objects and the belongings of Mahatma Gandhi.
- 5 Rotary Dolls Museum, Yagnik Road, ☎ . 9:30 am – 1:00 pm & 3:30 – 7:30 pmClosed all Mondays. This unique Museum gives an overview to the culture and traditions of the world at large through a medium of various dolls
- 6 Rashtriya Shala. Founded by Mahatma Gandhi, Rashtriya Shala has a center of patola weaving. During the Period of Non-Violent Movement to liberate the Nation From the clutches of the British Rule, Mahatma Gandhi, in the year 1920, gave the Nation a novel idea of Non-Cooperation with the Government. He directed the Nation to boycott the government machinery, including Judiciary and educational institutions.Side by side Mahatmaji started Gujarat Vidyapith at Ahmedabad to impart education on new National Concepts. Similar national educational institutions , on identical concepts were started in different parts of the country. Rastriya Shala is one of such institutions. On February 21, 1921 Rashtriya Shala made its modest beginning and formally started functioning in a rental premises in Rajkot. Shri Lakhajiraj, the Ruler of the state of Rajkot, who was a great admirer of Mahatma Gandhi gave 66 thousand sq. yards land at a nominal cost to Rashtriya Shala. It is on this land that the main building of the institution was first constructed, and since 1924 Rashtriya Shala started its various activities in this building.
- 7 Race course. Where people head for a stroll in the mornings and at nights and main Rajkot events take place. Also, Madhavrao Schindia Cricket Stadium is located in the area
- 8 Swaminarayan Temple, Kalawad Road, ☎ . A temple of BAPS, a socio-spiritual Hindu organization with its roots in the Vedas. It was revealed by Bhagwan Swaminarayan (1781-1830) in the late 18th century and established in 1907 by Shastriji Maharaj (1865-1951).
- 9 Shri Ramkrishna Ashram, Dr. Yagnik Road, ☎ . the Ramkrishna Mission in Rajkot has a permanent exhibition showcasing the life of Shri Ramkrishna plus a public library and an Ayurvedic center
- 10 [dead link]Ishwariya Mahadev. Located on a hilltop in the outskirts of Rajkot city. The surrounding area is a traditional picnic spot.
- 11 [dead link]Panchmukhi Hanuman, Garediya Kuva Main Road, ☎ . This the Temple of Lord Hanuman that is believed to keep the area free of rakshasas (demons). A large number of devotees visit the temple every day to get rid of evil spirits.
- 1 Krishna Water Park, National Highway 8-B, Kuvadva Village (14 km from the city center), ☎ , . This small amusement park includes a wave pool, a high pendulum slide and a rain discotheque for kids only.
Want to shop? If at all you are a typical shopper who wants to buy clothes, jewellery, watches etc, then you can visit the malls of Rajkot. But if you want to buy the regional specialties, then you may go for the local bazaars
- 2 Crystal Mall, Kalawad Road, ☎ . Monday to Sunday : 10:30 AM to 10:00 PM. Cinema, Department Store and Restaurant/Foodcourt
- 3 Dharmendra Road Bazar. -a place where one can find all sorts of multipurpose goods and accessories,
- 4 Bangdi-bazaar. - which is famous for its imitation jewellery and bangles
- Mochi bazaar. for its footwear shops ('Mochi' in Hindi translates to a cobbler) -,
- 5 Soni bazaar. -for all sorts of jewelery ('Soni' is equivalent to a goldsmith in Hindi).
Being the cultural and commerce capital of the Saurashtra district, one can expect to find many unique and delicious foods in Rajkot.
- For breakfast, generally Ganthiya is a very good option. Ganthiyas here are of many types like Fafda (wide thin strips of Gathiya, generally savored with Jalebi, and Sambhara, a juicy salad mix of grated beets,mangoes and spices), Vanela (bite sized pieces of Gathiya), Bhavnagari (Spicy Gathiya) etc. Ganthiya is made from Besan along with some spices and water which is made into a batter then fried in oil. Khaman and Dhokla are also very famous breakfast options. Bhakri (a hard Indian Bread) is also generally taken in breakfast, although it is generally made only in homes and not available with street hawkers.
- Diet conscious ? No fried food ?
Then you may go for Poha, Jalebi, Sweet Samosa, Sweet Kachori etc. You could get them at Kotecha Chowk. This a whole new fashion of breakfast in Rajkot. At some places you may also get some south Indian varieties like idli, vada etc.(kotecha chowk).
- For something spicy, one can go for Dabeli (bread with spicy potato filling, stuffed with spicy peanuts and served with sauces), Spicy Ghughra (spicy potato filled dumpling), Pav Bhaji, Panipuri, Ragda pattice, Dahi puri and many more fast-food items. These food items are generally sold evening onwards (with hawkers opening usually opening 17:30 PM onwards).
- Rajkot is also famous for its Kathiawadi Thali, with many good restaurants offering it.
- For the Sweet-toothed, Chikki, Peda are some of the sweets that Rajkot is famous for. There is a special shop famous for Peda named 'Jai Siya Ram Pendawala at Yagnik Road. The famous shop for Chikki is Jalaram Chikki at Limda Chowk.
