Vadodara also known as Baroda formerly, is the third largest city in the Western Indian State of Gujarat, after Ahmedabad and Surat. It is the administrative headquarters of Vadodara District and is located on the banks of the Vishwamitri river, southeast of Ahmedabad, 139 kilometres (86 mi) from the state capital Gandhinagar. Both the railway line and national highway connecting Delhi and Mumbai pass through Vadodara.
As of 2011 Vadodara had a population of almost 2 million people and is on the list of the top ten fastest developing cities of India. The city is the site of the Lakshmi Vilas Palace, once owned by the royal Gaekwad dynasty of the Marathas. It is also the home of the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda(Vadodara), the largest university in Gujarat. An important industrial, cultural and educational hub of western India, the city houses several institutions of national and regional importance while its major industries include petrochemicals, engineering, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics, IT and foreign exchange services amongst others.