Vadodara or Baroda is a cosmopolitan city located in Gujarat. Home to some of the most exemplary displays of architecture, Vadodara is a fitting memorial to Maratha leader Sayaji Rao Gaekwad III who had envisioned a dream to make this Big City an educational, industrial and commercial centre.
Known for one of the most lavish palaces in India- the Lakshmi Vilas Palace and plenty more legendary monuments, Vadodara is the cultural capital of Gujarat. With a prominent part of it being occupied by the Gujaratis, this place is the most sought after during the nine days of the Navratri festival. No city in India celebrates the festival of Navratri with as much zeal and exuberance as Vadodara does. It houses one of the premier universities of India- the Maharaja Sayajirao University.
The top sightseeing places in Vadodara are Laxmi Vilas Palace, Sayaji Baug (Kamati Baug), Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, Ajwa Nimeta Garden, Baps Sri Swaminarayan Mandir, Vadodara Museum and Picture Gallery.
Places To Visit In Vadodara
1. Laxmi Vilas Palace
Laxmi Vilas Palace is one of the most majestic structures in India and was the private residence of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III. Known to be the largest private dwelling of the size equivalent to four times of the Buckingham Palace, this magnificent palace is a must-visit when in Vadodara.
2. Sayaji Baug/Gardens
Sayaji Gardens, as the name suggests is dedicated to Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III himself. It is the largest garden in the western region of India with a sprawling 45 hectares of land. That's not all; this park also houses two museums, a planetarium, a zoo, a toy train for children and a flower clock. So many utilities under one roof, make this attraction the most sought after in the state of Gujarat.
3. Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
Being included in the elite list of the World Heritage Sites across the globe, this marvelous archaeological park set in the heart of the city of Champaner and amidst the Pavagadh hills is one of the most sought after places in Gujarat.
4. Ajwa Nimeta Garden
Decked with green manicured lawns and adorned by towering palm trees, the Ajwa Nimeta Garden is the perfect destination to plan your leisurely weekend at. The crowd-puller here is the 100-meter row of perfectly aligned musical fountains that mesmerise us with coordinated water shoots in the background of lively colours.
5. Baps Sri Swaminarayan Mandir
Adorned with immaculate architecture, flawless design and awe-striking grandeur, the BAPS Sri Swaminarayan Mandir is like the palace of the lord. The tranquil vibe of the temple instils a revitalising and deeply energising calm within you. Right outside the temple is a small and clean eatery that sells mouth-watering Indian delicacies prepared without the use of any onion or garlic.
6. Vadodara Museum and Picture Gallery
Constructed by the Gaekwads in 1894, the Vadodara Museum and Picture Gallery is host to umpteen numbers of relics relating to a wide spectrum of fields right from archeology to geology.
7. Sursagar Lake
Decked with lush greenery on all sides, the Sursagar lake is an example of exemplary architecture and mesmerising beauty. Enjoy paddle-boating in these jade waters and go around the majestic 120-foot statue of Lord Shiva that looks upon the lake.
8. Kirti Mandir
Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III was so powerful and affluent that he had an entire monument built to commemorate the cremation of his family members. This monument was called the Kirti Mandir.
9. Maharaja Sayajirao University
The heart-wrenching separation from the Baroda College of Science in the year 1949, gave birth to one of the most elite institutions in India, the Maharaja Sayajirao University.
10. EME Temple
Short for Electrical and Mechanical Corps, in honour of the people who built the temple, the EME Temples is a symbol of the secularity practised in the Indian Army, the EME Temple in Vadodara is an aluminium-clad abode, constructed at the intersection of ancient and modern.
11. ISKCON Baroda
Spanning over a whopping 2500 ft in the city centre of Baroda, the ISKCON temple has been preserving Vaishnavism for decades now. Seek Lord Krishna's blessings at the Darshan Mandap which is adorned by tasteful traditional art on all sides. Right outside is a pure vegetarian restaurant - Govindas, that serves scrumptious Indian food without using any onion and garlic.
12. Sardar Patel Planetarium
With awe-striking video clips of space, state-of-the-art sound systems and a curved projection screen that imitates reality, this planetarium plays an hour-long session about the solar system, satellites and astronomical history thrice a day in English and Gujarati. All your curiosities about outer space are waiting to be answered right in Sayaji Baug at the Sardar Patel Planetarium.
An awe-striking grove of banyan trees, Kabirvad, awaits you on the banks of River Narmada. This banyan grove is believed to have sprouted from a measly Datoon, and now spreads over more than 3 kms. Believed to have sheltered the famous poet Kabirdas for many years, this banyan grove holds tremendous religious significance and is ardently worshipped by the locals.
