Laxmi Vilas Palace, one of the major visitors attractions of Vadodara was built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III in 1890 with Major Charles Mant as the chief architect. It had taken twelve years to build and had cost around £180,000. It was crafted by Major Mant,but completed by Robert Fellowes Chisholm. It is recognised to have been the largest private dwelling built till date and four times the size of Buckingham Palace. It was the official residence of the Maharajas of the province. It continues to be the residence of the Royal Family of Vadodara. This beauteous construction highlights an Indo Saracenic style of architecture with an assorted blend of Indian, Islamic, and European elements. Lakshmi Vilas Palace Vadodara is one of the significant tourist attractions that catch the attention of visitors from various parts of the world. Lakshmi Vilas Palace Vadodara is recognized for its remarkable interiors which encompass multi-coloured marble, tiles, furnishing, luxurious designs and numerous works of art.
Carrara marble was brought in for the doorways of the hall, the pillars and the ornamental stairs. Mr Tree from London made the moulding and gilding on the walls and ceilings, Mr Goldring from Kew laid out the gardens, Signor Felici from Italy made the sculptures which decorated the set of stairs, Durbar hall and other public rooms, and Mr Dix from London carried out the stained glass windows. Period furniture, Old Masters and Venetian chandeliers accomplished the effect.
One of the most spectacular masterpieces within the palace, the resplendent Durbar hall with a Venetian mosaic floor, Belgium stained glass windows and walls with intricate mosaic decorations is the venue for reputed music concert events and other cultural events. Outside the opulent Durbar Hall is an Italian courtyard of fountains and the palace compound of over 700 acres which houses a number of buildings, including a golf course, Motibaug Palace and Maharaja Sayajirao’s personal museum, Fateh Singh Museum. The museum building was actually built as an institution for the Maharaja’s children. Today a large number of works of art belonging to the Royal family have been exhibited in the museum. The most impressive of these is the amazing collection of paintings by Raja Ravi Varma. The Maharaja also built a miniature railway line, which circled the mango orchard within the palace compound, to take his children from the school to the main Lukshmi Vilas Palace. The train engine was lately refurnished by Ranjitsinh Pratapsingh Gaekwad, who was the maharaja during the time, and can be seen at the entrance to the Museum. The palace also featured a small zoo.
The palace is set in a vast landscape park with sculptures. The stunning Lakshmi Vilas Palace also presents a good collection of ancient armours and statues and figurines made of terracotta, marble and bronze. The palace is open to the public and an audio tour is available. These audio tours are available in both English and Hindi. The Lakshmi Vilas Palace is truly an epitome of grandeur making it worth a visit!
The Laxmi Vilas Palace in Vadodara is an iconic heritage structure that is not just beautiful but also huge making it suitable for filmingBollywood films/songs. Bollywood movie Rang Rasiya (starring Randeep Hooda and Nandana Sen) thoroughly features Vadodaras Laxmi Vilas, and it genuinely blends well with the theme of the movie that is based on famous Indian Painter Raja Ravi Verma. The movie Grand Masti featuring Vivek oberoi, Ritesh Deshmukh & Aftab Shivdasani was also shot at this spectacular palace in Vadodara. The title song of Grand Masti was shot at the grand Durbar Hall of the Laxmi Vilas Palace.
Prem Rog in 1982 , Grand Masti , Rang Rasiya and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo was also shot here in 2015.
For Palace Visitors
The Palace is open for visitors. Tickets can be bought at the Security Desk of the palace. Visitor timings are from 9:30 am until 5:00 pm. The building is open on all days except Mondays & public holidays.Photography is NOT permitted. The ticket charges include a free audio tour in hindi or english.