10 facts about Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara
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On my recent visit to Vadodara/Baroda I paid a visit to the Laxmi Vilas Palace which was once the largest private resident dwelling during its time of construction. Though photography was strictly prohibited inside the palace, I managed to click a few pictures of the palace exteriors during the tour.
Here are few interesting facts about the palace which I learnt during my 45 minutes guided tour:
- This magnificent palace was built in 1890 by Maharaja Sayaji Rao III and was named after his third wife, Rani Laxmibai from Thanjore and is the official Royal residence of the Gaekwads of Baroda.
- The construction of the palace was initiated in 1878 and it took 12 years for its completion.
- It was designed in Indo-Saracenic style by the architect Major Charles Mant and later after his death it was completed by Robert Fellowes Chisholm. Major Charles Mant being a perfectionist, came to a conclusion that his calculations were wrong and hung himself assuming the palace would not last long. However the palace stands strong even after 125 years.
- It is considered as one of the most expensive palaces built during the time of its completion with total cost of approximate £180,000.
- The palace compound occupies a spacious 700 acres and also houses Moti Baug palace and Maharaja Fatehsingh museum.The musuem which was formerly a school built for Maharaja’s children currently exhibits beautiful paintings and collectables. Moti Baug Palace was the guest house for the British Architects which is now converted into a cricket stadium.
- A small miniature railway line was constructed by the Maharaja to commute his children between the palace and the school.
- A good blend of both local and foreign materials and workmanship was used in the construction of the palace. Red sand stone from Agra, blue trapstone from Poona and marbles of Rajasthan and Italy were used while twelve workmen from Venice laid the beautiful mosaic floor of the Durbar Hall of the palace.
- The palace houses 170 rooms and was built just for two people, the Maharaja and the Maharani.
- The front façade of the palace is designed in an eclectic architectural style blending Moghul, Jain, Rajput, Marathi, Gujarati as well as Gothic and Venetian designs harmoniously.
- The palace was built with all the modern amenities like elevators, western plumbing, electric bells, internal telephone systems.
If you guys know any more interesting facts about the palace do let us know by leaving a comment below !:-)