Two thousand years back, there was a small town known as "Ankottak " (present day Akota) on the western bank of river Vishvamitri. In 600 AD severe floods in Vishvamitri forced the inhabitants to move to the eastern side of the river to a village known as "Vatpatrak" (leaf of Banayan tree) which developed into Baroda, recently renamed Vadodara. Vadodara was once the capital of one of the most powerful princely states in the country ruled by the Gaekwad family. Though a rapidly growing industrial town, the city is still known as the cultural capital of Gujarat. A pleasant city dotted with parks, palaces and lakes, the city is home to one of the best-known fine art colleges in the country. Vadodara has a composite culture, catholicity of outlook and general enlightenment.
Vadodara is an important city on the air routes of India and conveniently connected to Mumbai, Delhi, and Ahmedabad by major domestic airlines. The airport is just 6 kms away from the city center, Fatehgunj and Alkapuri.
On Indian Railways, Vadodara is a major junction on the Delhi-Bombay route. Vadodara is connected to all parts of the country by express and super-fast trains.
The city is also connected by an excellent network of highways to various parts of Gujarat and the rest of India. Western India, especially Gujarat, has an excellent road transport infrastructure. Plenty of luxury buses, taxis and cars are easily available.
The most common modes of commuting in the city are autorickshaws and taxis. Both are metered.
The best season to visit Vadodara is between October to February. The weather is hot and tropical. Located near the Arabian Sea, summers (April-June) in Vadodara can be sweltering but winters (November-February) are cool. Vadodara experiences south-western monsoon rains in July-September.
The local cuisine has both Gujarati and Maharshtrian influences. Vegetarianism rules.
|Havemore Restaurant||Continental||Sayajigunj||91-265 361625|
|Ruchika||Indian||Welcome Group Baroda Hotel||91-265 330033|
|Sahyog||Gujarati||off R.C. Dutta Road|
|Bliss||Multi-cuisine||Express hotel, R.C. Dutta Road|
Plenty of cool cottons for summer wear and a light cardigan or a sweatshirt for cool winter evenings.
This is the city of artists and painters. There are regular art exhibitions held by the state's prestigious MS University's Fine Art College. If you like silver jewellery, then the shopping areas of Raopura, Teen Darwaza and Mandvi offer a good range of the oxidised silver. Also check out the local Khadi Bhandar centre for handicrafts, fabric and readymade hand spun cotton clothes. On the snacks front, pick up the famous spiced, puffed rice mix called bhusa. Both plastic and paper currencies are widely accepted.
All Indian festivals are celebrated with fervour.
The festival of Shivratri, in honour of Lord Shiva, is celebrated by Hindus in February/March.
Holi is celebrated every year in February-March.
As in the rest of Gujarat, the nine day festival of Navratri is celebrated with much gaiety. It ends with Dussehra, in September/October followed twenty days later by Diwali, the festival of lights, observed in honour of Goddess Lakshmi.