Vadodara, a district in the eastern part of Gujarat state with its headquarters located at Vadodara city. Vadodara is situated on the banks of the river Vishwamitri and the river got its name from the saint Rishi Vishwamitra. During the time of ruler Raja Chandan of the Dor tribe of Rajputs, the city was known as Chandravati. After sometime its name was changed to Virakshetra or Viravati meaning the land of warriors. The name of the place later changed as Vadpatra which was derived from a Sanskrit word vatodar meaning a place full of the Banyan tree. From the name Vadpatra it derived its current name, Baroda or Vadodara. The name Vadodara is mainly consist of two parts Vad means Banyan tree and Dara means worn or covered with Vadvruksh and hence it came to be known as Vadodara. Today’s Vadodara is a memorial to its late ruler named Sayaji Rao Gaekwad III (1875-1939). He dreamed to make the place of Vadodara a significant centre of education, industry and commerce. The rule of Mughal rulers over the region came to an end in 1732, when Pilaji brought the Maratha activities in the southern part of the Gujarat and then occupied it. Most of the time in its history, Vadodara was in the hands of the Gaekwads from 1734 to 1949. At the period of British rule the place was called as Brodera and from that name the term Baroda is derived. Officially, the name of the district was changed to Vadodara in 1974. In the year 1950, Vadodara was emerged as a separate district in the map of Gujarat state.
Premanand Bhatt popularly known as Premanand, a well known medieval Gujarati poet and Manabhatt (professional story teller) famous for his Akhyana compositions was born in 1645 at Vadodara. Irfan Khan Pathan, a distinguished Indian cricketer who made his debut for India cricket team in the 2003/04 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, and was a core member of the national team till 2006 was born on 27th October, 1984 in Vadodara district. After that, he has been in and out of the limited-overs teams (ODIs and T20Is), and has only periodic appearances in Test cricket.
Geographically, the district lies at 22°31'N latitude, 73°18'E longitude and 39 m Altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 7.85% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area 7,546 sq km and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 9th in the state and 112th in India. It is bounded by Panchmahal and Dahod districts on the north, Anand and Kheda districts on the west, Bharuch and Narmada districts on the south, and Madhya Pradesh state on the east. The climate in the district remains dry throughout the year. Most of its rainfall occurs during the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 776.7 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 2 parts-Vadodara and Dabhoi. There are 12 Sub-district, 25 towns and 1537 villages in the district. The administrative language in the district is Gujarati.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 41,65,626 including 21,53,736 are males and 20,11,890 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 934 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 14.38% out of which 13.51% were males and 15.33% were females. The population density in the district is 552 persons per sq. km. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 45,734 out of which 23,925 were males and 21,808 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 35,906 out of which 22,184 were males and 13,718 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 89.16% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Gujarati with 86.21%.
The economy of the district is mainly based on its industries. The prominent industries in the district are chemicals and pharmaceuticals, glass, construction, cotton textiles and machine tools. The district has various large-scale industries such as Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals (GSFC), Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Limited (IPCL) and Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Limited (GACL). A huge chunk of revenue comes from these industries every year. Some of its population are also engage in agriculture. The chief agricultural crops in the district-Pulses, mogra, marigold, rose, guava, okra, tomato, turmeric, papaya, custard apple, brinjal, etc and their contribution in its economy is remarkable.
Maharaja Sayajirao started the patronage of education and also built some educational institutions in the district. Maharaja Sayajirao University, one of the most renowned and largest universities of Gujarat is situated in Vadodara. Other reputed educational institutes in the district namely Parul Institute of Engineering and Technology, Sigma Institute of Technology and Engineering, Babariya Institute of Technology, Vadodara Design Academy School of Architecture, Sumandeep College of Nursing, Pioneer Pharmacy College, K.J. Pandya College of Physiotherapy, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 78.92% including 85.39% are males and 72.03% are females.
Jyoti Pandya, an eminent Indian politician and 24th (current) Mayor of Vadodara was born in Vadodara. She is a senior member of Bharatya Janata Party. Balkrishna Khanderao Shukla, a vital Indian politician and a member of 15th Lok Sabha in which he represents the Vadodara constituency was born on 11th September, 1963 in Vadodara. He also served as the Mayor of Vadodara (2008-2010). He is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party political party.
The district has some unique centres of attraction which allures travellers all over the world. EME temple also called as Dakshinamurthy temple, constructed beautifully in geodesic style is located in the district. People from far distance place come to this temple to offer their prayers. Kirti Mandir, the place built in the memory of the members of royal family of Gaekwads, has brilliant architecture. Laxmi Vilas Palace, a marvellous building constructed by Maharaja Sayaji Rao III in between 1878 and 1890 is based on Indo-Arsenic style of architecture. The palace has an extraordinary collection of old armoury and sculptures of terracotta, marble and bronze. Sayajirao III has built many amazing monumental structures in Vadodara and Sayaji Bagh is one of his most wonderful creations. The entire Sayaji Bagh comprises art gallery, a zoo, museums, toy trains and rides. Within the compound of the Laxmi Vilas Palace there is a museum named Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum which is one of the most admired sites within the palace. It has some striking collection of the royal Gaekwad family.