Vadodara (Gujarati pronunciation: [ʋəˈɽodəɾɑː]; formerly known as Baroda) is the third-largest city in the Indian state of Gujarat, after Ahmedabad and Surat. It is the administrative headquarters of Vadodara District and is located on the banks of the Vishwamitri river, 141 kilometres (88 mi) from the state capital Gandhinagar. The railway line and NH 8 that connect Delhi and Mumbai pass through Vadodara. It is known as a Sanskari Nagari (city) of India.
Sayaji Nagari (City of Sayajirao Gaekwad), Sanskari Nagari (Cultural City)
|Coordinates: 22°18′N 73°12′E|
|Vadodara Municipal Corporation||Established 1950|
|• Body||VUDA, VMSS|
|• Mayor||Jigeesha Sheth|
|• Municipal Commissioner||Nalin Upadhyay|
|• Total||400 km2 (200 sq mi)|
|Elevation||129 m (423 ft)|
|• Rank||20th (3rd in Gujarat State)|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|ISO 3166 code||ISO 3166-2:IN|
|Vehicle registration||GJ-06 (Urban)/GJ-29 (Rural)|
|Nearest city||Bharuch, Anand|
|Legislature type||Municipal Corporation|
|Lok Sabha constituency||1|
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||13|
|Climate||Tropical savanna (Köppen: Aw)|
|Planning agency||1 (VUDA)|
|Distance from Gandhinagar||126 kilometres (78 mi) NE (Rail & Air)|
|Distance from Mumbai||395 kilometres (245 mi) S (Rail & Air)|
|Distance from Ahmedabad||100 kilometres (62 mi) NW (Road)|
As of 2011, Vadodara had a population of almost 1.82 million people. The city is known for the Lakshmi Vilas Palace, the residence of Baroda State's Maratha royal family, the Gaekwads, of the Gaekwad Dynasty. It is also the home of the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, the largest university in Gujarat.
An important industrial, cultural and educational hub of western India, the city houses several institutions of national and regional importance while its major industries include petrochemicals, engineering, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics, IT and foreign exchange services.
The first recorded history of the city is that of the early trader settlers who settled in the region in 812 AD. The province was mainly Hindu-dominated with Hindu kings ruling until 1297. The Gupta Empire was the first power in the region in the early years of the CE. Later, the region was taken over by the Chaulukya dynasty, also known as the Chalukyas of Gujarat. By this time Muslim rule had spread across India, and the reins of power were then snatched by the Delhi Sultans. The city was ruled for a long time by these Sultans until they were overthrown by the Mughals.
The city used to be called Chandanavati after its ruler Raja Chandan of the Dor tribe of Rajputs. The capital was also known as Virakshetra or Viravati (Land of Warriors). Later on, it was known as Vadpatraka or Vadodará, which according to tradition is a corrupt form of the Sanskrit word vatodar meaning in the belly of the Banyan tree. It is now almost impossible to ascertain when the various changes in the name were made; but early English travellers and merchants mention the town as Brodera, and it is from this that the name Baroda is derived. In 1974, the official name of the city was changed to Vadodara.
It is believed that early man lived on the banks of the Mahi River, which formed the floodplain during that age. The movements of these hunter-gatherers, living on the banks of the river, grubbing the roots and killing animals with crude stone tools made out of the cobbles and pebbles available on the river bank, were necessarily controlled by the availability of convenient raw materials for their tools.
There is evidence of the existence of early man in the Mahi River valley at a number of sites within 10 to 20 kilometres (6.2 to 12.4 mi) to the northeast of Vadodara. However, no evidence of the existence of these people have been found in and around the present-day Vadodara City. This may be because of the absence of gravels and cobbles on the banks of the Vishwamitri rivulet.
