About

About Rajkot

Rich history, vibrant festivals, authentic cuisine, and magnificent temples characterize Rajkot sightseeing. It’s the fourth-largest city in the state of Gujarat, India, after Ahmedabad, Surat, and Vadodara. Located in the center of the Saurashtra region of Gujarat, it’s the 35th-largest urban agglomeration in India, with a population of more than 1.5 million. A regional powerhouse, Rajkot is the 22nd fastest-growing city in the world.

Climate

Rajkot has a semi-arid climate, with hot, dry summers from mid-March to mid-June and a wet monsoon season from mid-June to October. November to February are mild, with an average temperature of about 20 °C and low humidity.

Rajkot sightseeing is a multicultural experience. It is the part of Kathiyawad region and people of Rajkot are also known as “Kathiyawadi”. Rajkot is frequently referred to as Rangeelu Rajkot (રંગીલુ રાજકોટ), meaning "colorful Rajkot". 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 Festivals

The best places to visit in Gujarat include fascinating festivals of its cities. Garba of Rajkot is popular among both men and women and is performed during the festival of “Navratri” throughout October and November. The Garba starts before midnight and continues until dawn. The 'Janmastami', in August, is celebrated for five days. A city “Mela” (fair) is organized by local authority during this time. Close to half a million people visit this “Mela” from the surrounding region. Diwali, in Oct.–Nov. is one of the most important festivals and is usually a week-long holiday. “Holi”, in February is also celebrated with colors and is widely enjoyed by most of the city folk. People of Rajkot celebrate Uttarayan (Makar Sankranti) on 14 January by flying colorful kites from their terraces.

Connectivity

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 and a daily flight to Delhi. The city is connected to major Indian cities by air, railway, and road, making Rajkot sightseeing very accessible.

Places to visit around Rajkot

Dwarka - 'Krishna Nagri'Dwarka - 'Krishna Nagri'
Lion Sanctuary in GirLion Sanctuary in Gir
Somnath - 'Jyotirling'Somnath - 'Jyotirling'
Palitana -'Shetrunjaya Tirth'Palitana -'Shetrunjaya Tirth'
Kutch - 'White Rann'Kutch - 'White Rann'
Kutch - 'Rann Utsav'Kutch - 'Rann Utsav'
Khijadiya bird sanctuaryKhijadiya bird sanctuary
Junagadh (Girnar/Uparkot)Junagadh (Girnar/Uparkot)
PorbandarPorbandar

While Rajkot sightseeing has much to offer, we highly recommend short excursions to the following destinations:

DWARKA - LORD KRISHNA'S LAST SHRINE

224 km from Rajkot

Dwarka dham, a city so holy, so ancient and obviously full of stories, makes Gujarat a much sought after destination for the Hindus. As a traveler, there is so much to see in this temple town situated on the banks river Gomti. History of Dwarka predates even the Mahabharata era. It has been a continuously inhabited place for the longest known time. Imagine the layers you can discover as you walk around the Dwarka city – best known for temple tourism. Apart from the most famous Dwarkadhish temple and Nageshwar jyotirlinga temple and Rukmani temple, there many interesting places to visit including Dwarka beach, Beyt island, Gomti ghat, Lighthouse, Rukmani temple, Gopi talav to name a few.

Things to do in Dwarka City

  • Tulabhar - literally meaning weighing the grain for donation according to your weight
  • Camel ride on the bank of Gomti river
  • View mesmerizing sunrise at Sudama setu on Gomti river
  • Enjoy beautiful sunset at the Dwarka beach
  • Visit the oldest stone inscription of Dwarka
  • Visit more interesting temples in Dwarka like Swaminarayan temple, ISCKON temple, Gayatri devi temple, Shankaracharya math, Mira bai temple and Samudra narayan temple
  • Look for birds in Dwarka - Demoiselle cranes – wherever you see a patch of water in and around Dwarka City, you would see huge flocks of them.
  • Ride a Chhakda - a unique vehicle that runs on the motorcycle engine but can carry 12-15 people. You would see these colorful Chhakdas running around the city.

GIR NATIONAL PARK - THE ROYAL KINGDOM OF ASIATIC LIONS

170 km from Rajkot

The last destination in the world to see the royal kingdom of asiatic lions and the only place on earth where these majestic beasts roam free. Gir is the most celebrated wildlife sanctuary in India and a magnificent abode for all nature lovers and wildlife photographers.

