Radhikaraje Gaekwad

Vice President, Maharani Chimnabai Stree Udyogalaya

Trustee, Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum

Director, CDS Art Foundation

Fellow, Aspen Global Leadership Network

A master in medieval Indian History, Radhikaraje is now actively involved in running one of the largest private residences in the world along with family trusts such as the Maharani Chimnabai Stree Udyogalaya, imparting vocational training to lower income women and the Maharaja Fatehsingh Museum Trust, housing some of the most acclaimed works of Raja Ravi Varma amongst others. She is also patron of the Heritage Trust, an independent organization instrumental in bringing the monumental complex of Champaner on the World Heritage Sites list and is actively involved in preventing the city’s heritage structures from being obliterated. Radhikaraje is currently also working on the documentation of the Lukshmi Vilas Palace and its priceless possessions.

Regarding her contribution to the heritage restoration in India, Radhikaraje has been committed to studying and archiving the Royal Indian history and culture, and has presented her research on famed Gaekwad jewels, royal culture, textiles and customs on prestigious international platforms such as Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Saffronart, Robb Report, India Today Conclave and the Jaipur Literary Festival. She is reviving the lost old weaving techniques of Chanderi and Baroda Shalu- an intrinsic aspect of royal Maratha sartorial traditions. Her revived textiles have been displayed in the most hallowed museum of India -National Museum, New Delhi and other international museums around the world. Radhikaraje is the Director of CDS Art Foundation, Ahmedabad, where she works in aligning artisans with designers and bridging gaps with the end consumer. She has also been a jury member on several global platforms including the International Crafts Awards.

With Radhikaraje’s urge to provide a room for Arts appreciation in India, she through the Maharani Chimnabai Stree Udyogalaya Trust organizes a uniquely curated and hugely successful artisanal fair called Urja, giving neglected craftsperson a safe and dignified outlet to interact with the urbane and sell their blocked stock. She has been instrumental in bringing collaborations with foundations and designers to Baroda such as Santati- Then. Now. Next, a one of a kind jamdani textile experiment where India’s most well recognized artist Raja Ravi Varma’s works have been woven on khadi.

In memory of her father-in-law, Late Maharaja Ranjitsinh Gaekwad, an artist, musician and patron, Radhikaraje has initiated the Maharaja Ranjitsinh Gaekwad Festival of Arts, a two-day celebration of Indian culture that brings to the city the finest caliber of Hindustan classical vocal and instrumental music along with a fine display of art.

Recognizing Radhikaraje’s efforts in improving® people’s well-being – providing financial support to the underprivileged and upholding women’s power, she has been conferred the Aspen Global Leadership Fellowship, recognized as one of ‘India’s Top 50 Women in Indian Luxury’ by LuxeBook. She has also received awards in Social Entrepreneurship and Heritage Revivalist by esteemed organizations and publications. Alongside her philanthropic endeavors, she shares her insights by regularly contributing to leading newspapers and magazines. As an enthusiastic traveler, Radhikaraje has visited over 50 countries, immersing herself in wildlife, history, and wine.