|Sayaji Nagari (Town of Sayajirao Gaekwad), Sanskari Nagari (Cultural City)|
|Vadodara Municipal Corporation||Established 1950|
|Municipal Commissioner||M.K. Das|
|Legislature (seats)||Municipality (84)|
|Planning Agency||1 (VUDA)|
|3641566† (18) (2007)
• 11,021 /km2 (28,544 /sq mi)
|Official languages||Gujarati, Hindi,Marathi, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+05:30)|
|148.95 km2 (58 sq mi)
• 129 m (423 ft)
|Semi-arid (BSh) (Köppen)
• 43 - 12 °C (97 °F)
• 43 - 26 °C (83 °F)
• 33 - 8 °C (83 °F)
|Website||Vadodara Municipal Corporation|
Vadodara (Gujarati: વડોદરા (help·info)Vaḍodǎrā), formerly Baroda (Gujarati: બરોડા Baroḍā), is the third most-populated city in the Indian state of Gujarat after Ahmedabad and Surat. It is one of four cities in the state with a population of over 1 million, the other being Rajkot and the two cities listed above, although it has a massive population of over 3 million. It is also known as the Sayaji Nagari (Sayaji's City after its famous ruler, Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III) or Sanskari Nagari (The City of Culture, a reference to its status as the Cultural Capital of Gujarat). Vadodara or Baroda, formerly the capital city of the Gaekwar State, is situated on the banks of the Vishwamitri, a river whose name derived from the great saint Rishi Vishwamitra. It is located southeast of Ahmedabad. It is the administrative headquarters of Vadodara District.
Vadodara is home to almost 1.6 million people. (as of 2005), the beautiful Lakshmi Vilas Palace and the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (M.S.U.) which is the largest university in Gujarat and undoubtedly the best. Its famous for various faculties and departments, including the Fine Arts, Performing Arts, Technology, Management, Psychology, Social Work, Law and Medicine streams. It has a high literacy rate by Indian standards of 78% (2001). Major industries include petrochemicals, engineering, pharmaceuticals, plastics and Forex. Famous companies such as ABB, Reliance Industries, Larsen and Toubro, IPCL, ONGC and Sun Pharmaceuticals all have a strong presence in this city, also it has presence of IT multi-national companies.
The first noted history of the city was of the early trader settlers who settled in the region in 812 AD. The province was mainly Hindu-dominated with Hindu kings ruling till the year 1297. The Gupta Empire was the first power in the region in the early years of the Christian Era. After fierce battles, the region was taken over by the Chalukya Dynasty. Finally, the kingdom was annexed by the Solanki Rajputs. By this time the Muslim rule had spread across India, and the reins of power were then snatched by the Delhi Sultans. The city was ruled for a long time by these Sultans, until they were easily overthrown by the Mughal emperors. The Mughals' biggest problem were the mighty Marathas who slowly but eventually took over the region. It became the capital of the Maratha Gaekwads. Sayaji Rao III (1875-1939), a most able ruler, made many public and bureaucratic improvements in the region. Although the British had a major influence on the region, Baroda remained a princely state until Independence. Like all other princely states, Baroda also joined the Dominion of India in 1947. Vadodara has the privilege of being the first state to join the Union of India; with Maharaja Pratapsinh Gaekwad the first Ruler to sign the Accession Letter to the Indian Union.
The eighteenth largest and one of the cosmopolitan cities of India, Vadodara alias Baroda is located on the banks of Vishwamitri River. This garden city is the industrial capital and the third most populated town of Gujarat and also the administrative headquarters of Vadodara District. Due to its rich cultural traditions, the district is referred to as Sanskari Nagari. With many museums and art galleries, this upcoming hub of industries and IT is a favorite spot of tourists. Vadodara was once called Chandravati, after its ruler Raja Chandan, then Virakshetra or 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.
Two thousand years ago, there was a small town known as "Ankottaka" (present day Akota) on the western bank of the river Vishwamitri. The earliest mention of Vadodara is in a Granth or charter of 812 that identifies it as "Vadapadraka", a village attached to the nearby town of "Ankottaka". In 600 AD severe floods in the Vishwamitri forced the inhabitants to move to the eastern side of the river to a village known as "Vatpatrak" (Leaf of Banyan tree) which developed into Vadodara. In the 10th century, Vadapadraka replaced Ankottaka as the main town.
