Vadodara People’s Heritage Festival Go Back

Vadodara People’s Heritage Festival
November 19-25, 2021
510th anniversary year of Vadodara


This year all of us will celebrate our city’s 510th ‘birthday’ and applaud its heritage during National Heritage Week celebrated across India between November 19 and 25 every yearwith a series of interesting activities --Exhibitions, Heritage and Nature Walks, Rickshaw Tours, Home Museums, Illustrated Talks, etc.

We have been organizing this Festival since 2015. So there are some events that are repeats from earlier Festivals. These have been selected because they continue to be truly important for a Festival like this and are still available for those who may have missed them in the earlier Festivals. However, there are many NEW ones as well and these are accordingly marked as such. (More than 70% NEW events this year!)

Remember, this is a People’s Heritage Festival, and if you think you have an interesting nugget regarding the heritage of Vadodara to share with the rest of us, just get on board and get in touch with Chandrashekhar Patil on 9824372414!

This Heritage Week is completely self-sponsored and self-financed. We are all in it together to celebrate our city and its heritage which is our pride.

For those who came in late …

About Vatapadraka – Daulatabad – Badode – Baroda - Vadodara

Today’s Vadodara, the former capital of the princely Gaekwad State, has a long and tumultuous history. The name “Vadodara” has been derived from the profusion of Banyan or “Vad” trees in the area – a settlement in the embrace of Vad trees. The city has been marked by the presence of the Gujarat Sultanate rulers, the Moghuls, the Maratha Gaekwads and the British, who have left their imprints on the architectural and cultural development of the city, sinking in deep roots like the Banyan Tree itself and bravely withstanding the onslaught of time.

The past is always interesting and the past of a princely state is often intriguing as well. The earliest settlements of what is present-day Vadodara date back to more than 2000 years. This settlement was then called Ankotakka (present-day Akota area) that developed as a riverine settlement on the banks of the Vishwamitririver (3rd BC to 500 AD). Ankotakka grew up to the Bhimnath temple complex in SayajiGunj. Vatapatraka developed as its eastern suburb (500-900 AD) on a higher elevation, which is present-day Kothi area. Archeological excavations at Akota which threw up the magnificent horde of what came to be classified as the Akota Bronzes (presently in the Baroda Museum) are irrefutable evidence of this theory. Frequent flooding of the Vishwamitri, which flows close to Akota, shrank the importance of Ankotakka, giving rise to Vatapadraka whose elevation became its strength. Vatapadraka grew to be a large urban agglomeration with the elevated Kothi area at its centre.

When Gujarat was taken over by the Gujarat Sultanate rulers, and MehmudBegda shifted the capital from Ahmedabad to Champaner, Vatapadraka village, on the outskirts of the vast Champaner, was strategically seen as in the line of its defense from invaders in the south. This led to the building of Killa-e-Daulatabad (about 1511, which makes 2021 the city’s 510thanniversary year), the walled city with Mandvi pavilion at its centre and the four Darwazas – Leheripura Gate, Champaner Gate, Panigate, Gendigate – linked by a strong, high Wall. Daulatabad was built by Sultan Muzaffar Shah2nd, the son of MehmudBegda who had established Champaner as the capital of Gujarat in 1482. Daulatabad developed away from Vatapadraka, and as a fortified ‘walled’ city with the blessings of the powerful Gujarat Sultanate, attracted people who made it their home.

The Marathas annexed the region in 1720. Because of the clusters of the vast, huge and hoary banyan trees in the area, the Gaekwads named the place ‘Badode’ which in Marathi meant a banyan cluster. (Incidentally, Vadodara also had a vast number of sandalwood trees which had led to it once being called Chandanvati! That’s another story, though!) Pilajirao and DamajiraoGaekwad are believed to have stayed for a while at the Bhadra Palace, the Muslim Governor’s citadel outside the Panigate, before they moved to what is now the Sayaji School in Mandvi (near the Tankshal) while their own palace, the Sarkarwada, was being built near Mandvi pavilion. The remnants of Sarkarwada, once a beautiful wooden Maratha wada, still exist, while the wondrous NazarBaug Palace, built in the European Neo-Classical tradition by the now wealthy Gaekwads just behind the Sarkarwada, has unfortunately bitten the dust.

