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VADODARA (Baroda)

The former capital of the erstwhile Baroda State ruled by the Maratha Maharaja Gaekwad, is a beautiful city of sprawling parks, lakes, palaces, museums and is also a major University town. In Buddhist texts, Vadodara has been described as a town "in the heart of the Banyan Trees".

History and literature of the region can be studied in its well arranged Museum and in the Institute of Oriental Studies. The Art School at Vadodara led to the development of the Baroda School of Indian Art, The Art Gallery has a rich collection of Mughal miniatures as well paintings of European masters.

The flamboyant Lakshmi Vilas Palace offers a large collection of armour and sculptures. The Palace itself is a conglomeration of domes, towers and spires a wonderful example of an architecture that strayed from the Indo-Saracenic style.

A fine example of antiquity is an old town, Dabhoi, a ruined city, dating back to 13th century. It succumbed to the raids by a succession of Muslim, Maratha and British invaders. Its temples remind us of the Gujarat style of Hindu architecture.

Among the fertile fields of Gujarat planted by farmers all in white and harvested by women wearing flared red skirts is the busy town of Anand. It was here that Operation Flood started to produce more milk by an enterprising visionary, Dr. Kurien. Much of Mumbai's milk and India's butter comes from a cooperative dairy organization based here. The organization was helped by Danish experts. The country is now self-sufficient in milk products and exports them to the Middle East.


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