Lakshmi Vilas Palace is the most notable structure of the Vadodara Skyline. You can find the painting or model of Lakshmi Vilas Palace from airport to railway station or anywhere else where Vadodara is mentioned. It is not only a landmark but become a symbol of Vadodara.At the entrance of the palace from the main road there is small security check where are you and your vehicle will be frisked. After this there is a parking lot and ticket office next to each other which are properly marked. You can buy the visitor ticket from here. There are two options: one for the Palace only and second for the Palace along with the Maharaja Fateh Singh museum. Credit cards are accepted at the ticket office.The palace staff at the ticket office told me that due to some event Durbar hall is not available for viewing. At this point I have no other option but to go ahead with my plan of visiting the palace.
I booked the cab for Vadodara to see Lakshmi Vilas Palace, I was awestuck when I first saw its picture, couldn’t believe it exist in India. On other people demand also added Statue of Unity to the list.Day started with Fafda, dholka and jalebi at Astodiya near Raipur gate. The fafda with gujarati style kadhi is must try and you are gona love it for sure. After breakfast we started for Vadodara, the expressway connects the two city. There is no u-turn on the road and its straight with less curves.The palace is made with British style architecture, you get the audio guide to get an insight into the history of artifacts and structure of the palace. Cameras are not allowed but you can click photos with phone from outside….something strange. Palace has a museum on the next gate where they have displayed the precious relics gifted to king and original paintings of Ravi Verma. Many people doesn’t make a visit to museum, the place is of interest for the budding artist and admirer.
While staying in Vadodara I couldn’t have missed the amazing Laxmi Vilas Palace a.k.a. LVP which is situated in the heart of the city. Build by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, this palace is an extravagant building which is four times the size of Buckingham Palace. The palace as you can see is constructed in such a way that it resembles (R to L) a Temple, a Gurudwara, a Church and a Mosque.
Post a leisurely lunch on board the Deccan Odyssey we were taken to the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum, originally constructed as a school for the Maharaja's children. Today, art lovers can view a large number of works of art displayed in the museum including a collection of the paintings of Raja Ravi Varma and other renowned European Masters as well as a collection of sculptures in marble and bronze. Next we were taken for a high tea at the resplendent Lakshmi Vilas Palace, which is still the residence of the Royal family. The traditional welcome given to us on the lawns and the entrance made us feel as if we were guests for the palace itself. Reputedly four times the size of Buckingham Palace, its overwhelming Durbar Hall boasts a Venetian mosaic floor, Belgian stained glass windows and walls with intricate mosaic decorations. A special folk performance was arranged for us in the Durbar Hall as we savored special delicacies from the Royal kitchen.