The city was once called "Chandanavati" after its ruler "Raja Chandan" of the "Dor tribe of Rajputs, who wrested it from the Jains. The capital had also another name Virakshetra or Viravati (Land of Warriors). Later on it was known as Vadpatraka or Vadodará, which according to tradition is a corrupt form of the Sanskrit word Vatodar meaning In the heart of the Banyan tree. It is now almost impossible to ascertain when the various changes in the name were made; but early English travellers and merchants mention the town as Brodera, and it is from this that the name Baroda is derived. In 1974, the official name of the city was changed to Vadodara.
It is also rumoured that the name Baroda originated from two words Vat which means the Banyan tree and Aodh, which means a tent/canopy. According to a popular legend, the region in and around present day Baroda was full of Banyan trees that formed a dense cover that looked like a huge tent canopy from a distance. Thus the name Baroda stuck.
The early man lived on the banks of the Mahi River. This river must have formed the flood plain during that age. The movements of these “food gathering” parasites on nature, living on the banks of the river, grumbling the roots and killing animals with crude stone tools made out of the cobbles and pebbles available on the river bank, were necessarily controlled by the availability of convenient raw materials for their tools. There are evidences of the existence of early man in the Mahi river valley at a number of sites within 10 to 20 km to the north-east of Vadodara. No evidences however of the existence of this man are found in and around present Vadodara. This may be because of the absence of gravels and cobbles on the banks of the Vishwamitri rivulet.
The next phase of the pre-historic Vadodara witnessed the first human settlement on the right bank of the river Vishwamitri on a group of dunes resting on the alluvium of the river. It also means that men knew about where to set up settlements, as they had selected an elevated land. The Vishwamitri must have been prone to seasonal floods even then. These people still belonged to the stone age, crafting their tools with finely grained stones. From their material culture and physical environment, they seem to have belonged to the same culture as those whose implements were found in the Mahi river valley. This human settlement has been dated to 1000 B.C.
Around the beginning of the Christian Era, a small township developed at the same spot as the above mentioned settlement on the right bank of the river. It came to be known as Ankotakka (present day Akota), the mound on which this settlement was established came to be known as Dhantekri. The entire settlement was developed by clearing grazing land and forests of Ankhol and covered an area of ½ to ¾ km². This is indicative of the presence of thick forests during those times. Due to its location on the ancient trade route between Gujarat and Malwa, this small township flourished in to a commercial centre. There was a supposed commercial relation between this township and Rome.
The township of Ankotakka developed during the rule of the Guptas and the Vallabhis. It was subjected to periodical heavy floods. But a severe flood which inundated the renovated public hall, forced the inhabitants to abandon this township and move away from the banks of the Vishwamitri.
The event occurred in 600 A.D. The inhabitants moved to the east of Ankotakka to another elevated portion located on the present Kothi area. This formed the nucleus of a new township.
The City of Vadodara aptly described by a medieval Jain writer as a Tilak on the Brove of Lata was a nodal center of the coastal plain of Gujarat. It was strategically situated at a junction of the main highways linking Gujarat with Rajputana and the Punjab in the north, Malwa and the Ganga valley in the north-east, Konkan in the south and Khandesh in the south-east. Significantly Vadodara today is a junction on the western railway of the lines leading to Ahmedabad, Delhi & Mumbai. This confirms the historic role of Vadodara in the communication pattern for movements of people and culture. The history of Vadodara city amply bears out its cultural and commercial activities during the last two thousand years. Apart from the traditional stories, knowledge of the history of Vadodara is based mainly on Jain literature and a few old inscriptions pertaining to Vadodara.
