Rajkot is the most significant commercial as well as industrial city of the Saurashtra region of Gujarat. Rajkot, along with Ahmedabad, Baroda and Surat are the fastest developing cities of Gujarat state.
Once, Rajkot was at the center of the princely Saurashtra state. It was also the headquarters of the political agent of the British Government. It is also known like the town in which Mahatma Gandhi had spent early years, the time when his father was ‘Diwan’ (Prime Minister) of the King of Porbandar.
Rajkot is the 28th urban agglomeration in India and is ranked as 22nd in “World’s fastest growing cities & urban areas” for the period 2006 to 2020. Rajkot was discovered by ruler of Sardhar in 1607 A.D., on the west bank of the Aji River was named in honor of Vishal Kanjariya, the co-founder of the city. Saurashtra is also known as Kathiawad and therefore the people of Rajkot are known as Kathiawadi. Rajkot is also known as “Rangilu Rajkot“, which means “Colorful Rajkot“.
Due to the extensive industrialization and success of agriculture, the Saurashtra region has become very prosperous. Morvi, Wankaner, Amreli, Junagadh, Jamnagar, Gondal, Jetpur and all other nearby towns have seen double digit growth rates and this prosperity flows to Rajkot as urban migration is a natural consequence. Rajkot’s population now exceeds 1.7 million and the city limits remain ever-expanding.
Rajkot has excellent world-class luxury and budget hotels and is frequented by visitors from all over India and the world. One of the largest production centers in India for gold and silver jewelry, Rajkot attracts many shoppers from the NRG and NRI segments.
The residents of Rajkot are peace-loving and jovial by nature and recognized for their business acumen. All festivals are celebrated with great zest, especially Janmashtami, Diwali and Navratri. Rajkot’s unique culture represents a robust mix of conventional as well as modern living that makes the city amongst the most happening yet peaceful destinations of India. Arts, theatre, cinema, shopping, restaurants and the unique Kathiawadi hosiptality are the other factes of the culture of Rajkot. It is one of the safest cities in India, and the fun loving residents are enjoying on the streets late into the night. Law enforcement is effective and the crime rate is amongst the lowest in India. Visitors are often amazed to see young girls safely driving a two wheeler at midnight!!
The manufacturing activities are developing in dedicated industrial estates at Shapar, Metoda, Bhaktinagar and Aji. The current direction of the industrial growth is in engineering and automobile sector with diesel engine manufacturing, ball bearings, auto parts, CNC machines leading the sector, having about 1000+ small to medium size manufacturing units, working in the district. Rajkot district also has different manufacturing units for industrial equipment, machine tools, lathe machines, electronics, metallurgical industries, auto & engineering ancillary sector, foundries, gold and silver jewellry, textile related units, spices, handicrafts, wall clocks and medicines.
Rajkot is amongst the biggest centers for the engineering industry. SEZ (Special Economic Zone) for the engineering sector is planned in this district, which will boost the growth further. Rajkot has extremely fast growth in real estate because of the massive investments made by the top realty players for different projects like township development, commercial complexes, group housing, recreational facilities and industrial parks. This has increased investments as well as employment opportunities in infrastructure sector.
The educational base has become very strong in Rajkot in the last few years. Saurashtra University is a major university of Rajkot, established in the year 1967. The university is very popular for several departments like economics, journalism, bio-sciences, electronics, pharmaceutical science, chemistry, and several others. Rajkot has 5 engineering colleges within the district, providing courses in electronics and communication, computers, mechanical, instrumentation and control, electrical engineering, and IT. Different Industrial Training Institutes are giving training in the areas like wielding, electronics, instrument & motor mechanic, tailoring and cutting, dress making, stenography, painting, wood working, carpentry, tractor repairing, oil engine and others. The Galaxy International School is now rated as one of the finest in the country and its students go on to the top universities of the world. There are around 1911 schools including Primary, Secondary, and Higher Secondary Schools. There are around 17 ITI and 7 Polytechnics in the district. There are around 103 colleges including Pharmacy, Engineering, Medical, MCA and Management colleges.
Rajkot is the place for food-lovers. You have different restaurants to suit your taste buds, with a variety of cuisine – both ethnic an international. Rajkot is world famous for its food items like Ganthiya, Chevda, Penda, Chutney, Wafers, and Pickles. The restaurants and eateries of Rajkot serve delicious and diverse food and eating out has become ingrained in the culture of the residents.
Rajkot is the home to numerous national landmarks including Kaba Gandhi No Delo (Mahatma Gandhi’s childhood residence), Rajkumar College, Energy Park, Community Science Center & Planetarium, The Rotary Dolls Museum, Ram Krishna Temple, Muktidham-Crematorium, Aji Dam, Swaminarayan Temple, historic Mohandas Gandhi High School, Lang Library, Watson Museum and Rotary Midtown Library.
There are numerous tourist attractions around Rajkot:
Dwarka – ‘Krishna Nagri’:
This city was founded by Lord Krishna, where he spent the last portion of his avatar. It is amongst the seven divine cities known as the ‘Mokshada’ meaning Giver of Liberation. Dwarka is also the home to the one of the four most significant Shankaracharya Mutts.
Lion Sanctuary in Gir:
Gir sanctuary is known to be the last remaining natural home for the Asiatic lions.
Nal Sarovar- ‘Bird’s Paradise’:
Nalsarovar bird sanctuary provides a beautiful landscape and a relaxed bird watching trip. The sanctuary predominantly comprises a huge lake of around 100 square kilometers with marshes where you may see pelicans, flamingoes, cranes, geese, ibises, storks, wading birds, spoonbill, fishing eagles, swallows, harriers, and osprey in great numbers.
Palitana -‘Shetrunjaya Tirth’:
Palitana temples are known to be sacred Jain temples. Situated on Shetrunjaya hills, there are around 863 temples, delicately carved in marble. It is one of tourist attractions of Gujarat for foreign tourists.
It is the birth place of Rashtra Pita Mahatma Gandhi.
Somnath – ‘Jyotirling’:
Somnath temple near Veraval is a very large edifice consecrated to Lord Shiva and one of India’s grandest temples. Located on the sea-front, the temple structure is an example of great Indian architecture. It is known to be amongst the first of 12 Shiva Jyotirlings.
Virpur – ‘Jalaram Temple’:
Pujya Jalaram Bapa is the renowned deity of Virpur. He is the source of inspiration for millions of devotees.
Rajkot is having world class medical facilities with around 50 initial healthcare centers, 13 people healthcare centers, 12 government hospitals, and 3 civil hospitals. N M Virani Wockhardt Hospital and Sterling are super-specialty hospitals in Rajkot, providing comprehensive and end-to-end cure in cardiac surgery, cardiology, neurosurgery, neurology, joint replacement, orthopedics, and minimum access surgery. Other medical experts cater to nephrology, urology, endocrinology, medical & surgical oncology, pediatrics, gynecology, emergency care, critical care, and preventive healthcare.
Rajkot is well-connected with other cities via National Highways (NH) and State Highways (SH). It is connected to Ahmedabad (225 km), Ankleshwar (388 km), Bhavnagar (175 km), Diu (260 km), Jamnagar (92 km), Junagadh (107 km), Mehsana (299 km), Surat (461 km), Vadodara (294 km) and Vapi (549 km).
Rajkot is connected through an extensive rail network with important cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bhopal, Kolkata, Cochin and Coimbatore.
Rajkot city airport has four daily flights to Mumbai.