Vadodara is Gujarat’s third largest city and is considered to be the state’s industrial and cultural capital. It is situated on the Vishwamitri river and is a mixture of many eras. This graceful city has historical palaces, finest parks, beautiful temples and famous museums.
It is believed that modern Baroda owes its beauty, educational institutions and masterpieces of architecture to the vision of then great ruler Maharaja Sayajirao, who was one the foremost administrator and reformer of his times. Over the years, Vadodara or Baroda as many like to call it, has witnessed some significant changes.
So here are a few places which will remind you of this city’s magnificent past, when you plan to take a cultural tour within the city.
- Kirti Mandir
Kirti Mandir meaning ‘Hall of Fame’, is a memorial designed in Hindu style for Gaekwad rulers. It looks like a temple, but is not a temple in the usual sense of the word. The outstanding building is constructed in the shape of ‘E’ with terraces, balconies and domes. Behind the temple like structure is the Shamshan Ghat or burning ground where members of the royal family are cremated.
It is not really considered to be a tourist spot where they expect visitors. However, Kirti Mandir is quite an intriguing place for travellers with a love for history.
2. Chimnabai Tower
This tower was erected in c.1896 by citizens of Baroda in memory of Maharani Chimnabai, the first queen of Gaekwar Maharaja Sayaji Rao III. It has a clock fitted on the top and also has design of Chhatris above the clock. This clock provides the freedom to see the timings from all four directions.
The clock is 6 feet in diameter and used to play music every 15 minutes and it was only until this year that the clock started to chime again.
3. Baroda Museum
This famous museum was built in 1894 on the lines of Victoria & Albert and Science Museums of London.
Today, it preserves a rich collection of art and sculpture. An Egyptian mummy and skeleton of a blue whale are the major attractions for those who visit this museum.
4. Nyay Mandir
The Nyay Mandir means ‘Temple of Justice’ and it houses the District court of Vadodara city in the state of Gujarat. It is a piece of Moorish architecture, with a huge central hall which has a statue of Chimnabai. It was the supreme court pre-Independence.
Part of the historical building have been damaged over years and the Italian marble tiles on its exterior have started to come off. It is believed to be under repair currently.
5. Maharaja Sayajirao University
Built by former ruler of Baroda, Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad, it became a university in 1949 after the Independence of the country.
It is one of the biggest universities in western India and only one in Vadodara.