Baroda State was a former Indian State. Vadodara's more recent history began when the Maratha general Pilaji Gaekwad conquered Songadh from the Mughals in 1726. Before the Gaekwads captured Baroda, it was ruled by the Babi Nawabs, who were the officers of the Mughal rulers. Most notably, from 1705–1716, Sardar Senapati Khanderao Dabhade led the Maratha Empire forces in Baroda. Except for a short period, Baroda continued to be in the reign of the Gaekwads from 1734 to 1948. Initially detailed to collect revenue on behalf of the Peshwa in Gujarat, Pilaji Gaekwad remained there to carve out a kingdom for himself. Damajirao, who was son and successor of Pilaji Gaekwad, defeated the Mughal armies and conquered Baroda in 1734. His successors consolidated their power over large tracts of Gujarat, becoming easily the most powerful rulers in the region.
After the Maratha defeat in the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761, control of the empire by the Peshwas weakened as it became a loose confederacy, and the Gaekwad Maharajas ruled the kingdom until it acceded to Independent Republic of India in 1949. In 1802, the British intervened to defend a Maharaja that had recently inherited the throne from rival claimants, and Vadodara concluded a subsidiary alliance with the British that recognised the Kingdom as a Princely state and allowed the Maharajas of Baroda internal political sovereignty in return for recognising British 'Paramountcy', a form of suzerainty in which the control of the state's foreign affairs was completely surrendered.
The golden period in the Maratha rule of Vadodara started with the accession of Maharaja Sayajirao III in 1875. Near Maharaja Sayaji Gaekwad University there is a well known garden which was built by Maharaja Sayaji Rao Gaekwad himself in 1879 A.D. This garden is known as Sayaji Baug known for visitors centre.This place is situated on river Vishwamitri.
Vadodara is located at 22.30°N 73.19°E in western India at an elevation of 39 metres (128 ft). It is the 18th-largest city in India with an area of 235 square kilometres (91 sq mi) and a population of 2.1 million, according to the 2010–11 census. The city sits on the banks of the Vishwamitri River, in central Gujarat. The Vishwamitri frequently dries up in the summer, leaving only a small stream of water. The city is located on the fertile plain between the Mahi and Narmada Rivers. According to the Bureau of Indian Standards, the cosmopolis falls under seismic zone-III, in a scale of I to V (in order of increasing proneness to earthquakes).
Despite the roughly 800 mm of precipitation that the city receives annually, Vadodara features a semi-arid climate (BSh) under Köppen's Climate classification due to the area's high potential evapotranspiration. There are three main seasons: Summer, Monsoon and Winter. Aside from the monsoon season, the climate is dry. The weather is hot during March to July, when the average maximum is 45 °C (113 °F), and the average minimum is 23 °C (73 °F). From November to February, the average maximum temperature is 30 °C (86 °F), the average minimum is 15 °C (59 °F), and the climate is extremely dry. Cold northerly winds are responsible for a mild chilly days in January. The southwest monsoon brings a humid climate from mid-June to mid-September. The average rainfall is 93 cm (37 in), but infrequent heavy torrential rains cause the river to flood like the 2005 Gujarat flood or the 2008 Indian floods which were catastrophic.
|Climate data for Vadodara|
|Record high °C (°F)||36.2
|Average high °C (°F)||29.5
|Average low °C (°F)||12.5
|Record low °C (°F)||−1.1
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||2.2
|Average rainy days||0||0||0||0||0||9||14||11||7||3||1||0||49|
|Average relative humidity (%)||45||43||35||33||49||67||80||75||73||62||58||54||56|
|Source #1: India Meteorological Department (1952–2000)|
|Source #2: Weatherbase (Avg. rainy days)|
In Vadodara various large-scale industries such as Indian Oil Corporation(IOCL), Gujarat State Fertilizers & Chemicals (GSFC), Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Limited (IPCL, now owned by Reliance Industries Limited) and Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Limited (GACL) have come up in the vicinity of Gujarat Refinery and all of them are dependent on it for their fuel and feedstock. Other large-scale public sector units are Heavy Water Project, Gujarat Industries Power Company Limited (GIPCL), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) & Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL). In addition to these public sector enterprises, a number of other large-scale enterprises have come up in the private sector such as Avalance Global Solutions, Bombardier Transportation.
Located in Vadodara are over 35% India's power transmission and distribution equipment manufacturers and an estimated 800 ancillaries supporting the big players in Power Sector equipment manufacturing and engineering industry.
