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Vadodara - The Destination

Vadodara  Temple

The garden city of Gujarat, Vadodara (present-day Baroda) derives its name from the profusion of banyan trees in the city. Once the capital of the princely Gaekwad Family, Vadodara is a charming city of palaces, parks, temples, and museums.

The city thrives in palaces, museums and parks. The Sayaji Bagh is a big well-laid park and an important tourist attraction. Within this park, you can see the Baroda Museum and Art Gallery. The Museum has a good collection of artifacts, which not only includes Indian sculptures and ancient manuscripts, but also houses a vast collection of Egyptian

antiquities, while the art gallery has Mughal miniatures and some works of European masters. The Sayaji Bagh also houses a planetarium and a small zoo within it. Maharaj Fateh Singh Museum, located in the southern part of the city, is an important tourist spot. It houses the royal collection of copies of European masters. This museum also has a good collection of Far Eastern Art and contemporary Indian works. The Laxmi Vilas Palace, north of the Maharaj Fateh Singh Museum, has a fine collection of artifacts. As this museum is not generally open for public viewing, advance booking has to be made to visit it. The Naulakhi Well, a fine example of a step well or baoli, and the EME temple, a unique temple with an aluminum roof, are worth paying a visit.
 

In the Khanderao Market is situated the superb Tambekarwada Haveli (mansion), a graceful four-storey structure covered in murals. The city comes to life and form during the festival of Navratri celebrated to honor Goddess Amba. Street corners, city squares and temple courtyards spill over with gorgeously attired men and women dancing the musical, almost mesmerizing Garba and Dandiya Ras.


The dance derives from the love legend of Radha-Krishna and the Gopis (milkmaids). For these nine nights every girl is altered into a seductive gopi in embroidered flowing skirts and mirrored blouse, and the boys into Krishna, the eternal yet elusive lover. Understandably the time when love blooms!

Vadodara - Facts at a Glance

State : Gujarat
Area : 108.22 sq km
Temperature : 11 C – 31 C (Summer)
24 C – 45 C (Winter)
Altitude : 35.5 mts
Rainfall : 931.9 mm
Language : Gujarati, Hindi, English
Best Season : November - February
History of Vadodara

The earliest record of Baroda city is found in a land grant dating back to AD 812. In the grant, Baroda is referred to as Vadapadraka. It was also known as Chandanavati, after a local Rajput ruler. The city underwent constant renaming, from Varhavati, Vatpatraka, Vadodara, and, in 1971, to Baroda.

The history of Baroda is divided into different periods. The Hindu period lasted from ancient times until 1297. The Muslim rulers of the Delhi sultanate ruled this region from 1297 to 1401. An independent Muslim kingdom was established here, which was known as the Gujarat Sultanate. The present city was established during this period, which spanned from 1401 to 1573.

Baroda became the part of the mighty Mughal Empire when Akbar, the Mughal emperor, defeated the local Muslim ruler in 1573. The Mughal period lasted until 1734, when the Maratha period started under the Gaekwad family. From 1734 to 1947, it became the capital of the powerful Gaekwad rulers.

In 1802, the British, under the banner of the East India Company, established a residency in Baroda to cement their relation with the Gaekwads. Later this residency was responsible for all erstwhile princely states of Gujarat and Kathiawad. In 1947, when India gained independence and all princely were abolished, it became a part of the state of Gujarat.
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