In Images | Lakshmi Vilas Palace: The world’s largest residential building surpassing Buckingham Palace – Lifestyle News

In Images | Lakshmi Vilas Palace: The world’s largest residential building surpassing Buckingham Palace – Lifestyle News

In a revelation that might astonish many, India proudly hosts the world’s largest residential building, surpassing even the renowned Antilia in Mumbai owned by Mukesh Ambani. Welcome to the Lakshmi Vilas Palace in Vadodara, a regal abode still inhabited by the Gaekwads of Gujarat, standing as a testament to architectural brilliance and historical grandeur.

Commissioned by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad during the 1880s, this Indo-Saracenic Revival masterpiece was once the largest private dwelling globally. Adorned with multi-coloured marble, artistic treasures, and fountains, Lakshmi Vilas Palace stands four times the size of Buckingham Palace.

Priced at a staggering £180,000 in its heyday, this architectural gem remains the residence of HRH Samarjitsinh Gaekwad, his wife Radhikaraje Gaekwad, and their two daughters. Dive into the fascinating history of Lakshmi Vilas Palace.

Unveiling the Magnificence of Lakshmi Vilas Palace: A Historical Journey

Before Lakshmi Vilas Palace graced Vadodara, the Gaekwads resided in the Maharaja Palace (Sarkarwada) or the Nazarbaug Palace. Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, recognizing the need for a grandeur residence, enlisted the services of Major Charles Mant, a renowned architect. Despite Mant’s unfortunate demise midway through the project, architect Robert Fellows Chisolm carried on, bringing the vision to life.

A Glimpse Inside the Opulent Abode

Built in the 1800s, the palace boasted modern amenities, including an internal telephone exchange, elevators, and an uninterrupted electrical supply. The exterior, crafted from golden stones sourced from the Songadh quarries, imparts a resplendent golden glow.

Journeying within reveals two expansive courtyards adorned with trees and fountains, maintaining a cool ambiance. Lavish interiors feature expensive marble, mosaics, and a majestic collection of art, weaponry, and paintings by renowned artist Raja Ravi Verma.

The palace grounds extend to include vast parks, golf courses, LVP Banquets and conventions, Moti Baug Palace, and the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum building. Sporting facilities like the Moti Bagh Cricket Ground, Baroda Cricket Association offices, and an indoor tennis and badminton court add to its grandeur. In its heyday, the palace even housed a small zoo and a railway track ferrying royal children.

Exploring the Grandeur: A Palace Fit for Royalty

Spanning 700 acres and encompassing 170 rooms, the four-storeyed Lakshmi Vilas Palace was exclusively meant for the Maharaja and Maharani. The meticulously crafted gardens, conceptualized by botanist Sir William Goldring, add to the palace’s allure.

Despite its Indian origins, Lakshmi Vilas Palace exudes a European country house vibe, solidifying its status as one of India’s most iconic palaces.

Plan Your Visit to Lakshmi Vilas Palace: Travel Tips

By Air: Vadodara Airport connects with major Indian cities, and from there, a cab ride covers the 7 km distance to the palace.

By Train: The palace is conveniently located 4 km from Vadodara Railway Station.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What is special about Lakshmi Vilas Palace?

According to Gujarat Tourism, it remains Vadodara’s royal residence, built in the 19th-century Indo-Saracenic style, costing INR 6 million. It stands as the largest private home globally, four times the size of Buckingham Palace.

Who currently lives in Lakshmi Vilas?

The royal family of Vadodara, HRH Samarjitsinh Gaekwad, his wife Radhikaraje Gaekwad, and their two daughters continue to reside in the palace.

What is the ticket price of Lakshmi Vilas Palace?

For Indian nationals, the Palace fee is Rs 150, and the museum fee is Rs 60.

Is Lakshmi Vilas Palace bigger than Buckingham Palace?

Yes, spread over 700 acres, Lakshmi Vilas Palace is four times the size of Buckingham Palace.

How many rooms does Lakshmi Vilas Palace have?

Lakshmi Vilas Palace boasts a total of 170 rooms.

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