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Early Ideas and Aspirations

     By the end if 1882 Bhagvatsinhji had learnt all that the Rajkumar College could teach him. He was not old enough to rule the state. It was therefore decided he should visit Europe. Her mother disliked the suggestion. She loved her son and She don’t want to be in the way of his son’s progress. She made up his mind to execute a plan. She went up to Rajkot to bid farewell to her son.

     For the first time  Bhagvatsinhji went of the Kathiawar. It was his first journey to Bombay by train. From Bombay he was driven to Malabar hills. He founded that Bombay was not so much superior as Gondal

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Electric lamp at Palace

     Electric light attracted him he decided,” I should like to have it in my new palace at Gondal”. Institution of public utility especially appealed to him. He wanted to the Vehar and Tulsi Lakes, from which people in Bombay obtained drinking water, He founded beautiful and admired very much the skill and energy behind that enterprise. From that movement he planed to set such similar plan at Gondali river. As we shall see, he set engineers to work out a scheme and it was carried out in 1900.  

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Vari Dam at Gondal



Attendance at a band performance on the Apollo Bunder made him to have a trained band at Gondal to coler the for the amusement of the people on certain day by discoursing English as well as native music more familiar to their ear. This intention was soon fulfilled after.

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Band Stand at Gondal

     He arrived in London on May 21st, He founded that the railway train there ran much faster than in India . He was even more surprised to see people doing their own work instead of depending upon servants. There he visited the Indian offices and other departmental buildings, the houses of parliament, hospitals, museums, libraries, reading-rooms, clubs, parks and recreation ground and theaters . He attended levees and social functions. In so doing he never seem to have forgotten that a serious purpose lay behind travel. He could not regard himself as a private individual spending his own money. He felt that the taxes paid by his people made it possible for him to be in Europe and therefore he must try to serve as their eyes and ears. He especially sought to discover for himself the secrets that had made the British a great nation so that he could apply them to improve Gondal and its inhabitants.

     A visit to a couple of famous market set him thinking about Indo-British relation. He noticed that the British had adopted the Indian word bazaar in a slightly altered form ‘Bazaar” for some of their marts. He expressed the hope that they would have a greater thinking for Indians that they had for Indian languages. He felt that India’s day of happiness would not come until they had that liking.

      He visited  Cambridge. The appearance of Cambridge pleased him. Never had he seen such fine avenues of trees. On the whole, however he was to impressed with "the place, perhaps because it was surrounded by the mathematical atmosphere which was too hard for his lungs and breath". That remarked is some what different to understand.

    He liked Oxford better than Cambridge. Dr. Mackely advised him to join Oxford someday and be attached for some time to one of the colleges to complete his education. He did not dreamed, at that time, that a few years later he would receive the Doctorate in Civil Law in 'causa honor’s'  from that university.

      He felt in love wit the Scotland at first sight. Edinburgh, with its gray granite buildings and broad, well kept streets, particularly applied him. A tour of the Royal Infirmary and of the medical school attached to the Edinburgh university made him to study medicine. Few years later he obtained the highest degree in medicine in the gift of Edinburgh university.

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     He was stuck with the patience and kindness shown to the inmates in the asylum for the blind and the quality of food given to them. It would be good thing, he opined, if work in this direction were attempted in India, where blindness was even more common than in Europe. It could be done with small outlay of money by attaching blind asylum to the “Pinjarapoles” (Institution for the shelter and care of animals) and similar establishment managed by the Mahajans (literally ‘great men’ but figuratively ‘traders’)

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Panjarapol Gondal

      Visits to industrial and commercial town such as Leeds and Liverpool brought home to him the weakness of Indian Economic systems. Raw materials, he noticed, were sent out of the country and manufactured goods received in exchange. At Liverpool he found, for instance large quantities of raw wool being brought in from our own and other countries. The expenses entailed in the transport of raw materials from India and sending back the manufactured goods. All this money might be saved if the material could be worked up in our country where labour was very cheap.

      The six weeks, from September 11th to October 28th , that he spent in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and Italy did he much good. It enabled him to see something of how continental people lived and worked. Shortly, after his arrival in Paris he came to the conclusion that French capital surpassed London in beauty. He liked broad streets lined with trees on either side, with separate footpaths and rides and drives for carriages. “Paris was particularly picturesque by night”. The long lines of lamp shining the broad streets for miles together with brilliant illumination of shops gave the whole city the appearance of a continual Deewali.

     His tour in Switzerland was hurried. He was surprised to notice that the electric telegraph has been extended to almost all villages in that country and that even smallest hotels were supplied with electrical bells. It excelled England in utilizing the electricity. 

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Switchboard used in Palace

      His tour in Switzerland was hurried. He was surprised to notice that the electric telegraph has been extended to almost all villages in that country and that even smallest hotels were supplied with electrical bells. It excelled England in utilizing the electricity. 

     The mountains in Switzerland remained him of Girnar, the highest hill in Kathiawad. As he described them in journal, “The best way to give some idea of it to the people of Gondal to suppose the whole of Kathiawad covered with the mountains thrice the size of Girnar after the monsoon, with their peaks all tipped with snow. The Girnar however is full of varieties of verdure and therefore more beautiful than the Swiss mountains which are covered with some the sort of vegetation.”    


Sir Bhagvatsinhji

The Maker of Modern Gondal



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