In line with the 'Knowledge City' vision of the Confederation of Indian Industry, Vadodara is gradually becoming a hub in Gujarat for IT and other development projects.
Vadodara is also home to the Vadodara Stock Exchange (VSE).
|Vadodara City Officials|
|Mayor||Dr. Jigeeshaben Jatinbhai Sheth|
|Municipal Commissioner||Shri Nalin Upadhyay|
|Police Commissioner||Anupamsinh Gehlot IPS|
Vadodara is administered by the Vadodara Mahanagar Seva Sadan (VMSS). Some of the regions surrounding the city are administered by the Vadodara Urban Development Authority (VUDA). The VMSS was established in July 1950 under the Bombay Provincial Corporation Act, 1949. For administrative purposes, the city is divided into four zones and 26 wards.
The two main institutions involved in planning and development in Vadodara are VMSS and the VUDA. The jurisdiction of both these agencies is demarcated clearly not only physically but also functionally. The governing acts for both the institutions differ. The principal responsibility of VUDA is to ensure a holistic development of the Vadodara agglomeration covering an area of 714.56 km2 (275.89 sq mi), whereas VMSS is involved in the development of area of 235 km2 (91 sq mi).
Three corporators are elected from each ward, who in turn elect a mayor. Executive powers are vested in the municipal commissioner, who is an IAS officer appointed by the Gujarat state government. The mayor is responsible for the day-to-day running of the city services, municipal school board, the city bus service, the municipal hospital and the city library. The Vadodara City Police is headed by a Police Commissioner, an IPS officer.
The City elects 1 member to the Lok Sabha (parliament) and 5 to the Gujarat Vidhan Sabha(Assembly) All of the 5 assembly seats of Vadodara were won by the BJP during the legislative elections in 2002. In the 2006 VMSS elections, the BJP won 74 seats, 6 seats went to the Congress.
- Election Wards: 38
- Seats (Corporators): 114
- Population per ward: 31,122
- Seats reserved for women: 38
- Total voters (as on 1 January 2019): 1,638,321
The Vadodara City Police are responsible for law enforcement and public safety in Vadodara, India. They are a subdivision of the state police force of Gujarat and are headed by a commissioner. The Vadodara police force is responsible for the protection and safety of Vadodara citizens. Shri Anupam Singh Gahlaut is the current Commissioner of Vadodara City Police.
Vadodara Airport (IATA: BDQ) is located north-east of the city. Vadodara has flight connections with Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Air India and IndiGo are currently operating their services from the airport.A new integrated international terminal has been constructed at the Vadodara airport and was inaugurated in October 2016. Vadodara is the first Green Airport in Gujarat and Second Green Airport in India after Kochi.
Vadodara was part of the historic Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway (BBCI), which arrived in the city in January 1861. On 5 November 1951 the BBCI Railway was merged with the Saurashtra, Rajputana and Jaipur railways to create the Western Railway. Vadodara Railway Station now belongs to the Western Railway zone of Indian Railways and is a major junction on the Western Railway Main Line.
Vadodara Junction railway station is Gujarat's busiest junction with almost 358 trains passing through every day. It comes under Vadodara Division of Western Railways. Passengers can travel to almost all the parts of India from Vadodara Junction, where there is a junction from the directions of Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Delhi and Kota (all four directions). It has one of the largest electric locomotives sheds in Gujarat and various trains have a loco change over at Vadodara. Trains such as Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duranto and important mail/express trains halt at Vadodara Junction. Apart from various small railway stations, Vadodara has 10 major railway stations namely Vadodara Junction (BRC'), Pratapnagar, Vishwamitri, Makarpura, Karajan (Miyagaon), Itola, Varnama, Bajwa, Ranoli, and Nandesari.
According to the 2011 India census, Vadodara metropolitan area had a population of 1,822,221. In Vadodara, 9% of the population is under 6 years of age. Gujarati, Urdu, Marathi, Hindi and English are the languages spoken in the city. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%.
