Vadodara - A Gaekwad city
Premanand sang about 'Vir Vadodarun' or the brave Vadodara. It was the capital city of Gaekwad state. Wh~le it was developed into an administrative center by the earlier kings, the imaginative and farsighted ruler, Sayaji Rao Gaekwad made it into a well developed and cultural center. Beautiful gardens, big roads, not just palaces but even the buildings like the Court or Nyayamandir, colleges and university, museum etc, were built artistically. These were decorated with many attractive sculptures too. He made Vadodara prosperous with new industries as well. However, after him, while the beauty, grace, peace and grandeur of the city is gradually diminishing, it still remains one of the cities worth visiting for many of his legacies, and its unique beauty that persists
We may not be able to observe the big guns made of silver and gold, but the amazing weapons of the royal family can be seen by the public in its museum and Manikrao Shastragar. The zoo is still alive and a Planetarium adds to its attractions. The college has grown into a University and the music school into a Fine Arts faculty. The Heripura Darwaza, Mandvi and Nyayamandir buildings are like the keepers of the spirit of old and original Vadodara. Kirtistambha and the paintings of Nandlal Bose on the walls of Kirti Mandir, Prachya Vidya Mandir and the Archeological research unique. Maharaja enriched it fmiher by donating his royal collection of rare books. It has been elevated to the status of State Library. It has valuable collection of Oriental studies. Jaysinhrao Library is more than alOO years old. Thousands of ancient manuscripts are preserved here. Many rare MS, written on Bhojpatra or Tadpatra, are written in silver and golden inks even. Scholars from India and many other nations flock here for studies and research. Now modern equipments are also made available here for the students and scholars. This building proudly displays the statue of the Gujarati poet Premanand in front of the building.
The Fine Arts Faculty of Maharaj Sayajirao University here is famous in the country for its high standards for teaching performing and fine arts. Late artiste Bendre provided service as its Dean. Other luminaries included Markand Bhatt, Urmila Bhatt and Shivkumar shukla. The classical dances also have experienced progress. This faculty does not only preserve the traditional, but also conducts new experiments in view of the modern changes in Indian life. In the field of Painting too, Vadiodara has produced famous names, such as Jeram Patel, Ghulam Muhammad Sheikh, Jyoti Bhatt and Bhupen Khakhar who have attained international fame. In Music too the faculty had ~he advantage of having R.c. Mehta as its Principal. It has made careers of many talented artists in music, both classical and other forms in modern times. It is the only institute in entire India that can issue degrees for Painting, Dancing and Music.
In the increasingly industrial atmosphere also Vadodara does not forget the Aftab-eMausuki or Musical Notes ofUstad Faiyaz Khan, and those who introduced Notation method in Indian Classical music. Although there are no more horse races here, there is a Race Course here. From this city have hailed cricketers like Vijay Hazare, Dattaji and Anshuman Gaekwad. More recently wicket keepers like Kiran More, Nayan Mongia and baIlers like Irfan Pathan and Zahir Khan also come from Vadodara. Sam Pitroda, one who revolutionized telecommunication in India also belongs to Vadodara. Here we can see that artistic activities are prolific, libraries are full and dramas are always in demand.