Rekindle Your Spirituality at Dilaram Bungalow of the City!

A fusion of antiquity and contemporary, the Dilaram Bungalow is the seat of Ramakrishna Mission in the city, which was once the Royal Dewan’s bungalow. 

Situated in the Alkapuri area of Vadodara, near the circuit house, is the Dilaram Bungalow. Said to be made in 1863, the Dilaram Bungalow was the bungalow of the Deewan of Maharaja Sayajirao – Manibhai Mehta. The bungalow was later let out to the Government Officers and Forest Officers for their stays in the city. In 2005, the then Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat – Narendra Modi handed over this bungalow to the Rama Krishna Mission. 

Before going to the United States to participate in the Parliament of Religions, Swami Vivekananda had travelled all over India as a Parivrajaka for about three years, out of which he spent the longest time in Gujarat. During his time in Gujarat, he visited Ahmedabad, Limbdi, Junagadh, Dwarka, Somnath, Jamnagar, Porbandar, Bhuj, Narayan Sarovar, Bhavnagar, Palitana, Nadiad, etc and he finally came to Baroda in 1892 in April. At that time, he stayed at the Dilaram Bungalow as a guest of Shri Manilal Mehta, the Deewan of Vadodara. Manilal Mehta was a close friend of the Deewan of Junagadh who was a very close to Swami Viveakananda, and it was his recommendation that Swami Vivekananda stayed as Manilal Mehta’s guest. Swami Vivekananda used to discuss the educational system of the state with Manilal Mehta. He also saw the rich library and the paintings by Raja Ravi Varma at the Lukshmi Vilas Palace. He then left for Mumbai at the end of the month. 

The Dilaram Bungalow has now become a memorial of Swami Vivekananda. A new branch centre of Ramakrishna Mission has also been started here. It is a spiritual centre open to everyone. The bungalow now houses meditation areas, library, some artefacts, etc. The Ramakrishna Mission carries out numerous social welfare activities from here. The bungalow is very well maintained now and is definitely worth a visit, giving one an opportunity to connect with one’s spiritual side as well as dwell upon the rich heritage of this place. 

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