People speaking different languages stay in the city. Apart from Gujaratis and Marathis, a significant population of North Indians, Rajasthanis, South Indians and Bengalis have settled in the city. All of them have various associations and community bodies in the city.
Vadodara is also known as Sanskari Nagari, i.e. Cultured City and according to the Gujarat tourism authority is the most sought after location for the dance known as Garba.
Religions and festivals
Apart from this, Ganesh Chaturthi and Uttarayan are also celebrated with great zeal. During Ganesh Chaturthi, there are many Ganesh pandals (stalls) arranged at the streets of the city. These are kept for seven days or ten days before the idol of Ganesha is immersed in various water bodies in the city and majority of them are immersed at Sursagar Lake. People also have these idols placed at their home for short periods.
Uttarayan is a festival of kites, music and "tilgud" in the city. Before the festival starts, the markets are lined up with vendors selling kites, threads, balloons, and firecrackers as well as various local cuisines. At night the sky is illuminated by crackers, kandils and fire balloons. The Marathi women here also perform "Haldi Kumku".
The most followed religion in the city is Hinduism, practiced by 85% of the population. The second most followed religion is Islam, followed by 11% of the population. All other religious groups make up the remaining 4% of the population.
Art and architecture
Vadodara has a vibrant history related to Art and Architecture. Since the era of Royal Gaekwad family, it has been a hub of Arts and Literature. Hence, it has been bestowed the title of "Kala Nagari (Art City)". Maharaja Sayajirao University offers innumerable arts courses within the campus.
Vadodara has a professional cricket team, the Baroda cricket team, as well as the oldest cricket ground in Asia, called Moti Baug. The team has won the Ranji Trophy six times. Reliance Stadium, a private cricket ground owned by Reliance Industries, hosts ODIs. Some of the notable cricketer's from Baroda are Atul Bedade, Nayan Mongia, Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Hardik Pandya, Kiran More, Krunal Pandya, Deepak Hooda, Ambati Rayudu.Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan also grew up here.
The city has five local FM stations: Radio City (91.1 MHz), Radio Mirchi (98.3 MHz), Red FM (93.5 MHz), Big FM (92.7 MHz), and All India Radio, Vividh Bharti (93.9 MHz)(Aakashwani). Radio City (91.1 MHz) is known all over Vadodara for its Rag Rag Ma Vadodara City profile. All India Radio is broadcast on the AM band. Satellite radio was launched in nearby city of Ahmedabad by WorldSpace in 2005. Vadodara News Magazine(VNM) is a local news TV channel that covers events in the city.
The city houses many Schools and Colleges. Higher Education Institutions across various disciplines attract international students mainly from the African countries such as Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa, and Kenya.
- BTS Edu Campus, Varnama
- Vadodara Institute of Technology
- Neotech Technical Campus, Virod
- Sigma Group of Institutes
- K. J. Institute of Technology
- ITM Universe, Jarod
- M. K. Amin Arts Science & Commerce College
- Pioneer Homoeopathic Medical College & Hospital
- Baroda Homeopathic Medical College
- K M Shah Dental College & Hospital
Places of interest
- Palaces – Laxmi Vilas Palace, Nazarbaug Palace (destroyed), Makarpura Palace, Pratap Vilas Palace (now occupied by Railway Staff College)
- Buildings & monuments – Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Kirti Mandir, Kirti Stambh, Nyay Mandir, Khanderao Market, Aurobindo Ashram, EME Temple (Dakshinamurty Temple), Hazira Maqbara, Kala Ghoda, Mairal Ganpati Mandir
- Museums & gardens – Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum, Baroda Museum & Picture Gallery, Sayaji Baug, Ajwa & Nimeta garden
- Excursions – Ajwa & Nimeta, Dabhoi, Pavagadh, Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, Kayavarohan, Jhand Hanuman, Hathni Mata Waterfall, Dakor, Sursagar Lake, Dediapada, Vadhavana Bird Sanctuary
- Temples – Lumbini Buddha Vihar-Harni, Pavagadh temple, Krishna Temple-Dakor, Siddhivinayak Temple, Saibaba Temple Jubilee gardens
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