Rajkot has been under different rulers since it was founded. It has had a long history and had a significant influence in the Indian independence movement. Rajkot was home to many personalities like Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Rajkot is in a transition period of growing cultural, industrial and economical activities. Rajkot is the 26th largest city of India and the 22nd fastest growing urban area of the world.
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 1 May 1960. Thakur Saheb Pradyumansinhji died in 1973. His son, Manoharsinhji Pradyumansinhji, 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. Monoharsinhji's son, Mandattasinh Jadeja has embarked on a business career.
On 26 January 2001 the 7.7 Mw Gujarat earthquake shook Western India with a maximum Mercalli intensity of X (Extreme), leaving 13,805–20,023 dead and about 166,800 injured.
Rajkot is located at 22.3°N 70.78°E / 22.3; 70.78. It has an average elevation of 128 metres (420 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 170.00 km². Rajkot is situated in the region called Saurashtra in the Gujarat state of India. The significance of Rajkot's location is owing to the fact that it is one of the prime industrial centres of Gujarat. Rajkot has a central location in the area called the Kathiawar peninsula. The city is located within the Rajkot district in Gujarat. Rajkot city is the administrative headquarters of the district of Rajkot. The district is surrounded by Bhavnagar and Surendranagar in the east, Junagadh and Amreli in the south, Morbi in the north and Jamnagar in the west.
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 590 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 is 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.
As of the 2011 India census, Rajkot recorded a total population of 1,390,640. Rajkot city has an average literacy rate of 82.20%, higher than the national average. The population is 52.43% male and 47.47% female. Most of the population is Hindu with a Muslim minority.
The people in Rajkot are predominantly vegetarians and are vehemently against any form of hunting. The women of Rajkot are fond of jewellery. Large chains, pendants and other heavy gold jewellery are a common sight during marriages, festivals and functions. The attire changes with the season and festivals. The ladies normally wear the Gujarati type of the Sari and men can be seen in flowing Kurtas and formal wear (shirts and trousers).
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 (રંગીલુ રાજકોટ), meaning "colourful Rajkot".Rajkot is also called as "Chitranagri" (City of Paintings).
Rajkot has many historical landmarks and places. The Jubilee Garden is a large, open park in the centre of the city featuring many monuments from colonial times. Located prominently in the centre 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, Rotary Dolls Museum, Lang Library, Rotary Midtown Library and Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
The Rotary Dolls Museum has a collection of more than 1,400 dolls from all over the world.
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 Swaminarayan Gurukul, Masonic Hall, Race Course, Aji Dam, Swaminarayan Temple, Vishwakarma Prabhuji Temple.
The Watson Museum, located in the Jubilee Garden, has a collection of human history and culture. It presents objects of the colonial period of India and the history of Rajkot. The Rajkot Memon Boarding is headquarters of Muslim activities before 1947. Saurashtra Muslim league held many Muslim convention at Rajkot Memon boarding ground.
The Gaibanshah Peer Dargah is the center of conviction of people whether they are Muslims or Hindus. At Gaibanshah Peer Dargah there is a religious program called Urss every year. In this program almost every religions head come and took part in this gathering every year and preach about peace and humanity.
The Trimandir, a non-sectarian temple founded by Dada Bhagwan, is located at a short distance from the city.
Best LAW and Order city – 2013
Rajkot is a major regional centre for the arts, with many venues for the performing arts in the city. Hemu Gadhvi Natyagraha, one of the first non-profit regional theatres, is rich with history and dedicated to the Gujarati Play.
Rajkot has its own native music genre, called dayro, 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.
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. The newly constructed 2nd International Cricket Stadium situated in Rajkot, Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, formerly known as Khandheri Cricket Stadium, is a cricket stadium in Khandheri, about 15 kilometres outside Rajkot, India. The Stadium has a capacity of 28,000 to 32,000 spectators. In this cricket stadium Day/Night matches can now also be played. The stadium hosted its 1st International Cricket Match played on 11 January 2013 between India and England. The stadium will part of a larger sports complex that will include venues for other sports such as badminton, basketball, and volleyball. It will host Saurashtra Cricket Association matches along with Madhavrao Sindhia Cricket Ground. Rajkot has produced cricketers such as K S Ranjitsinhji, Karsan Ghavri and Cheteshwar Pujara 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, association 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 modernised cricket ground is even under construction at the outskirts. There are numerous swimming pools too. Rajkot Municipal Corporation also owns a 9-hole golf course at Ishwaria. It is maintained by Green Meadows Golf Club.
In 2016 and 2017, a franchise from Rajkot will play in Indian Premier League. The franchise is owned by Intex Technologies.
Cycling is a fast growing sport in Rajkot. Members of "Rajkot Cycle Club" regularly ride BRMs which are timed events which stretch from 200 km to 1200 km.
Garba is popular among both, men and women and is performed during the festival of Navratri. 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' is organised for five days at the Race Course grounds to celebrate Janmastami. Diwali is one of the most important festival and is usually a week long holiday. Rajkot Municipal Corporation arranges the annual Fireworks Show for the citizens of Rajkot during the Diwali festival. The festival of Eid is also celebrated by the Muslim population. Holi is also celebrated with frolic and is widely enjoyed by most of the city folk. People also celebrate Uttarayan (Makar Sankranti) on 14 January by flying kites from their terraces.
