Known as the Patron of IPS Vadodara, Maharaja Sayajirao Gayakwad – III was born on 11 March 1863. Today is his 156th Birth Anniversary.
Sayajirao was born in a Maratha family in Malegaon Tahsil Dist. Nashik as Shrimant Gopalrao Gaekwad, second son of Meherban Shrimant Kashirao Bhikajirao Dada Sahib Gaekwad. Sayajirao/Gopalrao was not expected to ascend the throne as his branch was a cadet branch. However, one day his fate changed.
Following the death of Sir Khanderao Gaekwad (1828–1870), the popular Maharaja of Baroda, in 1870, his brother Malharrao succeeded him despite of his unpopularity as the widow of Khanderao gave Birth to a daughter. Because of his ill deeds, Malharrao was deposed and exiled to Madras.
With the throne of Baroda now vacant, Maharani Jamnabai called on the heads of the extended branches of the dynasty. Gopalrao was selected by the British Government as successor and was accordingly adopted by Maharani Jamnabai. He was also given a new name, Sayajirao.
He is notably remembered for introducing socio-economic reforms in his state. He was the first Indian Ruler to introduce, in 1906, compulsory and free primary education in his State. The Department of Post on 6th October 1989 issued a 60 Paise special postage stamp to honour Sayajirao Gaekwad III.
A Special cover was also released on 20 Jul 2007 to mark the Centenary Year of the Bank of Baroda. As the bank was founded by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III in 1908 this special cover depicts the Maratha ruler of Gujarat.
Image Courtesy: http://postagestamps.gov.in Visit philamart to view and purchase variety of stamps from all over the world.