Baroda State was a former Indian State in Western India. Baroda's more recent history began when the Maratha general Pilaji Gaekwad (or Gaikwar) conquered Songadh from the Mughal Empire in 1726. Before the Gaekwars captured Baroda, it was ruled by the Babi Nawabs, who were the officers of the Mughal rulers. Mughal rule came to an end in 1732, when Pilaji Rao Gaekwar brought the Maratha campaigns in Southern Gujarat to a head and captured it. Except for a short period, Baroda continued to be in the reign of the Gaekwars from 1734 to 1948. Initially detailed to collect revenue on behalf of the Peshwa in Gujarat, Pilaji Gaekwad remained there to carve out a kingdom for himself. Damajirao, son and successor of Pilaji Gaekwad, defeated the Mughal armies and conquered Baroda in 1734. He assumed the titles of an independent ruler. His successors consolidated their power over large tracts of Gujarat, becoming easily the most powerful rulers in the region. After the Maratha defeat by the Afghans at the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761, control of the empire by the Peshwas weakened as it became a loose confederacy, and the Gaekwad Maharajas ruled the kingdom until Indian independence in 1947. In 1802, the British intervened to defend a Maharaja that had recently inherited the throne from rival claimants, and Vadodara concluded a treaty with the British that recognized the Kingdom as a 'Princely state' and allowed the Maharajas of Baroda internal political sovereignty in return for recognizing British 'Paramountcy', a form of suzereignty where the subject of foreign affairs was completely surrendered.
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. Maharaja Sayajirao III, who ruled from 1875 to 1939, did much to modernise Baroda, establishing compulsory primary education, a library system, a university, and model textile and tile factories, which helped to create Baroda's image as a modern industrial hub. Modern Vadodara is a great and fitting memorial to Maharaja Sayajirao. 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. For this reason, the city is also referred to as Sayaji Nagari (Sayaji's City).
With India's independence in 1947, the last ruling Maharaja of Baroda State acceded to India. Baroda State was merged into to Bombay State shortly after independence, which was divided into the states of Gujarat and Maharastra in 1960, with Baroda becoming a part of Gujarat.
In recent times, Vadodara was affected by the devastating January 26, 2001 earthquake that struck Gujarat. The city was spared the devastation suffered by some of the other major cities in Gujarat. However there were some casualties as poorly constructed buildings collapsed in the wake of the earthquake and the after shocks.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Vadodara is located at Vishwamitri, in central Gujarat. The Vishwamitri frequently dries up in the summer, leaving only a small stream of water. The city is located on the fertile plain between the Mahi & Narmada Rivers. According to the Bureau of Indian Standards, the town falls under seismic zone-III, in a scale of I to V (in order of increasing proneness to earthquakes).in western India at an elevation of 39 metres (123 feet). It is the 18th largest city in India with an area of 148.95 km² and a population of 1.6 million according to the 2001 census. The city sits on the banks of the River
Vadodara is divided by the Vishwamitri into two physically distinct eastern and western regions. The eastern bank of the river houses the old city, which includes the old fortified city of Vadodara. This part of Vadodara is characterised by packed bazaars, the clustered and barricaded Pol system of shanty buildings, and numerous places of worship. It houses the General Post Office and landmark buildings like Laxmi Vilas Palace, Mandvi area and Nyay Mandir. The colonial period saw the expansion of the city to the western side of Vishwamitri. This part of the city houses educational institutions like the Maharaja Sayajirao University, the Vadodara Railway Station, modern buildings, well-planned residential areas, shopping malls, multiplexes and new business districts centred around R. C. Dutt Road, Alkapuri and more recently, the Old Padra Road and Gotri.
There are three main seasons: Summer, Monsoon and Winter. Aside from the monsoon season, the climate is dry. The weather is hot through the months of March to July — the average summer maximum is 36 °C (97 °F), and the average minimum is 23 °C (73 °F). From November to February, the average maximum temperature is 30 °C (85 °F), the average minimum is 15 °C (59 °F), and the climate is extremely dry. Cold northerly winds are responsible for a mild chill in January. The southwest monsoon brings a humid climate from mid-June to mid-September. The average rainfall is 93 cm (36.7 inches), but infrequent heavy torrential rains cause the river to flood. The highest temperature recorded is 47 °C (116 °F) and the lowest is -1 °C (30 °F).
In recent years, Vadodara has suffered from increasing air, water and soil pollution from neighbouring industrial areas. This has also amounted into a constant and uncomfortable increase in average temperatures across all three seasons. Uncontrolled chemical dump from nearby industries has arguably turned the local river Vishwamitri into one big sewer.
