Wanderlust travelers and tourists planning to visit Rajkot should not miss including the Watson Museum amongst their must-see tourist attractions in the city. Of all the archives and exhibition buildings in the Saurashtra region (coastal districts in Gujarat), the Watson Museum is one of the biggest repositories housing almost 13,495 exhibits and memorabilia. These exhibits can be grouped under 25 distinct categories including but not limited to handicrafts, musical instruments, wooden sculptures, coins, miniature paintings, and manuscripts. In terms of significance, it ranks second just behind the Museum of Baroda and is also the oldest gallery in Saurashtra.
Taking a guided tour of the museum, one is able to look at a priceless collection of age-old coins and archaeological items. our Saurashtra and Kutch Tour Package Of Gujarat includes everything. The building also archives primeval and expensive artifacts dating back to the Harappa Civilization. There are also specific sections devoted to rocks and minerals, folk embroidery, inscriptions, taxidermy, ivory work, and sculptures.
History of Watson Museum
Billed as one of the top travel spots in Rajkot, the Watson Museum is housed within the Queen Victoria Memorial Institute that itself is situated inside the Jubilee Garden in the city. Construction for the museum named after Colonel John Watson started in 1888 and was completed in 1893. Colonel Watson, who served as an agent in Rajkot (capital of erstwhile Bombay Presidency) under the ‘Kathiawar Agency’ had excavated many artifacts and antiques that threw light on the history of the city.
Majority of his excavations and collections pertaining to Rajkot have been preserved and kept as exhibits in the museum. Following the completion of the construction of the museum building, the edifice was inaugurated by the then Governor of Bombay Presidency, Lord George Harris.
There are a total of approximately 13,500 collections housed inside the Watson Museum that have been exhibited under specific categories. These groupings include sculptures, bronze artifacts, coins, silver works, copper plates, textiles, manuscripts, miniature paintings, natural history specimens, anthropological collections, handicrafts, Darbar Hall, and musical instruments. One will also across objet d’art and works of art from Indus Valley Civilization that were unearthed at Mohenjo-Daro, carvings from 3rd to 13th centuries, and housing structures of the aborigines of the Saurashtra zone.
Where is it located?
The Museum is located on the Jubilee Garden near MG Road.
Ideal Visiting Time
The ideal time to visit Rajkot is in the months of October, November, December, January, February, and March. The museum remains open from Mondays through Saturdays from 9.00 to 1.00 p.m. and from 3.00 p.m. to 6 p.m. The archives remain closed on Sundays, 2nd and 4th Saturdays, and on public holidays.