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A HISTORY OF THE 
MARATHA PEOPLE 



BY 



C A. KINCAID, CV.O., I.CS. 

Author of "The Indian Heroes," "Deccan Nursery Tales," 
'The Outlaws of Kathiawar," "Tales from the Indian Epics,' 
"Tales of Pandharpur," "Shri Krishna of Dwrarka," 
"Tales of King Vikrama, " etc., etc. 



AND 



Rao Bahadur D. B. PARASNIS 

Author of "The Rani of Jhansi," "Mahableshwar," etc. 
Editor "Itihas Sangraha" 



VOL II 

FROM THE DEATH OF SHIVAJI <t , ^ O lL 
TO THE DEATH OF SHAHU _____ 

1^ (r -^5 



HUMPHREY MILFORD 

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS 

LONDON BOMBAY CALCUTTA MADRAS 

1922 



PRINTED AT THE 

KANARESE MISSION PRESS AND BOOK DEPOT, 

MANGALORE 

fWNTED IN INDIA 






TO THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

THIS WORK 

IS 

RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED 



PKEFACE TO SECOND VOLUME 

A FEW words only are needed by way of introduction 
to the Second volume. 

The main authorities for the lives of Sambhaji and 
Rajaram are the Chitnis Bakhar, the Shedgavkar Bakhar, 
Khafi Khan, the Musulman works translated by Scott and 
known as Scott's Deccan, Orme's Fragments and the 
Parasnis Papers. I must also express my grateful ac- 
knowledgments to Professor Sarkar's History of Aurangzeb, 
Vol. IV, and to Mr. Irvine's translation of the Storia do 
Mogor. For my account of the Maratha wars against the 
Portuguese, my warmest thanks are due to the Goa Govern- 
ment, who with admirable generosity and kindness sent me 
a quantity of specially chosen books and papers on the 
subject. 

The authorities for the reign of Shahu are the Chitnis 
Bakhar, the Peshwa and Shedgavkar Bakhars, the Siyar- 
ul-Mutakherin, the Parasnis Papers, Malleson's History of 
the French in India, Orme, and, above all, Mr. Sardesai's 
Riyasat, Vol. III. The merits of this latter book are so 
great, its learning so profound, its style so clear, that I 
can only compare it with Voltaire's Siecle de Louis XIV. 
Mr. Sardesai's kindness, moreover, was equal to his erudition. 
Hearing that I was engaged in writing the present work, 
he placed at my disposal the proof sheets of his unpublished 
third volume. I can only say that words fail me when I 
try to express my appreciation of his noble disinter- 
estedness. 

I am also greatly obliged to the Chief of Ichalkaranji, 
Mr. Dayagude, Chief karbhari of Bhor and Mr. Mahableshwar- 



VI PKEFACE TO SECOND VOLUME 

kar of the Bombay Educational Department for the assistance 
which they have freely given me. 

Lastly, I have to thank Mr. C. N. Seddon, I. C. S., for his 
translations of Persian letters, a task w^hich his profound 
knowledge of the Persian language rendered him eminently 
competent to perform. 

