Baroda State was a former Indian State in Western India. It was an important native state and had direct relations with the Indian Government but geographically was in intimate connection with Bombay Presidency.
Baroda State has a rich historical background. The ardent historian can trace Baroda's history over 2000 years and more. Before the Gaekwars captured Baroda, it was ruled by Babi Nawabs, who were the officers of the Delhi ruler. Moghul rule came to an end in 1732, when Pilaji Rao Gaekwar brought the Maratha activities in Southern Gujarat to a head and captured it. Except for a short period, Baroda continued to be in the reign of the Gaekwars from 1734 to 1948. The greatest period in the Maratha rule of Baroda started with the accession of Maharaja Sayaji- Rao III in 1875. It was an era of great progress and constructive achievements in all fields. The State became a part of Bombay State in May 1948 and of Gujarat State on 1st May 1960.
Vadodara or Baroda, the capital city of Gaekwar State, is situated on the banks of Vishwamitri, a river whose name derived from the great saint Rishi Vishvamitra. The city was once called Chandanavati after its ruler Raja Chandan of Dor tribe of Rajputs, who wrested it from the Jains. The capital had also another name "Virakshetra" or "Virawati" (a land of warriors). Later on it was known as Vadpatraka or Wadodará, which according to tradition is a corrupt form of the Sanskrit word Vatodar means 'in the heart of the banyan tree'. It is now almost impossible to ascertain when the various changes in the name were made; but early English travellers and merchants mention the town as Brodera, and it is from this that the name Baroda is derived. Again in 1974 the name changed to Vadodara.