Laxmi Vilas Palace is a huge building of the Indo-Saracenic school that was built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III in 1890. Designed by Major Charles Mant, this building is said to have been the largest private dwelling built till date. The interiors of this palace are reminiscent of a large European country house, and feature modern amenities like elevators. Presently, the palace serves as the residence of the royal family of Baroda. A striking feature of the palace is its Darbar Hall, which often serves as the venue of music concerts and other cultural events. Characteristic of a Venetian mosaic floor, Belgium stained glass windows and walls decorate with mosaic, this hall opens into an Italianate courtyard of water fountains. Besides, the 700 acres compound of the palace also houses other buildings such as the Moti Baug Palace and the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum. The museum exhibits a rich collection of art works that belong to the royal family, including paintings of Raja Ravi Varma and others depicting Hindu mythology. Entrance of this beautiful museum is marked by a refurbished train engine of what was once a miniature railway line. Evidences of the past can be found elsewhere in the palace as well, such as the old armoury and sculptures in bronze, marble and terracotta by Fellici. Situated adjacent to the Moti Baug Palace and the Museum is the Moti Bagh Cricket Ground, offices of the Baroda Cricket Association, and an indoor teak-floored tennis court and badminton court. The Moti Baug Palace has been transformed in the club house of Gaekwad Baroda Golf Club that houses a swimming pool, sauna and gym facilities. Other than these, the palace houses a small zoo and a fine baoli or step well called Navlakhi.
Gate No.2 Laxmi Vilas Palace Estate, J.N.Marg, Vadodara, Gujarat 390001, India