Dr. Bhagvatsinhji, also known as Gondalbapu was a Maharaja of the Gondal, a city in the state of Gujarat. Dr. Bhagvatsinhji was born to Mangham and Sangramsinh on 24 October 1865.
Dr. Bhagvatsinhji had a great enthusiasm for learning. He was not only the first Maharaja to take a Medical degree but he was the only one who later went on to take other degrees. Regardless of the tough responsibilities and obligations, Dr. Bhagvatsinhji maintained his academic career, and traveled to Scotland to attend the University of Edinburgh. Along with the medical degree, Dr. Bhagvatsinhji obtained total 11 degrees including engineering and the degree of law.
Sir Bhagvatsinhji completed his education at the Rajkumar College Rajkot. Later on, he went to pursue Medicine at the University of Edinburgh and graduated as a Medical Doctor in 1895. He became a fellow of the College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Thereafter, he became the president of the Committee of the International Congress of Hygiene and Demography. Dr. Bhagvatsinhji was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1900. Over the years he became the Vice-President of the Indian Medical Association.
Dr. Bhagvatsinhji was an author of ‘A Short history of Aryan Medical Science’, and published the first Gujarati encyclopedia and Gujarati dictionary.
Dr. Bhagvatsinhji during his reign, built several schools and public institutions, improved state administration, and contributed to free and compulsory education. He developed technical schools and training facilities for engineers and laborers. The fact that Dr. Bhagvatsinhji had a progressive anticipation or viewpoints at that time, made him one of the most distinguished monarchs in the history of India.
Women's education is known to be the most notable enactment made by Dr. Bhagvatsinhji. The law was enforced after Dr. Bhagvatsinhji analyzed the statistics of women's literacy rates in Gondal. After the enforcement of this rule, the number of girls attending school increased five-fold.
After Coming back from abroad, Dr. Bhagvatsinhji enacted a set of laws or reforms that improved the quality of life of the citizens of Gondal. He improved the regional well-being, built dams and irrigation networks, presented the ideas for sewage, telegraphs, plumbing, telephone cables, electricity, and fought for women’s rights.
Dr. Bhagvatsinhji was also an environmentalist who encouraged the plantation of thousands of trees and prohibited the hunting of animals. During the time of drought and scarcity, he developed dams and reservoirs for the public benefit that manages irrigation even today.
To mark the 50th anniversary of his accession to the throne, he donated his weight in gold to the charity. During the exceptional reign of Dr. Bhagvatsinhji, the state of Gondal was free from taxes, rates, and export duties. Later on, in the year 1944, Dr. Bhagvatsinhji passed away.