Kota was earlier known as Kotah. It is the third largest city in the state of Rajasthan only after Jaipur and Jodhpur. It is located at a distance of about 240 kilometres from the state capital, Jaipur. This city has grown up on the banks of Chambal which is the only perennial river of Rajasthan.Kota lies on sloping tableland that forms a part of the Malwa Plateau. The city has the Mokandarra hills running from southeast to northwest as the backdrop.
Kota is an amazing amalgamation of royal medieval age culture and modern day industrialization. Kota has much to offer with its well known Rajput heritage and traditions. This desert dwelling is a city with a difference. Though surrounded by mysterious sand dunes, the back drop is not monotonous. The hustle and the bustle of the city keep this centre of trade quite busy. Mostly agricultural goods are traded here like rice, millets, wheat, oilseeds and coriander. People are mostly engaged in industries like cotton and oilseed milling, distilling, manufacture of metal handcrafts, textile weaving, dairying, fertilizers, chemical and manufacturing of engineering equipments. Kota is also called the power house of Rajasthan.
Besides being one of the main industrial centers of Rajasthan, Kota is also a major army base. Its impressive forts, lavish palaces and awe inspiring temples constructed over the centuries by the kings still help in retaining some of its past glory. The presence of various industries has helped it to gain the status of the industrial heart of Rajasthan. The best time to visit this place is during the winter months as summers are pretty hot. This area receives some amount of rainfall during a few months stretching from June to August.
The festival of Dussehra is celebrated in a big way in Kota marking the beginning of the festive season. Huge crowds from the nearby villages flock in the city to join processions and attend the fairs during this time. Age old traditions and courtly grandeur still peek through the festivities of this age old city.
Kota Municipal Corporation (KMC)Municipal Corporation of Kota is the chief administrative body in the city which works under the supervision of the Rajasthan state government. Governance of the city by the Municipal Corporation began in the year1921, with the Municipal Council coming into existence. With time, as needs became greater, the municipality was upgraded further into a corporation in the year 1993. The main functions of management are taken care of by the Chief Executive Officer who in turn is assisted by the Development and Administrative Commissioners. It was established for the general welfare and benefit of the residents. This agency looks after the basic provisions of civic life including maintenance of roads, water, street lighting facilities, sanitation, solid waste management, storm water drainage and so on.
Vision and Services of MCKRanking third in size among the cities of Rajasthan, Kota comprises of a systematic and a well organized Municipal Corporation. It comprises of a team who are elected and nominated members guided by the Chief Executive Officer. For convenience of administering the governance work, Kota has been further been divided into 60 separate wards which have one elected representative each in the Municipal Corporation. Chosen by the local populace they have tenure of 5 years. The ward members are expected to do their respective duties with absolute dedication and rightness. Some of the functions which are performed by the Kota Municipal Corporation are:
- Maintenance and Construction of roads for better communication
- Enough Water Supply for sustainability
- All round the clock supply of electricity
- Maintenance of apt drainage and sewage system
- Creation of recreational parks adding on to the beauty of the city
- Construction of public toilets around the city
Kota Municipal Corporation TaxThe Kota Municipal Corporation fetches its revenue from taxes paid by the inhabitants of the city. The Municipal Corporation is active in organizing several fairs and various cultural activities which entertain the people of the city. All the ward member of Kota Municipal Corporation performs their work with much dedication along with total transparency.
History of KotaKota has a long tale to tell about its past. Being ruled by various kings over the centuries it has a blend of culture and its history dates back to 12th century A.D. the time when Rao Deva, the Hada Chieftain, won over the region and founded the kingdoms of Bundi and Hadoti. During the early years in the 17th century AD, Rao Ratan Singh, the erstwhile ruler of Bundi carved out the principality of Kota and gifted it to his son Madho Singh. Since that time Kota, one of the important landmarks of Rajasthan became a seal of bravery and traditions. Caves dating back to prehistoric times, artistic paintings, opulent forts and the mighty river Chambal flowing from the Vindhyas are still things to be boasted about. Situated on the eastern bank of river Chambal Kota has always been a vital trading route to Gujrat and Delhi from Rajasthan.
