Weather :

Timings : 9:00 AM to 12:45 PM, 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM (except Wednesdays and national holidays)

Time Required : 2-4 hours

Entry Fee : Standard Fee- Rs. 5 for Indians, Rs. 2 for Indian Students, Rs. 50 for foreign visitors

Watson Museum, Rajkot Overview

One of the largest and oldest museums in Gujarat, the Watson Museum is located in the Jubilee Garden area of Rajkot, Gujarat. The museum contains many artefacts and belongings of the Jadeja Rajput dynasty, who were also the founder of the princely state of Rajkot. The Gujarat State Government manages this museum and has preserved this as a part of the state’s long and rich cultural heritage. Other than the collections, the museum also has an extensive library. Moreover, it has a few counters from where the museum’s own published materials are sold to the public.

 

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About Watson Museum

Established in 1888, the Watson Museum is named after Colonel John Watson, who served as a British political agency at the Kathiawar region from 1881 to 1889. The construction of the museum was finished in 1893 and was inaugurated by the then governor general of the Bombay Presidency area, Lord George Harris. Barring the Museum of Baroda, this museum is the oldest one located in the state of Gujarat. The museum is open for tourists every day except Wednesdays, the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, and all government holiday, from 9 AM to 12:45 PM and then again from 3 PM to 6 PM. The entry fees are nominal as the prices are as low as Rs. 5 and Rs. 2 for Indian citizens and Indian students respectively. It is compulsory to carry a valid student ID for one to avail the student discount. For foreign citizens, the entry fee is Rs. 50 per person, which is again just the bare minimum. This pricing scheme makes the place accessible for all sections of the mass, which is commendable.

The museum has various sections containing scriptures, inscriptions, manuscripts, painting, coins, embroidery and textile works, handicraft items, different wood carving, musical instruments, etcetera. Several royal families from different parts of India have donated many paintings, artefacts, and manuscripts to the museum which it now houses. In this way, it truly is a confluence of the diverse Indian cultural strands. It also has on display examples of the colonial style of textile and jewellery design. One of the fascinating sections in the museum is the one on the Indus Valley Civilisation, which contains several artefacts collected during the excavations located around Saurashtra. These artefacts include many statues, coins, carvings, and costumes of the inhabitants of Mohenjo Daro.

Every year, during the second week of January, the museum organises an annual event called the Bhartiya Shilp Samruddhi which is focused on preserving the cultural heritage of India. This event usually lasts for a week and attracts art enthusiasts and experts from all over the country.

Places to Visit Nearby

The state of Gujarat is well known for housing several places of tourist attractions, both natural such as lakes and caves, and man-made such as museums and statues, etcetera. The tourist destinations close to the Watson Museum in Rajkot include both kinds of places. The most popular among these are the Khambhalida Caves, the Tankara Museum, the Aji Dam and Gardens, the Kaba Gandhi no Delo (in this place, Mahatma Gandhi had spent much of his early years), the Rotary Dolls Museum, the Shri Ramkrishna Ashram, the Nyari Dam, the Ghela Somnath Mahadev Temple, and the famous Pradyuman Park. There are many other places spread across Gujarat which are perfect for a beautiful getaway.

Best Time to Visit

Gujarat has a considerably warm and humid climate all round the year, and therefore, the best time to visit Rajkot would be during the autumn and winter months (from October to February). These months experiences a comparatively lower temperature (the average temperature during these months fall down to around 16 to 20 degrees of celsius) and mild breezes, which would make vacationing experiences more pleasant than those during the scorching months of summer.

How To Reach Watson Museum

The museum is located in the Jubilee Garden area, which lies adjacent to the Dhebar road. This area is connected to Jamnagar via the SH 26, which is also the route one should take if they have to reach the place via road. Jamnagar and Rajkot are situated 88 km apart from each other. From within Rajkot, there are both bus and cab services available to the Watson Museum.

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