top of page

Family connections with Baroda, Bhavnagar and Vadnagar

Brief History of BARODA STATE

Baroda derives its native name Vadodara from the Sanskrit vatodara, meaning 'in the heart of the banyan (vata) tree. It also has other names, Virakshetra or Virawati (land of warriors), mentioned alongside Vadodara by the 17th century Gujarati poet Premanand Bhatt, native to the city. Its name has been mentioned as ‘Brodera’ by early European travellers and merchants, from which its later name Baroda was derived. Geographically it comprised of several disjointed tracts of land, measuring over 1,500 sq. km., spread across the present Gujarat State; these were divided into four prants (sub-divisions), namely Kadi, Baroda, Navsari and Amreli, which included coastal portions of the state, in the Okhamadal region near Dwarka and Kodinar near Diu.

Following Shivaji in the 1660s, the Marathas began marauding Gujarat regularly since 1705. By 1712, a Maratha leader Khande Rao Dabhade grew powerful in the region, and when he returned to Satara in 1716, he was made the senapati (commander in chief). Thereafter during the battle of Balapur in 1721, one of his officers, Damaji Gaekwad, was awarded the title Shamsher Bahadur or Distinguished Swordsman. Damaji died in 1721 and was succeeded by his nephew Pilaji Rao.

Gaekwad Maharajas of Baroda

  • Pilaji Rao (reign 1721–32 CE)

  • Damaji Rao II (1732–68)

  • Sayaji Rao I (1768–78)

  • Fateh Singh Rao (1778–89)

  • Manaji Rao (1789–93)

  • Govind Rao (1793–1800)

  • Anand Rao (1800–18)

  • Sayaji Rao II (1818–47)

  • Ganpat Rao (1847–56)

  • Khande Rao (1856–70)

  • Malhar Rao (1870–75)

  • Sayaji Rao III (1875–1939)

  • Pratap Singh Rao (1939-1948)



Map of Baroda >>

bottom of page