14. Zarwani Waterfalls
At a distance of about 90 km from Vadodara in Gujarat, Zarwani Waterfalls are amongst the most sought natural destinations in India. Huddled deep inside the heart of Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary near the district of Narmada, the perennial and gorgeous Zarwani Waterfalls provide you with an opportunity to trek, picnic, and indulge in wildlife photography.
15. Surya Mandir
Surya Mandir, Borsad is situated in the town of Borsad in Anand, Gujarat, dedicated primarily to the Sun God. People from all over the world visit the Sun Temple enthusiastically. The history behind this temple is quite of a vague kind, which dictated that the temple is built at the instance of God himself.
16. Khanderao Market
It pretty much seemed like Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, just needed a random reason to build an edifice. The Khanderao Market is an extravagant building built under his supervision in 1906 that was a gift to the municipality on the completion of 25 years of his authoritative administration.
17. Makarpura Palace
Makarpura Palace was initially constructed with the motive that it will serve as a summer palace for the royal family of the Gaekwads.
18. Aurobindo Ashram
Basically built as a residence to Aurobindo Ghose who was the private secretary to the then Maharaja of Baroda, HH Sayajirao Gaekwad III. Aurobindo Ghose was a multitalented man and during his tenure as a private secretary, he decided to follow his passion of teaching and was the Professor of English and vice-principal of Baroda College.
19. Nyaya Mandir
Nyaya Mandir, translates to 'Temple of Justice' is the District Court of Vadodara city in the state of Gujarat. Situated in the heart of the city, this marvelous piece of architecture was the brainchild of Madras architect Robert Fellowes Chisholm.
20. Maharaja Fatehsingh Museum
Originally built as a school for the Maharaja's children, the Maharaja Fatehsingh Museum now houses a wide range of antiques and art pieces that once belonged to the Maratha royal family. The exhibits range from portraits of the royal family and depictions of Hindu mythologies to flawless marble and bronze sculptures.
21. Statue of Unity
Statue of Unity is a memorial to The Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The statue has been erected to propagate Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's vision of India and to inspire the Citizens of India through his patriotism and freedom struggle. The Bronze statue of the founding father of the Republic of India stands 182 metres tall grabbing the attention of the whole world as the 'Tallest statue in the World'. The statue of Unity is Located in Gujrat, by the banks of River Narmada on the River Island of Sadhu Bet overlooking the Narmada Dam (Sardar Sarovar Dam) from 3.2 km away.
22. Mandvi Gate
Believed to be used to collect tolls from merchants and traders, the Mandvi Gate in Baroda is an important testimonial of the celebrated Mughal era. Resting at the centre of the city, this square-shaped pavilion screams regality with it bold arches on all four sides. The entire structure is illuminated during festivals and is truly a sight to behold.
23. Nadalay Temple
A Vaishnav Hindu Temple dedicated to Shrinathji, the Nandalay Temple is the perfect destressing destination in Baroda. Chanting slow and peaceful hymns in unison with the crowd as the tranquil aura of the temple calms you will revitalise you from within. Be sure to visit during morning or evening aarti and notice the temple's admirable architecture and Shrinathji's beautiful paintings.
24. Hazira Maqbara
Housing the tombs of Qutubbuddin Muhammad Khan- the tutor of Emperor Akbar's son; and his own son Naurang Khan- an influential administrator of Emperor Akbar's dynasty, is the Hazira Maqbara in Baroda. Displaying typical Mughal architecture styles with ostentatious arches and octagonal platforms, the real graves are inside an underground chamber while the replicas are in the tomb.
25. Hathni Waterfalls
Jambughoda is home to one of the most breathtaking and magnificent waterfalls you can visit in the Indian subcontinent. About a 100 metres in length and flowing with rich greenery, Hathni Waterfalls are surrounded by a variety of beautiful flora and fauna. If you find the peaceful sound of flowing water from streams and falls incredibly relaxing, then this is the spot for you.
27. Thol Bird Sanctuary
Thol Bird Sanctuary is an ecologically rich bird reserve located on Thol lake in the Mehsana district of Gujarat. It is nestled amidst dense deciduous vegetation and is one of the most popular places for bird-viewing in the state. The sanctuary welcomes vast varieties of endemic as well as migratory birds such as pelicans, flamingoes and mallards, which inhabit the area every year. The Thol lake augments the serenity of the sanctuary, making it a hotspot for nature lovers.