Vadodara enjoys a special place in the state of Gujarat. Until the early 1960s Vadodara was considered to be a cultural and educational centre. The first modern factory (Alembic Pharmaceuticals) was established in Vadodara in 1907 and subsequently companies such as Sarabhai Chemicals, and Jyoti came up in the 1940s. By 1962 there were 288 factories employing 27,510 workers. At that time, the dominant industrial groups were chemicals and pharmaceuticals, cotton textiles and machine tools. The establishment of Bank of Baroda by Sayajirao III in 1908 also help industrial growth.
In 1962, Vadodara witnessed a sudden spurt in industrial activity with the establishment of Gujarat Refinery and Indian Oil Corporation Limited at the nearby village of Koyali. Several factors like raw material availability, product demand, skillful mobilisation of human, financial and material resources by the government and private entrepreneurs have contributed to Baroda becoming one of India’s foremost industrial centres. insaneramblingz.blogspot.com/
The discovery of oil and gas in Ankleshwar led to the industrial development of Gujarat in a big way. The Vadodara region is the largest beneficiary in the process of this industrialisation. Gujarat Refinery went into the first phase of production in 1965. The refinery being a basic industry made vital contributions on several fronts at the regional and national levels.
In Vadodara various large-scale industries such as Gujarat State Fertilisers & Chemicals (GSFC), Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Limited (IPCL, now owned by Reliance Industries Limited) and Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Limited (GACL) have come up in the vicinity of Gujarat Refinery and all of them are dependent on it for their fuel and feedstock. Other large-scale public sector units are Heavy Water Project, Gujarat Industries Power Company Limited (GIPCL), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) & Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL). In addition to these public sector enterprises, a number of other large-scale enterprises have come up in the private sector such as Bombardier Transportation, a Canadian company manufacturing the Delhi Metro from its site in Savli.
The establishment of large industrial units in a region automatically brings into existence a number of smaller enterprises. Vadodara is no exception and the city and the surrounding areas are today humming with industrial activity. The industrialisation of Vadodara has attracted entrepreneurs not only from Vadodara but also from all over Gujarat and the rest of India.
Vadodara is also home to the Vadodara Stock Exchange (VSE).
|Vadodara City Officials|
|Municipal Commissioner||MK Das|
|Police Commissioner||Rakesh Asthana|
Vadodara is administered by the Vadodara Mahanagar Seva Sadan(VMSS) . Some of the regions surrounding the city are administered by the Vadodara Urban Development Authority (VUDA). The VMC was established in July 1950 under the Bombay Provincial Corporation Act, 1949. For administrative purposes, the city is divided into four zones and 26 wards.
The two main institutions involved in planning and development in Vadodara are the Vadodara Mahanagar Seva Sadan and the Vadodara Urban Development Authority. The jurisdiction of both these agencies is demarcated clearly not only physically but also functionally. The governing acts for both the institutions differ. The principal responsibility of VUDA is to ensure a holistic development of the Vadodara agglomeration covering an area of 714.56 km². whereas VMC is involved in the development of a limited area of 148 km².
Three corporators are elected from each ward, who in turn elect a mayor. Executive powers are vested in the municipal commissioner, who is an IAS officer appointed by the Gujarat state government. The mayor is responsible for the day-to-day running of the city services, municipal school board, the city bus service, the municipal hospital and the city library. The Vadodra City Police are headed by a Police Commissioner, an IPS officer.
The City elects 1 member to the Lok Sabha and 5 to the Gujarat Vidhan Sabha. All of the 5 assembly seats of Vadodara were won by the BJP during the legislative elections in 2002. In the 2006 Vadodara Mahanagar Seva Sadan elections, the BJP won 74 seats, 6 seats went to the Congress.
