Vadodara formerly Baroda, is the third most-populated city in the Indian state of Gujarat
. It is one of four cities in the state with a population of over 1 million, the other being Rajkot
and the two cities listed above, although it has a massive population of over 3 million. It is also known as the Sayaji Nagari (Sayaji's City after its famous ruler, Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III) or Sanskari Nagari (The City of Culture, a reference to its status as the Cultural Capital of Gujarat). Vadodara or Baroda, formerly the capital city of the Gaekwar State, is situated on the banks of the Vishwamitri, a river whose name derived from the great saint Rishi Vishwamitra. It is located southeast of Ahmedabad. It is the administrative headquarters of Vadodara District.
The City of Vadodara aptly described by a medieval Jain writer as a Tilak on the Brove of Lata was a nodal center of the coastal plain of Gujarat. It was strategically situated at a junction of the main highways linking Gujarat with Rajputana and the Punjab in the north, Malwa and the Ganga valley in the north-east, Konkan in the south and Khandesh in the south-east. Significantly Vadodara today is a junction on the western railway of the lines leading to Ahmedabad, Delhi & Mumbai. This confirms the historic role of Vadodara in the communication pattern for movements of people and culture.
Vadodara is also known as ‘Sanskari Nagari’, i.e. Cultured City. Vadodara is one of India
’s most cosmopolitan cities. Thanks to the vision and broadmindedness of the Gaekwads, the subsequent industrialisation, the proliferation of academic activities and a strategically important geographical location, Baroda has welcomed a wide variety of people from all over India and also from all over the World
. In all of this, the sprawling and cosmopolitan MS University campus and the large number of local, national and foreign industries act as a catalysing and unifying force.
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