The centenary of coronation of Maharaja Sir Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla was observed on 10th December 2015. To pay homage to this great builder of modern Rajpipla, the erstwhile royal family accompanied by a few friends visited some of the sites of his public utility works.
After the descendants of Maharaja Vijaysinhji offered obeisance to their Kuldevi (family diety), the group paid tribute to the last ruler of Rajpipla State at his grand statue at the entrance of the capital town.
They then stepped across to the nearby railway station. It was Maharaja Vijaysinhji who had built a bridge over the River Karjan, and extended the Rajpipla State railway line right to the edge of Nandod, the capital. It was inaugurated in 1917 by Lord Willingdon, the Governor of Bombay.
The next stop was the large, exquisitely designed High School, built in the 1930s. Several thousand students have been educated at this institution over all these decades, and continues to be alma mater to children of this heritage town.
A short drive away is the Civil Hospital. The foundation of this was laid on 9th December 1915, just a day before the official coronation of Maharaja Vijaysinhji. It was built in memory of his father Maharana Sir Chhatrasinhji, who had passed away on 26th September 1915. The impressive hospital, offering contemporary facilities, was inaugurated in 1919 by the legendary ruler of Baroda, Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad.
The Rajpipla Club was also inaugurated by Lord Willingdon in 1917. During the days of yore it had a polo ground beside. It had facilities for tennis, table tennis, badminton and bridge.
The excursion ended at Vijay Palace, home to Maharaja Vijaysinhji for more than three decades. His progeny placed flowers on the marble gadi (throne).
It was followed by a high tea which rounded off a memorable day in memory of one who is still a role model and inspiration to the people of Rajpipla.