Referred as the rangilu Rajkot, colorful Rajkot, the city is a place that boasts a history that is unmatched and unheard of. The sprawling and bustling city down in Gujrat’s Saurashtra region is not the most sought-after locations when people think of a holiday destination. However, the rich history and the variety of places at Rajkot make it a must-visit place in India. One can take a walk through historical museums, take a close-look at Gandhi’s childhood, scroll through the literary treats, explore the scenic dams and lakes, enjoy delicious foods and book best hotels in Rajkot city to make their time at the city a memorable one. Herein, we dive into the history of Rajkot and the significance it holds.
Rajkot was founded back in 1620 by Thakur Sahib Vibhoji, who was part of the Rajput Jadeja clan. Thakorji ruled over a staggering 282 square miles’ large area spread across 64 villages. Located at the banks of the Aji river, the city was formerly the capital of the princely state of Saurashtra and was the seat of the erstwhile clan of Jadeja.
In 1720, Thakorji was defeated by the deputy subehdar of the Sorath regiment named Masum Khan, which prompted the city’s name to be changed to Masumabad. However, the Rajput Jadeja clan didn’t stay put as the son of the former defeated ruler, Meramanji, took helm of the throne after defeating Masum. The name of the city was thus reverted back to Rajkot again.
Since its very inception to 1807, Rajkot was predominantly ruled by either the Jadeja’s or the Mughals before the British came into the picture.
The British Invasion
The British took over the city of Rajkot back in 1807 and subsequently made it the capital of then Saurashtra state.
In 1822, the British governance led to the establishment of an agency which was named as the Kathiawad. The Kothi area of the present day Rajkot, which now houses the railway offices and the customs, held house to the British officials who were part of that agency. The city used to be the headquarters for the British government during their two-century long rule over India. However, during this period, the city saw various developments in art, education, and culture and holds a key place in the freedom struggle of India. The place still has various massive structures and institutions which were built during the colonial rule.
The Gandhi Influence
Rajkot was the Mahatma Gandhi’s childhood. He spent early years down in the busy neighborhood gullies of the city. Gandhi visited back into the city back in 1925 to lead India during the freedom struggle. Today, the city has various schools and places named after Gandhi. The Alfred High School, where Gandhi had 7 years of his initial education, is now a museum and has a history that stretches back to 164 years. Rajkot was also a major contributor during the start of the Quit India Movement.
The Present Scenario
Today, Rajkot is an integral center of commerce and industries. Herein, manufacturing of both cotton and woolen textiles are a major activity. Aside from this, it also produces ceramics, water pumps, and diesel engines.
It is extremely famous for its richness in silver, furniture manufacturing, and textiles. It is a major hub for weaving in India and even has a national weaving institute to its name. The city is often not deemed as a major tourist attraction, however, the hospitality and the various other amenities make it a place worth visiting. One can visit the city to explore the rich history, experience tradition and culture, and cherish the contributions of our forgotten freedom legends. Additionally, you can book cheap hotels in Rajkot and further blossom your experience in the city. It’s one of the fastest growing cities in the world and is rapidly developing in all sectors.