26 Things To Do In Baroda

Things To Do In Baroda

Baroda, also known as Vadodara, is a city that beautifully marries its rich cultural heritage with modern vibrancy. As one of Gujarat’s most prominent cities, Baroda is renowned for its grand palaces, majestic temples, lush gardens, and bustling markets. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, nature lover, art aficionado, or a casual traveler, there are countless things to do in Baroda that promise to leave you enchanted. This guide explores some of the best activities and attractions the city has to offer, ensuring your visit is both memorable and fulfilling.

Things To Do In Baroda

  1. Visit Laxmi Vilas Palace

Laxmi Vilas Palace, a majestic architectural marvel, stands as a testament to the grandeur of the Gaekwad dynasty. Built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III in 1890, the palace is four times the size of Buckingham Palace. Its Indo-Saracenic architecture combines elements from Hindu, Gothic, and Mughal styles, making it a visual treat.

Inside, the palace houses an impressive collection of artifacts, including armory, sculptures, and paintings by renowned artists like Raja Ravi Varma. The ornate Durbar Hall, with its Venetian mosaic floor, stained glass windows, and Belgian chandeliers, is particularly awe-inspiring. Visitors can also stroll through the expansive gardens, which are home to peacocks and deer.

A visit to Laxmi Vilas Palace is a journey through time, offering a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of Baroda’s royalty and their patronage of the arts.

  1. Explore Sayaji Baug

Sayaji Baug, also known as Kamati Baug, is a sprawling garden named after Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III. Spanning 113 acres, it is one of the largest public gardens in India. The garden is a perfect place for relaxation and recreation, offering a variety of attractions.

One of the highlights is the Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery, which boasts an impressive collection of art, artifacts, and natural history exhibits. The museum’s collection includes Egyptian mummies, Mughal miniatures, and European paintings.

The garden also features a zoo, which is home to several species of animals and birds, a toy train for children, and a planetarium. The floral clock at the entrance is a unique attraction, showcasing a working clock made entirely of flowers.

Sayaji Baug is an ideal spot for families and nature lovers, offering a serene environment amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.

  1. Discover the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum

Located within the premises of Laxmi Vilas Palace, the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum is a treasure trove of art and history. The museum was initially built as a school for the Maharaja’s children but was later converted into a museum to house the royal family’s extensive collection.

The museum’s exhibits include European paintings, sculptures, and artworks by renowned artists such as Raja Ravi Varma. There are also Japanese and Chinese artifacts, Greco-Roman exhibits, and an extensive collection of Indian miniatures.

One of the unique features of the museum is the collection of bronze and marble sculptures, including many original works. The museum provides an insight into the cultural and artistic interests of the Gaekwad dynasty, making it a must-visit for art enthusiasts.

  1. Stroll Through Sursagar Lake

Sursagar Lake, located in the heart of Baroda, is a serene and picturesque spot perfect for a leisurely stroll. The lake is man-made and surrounded by a concrete wall, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

One of the standout features of Sursagar Lake is the 120-foot statue of Lord Shiva that stands in the middle of the lake. Illuminated at night, the statue creates a stunning reflection on the water, making it a beautiful sight to behold.

Visitors can enjoy boating on the lake, which offers a unique perspective of the statue and the surrounding cityscape. The lake is especially lively during festivals, when it becomes a hub of cultural activities and celebrations.

  1. Shop at Mandvi Gate

Mandvi Gate, an iconic landmark in Baroda, is the perfect place to experience the city’s vibrant market scene. The gate itself is an architectural marvel, built during the Mughal era and serving as a bustling marketplace ever since.

The market around Mandvi Gate offers a wide range of goods, from traditional Gujarati textiles and handicrafts to modern fashion and accessories. It’s an excellent spot to shop for souvenirs, including intricately designed jewelry, colorful bangles, and handwoven fabrics.

The area is also known for its street food, offering a variety of local delicacies such as pav bhaji, kachori, and dabeli. Exploring Mandvi Gate is a sensory delight, providing a glimpse into the daily life and culture of Baroda.