Vadodara was part of historic BBCI Railway. Railway had arrived in Vadodara in January 1861. On November 5, 1951 the BBCI Railway was merged with the Saurashtra, Rajputana and Jaipur railways to give rise to the Western Railway. Now, the Vadodara Railway Station belongs to the Western Railway zone of Indian Railways and is a major Junction on the Wstern Railway Main Line. Vadodara junction is Gujarat's Busiesit Junction with almost 150 trains passing everyday. One can travel to almost all the parts of India from Vadodara Junction, where there is a Junction of rails from the directions of Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Ratlam (4 sides). It has one of the largest Electric Locomotives Shed in Gujarat and various trains have a loco change over at Vadodara. Trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Jan Shatabdi and important Mail/Express Trains halt at Vadodara Junction. Vadodara has 4 railway stations namely Vadodara Junction (BRC), Makarpura & Vishwamitri and Bajwa.
National Highway 8, connecting Delhi & Gandhinagar with Ahmedabad to Mumbai, passes through the city. Vadodara is also connected with Ahmedabad through Indian National Expressway 1, a stretch of 97 km Super Highway with exits at Anand, Nadiad,S.P.Ring Road and finally Ahmedabad(or Vadodara depending on where you are coming from.)
Public transport vehicles within the city include buses, autorickshaws and taxis. Now there are buses owned by VTCOS for an easy public transportation operated by the private bus operators VTPL which now runs over a 100 buses of 33 and 50 seater configurations. It has taken a lot of two wheeler traffic off the road and helped the people in easy safe and cheap transport service. A significant proportion of the population uses their own vehicles – cars, scooters, motorcycles and bicycles. Vadodara motorists have very low traffic sense resulting to frequent traffic jams at key crossroads.
The roads are dug up every winter for laying storm water drainage pipes, the rains always start before the work's finished, the roads are then filled up in a hurry, & they develop potholes after the rains. After the rains, some patchwork is done on the roads, but they get dug up again soom for laying pipes, and the cycle continues.
As of 2001 India census, Vadodara metropolitan area had a population of 1,492,398. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Vadodara has an average literacy rate of 78%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; male literacy is 82%, and female literacy is 74%. In Vadodara, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age. Gujarati, Marathi, Hindi and English are the languages spoken in the city.
Vadodara is also known as ‘Sanskari Nagari’, i.e. Cultured City. Vadodara is one of India’s most cosmopolitan cities. Thanks to the vision and broadmindedness of the Gaekwads, the subsequent industrialisation, the proliferation of academic activities and a strategically important geographical location, Baroda has welcomed a wide variety of people from all over India and also from all over the world. In all of this, the sprawling and cosmopolitan MS University campus and the large number of local, national and foreign industries act as a catalysing and unifying force.
The great museums on the palace grounds such as the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum and art gallery are unique and carry artifacts from around the nation and the world. There are Gujarati film studios in the city as well as a large number of large old-style movie theatres in addition to the newer multiplexes that have sprung up in the past few years.
Diwali, Uttarayan, Holi, Eid, Gudi Padwa and Ganesh Chaturthi are celebrated with great fervour. Classical music and dance have their patrons, and so does the modern stage and pop culture. The culture and the traditions are both alive and being forever experimented with.
Navarātrī or Garba is the city's largest festival, with song, dance and lights during every October. Many of the residents spend their evenings at their local Garba grounds where local musicians play traditional music while people dance the Raas and Garba dances which often goes on past midnight. This is also a time when the youth are more visible outdoors and until later than other times of the year. The people of Vadodara have preserved the original and the traditional part of the Navarātrī. Garba in baroda attracts a fairly large number of international tourists.
The patronage of education started with Maharaja Sayajirao and the city has built further on the academic infrastructure established by him.
The present educational foundation rests on over 20 public schools and over 100 private schools. Towering over all is the MS University, the jewel in the Baroda crown, so to speak. MSU is the only university in Gujarat with English as the only medium of instruction. It has 13 faculties and 17 residential hostels, 4 of them for women students. The university caters to over 100,000 students. There are various courses on offer, ranging from Medicine to Commerce. The university has been divided into several departments and there are number of courses offered in each of the department. The Fine Arts faculty is famous worldwide for its contribution in arts. The faculty of Performing Arts is also a very reputed institution teaching music, drama, dancing etc.
Cricket is by far the most popular sport in the city, as it is in the rest of the country. However, the interest in basketball, football (soccer), field hockey, volleyball, table tennis and tennis is much greater than the average Indian city.
