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Sayajirao, Maharaja (Gaekvar) of Baroda

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Sayaji Rao III (11.03.1863 6.02.1939) Maharaja (Gaekvar) of Baroda from 1875 to 1939. He proved to be one of the most enlightened of rulers amongst the Indian princes. Wholly secular in his views, an admirer of the parliamentary form of government, a believer in industrialization, an advocate of all-round reforms and imbued with love for his country and his people, he played a decisive part in the general awakening of the people of India.

After his returning from England Sri Aurobindo sometimes acted for Secretary of Gaekvar. The Maharaja used to call him whenever something had to be written which needed careful wording, he also employed him to prepare some of his public speeches and in other work of a literary or educational character. Most of the personal work for the Maharaja was done in an unofficial capacity; he was usually invited to breakfast with the Maharaja at the Palace and stayed on to do this work. Sri Aurobindo was never appointed to the post of Private Secretary. Whenever he thought fit, the Maharaja would send for him for writing letters, composing speeches or drawing up documents of various kinds which needed special care in the phrasing of the language. All this was quite informal, there was no appointment as Private Secretary.

At 1903 Maharaja took Sri Aurobindo as Secretary in his Kashmir tour, but there was much friction between them during the tour and the experiment was not repeated. At 1905 Maharaja left India for Europe.

Maharaja married Chimnabai of Tanjore (Chimnabai I) (18641884) on 6 January 1880, by whom he had a son and two daughters:

1. Shrimant Maharajkumari Bajubai Gaekwad (18811883)

2. Shrimant Maharajkumari Putlabai Gaekwad (18821885)

3. Lieutenant-Colonel Shrimant Yuvaraja Fatehsinhrao Gaekwad, Yuvaraj Sahib of Baroda (3 August 1883 14 September 1908).

His first wife died young from tuberculosis, and Sayajirao married on 28 December 1885 Shrimant Lakshmibai Mohite from Dewas(18711958), who became Chimnabai II upon her wedding. They had several sons and one daughter:

1) Shrimant Maharajkumar Jaisinghrao Gaekwad (12 May 1888 27 August 1923)

2) Shrimant Maharajkumar Shivajirao Gaekwad (31 July 1890 24 November 1919)

3) Maharani Indira Devi, Maharani and Maharani Regent of Cooch Behar (Indiraraje) (19 February 1892 6 September 1968)

4) Lieutenant-Colonel Shrimant Maharajkumar Dhairyashilrao Gaekwad (31 August 1893 5 April 1940).


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