History of Baroda
Baroda has enriched the nation by grooming mighty men like Maharishi Aurobindo Ghosh, Acharya Vinoba Bhave, Dada Bhai Naoroji and Doctor Ambedkar. The city’s educational and Art Institutions have produced the luminaries like Jivraj Mehta, K.M.Munshi, Hansa Mehta and Professor Bendre.
The modern city is fitting tribute to late Shri SayajiRao Gaekwad.
It was the dream of this able administrator to make Vadodara (original name of Baroda), an educational, industrial and commercial center. Today Baroda stands as a monument to his farsighted vision. The city has giant industrial complexes and public undertakings like the Gujarat Refinery, IPCL, GSFC, and the Heavy Water Project of the Atomic Energy Commission.
Baroda has a rich and a varied historical background. It has changed its name several times. First it was named ‘ Chandravati, then ‘Viravati’ and later known as ‘Vadpatra’. It is now called Baroda or Vadodara. It is situated on the banks of river Vishwamitri in Gujarat State. The city has many tourist spots like Palace, Museum, Art Gallery, Parks, University, and Gardens.
Geographical Information of Baroda
- Area: 108.22 sq. km.
- Altitude: 35.5 Mts. Above Mean Sea Level.
- Latitude: 22 deg 17’ 59’’ North
- Longitude: 73 deg 15’ 18’’ East
- Distance from Mumbai: 442 Km
- Distance from Delhi: 1039 Km
- Distance from Ahmedabad: 120 Km
- Pucca Roads: 1500 Km
- Kutchcha Roads: 400 Km
- Total Roads: 1900 Km
- Winter Temperature: Max 31 OC, Min 11 OC
- Summer Temperature: Max 45 OC, Min 24 OC
- Rainfall (mid-June to mid-September): 931.9 mm
Sayajirao III built Sayaji Baug, well known as Kamati Baug, in an area of about 113 acres, on the river Vishwamitri; the garden has a Zoo, a Museum and Picture Gallery, a small museum for Health and Hygiene, and for children a Toy Train and Fun rides. It has well Maintained lawns, decorated with sculptures placed on pedestals. The park has fountains and trees, which makes it worthwhile for a visit. The park also has a planetarium. The park also has a Bandstand
The floral clock is first of its kind in the state. It consists of hour, minute and seconds hands that move on 20 feet diameter dial. The whole mechanism is underground giving the natural look
BARODA MUSEUM AND PICTURE GALLERY
The famous museum was built in 1894 on the lines of Victoria, Albert and Science Museums of London. ‘Mad’ Mant in association with R.F. Chisholm who refined some of Mant’s finest works to make genuine Indo-Sarcenic architecture designed the Building of this Museum. It preserves a rich collection of art, sculpture, ethnography & ethnology. Several of the paintings are not only original but masterpieces at the picture gallery. It also houses a skeleton of a blue whale and an Egyptian Mummy
SARDAR PATEL PLANETARIUM
Located in Sayaji Baug, the Planetarium, with a capacity of 200 seats, runs 3 shows everyday (except Thursday). The audio- visual shows are on the movement of celestial bodies in space, earth’s planetary system and India’s space program
The Zoo is located inside the Sayaji Baug. Situated in the natural aromatic atmosphere the Zoo has several types of mammals, birds, reptiles, and alligators
An international monument of Shri Aurobindo. Relics of Shri Aurobindo are preserved here. It is open to all for meditation. It houses a library and study room
The Toy Train is extremely popular amongst children. It runs on a small track width 10 inches covering a distance of 3.5 Km. giving the entire view of the garden to the children
Located in the cantonment area, this unique Shiva temple of E.M.E. school is a major attraction for both tourist and devotees. It is entirely built of aluminum sheet in 1966
This is a palatial building created by Sayaji Rao III in 1906 at a cost of three lakhs. It was then presented to the Municipal Corporation on the Silver Jubilee celebrations. There are many Municipal Offices housed in this building. The main entrance resembles in architecture that of the gate of dabhoi fort.
LAXMI VILAS PALACE
It is one of the finest buildings in Vadodara. Maharaja Sayaji Rao III built in the style of Indo-Sarcenic architecture for his residence. The construction of this place was from 1878 to 1890 AD at a cost of about 60 lakhs. The interior of Laxmi Vilas Place in marble mosaic, fine stone, glass and wood is enchanting and has valuable furnishings. Maharaja’s personal Museum is also housed in the same premises.