  1. Relax at Ajwa Water Park

Ajwa Water Park, located on the outskirts of Baroda, is a popular destination for families and thrill-seekers. Spanning 26 acres, the park features a variety of water rides and attractions suitable for all age groups.

Highlights include the wave pool, where visitors can experience the thrill of ocean waves, and numerous water slides, ranging from gentle to adrenaline-pumping. The park also has a dedicated children’s area with smaller slides and splash zones, making it a great spot for kids.

In addition to the water attractions, Ajwa Water Park offers well-manicured gardens, picnic spots, and food courts, providing a complete day of fun and relaxation. It’s an ideal place to beat the heat and enjoy some quality time with family and friends.

  1. Explore Kirti Mandir

Kirti Mandir, also known as the Temple of Fame, is a grand memorial built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III to commemorate his ancestors. Located near the Vishwamitri Bridge, this architectural masterpiece is dedicated to the memory of the Gaekwad family.

The structure is a blend of Hindu, Islamic, and European architectural styles, featuring a central cenotaph surrounded by small towers. The interior is adorned with beautiful murals and intricate carvings, depicting scenes from Hindu mythology and the history of the Gaekwad dynasty.

Kirti Mandir is not just a historical monument but also a place of spiritual significance. Visitors can spend time in quiet contemplation, appreciating the artistry and craftsmanship that went into creating this splendid memorial.

  1. Visit EME Temple

The EME Temple, also known as the Dakshinamurthy Temple, is one of Baroda’s most unique religious sites. Built by the Indian Army’s Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (EME) Corps, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and showcases a fusion of various architectural styles.

The temple’s design incorporates elements from Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, and Jain architecture, symbolizing the unity in diversity of Indian culture. The aluminum-clad structure stands out for its modernist design, which contrasts with the traditional temples found in the region.

Surrounded by well-maintained gardens, the EME Temple offers a peaceful retreat for visitors. It’s a great place to reflect and appreciate the harmonious blend of different religious and architectural influences.

  1. Wander Through Makarpura Palace

Makarpura Palace, a lesser-known gem in Baroda, is a stunning example of Italian Renaissance architecture. Built in 1870 by Maharaja Khande Rao Gaekwad, the palace was intended as a summer residence. Although it is currently used by the Indian Air Force as a training school, the exterior and gardens remain a captivating sight.

The palace features exquisite carvings, ornate balconies, and lush green gardens that are perfect for a leisurely walk. The European influence is evident in its design, with sprawling lawns, fountains, and beautiful statues adding to its charm.

Visitors can admire the exterior and explore the gardens, imagining the opulence of royal life. The palace, though not entirely open to the public, offers a glimpse into Baroda’s royal heritage.

  1. Experience Nature at Jambughoda Wildlife Sanctuary

Jambughoda Wildlife Sanctuary, located about 70 kilometers from Baroda, is a haven for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Spread over an area of 130 square kilometers, the sanctuary is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including leopards, hyenas, sloth bears, and a wide range of bird species.

Visitors can enjoy trekking, bird watching, and nature walks within the sanctuary. The scenic landscape, featuring dense forests, rolling hills, and serene water bodies, provides a perfect backdrop for photography and nature exploration.

The sanctuary also offers accommodation facilities like eco-friendly cottages and guesthouses, allowing visitors to stay overnight and experience the tranquility of the wilderness.

  1. Explore the Maharaja Sayajirao University

The Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU) is not just an educational institution but also a landmark that reflects the city’s commitment to learning and culture. Founded in 1949, the university boasts a beautiful campus with impressive buildings and lush greenery.

One of the main attractions on the campus is the MSU’s Faculty of Fine Arts, known for its prestigious art programs and exhibitions. The annual art fair held here attracts artists and art lovers from all over the country, showcasing a variety of contemporary artworks.

Strolling through the campus, visitors can admire the blend of colonial and modern architecture, visit the university library, and explore the various departments that contribute to the intellectual and cultural vibrancy of Baroda.

  1. Visit ISKCON Baroda

ISKCON Baroda, part of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, is a spiritual oasis in the city. The temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna, is a peaceful place where visitors can experience the tranquility and devotion associated with Krishna worship.

