Modern Baroda is a great and fitting memorial to its late ruler, Sayaji Rao Gaekwad III (1875-1939 AD). It was the dream of this able administrator to make Baroda an educational, industrial and commercial centre and he ensured that his dream would come true.
Baroda is situated on the banks of the river Vishwamitri (whose name is derived from the great saint Rishi Vishwamitra). The city was once called Chandravati, after its ruler Raja Chandan, then Viravati, the abode of the brave, and then Vadpatra because of the abundance of banyan trees on the banks of the Vishwamitri. From Vadpatra it derived its present name Baroda or Vadodara.
Baroda has a rich historical background. The ardent historian can trace Baroda's history over 2000 years and more. However, the recent threads can be picked up when the Moghul rule over the city came to an end in 1732, when Pilaji brought the Maratha activities in Southern Gujarat to a head and captured it. Except for a short break, Baroda continued to be in the hands of the Gaekwads from 1734 to 1949.
The greatest period in the Maratha rule of Baroda started with the accession of Maharaja Sayajirao III in 1875. It was an era of great progress and constructive achievements in all fields.
There is a saying that nothing grows under the banyan tree, but this is not true of Baroda. Having witnessed the rise and fall of the empires and kingdoms of the Hindus, Pathans, Moghuls and Marathas, it now occupies a unique position on the educational, cultural and industrial map of India. Yet, it has been fortunate enough to retain the beauty of its rich and varied past. And it is one of the few cities in India which is still influenced by the lost might of its ruling dynasties.
The best climate in Baroda is in winters, between October and February.
EXCURSION: The town of Champaner (Pavagarh) is 47 km northeast of Baroda. It is famous for Jama Masjid, which is one of the finest mosques to be found in the state of Gujarat. It also has a medieval fort near it.
The town of Dabohi is 29 km southeast of Baroda and is known for its 13th-century Hindu military architecture.
Dakor, 50 km from Baroda and halfway to Ahmedabad, is famous for its Temple of Ranchodrai and is a sacred place for the followers of Lord Krishna.
Ahmedabad city is 100 km north of Baroda. Ahmedabad is known for its rich past and its association with Mahatma Gandhi. The city offers to the traveler a unique style of architecture, which is a blend of Hindu and Islamic styles (Indo-Saracenic style of architecture). It is famous for its mosques and baolis.
Sayaji Bagh & Baroda Museum - Baroda
The town of Anand, on the way to Ahmedabad from Baroda, is famous for its Amul range of dairy products. Anand is the hometown of the white revolution in India and the modern plant is worth visiting.
Bharuch, which is located on the main railway line between Baroda and Surat city, is famous for its monuments and the River Narmada that flows through it.
Attractions and Places to Visit in Baroda
Baroda is known for its palaces, museums and parks. The Sayaji Bagh is a big well-laid park and an important tourist attraction. Within this park, one 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 collection of Egyptian antiquities, while the art gallery has Mughal miniatures and some works of European masters. The Sayaji Bagh also has 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 good 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.
How to Reach Baroda
BY AIR - Baroda airport is 8 km northeast of the railway station and is linked with Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Pune.
BY RAIL - Baroda railway station is located on the northwestern part of the city. As Baroda is on the main Ahmedabad-Mumbai line a number of trains pass and stop at Baroda.
BY ROAD - We would provide you all India tourist permit vehicles for the local transportations and also for the intercity drives too.