Places To Visit In Vadodara
Places To Visit In Vadodara: Vadodara is the third-largest Metropolis & city in the Indian state of Gujarat, after Ahmedabad and Surat. It is the administrative headquarters of Vadodara District and is located on the banks of the Vishwamitri river, 141 kilometres (88 mi) from the state capital Gandhinagar. The railway line and NH 8 that connect Delhi and Mumbai pass through Vadodara. It is known as a Sanskari Nagari (city) of India.
As of 2011, Vadodara had a population of almost 1.82 million people. The city is known for the Lakshmi Vilas Palace, the residence of Baroda State’s Maratha royal family, the Gaekwads, of the Gaekwad Dynasty. It is also the home of the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, the largest university in Gujarat. An important industrial, cultural and educational hub of western India, the city houses several institutions of national and regional importance while its major industries include petrochemicals, engineering, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics, IT and foreign exchange services.
Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara
Laxmi Vilas Palace is one of the most majestic structures in India and was the private residence of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III. Known to be the largest private dwelling of the size equivalent to four times of the Buckingham Palace, this magnificent palace is a must visit when in Vadodara. Sprawling across an area of about 700 acres, it is still home to the royal family of Vadodara, the Gaekwads. The lush gardens of the palace add to the beauty of the entire experience of being here. Lucky tourists can spot monkeys or peacocks strutting around. The grounds also include a 10-hole golf course. In earlier times, a small zoo was also a part of the area. What remains today are a small pond and a few crocodiles.
The striking palace was constructed in 1890 and took nearly twelve years to complete. The total cost of the construction was around £180,000. The chief architect of the place was Major Charles Mant. He followed the Indo-Saracenic style while constructing the palace which is a hybrid of the Hindu, Gothic and Mughal architectural forms with the presence of domes, minrates and arches. It also incorporates several other buildings within its complex including the LVP Banquets and Conventions, Moti Baug Palace and the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum building. An excellent audio tour with free drink and snack are included in the ticket price.
Sayaji Gardens, Vadodara
Sayaji Gardens, as the name suggests is dedicated to Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III himself. It is the largest garden in the western region of India with a sprawling 45 hectares of land.
This was built in the year 1879 on the river Vishwamitri and it comprises of a large spectrum of flora, with more than 99 species of trees to its name. That’s not all, this park also houses two museums, a planetarium, a zoo, a toy train for children and a flower clock. So many utilities under one roof, make this attraction the most sought after in the state of Gujarat. Constructed by the Gaekwads in 1894, the Vadodara Museum and Picture Gallery is host to umpteen numbers of relics relating to a wide range of fields right from archeology to geology. The main attractions being the skeleton of the gigantic blue whale. The Floral Clock is a huge structure in the park which is a one of a kind construction in the state.
The mechanism of the clock is very minutely designed to ensure that the time given by the clock is accurate. The Sayaji Baug Zoo has a rich collection of fauna featuring 167 types of 1103 animals. Recently, an aquarium containing 45 species of fish was added to the Sayaji Baug Zoo. The Sardar Patel Planetarium, situated near the main entrance of the Sayaji Gardens, offers daily public shows as well as special shows to educational universities.
Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park holds a lot of historical as well as mythological significance in itself. The Park comprises of umpteen number of splendid architectural wonders consisting of both Hindu & Islamic styles of design. Another interesting piece of trivia regarding this place is that the hill of Pavagadh is believed to be a chunk of the Himalayas that was originally carried by Hanuman to Lanka in the Ramayana epic. With such rich history to its name, this makes up for a really intriguing place to visit.
Ajwa Nimeta Garden, Vadodara
Decked with green manicured lawns and adorned by towering palm trees, the Ajwa Nimeta Garden is the perfect destination to plan your leisurely weekend at. The crowd-puller here is the 100-meter row of perfectly aligned musical fountains that mesmerise us with coordinated water shoots in the background of lively colours. This garden is enjoyed by adults and kids alike.
Baps Sri Swaminarayan Mandir, Vadodara
Adorned with immaculate architecture, flawless design and awe-striking grandeur, the BAPS Sri Swaminarayan Mandir is like the palace of the lord. The tranquil vibe of the temple instils a revitalising and deeply energising calm within you. Right outside the temple is a small and clean eatery that sells mouth-watering Indian delicacies prepared without the use of any onion or garlic.
