Places to Visit in Vadodara (Baroda)
Vadodara, also named as Baroda, is the third largest city in Gujarat. Calmer than the capital city, Baroda resides on the banks of Vishwamitri River. When the British took over in Gujarat, the Marathas ruled the city of them. The Gaekwad clan of the Marathas made Baroda as their capital, and Maharaj Sayajirao III laid the foundations of the new Vadodara. It is also one of the fastest growing cities of Gujarat and is an institutional hub as well. Baroda is also stated to be the cultural capital of Gujarat. Enlisted here are the top places to visit in Vadodara.
Ajwa Nimeta Dam and Gardens
The Ajwa Nimeta Dam got its name from Ajwa – the Lake and Nimeta – the Power Plant operational on the dam. The dam is constructed on the Vishwamitri River and fulfils the water requirements of the city. The dam was built in the 20th century is about 5 km long. The Gardens of Ajwa Nimeta are outstanding because of colourful dancing fountains that are all in the central line of the garden. The place has a fun park, which is popular amongst the natives.
The Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Corps build the EME Temple or also known as the Dakshinamurthi Temple. The temple depicts five main religions of India. It has an army style architecture and a pleasant sight. Idol of Lord Dakhshinamurthi is worshipped in the temple. And, every carving signifies to the religion like The Kalash (Hindu religion); the dome stands for Islam, The Tower representing Christianity, the golden structure over the tower is for Buddhism, and the entrance of the temple stands for the Jainism.
Laxmi Vilas Palace
The regal home of the Gaekwads, Laxmi Vilas Palace, is the largest private abode built till date. The palace size is about four times of the Buckingham Palace and includes all the modern facilities. This marvel dwells on both the Eastern and Western type of structures. With the exteriors showcasing, the Indian touch in the plush interiors match the European luxuries. One can admire the art and designing of the palace. With a lush green golf course and magnificent Durbar halls, the Palace speaks the splendid history.
The Tower of Fame or Kirti Stambh was constructed in 1935 by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III. The structure is one of the highest towers of the city and signifies as a sign of victory. Kirti Stambh has a lion on the top that is facing eastwards, and its rear is towards the famous Laxmi Vilas Palace. As per Hindu Mythology, it is stated that the movement eastwards is for salvation. Hence the lion faces east direction.
One of the oldest monuments of Baroda, Nazarbaug Palace was the royal residence of the Gaekwad’s clan. Built in the early 18th Century, it is a three-storey monument. The overall value of the property was in billions, and after an alleged robbery the palace now remains in ruins. Although original abode has lost the glory, ruins still manage to transport time back into the history.
Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery
Resembling London’s famous Victoria & Albert and Science Museums, this place was built. Baroda museum and picture gallery have some beautiful paintings of European painters and also the miniatures from the Mughal reign. Few paintings are a replica of the originals but undoubtedly a masterpiece. The major attraction of the museum is an Egyptian mummy and a skeleton of a blue whale. Both the sculpture and the possessions of the place are marvellous.
Sayaji Baug built on the River Vishwamitri is a 45-hectare garden and includes an aquarium along with two museums. The garden is the largest one in West India and houses around 100 species of flowering plants. The beautiful park has three entrance gates. The Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery are built in the backyard along with the Sayaji Zoo and Sardar Patel Planetarium. The primary attraction of the park is the floral clock.
Champaner – Pavagadh Archaeological Park
The world heritage sites of Champaner, Pavagadh are a major reason of tourists flocking to Vadodara. The place was civilised centuries back, a little miniature town of the bygone era was then lost in the jungles and was only discovered a few centuries back in a demolished and ruined condition. A palace, some mosques, the narrow streets that were once live, now is an archaeological marvel. Some Jain and Hindu temples here are well maintained and amazingly constructed.
A district nearby the city of Vadodara is something additional that one can visit. The place has a series of temples that could be seen distinctly from the skyline of the area. The Jain temple is famous for its Victorian Style architecture. Chhota Udaipur also has a royal palace and a tribal museum, which is an amalgam of culture, heritage and religion.