Sunday, 12 May 2013

Introducing Vadodara (Baroda) Gujrat, India

Vadodara (or Baroda as it’s often known) is a cultured, harmonious university town 100km southeast of Ahmedabad, which explodes into life during festival season. The impressive museum, overwrought Indo-Saracenic palace and beautiful Tambekar Wada can be visited in a day or two, but the main reason for coming here is the nearby, wonderful Unesco World Heritage site Champaner, with its mosques lost in the landscape.Prior to Independence, Vadodara was the capital of the princely Gaekwad state, and today prides itself as an educational centre, and home to the sprawling MS University

Getting there & away

The STC bus stand is 400m north of the train station, and there are buses to many destinations in Gujarat, western Madhya Pradesh and northern Maharashtra. Every 10 minutes there are buses to Ahmedabad (Rs 60, two hours). Regular buses also serve Bhavnagar (Rs 100, five hours), Palitana (Rs 110, eight hours, two daily), Diu (Rs 145, 13 hours, two daily) and Tararbul (for Lothal; Rs 55). Many private bus companies have offices nearby.

To Ahmedabad, the 9115 Sayajinagari Express leaves Vadodara at 9.51pm (2nd class Rs 51, 2¼ hours, 99km) and the 9011 Gujarat Express leaves at 12.13pm. The 2009/10 Shatabdi departs at 11.51am Saturday to Thursday (chair/executive Rs 315/590, two hours). From Ahmedabad it leaves at 2.30pm, arriving in Vadodara at 4.15pm and going on to Mumbai, arriving at 9.45pm (chair/executive Rs 695/1330). Also to Mumbai, the 9144 Lokshakti Express leaves at 11.10pm (sleeper/3AC Rs 212/565, 7¼ hours, 392km).

The airport is 8km northeast of town. Indian Airlines (2794747/8) has daily flights to Mumbai (US$125) and Delhi (US$215). Jet Airways (2343441) also has daily Mumbai flights.