Museum / Gallery
At a distance of 2 km from Rajkot Junction, Watson Museum is an ancient museum in Rajkot city of Gujarat. It is one of the largest museums in Gujarat and among the best places to visit in Rajkot.
Set up in the Queen Victoria memorial institute building, the museum was established in 1888. The museum was named after the British Political Agent of Kathiwad, Colonel John Watson, who initiated the citations and documentation of the history of Rajkot and artifacts in respect to the royal families in the region. Managed by the Gujarat State Government, Watson Museum is the second most important museum in Gujarat, after the Museum of Baroda and one of the best among the seven such museums located across Saurashtra region.
Watson Museum depicts the history of India and the colonial history of Rajkot. The museum is divided into several sections namely paintings & manuscripts, textile, inscription, sculptures, coins, anthropology, folk embroidery and handicraft, musical instruments, wood work, natural history and rocks and minerals. Since, Colonel Watson was fond of history and archaeology, most of his collections and other artifacts are preserved here. The copies of artifacts from Mohenjodaro, 13th century carvings, temple statues, Indus Valley Civilization artifacts collected from Saurashtra region, memorabilia of Colonial rulers, and library paintings and artifacts donated by the neighboring rulers are the main highlights of the museum.
The museum also houses a huge 19th century marble statue of queen Victoria seated on a throne. There are many splendid portraits and photographs of royal princes of Saurashtra and European dignitaries, handicrafts, pottery and princely relics. It also depicts the influence of textiles and jewelry in Bharwads, Ahirs, Darbars and other native people of the region.
Being one of the finest museums in Gujarat it allows guided tours along with photography and also has sales counters for spreading the word about the museum. Besides, the museum hosts a weeklong Bhartiya Shilp Samrudhi festival every year on the second week of January.
Timings: 9 AM - 12.45 PM & 3 PM - 6 PM, Closed on Wednesdays, 2nd & 4th Saturdays & on Public Holidays
Entry Fee: Rs. 5 for Indians & Rs. 50 for Foreigners