It covers total area of 1412 square kilometers of which 258 Km forms the core area of the National Park. Lions, once nearly hunted to extinction, numbers have recovered substantially due to conservation efforts. From a population of approximately 20 lions in 1913, they have risen to a comfortable 523 according to 2015 census.

Apart from lions, the park has 38 species of mammals, 37 species of reptiles, 300 species of birds, and over 2,000 species of insects, along with a diverse range of trees and plants.

Things to do in Gir National Park

From thrilling safaris, crocodile farms, serene lakes, to ancient temples, there is a plethora of things to explore and activities to indulge in, at Gir like Gir jungle trail safari, Gir Interpretation Zone (Devalia), Crocodile Breeding Farm, Kamleshwar Dam, Tulsi Shyam temple, Tribal settlements in the park, Kankai Mata temple, Jamjir Waterfall etc.

Gir national park is open from mid October till mid June. Summer is the best season to spot lions. The dry forest makes the forest less dense and hot weather makes lions move frequently towards water reserves. The entry permit for Gir Sanctuary and lion safaris can be obtained online from the park’s official website www.girlion.in

There are many accommodation options in Gir from budget to luxurious resorts. For more information visit http://www.girnationalpark.in/hotels-resorts-in-gir.html

SOMNATH: THE INDESTRUCTIBLE TEMPLE OF INDIA

196 km from Rajkot

A dip into the history would tell you that the Somnath temple has been destroyed seventeen times. However, each time, it has been resurrected with more beauty and splendour. Somnath Jyotirlinga is among the twelve sacred Jyotirlingas and millions of pious minded travellers flock to this temple in hopes of paying their reverence to Lord Shiva.

The magnificent seven-storied temple is 155 feet tall, constructed in the significant Chalukya style. The temple topped with a kalash weighs 10 tonnes with a flag-mast of 37 feet long. The captivating architecture of the temple pleases the eyes of the visitors.

Darshan Timings: 6 AM – 9.30 PM, Aarti Timings: 7 AM, 12 noon and 7 PM

Important rules to remember during Somnath temple visit

  • Shorts and skirts are also not allowed to be worn inside the temple premises
  • Shoes and belts are not allowed inside the temple
  • Cameras and mobile phones are strictly prohibited

However, you can keep all your belongings in the locker facility provided outside the temple

Apart from the Somnath temple, there are numerous places of interest in Somnath like Bhalka tirtha, Triveni sangam, Shashibhushan temple, Baldev gufa and Patan museum

RANN OF KUTCH

300 km from Rajkot

Visiting here would mean to transport oneself to altogether in a new world, where a wide ocean of salt surrounds one and not so high Aravallis create a mesmerizing backdrop. Kutch is a treasure trove of culture that offers exquisite handicraft and melodious folk songs and foot-tapping folk dance.

Kutch Rann Utsav

First-time visitors to the Kutch Rann Utsav, are often startled by the beauty of Dhordo, the last village in Bhuj. Every year from October to February, the place is thronged by migratory birds from the farthest corners of the world, including Siberia, central Asia and Europe and is the ultimate birdwatcher’s haven.

The tent city erected in Dhordo is where the action takes place. The carnival of music, dance, and cultural performances take foreground as days and nights pass in a vivid flash of colors and sounds that are etched forever in any visitor’s heart. On special days, like New year’s eve, Makar sankranti (Kite flying festival), Republic day, Valentines’ day, and in the concluding month, the Holi celebrations are the key days to visit the Rann utsav.

The great rann of kutch desert sprawling in an area of 7000 sq km, white salt desert in the great rann of kutch is a magical place. Watching the sun go down is probably the best thing to do here; the evening shots are simply worth capturing. The ideal time to visit the great rann of kutch would be during the rann utsav, a state fair that celebrates the spirit of kutch region that takes place from 1st Nov 2018 to 20th Feb 2019. For more information visit http://www.rannutsav.com

Note: Permits are required to enter the desert and the area nearby. Do not forget to carry sunglasses; it will help you see better when the sun is over the head.