C. A. K. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER. PAGE. 

XXIV. Sambhaji's Accession 1680-1682 . i 

XXV. The Portuguese War 1683-1684 13 

XXVI. The Great Moghul Offensive. The Conquest op 

BiJAPUR 1684-1686 22 

XXVII. The Great Moghul Ofpensive. The Conquest of 

GOLCONDA 1686-1687 33 

XXVIir. The Great Moghul Offensive. The Capture of 

Sambhaji 1687-1689 42 

XXIX. The Great Moghul Offensive. Death of Sambhaji. 

Regency of Rajaram 1689 54 

XXX. The Great Moghul Offensive, Capture of Raygad and 

flight of Rajaram 1689-1690 67 

XXXI. The Great Moghul Offensive. The Siege of Jinji 

1690-1698 75 

XXXII. The Great Moghul Offensive. The Last Effort. The 

Beginning of the Maratha Counter-offensive 1698 91 

XXXIII. Maratha Counter-offensive. Death of Rajaram and 

Regency of Tarabai 1700-1706 103 

XXXIV. Maratha Counter-offensive. Death of Aurangzib 

Release and Coronation of Shahu 1706-1708 . .117 

XXXV. Social Customs of the high castes in Maharashtra . 131 

XXXVI. Civil War and the Reorganisation 1708-1714 . . . 140 

XXXVII. Affairs at Delhi 1707-1719 159 

XXXVIII. NiZAM-UL-MULK FOUNDS THE KINGDOM OF HaIDARABAD 

1719-1724 168 

XXXIX. Death of Balaji and Accession of his son Bajirao 

1720-1730 176 

XL. Kanhoji Angre and the English 202 

XLI. Maratha Conquest of Malwa and Guzabat 1731-1736^ 212 
XLII. War against the Nizam and Nadir Shah's Invasion 

1737-1738 230 

XLIIL The Conquest of the Konkan. War against the Sidis 

and Portuguese 1733-1739 237 

XLIV. Shahu takes Miraj. The death of Bajirao. Accession 

of Balaji 1739-1740 • ... 262 

XLV. Marathas INVADE Bengal. Ahmad Shah invades India 

1740-1748 281 

XLVI. Rise of the French Nation 1741-1751 287 

XLVII. Death op Shahu and Fall op the Bhosles 1749-1750 294 
INDK.K 321 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

Shrinivas Pandit Piatinidhi . • Frontispiece 

PACING PAGE 
Shaikh Nizam Hydrabadi 54 

Rajanxm Maharaj ...... 68 

Zulfikar Khan 102 

Bajirao I 174 

Mastani 222 

Balaji Bajirao (Third I'eshwa) 238 

Raja Shahu and his minister Balaji Bajirao . . ' 288 



MAPS 



PAGE 
Sketch Map of Southern India 44 

Sketoh Map of Salsette Island and other Portuguese Possessions . . . 232 



CHAPTER XXIV 

SAMBHAJi'S ACCESSION 

A. D. 1680 TO 1682 

Sambhaji seems to have returned to Panhala at once after 
the burning of Shivaji's body*. On his departure from 
Raygad, Soyarabai, a daughter of the great house of Shirke 
and the mother of Rajaram, then a youth in his nineteenth 
year, began to plot to secure for her son the vacant throne. 
During her husband's lifetime she and her kinsmen had 
used their influence to remove from the succession Sambhaji, 
as one unfitted by his evil habits and proved treachery to 
rule over the Marathas. After the king's death she took 
more vigorous action. She worked on the minds of her 
late husband's advisers and nobles by stating that Shivaji 
had before his death made an oral will, wherein he had 
bequeathed to Rajaram the kingdom and had ordered 
Sambhaji's imprisonment. During the early years of Raja- 
ram's reign, she would help him to govern the kingdom 
and would be added by the advice of the Asht Pradhan or 
eight ministers. Having thus tempted the ministers with 
the increase of power that such a plan would give them, 
she next roused their fears by painting in vivid colours 
the great dangers that hung over the kingdom. Aurangzib 
had heard with infinite satisfaction the news of the great 
king's death and was about to lead into the Deccan the 
whole power of Hindustan and subdue at once Maharashtra, 
Golconda and Bijapur. In such troubled times was not 

* The Chitnis Bakhar relates that Shivaji's death was hidden from Sambhaji. 
The local tradition at Raygad, which 1 have followed in Vol. I of this History, is 
that Sambhaji heard the news and rode with all speed to Raygad, arriving there 
too late to see his father alive. 

1 



2 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

the first matter for consideration the welfare of the State, 
rather than the claims of a prince whose past conduct 
shewed his unfitness to cope with the coming danger? So 
deep, however, was the attachment felt by the Maratha 
nobles and the ministers to the house of Bhosle, that it was 
only with great reluctance and grave misgivings that they 
joined in the plot. Had it been executed with speed and 
secrecy it might have succeeded; but the lack of goodwill 
in most of the conspirators foredoomed it to failure. In- 
stead of at once seizing Sambhaji's person, they wrote a 
number of letters to various commanders to inform them 
of the queen's decision and to direct them to move their 
troops to favourable situations. The late king's secretary, 
Balaji Avaji, was ordered to write the letters. He refused; 
and he was with difficulty induced to consent to his son 
Avaji writing them. 

Among the letters sent was one to Janardanpant 
Hanmante, Raghunath Hanmante's brother, who had dis- 
tinguished himself in the Carnatic, to move his troops from 
Kolhapur and to attack Panhala. Kanhoji Bhadwalkar, 
the commandant of Raygad, closed the fort gates, and a 
force of ten thousand men Avas collected at Pachad, the 
village below Raj^gad, wherein Jijabai had passed several 
years. Lastly letters were sent to Bahirji Ingle, Somaji 
Banki and Hiroji Farzand, the principal officers at Panhala, 
calling upon them to seize the prince's person. But by 
this time the news of the plot had reached Sambhaji's ears. 
The common soldiers at Panhala were devoted to the great 
king's son. At his orders they arrested first the messenger 
Khandoji Naik, who had carried the letters, and then Ingle, 
Banki and Hiroji Farzand. The prisoners were confronted 
and questioned. They confessed, and were at once put in 
chains. Hiroji Farzand was so fortunate as to break from 
his cell and escape to Chiplun with a bag of jewelry. He 
was, however, taken later and again imprisoned. The 
others were tried and convicted. Banki was afterwards 
thrown from the top of Raygad. Suryaji Kank, a kinsman 



