After exploring Kabirvad, we headed towards Vadodara, one of the prominent towns of Gujarat. It is situated on the banks of river Vishwamitri, named after the great saint Vishwamitra. The ancient town of Vadodara (also known as Baroda) was called Vadpatra due to the abundance of Banyan trees on the banks of river Vishwamitri.
Vadodara has many and varied attractions – beautiful majestic palaces like Laxmi Vilas palace and museums for the historically inclined, art and picture galleries for the art lover, temples like EME for people with a religious bent of mind and wonderful gardens like Sayaji Baug for those who just want to spend a relaxing time in the peaceful city – there’s something for everybody.
I think the best time to visit the city is around October when the entire city gets traditionally dressed in the festive colours of Navratri. During the nine nights of Navratri, people perform traditional dances called Garba and Dandiya Raas to please Goddess Amba. This is the time when Vadodara, the Cultural capital of Gujarat, becomes the focus of the state.
Vadodara is around 140 km and 450 km from Surat and Mumbai respectively. Vadodara is well connected to major cities of India by excellent roadways, trains and air.
Situated at Gotri road, the ISKCON Temple in Vadodara is about 2 km from the railway station.
The magnificent temple stands amidst beautiful gardens and green surroundings. The temple area comes alive in the evenings when it is filled with people and divine prasadam is distributed to all.
In the premises, there is a Govinda’s restaurant serving traditional Gujarati thali just above the snacks counter. The snacks counter serves a whole host of gujarati and south indian items out of which I found their dahiwadas and samosas very tasty. The food is very hygienic, ambience good and the prices reasonable.
In the garden, there is a plant of Tulsi (Holy basil), considered very sacred by the Hindus. Its leaves are considered uniquely auspicious in all the Hindu Vedic scriptures and are offered to Lord Krishna everyday - the main deity of the temple. The bhaktas maintain a large gaushala for cows, bulls and calves. Each of them is given a distinct name - Godavari, Radha, Saraswati, etc.
The rooms are clean and comfortable and we decided to spend the night here. Life members are charged Rs.100/day (non a/c) and Rs. 400 (a/c) while the other guests are accommodated against a further donation.
Sri Sri Radha Shyamsunder Mandir,
Baroda Gujarat 390021 INDIA