In the meanwhile, the British had already come to Badode (1802). They anglicized it to ‘Baroda’. (In Hindi, it became Badauda and the local Gujaratis called it Vadodara.) The first British Residency and Military Contingent was stationed within the walls of Kothi, and the influence of European architecture can be seen in the design of the present KothiKacheri and the Records Tower complex opposite it. By 1835, however, the Residency moved away from Kothi to the northwest of the city (present-day M S University’s office complex opposite the Polytechnic). This was a segregated settlement with a cantonment -- the Residency Bungalow in the Neo-Classical style, surrounded by the Camp, which is what the present Fatehgunj area also came to be known as. The Railway chugged into Baroda in 1859 and a Civil station came up between the British settlement and Badoda ‘city’. It quietly laid the foundation to modern industrialization.

The period 1860 to 1940 was an epoch of unprecedented and phenomenal development of Vadodara. Sayajirao III, who led this transformation, was crowned the Maharaja in 1875. The Baroda College building (Faculty of Arts) was planned along the road to the Station (1879), and the vast KamatiBaug (renamed SayajiBaug) along the road to the Camp. Sir T Madhav Rao, one of the most dynamic Dewans that Baroda State had, engaged Robert Chisholm for the design of institutional buildings in 1880. In 1886, the first institutional building designed by Chisholm was the Anglo-Vernacular School for Boys (presently the Faculty of Performing Arts/Music College). Between 1885-90, Ajwa, the artificial water reservoir was created 16 miles away with a filtration plant halfway at Nimeta as a part of the comprehensive waterworks scheme to ensure safe drinking water for Vadodara’s citizens. NyayaMandir, with a legal system of justice, was designed and built between1892-96. The fabulous Laxmi Vilas, the new palace designed away from the hustle and bustle of the city, amidst rolling meadows and woods in the tradition of European royal estates, continues to be home to the present Gaekwad family.

Today, Vadodara (renamed thus in the 1970s) is a cosmopolitan, tier-two city, also selected to be a ‘Smart City’ from a bunch of fast-growing cities by the Indian Government. Over the last so many centuries, the city has seen many ups and downs, but unlike any other city anywhere in the world, it has a strange ability to hold on to its residents and continuously gather those wandering away again and again into its fold!

Once a Barodian, always a Barodian!

Events in the Heritage Festival 2021
(For the safety of all concerned, we prefer participants to have taken both Vaccinations for COVID. All participants must wear the Mask AT ALL TIMES. All COVID protocols will be followed to the extent possible.)
I. Heritage and Nature Walks:

Walking through historical or old parts of the city is always a fun-filled exercise, especially when accompanied by a well-informed guide, who can open up layers of the city’s past. This gives the ‘walker’ a new perspective about the city they live in or are visiting, and understand why it is important to conserve certain buildings and monuments and green areas that have played a critical role in shaping the city and its inhabitants. In addition to ‘walks’, we also have enthusiasts offering the same or similar experience sitting in the comfort of a rickshaw! For all Walks, participants should wear comfortable footwear, carry a water-bottle and a dry snack, if needed. You might want to wear a cap or headgear for protection against the Sun.

1. Mandvi Walk with Chandrashekhar Patil (Baroda Historian and Art Conservator), organized by Heritage Trust.
Date: Thursday18 November, Walk starts at sharp 8:00 am. Entry free, Meeting Point: Mandvi Pavilion.
The Walk will cover: Mandvi Pavilion, Vitthal Mandir, Sarkarwada, Central Library, old Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya building, Champaner Darwaja and Burj, Jagmaalni Pol, Narsinhjinu Mandir, Dala Patel ni Pol, Jain Library, Leharipura Darwaja, Ambamata Mandir, Haribhaktini Haveli, Sayaji School, Tankshala (Mint), Gendigate, JamaMasjid. For more information, contact Patil on 9824372414. Organized by Nava Chetana Forum.

2. Bhoole Bisre Treats, gastronomic heritage Walk on the streets of Sayaji Gunj, with food critic Adil Marawala.
Date: Friday, 19 November, 6.30 pm onwards. Meeting Point: Rajshree Centre (formerly theatre). Limited to 15 persons only. Contributory payment. Organised by: Heritage Trust. REGISTRATION FULL. NEW!

