How the Gaekwads of Baroda are quarantining in their stunning palace

Laxmi Vilas Palace

Complete with a golf course, Lukshmi Vilas Palace doesn't seem like a bad place to be self-isolating. Check out these inside photos!

The spectacular Lukshmi Vilas Palace is home to the Gaekwad family, erstwhile rulers of Baroda. It remains the largest private residence, though parts of it are open to the public.

Among those who call Lukshmi Vilas Palace their home are HRH Samarjitsinh Gaekwad, his wife Radhikaraje Gaekwad and their children. Complete with a golf course (which is typically open to members), the Laxmi Vilas Palace is the kind of place you wouldn’t mind being quarantined.

Commissioned in 1890 by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, the Lukshmi Vilas Palace has been constructed in the Indo-Saracenic style and was a very modern residence for its time and included amenities such as elevators. The spectacular Durbar Hall has mosaic floor, Belgium stained glass windows and breathtakingly intricate mosaic decorations.

The palace grounds cover some 2.8 sq km of area and includes within it the Moti Bagh Cricket Ground, the offices of the Baroda Cricket Association, a rare teakwood-floored badminton court and a museum building.

Lukshmi Vilas’s golf course is a recent addition, built in the ‘30s for the use of his European guests. The current maharaja, Samarjitsinh Gaekwad, renovated the golf course and opened it to the public in the ‘90s. It is in this golf course that you can see him taking a walk here (tap and swipe to see more photos):

His wife, Maharani Radhikaraje Gaekwad is a heritage conservationist, textile revivalist and the director at CDS Art Foundation.

When she isn’t taking in fresh air in the luxury of her home, the maharani hosts webinars on topics as varied as the treasures of the Baroda royal family, to Insta chats with art historians and celebrating the works of Raja Ravi Verma. The artist, who became famous for his unique style of painting, was commissioned those paintings by the royal family of Baroda.

The palace has numerous corridors that don’t just provide natural light but also much needed ventilation during the harsh summer months.

Here is a picture of the gulabi room, complete with murals of angels and cupids on the ceiling. This room served as private chambers of Maharani Chimnabai II, a social reformer who worked for educating the girl child and abolishing the purdah system.

This is known as the silver room thanks to the theme going around. The silver room has a Baccarat crystal chandelier, silver walls and silver photo frames.

The Baroda Golf Club also has an Olympic-size swimming pool, which is closed at the moment, of course.

Here is the entrance to the Durbar Hall with the mosaic floor and Belgium stained glass windows.

And, ultimately, here’s a stunning aerial view of the Lukshmi Vilas Palace and what are just a tiny part of the palace grounds!