A glimpse of attractive places and restaurants close to Parul University

There is so much to see in India that doing justice to it would take up several volumes. For international students though it may be relevant to know that India is the third largest Education market in the world with a tradition stretching back to centuries. The sites of some of the ancient Universities such as Nalanda or Takshila or gurukuls { traditional centres of learning } would be well worth a visit.

Closer home, there is much to see in Gujarat, considered the safest State in the country. Parul University { PU }  is very close to Baroda { Vadodara } which has a number of attractions.

Lakshmi Vilas Palace, the magnificent residence of the royal family of Baroda was built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III in 1890. It is reputed to be the largest private dwelling built till date and four times the size of Buckingham Palace. At the time of construction, it boasted the most modern amenities such as elevators and the interior is reminiscent of a large European country house.

The Palace compound is of over 500 acres and houses a number of buildings, particularly the LVP Banquets & Conventions, Moti Baug Palace and the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum building. In the 1930s, Maharaja Pratapsinh created a golf course for use by his European guests. In the 1990s, Pratapsinh’s grandson Samarjitsinh, a former Ranji trophy cricket player, renovated the course and opened it to the public.

Sayaji Baug in another attraction in Baroda. It is the largest garden in Western India, stretching over 113 acres. It has a rich flora of more than 98 species of trees. The garden is home to the Baroda Museum & Picture Gallery, the Sardar Patel Planetarium, and the Sayaji Baug Zoo.It was built in 1879 on the banks of the river Vishwamitri by Maharaja Sayaji Rao Gaekwad. The Baroda Museum is considered one of the finest in the Eastern world.

The Gir Forest in Gujarat is a national  park and wildlife sanctuary which straddles nearly 1500 square kilometres. It is the only sanctuary left in the world for the Asiatic lion which at one time used to be found in Northern Africa, South West Asia and northern Greece.

The Great Rann of Kutch is a salt marsh located in the Thar Desert in the Kutch District of GujaratIndia. It is about 7,500 square kilometres  in size and is considered  to be one of the largest salt deserts in the world. The Government of Gujarat hosts an annual 3 month long festival during winter called the Rann Utsav where tourists can see the various sights of the Rann. Rann Utsav gives visitors not only a chance to experience full moon on salt deserts but also get a taste of the local culture, cuisine and hospitality. Specially built local houses are also used to house tourists to give them a taste of local traditions. Many adventure clubs and travel clubs organize expeditions.

The neighbouring State of Rajasthan also has some attractions which are not very far from Parul University. Mount Abu, a hill station, is one of them. It offers a welcome respite from the heat in the summers and in the winter, temperatures could plummet to below freezing point. Udaipur, near the Gujarat border, is famous for its artificial lakes and lavish royal residences.

There are a number of attractive eating joints and restaurants in the vicinity of PU offering a range shakes, desserts and food. Some of the restaurants more popular with the students are Santushti Shakes and more , Belgian Waffle, Cafe Baraco , The Secret Kitchen, Restro Bistro, Edisons – Experiments with milk , Kaventers , Dr Bubbles Tea and Waffles ,Cafe Appetito ,Tea Villa Cafe ,22nd Parallel , Coffee Culture , La-Benito,Barbecue Nation and Jassi De Parathe

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