He belonged to the royal Gaekwad dynasty of the Marathas which ruled parts of present-day Gujarat.- Sayajirao Gaekwad III
Maharaja Sayaji Rao III, who took the throne in 1875, did much to modernize Baroda, establishing compulsory primary education, a library system and the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda.- Gaekwad dynasty
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Baroda State was a state in present-day Gujarat, ruled by the Gaekwad dynasty of the Maratha Confederacy from its formation in 1721 until its accession to the newly formed Dominion of India in 1949.
On 16 June 1875, he ascended the throne as Sayajirao Gaekwad III, but being a minor, reigned under a Council of Regency until he came of age and was invested with full ruling powers on 28 December 1881.