On this day-excursion from Ahmedabad, visit Vadodara, the cultural capital of the West Indian state of Gujarat. Situated on the banks of the River Vishwamitri, the city was the capital of the princely state of Baroda. Visit the palaces of Vadodara and discover the cultural heritage and royal roots of this prosperous city. Also visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Champaner-Pavagadh that houses an Archaeological Park dating back to the 15th century. Highlights • Laxmi Vilas Palace • Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum • Baroda Museum & Picture Gallery • Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
You will be picked up from your hotel in Ahmedabad for the 2-hour drive to the city of Vadodara that is located 70 miles away.Upon reaching Vadodara, you will first visit the grand Laxmi Vilas Palace. The palace was built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III in 1890 at a cost of 180,000 Pounds Sterling. It is the largest private dwelling built to date and is about four times the size of Buckingham Palace. The palace is built in the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. A part of the palace has been converted into a museum that has the private collection of the Maharaja on display. The collection includes paintings by British painters like Turner and Constable as well as masterpieces by Indian painters like Raja Ravi Varma. The museum also has a rich collection of marble and bronze sculptures as well as an Oriental Gallery that contains Japanese and Chinese sculptures collected by the Maharaja during his travels.After the tour of the palace and the museum, stop for lunch (own expense) at a local restaurant.After lunch visit the Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery. Founded by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, the museum was opened to the public in 1894. Built along the lines of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the museum has a rich collection of original paintings by European masters as well as a stunning collection of sculptures, Indian miniature paintings and a full section on Tibetan Art. An Egyptian mummy and the skeleton of a blue whale are among the major attractions of the museum.After a tour of the museum, drive to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park. Situated at a distance of 30 miles from Vadodara, the park has several monuments that mark the transition from Hindu to Muslim culture and architecture in the 15th and 16th century. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the various forts, palaces, mosques, tombs, temples and stepwells, which date from the 8th to the 14th century.At the end of the tour, you will be driven back to Ahmedabad and dropped off at your hotel.