Oriental Institute (also known as Prachya Vidhya Mandir) was conceived in 1893 & was established by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III on 1st September 1927. The building was previously operated near Central Libraray & then was moved near Kalabhavan (Senapati Bhavan).
Institute is known for several volumes of Ramayana that was published between 1951 & 1975, whose text was used in TV series Ramayan by Ramanand Sagar.
Institute consists of several old manuscripts (more than 30,000), one of which is Ayodhya Mahatmya, from 1656 AD, written by Harishnakar, which is a part of collection of over 10000 manuscripts of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, who set-up the Institute. The Institute was inspired from Oriental Research Institute of Mysore, which was established by Maharaja Chamraja Wodeyar of Mysore, who were a close friend of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III.
The first mention of Vadodara (Baroda) as Vatpatraka is also found in a Tamba-patra, which has been preserved in the Institute.