The city was once called Chandanavati after its ruler Raja Chandan of Dor tribe of Rajputs, who wrested it from the Jains. The capital had also another name “Virakshetra” or “Virawati” (a land of warriors). Later on it was known as Vadpatraka or Wadodara, which according to tradition is a corrupt form of the Sanskrit word Vatodar means ‘in the heart of the banyan tree’. It is now almost impossible to ascertain when the various changes in the name were made; but early English travellers and merchants mention the town as Brodera, and it is from this that the name Baroda is derived. Again in 1974 the name changed to Vadodara.
Vadodara is one of four cities in the state with a population of over 1 million. It is also known as the Sayaji Nagari (Sayaji’s City after its famous Maratha ruler, Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III) or Sanskari Nagari (The City of Culture, a reference to its status as the Cultural Capital of Gujarat). Vadodara or Baroda, formerly the capital city of the Gaekwar State, is situated on the banks of the Vishwamitri, a river whose name derived from the great saint Rishi Vishwamitra. It is located southeast of Ahmedabad, 139 km from state capital, Gandhinagar. It is the administrative headquarters of Vadodara District. Both the railway line and national highway connecting Delhi and Mumbai, passes through Vadodara.