Vadodara Museum and Picture Gallery, Vadodara
Constructed by the Gaekwads in 1894, the Vadodara Museum and Picture Gallery is host to umpteen numbers of relics relating to a wide spectrum of fields right from archeology to geology.
It also houses a few rare personal collection pieces of Maharaja Sayajirao III. Most noteworthy relics are the 109 miniature paintings of the Mughal times, a Persian version of Mahabharata specially commissioned by Mughal Emperor Akbar, 11th century Shiva Natraj amongst others.
Nazarbaug Palace, Vadodara
Nazarbaug Palace or Nazar Bāgh Palace was the Gaekwad’s royal palace in the city of Vadodara, Gujarat state, western India. The Nazar Bāgh Palace’ was built in 1721. It had three storeys and is the oldest palace in Baroda. It was constructed by Malhār Rāo Gaekwad in the late 19th century. This palace was used on ceremonial occasions by the Gaekwads. Till recently, it housed the royal family heirlooms. It had solid gold and silver guns, each barrel weighing over 100 kg. The grounds also contain the Shïsh Mahal, a Palace of Glass.
The Palace had a classic look, so in Gujarati it was told about its look as ‘Nazar na laage’ from which it was named Nazar. The Palace also had beautiful garden from which its name included baug. So it was named as Nazarbaug Palace.
The white-stucco palace was the depository of the jewels of the Gaekwad family, and in 1927 the collection was believed to be worth $10,000,000 at the time, including a diamond necklace which carried both the Star of the South diamond, weight around 125 carats, and the English Dresden; another important part of the collection was a cloth embroidered with precious stones and seed pearls, made to cover the tomb of Muḥammad.
The palace was in a state of ruin and did not reflect its former glory. The inside was ripped out after an alleged robbery. The grounds was used as a car park. Visitors were allowed to walk around but not allowed to take photos. Such is the state of this once beautiful palace the root of Gaekwad rule in Vadodara that was unrecognisable and possibly the land will be sold off for apartment constructions.
In October, 2014, the palace was completely razed with only rubble and some parts of the floor remaining.
Nazarbaug Palace. By Rail – The nearest railway station to Nazarbaug Palace is the Vadodara Jn Train Station which is 3 kms away from the Palace.
Decked with lush greenery on all sides, the Sursagar lake is an example of exemplary architecture and mesmerising beauty. Enjoy paddle-boating in these jade waters and go around the majestic 120-foot statue of Lord Shiva that looks upon the lake. Relaxing on the boundary wall under the starry night is a great way to get away from the monotonous, fast-paced city lives.
Kirti Mandir, Vadodara
Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III was so powerful and affluent that he had an entire monument built to commemorate the cremation of his family members. This monument was called the Kirti Mandir.
Widely known as the Temple of Fame, this structure was constructed also to celebrate the fifty years of his mighty administration. One of the carvings on the cenotaph makes one reminisce about the good old days, where India was not divided into so many states and territories, due credit to the undivided map of India displayed on the central arch. The 33 m high central arch is also ornamented with the sun, the moon and the earth and the rooms behold the sculptures and photographs of the members of the Gaekwad family.
Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara
The Maharaja Sayajirao University is a premium institution in the city of Vadodara, in Gujarat. The University has evolved from the Baroda College (1881) which was one of the oldest and most respected centres of education in western India. It was later renamed after its benefactor Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, the former ruler of Baroda State. The present Maharaja Sayaji Rao University has lived up to the name of its predecessor and done justice to the great Gaekwad dynasty to whom it owes its existence. Apart from being an educational institution, it is also a heritage site.
The university is built upon 275 acres of land and boasts of 14 faculties including arts, commerce, education and psychology, family and community sciences, fine arts, journalism and communication, law, management studies, medicine, performing arts, science, social work, technology and engineering, and pharmacy. The Institution has become a paragon in the field of education with 90 departments, 3 constitutional colleges and several other centres which provide education at varying levels starting from kindergarten to PhD. It is also spreading its wings towards more modern subjects like fashion designing, catering technology and hotel management to keep pace with the times.
Originally known as the Baroda College of Science, it became a university in 1949 after the independence of the country. It is a teaching and residential university and the only university in Gujarat whose medium of instruction is English for all courses. Currently, more than 1200 well-qualified staff members and 1500 administrative staff and more than 35000 students have created a whole new world of learning inside the historical campus of Maharaja Sayaji Rao University. All-in-all, the Maharaja Sayaji Rao University is a well-established learning centre where students get ready for the modern world in the very lap of a great historical heritage.