Important Note: This post contains description of Day 2 of the Princely India itinerary of Maharajas' Express which is now discontinued. The new itinerary named Heritage of India covers Aurangabad instead of Vadodara on the second day of this luxury train tour. Remaining itineraries remain the same as before.
Even as you wake up, you will find the train rolling into the medieval city Vadodara. Welcome to the second day of Princely India itinerary. You’re your morning breakfast in the comfort of your cabin or with your fellow travelers in one of the restaurants. After a leisurely breakfast, you will embark on a guided city tour of Vadodara.
|Maharajas Express Princely India Tour|
Vadodara, also known as Sansakari (cultural) city, is the third most populated city of Gujarat. History of Vadodara dates back to 812 AD. The city was ruled by various Hindu kings of Gupta dynasty, Chaulakya dynasty and finally Solanki Rajputs until 1297. In 1297, the city of Vadodara came under the control of Delhi Sultans who were spreading their rule across India. The Sultan’s ruled the city for over a century, until they were defeated by Mughal emperors. The Mughal rulers were followed by the Marathas in 1730. Vadodara became the capital of Maratha Gaekwad rulers in 1735. Vadodara remained a princely state until Independence. After Independence, the city also joined Dominion of India in 1947.
First attraction of your itinerary today is the famous archaeological site of Champaran-Pavgadh Archaeological Park located in the Panchmahal district. The site was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004 owing to its immense cultural value. The site is a repository of ancient and medieval relics spread across the foothills of Pavagarh.
The Kalimata temple on the hill fortress is an important shrine, attracting a number of pilgrims every year. You will also visit the spectacular Jami Masjid, an architectural wonder built in 1513 during the rule of Delhi Sultans. The mosque has two tall minarets with a central Dome and exquisitely carved gates.
|Jama Masjid in Champaner|
After the sightseeing of the archeological park, you will be escorted to Jambhughoda Palace in the afternoon. There you will have a lunch with Maharana Vikramsingh. Savor the royal cuisine straight from the royal kitchen of Maharaja of Vadodara and interact with their family members to get a peep into their lifestyle. After a sumptuous lunch, return to Vadodara and proceed to the Lakshmi Vilas palace. Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum inside the palace is now converted into museum. The major artwork in the museum is the royal collection of paintings by Raja Ravi Verma and some European artists like Raphael, Titian and Murillo.
|Laxmi Vilas Palace in Vadodara |
Later enjoy a folk dance performance as the royal cuisine is served for your dinner. This will also conclude your second day of Maharajas Express Princely India tour. Return to the train and retire into the comfort of your cabins. Even as you sleep, Maharajas Express will chug along to Udaipur where you will spend the third day of your itinerary. Keep checking this space for the next installment of the Maharajas Express Princely India journey.
Contributed by Nikhil Chandra