The temple complex is beautifully designed, with intricate carvings and a serene atmosphere. Daily aartis (prayer ceremonies) and bhajans (devotional songs) offer a glimpse into the spiritual practices of the devotees. The temple also organizes various cultural and religious events, making it a hub of spiritual activity.

Visitors can enjoy a vegetarian meal at the temple’s Govinda’s restaurant, which serves delicious prasadam (sanctified food). The ISKCON temple is a perfect place to relax and rejuvenate, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

  1. Discover the Narmada Canal

The Narmada Canal, an engineering marvel, is an essential part of Gujarat’s irrigation and water supply system. While it serves a practical purpose, the canal and its surroundings have become a popular spot for picnics and leisurely outings.

The canal offers scenic views, particularly during sunrise and sunset, when the water reflects the changing colors of the sky. Several parks and gardens along the canal provide perfect spots for families and friends to relax and enjoy the natural beauty.

Cycling and walking paths along the canal offer a great way to explore the area, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

  1. Visit Nyaya Mandir

Nyaya Mandir, meaning “Temple of Justice,” is a stunning piece of architecture that houses the District Court of Baroda. Built in 1896, the building is a blend of Byzantine and Indian architectural styles, with a striking façade and intricate details.

Although it functions as a court, the architectural beauty of Nyaya Mandir makes it worth a visit. The building’s design, with its grand arches and detailed carvings, reflects the grandeur of the era in which it was constructed.

Visitors can admire the exterior of the building and take in its historical significance. It stands as a symbol of justice and governance, contributing to the city’s rich architectural heritage.

  1. Enjoy a Day at Inorbit Mall

For those looking to indulge in some modern-day entertainment and shopping, Inorbit Mall in Baroda is the place to be. The mall offers a wide range of national and international brands, making it a shopper’s paradise.

In addition to shopping, the mall features a variety of dining options, from fast food to fine dining, catering to all tastes and preferences. The multiplex cinema within the mall offers the latest movies, providing a complete entertainment package.

Inorbit Mall is also known for its regular events and promotions, including fashion shows, live performances, and festivals, making it a lively and engaging destination for visitors of all ages.

  1. Explore Khanderao Market

Khanderao Market, built in 1906, is one of Baroda’s oldest and most vibrant markets. Named after Maharaja Khanderao Gaekwad, the market is housed in a historical building with impressive architecture.

The market is a bustling hub of activity, offering a variety of goods including fresh produce, flowers, spices, and traditional handicrafts. It’s a great place to experience the local culture and pick up some unique souvenirs.

Walking through the narrow lanes of Khanderao Market, visitors can enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of a traditional Indian marketplace. The market is particularly lively during festivals, when it is adorned with colorful decorations and bustling with shoppers.

  1. Explore the Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad Library

The Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad Library, located within the campus of the Maharaja Sayajirao University, is one of the oldest and most significant libraries in Gujarat. Established in 1950, the library houses an extensive collection of books, journals, manuscripts, and periodicals.

The architecture of the library itself is worth noting, combining traditional and modern elements. It is a peaceful place for reading and research, offering a quiet retreat for students and visitors alike. The library’s special collections on Indian history, culture, and literature make it a valuable resource for scholars and history enthusiasts.

  1. Visit the Aurobindo Ashram

The Aurobindo Ashram, also known as the Aurobindo Society, is a spiritual retreat dedicated to the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. The ashram is located in a serene environment and offers a tranquil space for meditation and self-reflection.

Visitors can attend various workshops, lectures, and meditation sessions held at the ashram. The library within the ashram contains a vast collection of books on spirituality, philosophy, and yoga, providing insights into the spiritual teachings of Sri Aurobindo.

The Aurobindo Ashram is an ideal place for those seeking peace and spiritual growth, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

  1. Experience the Hawa Mahal

Hawa Mahal, not to be confused with the one in Jaipur, is a lesser-known but equally enchanting palace in Baroda. Built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, this palace served as a summer retreat for the royal family. It is located in the scenic town of Palitana, a short drive from Baroda.

