3 days Plan – Vadodara, Pavagadh, Champaner & Ahmedabad.
Vadodara was also known as Virakshetra or Virawati (Land of Warriors), later on known as Vadpatraka. It used to be called as Baroda and Sayaji Nagari (after its ruler Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III). This city is connected with major cities and easily accessible.
We boarded Mumbai – Vadodara midnight train, reaching at 05:20 am in Vadodara. Freshened up in Waiting Room, kept our bags in the Cloak Room (Rs. 18) had breakfast outside Station and then booked an Ola to Vidhyadhar Vav in Sevasi (Rs. 85).
- Vidhyadhar Vav
- Laxmi Vilas Palace
Our major destination for this trip was Champaner.
Vidhyadhar Vav is located in the outskirts of Vadodara, 7.5 kms away. If you ask locals, they will feign ignorance about its existence. We had google map for our help.
There are beautiful geometric patterns on the wall and intricately carved pillars. It pales in comparison to Adalaj Vav, which has been maintained very well.
There were sign of neglect over centuries and is in process of being restored. There is an inscription on the wall, which stated that this Vav was made by Raja Haridas in memory of the spiritual leader Shri Vidyadhar in the year 1543.
There was this sculpture which looked like flower but it was Shivling with eight serpents around it.
In addition to this, there are more sculptures. It might take hardly 30 minutes to go around.
Later, we took a bus from the main road to the Vadodara Bus Stand (Rs. 11). We hired an auto (Rs. 40) from there to Laxmi Vilas Palace.
Laxmi Vilas Palace is a 130 year old palace, built Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwar -III in 1890 as his private residence and named after his first wife, Laxmibai. This Indo Saracenic Architectural Palace is open from 09:30 AM to 05:00 PM.
Major Charles Mant was credited to be the main architect of the palace Only few sections are open for visitors to visit and these parts are converted into Museum. Ticket has to be bought (Rs.225/-) which included an audio guide for the 11 exhibits.
As per our understanding of Language (English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati), we can select the audio. We followed the numbers displayed matching the exhibits on display. There are various halls, one displaying beautiful paintings by Raja Ravi Verma, amazing armoury collection in one section, Durbar Hall with Venetian Mosaic Floor & Stained Belgian Glass Windows.
There are family portraits of the Dynasty in the Hall. Photography was not allowed inside or outside with DSLR. Mobile photography is allowed only outside.
There is a small shop selling handicrafts, we just glanced through (expensive) before coming back to return the Audio. There is a small Cafe inside.
We went out, clicked ourselves in front of the magnificent Palace.
We waited for some time under the shade hoping for an auto.
We came back to the Vadodara Railway Station, had lunch, picked our bags from Cloak Room, got into bus for Champaner.