Places to visit in Kutch

  • Visit Kala dungar, the highest point in kutch region
  • Go back in history at Kutch museum at Bhuj
  • Witness the rich heritage of kutch region at Prag mahal and Aina mahal at Bhuj
  • Visit Vijay vilas palace, the famed film shooting location in Kutch for many bollywood movies; the most prominent being Lagaan, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and recent movie R Rajkumar.
  • Enjoy camel ride on Mandvi beach
  • Experience the interesting mélange of religion and nature at Narayan sarovar
  • Trace the evidences of one of the world’s oldest civilizations at Dholavira
  • Find the real beauty of Kutch culture in its Handicraft village tour
  • Witness one of its kind Indian wild ass sanctuary in little rann of kutch

PALITANA - THE CITY OF JAIN TEMPLES

166 km from Rajkot

Located in the Bhavnagar district of Gujarat, Palitana is a city that houses 900 temples spread all over Shatrunjaya Mountain. This is world’s only mountain that has 900 temples. A tirtha (sacred spiritual place) of Jain community, the well-organised temple complex was built by Jain predecessors between the period of 11th and the 20th century. The credit for this undying devotion and faith goes to the belief that the hill has been blessed by 23 tirthankaras.

The temples are made from marble and showcase the amazing architectural finesse of artists of that era. The intricate carvings, jewel bedecked statues, striking idols, and high walls surrounding the temples makes it a must-visit tourist destination.

Almost every visitor here, irrespective of being a Jainism follower or not, vouch for the fact that the upward climb of 3.5 kilometres on Shatrunjaya mountain is an ethereal experience.

In 2014, Palitana became the first city on the world to be legally vegetarian. It has outlawed, or made illegal, the buying and selling of meat, fish, and dairy products, and also related jobs or work, such as fishing and penning ‘food animals’.

VIRPUR - JALARAM MANDIR

57 km from Rajkot

Gujarat has produced many saints. One such saint of Gujarat who lived mostly in 19th century affectionately known as “Bapa” started a tradition of feeding the poor, the needy and everyone else who came to him. Today, even after 200 years, Bapa continues to shower his blessings. Bapa is revered by many people around the world for his saintly qualities and his ability to work miracles are well documented. But most of all he is remembered for his selfless acts of charity, kindness and his devotion to God.

The main shrine of Jalaram Bapa is located in the house complex where Jalaram Bapa lived during his lifetime. The main attraction is the portrait of Jalaram Bapa. There is also an actual black and white photo of Jalaram Bapa, taken one year before his death.

The temple is one of a kind in the world in a way that it has not been accepting any offerings since 9 February 2000.

For his devotees this meal is now a Prasad. Virpur has become an important pilgrimage centre in India and attracts thousands of visitors daily. His mandirs everywhere still serve the same Prasad of “Rotla, Khichdi, Kadhi and Shaak” and preach about the unselfish and kind deeds of Bapa.

KHIJADIYA BIRD SANCTUARY

81 km from Rajkot

A must visit for bird lovers is one of the lesser known bird sanctuaries of India.

This sanctuary is unique as it attracts a varied variety of birds due to the rare combination of ‘saltwater and freshwater ecosystems’. More than 300 species of migratory and resident birds have been spotted here, including globally threatened species such as Dalmatian pelican, Asian openbill stork, Black-necked stork, Darter, Black-headed Ibis, Eurasian spoonbill, and Indian skimmer, and provides birdwatchers with a delightful chance to sight rare birds in large numbers. The sanctuary due to its strategic location close to the Gulf of Kutch, a central asian flyway, it acts as a regular route for the migratory birds that come from Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to visit the sanctuary.

The sanctuary is also home to nilgais, jackals, cats, snakes, wolves, bluebells, mongoose and reptiles.

There are no overnight chalets but amenities include watchtowers, trails, and paddle boats, to help visitors connect with this varied community.

Top activities to enjoy at Khijadia bird sanctuary:

  • Spotting numerous migration birds
  • If lucky, you can spots ducks making floating nests
  • Eco-tourist village is located inside the park
  • Witnessing sunrise or sunset from the freshwater lake shore

JUNAGADH (GIRNAR/UPARKOT)

102 km from Rajkot

Girnar Hills are a collection of mountains situated at 5 kms east of Junagadh. Older than the Himalayas, Girnar, the mountain and its range are considered sacred and it's an important pilgrimage site for both Jains and Hindus. Significantly famous among Shiva devotees for the mystic space-time of the mountain range with known presence and turnover of different sects of Sadhu babas, Nath sect, different Jain tirthankaras to Girnar, its typical flora and fauna, the famous Maha Shivratri fair, Girnar hosts a number of temples and some historical spots across its range. Amidst the lush green Gir forest, the mountain range serves as the hub of religious activities.

