As the Cultural Capital of Gujarat, Baroda or Vadodara has always been an important industrial, cultural and educational hub of western India. The Maratha royal family of Gaekwads which ruled the Princely State of Baroda have descended from a Maratha warrior Damaji. This brave Maratha warrior received the title “Distinguished Swordsman” in the early 1700s.
Craving out an independent territory from the empire of the Maratha Peshwas of Pune, the Gaekwads of Baroda came to prominence in the mid 18th century. Fear of accession by the Peshwas of Pune and the internal conflict relating to succession led to an agreement between the Gaekwads of Baroda and the East India Company in the 1800s.
The Princely State of Baroda continued to be one of the major princely states of India under the British rule. The state of Baroda was ruled by the Gaekwad dynasty of the Maratha Confederacy from 1721 until 1949 when it acceded to the newly formed Union of India. At the time of Indian independence, the Maharaja of Baroda was amongst the five Maharajas who got a 21-gun salute!
The coin depicted in the image beside is a Silver Rupee issued in VS 1952 by Sayaji Rao III. The obverse has a right-facing portrait of Sayaji Rao III along with a circular legend in Devanagari “Shree Sayaji Rao M. Gaekwad”. The Reverse has set within a floral wreath the denominational value and issue year inscribed which are separated by a sword.
Image Courtesy: Classical Numismatic Gallery