Not only Vadodara has its own first-class cricket team that competes at the national level, but it also boasts of the oldest cricket ground in Asia, called Moti Baug (The same ground on which Mohammad Azharuddin had scored a record fastest century of 62 balls, now broken). Apart, from that there is also a private cricket ground owned by IPCL, which also hosts ODIs. Prominent cricketers from Vadodara include Atul Bedade, Vijay Hazare, Chandu Borde, Kiran More, Nayan Mongia, Anshuman Gaekwad (former coach of the Indian cricket team) and more recently Zaheer Khan, Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Pinal Shah, Jacob Martin, Ajitesh Argal and Connor Williams. The Baroda cricket team has been a consistently good performer at the national domestic Ranji Trophy championship and has won it 6 times.
At schools a huge range of sports tend to be played. Vadodara has a rich tradition in which various schools compete against each other in various inter-school sporting competitions.
Vadodara also has a couple of large-sized swimming pools at Lal Baug and Sardar Baug which have become learning centers of swimming for lots of students from different schools in and around the city.
Vadodara also held an International Marathon on 22nd Nov, 2009. It became the first non-metro city of India to have held a Marathon of such a large scale.
Vadodara has a number of newspaper publications. English-language dailies published and sold in the city are the Times of India, Indian Express, DNA and Economic Times. There are three Gujarati dailies in the city — Sandesh, Gujarat Samachar and Divya Bhaskar. A large number of national and regional magazines, periodicals and journals are regularly published and circulated across the city. The Gujarati film and television industry has a small but significant presence in the city. The city has five local FM stations: Radio Mirchi (98.3 MHz), now Red FM (93.5 MHz), Big FM (92.7 MHz), Radio City (91.1 MHz) and All India Radio (93.9 MHz). All India Radio is broadcast on the AM band. Satellite radio was launched in nearby city of Ahmedabad by WorldSpace in 2005. Households receive television through two main cable networks, InCablenet and Siti Cable, while DTH has little popularity in Vadodara. A network of optical fibre cables connects almost the entire city. The city's telephone services are provided by landline and mobile operators like BSNL, Reliance Infocomm, Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and Tata Indicom. Broadband Internet services are provided in most parts of the city by the telecom companies.
The language spoken by people in Vadodara varies, but almost everyone speaks Gujarati and Hindi. Marathi community is also on a large scale in the city. Most young people speak passable English, and in certain areas you will meet people that are fluent in English. Alkapuri is heavily frequented by NRI's (non-resident Indians) and has western restaurants (Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Subway, CCD, Barista, Barbeque Nation etc.), stores (Adidas, Nike, Metro, etc.), etc. This area is frequented by highly affluent individuals and you can generally find English speaking people by a large scale.
Recently City has been attracting many International IT Companies to Invest in this city to set up their operational hubs. L& T, Collabera, and TCS are few of them. Many people from IT Capitals in India like Bangalore prefer working here because of the simple life, but with all resources like schools, water and electricity. Satish Hukkeri, a senior IT professional has shifted his family and all their family is happy for his decision.
You can get into Vadodara on a domestic flight, and it is reasonably connected to the rest of the country by domestic airlines like Indian Airlines, Kingfisher, GoIndigo, Air Deccan and Jet Airways (there are several smaller and cheaper operators, too. The nearest international airport is about 100 km away in Ahmedabad to which is served by Air India, Emirates Airlines and Singapore Airlines.
The Vadodara Junction Railway Station is the busiest Railway Station in Gujarat. It is situated on the Mumbai - Delhi Western Railway Main Line. You can get premium trains like Shatabdi and Rajdhani from Vadodara. Humble Mail/Express Trains are also available which connect you to almost the entire country. Passenger Trains are also available which take you to small villages and towns nearby Vadodara and even in Gujarat. This railway station has 6 platforms. Exits from platform no. 1 and 6 will lead you to Sayajigunj, and exit from platform 5 will lead you to Alkapuri.
The National Highway no.8 passes through Baroda. It is connected by excellent roads. There is an express highway to Ahmedabad, and highway travel is fairly speedy by road, at least to other places in the western part of the country. Its going to be a 6 Lane road soon.