Though Kota is now a seat of modernization with businesses like chemicals, synthetic fibres, fertilizers, tyre cord and even sophisticated instruments expanding all around, but it still has not lost its old world charm and traditions.
Geography of KotaThe city of Kota lies along the eastern bank of river Chambal in southern Rajasthan. It ranks third largest among the cities in the state after the state capital Jaipur and the famous city of Jodhpur. Its geographical coordinates are 25.18° N 75.83°E. It stretches over an area of 12,436 km2 which amounts to about 3.63 % of the total land covered by the state of Rajasthan.
The average elevation of the city is 271 metres or 889 ft. To its north and North West the district is bound by Sawai Madhopur, Tonk and the Bundi districts. The river Chambal separates these districts from Kota, forming a natural border line. The district of Kota is home to sand stone, Kota stone, Kota Saris, delicious kachori, and famous coaching centres.
Connectivity of KotaEven though the city of Kota has a small airport, the nearest connecting international airport is at Jaipur which is about 240 kms away. This airport helps in maintaining link by flights with the rest of cities around the country as well as the world. There are regular flight services to all the major cities in India from here. Kota has a good network of railway lines which keeps it connected to the main cities and other important railway junctions of the country.
Kota also has very good road connections as it lies right on the NH 12 the Jaipur - Jabalpur Highway.
Festivals Celebrated in KotaDussehra is important festival celebrated throughout Rajasthan and so this festival is also celebrated with much enthusiasm in Kota. This festival is celebrated to commemorate the 9 day battle which took place between Rama and Ravana.
Industries in KotaKota is a well known trade centre of Rajasthan and over the years has established its name as a city with several industries. Its Kota doria saris are known worldwide and this city also attracts thousands of tourists every year with its majestic palaces, opulent forts and beautiful temples.
Climate of KotaThe climate in Kota is said to be semi arid where the temperature is very high almost throughout the year. Summers are quite long with hot and dry spells. The summer starts from late March and stretches till end of June. The monsoon brings some respite as it lowers the temperature comparatively. During the monsoon months the humidity is frequently high with torrential rain. The rains subside in the month of October making the temperatures soar again. The short lived gentle winter begins around the end of November and continues till almost the end of February. Temperatures remain somewhere between 12°C to 26.7°C during the winter. This is said to be the apt time to plan a visit to Kota.
Infrastructure in KotaThe infrastructure of Kota includes an entire gamut of systematic framework which helps in the general as well as the civic administration of this wonderful city of Rajasthan.
Roads come under one of the basics that are included in the infrastructure of Kota. Benefiting the transportation system and the services provided to people the well laid roads of Kota city create a link to all other areas of Rajasthan. The thoughtfully laid out metallic roads of the city stretch for 37.16 kms. The rural corners of Kota are however joined by a 131.10 km stretch of non-metal roads intersecting the numerous villages in the nearby area.
The railhead of the city is located in the northern extreme of Kota and it provides services of trains from the city to the nearby places as well as distant areas. The airport of Kota is very small and thus to avail flights to important destinations one has to travel to the pink city of Jaipur which is approximately 240 km away.
The infrastructure for health services in Kota includes a wide range of developed and well-equipped dispensaries as well as specialized hospitals. The city itself houses about 28 primary health care centres, 11 local dispensaries, three good allopathic hospitals, 57 of special Ayurvedic hospitals and 158 sub-health centres. Within the city limits there are 53 privately owned hospitals too. These hospitals boast of offering state-of-the-art medical amenities to the local population.
The infrastructure of communication in the city is also good. Kota has 58 telephone centres, 3 telegraph offices, 428 Public Call Offices, along with 2231 booths which offer PCO as well as STD services. The city of Kota also accommodates 35 Police Chowkis and 29 Police stations with 7 lock-ups in total.
Kota has the entire basic infrastructure that a city needs to flourish and it offers supportive mechanism to its inhabitants.