SAMBHAJi'S ACCESSION 3 

of Yesaji Kank, the friend of Shivaji's childhood, was 
beheaded on the spot. Sambhaji was now in undisputed 
possession of the fortress and rapidly put it in a state of 
defence. This done, he awaited with confidence the arrival 
of Janardanpant Hanmante. In the civil war that general 
shewed none of the talents that had earned for him in the 
Carnatic the great king's commendation. He moved so 
slowly that Sambhaji's preparations had been completed 
several days before his arrival. Thankful perhaps for an 
excuse to take no active steps against the son of his late 
sovereign, he arranged his troops so as to invest Panhala 
and returned to Kolhapur. To adopt such a course was to 
court disaster. In the general's absence, the prince won 
over his subordinates. The bulk of the army declared 
for him. He crowned his success by marching at night 
with the Panhala garrison and seizing Janardanpant 
Hanmante in his headquarters at Kolhapur. On hearing 
the news, the Raygad conspirators lost their heads and 
vied with each other in their haste to betray the plot. 
Sambhaji marched straight on Raygad. There Sarnobat 
and Yesaji Kank declared for him and opened the postern 
gate for Sambhaji to enter. He arrested the commandant, 
Kanhoji BhadAvalkar, who at once changed sides. Moro 
Pingle the Peshwa and Annaji Dattu the Pant Sachiv were 
arrested and their houses sacked. At the same time the 
force at Pachad declared for Sambhaji and confined Mai 
Savant the general in command. He was beheaded with 
ten to fifteen of his staff, under Sambhaji's orders. The 
garrison of Raygad was changed and Rajaram taken into 
custod}^ So far Sambhaji had done no more than the 
heinousness of the crime demanded. His further conduct 
was prompted by cruelty and spite. In a storm of passion 
he entered Soyarabai's private room and in the presence 
of his soldiers and her maid-servants charged her with 
having poisoned Shivaji to secure the throne for her son. 
He then had some bricks removed from the wall of her 
house and had her built in, in the same way that the King 

1* 



4 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

of Bijapur had walled in his own grandfather Shahaji. 
The aperture left by a single unplaced brick gave her air 
to breathe. Milk was the only food allowed her. After 
three days she died and her body was burnt close to where 
Shiva ji's had been. Two hundred other Maratha nobles 
suspected of participation in the plot were either beheaded 
or thrown from the edge of Ray gad into the Konkan. 

The prince, busy in establishing his authority over the 
whole kingdom, did not celebrate his accession until the 
10th of the bright half of Magh, Shake 1602 (February 1681). 
After the date had been pronounced auspicious by the 
royal astrologers, Sambhaji went in person to Parali fort to 
invite to the ceremony his father's friend, Ramdas. But 
the old saint had heard of the cruelties that had marked 
his seizure of power, and to mark his displeasure at such 
conduct in a son of the great king, pleaded ill-health and 
refused to see the prince. His disciples, however, begged 
him to send Sambhaji a letter of advice, such as he had in 
the early days of their friendship sent once or twice to 
Shivaji. Ramdas consented and sent Sambhaji the follow- 
ing finely worded letter :— 

"Be always on your guard and never off your 
guard. Control your temper and be tender and kind 
towards others. Forgive your subjects their faults and 
bind them to your person by making them happy. The 
happier they are, the easier will be your task. If they 
are against you, your task will be hard. If you and 
your nobles fall out, your enemies will profit. Let all 
of you live in unity. Seek out your Musulman enemies 
and remove them from your path. Create fear in 
others not by your cruelty but by your valour. 
Otherwise your kingdom will be in danger. Deal with 
each difficulty as it arises. Keep your anger under 
control or at least do not betray it in the presence of 
others. Make your subjects your friends. Let them 
love rather than fear you. Make the people one; fill 
their minds with the single thought of resisting the 



