Vadodara Travel Guide | Things to do in Baroda | Vadodara Zoo Timings
Vadodara Travel Guidelines
Vadodara Travel Guide or guidelines- Much famed for its majestic kingdoms, rich traditions, and magnificent past, Vadodara is not just an ideal getaway for a memorable weekend but also a famous city that oozes architectural brilliance.
Climate in Vadodara
Vadodara’s climate is very diverse. There’s a large variety of climates and microclimates throughout the city. The city has a cool-cold climate with dry winters and rainy sunbeams. Vadodara Travel Guide
- Winter Season: November to February
- Summer Season: March to July
- Monsoon season: August to October
The peak season for tourists- May through July and November to February. However, hotels and airlines consider mid-December to mid-January as the peak season. The prices during these times are the highest.
Native Language of Vadodara
Vadodara’s Local language is “Gujarati”. Yet one can use Hindi here. Vadodara Travel Guide
Important Festivals of Vadodara
Do you know, Vadodara is also called a Sanskrit City, meaning a cultural town.
People in Vadodara are very festive and all the happy occasions are accompanied by a Garba. Garba is a dance form of Gujarat.
Navaratri is one of the most important festivals in Vadodara. Navratri is a 9 days long festival organized in the praise of Goddess Durga. Huge idols of Goddess Durga are set in large compounds. From evening to midnight, every day, people (including men, women, and children) play Garba before the Goddess. Garba is a traditional dance form of Gujarat, where people dance in circles following the same steps. The team of random guests performing in a similar tune is impeccable. The music, the colorful, traditional attires of the people, and the inebriation are just unforgettable.
The Main Tourist Attractions
The main tourist attractions are popular for a reason. While getting off the beaten track can be fun, the things you’ll see are rarely as impressive as the popular sights. Don’t be a travel snob — hit up the famous stops as well as the lesser-visited stuff.
1. Visit Laxmi Vilas palace
A trip to Vadodara wouldn’t be complete without a visit to “Laxmi Vilas Palace”. One of princely India’s most magnificent palaces. The 130-year-old palace was built by the legendary Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwar -III in 1890 and named after his first wife, Lakshmi bai. A prominent Maratha family who ruled the Baroda State. Major Charles Mant was credited to be the main architect of the palace. It is said that during that time alone the cost incurred in the construction was around 6 million INR.
The palace has a lovely collection of Raja Ravi Varma paintings and is worth a visit for its architecture. The palace continues to be a home of the royal family of Baroda. It’s one of the largest palaces ever built, housing a large number of buildings like Moti Baug Palace, Makarpura Palace, Pratap Vilas Palace, and Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum building.
This 700 acres palace compound includes the beautiful Navlakhi stepwell – The Navlakhi (literally meaning “of nine hundred thousand“) Well, a fine ‘baoli’ or stepwell, is 50 meters north of the palace, Maharaja Fatehgarh museum, and a small zoo, which was resting ground crocodiles. Maharaja Fatehgarh museum, the section that exhibits paintings by Raja Ravi Verma, was once the school of royal offsprings and a miniature train line encircling the mango arcades connected the place to the school so that the children make the commute easy.
In the 1930s Maharaja Pratapsingh created a golf course for use by his European guests. In the 1990s, Pratapsinh’s grandson Samarjitsinh, a former Ranji trophy cricket player, renovated the course and opened it to the public.
Timings to Visit the palace: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, (Lunchtime- 1 pm to 1.30 pm)
The palace remains closed every Monday.
How to get there
- By road: NH8 passes through Baroda, making it well connected by road as well.
- By Train: Alternatively, Vadodara railway station is located just 4 km away from the palace. The city lies on the busy Mumbai-Delhi Western Railway Mainline and is well connected by premium trains like Shatabdi and Rajdhani.
- By Air: Domestic flights connect Vadodara (BDQ) to major cities in India. The palace is at a distance of 7 km from the Vadodara Airport and one can easily reach it by hiring a cab.
2. Sayaji Baug – A popular stop on backpackers’ itineraries
It was way back in 1875 when a tract of land on the bank of River Vishwamitri, on the outskirts of the city was chosen by the Maharaja to develop a vast garden and a zoo.
Sayaji Baug, also known as Kamati Baug, is a massive green square in the middle of the town, which houses the famous Museum and Picture Gallery, and other kid-friendly sights like an aquarium, zoo, health museum, planetarium, a toy train, and a flowerbed clock. It is the largest public garden in the western part of the country, sprawled over 113 acres. Over 96 species of trees and a small zoo make this an interesting place for nature lovers.
There are three entrance gates. The main gate is at Sayaji square (informally known as “Kala Ghoda Chowk” or “black horse square” because of an equestrian statue standing there). This gate is only 800 meters from the main city railway station and even less from the city bus stand. The third gate is at Rana Pratap square in the Fatehganj area, and the second gate stands somewhere between the first and third gates. The distance of 2 km from Vadodara Railway Station, Sayaji Baug is a public park located in Vadodara, Gujarat.
