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 people of Baroda
like to tell visitors that their city is a ‘Sanskari Nagari’,
that is, a ‘cultured city’. By and large, the visitors agree.
The city does indeed have rich cultural traditions. And today’s
Barodians have quite a full and hectic cultural life throughout
the year. The outstanding trait about Baroda’s cultural life
is that it is remarkably cosmopolitan. And while there are
hundreds of different identities, everyone participates in
all activities. So, the culture of the city is not just history
or heritage; it is dynamic, ever-changing and alive. In Baroda
various large-scale industries such as Gujarat State Fertilisers
& Chemicals, Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Limited
and Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Limited have come up in
the vicinity of Gujarat Refinery and all of them are dependent
on it for their fuel and feedstock.
Laxmi Villas Palace:
It is designed in Indo-Saracenic style and was built by Maharaja
Sayajirao III. Started in 1878 and completed in 1890, it is
the residence of the royal family. The palace contains a collection
of old armour as well as bronze and marble sculptures. Fatehsinh
Rao Museum, located on the palace grounds, houses the royal
collection of paintings, sculptures and other objects of arts.
Built by maharaja sayajirao - iii in 1936 a.d. to perpetuate
the glorious Memory of his beloved ancestors, it is an ' e'
shaped builing with domes, Terraces, balconies and a central
shikhara built in hindu style. Reputed as The family vault
of gaikwads, the magnificent kirti mandir is decorated With
murals by nandlal bose. The visit to this place is sure to
leave you Spelbound.
Maharaja Fateh Singh Rao Museum:
The museum has the royal collection of art treasures and works
of old masters like Raphael, Titian and Murillo as well as
modern western and Indian paintings, Graeco-Roman exhibits,
Chinese and Japanese art, and a large collection of contemporary
Sayaji Bagh (Baroda Museum):
Sayaji Baug (the famous park) is situated on river Vishwamitri
and was built by Sayajirao III in 1879. Sprawling over 113
acres, it also includes an excellent zoo, the Baroda Museum
and Picture Gallery, the Museum of Health and Hygiene and
the Sardar Patel Planetarium. A major attraction for children
is the 3.5 kms joy ride through the park on the toy train.
Built as the western gateway to the old city in 1558, Lehripura
Gate is an impressive structure with beautiful arches.