Unwind the clock of modern life. Unlock the door to a wonder of the world.
Still the residence of Vadodara’s royal family, Laxmi Vilas was built in full-throttle 19th-century Indo-Saracenic flourish at a cost of Rs 6 million. Built over 500 acres, this is the largest private home built till date and four times the size of Buckingham Palace. The most impressive Raj-era palace in Gujarat, its elaborate interiors boast well-maintained mosaics, chandeliers and artworks, as well as a highly impressive collection of weaponry and art. Paintings by the famous artist, Raja Ravi Verma who was specially commissioned by the then Maharaja of Baroda, adorn the palace. It’s set in expansive park-like grounds, which include a golf course.
Sayaji Baug, also known as Kamati Baug, is a massive green square in the middle of the town, which houses the famous Museum and Picture Gallery, and other kid-friendly sights like an aquarium, zoo, health museum, planetarium, a toy train and a flowerbed clock. The Baroda Museum & Picture Gallery is home to a diverse collection of art, much of it gathered by Maharaja Sayajirao III, including statues and carvings from several Asian regions, fine ivory carvings from India, Japan and China, a modest Egyptian room with a mummy and an entire floor of stuffed and pickled wildlife specimens.
Established in the early 1990’s, the Gaekwad Baroda Golf Club is the only private golf course in and around Vadodara. But more than that, it has earned the reputation of being one of the most prestigious clubs in Gujarat. This premier club was founded by the erstwhile royal family of Baroda. Befittingly, the Lakshmi Villas Palace makes a gorgeous backdrop Vilas Palace, an extravagant building, was built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III in 1890.
The royal mausoleum of the Gaekwad dynasty, Kirti Mandir, is one of the most stunning but understated buildings in Baroda. Situated in the heart of the city, it was built in honour of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III's silver jubilee celebration in 1936. The building is E-shaped and features beautiful architectural features like balconies, terraces, tombs, domes and a brilliantly carved 35 metres high central shikhara. The interiors have murals by Nandalal Bose, based on themes like Gangavataran, Life of Meera, the battle of Mahabharat and Natir Poojan and some rare paintings from the famous artist Raja Ravi Varma.
Built in the 18th century, the Sursagar is also known as Chand Talao. It marks the center of the city of Vadodara, surrounded by the thrum of commerce in the Old City. A tall statue of Lord Shiva, which is lit up on Maha Shivratri, works as a veritable beacon over the lake. The perennial lake has several gates at the bottom that are opened in case of overflooding. The water then pours into the Vishvamitra River.