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Laxmi Vilas Palace Vadodara

Vadodara, Gujarat
Laxmi Vilas Palace is the popular tourist destination in Vadodara
Best Season
Throughout the year.
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Sprawling over an area of 700 acres, Laxmi Vilas Palace is a popular tourist destination in Vadodara. The palace is one of the finest example of Indo-Sarcenic style of architecture. The official residence of the Gaekwads, the erstwhile rulers of Baroda (Baroda now called as Vadodara), it was constructed by Maharaja Sayaji Rao III in 1890. Named after his first wife, the Laxmi Vilas Palace is considered as the most elegant and unique among the palaces of India. It is still, the residence of the royal family Maharaja, Ranjit Singh Gaekwad. Laxmi Vilas Palace is the ideal place for organizing the wedding/reception also.

Designed by a British Military Engineer Major Charles Mount, it's construction work started in 1878 and was completed in 1890. Set amidst the sprawling 744 acres, the palace is studded with bronze and marble sculptures between banyan trees. Incorporating a large number of different Indian and European architectural styles, the Palace is a combination of turrets, towers, domes, arches and columns, that blend together in remarkable harmony. The palace is faced in red Agra sandstone with Rajasthani marble and blue trap stone from Pune. 

This 175 m wide palace's inside is as spectacular as the exterior. The palace has around 170 rooms with a collection of old armour as well as bronze and marble sculptures, modern elevators, arches, pillars etc. The palace is decorated with the fine works of the Italian artist, Fellicci, commissioned by the Maharaja. It's interior consisting of beautifully sculpted statues, bronze busts of former rulers and trophies. The major attraction of Laxmi Vilas Palace is the magnificent Darbar hall which was the venue of music concerts and other cultural events. It has Venetian mosaic and marble floor and walls and stained glass from London. It is said that, the palace contains about 6000 such stained glasses.

Within the palace premises houses a number of buildings the Moti Baug Palace, Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum, a hospital, an indoor teak floored court for Badminton and Tennis, Clay Tennis courts, a school, a big lake with a number of crocodiles, zoo, stud farm, a miniature railway line construted to take Maharaja's children from the school to the Palace, and a 10 hole golf course (it has the the cheapest membership. Contact: 98250 17004 / 99250 17004).

The museum named Fateh singh Rao Museum, established in the year 1961. The building was originally constructed for the educational purpose of Maharaja's children and later converted to a museum. It contains various art works and articles belonging to the royal family as well as modern western and Indian paintings, Graeco-Roman exhibits, Chinese and Japanese art, and a large collection of contemporary Indian art. It also houses portraits of the royal families, beautiful sculptures made of bronze and marble, art works by renowned artists etc. Among the paintings displayed here by various European and Indian artists, paintings of Raja Ravi Varma and European painters such as Raphael, Murillo and Titian deserve special mention. A room is decorated in a royal style which reminds the Sayaji Rao Gaekwad’s stay in England. For more information contact -+91 265 2426372. In front of the museum there is a steam engine of toy train (one of the world's smallest locomotive steam engines) which can viewed anytime. Both the palace and the museum has a audio guide facility. It is a one hour audio which contains a detailed description about palace foundation, architecture, sculptures, carvings etc.

Adjacent to the Motibaug Palace is the Moti Bagh Stadium (Motibaug Palace Ground) and the offices of the Baroda Cricket Association. The lush green picturesque Moti Bagh Cricket Ground, is one of the most beautiful and Asia’s oldest cricket ground.

The palace and museum is open to the public except some sections where the royal family lives. Timings: open between 10.30am to 5 pm all days except Mondays and National holidays. Entrance Fee: 125/-