By Eshna Gupta
Everybody has heard about Kota, the famous coaching city in Rajasthan, one way or the other. Not just that, there are a lot of things that the town has been known for since centuries ago.
Come and explore what kota-vasis (yes, that’s what we call ourselves) love to flaunt about their city :
1. Kota ki Kachori :
Kachoris are the favorite snack of Kota and we can have it at literally any time of the day: Kota-vasis (the natives) don’t even need an excuse to have kachoris, let alone a reason.
But we have kept an excuse ready just in case—“Kota ka paani bhi kachori mangta hai”—that in Kota, one needs to have kachoris to digest water!
Pyaaz ki kachori and dal ki kachori are the two types of kachoris that we have there with a range of chutneys and other toppings. The tangy kaith ki chutney is a speciality here and the pyaaz ki kachoris are a real deal. If you don’t know what a foodgasm is, COME TO KOTA!
Every renowned kachori wala here has a different recipe (with secret ingredients). Every kachori lover here (which includes each and every kota-vasi) also has one’s own combination of chutneys and toppings that one likes the most and it better not be messed up with.
2. Kishore Sagar Talab :
Conveniently nicknamed as KST, this lake not only holds historical significance, but has also become the favourite hangout spot of all Kota vasis in the past couple of years.
There’s a peaceful walkway beside the lake, lined with trees, benches and beautiful lamps. The other side of the road has a lot of eateries and the expansive chattra vilas garden.
It is the site for a lot of fountain shows, water sports, cultural activities, fests and pujas in the city. In the middle of the lake, there’s an age old yet well-maintained jag-mandir which grabs everyone’s imagination due to its beauty, its unique location and the fact that it is not accessible anymore and as a result, it has a lot of weird stories spun around it.
At night time, the lake shore almost appears surreal as the reflections of the lightings of Seven Wonders Park in its waters along with numerous street lamps adorn its contours.
3. Kota Doria :
Invented in Kota centuries ago during Mughal era, this has its roots in the handlooms of Mysore. Kota Doria is made by weaving cotton and silk yarns together.
The cotton provides strength whereas the silk provides shine and the end product is generally a checkered material adorned with colorful motifs. In a few pieces, gold threads are woven into it to make special borders or to be used as “zari”.
Kota Doria is made only in Kota and adjoining towns. In Kaithoon, a nearby village, this is the only occupation that people have.
For centuries, the Kota Doria saris have adorned the Royalty as well as the commoners of Kota. Though for the last few years, the trade has been on a decline due to out-dated technology and low profits.
4. Kota stone :
Kota stone is a fine quality limestone and gains its name because most the huge number of mines located in or around Kota. It is very tough, durable, and beautiful as well as absolutely affordable.
For the very same reasons, though it is used generally in public utility building and railway stations everywhere in the country, it is the preferred choice for home flooring in and around the entire Hadoti region.
5. Coaching classes :
Last but definitely not the least, the coaching classes of Kota have made the town famous for the faculty and results that it boasts of. Around 150 big and small ventures make up the Kota coaching industry, estimated to be of 600 crore rupees with an annual growth of 15%.
It all started after the shutting down of the JK factory due to which many people lost their means of income. As they started to look for alternate means, V.K. Bansal turned to tutoring IIT aspirants to manage a living. He started in his garage with 3 students and after a few years of impressive results, founded the Bansal coaching classes.
At that time, the entire economy of Kota was facing a crisis and it was the coaching industry that lifted the town out of it. Today, the Bansal Classes Pvt. Ltd. itself is a million dollar venture but is losing its fame in the face of tough competition from other coaching enterprises.
Kota has a lot to offer which the students miss out amidst their exhausting studies.
The things that would make one’s stay rich there include (but are not limited to) all of these things; in Kota, the modern life has come into scope but the cultural has not faded away.
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