Two-hours south-east of Ahmedabad, to the east of the Mahi River, lies Vadodara, often referred to as Baroda. After the Marathas overthrew the Mughals, in the 18th-century, Vadodara became its capital, until Independence in 1947. Maharaja Sayajirao III was renowned as being something of a forward-thinker and is credited with turning it into Gujarat’s cultural capital. His former home, Laxmi Vilas Palace, is one of the city’s main attractions. Just under 50 km away it is also an excellent base from which to explore the nearby World Heritage Site of Champaner-Pavagadh. The best time to visit is between November and February.