SAMBHAJi'S ACCESSION 5 

Mlenccha. Guard what you already have ; add to it by your 
own exertions and so extend on all sides the Kingdom 
of Maharashtra. Respect yourself and wear the sword 
of ambition. That way lies the path to success. Bear 
King Shivaji in mind. Deem your life a worthless 
trifle and try to live by your fame both in this world 
and the next for ever. Keep before your eyes the 
image of Shivaji, Think always of his valour and his 
deeds. Remember always v/hat he did in battle and 
how he acted towards his friends. Give up sloth and 
love of ease. Keep before your eyes a certain goal 
and strive to win it. Never forget how Shivaji won 
the kingdom. If you call yourself a man, try and do 
better even than he did." * 
Sambhaji took in excellent part the advice contained in 
Ramdas' letter. He gave the messenger a gift of clothes 
and a verbal message for the saint that he would act as he 
directed. Later he sent Ramdas a written invitation to 
the coronation and the old man, flattered at the prince's 
reply, accepted it. He did not, however, go in person to 
Ray gad but sent a disciple Divakarbhatf to represent him. 
The ceremonial adopted for Sambhaji's coronation resembled 
that of Shivaji, The king weighed himself against gold, 
silver, brass, iron, cotton, salt, nuts, cocoanuts, molasses 
and sugar and distributed them as gifts. Royal salutes 
were fired from every fort in the kingdom. Moro Pingle, 
Yesaji Farzand, Somaji Farzand and other conspirators 
who had not been executed, were released. Forty thousand 
Brahmans were given food and money; and so great was 
the crush of spectators that many were trampled under 
foot and killed. But in spite of the seeming splendour of 
the festival, there were not wanting — so the Maratha 
chroniclers relate — clear signs of divine displeasure. The 
sun hid its face behind a bank of clouds and never once 



* Ramdas Charitra. 

f Ibu'. Diviikar Gosavi or Divakarbbat looked after Eamdas' affairs. He 
came from Mahablesbwar, wberc bis descendants still live. 



6 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

lent its rays to brighten the spectacle. On leaving his throne 
the King drove out to kill the Kalpurusha or god of death; 
as he did so, the pole of his carriage broke. Sambhaji, 
undismayed, had the pole mended and ended the coronation 
to the satisfaction of the nobles, by increasing the tainats 
or official retinues of subhedars, mujumdars and similar 
officers of his government.* 

The first campaign of the new king was in his father's 
best manner. In May, 1680, the emperor had sent for the 
second time Khan Jehan, formerly known as Bahadur 
Khan Koka, as viceroy to the Deccan. So incompetent 
had been his first tenure of office that he had in 1672 
allowed Shivaji to extort a ransom from Golconda.f 
Anxious to justify the emperor's indulgence, Khan Jehan 
attacked Ahivant, a fort in the Chandod range, taken by 
Shivaji some months before. He failed in the attempt. 
The lateness of the season prevented further hostilities, 
but Sambhaji sent the Moghul general a challenge to meet 
him in the open field after the rains had abated. At the 
Dasara festival, early in October, 1680, the Maratha horse 
in three divisions moved out to make good the Maratha 
sovereign's threat. :jl One division moved towards Surat, 
one into Khandesh, a third skirmished with the imperial 
troops near Khan Jehan's camp at Aurangabad. These 
operations however were subordinate to Sambhaji's design 
of celebrating his accession by the sack of a great Moghul 
city. Immediately after his coronation, the King collected 
the three divisions and set out as if to plunder the Berar 
province. Suddenly turning back, he led his troops by 
forced marches to Burhanpur, the capital of Khandesh and 
the wealthiest town in the Deccan viceroyalty. In the 
middle of February, 1681, § the Maratha horse were visible 



* Chitnis Bakhar. 
fSee vol. 1., p. 237. 
JSarkar's Aurangzib, vol. IV., p. 244. 

i^Khafi Khan gives the date as tlie 15th February. Mr. Sirkar puts the date 
earlier in the end of January. That, however, clashes with the date of the coronation. 



SAMBHAJi'S ACCESSION 7 

on the sky line to the sentries on the walls. The com- 
mandant whose garrison numbered only 250, dared not 
face the Maratha army and withdrew into the citadel. 
There he gallantly resisted all attempts to scale it. But 
the town and its ample suburbs of Bahadurpur and 
Hasanpur lay at the king's mercy. So unexpected was 
the attack, that the merchants had no time to flee with 
their jewels and money. A vast booty fell into the hands 
of the Marathas, who destroyed all that they could not 
conveniently carry off. Picked runners had carried the 
news of this disaster to Khan Jehan, who hastened to the 
relief of the plundered town. In twenty-four hours he 
covered three days' marches and so exhausted his forces, 
that he was compelled to rest it at Fardapur, sixty-four 
miles from Burhanpur. Profiting by his inactivity, the 
Maratha divisions retreated through Chopra to Salher. 
The Maratha raid and the inefficiency of Khan Jehan's 
pursuit so enraged the citizens of Burhanpur, that they 
wrote to the emperor an account of their misfortunes and 
to emphasise it they discontinued the mention of his name 
in their Friday prayers ; thus threatening to renounce 
their allegiance to a sovereign who did so little to protect 
them. Aurangzib, deeply affected by the letter, recalled 
Khan Jehan and resolved to go in person to the Deccan. 

