Baroda City Guide
Templehe Gaekwads, a Maratha clan who were originally the generals of the Peshwas in Maharashtra, carved out a kingdom for themselves in Baroda. Twenty years later, Damaji’s nephew Pilaji became the founder of the house of Gaekwad. Although an English Resident was appointed to the Court of Baroda in 1802, the rulers had a good equation with the British. The wealth of the family is legendary, and stories abound of their priceless jewellery and works of art. The city witnessed a golden age when Maharajah Sayajirao Gaekwad came to the throne in the late 19th century. He brought about many reforms in education, medicine, religious tolerance and administration. Sayajirao was one of the three princes who rated and got a 21gun salute.
Maharaja Sayaji Rao Gaekwad III (1875-1939) is a legend; he was the adopted son of Queen Jamnabai. He took Baroda through a golden age with the help of an astute statesman – his chief minister, Diwan Madhav Rao. Sayaji Rao began constructing the Laxmi Vilas Palace, naming it after his first wife (a princess of Tanjore).
Baroda can boast of one of the finest palaces in India. Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad commissioned the famous British Architects, Major Mant and Chisolm to work on Laxmi Vilas palace. Designed in the Indo-Saracenic style, it is quite a long drive from the huge wrought iron gates with the mounted royal emblem, to the portico. You look around in amazement as you step inside – the colourful frescoes in Italian style on the walls of the palace surprise you with their splendour. Beautiful statues, marble fountains, Moorish arcades and stained glass windows adorn the structure.
The palace is a marvellous work of eclectic architecture, with a mix of all styles. Built in 720 acres, it was landscaped by Mr Gonderling of Kew. The work started in 1878 and was completed in 1890; it is still the residence of the royal family.
Forts & Monuments Of Baroda
Situated in the cantonment near Fatehgunj is the beautiful Shiva temple. Managed and maintained by the “Jawans” of E.M.E., this temple is made of alluminium and some alloys. Unlike all other temples, this beautiful Shiva temple is made of alluminium and it is a place of religious armony. A cultural centre has also been developed by the E.M.E. around the temple here good sculptures of Gujarat , pavilions etc.
Considered as one of the most famous museums of the country it was built in 1894. The picture gallery which offers an excellent collection of originals by famous British painters Turner and constable and many others attract tourists from every part of the country. The Egyptian mummy and skeleton of a blue whale are major attractions for those who visit the museum.
Situated at a distance of 23 kms. from Vadodara. Ajwa is an ideal place for weekend picnic. Sayaji Sarovar, which has been a major source of water supply for Vadodara is situated here. Spending a few minutes by the side of the lake is a matter of experience. The municipal Corporation has prepared a beautiful garden by the side of the Ajwa Sarovar which is resembling with the famous Vrindavan Garden of Mysore.Inquiry Now