This is a portrait of Sayaji Rao Gaekwad III (1863-1939) of Baroda from the album Delhi Coronation Durbar, 1st January 1903 by Wiele and Klein.
In 1721, Pilaji Rao Gaekwad defended and reclaimed the city of Baroda from the Mughals as a lieutenant for the Dabhade family, the Marathas in Gujarat. He was granted the city as a jagir by Chhatrapati Sahu and began Gaekwad rule in Baroda. This is a portrait of one of his most beloved successors, Maharaja Sayaji Rao III. During over six decades of his reign, starting in 1875, Baroda was a prosperous princely state under indirect British control. Sayaji Rao III was a ruler committed to social reform, primarily via education. He opened the first school in Baroda in 1881 and made education compulsory and free for the first time in the Subcontinent. The Maharaja’s relationship with the British was complex. His growing alignment with anti-colonial politics attracted swift censure in the form of travel restrictions. He responded by advocating for education abroad as a tool of Indian liberation.
TitleSayaji Rao Gaekwad III, Gaekwad of Baroda
Album TitleDelhi Coronation Durbar 1st January 1903
PhotographerWiele and Klein, Madras