The real cause, however, of this strange resolve must 
be sought in. Northern India. Raja Jaswant Sing, the ruler 
of Jodhpur, had during his life been one of the chief 
pillars of the Moghul throne. In 1679 a. d. the emperor 
had sent him with reinforcements to Kabul, Shortly after 
reaching it, the Raja died. The Rajput nobles in his 
train sent to the emperor word of the prince's death and 
asked leave to take his sons back to Marwar, In reply 
Aurangzib ordered that they should be sent to his court, 
where they would be suitably cared for. The Rajput 
nobles rightly guessed this order to mean that the boys 
would be brougt up as Musulmans. Exasperated at the 
emperor's bigotry and ingratitude, they resolved to disobey 



8 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

the Moghul command. They substituted for the young^ 
princes two boys of the same age and left them at Delhi. 
The real princes with their mothers, disguised in men's 
clothes, they took to Rajputana and appealed for protection 
to the honour of Mewar. The Rana of Udaipur had given 
a reluctant submission to the emperor Jahangir. His 
successor welcomed gladly a pretext to throw off the yoke 
of the hated Moghul ; and receiving t^ie princes with all 
honour he gave to the eldest, Ajit Sing, the hand of his 
daughter. The emperor sent his son. Prince Azam Shah^ 
to invade Rajputana and followed later with his son Akbar. 
The Rajputs shewed equal skill in battle and intrigue. 
They destroyed several Moghul battalions in the Aravali 
passes and seduced prince Akbar, Aurangzib's fourth and 
favourite son, by promising to place on his head the crown 
of Delhi. The plot was foiled by the skill and cunning of 
the emperor, who contrived that a letter written by him 
to prince Akbar should fall into the hands of his Rajput 
allies. In it Aurangzib thanked the prince for having won 
over the Rajputs and directed him to crown his services 
by bringing them to a spot where they could be mown down 
by the cannon of both armies ! * 

The Rajput chief believed the lying letter and deserted 
the prince. Akbar, fleeing to the south with four hundred 
followers, made his way to Paligad, twenty-five miles from 
Raygad (May 28th 1681). There he appealed for help and 
friendship to the Maratha king.f Sambhaji welcomed the 
royal exile and announced that he would himself seat him 
on the imperial throne. He gave him a residence near 
Dhodsa and called it Padshapur. The honours that he 
paid him were remarkable. He sent his chief officers with 
a thousand gold mohurs, by way of homage, and publicly 
declared that he would always stand in the new emperor's 
presence. Encouraged by their king, the whole countryside 
did the exile reverence and by August 1680 Akbar had in 

*Khafi Khan. 

t See Appendix for Akbar's letter to Sambhaji. 



SAMBHAJI'S ACCESSION 9 

his own service no less than five thousand Maratha cavalry. 
Dreading this alliance of Akbar and Sambhaji, Aurangzib 
hastily iDatched up a peace with the Rajputs and entered 
the Deccan, which he was destined never again to leave. 

The arrival, however, of Akbar suggested to the sup- 
porters of Soyarabai a way of avenging their former dis- 
comfiture. Rajaram was too young to be set up as a pre- 
tender to the throne. Annaji Dattu and Soyarabai's kins- 
men, of the great house of Shirke, saw, as they thought, in 
prince Akbar a fitting tool for their intended treason. 
They offered him the sovereignty of the Maratha Deccan, 
reserving only a small province as a provision for Rajaram. 
But Akbar scorned to betray the prince, who had befriend- 
ed him. He disclosed to Sambhaji the plot and the names 
of the plotters. The Maratha king took a fearful vengeance. 
He caused to be trampled under the feet of elephants, 
Shivaji's private secretary Balaji Avaji Chitnis* and his 
eldest son for whom the father in vain offered his own life. 
He executed several other members of Balaji Chitnis' family, 
Hiroji Farzand and Annaji Dattu the Pant Sachiv; and he 
proscribed the whole clan of the Shirkes. So many of them 
were tracked down and massacred by Sambhaji's sepoys, 
that the word "Shirkan" or "massacre of the Shirkes" 
has survived to this day in the Marathi language. 

