He was dropped by Dawid Malan at first slip on 21, edged three times short of fielders behind the wicket, then glanced another edge through the right hand of the diving Malan when on 51. Kohli grew more confident with passing time, and surpassed his previous best of 39 on English soil (Southampton in 2014).
Axed opener Mark Stoneman managed five half-centuries but, remarkably, a top score of only 60 while James Vince and Moeen Ali are also now out of the team after failing to convert from three half-centuries apiece.
Sam Curran (four for 74) made a sterling home bid for the headlines, with three wickets in eight balls during a titanic first hour of the afternoon - and England were well-served too by Ben Stokes and James Anderson.
Vijay was solid as usual, leaving the ball well, while Dhawan looked to play down the ground. "I was working on simplifying my actions a bit and make sure I can get more body into the ball, try create something in the air and it worked really well", he said.
Additionally, they looked to rotate strike as much as possible, going for quick singles even if this approach looked unsafe from the outside.
England also lost a review when Vijay was struck on the pad by Anderson on six, but the ball was found to be drifting down the legside.
"I suppose it just happens to be the ball before I got out that there's a huge hoo-ha about a pigeon".
After batting first, England did not get off to a start that they would have expected.
Lokesh Rahul dispatched his first ball to the boundary but dragged his second from Curran on to his stumps.
Earlier, Jos Buttler was taken to hospital after injuring his left middle finger attempting to take an extremely tough chance off Kohli at gully, but an X-ray revealed it was bruised rather than broken.
Anderson improved his length and troubled Kohli for the next two overs, before Rashid brought things to a close in this session. He is the quickest to the milestone surpassing Brian Lara who needed 164 innings.
The rest of India's batting line-up failed, however, and the tourists were bowled out for 274 in reply to England's 287 as Sam Curran, the 20-year-old from Surrey, took four wickets.
Curran, in only his second Test, bowled intelligently to disrupt India's top order and expose their weaknesses in these conditions.