Laxmi Vilas Palace
The Laxmi Vilas Palace is one of the must see attractions of Vadodara city. The Laxmi Vilas Palace was built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III in 1890 at a cost of £180,000.
The Laxmi Vilas Palace “compound” is of over 700 acres (2.8 km2) and houses a number of buildings, particularly the Moti Baug Palace and the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum building. Adjacent to the Motibaug Palace and the Museum is the Moti Bagh Cricket Ground, the offices of the Baroda Cricket Association, and a very rare indoor teak floored tennis court and badminton court (where the All India Badminton Championships were previously held). There are also two clay tennis courts plus a derelict fives court.
The Darbar Hall has a Venetian mosaic floor, Belgium stained glass windows and walls with intricate mosaic decorations. Also outside of the Darbar Hall is an Italinate courtyard of water fountains. The palace houses a remarkable collection of old armoury and sculptures in bronze, marble & terracotta by Fellici. The grounds were landscaped by William Goldring, a specialist from Kew Gardens. The palace is open to the public and an audio tour is available.
In the 1930s Maharaja Pratapsinh created a golf course for use by his European guests. In the 1990s Pratapsinh’s grandson Samarjitsinh, a former Ranji trophy cricket player, renovated the course and opened it to the public. The course was expanded in 2004 into a beautiful course managed by the Gaekwad Baroda Golf Club and now boasts over 300 members. The Motibaug Palace is now the club house for the club, behind which are a large new swimming pool designed by the renowned architect Karan Grover, sauna and gym facilities. Packs of langoors & peacocks can be spotted around the palace compound. The present management of the club have used the old British spelling Lukshmi Vilas Palace instead of the better known Lakshmi Vilas Palace.Laxmi Vilas Palace,