If prince Akbar really dreamed that the resources of 
Sambhaji were enough to enable him to overthrow the 
emperor, the king himself must have known that such 
dreams came through the ivory gate. In any such attempt 
he would have been faced by the entire power of Hindustan, 
the fleets of Janjira and probably the active enmity of 
Golconda, Bijapur and Portugal. He therefore informed 
i^rince Akbar that before he could march northwards, he 
must clear his left flank by the conquest of Janjira. Ever 
since Sambhaji's accession there had been desultory warfare 
between the Abyssinian garrison of the island and the 
Marathas. The English, fearing for their factory at Surat, 

* For the Chitnis family tree see Appendix 11 to this chapter. 



10 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

gave to the Abyssinian fleet access to their Bombay harbour, 
although to Sambhaji they professed neutrality. The Sidis 
had in Shivaji's time taken Undheri* outside Bombay. 
In May 1G81 a force of 200 Marathas had tried to retake 
the island but were driven out with great loss. The 
Abyssinian leaders were so elated at this success that they 
plundered with perfect impartiality the lands of the English, 
Marathas and Portuguese alike. In December, 1681, 
Sambhaji came to the shore opposite Janjira with twenty 
thousand men and a powerful siege train. His guns daily 
battered down the eastern defences of Janjira while he 
himself sought, as Alexander had done at Tyre, to build a 
mole from the mainland to the island. At the same time, 
one of his officers, Kondaji Farzand, pretended to desert 
to Janjira with the intention of blowing up the Sidis' maga- 
zine on the day fixed by Sambhaji for the assault. The 
Abyssinians believed Kondaji's tale and welcomed the fugi- 
tive. Emboldened by his welcome, he bought some women 
with whose aid he hoped to corrupt the garrison. These 
he distributed among the chief officers of Janjira. Un- 
happily for Kondaji, one of the women had been at some 
former time the mistress of the officer who now bought 
her. He extracted from her the story of Kondaji's plot. 
It was discovered and stamped out with merciless rigour. 
Farzand was beheaded; his accomplices were flung into 
the sea and drowned. 

On the failure of Kondaji Farzand's plot, Sambhaji 
renewed his efforts to build the mole and gathered for 
that purpose no less than fifty thousand workmen. But 
the Abyssinians held the command of the sea and hampered 
the work, just as the Tyrian ships had hampered the work 
of Alexander. Sambhaji, moreover, had to leave the coast 
to face a Moghul force under Hussein Ali Khan, that was 
ravaging the Northern Konkan. He drove the Moghuls 
back to Ahmadnagar, whence they had issued, but by the 
time he had gained thi s success the monsoon of 1682 had 

* See vol. I, p. 289. " 



SAMBHAJI'S ACCESSION 11 

broken; and the monsoon seas destroyed the unfinished 
mole. In August Dadaji Raghunath, whom Sambhaji left 
in command of the besiegers attempted to land on Janjira. 
Those who have seen the Arabian Sea in the height of the 
monsoon can estimate justly the boldness of the attempt. 
It was pressed with the utmost daring. But the raging- 
sea broke in pieces many of the boats. Others were 
sunk by the Abyssinian fleet. Those that reached the 
shore were driven back by the garrison. The Maratha 
attack failed with a loss of two hundred men. Dadaji 
Raghunath withdrew his army, but even so did not shake 
off his misfortunes. The triumphant Abyssinians raided 
the whole countryside and one night entering Mahad, a 
village below Mahableshwar, of which Dadaji Raghunath 
was hereditary deshpande or revenue officer, carried off 
his wife and family to Janjira. 

After this disaster Sambhaji realised that without the 
command of the sea, he could not take Janjira. The rest 
of August and all September he spent in collecting warships 
and building others. About this time an Abyssinian named 
Sidi Misri, a relative of Sidi Sambal, who with Sidi Yakut 
and Sidi Khairiyat had deposed from his command the 
Afghan Fatih Khan deserted to Sambhaji.* The king 
placed him in command of the Maratha fleet ; but since 
Sidi Misri had been reduced for incompetence in Janjira, 
the choice was not a happy one. Sidi Misri with thirty 
warships attacked the Janjira fleet outside Bombay. The 
Janjira vessels only numbered fifteen, but they were com- 
manded by Yakut Khan, the most skilful Indian sailor of 
his time. The battle ended in a decisive victory for the 
Abyssinians. Four Maratha warships including Sidi Misri's 
flagship were taken. Sidi Misri himself, mortally wounded 
in the fight, was landed in Bombay to die ; and the Maratha 
king once more foiled in his efforts to take Janjira turned 
his attention to a new danger, the recent alliance between 
the Moghuls and the Portuguese. 

*See vol. I, p. 232. 



