Kota formerly known as Kotah, is a city located in the southeast of northern Indian state of Rajasthan. It is located Around 250 kilometres (155 mi) south of the state capital, Jaipur. Situated on the banks of Chambal River, it is the third most populous city of Rajasthan after Jaipur and Jodhpur, 46th most populous city of India and 53rd most populous urban agglomeration of India. It serves as the administrative headquarters for Kota district and Kota Division. Kota is a major coaching hub of the country for competitive examination preparations and has a number of engineering and medical coaching institutes.The city of Kota was once the part of the erstwhile Rajput kingdom of Bundi. It became a separate princely state in the 17th century. Apart from the several monuments that reflect the glory of the town, Kota is also known for its palaces and gardens.
Mahesh Vijay of Bhartiya Janta Party is the current Mayor of Kota.In 2013, Kota was ranked the second most livable city in the state (after Jaipur) and forty-first in the country among 50 cities. The city was also included among 98 Indian cities for Smart Cities Mission initiated by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi in 2015 and was listed at 67th place after results of first round were released following which top 20 cities were further selected for funding in the immediate financial year.
The history of the city dates back to the 12th century AD when Rao Deva, a Chauhan Rajput chieftain belonging to the Hada clan conquered the territory and founded Bundi and Hadoti. Later, in the early 17th century, during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, the ruler of Bundi – Rao Ratan Singh, gave the smaller principality of Kota to his son, Madho Singh. Since then Kota became a hallmark of the Rajput gallantry and culture.
Kota city became independent in 1579, after Bundi state in Hadoti region had become weak. Then, Kota ruled the territory which now is Kota district and Baran district.
The city of Kota is situated at a centre of the southeastern region of Rajasthan a region very widely known as Hadoti, the land of the Hadas. Kota lies along the banks of the Chambal river on a high sloping tableland forming a part of the Malwa Plateau. The general slope of city is towards the north. The comparatively rocky, barren and elevated land in southern part of city descends towards a plain agricultural land in the north. The Mokandarra hills run from southeast to northwest axis of the town. The historical places and temples are getting surrounded by signs of modern development.
Kota has a semi arid climate with high temperatures throughout the year. Summers are long, hot and dry, starting in late March and lasting till the end of June. The temperatures average above 40 °C in May and June and frequently exceed 45 °C with temperatures as high as 48.4 °C also been recorded.The monsoon season follows with comparatively lower temperatures, but higher humidity and frequent, torrential downpours. The monsoons subside in October and temperatures rise again. The brief, mild winter starts in late November and lasts until the last week of February. Temperatures hover between 26.7 °C (max) to 12 °C (min). This can be considered the best time to visit Kota because of intense heat in the summer.
The city is the trade centre for an area in which cotton, millet, wheat, coriander and oilseeds are grown; industries include cotton and oilseed milling, textile weaving, distilling, dairying, and the manufacture of metal handcrafts. Kota also has an extensive industry of stone-polishing of a stone called Kota Stone, used for the floor and walls of residential and business buildings. Since last 15 years Kota has emerged as an Education hub of the country as producing excellent results in IIT-JEE and medical entrance exams
In the past decade the city has emerged as a popular coaching destination for competitive exams preparation and for profit educational services. The education sector of Kota has become a major contributor to the city’s economy. Kota is popularly referred to as “the coaching capital of India”.Over 1.5 lakh students from all over the country flock every year towards the city for preparation of various exams such as IIT-JEE, NEET-UG and AIIMS etc.Many hostels and PGs are located in Kota near the vicinity of coaching centres for students. Students live here for 2–3 years and prepare for the exams. In the past few years, reports of students committing suicide in the city have increased. As per reports, students feel stressed and get pressurised in order to crack their target competitive exam. For the same cause, many coaching centres have also appointed counsellors to help students
Some of the popular visitor attractions in and near the city include Chambal Garden, Seven Wonders Park, Chatra Vilas Garden, Kota Zoological Park, Kishore Sagar Lake, Jag Mandir, Maharao Madho Singh Museum, Kota Government Museum, Brijraj Bhawan Palace, Garh Palace, Abheda Mahal, Godavari Dham Temple, Rangbari Balaji Temple, Garadia Mahadev Temple, Agamgarh Gurudwara Sahib, Sawan Phuhar Waterpark, Hanging Rock Fountain, Royal Cenotaphs at Kesar Bagh, Kota Barrage, Adarshila Dargah, Noori Jama Masjid, Darrah National Park and Jawahar Sagar Dam.There are several shopping malls and complexes in Kota. City Mall on Jhalawar road, Centre Square Mall in Gumanpura and Ahluwalia’s The Great Mall of Kota near DCM road are some of the notable retail malls in the city.