The main bus station is the STC bus station that is a stone's throw away from the railway station (Vadodara Junction). Non-airconditioned buses leave from here which connect you to all the parts of Gujarat and the major cities of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
Intercity Buses leave every 15 minutes to Ahmedabad, taking 2 hours on the expressway and costing Rs. 68 per person (Jun 08). These buses are available right opposite to the Vadodara Railway Station after crossing the Road opposite to the Station.
Vadodara can be accessed by travelling in river Mahi in a boat from Surat.
Local transport consists mainly of City Buses and three-wheelers called auto-rickshaws which are very cheap and easily available. Always insist on meter usage and the rate payable is 10 times the amount shown plus 1. (for example, if it shows 2.80, the fare is 28+1 = 29Rs for a 4-5km journey).
The VITCOS City Buses take you to all parts of the city and the VITCOS Bus Stand is right opposite to the Railway Station. The buses are very comfortable and cheap. It costs Re. 1/- per 1.2 km.
You can easily visit Vadodara through Car. There are many car rental companies available which Provide world Class Services.
There are quite a few sights worth taking a look at such as the Lakshmi Vilas Palace and the old zoo. If you're headed here plan a trip that lasts not more than three days because then you'll run out of things to do. And because of the fact that it is cosmopolitan, infrastructurally decent and well connected by rail, road and air, this is a good place to have as your 'hub' and make day trips to other places.
If you want to learn anything related to the arts, Baroda is a good place to be - you can learn classical dance, pottery, whatever ... fairly inexpensively and from good teachers.
Vadodara has companies like L&T,IOCL,ABB, GSFC, ONGC, IPCL (now Reliance), Bombardier, General Motors, Alembic and Jyoti. Many other petrochemical companies like GACL and pharma cos like Sun Pharma, Alembic and Sarabhai of the city are also well known. It is also considered as good location for IT companies with coming SEZ. Also, a new biotech park is coming up in the city.
Camel leather and related arts of embedding pure gold and stone colors, on camel leather and hide vessels are well known here.
There are plenty of eateries in and around the city and getting good food is not a problem.
Eggetarian delights @ Raju Omlet, in Karelibaug
Chaat at Mirch Masala.
Most popular Biryani at Millenium Restaurant (Fatheganj & Alkapuri)
Frankies recommended at Frigtemp (Fatheganj, Karelibaug & Old Padra Road)
Pooran Singh's kababs and parathas near the Cafe Coffee Day by the Birds' Circle at Race Course Road. He's an ex-Welcomgroup chef who runs his own place now
Nayab at Akota recommended for non-veg fare
Don't forget to try the famous 'Gujarati Thali'...
Also try the thali at Kismat dhaba(On the Expressway) in typically rural ambience! Meal for 2 at 100 bucks. Must visit !
It is a nice place to be but lacks a nightlife altogether because of a blanket ban on alcohol that coats Gujarat. Foreign nationals can procure alcohol after getting a permit, but this procedure is not without its headaches.
You will need a your passport plus a photocopy of your passport data page and your visa. You must ask your hotel to stamp this photocopy and write a simple statement to say that "xxx is residing at this hotel room xxx. The fee for the permit is 100 Rs. The permit is valid for one month during which time each person is limited as to the quantity you can buy - 10 units at a time (one unit is 10 large bottles of beer, or 3 bottles of wine or 1 bottle of spirits), no more than twice in six days. This should satisfy all but the heaviest of drinkers. You can use the permit at any location that sells alcohol.
The wine shop at the Hotel Kaviraj (the hotel is currently being refurbished but the wine shop is open on the side of the building) is open from 12.00 to 20.00 and always can issue a permit.
Choose any of the hotels available besides the bus station.
Vadodara is generally a safe city. You can simply enjoy your life in Baroda. Absolutely no crimes take place even during the nights.
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BARODA, a native state of India, within the Gujarat province of Bombay, but in direct relations with the governor-general. It consists of four isolated divisions, each of which is interlaced in the most intricate fashion with British territory or with other native states. Three of these divisions - Kadi, Baroda and Nausari - are in Gujarat proper; the fourth, Amreli with Okhamandal, is in the peninsula of Kathiawar. The total area covers 8099 sq. m. In 1901 the population was 1,952,692, showing a decrease of 1,970 in the decade, compared with an increase of 11% in the preceding decade. This decrease was due partly to the famines of 1896-1897 and 1900-1901, partly to the epidemics of cholera and fever which accompanied them, and partly to the plague which attacked the state in as great measure as the surrounding presidency.