12 



A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 



APPENDIX I 

(Letter of Akbar to Sambhaji given in Riyasat, vol. i., p. 564) 
" Ever since his reign began it has been Aurangzib's design to tramjile on the 
Hindus. This was the cause of his quarrel with the Rajputs. All men are God's 
'children and the Idng is their protector. It is therefore not right for the emperor 
to destroy them. Aurangzib's wickedness has exceeded all bounds and I am 
certain that, because of the suffering he has inflicted on his people, the dominion 
will pass from his hands. Seeing that your country is far from the emperor's 
camp, I have resolved to come to you. With me is the Rathn Durgadas. Free 
your mind from all sus]ncions about me. If by the mercy of the Most High I win 
the empiie, I shall be its master in name only. The empire will really be yours. 
Together we shall overthrow the emperor. What need to write overmuch to the 
wise?" 



APPENDIX II 

GENEOLOGICAL TREE OF THE CHITNIS FAMILY 

Balaji Avaji 



Jivaji 



Ramrao 

I 
Malhar 

Khanderao 

I 
Malhar 



Khando Ballal 



I ! I 

Bapuji Govindrao Bahirao 



Devarao 



Nilo Ballal 

Avaji 

I 
Mahipati 

Trimbakrao 



(Sardesai vol. 1., p. 549) 



CHAPTER XXV 

THE PORTUGUESE WAR 

A. D. 1683 TO 1684. 

A LONG friendship had united the viceroys of Goa and 
the emperors of Delhi. Akbar, whose active mind sought 
to gather into one faith the various truths contained in 
several, invited to Fatehpur Sikri Portuguese priests and 
listened with interest to their preaching and to their con- 
tentions with the holy men of Islam. He shewed still 
further his appreciation of the Portuguese by adding to 
his zanana Maria Mascarenhas* and by building for her at 
Fatehpur Sikri the house, on which can still be seen painted 
the head and wings of the angel announcing to the Virgin 
the birth of the Saviour. It occurred to the resourceful 
brain of Aurangzib that the Portuguese might be induced 
to let him use Goa as a naval base for the conquest of the 
Deccan. The Sidis held the command of the sea and with 
Goa open to the Moghul transports, the emperor would 
have a second line of communication with the south. In 
return for the use of their harbours, the emperor offered 
to let the Portuguese hold whatever they could conquer 
from the Marathas by their unaided arms. The Portuguese 
had long dreaded the rise of the Maratha power; and not 
realising that to allow the emperor to make Goa a naval 
base was possibly to lose it for ever, the Viceroy Francesco 
de Tavora, Conde or Count of Alvor, foolishly agreed to 
the emperor's proposal. 

* Uma Dona Portigueza na corte do grao mogol. p. 41. et seq. by J. A. Ismael 
Gracias. I know that the legend of Akbar's Portuguese wife was strenuously 
refuted by the late Mr. Vincent Smith. But with all deference to that eminent 
writer, I think that Mr. Gracias' statement of the case is conclusive. The dis- 
cussion, however, of this question is outside the scope of this work. 



14 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

News of this alliance soon reached Sambhaji. The 
latter had in January 1683 bribed six Arab warships* to 
attack an East Indiaman, the "President", commanded by- 
Captain Hyde. But the "President", admirably sailed by 
her captain, sank three Arab ships and beat off the others. 
When the English complained, Sambhaji stoutly denied all 
knowledge of the incident, and learning the plans of Alvor 
made peace Avith the English by granting them trading 
privileges in Jinji. In June 1683, Sambhaji descended the 
Ghats with thirty thousand men and laid siege to the 
Portuguese fortress at Chaul. But both in attack and 
defence Sambhaji's engineers were far behind the Portu- 
guese. In the cold weather the initiative passed to the 
King's enemies; and with twelve hundred Europeans and 
twenty-five thousand natives, Alvor ravaged the Maratha 
territories near Goa. Unable to cope with the Portuguese 
when covered by the guns of their fortress, Sambhaji, 
planned to lure them into the open country, where his 
cavalry would be able to act with freedom. To attain this 
end he sent agents into Goa. They talked openly of a vast 
store of treasure concealed by the Marathas in Phonda 
fort, and expressed wonder at the Portuguese not attempt- 
ing its capture. The viceroy fell into the snare ; and with 
eight hundred Europeans and eight thousand Canarese 
sepoys he set out to storm Phonda. The garrison defended 
itself vigorously, but in ten days the Portuguese siege 
train had battered to pieces its stone walls. The assault 
fixed two days later would certainly have carried all before 
it. At this point Sambhaji appeared to raise the siege. 
He had fourteen thousand foot and eight thousand cavalry. 
He soon cut Alvor's communications with Goa and the 
viceroy's army had either to starve, surrender or retreat. 
But to retreat in face of a Maratha army was to court* 
disaster. His every step was harassed by charges of horse, 
while Maratha sharpshooters fired continuously from the 
hills at the retiring eneraj^ Alvor left behind him his 

* Orme, p. 154. 



