Truly a sight to behold, Laxmi Vilas Palace in Vadodra, Gujrat stands erect like a structure made to stand the test of time since 1890. Laxmi Vilas Palace is still owned by the family who constructed it, The Gaikwad family.
The Palace was constructed under the reign of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaikwad III in 1890, and it still holds the title of the largest privately owned mansion of the world. The architecture of the Palace was designed to have themes of Indian as well as European heritage. The chief architect of the Palace was Major Charles Mant who also drafted the designs of the rest of the buildings in the 500-acre compound.
The compound has it’s own golf course which was created to entertain the European guests of the royal family. When you visit the palace for an entry fee of Rs, 225/-, you can see golf players along the field.
The palace is also home to a 600-year-old stepwell known as the “Navlakhi stepwell.” The stepwell got its name after the fact that it cost the royal family 900,000 gold coins to construct.
Photography inside the palace is prohibited, but the rule is rarely followed, people secretly take pictures even though diligent royal guards are always there to protect the historical artefacts. You can obtain an audio guide at the entrance, which is quite useful in my opinion. The tape lasts one hour, but you can pause it to admire the beautiful architecture of the palace.
You won’t see crowds of tourists inside the compound, only keen travellers who seek solace in such acts. So In my recommendation, if you like quiet places to visit, Laxmi Vilas Palace is a great destination.