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Looking at the western part of the Indian geography, there are quite a few rivers, both small and big that crisscross the state of Gujarat. One such river of importance in the Narmada River basin is the Aji River. Rising from the Jasdan Mountain Range in Gujarat near the Rajkot district, it is considered the Lifeline of Rajkot City. The river basically divides the city into east and west Rajkot.
The Saurashtra region comprising of Rajkot city and other nearby places, owes it all to this river. The Aji river water is channelized for various uses in the basin from agriculture to drinking purposes. With 4 dams being built upon the course of this river, Aji provides livelihood and is a freshwater source to millions of people in Gujarat.
The Rajkot and the Jamnagar are the two districts this river runs through as it makes its way from its source in the mountains of Jasdan to its mouth at the Gulf of Kutch in Ranjitpara of Jamnagar district; thus opening into the Arabian Sea.
Some of the major tributaries of Aji are the Nyari, Khokaldadi, Bhankudi &the Dondi River. The name "Aji" is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning mother. The first dam was built by the government of Gujarat. The downstream area of this dam (Aji Dam 1) is maintained by the Rajkot Municipal Corporation.
Beautiful step gardens, amusement parks, zoos, as well as a bird aviary and a crocodile park have been developed where the people can spend their leisure time. The Aji River and the Dam are situated at just 8 kilometers from the city center of Rajkot and as such add up as a tourist destination with water activities and other amenities as mentioned above.
The Aji River runs for about 164 kilometers from its source till it reaches its mouth where it joins the Arabian Sea; all along feeding millions of people and supporting thousands of small and big industries, thus facilitating life and bringing in continuity.
Now coming down to the course that this magnificent and equally important river follows; with its origin up in the mountains of Rajkot district. The Jasdan Mountains situated near the Tramba village is the birthplace of the Aji River. As it rises above the rocky terrains and flows down into the flood plains, it slows down and starts to curve around into meanders as at passes through several smaller towns and villages and dividing the city of Rajkot into its East and West halves. Called the lifeline of Rajkot City, the Aji River flows through the city towards the Jamnagar district where it finally meets the Arabian Sea at the Gulf of Kutch, near Ranjitpara in Jamnagar.
Covering a total distance of roughly 164 kilometers (or 102 miles), the Aji River creates a catchment area of over 2130 sq. km. Across its journey from the Sardhara ridge of the Jasdan Mountains into the Arabian Sea, there have been many projects running on various parts of the river course. One of the notable ones has been started by the Rajkot Municipal Corporation for the purification of water to provide potable water source to Rajkot city and nearby areas. All the projects on the Aji are irrigation projects, but none of them support canal irrigation systems to irrigate lands yet.
Aji River is among the chief mainstream water sources in the state of Gujarat and supports industries and lives in some of the drier regions of West India.
Among all its tributaries the Nyari is the chief and most notable water body that is associated with the Aji River. It originates from the hills of Sardhar near Atkot. One of the major landmarks of this tributary is the Aji Dam 1.With a catchment area of over 314 sq. km.; the Nyari River increases the flood plains of the Aji River by a major share. The Nyari Dam is located in Ragpar district of Rajkot, is the chief water project that supports irrigation in the region. The area around the dam is also being developed to facilitate tourism for people en-route to Rajkot.
Besides the Nyari River, the other major tributaries of the Aji are Khokaldadi River, Bhankudi & Dondi River. All of these also originate from the hills near Sardhar near Atkot like the Nyari, but are less significant in terms of water carrying capacity and the running length.