3. Heritage Cycle Ride, a tour of the Step Wells of the City by Sameer Gaikwad.
Date: Saturday, 20 November, 6.30 am onwards. Meeting Point: Deepa Stambha (near Yavateshwar Temple, Kala Ghoda Bridge). Limited to 25 persons only, Registration MUST. Entry: Free. Organised by: Heritage Trust. REGISTRATION FULL. NEW!!

4. Heritage Trees of Baroda Walk with botanist Dr. Jitendra Gavali and Baroda historian Chandrashekhar Patil.
Date: Saturday, 20 November. Entry: Free, Walk begins at 8.00 am sharp. Meeting point: Madhav Baug opp. ONGC main gate, Makarpura Road. This will be an information-filled Walk through Madhav Baug to Hajira Pratapnagar with the huge, old trees, and understand what the trees planted there stand for, where they come from, and how they fruit and flower. Trees that surround beautiful Heritage buildings and their history. The Group size is limited so book early. Contact: Dr. Gavali on 9725891033. NEW!!

5. Navnath Temple Tour with heritage temple guide Sanjay Soni, who will explain the importance of each of the 9 ancient Shiva temples in the city.
Date: Saturday, 20 November, Walk begins at 10:00 am sharp. Meeting point: Motanath Mahadev Temple, Harni.This tour will take about 3 hours, participants need to have own vehicles. Entry free, Group size is limited so book early. Contact: Sanjay Soni on 9722440681 for registration. NEW!!

6. Crock Walk (Crocodile) with Vishal Thakur, or Walk with the Crocodiles of Vishwamitri.
Date: Sunday, 21 November, Walk starts at 7 am and continues till 1 pm. Meeting Point: Kamnath Mandir Ghat. Walk along banks of the Vishwamitri. Please wear full sleeved tops and trousers, sports shoes, cap. Must carry a water bottle, notepad and pen. Entry: Rs. 550 per person, including Breakfast and Lunch. Contact: Vishal Thakur on 9825683960 for registration and payment. NEW!!

7. Tracing Routes, Walk through the historic lanes of Dharmaj town, with a presentation by CHC CEPT on conservation projects in Dharmaj.
Date: Sunday, 21 November, participants to reach Dharmaj by 7.50 am, Walk begins at 8 am. Meeting Point: Rhodesia House, Dharmaj. Entry: Rs. 800 per person, inclusive of post-Walk breakfast, limited to 20 persons only. Organised by Heritage Trust, call 9106633893 for registration and payment. NEW!!

8. Baroda Museum Walk, looking at the Indian and European Paintings Section, led by art historian Sandip Joshi.
Date: Sunday, 21 November, 10.30 am to 12 noon. Meeting Point: 10.15 am at Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery, Sayajibaug. Entry: Museum tickets to be bought by participants. Contact: Sandip Joshi on 9898036396, for registration. NEW!!

9.The Coin Story, a guided Walk through the Coin Museum, led by numismatic expert Zubair Motiwala.
Date: Monday, 22 November, Walk begins at 11 am. Meeting Point: Shree Mudra Nidhi Coin Museum, Ajwa Road. Entry: free, limited to 25 persons only, registration is a MUST. Organised by Heritage Trust, call 9106633893 for registration. NEW!!

10. Baroda City Kothi Walk with Sandhya Gajjar.
Date: Tuesday, November 23, starts at 7.30 am sharp. Entry: Free, but only for 25 persons and Registration is MUST. Meeting Point: Outside Collector’s office, Kothi Building. Walk will cover Kothi building, Records building, Jaisingrao Library, Arvind Niwas, Dandia Bazaar road, Tambekar Wada, Suryanarayan Baug, Home Museum of Atul Shah. Organised by: Heritage Trust. REGISTRATION FULL.

11. Kothi Walk with Srinivas Solapurkar.
Date: Wednesday, November 24, starts at 7.30 am sharp.Entry: Rs.200 per person. Meeting Point: Kothi campus near Collector’s Office. The Walk will cover Kothi Building, Records Building, Jaisinghrao Library,SuryanarayanMandir, Tambekar Wada,DhuliramPedavala, Maani poll, Home Museum of Atul Shah. Contact: Srinivas Solapurkaron 9879523498 for registration and payment.

