If Gujarat is a canvas, the festival of Navratri is that winning masterpiece that brings together the most beautiful colours in such a way, it will take more than a few moments for you to recover from the overwhelming fervour that laps you in when you are here. The entire state is reveling in festive spirit but there is one city, compared to all others, that stands out for its sheer grandeur of celebrations and the number of events that are held here during these nine nights.
Any guesses where we’re headed? It’s Vadodara - the Cultural Capital of Gujarat!
If the Navratri dance festival in Gujarat is a successful film, then it will not be wrong to call Vadodara the protagonist and the superstar that is single-handedly responsible for making it a superlative victory, or in simple words, the Amitabh Bachchan of Ras Garba festivities. So join us onboard a journey where we not only take you through the most happening places for Navratri celebrations in Vadodara but also the exciting things you can do in the morning in this charming city.
Most Notable Navratri Celebrations Hotspots in Vadodara:
United Way of Baroda
One of the biggest Garba festivals in Gujarat, the United Way of Baroda attracts over 400,000 people per night, and for all the right reasons! Delectable food, dance competitions, enthusiastic participants and exceptionally well-dressed individuals anywhere you look, this event also has a lot of popular musicians and singers from across India participating in this event. You should keep a tab on the registration and passes for this event a few months in advance, considering the sizeable number of participants that this event sees throughout the nine days. Attending this festival also has a lot of goodwill attached to the event, a fundraiser for United Way, an organization that has been relentlessly working towards the welfare of the community. The proceedings of this event are evenly distributed among 140 organizations.
MAA Shakti Navratri Mahotsav
Another enjoyable event in Vadodara is the MAA Shakti Navratri Mahotsav that has found mentions in the Limca World Book Records for being the ‘Biggest Garba in the world’ at one point in time. Still equally popular, this stellar event witnesses people from not just around the state or the country, but a considerable amount of foreign population too. Groovy music, stalls serving hot and delicious local food, and some even selling authentic Gujarati handicrafts, this festival should be on your go-to list when in Vadodara.
Vadodara Navratri Festival
Promising you a whole new way of celebrating Navratri, the Vadodara Navratri Festival brings along some fantastic singers from all over the world to add to the revelry of an already enthusiastic night. Some of the most prominent businesses in Gujarat sponsor this event, which attracts a huge crowd each night, euphoric and unstoppable moving to the beats of folk music and lovely beats of today.
A Tour of Vadodara:
While you will witness the glory of Navratri by the night, it’s best to spend the morning hours exploring Gujarat’s cultural capital that has historically rich and significant tourist spots. Some that cannot be missed include:
Laxmi Vilas Palace
The most remarkable of all Vadodara attractions, the Laxmi Vilas Palace was constructed in the year 1890 by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad. Styled in Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture, the Laxmi Vilas Palace has the repute of being the largest private dwelling till date- its size is four times bigger than the Buckingham Palace. The interiors are reminiscent of a European country house and it is the home of the royal family of Baroda.
Old armoury and sculptures on display and mosaic wall decorations and Italian flooring, the residence is a delightful sight and redefines the meaning of luxury living.
Timings: 9.30 AM to 5.00 PM
Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum
A unique attraction on its own, Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum is a museum within the Laxmi Vilas Palace containing everything that will give you detailed insights into the life of the royals of Baroda. European and Indian artists have work on display, including oil paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, a celebrated Malayali painter, who was specially commissioned by the then Maharaja of Baroda. Sculptures by Felici are also a part of this museum, which are much loved by tourists. Also, on display are sculptures in bronze, marble and terracotta.
Timings: 10.30 AM to 5.30 PM
Another gift by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad to the city, the Sayaji Baug, also known as the Kamati Baug is one of the largest public gardens in Western India. Maintained by the Vadodara Municipal Corporation, the rich flora of the garden is what tourists love about this destination. The garden is also home to the Baroda Museum & Picture Gallery, the Sardar Patel Planetarium and the Sayaji Baug Zoo. There is also an operational toy train that makes this park a hit among children.
Timings: 5.00 AM to 11.00 PM
This temple in Vadodara is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is known for its unique design and concept - a geodesic structure covered with aluminium sheets. It is called the EME Temple owing to the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (EME) corps of the Indian Army that has built this. It is frequented by a large number of travellers who are usually spellbound by its one-of-a-kind design. Another salient feature of the temple is that it is pretty secular encompassing the elements of different religions at one place, like its dome built according to Islamic architecture and the golden top of the tower according to Buddhist principles, among other things.
Timings: 6.30 AM to 8.30 PM
Navratri in Gujarat is about dance, excitement and festive revelry, but the state of Gujarat and its cities also have a lot to offer visitors with its cultural and historical extravaganza. So come aboard and enjoy the best of this state with us.
For more information on Navratri in Gujarat visit Gujarat Tourism.
For more information on Navratri packages visit Yatra.com