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 280 million 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 modernise the ancient city, including a Rock Garden, ala Chandigarh. Another 250 million project to rebuild the Kaiser-e-Hind, the only major bridge linking to the city, is already nearing completion. .
Real estate in rajkot has ben key contributors to Rajkot's development in terms Economic development and Infrastructure development. Rajkot is one of the most popular destination of Real estate investment across Gujarat state. Starting early 2014, rajkot has got some of the finest sky scrapers.
Products made in Rajkot include jewellery, silk embroidery and watch parts. Industrial products 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 some of the largest CNC machine and auto parts manufacturers in the country such as Jyoti CNC Automation Ltd. & Macpower CNC Machines Pvt. Ltd. and Atul Auto Ltd.
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, Bhavanagar Road areas, Shapar, Veraval and Metoda. The majority of foundry units in Rajkot produce grey iron castings for the domestic market. About 2% of the foundry units export castings such as electric motor castings and automobile castings.
Software companies are also present in the city,
In the near future, the government of Gujarat will allocate large land areas for the development of Special Economic Zone 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 was formerly the leading centre in India in the field of diesel engine and submersible pumps. Submersible pumps are still manufactured in the city and marketed throughout India, with some of the larger manufacturers also exporting them.
Rajkot is governed by many government bodies, including Jilla Seva Sadan (Rajkot District Collector Offices), Rajkot Municipal Corporation, Rajkot Urban Development Authority.
The city civic body has started a 24x7 call centre, 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.
Rajkot is connected to major Indian cities by air, railway and road.
The Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) runs regular buses to and 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.
Rajkot has two railway stations. Rajkot Junction Railway Station (station code: RJT) is the more widely used railway station for passenger trains, and has services to all the major cities of India. Its elevation is 128 m above sea level. The other, smaller, railway station is Bhaktinagar Railway Station (station code: BKNG), served only by trains from Somnath, Veraval, Junagadh and Porbandar.
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.
Recently Rajkot BRTS was launched on 1 October 2012. a new Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) with launching of the 10-km long Blue corridor and two AC buses which will be free for the first three months. The corridor is located in the west part of the city through the 150 ft ring road connecting Madhapar chokdi on the Jamangar road to Gondal chokdi on the Gondal road. The corridor will host 11 buses in further stage.
Rajkot BRTS Route
The fully completed project in future will have two more corridors – green and red from Arvind Maniyar Nagar to Saurashtra University and Greenland Chowk to Saurashtra University respectively involving 157 buses in three colours. Rajkot thus becomes the second city in Gujarat to have BRTS after Ahmedabad. The city of Surat too is planning an ambitious BRTS project, construction of which is going on presently.
To make more ease in the public transport, a city bus service 'Rajkot Mass Transport Service (RMTS)' has also been added on 1/4/2015. Currently, it operates on 44 routes with 90 buses.
Rajkot has a large number of auto rickshaws, which operate around the clock within the city. Most of these are converted to CNG from petrol or diesel. Ola Cabs has started its operations here.
Rajkot Airport is located at a short distance from the city and can be accessed by cab and auto rickshaw services. There are multiple daily flights to Mumbai, served by Air India and Jet Airways. Air India started the Rajkot New Delhi flight from 15 February 2015.
State-owned All India Radio has a local station and has FM channel 102.4 Vividh Bharati in Rajkot which transmits various programs of mass interest. Private FMs like Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM (It broadcasts for 24 hours around the clock), Red FM 93.5, Big 92.7 FM and 94.3 MY FM also serves people of Rajkot with excellent entertainment stuff + events.
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 centres, which consist of 3 elementary schools, 7 middle schools, 4 junior high schools, 4 senior high schools, 1 education centres, and 1 special school. There are also some self-financed public schools. TGES (The Galaxy Educational System) is a group of sister schools.The Galaxy School(TGS) a part of TGES is the only international school in the city which offers International Baccalaureate Program.Rajkot is home to Rajkumar College, Rajkot, also known RKC, which is one of the oldest schools of India.
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 education to those selected at the Class VI level all India entrance test.
The city is home to Saurashtra University, several colleges, and other institutions of higher education, both public and private. Rajkot is also home to the first private university in Saurashtra, RK University (RKU), which offers more than 50 programs at different levels from diploma to doctorate degrees. The city has 12 engineering colleges. It has a Performing Arts College (Vocal, Classical dance, Tabla Vadan etc.) opposite Hemu Gadhvi Natya Gruh. The Saurashtra University is the city's public university. It is spread across approximately 410 acres (1.7 km2) of green land with 28 post-graduation departments.
Another university which has come up in Rajkot, Saurashtra Region is Marwadi University, which is another contribution of Marwadi Foundation's Group of Institutions for providing better educational facilities. The campus is widely spread across 35 acres and offers 54 professional courses in domains like Engineering, Management, Law, etc. from diploma to doctorate courses and has maintained a growing graph in terms of placements every year.