12. Sursagar Heritage Food Walk to explore the wonderful vegetarian flavors from around Sursagar Lake, led by Chandrashekhar Patil.
Date: Wednesday, November 24, beginning at 6:00 pm sharp. Meeting point: Music College. Entry: free, but Registration is compulsory on a first-come-first-served basis and group size is limited to 15, maximum to 21. Contact: Chandrashekhar Patil on 9824372414. NEW!!

II. Home Museums:

Home Museums are housed in people’s homes, showcasing a fascinating array of products that they have a passion for and have painstakingly collected over a number of years. Since these are not public spaces, ‘Home Museums’ are open only when their collectors want to share their passion with others. So take this opportunity and visit as many as you can!

1. A Collection of 520 Water Pots of all materials, shapes and sizes: Totally new display! At the home of Smt. and Shri Atulbhai Shah, Pen Point (first floor), Kothi Char Rasta. Dates: November 18-24, 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, every day. Entry free. Contact: Atulbhai on 98797 86456.

2. Mahatma Gandhi, Salt Drawings, an unusual collection on Gandhiji: At the home of Smt. and Shri Atulbhai Shah, Pen Point (first floor), Kothi Char Rasta. Dates: November 18-24, 10 am to 7.00 pm, every day.  Entry free. Contact: Atulbhai on 9879786456. NEW!!

3. A Collection of Traditional Lamps, Paan Peti, and Motikam, Saurashtra Bharatkam: At the home of Shri Manubhai Nirmal, at 1, Devashya Flats, ground floor, 25-A, Shrinagar Society, Opp. SBI Bank, Productivity Road, near Gai (Cow) Circle, Akota. Dates: November 18-24, 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, every day. Entry free.Contact: Nirmalbhai on 98244 66939.

4. A Collection of Children’s Wheeled Toys (1-12 years): At the Factory of Shri Trushar Rana at 7, Haribhakti Estate, Near Yamuna Mill, Beside HP Petrol Pump, Dabhoi Road. Dates: November 18-24,10:00 am to 5:00 pm, every day. Entry free. Contact: Trushar Rana on 9825125196.

5. A Collection of Video Games: Right from the first Video Game, to some of the most recent ones, we have the young Smit Rana demonstrating his collection of Video Games at 7, Haribhakti Estate, Near Yamuna Mill, Beside HP Petrol Pump, Dabhoi Road. Dates: November 18-24, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, every day. Entry free. Contact: Trushar Rana on 9825125196.

6. All About Teeth, Dr. Chandarana Dental Museum: Perhaps one of its kind in the entire world, dentist Dr. Chandarana’s Dental Museum in Baroda opened a few years back to much applause and interest. School groups welcome. Venue: 22, Haribhakti Extension, Off Old Padra Road, Race Course, Vadodara (entry from lane opp. Malhar Point). Dates: November 18-24, 9:00 to 11:00 am & 4: 00 to 6:00 pm, every day. Entry: Free. For details, contact 9408818885.

7. Birds of Vadodara, Photograph Collectionby Shubhangi Prajakta Manohar. Venue: Tower/7, Flat 203,Monalisa Residency, Manjalpur. Dates: 19, 20, 21 November from 9 am to 12 noon and 4 to 8 pm. Entry free. Contact: Shubhangi Manohar on 9898284190. NEW!!

III. Exhibitions:

A series of Exhibitions are being organized all over the city to showcase the various kinds of heritage that Vadodara has supported, promoted and sustained over the years. Entry to all Exhibitions is free.

1. An Exhibition of Old Cameras and Photography Equipment and Printing and History of Photography with works of 40+ Baroda Photographers.
Dates: 18-24 November, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Venue: Shree Sayaji High School, Mandvi.Contact: Pulkit Dave on 9879982279. NEW!!

2. Postal Stamps Exhibition, featuring collections of various types of postal stamps by Arun Arya, Ramakant Dave,Manharlal Naik.
Dates:19-24 November,10.00 am to 6.00 pm. Venue: Community Science Centre, Aarti Society, Near Atmajyoti Ashram, Subhanpura.

3. Rangoli Exhibition by artists of the Ekdant Rangoli Kalakar Group.
Dates: 19-24 November,10.00 am to 6.00 pm. Venue: Community Science Centre, Aarti Society, Near Atmajyoti Ashram, Subhanpura. Contact: Deepak Nachankar on 9033001034.

