Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara. Palace in India, Asia

Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara

Palace in India, Asia

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Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara

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If you want a glimpse into the Indian royalty, visit Laxmi Vilas Palace. It is the home of Vadodara's royal family, hence the expensive furnishings and exquisite architecture.

History

The palace was constructed in the late 19th century by Maharaja Sayaji Rao III, but it is still standing in its full glory because of its extensive care and maintenance. It was designed based on the Indo-Sarecenic architectural style and was considered as the most expensive structure constructed by a private owner during its time.

Its exteriors and interiors never fail to impress, especially its landscape and artwork. An audio tour is available from 9 AM to 5 PM, from Tuesday to Sunday every week, except on public holidays. The entry fee is ₨ 170 ($2.72), inclusive of the audio guide fee.

Tour Highlights You Shouldn't Miss

The highlight of the tour would be the Durbar Hall. It showcases the best of the European architecture, from Venetian-style mosaic floors and stained glass windows reminiscent of Belgium-style to multi-colored marbles found in the palace pillars and other areas. The palace occupies 700 acres of land and served as the home of the royal Gaekwad (Wikipedia Article) family.

Laxmi Vilas Palace is among the largest royal residences in the world. It is about four times bigger than Buckingham Palace, today. It was built complete with modern amenities, counting modern interiors and elevators among them. It still houses the Royal Family, which is still well-respected in Baroda.

Just like a traditional Indian palace, it has three divisions - the Durbar Hall on the left, the women's apartment, or “zenana”, on the right, and the Maharaja's residence at the center.

The Durbar Hall also boasts of the Raja's throne and various ornate artwork pieces. The art collection in the hall made it the ideal venue of various cultural events and music concerts. The collection also includes Fellici sculptures made of marble, bronze, and terracotta, as well as old armory.

Outside the hall, you will find water fountains, a common feature of Italianate courtyards. The palace grounds were designed by William Goldring, a Kew Garden expert. Now, the palace is open for public viewing and an audio tour.

Getting to the Palace

  • Fly to Vadodara. The city’s airport, Civil Airport Harni, is connected to Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, and other major Indian cities.
  • Go on a road trip to Vadodara by road because the city is also connected to the National Highway. It even has eight highways that are connected to India’s major cities, such as Delhi.
  • Go by bus. The city has a reliable bus service that you can use.
  • Ride a train. The Vadodara rail is one of the busiest railways in Gujarat, so you can easily get around the city on trains.

Similar Landmarks

There are many other majestic temples and palaces in India, but one of the closest to the Laxmi Vilas Palace is the Hutheesing Jain Temple in Ahmedabad in Gujarat, India. The Hutheesing Temple is dedicated to the 15th Jain Tirthankar (Wikipedia Article), Dharmanatha.
You can also visit the Sun Temple, Modhera, Gujarat, which was built in 1026 AD by the Solanki Dynasty King Bhimdev.

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Author: epicandrea. Last updated: May 28, 2014

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