- There is one stop destination for your sweets and namkeens. Different items of Rashikbhai Chevdawala is also famous for breakfast. Items like Farali Chevdo, Pauva Chevdo, Jariwali Wafer, etc are delicious to eat. You would surely enjoy there pattice. And as for sweets, there is a good variety in peda and barfis and it is of best quality. Some Chutney, which is famous item of Rajkot, is served with all this items.
There are many restaurants in Rajkot which can satisfy one's taste buds, and below is a list of a few of them:
- 1 Temptations, Kasturba Rd, Opp.Dharam Cinema, ☎ . 11:45-23:00. Family restaurant with mixed cuisine including Italian (lasagne), Chinese and Mexican — all vegetarian and crowded.
- 2 Flavours, Dr. Yagnik Road (near Imperial Palace Hotel). Multi-cuisine restaurant (Punjabi/North Indian, Mexican, etc.). Immaculately clean and impeccable service. Busy on weekends
- 3 Lords Banquet, Kasturba Rd, ☎ . 07:30-23:30.
- 4 Raju Pavbhaji, Saibaba Complex, Kalavad Road. Veg Restaurant
- 5 Apple Bite, 4 Plus Building Sardarnagar Main Road, ☎ . 10am-11pm. Very popular multicuisine rest. (Punjabj, Italian, Mexican, Continental, Chinese). Good ambiance, courteous staff
- 6 Sankalp, Race Course Ring Road, Nr. Zilla Panchayat Chowk, ☎ . 11:00 am - 11:00 pm. South Indian food
- 7 Big Bite the Food Court, Race Course Ring Road, ☎ . 10:00-23:30. Popular Fast Food - Chinese, Continental. Indian dishes include chhole puri, garlic bread, rice pulao
- 9 Michi's Restaurant (University Rd).
- 10 Green Fuel, 150 Feet Ring Road, Near Madhapur Chokdi, Krishna Society, Madhapar, ☎ . 11:00-23:00. Veg Rest.
- Sanjha Chulha
- Hotel Upasana.
- 1 Hotel Suryakant, Gondal Road, Lodhawad Chowk (Opposite Kathiawar Balashram), ☎ , , . 25 A/C rooms. Satellite tv
- 2 Chouki Dhani, Jamnagar Road, Near All India Radio Tower, ☎ . a small ethnic Rajasthani village, 14 kms away from Rajkot city /Cottage type. Restaurants
- 4 Hotel Aditya, Bhupendra Rd, Opp.Rajshree Cinema, ☎ , . Budget hotel. A/C rooms, hot water. Noisy location near Sondi Bazaar
- 5 Hotel Evershine, Limbda Chowk, ☎ . Clean, well-equipped rooms at affordable price. Polite staff. Central location at Limda Chowk
- 6 Hotel Classique, On the 7th floor of Sudarshan Commercial Complex, Limda Chowk, ☎ . Another cheap option at Limda Chowk. They have a Dining Hall at the 2nd floor of Sudarshan Complex
- 7 Jayson Hotel (Hotel Honest), Subash Road, Limda Chowk (Opp. TATA Indicom,), ☎ . Various category rooms, at very cheap rates and wi fi covered
- 8 The Galaxy Hotel, Jawahar Road, Panchnath Plot, Sadar, ☎ . Spacious double rooms on 2nd floor of an old building in the really crowded Jawahar Road,
- 9 The Grand Thakar Hotel, Jawahar Road, Opp. Jubeli Garden, ☎ . A 3 star hotel. They have 29 rooms with all modern amenities at unbeatable rates. (AC, Satellite tv, 24 hour hot water, free wifi) Santushti Restaurant is a multicuisine restaurant renowned for Kathiyawadi Thali. Also available Punjabi, South Indian, Chinese, Continental Dishes.
- 11 Hotel The Grand Regency, Dhebar Road, Millpara, Bhakti Nagar (Nr.Mehta Petrol Pump), ☎ . 39 € par night.
- 14 Hotel Imperial Palace, Dr Yagnik Road, ☎ . Five star hotel centrally located. Upscale room amenities. Swimming pool, salon and message center, Club Lounge 100/164 € par night.
- 15 [dead link]The Grand Bhagwati, Kalawad Road. Opp. Drive-in Cinema (12 km from the City Center), ☎ . 70 €/ night.
- 16 Heritage Khirasra Palace, Kalawad Road, Khirasra Village (18 kms away from the city center), ☎ . A heritage hotel housed in the 16th-century Khirasha castle. It's located atop a hill overlooking a small water body, 120 € par night.
- The city of Jamnagar is 90 km from Rajkot.
- Mount Girnar and the Gir forest (abode of the Asiatic lions) are about 100–150 km from Rajkot.
- Somnath temple is around 200 km from here.
- Diu is some 200 km from Rajkot with beautiful beaches and pleasant weather.
- Virpur is around 60 km.
- Dwarka is about 220 km from Rajkot.
- The Kutch District is some 200 km from Rajkot.