Rajkot Knowledge Guide
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.
Malcolm Pasley renowned and highly respected scholar and translator of the works of Franz Kafka was born in Rajkot.
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 (Now Mahatma Gandhi Museum), 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. This museum is being managed by Rotary Club of Rajkot Midtown along with Rajkot Nagrik Sahakari Bank. The Museum has earned a place in Limca Book of Records for its unique collection of dolls. 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 Darbargarh Haveli, Swaminarayan Gurukul, Masonic Hall, Race Course, Aji Dam, Swaminarayan Temple, Isckon 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.
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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 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.