Sir Sayaji Rao III, Maharaja of Baroda(1863-1939), Indian ruler and social reformer
Sitter in 21 portraits
The illiterate son of a village headman, he travelled from Kavlana with his family after widow Maharani Jamnabai, who had no male heir of her own, summoned the heads of the extended Gaekwad dynasty to present themselves and their boys to find a successor to the throne. When Gopalrao was quizzed about why he had come he replied 'I have come here to rule'. He was chosen as the next Maharaja of Baroda with the British Government's approval. Due to his young age of twelve, he was adopted by the Maharani and his name was changed to Sayajirao. After receiving an education he raised Baroda from chaos to a model state and was influential at the first and second Indian Round Table conferences. A frequent visitor to Britain, the Maharaja was referred to by Queen Victoria as the “empire's favourite son”. He listed among his hobbies billiards and tiger hunting.
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