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At a Glance, Lukshmi Villa Palace - Baroda, Gujarat (Sponsored)

Lukshmi Villa Palace is an exceptional building of the Indo-Saracenic School, it was built in 1890 by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III at a cost of GBP180,000. Major Charles Mont was the architect. It remains the largest private residence ever built and is four times the size of Buckingham Palace. At the time of construction it reminded of the most modern facilities such as elevators and the internally large European country house. It is the abode of the Royal Family, held in high esteem by the residents of Baroda. Its ornate durbar hall, which is sometimes the location of concerts and other cultural events, features a Venetian mosaic floor, intricate mosaic decoration with Belgian stained glass windows and walls. Outside the Durbar Hall is a courtyard of water fountain.

The palace has a notable collection of old arsenals and sculptures by Felici in bronze, marble and terracotta. The grounds were landed by William Goldring, an expert at Kew Gardens. The palace "compound" is over 500 acres and has many buildings, most notably the LVP Banquets and Convention, Moti Bagh Palace and the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum building. Adjacent to the Moti Bagh Palace and Museum is the Moti Bagh Cricket Ground, the Baroda Cricket Association's office and a very rare indoor teak tennis court and badminton court (where the All India Badminton Championship was held earlier). The museum building was constructed as a school for the Maharaja's children.

Today a large number of arts belonging to the royal family are displayed in the museum. Most notable among these is the splendid collection of portraits of Raja Ravi Varma, commissioned exclusively by the Maharaja of Baroda. The collection includes paintings based on Hindu mythology as well as portraits of the royal family, for which Raja Ravi Varma was famous. The Maharaja built a miniature railway line, circling the mango orchard within the palace complex to take his children from the school to the main Lakshmi Vilas Palace. The rail engine was recently rebuilt by Ranjitsinh Pratapsingh Gaekwad, who was the Maharaja at the time, and can be seen at the entrance of the museum. There was also a small zoo in the palace.

The only remains of the zoo are the pond where many crocodiles live. Navlakhi (literally meaning "of nine hundred thousand") is a fine 'baoli' or well step, 50 meters north of the palace. In the 1930s Maharaja Pratapsingh built a golf course for use by his European guests. In the 1990s, Samarjeet Singh, grandson of former Ranji Trophy cricketer, Pratapsingh, renovated the course and opened it to the public. The audio tour of the palace gives a deep insight into the history behind it.

Darbar Hall of Lukhsmi Villa Palace
Maharaja Fatehsinh Museum - The Maharaja Fatesingh Museum Trust has its collection in the school building located in the Lukshmi Villa Palace complex, formerly known as Motibagh School, built in 1875 for Maharaja Sayajrao Gaekwad III. Other members of the royal family, including the trust's founder Maharaja Pratapsingharao Gaekwad and later Maharaja Fatesinghrao Gaekwad, as well as Maharaja Ranjitsingh Gaekwad completed their schooling. After renovating the existing school building to house the treasures of art, a renowned museum director and an expert art historian, Dr. H. Goetz was engaged to arrange a display of this museum. Today the lush Luksmi Villas add much to the quiet and serene atmosphere of the garden museum. The museum was opened to the public in April 1961 by the then Governor of Gujarat Nawab Mehndi Nawaz Jung. The museum's collection includes the Gaarawad of Baroda, the object d'Arts collected by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III (1875–1939). The visionary of the city of Baroda. It is during his reign that Baroda made considerable progress in all-round development and was recognized as one of the most progressive and most progressive states in India. This great ruler consulted various famous artists of the Indian subcontinent and Europe to select pieces of art to decorate various palaces in Baroda and other palaces in India. It is his efforts and interests that inspired Maharaja Fatesingrao Gaekwad to build this faith and museum and preserve this great treasure and make it available to the public for his appreciation and education. Rao Varma, a prince of the state of Travancore who was earlier called an Indian to Baroda for using oil as a painting medium. In his style of painting Ravi Varma removed from the prevailing trend by employing the European tradition of painting for Indian subjects. Some of his outstanding paintings on the mythological themes and paintings of the Baroda royal family give an idea of ​​the time spent by this artist in Baroda. The versatile Venetian artist, Felici, was appointed to court by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III to advise him in the purchase of western goods and to build something for various palaces. Felici made many bronze, stones and oils, some of which are on display in this excellent museum.

The collection of foreign art includes Chinese and Japanese porcelain and enamel, bronze and paintings displayed in the Western Gallery; Copies of famous Greek and Roman sculptures are on display in the Eastern Gallery; European oil paintings (two halls, two rooms and the south gallery) a room furnished with 18th-century French furniture. European sculptures and paintings include copies of famous works of the Italian Renaissance and original works dating to the late 19th century and early 20th century. In 2000, the Maharaja Fatesingh Museum Trust displayed the Gaekwad collection of works of Raja Ravi Varma to commemorate his centenary year. Spent several years in Baroda in several visits to illustrate commissioned works ordered by eminent artist Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, on whose investment the artist was first invited. One of the ideas was to put together an entire collection of some of the best works by the artist, but to begin an activity in a comparatively small but externally arranged art gallery standing in the Lukshmi Vilas Palace complex amidst some of the scenic surroundings . . In 2003, Raja Ravi Varma's major collection was moved to the prestigious National Gallery of Modern Art in Mumbai and since then the museum has held various exhibitions. Today museums around the world are active in organizing this type of exhibition to attract visitors. Visiting these temples of art is a must as a visitor.

Interior Palace - Lukhsmi Villa
Interior of Palace - Lukhsmi Villa
The museum has recently (8 May 2015) inaugurated a headgear gallery where lively headgear from Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, collected by Maharaja Ranjitsinh Gaekwad, is on display. The museum is one of the very few museums in the country which has a gallery dedicated to headgear.

ENTRY FEES: The price of the museum ticket is as follows- Rs 60 for Indian citizens, Rs 150 for foreign nationals, Rs 40 for children and Rs 400 / - for a group of 20 school children.

MUSEUM TIMINGS - 10:30 am to 05:30 pm

Palace Timing - 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM

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