This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention

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Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri

Don't we all have a tiny royal gene in all of us? With a bit of tweezing, the urge to live a royal life comes gushing out. Every visit transports me back in time.

A time when women bathed in milk and roses,
where acres of plush landscapes were a prince's playing field,
where the royal khansamas (cooks) passed secret recipes through generations
and where bloody wars were fought to protect a turf

India is home to many gorgeous palaces which have their own cultural nuances. While we know about the royal residences in Rajasthan, this palace in Gujarat must be on the list of every palace hunter/ hogger.

Welcome to Lukshmi Vilas Palace, in Vadodara - Gujarat

Photo of Laxmi Vilas Palace, Moti Baug, Vadodara, Gujarat, India by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri

About the Palace

Lukshmi Vilas Palace is the royal residence of the rulers of Vadodara - The Gaikwads. Built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaikwad III in 1890, the palace is an amalgamation of Indian and European architectural styles. The palace grounds house the residence along with a,

1)golf course 2)a 600 year old step well 3)a zoo and a museum.The museum used to be a private school for children. The Maharaja earlier built a private mini train to transport the kids to school. Lukshmi Vilas Palace still houses the royal Gaikwads who abide on the 1st floor. This palace is sheer magnificence without the touristy humdrum of its other counterparts in India. The lush green lawns, the sprawling campus, exquisite architecture and the peaceful chirping of the birds, everything just comes together to lift your royal experience.

Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri

Among other things

It has the maximum amount of stained glass work in any palace in the world!

It is famed to be 4 times the size of Buckingham Palace!

Largest and one of the most expensive private residences in the world

Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri

If this has excited you, then jump abode on the royal express, as I take you through the this drop dead gorgeous palace

About the Architecture

The palace has a cinema scope facade. Not kidding, a lot of ads, and films have been shot here!

The architecture has semblance of influences around the world. You can see traces of Gothic Victorian styles in some parts, while in others you will find towering Mughal minarets. The queen's residence is adorned with Gujarati style domes, which are reminiscent of the Jain temples of Gujarat. As a visitor you will be enchanted to see the Scottish lamps, the Italian marble, the ruby hued stained glass, manicured lawns, the Venetian mosaic and ancient elevators. Yup, they had all of this in the 1890's

Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri
Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri

The Entry

The entry to the palace is located on Rajmahal Road (The palace road).A guard on duty will enter your car/ bike number and let you pass to the parking area which is available at zero cost. Post that, one can buy tickets which cost Rs 225 approx and Rs 400 for foreign nationals. While some may find it expensive, but the cost includes the audio guide (language options available) and a free postcard . This makes the place quieter and less commercial. You will not find herds of people being led but a noisy loud guide, scuffling for a glimpse of the artefact. You will also have a lot of photo opportunities, but it strictly remains outside the confines of the palace. But I obviously flouted rules and that's why this blog exists :)

Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri

There are royal guards everywhere and they do their duty well. So be very careful about taking pictures inside the palace. They will sneak up on you and make you delete it for sure. Once you pass the entry gate with the ticket, you are guided to the palace office from where you can pick the audio guide.

Pro Tip : they will ask you not to pause it and return it in 1 hour. But honestly, no one cares and you can pause and play it to match your speed. We spent two good hours there and no one asked to get it back.

Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri
Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri

The Palace Tour:

The palace tour takes you through various sections and I will introduce them to you

1) Royal Gardens : This is the first location and you can take beautiful pictures of the facade and chill out on the lawns.

Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri

You will see the golfers playing here and it is quite a site to watch.

Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri

2)The Royal Staircase : The audio guide now takes to the royal staircase where you can hear the king's personal experience of how they used to cycle in the corridors where you are standing. It drops you in a time capsule to the bygone times. The walls are adorned with personal portraits of the prince and the princesses. The stair case is ornate and intricately carved with peacocks.

Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri

3) Armoury Hall : All the game of thrones fans, this will be sheer delight for you. The weapons of war are showcased at length and it will bring back the blood gore and valour of the wars, rushing back to your mind. If GOT producers saw this, they would definitely want to take some inspiration from these lethal weapons. Spoils of War, Ah!

Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri
Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri
Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri

4) Coronation Hall : This is followed by the Coronation hall where the royal crowning ceremony happens and hence it is compulsory to remove your shoes. The place is pious and is adorned by the beautiful paintings of Raja Ravi Varma. The prolific painter is known for his famous Goddess Saraswati painting. I cant believe I laid my eyes on his work.

Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri
Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri
Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri

5) Hathi Hall : Post this, pass through passageway again and head to the Hathi Hall. Inspired by elephants, the room is laden in ivory colours. Carvings are more than beautiful and the chandeliers make you stop breathing.

Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri
Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri
Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri

6)Italian Patio : Outside the hall is a courtyard with Italian fountains. I remembered the wishing wells in Italy and felt like dropping a coin. You never know, the palace could be yours!

Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri

7)Durbar Hall : Post this, your eyes will be on a visual treat because you will enter the last enclosure - the Durbar Hall. This hall is used as a room for royal festivals and cultural nights. This long hall rests without a single pillar.

Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri

The venetian mosaic floor was laid by 12 Italian artists and took 18 months to place.

Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri

A company from London placed the stained glass works. This is the only palace were you will see stained glass work with Hindu gods and goddesses.

We saw the wooden doll house of the princesses. My! Wish I had this life.

Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri

8) Navlakhi Step Well : You can finish up your tour with a visit to the Navlakhi Step well. Located to the north of the palace, this step well is the only one in Vadodara city. Its foundation stone was laid by the Gurjar dynasty and later refurbished in Muzaffar Shah's time in the 15th century. More than 600 years old, it got its name because

Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri

it took the king 9 lac gold coins to make this step well

Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri

Step wells are known to be places of community congregation and store water during the parched summer days. Popularly found in Rajasthan and Gujarat.

Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri

Getting there :

Vadodara is easily accessible by plane/ train or bus. Most trains going to Delhi will pass through Vadodara, while other cities can access by flights or bus. You can hire Ola/ Jugnu/Uber in Vadodara easily, so the commute to the Royal Palace is no stress. The city is small, making the farthest distance to be only 20 mins away :) Ah, joys of Big Little Cities. The precincts of the palace will be visible throughout the city which add a dash of royalty to the concrete establishments around

Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri
Photo of This Indian Palace Is Four Times The Size Of The Buckingham Palace, And It Deserves Your Attention by MissDoLittle a.k.a Khushbu Jhaveri

Best time to Visit:

If you like what you read, and want to feel like a royalty then book your tickets to Vadodara. Right time to go, would be during Navratri, 9 day festival of goddess Durga. The city truly lights up at that time (21st September - 29th September 2017)

If you like what you see, feel free to drop in a comment or two. It will be swell if you follow my work on Instagram or Wordpress

2 Comment(s)
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Makes me want to get up and go there immediately right now! Very well written.
Sun 04 08 18, 08:49 · Reply · Report
How were you able to get the inside pictures? It is not allowed I guess. Anyway beautifully written and picturised.
Mon 02 05 18, 04:28 · Reply · Report