This is a majestic monumental building also known as Temple of Fame. Built by Maharaja Sayaji Rao III in 1936 AD to perpetuate the glorious memories of his ancestors, it has various rooms preserving the statues and the photographs of the Royal family. It is an ‘E’ shaped building with domes, terraces, balconies and a central sikhara, of 33 meters height, built in the Hindu Style
This Temple of justice is a magnificent and massive building built in Mixed Indo- Sarcenic and European style by Maharaja Sayaji Rao III. It is two storied with large courts and a fine central hall decorated with mosaic works. A beautiful marble statue of Chimnbhai, the first queen of Sayaji Rao III adorns the hall. The building is used at present as District court.
This lovely place was build by Maharaja Khanderao (1856-1870 AD) for his residence. There was a magnificent Deer Park adjoining the place. Sayaji Rao III added a new wing to it and renovated the palace, which was in ruins. This new wing was designed in the contemporary European style. An excellent garden and a summerhouse surround the palace.
The premier and outstanding Residential University campus was established in 1882 by Maharaja Sayaji Rao III. There are architecturally interesting buildings in the campus. The Central dome of the Faculty of Arts is 144 feet high. Various higher education disciplines are available to the students including Fine Arts. The University has a rich collection of books on almost all subjects and in various languages.
This is a picturesque Gate with three large arches. It is the western gateway to the fortified medieval town of Baroda.
Situated in the old walled city near Mandvi Clock Tower, it is the oldest palace built in old classic style in the late 19th century.
PRATAP VILAS PALACE
Designed in renaissance architecture, it houses the Railways Staff College, the main training center of the Indian Railways. The college is equipped with a beautiful mini railway model room showing different types of railway operations including track signals.
PALACE MUSEUM (Maharaja Fatehsingrao Gaekwad Museum)
Located in the Laxmi Vilas Palace, it has a fabulous collection of Greek, Roman and European Sculptures and Art objects. There are original paintings of India’s celebrated artist Raja Ravi Varma and European oil paintings.
It was built in Safavi-Persian style. It is famous for its carved marble windows. Constructed in memory of Kutub-ud-din, the General of the Army of the Great King Akbar, it is one of the oldest Moghul monuments of the city.
Situated 23 Kms from Vadodara, Ajwa is an ideal place for weekend picnic, Sayaji Sarovar Lake, a major source of water supply for Vadodara, is situated here. The Municipal Corporation has prepared a beautiful garden which resembles with the famous Vrundavan Garden of Mysore. Illuminated and musical fountains are operated on every Saturday, Sunday and Monday, which is a major attraction. The entire garden turns into a fairyland in the evening when the fountains are illuminated.
An old town with Hira Bhagol gate is known for its unique carved gate. 30 Kms. East of Vadodara, it has been described as the original center for Gujarati style of architecture.
Nimeta a village about Hira Bhagol from the city. It has a water filter station. Nimeta has been developed by the Municipal Corporation into a beautiful garden and a guesthouse. It has become a popular picnic spot for the residents of Vadodara.
It is the birthplace of the famous musician Baiju. Pavagadh today has developed as a hill resort because of its scenic beauty and fresh atmosphere. The hill of pavagadh rises from Champaner in three stages. The hill covers 42 Kms in circumference. It has a ropeway to reach kalika Mata’s temple at the top. The plateau at an altitude of 490 meters is known as Machi Haveli. The hill has a historical town of Champaner near-by. The town has beautiful mosques Juma Masjid and Shah-ki-Masjid. It is 50 Kms north of Vadodara.
Popularly known as Karvan. It is situated 30 Kms. on the National Highway No. 8. It is both, a place of pilgrimage and picnic. Archaeology department has excavated and preserved ancient sculptures and relics of the 2nd century. A beautiful Shiva Temple built recently houses an attractive idol of Lakulish.
A religious place on the banks Narmada River 60 Kms East of Vadodara.
A place situated on the riverbank of the Mahi is used mainly as a picnic spot. It is about 80 Kms from Vadodara.
Dakor is 60 Kms from Vadodara and easily accessible by rod. The place is famous for Ranchhodraiji temple an incarnation of Lord Krishna. Several thousands of devotees visit holy temple every month on Poornima.
Situated on the banks of the river Narmada at a distance of 60 Kms from Vadodara. Nareshwar is a good place for those who wish to spend their time on the riverbanks. The place is also famous for the ashram of Shri Rang Avdhoot.
Lying 60 Kms, east of Vadodara the village of Sankheda is known for its laquer painted colourful wooden furniture and handicrafts heritage.
Gujarat Nature Conservation Society has developed a nature park amidst the ravines of the river Mahi near Sindhroot about 13 Kms away from Vadodara. It provides an opportunity for the visitors to understand the nature. The place is visited by number of school children and nature lovers.