Economy of KotaThe main economic support comes from the industries in the region. A rich deposit of mineral resources in unison with the huge population of skilled as well as unskilled labour has enabled Kota to move forward in big steps. The city supports several traditional native industries, engineering companies, thermal power plants, chemical and fertilizer industries which contribute to the fame of Rajasthan.
Blessed with a good climate and appropriate extent of land, the city of Kota has been able to attract several investors who have established their industries in and around the boundaries of the city. Kota has an important role to play as far as commerce and industries in Rajasthan are concerned. Most of the people earn their living by serving in these commercial setups.
A famous traditional industry of this place is that of the, Kota Doria sari is well known for its fine quality and elite design pattern. This special kind of sari has earned international praise for itself.
The Kota stone which is available locally is useful in many ways and it also fetches a large amount of revenue for Rajasthan.
Chambal Fertilizers based in Kota is a well known name for manufacturing fine grade fertilizers which aid in enhancing the agricultural turnover in the state. Kota has a big role to play in the development of Rajasthan with its wide range of industries starting from handicrafts to the modern ones.
Even with the ongoing progress and adoption of new values and methods from science, the inhabitants of this city have neither given up nor forgotten about their indigenous culture as well as art and craft, which in return has added on to strengthen the local economy.
Kota TourismKota is an incredible combination of a royal medieval culture and a modern industrial city. It is famous for its grand forts as well as its huge industries. The city also offers excellent scope for shopping as it has much to offer from its age old collection of handicrafts and saris.
The main tourist attraction is the fort which overlooks the river Chambal. The fort also has a museum that houses a great wealth of art and artefacts which have been handed over generations by the royal families who have been ruling the area. The museum also boasts of some chambers which have elaborate paintings. Apart from forts, lavish palaces and decorated temples that date back to several centuries also draw a lot of tourist to the city every year.
Other edifices of the past are seen in the Jag Mandir which is an incredible Island Palace, the Brij Raj Bhawan Palace and a grand haveli or mansion where beautiful paintings and majestic cenotaphs can be observed. Moreover, when in Kota tourists can enjoy the real spirit of traditional lifestyle of the Rajputs which still remains embedded in some parts of the city even now.
Major Tourist Attractions in Kota
- Rao Madho Singh Museum
- Kota Government Museum
- Jagmandir Palace
- City Fort Palace
- Chambal Garden
- Kishor sagar
- Haveli of Devtaji
- Kansua Temple
- Godavari Dham Temple
- Gaipernath Waterfall
- Darrah Wild Life Sanctuary
Food in Kota
The city of Kota which still has tales to tell about the Rajput valour and their fearlessness also offers appetizing platter of culinary delights for the connoisseurs of food. The food in this area does not involve unnecessary frills as this region is devoid of growing too many vegetables. The scarcity of ingredients made the food this region innovative enough to survive over a long time without losing its flavour. Dishes prepared generally have a rich colour and give out strong aroma which is hard to resist. However the food is not too spicy and is made from pure ghee. A sweet dish called Lapsi, which is made from unbroken wheat and sweetened ghee is a delicacy. The combination of Dal Bati and Churma, a combination of cereals, lentils and balls made of wheat flour is another famous food of this place.
Things to do in Kota
Being a historically significant city, Kota draws a large number of tourists every year. It is not only the historical palaces and forts that attract people from all over the world to this ancient city but even other incredible things like the mouth watering cuisine as well as the intricate handicraft have equal share in pulling the crowd. One can enjoy the vacation thoroughly as there is scope for sightseeing, tasting good food, shopping as well as wild life safari.
How to Reach Kota
Kota is well connected to the major locations in Rajasthan as well as the country. The nearest airport is in Jaipur.
It is linked by railway lines to all the major cities. The Kota railway Station is 2 km south of the old city. By road, transportation facility is also developed as there are express buses which ply from Kota heading towards various destinations in the state like, Bijolia, Ajmer, Chittorgarh, Bikaner, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Sawai Madhopur.
Quick Facts about Kota
Area: 221.36 sq. Km
Altitude: 251.1 metres above sea level
Languages: Hindi and Rajasthani
STD Code: 0744
Best time to visit: October-February