Vadodara, also known as Baroda, is the third most-populated city in the Indian state of Gujarat after Ahmedabad and Surat. It is one of four cities in the state with a population of over 1 million, the other being Rajkot and the two cities listed above. It is also known as the Sayaji Nagari or Sanskari Nagari (Cultural Capital of Gujarat). Vadodara or Baroda, formerly the capital city of Gaekwar State, is situated on the banks of Vishwamitri, a river whose name derived from the great saint Rishi Vishvamitra. It is located southeast of Ahmedabad. It is the administrative headquarters of Vadodara District.
Vadodara is home to almost 1.6 million people (as of 2005), the beautiful Lakshmi Vilas Palace and the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (M.S.U.) which is famous for various departments, including the fine arts, performing arts, technology, management and medicine streams. It has a high literacy rate by Indian standards of 78% (2001). Major industries include petrochemicals, engineering, pharmaceuticals, and plastics.
Vadodara has a rich historical background. The ardent historian can trace Vadodara's history over 2000 years and more. The first noted history of the city was of the early trader settlers who settled in the region in 812 A.D. The province was mainly Hindu-dominated with Hindu kings ruling till the year 1297. The Gupta Dynasty was the first power rulers of the region. After fierce battles, the region was taken over by the Chalukya Dynasty. Finally, the kingdom was annexed by the Solankis. By this time the 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 easily overthrown by the Mughal emperors. The Mughals' biggest problem were the mighty Marathas who slowly but eventually took over the region. It became the capital of the Maratha Gaekwads. Sayaji Rao III (1875-1939), a most able ruler, made many public and bureaucratic improvements in the region. Although the British had a major influence on the region, Vadodara remained a princely state until Independence. Like all other princely states, Vadodara also joined the Republic of India in 1947.
The city is on the major rail and road arteries joining Mumbai with Delhi and Mumbai with Ahmedabad. Due to this Vadodara is known as a ‘Gateway to the Golden Corridor’.
Vadodara Airport (IATA: BDQ) is well connected with the cities of Mumbai and Delhi, with multiple daily flights to these locations.
Vadodara was part of historic BBCI Railway. Railway was arrived in Vadodara in early 1860s. On 5 November 1951 the BBCI Railway was merged with the Saurashtra, Rajputana and Jaipur railways to give rise to the Western Railway. Now, the Vadodara Railway Station belongs to the Western Railway division of Indian Railways and is a major station on the Mumbai-Delhi and Mumbai-Ahmedabad routes. All trains, including superfast and express, stop here. Vadodara has 3 railway stations called Vadodara Junction, Makarpura & Vishwamitri Stations.
National Highway No. 8 passes through the city. Vadodara is also connected with Ahmedabad through Indian National Expressway 1, a stretch of 97 km Super Highway with only 2 exits.
Public transport vehicles within the city include buses, autorickshaws and taxis. There are a few private bus and taxi services as well. A significant proportion of the population uses their own vehicles – cars, scooters, motorcycles and bicycles.
* Paved Roads: 1680 km
* Unpaved Roads: 400 km
* Total Roads: 2080 km