Vadodara , also known as Baroda , Is the third largest and most populated city in the Indian State of Gujarat, after Ahmedabad and Surat . It is the administrative headquarters of Vadodara District. It is located on the banks of the Vishwamitri River, southeast of Ahmedabad, 139 km from State Capital, Gandhinagar. Both the railway line and national highway connecting Delhi and Mumbai pass through Vadodara.
Vadodara has a population of 4.1 million according to the 2010-11 census. It is the site of the Lakshmi Vilas Palace belonging to the royal Gaekwad dynasty of the Marathas. It is also the home of the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, which is the largest university in Gujarat. Vadodara is the 18th largest city in India with an area of 148.95 km². The city sits on the banks of the River Vishwamitri.
Vadodara is the 18th largest city in India with an area of 148.95 km² and a population of 4.1 million according to the 2010-11 census. The city sits on the banks of the River Vishwamitri.
Industry & Commerce
In Vadodara various large-scale industries such as Gujarat State Fertilizers & 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. Baroda also has quite a few established manufacturing units such as; General Motors,Siemens, ALSTOM, ABB Group, Philips, Panasonic, FAG, Sterling Biotech, Sun Pharmaceuticals, L&T, Schneider and Alstom Grid, Bombardier, and GAGL (Gujarat Automotive Gears Limited). There are also a number of glass manufacturing companies in and around Vadodara, including Haldyn Glass, HNG Float Glass and Piramal Glass.
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 industrialization of Vadodara has attracted entrepreneurs not only from Vadodara but also from all over Gujarat and the rest of India.
The city is on the major rail and road arteries joining Mumbai with Delhi and Mumbai with Ahmedabad. Due to this Vadodara is known as a Gateway to the Golden Quadrilateral.
Vadodara Airport (IATA: BDQ) is located north-east of the city. Vadodara has air connectivity with Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Vadodara is set to have an International Airport in near future
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 Western Railway Main Line . Vadodara junction is Gujarat’s busiest 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 and Kota (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, Duranto and important Mail/Express Trains halt at Vadodara Junction. Vadodara has 5 railway stations namely Vadodara Junction (BRC), Pratapnagar, Vishwamitri, Makarpura & Bajwa.
Vadodara also has a Locomotive Shed homing numerous WAP-4, WAP-5, WAM-4,WAG series of Indian Locos.
National Highway 8, connecting Delhi and 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. In near future, this Expressway will be extended Southwards from Vadodara all the way up to Mumbai. The land acquisition work for the same is in progress and Govt. has put this project on a fast track priority presently.
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 hundred 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.
Vadodara is also known as ‘Sanskari Nagari’, i.e. Cultured City. It is the most sought after location for Garba in the entire Gujarat. 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.
Navratri 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 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, Uttarayana, 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 at this cultural capital of the state of Gujarat.
Palaces : Laxmi Vilas Palace, Nazarbaug Palace, Makarpura Palace, Pratap Vilas Palace (now occupied by Railway Staff College)
Buildings & Monuments : Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Kirti Mandir, Kirti Stambh, Nyay Mandir, Khanderao Market, Aurobindo Ashram, EME Temple (Dakshinamurty Temple), Hazira Maqbara, Kala Ghoda
Museums & Gardens : Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum, Baroda Museum & Picture Gallery, Sayaji Baug
Excursions : Ajwa & Nimeta, Sardar Sarovar, Pavagadh, Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park etc