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About Watson Museum
The Watson Museum, considered to be one of the best among the seven such museums located across Saurashtra and managed by the Gujarat state government, has collections of precious objects from the princely State of Rajkot founded by the Jadeja Rajputs. It holds invaluable articles, artifacts, photographs, a reference library, and the museum’s publication is sold through a counter. Also, the museum is deemed as one of the finest and largest wide-ranging museums of Gujarat.
The collection houses paintings and artifacts donated by the various royal families, extensive memorabilia of Colonial rule, and influence with textiles and jewelry depicting Bharwads, Ahirs, Darbars, and other indigenous people of the province. There is also an interesting collection of Indus Valley Civilization artifacts garnered from various sites around the Saurashtra region.
Every year, during the second week of January, the museum organizes 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.
History of Watson Museum
The museum is set up in the Queen Victoria memorial institute buildings located in Jubilee Garden, Rajkot. The museum was named in fond memory of Colonel John Watson in 1888 who was a British political agent of the Kathiawar Agency from 1881 to 1889. Watson Museum is the second most important museum in Gujarat, after the Museum of Baroda, and is the oldest museum in Saurashtra. Colonel Watson was fond of history and archaeology and used to collect information on Rajkot. Most of his collections and other artifacts are preserved here. The museum building was completed in 1893 and opened to the public by Governor Lord George Harris of the Bombay Presidency.
The Watson Museum exhibits copies of artifacts from Mohenjodaro, natural history, 13th-century carvings, temple statues, costumes, and the design of the houses of the local tribal people. The Watson Museum also houses an excellent collection of traditional, archaeological items and coins.
While the museum’s archeology gallery also boasts of artifacts of the prehistoric period and the Harappan civilization in the archeology gallery, a treasure of sculptures belonging to erstwhile Ghumali – a capital of Jethwa – grace the sculpture gallery.
Nearby Attractions Of Watson Museum
- Paintings and Manuscripts
- Folk Embroidery
- Musical Instruments
- Wood Work
- Natural History
- Rocks and Minerals
Watson Museum Timings
9:00 AM to 01:00 PM & 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM,
Closed on Wednesday and 2nd and 4th Saturday and Government Public Holiday
Watson Museum Entry Fees
10 INR for Indian tourist and 100 INR for Foreigners tourist
How to Reach Watson Museum
Rajkot is well connected by road to most of the major cities of Gujarat and other neighboring states.