4. Art Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture by Kaleidoscope.
Dates: 21-23 November, 11:00 to 7:00 pm.  Venue: Aakruti Art Gallery, Kirti Mandir complex. Contact: Rupal Buch on 9723142100.

5. An Exhibition of Ancient Coins, Manuscripts, Chocolate Wrappers, Post-Independence Coins (Ancient Coins and Manuscripts - Harshad Kadia, Chocolate Wrappers- Jayanti Chavda, Post-Independence Coins-NisheshShelat).
Dates: 22-24 November, 10 am to 6 pm. Venue: Rubaroo-The Cultural Hub, Tender Feet Academy, Nr. St Kabir Circle, Besides Kheteshwar Sweets, Vasna-Bhayli Road. Contact: Sandip Joshi on 9898036396.

6. Mural on Baroda, by art teachers of Baroda High School.
Dates: 18-20 November, 11 am to 7 pm. Venue: Centre of Excellence Auditorium at the School premises in Alkapuri. Contact: Ashwini Ketkar on 8200590134 and Vijay Kachhia on 9904053304. NEW!!

7. Baroda Landscapes by Preyas Mehta.
Dates: 19-21 November, 5 to 8 pm. Venue :Preyas SK Mehta, Eskaa, 6, DhanushyaSoC., # 1, Opp. HDFC Bank,New Sama Road, Contact: Preyas Mehta on 9099023648.

8. Vis-a-Vis Studio visit, where more than 12 Baroda artists will be displaying their art works to all visitors.
Dates: 19-21 November, 5 to 8 pm. Venue: D/2 Patel Park Society, behind NutanVidyalaya, near Ayyappa Temple, New Sama Road.
Contact: 9879311138. NEW!!

9. Bronze Sculptures from ancient times collected by Nirav Vyas and Divyang Gandhi.
Dates: 18 to 24  November, 10:30 am to 5:30 pm. Venue: Baroda Museum and  Picture Gallery, Sayaji Baug. Contact: 9879627222. NEW!!

IV. Other Programmes:

1. Bhumivadyam with creative traditional instruments by Vishnu Thozhur Kolleri.
Date: Saturday, 20 November,  5:30 to 7:30 pm. Venue: Vishwamitri Ghat, near Kalaghoda Bridge. Entry: free NEW!!

2. Sitar Vadan with explanations on various Indian ragas by Dr. Vishvas Sant.
Date: Sunday, 21 November, 5 to 6 pm.Venue: Yavateshvar Mahadev Mandir, Near Kala Ghoda. Entry: free NEW!!

3. Vishwamitri Katha, traditional Story Telling by Jeetubhai Soni, to create awareness about the history of our river.
Date: Saturday, 20 November, 5:30 to 7:30 pm.Venue: Vishwamitri Ghat near Kalaghoda bridge. Entry: free. NEW!!

4. Traditional Indian Martial Arts or Sanatan Shastra Vidya. Introductory Workshop to Indian Martial Art by Martial Artist Sahil Kumar Nagpal.
Dates: 19-21 November, 7-8 am. Includes Basics of Self Defense (Strikes & Grappling), Fitness & Strength Building Exercises, Awareness Increasing Exercises, Introduction to Battlefield Science, Breathing Exercises & Meditation. Venue: Gujarat KridaMandal, Polo Ground. Contact: Nagpalon 9227212122. NEW!!

5. Kavita Vachan by Ashwini Ketkar, Parul Mehta, Riya Gundu Rao, and others. Riya Gundu Rao’s new book of poems will be launched at this event.
Date: Friday,19 November, 6 to 8 p.m. Venue: Preyas SK Mehta, Eskaa, 6, Dhanushya Soc., # 1, Opp. HDFC Bank, New Sama Road.
Contact: 9099023648. NEW!!

6. Life of Maharaja  Sayajirao, Lecture by Chandrashekhar Patil.
Date: Sunday, 21 November, 1 to 2.30 pm. Venue: Chhani TP 13, Fire station, Ganpati Chowk, Soniya Nagar,Chhani. Organised by: We Help People Foundation. Contact:  Aadhish Gavde on 9924819776. NEW!!


Vadodara People’s Heritage Festival