The princes of Baroda were one of the chief branches of the Mahratta confederacy, which in the 18th century spread devastation and terror over India. About 1721 one Pilaji gaekwar carved a fertile slice of territory out of Gujarat, and afterwards received the title of "Leader of the Royal Troops" from the peshwa. During the last thirty-two years of the century the house fell a prey to one of those bitter and unappeasable family feuds which are the ruin of great Indian families. In 1800 the inheritance descended to a prince feeble in body and almost idiotic in mind. British troops were sent in defence of the hereditary ruler against all claimants; a treaty was signed in 1802, by which his independence of the peshwa and his dependence on British government were secured. Three years later these and various other engagements were consolidated into a systematic plan for the administration of the Baroda territory, under a prince with a revenue of three-quarters of a million sterling, perfectly independent in all internal matters, but practically kept on his throne by subsidiary British troops. For some time the history of the gaekwars was very much the same as that of most territorial houses in India: an occasional able minister, more rarely an able prince; but, on the other hand, a long dreary list of incompetent heads, venal advisers and taskmasters oppressive to the people. At last a fierce family feud came to a climax. In 1873 an English committee of inquiry was appointed to investigate various complaints of oppression against the gaekwar, Malhar Rao, who had recently succeeded to the throne after being for a long time kept in prison by his brother, the former gaekwar. No real reform resulted, and in 1874 an attempt at poisoning the British resident led to the gaekwar being formally accused of the crime and tried by a mixed commission. The result of the trial (1875) was a failure to obtain a unanimous verdict on the charge of poisoning; the viceroy, Lord Northbrook, however, decided to depose Malhar Rao on the ground of gross misgovernment, the widow of his brother and predecessor, Khande Rao, being permitted to adopt an heir from among the descendants of the founder of the family. This heir, by name Sayaji Rao, then a boy of twelve years in the humble home of a Deccani cultivator, was educated by an English tutor, the administration being meanwhile placed for eight years under the charge of Sir T. Madhava Rao, formerly diwan of Travancore, one of the ablest and most enlightened of Indian statesmen. The result was a conspicuous success. The gaekwar showed himself a model prince, and his territories III. 1 4 became as well governed and prosperous as a British district. He repeatedly visited Europe in company with his wife. In 1887 the queen-empress conferred upon him at Windsor the insignia of G.C.S.I., and in 1892 upon his wife the Imperial order of the crown of India.
The gross revenue of the state is more than a million sterling. In 1901 the state currency of Babashai rupees was withdrawn, and the British rupee was introduced. The regular military force consists of a field battery, with several regiments of cavalry and battalions of infantry. In addition, there is an irregular force of horse and foot. Compulsory education has been carried on experimentally since 1893 in the Amreli division with apparent success, the compulsory age being 7 to 12 for boys and 7 to 10 for girls. Special measures are also adopted for the education of low castes and aboriginal tribes. There is a female training college under a Christian lady superintendent. The Kala Bha.van, or technical school, has departments for drawing, carpentry, dyeing, weaving and agriculture. There is also a state museum under a European director, and a state library. Portions of the state are crossed by the Bombay & Baroda and the Rajputana railways. In addition, the state has constructed three railways of its own, on three different gauges. Other railways are in contemplation. The state possesses a cotton mill.
The city of Baroda is situated on the river Viswamitri, a station on the Bombay & Baroda railway, 245 m. N. of Bombay by rail. Pop. (1901) 103,790. The whole aspect of the city has been changed by the construction of handsome public buildings, the laying-out of parks and the widening of the streets. An excellent water-supply is provided from the Ajwa lake. The cantonments, garrisoned by a native infantry regiment, are under British jurisdiction, and have a population of 4000. The city contains a college and many schools. The chief hospitals are called after the countess of Dufferin, Sayaji Rao and Jamnabai, the widow of Khande Rao.
See Baroda Gazetteer, 1908.