The palace is known for its stunning architecture and intricate design. The surrounding gardens and the cool breeze from the nearby river make it a perfect spot for relaxation. Though not as grand as some of the other palaces, Hawa Mahal offers a unique and tranquil experience for visitors.

  1. Attend a Performance at Vadodara Navratri Festival

The Vadodara Navratri Festival is one of the most celebrated events in the city. Held during the nine nights of Navratri, this festival showcases traditional Garba and Dandiya dances, attracting performers and visitors from all over the country.

The festival is marked by vibrant costumes, energetic music, and lively dance performances. Visitors can participate in the dances, enjoy traditional Gujarati food, and witness the cultural richness of Baroda. The festival is a great way to experience the local traditions and celebrate with the community.

  1. Take a Heritage Walk

A heritage walk through the old city of Baroda is a fascinating way to explore the city’s historical and architectural treasures. Guided tours are available, taking visitors through narrow lanes, old havelis, temples, and markets that reflect the rich history and culture of Baroda.

These walks often include visits to significant landmarks like Kirti Mandir, Mandvi Gate, and various historical buildings that showcase the architectural diversity of the city. It’s an excellent way to learn about Baroda’s past and its evolution over the centuries.

  1. Visit the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park is located about 50 kilometers from Baroda. This historical park is home to the ruins of the ancient city of Champaner and the hill fortress of Pavagadh.

The site features a mix of Hindu and Islamic architecture, including mosques, temples, step-wells, and palaces. The Kalika Mata Temple on top of Pavagadh Hill is a significant pilgrimage site and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

Exploring Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park is like stepping back in time, offering a glimpse into the region’s rich historical and cultural heritage.

  1. Relax at Nimeta Garden

Nimeta Garden, located on the outskirts of Baroda, is a beautifully landscaped garden that offers a peaceful retreat for nature lovers. The garden features lush lawns, colorful flower beds, fountains, and walking paths, making it a perfect spot for picnics and leisurely strolls.

The garden is particularly beautiful during the blooming season, when it is adorned with a variety of flowers. It’s an ideal place for families and couples to relax and enjoy the natural beauty.

  1. Visit the Darbar Hall Museum

The Darbar Hall Museum, located in the premises of the Nyaya Mandir, is a treasure trove of historical artifacts and royal memorabilia. The museum showcases a collection of items related to the royal family of Baroda, including weapons, costumes, jewelry, and portraits.

The highlight of the museum is the grand Darbar Hall, which is adorned with chandeliers, intricate carvings, and a collection of portraits of the Gaekwad rulers. The museum provides a fascinating insight into the royal history and cultural heritage of Baroda.

  1. Experience the Kirti Stambh

Kirti Stambh, also known as the Tower of Fame, is a historic monument built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III to commemorate his reign. The tower, located near the Polo Ground, is an important landmark in Baroda and offers panoramic views of the city from its top.

The tower is built in the Indo-Saracenic style, with intricate carvings and inscriptions. It stands as a symbol of the city’s rich history and the legacy of the Gaekwad dynasty. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower for a bird’s-eye view of Baroda.

  1. Visit the Kuber Bhandari Temple

The Kuber Bhandari Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is located on the banks of the Narmada River, about 60 kilometers from Baroda. The temple is believed to be more than 2500 years old and is a significant pilgrimage site.

The temple is surrounded by natural beauty, with the Narmada River flowing nearby and lush greenery all around. The serene environment makes it a perfect place for meditation and spiritual reflection. The temple attracts a large number of devotees, especially during the festival of Mahashivratri.


Baroda is a city that offers an array of experiences, each more captivating than the last. From the grandeur of Laxmi Vilas Palace and the serenity of Sursagar Lake to the vibrant celebrations of the Vadodara Navratri Festival and the historical wonders of Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, there are numerous things to do in Baroda that cater to every interest. Whether you’re exploring its rich heritage, indulging in local delicacies, or simply soaking in the natural beauty, Baroda promises an unforgettable journey. Plan your visit to this dynamic city and discover why it remains a cherished destination for travelers from around the world.

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