28. Sardar Patel Zoological Park
Sardar Patel Zoological Park is a newly inaugurated zoo situated in Kevadia, a town in the Narmada district of Gujarat. Located in the vicinity of the majestic Statue of Unity, this tremendous establishment hosts about 170 different species of wildlife from all across the globe, is home to a wide range of plant life and has a breathtaking aviary inhabited by endemic as well as foreign varieties of birds. The Royal Bengal Tigers, Zebras, Leopards etc. are only a few examples of wild animals one can explore here.
Best time to visit Vadodara
The best time to visit Vadodara is during the months of October to March. During this time, the widely celebrated Navratri Festival takes place in the city. Vadodara experiences hottest summers with temperatures going up to 42 degrees Celcius and heavy rainfall and hence April to September isn't a great time for sightseeing. However, if you don't mind a little rain, you could visit Vadodara during the early monsoons.
Food of Vadodara
Vadodara has a large range of restaurants serving typical Gujarati thalis and also other cuisines, which means that the tourists do not have limited options in terms of food. Though there are more vegetarian restaurants in this city than there are non vegetarian. But the Gujrati cuisine offers a lot of variety in food and with so much variety in eating vegetarian food, the famous Indian British cookbook writer Madhur Jaffrey has termed Gujarati cuisine as "the haute cuisine of vegetarianism" in one of her TV serials about Indian food.
How to Reach Vadodara
Vadodara is easily accessible by road, rail, air and waterways. Vadodara has an aerodrome of its own, though it currently operates domestic flights only. For international flights, the nearest airport is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad which is located 100 km away. You can avail the facility of buses from the STC bus station which is in close proximity to the Vadodara Junction. The Vadodara Junction Railway Station is one of the most major railway stations in India and also the busiest in the state of Gujarat. Vadodara can also be accessed by travelling in river Mahi in a boat from Savli.
Vadodara Tour Packages
About Vadodara Tourism: Home to impressive architecture, Vadodara in Gujarat is a metropolitan city known for its rich culture, heritage, and modernity. It is famous for palaces, beautiful parks and gardens, temples and other tourist attractions, all of which make it a destination worth visiting. We provide you with an opportunity to explore this great city with its many Vadodara tour packages that are suitable for all travellers!
The Laxmi Vilas Palace is one of Vadodara’s gems. This magnificent palace, built in the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, was once the private residence of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III and is about four times the size of Buckingham Palace. You must also see Makarpura Palace, which was the summer palace for the royal Gaekwads. Now used by the Indian Air Force, people aren’t allowed inside.
When you travel to Vadodara, head over to Sayaji Baug, dedicated to Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, it spans over an area of 45 hectares. It is the most extensive garden in western India. Next, visit the Ajwa Nimeta Garden to revel in the beauty of its manicured lawns and tall palm trees and enjoy its light and sound show featuring musical fountains. Sursagar Lake, surrounded by greenery, is known for boating and watching the sunset.
Vadodara travel packages also include temples like the BAPS Sri Swaminarayan Mandir, Kirti Mandir and Surya Mandir. What’s more, you can tour several museums to learn about the city’s heritage; the Vadodara Museum and Picture Gallery and Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum are quite famous. Furthermore, Mandvi Gate and Hazira Maqbara are some Mughal establishments to see.
Something you must experience on your trip to Vadodara, especially if you visit in October, is the festival of Navratri. You should try your hand at garba! The best time to visit is from October to March when the weather is pleasant. Numerous hotels offer accommodation. You need about 1-2 days to uncover most of the city’s gems.
Vadodara holiday packages enable you to explore nearby places like Ahmedabad, Dwarka and Somnath. Gujarat’s capital, Ahmedabad, is known for the Sabarmati Ashram where Mahatma Gandhi resided, the Statue of Unity and magnificent stepwells like the Dada Hari Vav and Rani ki Vav. Walk around the Sabarmati Ashram, tour the Calico Textile Museum, visit the Modhera Sun Temple, Shri Swaminarayan Temple, etc.
Dwarka is a pilgrimage centre, supposedly the capital of Lord Krishna’s kingdom. Here you can visit the Dwarkadhish Temple, Nageshwar Jyotirlinga and Gopi Talav. You can also spend some time at Dwarka Beach or visit the Dwarka Lighthouse. Somnath is home to another Jyotirlinga, the Somnath Temple, and the Paanch Pandav Gufa, Laxminarayan Temple and Suraj Mandir. A visit to Somnath or Chorwad Beach would be relaxing too! Our diverse Vadodara tour packages, which are customisable and affordable, assure you of a trip that you will never forget!