LV [Lakshmi Vilas] Palace, Darbar Hall [Vadodara]
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Durbar Hall in Lakshmi Vilas Palace at Baroda, Gujarat from the Curzon Collection, taken by an unknown photographer during the 1890s. Originally designed by Major Charles Mant (1840-81), the palace was begun in 1878 and completed in 1890 by Robert Fellowes Chisholm (1840-1915). Both architects were pioneers of the Indo-Saracenic style, which created an exuberant fusion of Western and Eastern forms with an emphasis on arches and domes. In creating a modern Indian palace, Mant retained some traditional aspects such as the division into three sections comprising the Maharaja's residence, the zenana or women’s apartments, and the huge durbar or royal audience hall in the north wing. It is richly decorated in an orientalist style with lavish ornamental detail, architectural elements, and a Venetian mosaic floor. An immense structure, the palace was built for the Gaekwar Sayaji Rao III (ruled 1875-1939) and was reputedly the most expensive private building erected in India in the 19th century.