Vadodara District,Gujarat

Vadodara District is a district in the eastern part of the state of Gujarat in western India. The city of Vadodara (Baroda), in the western part of the district, is the administrative headquarters. Vadodara District covers an area of 7,794 km². It had a population of 3,641,802 of which 45.20% were urban as of 2001 census. As of 2011 it is the third most populous district of Gujarat (out of 26), after Ahmadabad and Surat.

The district is bounded by Panchmahal and Dahod districts to the north, Anand and Kheda districts to the west, Bharuch and Narmada districts to the south, and the state of Madhya Pradesh to the east. The tallest point in the region is Pavagadh Hill. The Mahi River passes through the district.

The historical city of Baroda was the capital of Baroda Residency, and one of the princely states of India under Bombay Presidency.

Origin of name
Baroda is situated on the banks of the river Vishwamitri (whose name is derived from the saint Rishi Vishwamitra). The city was once called Chandravati, after its ruler Raja Chandan, then Viravati, the abode of the brave, and then Vadpatra because of the abundance of banyan trees on the banks of the Vishwamitri. From Vadpatra it derived its present name Baroda or Vadodara.

Modern Baroda is a memorial to its late ruler, Sayaji Rao Gaekwad III (1875–1939). It was the dream of this able administrator to make Baroda an educational, industrial and commercial centre.

Baroda has a rich historical background. The historian can trace Baroda’s history over 2000 years and more. However, the recent threads can be picked up when the Moghul rule over the city came to an end in 1732, when Pilaji brought the Maratha activities in Southern Gujarat to a head and captured it. Except for a short break, Baroda continued to be in the hands of the Gaekwads from 1734 to 1949.

The greatest period in the Maratha rule of Baroda started with the accession of Maharaja Sayajirao III in 1875. It was an era of great progress and constructive achievements in all fields.

Maharaja Sayajirao was one of the foremost administrators and reformers of his times. He initiated a series of bold socio-economic reforms. He attached great importance to economic development and started a number of model industries to encourage initiative, and then handed back the working industries to private enterprise. He started model textile and tile factories. It is as a result of his policy of industrial development that Baroda is today one of the most important centres for textile, chemical and oil industries today. He introduced a number of social reforms. In no department of administration has the far-sighted policy of this wise ruler been more conspicuous than in education, and in none have the results been more real and tangible. He boldly introduced compulsory primary education and a library movement (the first of its kind in India) to augment his adult education scheme.

It was he who visualised a general scheme of development in all branches of knowledge at different stages, with the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda at the apex. Modern Baroda owes its beauty, its educational institutions and its masterpieces of architecture to the insight and vision of this great ruler.

The physiography of Vadodara features a number of rivers. The main city of Vadodara is located on the banks of river Vishwamitri. Besides, the topography of Vadodara also features Narmada river to its south and Mahi river to its north.
Notable personalities

  • Premanand Bhatt (1649–1714) Author. Born in Vadodara.
  • Yashodev Suri (1916–2006) Jain scholar. Born in Dabhoi.
  • Param Pujya Brahmaleen Shree Dongreji Maharaj (1926-1990)[Mahapurush]
  • Nayan Mongia Cricketer. Born in Vadodara
  • Jacob Martin Cricketer. Born in Vadodara
  • Pathan Brothers Irfan Pathan and Yusuf Pathan. Born in Vadodara