Ashoka's Rock Edict at Junagadh

Behind the west gate of Junagadh, across the bridge, is one of the most important Edicts of Ashoka. The edict is inscribed high up on a large, domed mass of black granite. The difficulty in accessing this monument allows only the few pilgrims willing to climb the mountain each year to visit the rock edict. Neatly etched on the rock surface is an inscription in Brahmi script. A much smaller replica is positioned outside the entrance of the National Museum, New Delhi.

Main temples of Girnar

  • Jain temples at Girnar
  • Mata Ambaji
  • Gorakshanath temple of Girnar, and in background Dattatreya temple
  • Paduka of Guru Dattatreya is situated at the peak of Girnar.

Uparkot

The oldest part of Junagadh, and the center of any visit to the city, is the upper citadel, known as Uparkot. Over 2300 years old, with walls up to 20 m high in some places, Uparkot is what allowed Junagadh to withstand a 12-year siege at one point. It’s believed that these caves date back to the 1st-4th Century AD and were gilded with beautiful pillars and entrances, water cisterns, horseshoe shaped chatiya windows, an assembly hall and cell for meditation. There is also a 300-foot moat inside the walls, that reportedly used to be inhabited by crocodiles, so that if any attacker managed to climb the high fortifications, they would either be exposed on the upper battlements or fall into the crocodile-infested trench.

PORBANDAR - BIRTHPLACE OF GANDHI AND SUDAMA

180 km from Rajkot

As the birthplace of one of the most famous leaders of the world, Mahatma Gandhi, Porbandar in Gujarat is a place of historical prominence. Believed to be the birthplace of Sudama, Lord Krishna’s devotee and friend, this place has become a site for religious significance too.

While there are tons of places to visit here, we have compiled a list of best places that you should not miss when you are in Porbandar:

  • Kirti mandir, a temple and a memorial of Mahatma Gandhi, and the nearby Rana bapu’s Mahal (birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi) The area around Mahatma Gandhi's home has been renovated to become a temple of peace.
  • Bharat mandir (A permanent exhibition of culture, history and geometry about India)
  • Tara mandir (one of the oldest planetariums of India)
  • Ram Krishna Mission (Swami Vivekananda stayed here for four months)
  • Shree Sudama ji mandir: one of the few temple built in India in his name
  • Shree Hari mandir or Sandipani temple: a massive temple complex
  • The Huzoor palace, Daria raj mahal palace, Darbargadh and the Sartanji choro
  • Chowpati beach: one of the cleanest in coastal Gujarat
  • Porbandar bird sanctuary (birds like teals, fowls, flamingos, ibis, curlews can be seen)
  • Barda hills wildlife sanctuary (about 15 km from Porbandar, ideal for trekking)
  • Bileshwara Shiva temple (built in the 7th century)
  • Khimeshwar Mahadev temple (Kuchchdi) (1600-year-old temple as per the Archaeological survey of India)
  • Jamvant cave (15 km away at Ranavav town - a historical place from the time of Ramayan)
  • Ghumli (37 km from the city, capital of Jethwa kingdom till 1313, listed by Archaeological survey of India)
  • Porbandar has many wetlands ideal for birdwatching
  • Rides, foods and other attractions at the Janmashtami Mela (5 days), celebrated in the month of Shraavana as per Hindu calendar

DIU - A BEAUTIFUL BEACH CITY

246 km from Rajkot

Located just 65 kms from Gir national park, is the Diu Island that needs no introduction. Be it with your family, friends or just with your spouse, you can visit this lovely tourist place 365 days in the year and you will be mesmerised every time. The beauty of this place can never be justified in words; glaring at the setting sun in the Arabian sea and the relaxing environment on the beach will make you in love with this place. Apart from this Diu has an awesome nightlife, and it is also the only place around Gujarat where liquor is not prohibited. There are large number of accommodation options in Diu from budget to luxurious resorts.

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