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This bustling town was once the capital of the princely state of Saurashtra and is also a former British government headquarters. Mahatma Gandhi spent the early years of his life here. The Gandhi family home, the Kaba Gandhi no Delo, now houses a permanent exhibition of Gandhi items. The prestigious Rajkumar College dates back to the second half of last century and is regarded as one of the best private schools in the country. It was one of five schools set up by the British for the education of the sons of nobility (rajkumar means prince).

Guidance !

Rajkot has a helpful tourist office (Tel: 234507), but it's hidden away behind the old State Bank of Saurashtra building on Jawahar Rd, almost opposite the Galaxy Hotel. It's open weekdays and the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month, from 10.30 am to 6 pm (closed for lunch from 1.30 to 2 pm). The State Bank of India, to the north of the Jubilee gardens, has money-changing facilities. Entry is from the rear of the building.

History: Signs of civilization in the region that is now Gujarat date back to the period from 3000 to 1500 BC. The region was part of the Mauryan Empire in the 3rd century BC under King Asoka. In 1818 the British East India Company took control of Gujarat administering the state through local princely rulers. With the independence of India in 1947, Gujarat became part of the state of Bombay. In 1960 Bombay state was split up, and Gujarat was formed from the northern and western portions, which were predominantly Gujarati-speaking areas. The remainder of Bombay state became Maharashtra state.

Air
The Indian Airlines office (Tel: 227916) is on Dhebar Rd. Indian Airlines has four direct flights a week between Rajkot and Mumbai (US$65). NEPC (Tel: 227330) and UP Air (Tel: 225369) also have daily flights to Mumbai.

Industries: One of India's most industrialized states, Gujarat maintains a variety of industries, the principal ones being general and electrical engineering and the manufacture of textiles, vegetable oils, chemicals, soda ash, and cement. New industries include the production of fertilizers and petrochemicals.

Political: The state capital is Gandhinagar. The state has a single-chamber legislative assembly with 182 members. The state sends 37 members to the Indian national parliament: 11 to the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) and 26 to the Lok Sabha (Lower House). Local government is based on 19 administrative districts.

Bus
STC buses connect Rajkot with Jamnagar, Junagadh, Porbandar, Veraval and Ahmedabad. The trip from Rajkot to Veraval via Junagadh takes about five hours and costs Rs 43. Rajkot to Jamnagar is a two hour journey and costs Rs 25. There are also a number of private buses which operate to such places as Ahmedabad, Bhuj, Bhavnagar, Una (for Diu), Mt Abu, Udaipur and Mumbai. The offices of these companies are on the road behind the bus stand.

Train
A number of broad-gauge express trains connect Rajkot with Ahmedabad, 246km away. Fares are Rs 57/266 in 2nd/lst class, and the trip takes about hours. There are other trains to and from Jamnagar (75km, Rs 25/128 in lst/2nd class), Porbandar (221km, Rs 53/229 in lst/2nd class, and Mumbai (738km, Rs 136/625 in 1st/2nd class). There's a metre-gauge service to Veraval (186km, Rs 47/213 in lst/2nd class). Its official and primary language is Gujarati. About 89.1% of the population of Gujarat are Hindu.[11] Muslims account for 9.1%, Jain 1.0% and Sikh 0.1% of the population.[11] . Amongst Hindus, the deity of Krishna is famously worshiped in His form of Shrinathji throughout Gujarat.

Rajkot is famous for its jewellery market, silk embroidery and watch parts. The state hosts several small scale manufacturing industries. Some of the industrial products which include bearings, diesel engines, kitchen knives and other cutting appliances, watch parts (cases & bracelets), automotive parts, forging industry, casting industry, machine tools, share market, Elecronics & Elecrical equipment, Computer and software development. Agriculture: The leading crops are rice, maize (corn), peanuts, cotton, and tobacco. Among livestock raised are buffalo and other cattle, sheep, and goats. Salt, manganese, limestone, and bauxite are mined. Petroleum production began in 1960, and an oil refinery is located at Vadodra.

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