Vadodara , formerly Baroda, is the third most-populated city in the Indian state of Gujarat after Ahmedabad and Surat. It is one of four cities in the state with a population of over 1 million, the other being Rajkot and the two cities listed above, although it has a massive population of over 3 million. It is also known as the Sayaji Nagari (Sayaji's City after its famous ruler, Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III) or Sanskari Nagari (The City of Culture, a reference to its status as the Cultural Capital of Gujarat). Vadodara or Baroda, formerly the capital city of the Gaekwar State, is situated on the banks of the Vishwamitri, a river whose name derived from the great saint Rishi Vishwamitra. It is located southeast of Ahmedabad. It is the administrative headquarters of Vadodara District.
Vadodara is home to almost 1.6 million people (as of 2005), the beautiful Lakshmi Vilas Palace and the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (M.S.U.) which is the largest university in Gujarat. Its famous for various faculties and departments, including the Fine Arts, Performing Arts, Technology, Management, Psychology, Social Work, Law and Medicine streams. It has a high literacy rate by Indian standards of 78% (2001). Major industries include petrochemicals, engineering, pharmaceuticals, plastics and Forex. Famous companies such as ABB, Reliance Industries, Larsen and Toubro, IPCL, ONGC and Sun Pharmaceuticals all have a strong presence in this city, also it has presence of IT multi-national companies.
Places of interest
Palaces: Laxmi Vilas Palace, Nazarbaug Palace, Makarpura Palace, Pratap Vilas Palace which is converted to Railway Staff College.
Buildings & Monuments: Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Kirti Mandir, Kirti Stambh, Nyay Mandir, Mandvi & Walled City, Khanderao Market, Aurobindo Ashram, EME Temple (Dakshinamurty Temple), Hazira Maqbara, Tambekarwada, Kala Ghoda, Anglo-Vernacular School now Music College, Juni Kothi, Central Jail, Kala Bhavan, Motibaug Palace, Sursagar Lake
Museums & Gardens: Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum, Baroda Museum & Picture Gallery, Sayaji Baug, Jubilee Baug, Lal Baug, Sardar Baug
Other Interesting Places: Gandhi Nagar Gruh (Town Hall), Vadodara Central Library, ABS Tower Art Gallery, IPCL-Reliance Mandir Complex, Kirti Mandir
Excursions: Ajwa & Nimeta, Dabhoi, Pavagadh, Champaner, Sindhrot Nature Park, Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kayavarohan, Chandod, Galteshwar, Dakor, Nareshwar, Sankheda, Kabirwad