Things to know before going there: Vadodara Travel Guide
Park Timings: 5 AM – 9 PM
Baroda Museum & Art Gallery: 10.30 AM – 5.30 PM
Health Museum Timings: 11 AM – 6 PM, Closed on Sundays & Public Holidays
Zoo Timings: 8 AM to 11.30 AM & 2.30 PM to 6 PM, Closed on Thursdays
Toy Train Timings: 10 AM – 8 PM, Closed on Thursday
Planetarium Show Timings: 4 PM (Gujarati), 5 PM (English), 6 PM (Hindi)
Entry: Rs. 10 for Indians & Rs. 200 for Foreigners for Baroda Museum, Rs. 40 for Adults & Rs. 20 for Children for Toy Train, Rs. 10 for Adults & Rs. 5 for Children for Zoo, Rs. 7 for Adults & Rs. 5 for Children for Planetarium.
3. Mandvi gate- Heart of Vadodara
Situated on the exact mid-point of the old walled city. It is the north gate of the Royal Enclosure for Baroda State and it is one of the major landmarks in Vadodara. It has a history that takes us back to the Mughal period. Mandvi means mandapa (Sanskrit word) meaning pillared hall.
The massive structure consists of three arched doorways and a domed clock tower on the top. During the Gaekwad era, the celebrated Mandvi Gate was the place from which all essential announcements were made. This historical wonder, which is now one of the most significant tourist places in Vadodara, is decked with lights during all festivals and becomes a sight of wonder and stands as a source of enchantment for visitors who come to the surrounding colorful market rimming with energy.
It is said that the “Mandvi Gate” is the heart of Vadodara. It’s a historic monument of Baroda and the center point of the city. Surrounded by the main shopping market of Vadodara. This location is also famous for flower vendors there is a long queue of flower vendors selling beautiful colorful flowers all day long.
Location: Mandvi Cir, Sulemani Pol, Mandvi, Vadodara, Gujarat 390001
Timings: 10.00 AM-10.00 PM on all days of the week.
Entry Fee: No entry fee required.
Best Time to visit: A trip to Mandvi Gate can be enjoyed throughout the year. There is no specific recommendable time to visit the Gate. However, it is best to visit the place during festivals, to watch it decked up in all its glory.
4. The Chimnabai Clock Tower
Though while exploring the Gaekwad’s city we couldn’t skip the early history of Chimnabai Tower of Vadodara. One of the major landmarks of the city. This location is situated in the center area of the city. Which is now surrounded by retail shops and residents. The maharani Chimnabai clock tower also known as Raopura Tower. It is one of the major landmarks of the city.
Built-in the memory of Maharani Chimnabai. She was the first wife of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad.
It has a huge clock fitted on all four sides of it. And the most distant history about this tower is, this clock has been bought from London by Maharaja and has been installed in the tower in 1896. In the older times, the clock used to play melodious tunes every 15 minutes and provided accessibility to time to all the four directions of the city.
The tower looks best in the evening with the illuminated lights and after all these years manages to charm every passer-by.
5. Sevasi Stepwell
Offbeat, Pure untouched, and Flawless
Always there is a charm in the every eclipsed corner of the town its ‘Sevasi stepwell’
The landscape of the city is dotted with numerous stepwell. Situated in the outskirts of the city, 500 years old Sevasi stepwell. It is considered the oldest and mysterious stepwell from Sultan Mehmud Begada’s time. Let’s jump into the built part…
Combination of brick masonry and a system of stone columns and goes seven levels below the ground. Well, the best part is, the gate is decorated with motifs of elephants and tigers in relief work on the right & left sides respectively.
So the second last spot of the city has been so gracious and mysterious to us.
6. Sindhrot – Heaven of Vadodara
My heart pounds as I think of spending my happy hours at Sindhrot I can’t convince myself that only one place can be home.
Thus this serenity has my whole heart which is always hushed and breezy and therefore is frequented by many sunset admirers or sunrise lovers like me, it’s a nice windy day, and when you have the view of the dam nothing beats it. I walked into the end of the edge there in the evening, hoping to find some solitude with SEA and the SUN instead I found that I was a little too early for sunset and the place was filled with routine activity… with those who belonged there a lot more than I did.
The fisherman watched the whole process silently, the hard work needed, just to get their boat to shore was so extensive. Seemed to require all their combined strength..!! You can almost feel the effort that goes into getting that boat onshore yet after all this their work wasn’t finished. They still need to get the fish off the nets.
Fishing in India is a major industry in its coastal states.
What to Eat?
If you’re visiting Sindhrot you cannot Miss Papdi No Lot “Khichu” is basically made up of rice flour cooked with green chilies, ajwain, and cumin seeds. Vadodara is one of the largest cities in Gujarat. A hub of state’s cuisine and culture. This place offers visitor’s some lip-smacking food items like this
At the end of the day, for an ultimate experience, I suggest trying this special dish of Vadodara -A long day which can drop you off at famous sev-usal of the City. I guess that’s what new experiences do for you right!! Being a foodie I don’t only like fancy food also having the courage to try famous ones from the location.
And that’s what I get served.
Try everything, even if you have no idea what it is. I promise you won’t regret it. Or fall straight into anaphylactic shock.
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