India was once, the land of Kings, Palaces, Queens and all of that comes with Gold and was titled as, “The Golden Bird”. This was just a few hundred years before Independence. Our palaces, temples were built out of gold, the food was served in gold/silver ware, people decorated themselves head to toe in gold and gems, we were so rich.
On my recent trip to India, we visited the Laxmi Villas Palace in Vadodara. I’d never been to one before, this was my first trip to any palace. As a child, I never took interest in history lessons and hated it but now it all seems interesting. We took a guided tour on a device and headphones which completed in almost 90 minutes.The King of Vadodara, Maharaja Sayyajirao owned the palace once while his ancestors still occupy some space in the upper floors. Since India is now a democratic country, the term and rules of Kings and Kingdoms don’t work anymore.
Laxmi Villas Palace is four times the size of Buckingham palace, it was built in 1890. Even though it was built centuries ago, it still owned modern architecture and amenities. The architect was especially from Italy to design some of the main halls and areas of the unique Laxmi Villas Palace. According to the son of Maharaj Sayyaji Rao, their childhood was normal, just like any other child. The palace was their home, it contained strict environment and rules from their mother and nanny. They had to wake up at 4 am to learn horse riding and rest of the daily routines. The only time when they felt special was when they attended any public event, the rest of time they just felt like ordinary children who live in a bigger house than others.
The palace had knives, swords and things from the war, contained in a big armoury room. It also has a room with the creations of famous painter, Raja Ravi Varma who laid out dynamic portraits of Indian Gods and Goddesses on a Canvas. He was the first person to showcase them to general public specially to the lower casts who were not allowed inside the temples in that era. Raja Ravi Varma is recognized as the great painter and artist in Indian history. He was also very close to the King of Laxmi Villas Palace who also gave him the title of “Raja” as referred as the King.
The large banyan trees looked amazing in the porches of the palace along with the water bodies and fountains. The large area outside the palace can now be rented for public and corporate events, weddings etc. Laxmi Villas palace is one of the most visited landmark and tourist spot for visitors in Vadodara.
According to my father, our ancestors worked closely with the King in our state and were gifted several villages with countless areas of land , jewels and animals. Well, this was a few generations ago and we don’t own any of the villages now, not even any land, people kept losing it year by year, J My father is solely a self-made man without the support of his ancestry, I’m always so proud of my dad. While, walking through the palace we were talking what if we owned everything that was gifted to us in the past. Lol, like Laxmi Villas palace, it is also a history, 🙂