The Maharana Chhatrasinhji Rajpipla State Hospital completed its centenary on 21st February 2019. Handed over to the government at the time of merger of Rajpipla State with the Union of India in 1948, it still remains the Rajpipla Civil Hospital, a hundred years after it was inaugurated. Only now is the Government of Gujarat planning another civil hospital in the suburb of Jeetnagar.
The foundation stone of the hospital was laid on 9th December 1915, a day before the official coronation of Maharaja Vijaysinhji. It was built in memory of his father Maharana Chhatrasinhji, who passed away on 26th September of that year.
Exquisitely designed by Shapoorjee N. Chandabhoy & Company, Bombay, the imposing hospital with the best medical facilities then, and enough space for expansion, took more than three years to complete. The legendary Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwar of Baroda was invited to inaugurate it. The ceremony was performed on 21st February 1919.
Situated in the heart of Rajpipla town (earlier known as Nandod), the hospital continues to serve the people of the area after having completed its centenary. The visionary Maharaja Vijaysinhji also built five regional dispensaries in different parts of the 4,000 square kilometres Rajpipla State, lying largely between the Rivers Narmada and Tapti. He also set up a veterinary hospital near the Rajpipla railway station, and close to where his own statue was to come up later. Even as a new hospital comes up on the outskirts of the town, the Maharana Chhatrasinhji Hospital still stands firm.
After completing a hundred years of its existence, it is set to take care of the medical needs of the people of Rajpipla for many, many more decades, a tribute to the benevolent 32-and-a-half years rule of Maharaja Vijaysinhji.