The city Vadodara is bequeathed with a laurel ‘The Sanskari Nagari’ which means, ‘the city of culture and values’. Notably developed and prospered during the prolonged governance of Gaekwad Maharajas, the erstwhile princely state of Baroda is now one of the 4 hugest and the rapidly evolving cities of the state of Gujarat. Boasting of its true cosmopolitan culture, Vadodara shelters the people from diverse casts, creeds, religions and geographical and cultural backgrounds without any kind of biasness or discrimination. The citizens of Vadodara are happy go lucky, friendly and broad minded.
The most spoken tongue of Vadodara is Gujarati while Marathi, Hindi and English are also widely spoken here. Vadodara, the thriving economic, industrial, cultural and educational hub of Gujarat has also made its mark in the tourism industry on the international front. Numerous imperial palaces, impressive museums and striking architectural and archaeological relics of Vadodara beckon thousands of tourists from far and wide every year. Also noted for its Gujarati film studios and old styled movie theatres, Vadodara has achieved an uncommon glory in this field of art too.
Over 90% of the population of Vadodara follows Hinduism, therefore, the culture of Vadodara is heavily tinted with the influence of Hindu traditional festivals such as Diwali, Holi, Uttarayan, Navaratri, Ganesh Chaturthi, and Gudi Padva and so on. Vadodara has achieved tremendous acclaim as the most sought after destination for enjoying and relishing the truest taste of Garba culture in the entire Gujarat State. Navaratri Festival is the largest annual festival of Vadodara that is celebrated with unparalleled gusto and enthusiasm by young and old alike.
The youngsters wearing colorful traditional clothes dance to the tunes of Dhol for nine nights and the city never sleeps for the whole Navaratri Festival. The ambience turns thoroughly vigorous, lively and electrifying and this is the most ideal time to pay a visit to Vadodara. The Garba and Ras songs sung by the local musicians comprise the exclusive feature of the Gujarati ethnicity. Aside from the expertise in the Garba and dancing, Vadodara has also patronized and excelled in other forms of art including Indian & pop music, theater, literature, architecture and paintings. Vadodara, apart from constantly changing according to the contemporary western bombardment of fashion and modernism has at the same time preserved the essence of its age old traditional and conventional ethics.
Besides the Navaratri and other Indian festivals, Vadodara is also reckoned for its martial game known as Gol-Gadheda and its Rath Yatra Festival. The game of Gol-Gadheda is played by Adivasi (tribal) people residing in the villages around Vadodara. In this game women snatch a shoulder scarf of a man and tie it to a tree top with a lump of some sweet. This scarf is vigorously guarded by women who challenge the man to retrieve the scarf. The Rath Yatra Festival that corresponds with the Rath Yatra of Ahmedabad and Jagannath Puri involves the grand procession wherein the idols of Lord Krishna, Balram and Subhadra are carried in three separate chariots in a very flamboyant manner around the city.