THE PORTUGUESE WAR 15 

baggage and his siege train ; and before he reached 
Cumbarim island he had lost two hundred Europeans and 
a thousand Indian sepoys. At Cumbarim the Goa garrison 
came out to cover his retreat and a number of boats con- 
veyed his soldiers to safety. Sambhaji's infantry likewise 
got boats and followed ; but the Portuguese knowing better 
the reaches of the Goa river, rowed round the island and 
cut off and destroyed three thousand Marathas who had 
established themselves on it. In this way the shattered 
army of Alvor reached in safety the walls of Goa 
(September 1683). 

Sambhaji, however, was not disposed to leave Goa to 
be the emperor's naval base without a serious attempt to 
take it. On the advice of prince Akbar he first tried fraud. 
The young Moghul had by this time grasped that it was 
beyond the power of the Maratha king to place him on 
the throne of Delhi. He was, therefore, anxious to go by 
sea to Persia and take refuge at the Shah's court. For 
this purpose he wished to build a ship in the Goa dockyards 
and asked for and obtained leave to send workmen to help 
in the building. His plan was to send daily large bodies 
of soldiers disguised as labourers and in this way to collect 
a strong force inside the city. The plot was discovered 
by Manucci, a Venetian adventurer who happened to be at 
Goa*; and the viceroy frustrated it by insisting that every 
night all the prince's workmen should leave the town and 
that next morning the same number only should return. 
Akbar then made a further attempt on Sambhaji's behalf. 
He was a friend, so he wrote to Alvor, both of the Portu- 
guese and the Marathas, and before he left India he wished 
to mediate between them. Let him but enter Goa as arbi- 
trator and he could soon smooth away every difficulty to 
the satisfaction both of the viceroy and the king. Alvor 
Avas at first duped but he afterwards perceived the Moghul's 
design. It was to enter Goa with a large escort, attack the 
garrison and open the gates while the Marathas assaulted 

* Storia do Mogor, vol. II, p. 262. 



16 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

the walls from without. The viceroy foiled this second 
plot by insisting that the prince's escort should not exceed 
seven men. Unable to succeed by fraud, Sambhaji made 
vigorous effort to succeed by force. He overran the pro- 
vinces of Bardes and Salsette* and on the 25th November, 
1683, took the island of Santo Estavao. The 25th Novem- 
ber was the anniversary of Albuquerque's capture of Goa 
and the population and most of the garrison were cele- 
brating it in the Goanese churches. At 10 p. m. Sambhaji 
sent across at low tide four thousand men. Taking the 
garrison by surprise, the Marathas put them to the sword 
and occupied the island fortress. Next day the viceroy 
tried to retake it, but the Portuguese were driven back 
with heavy loss. Several weeks passed in furious attacks 
by the Marathas and desperate resistance by the Portuguese. 
The forts of Rachol, Tivim, and Chapora fell into Sambhaji's 
hands and the town of Margoa surrendered. At last it 
seemed certain that the Maratha army would force a way 
through that part of Goa known as the quarter of Saint 
John. Despair seized the soul of the chivalrous Alvor. 
Death on the field of honour had no terrors for a noble 
of Portugal. But the fear of losing this ancient possession 
of his master's house weighed on him deeply and led him 
to form a strange resolve. Instructing his officers to fight 
to the last, he called together several monks and with them 
entered the church of Bom Gesu, wherein lie in splendid 
state the earthly remains of Francis Xavier. 

This famous man, the scion of a noble Spanish house, 
was one of the first seven disciples of Ignatius Loyala, the 
founder of the Jesuits. At first ordered to convert to 
Christianity the Musulmans of Palestine, Xavier was 
afterwards chosen by Loyala to be the head of the mission 
sent by John III. of Portugal to convert the east. From 
1542 to 1547 he preached in southern India and the Spice 
Islands and then left for Japan. Death overtook him in 
1552 when about to attempt the conversion of China. His 

* This is different from the island of Salsette to the north of Bombay. 



THE PORTUGUESE WAR 17 

body was first sent to Malacca and thence to Goa where 
either by divine agency or the embalmer's skill, it remains 
to this day perfectly preserved in the church of Bom Gesu. 
Xavier's canonisation in 1621 by Pope Gregory XV proves 
the miracles that the saint performed during his lifetime. 
He was now called upon, long after death, to perform a 
greater miracle still. 

While the ramparts of Goa were resounding with the 
Marathas' cries of "Har Har Mahadev" and the answering 
shouts of the gallant Portuguese, the Count of Alvor 
ordered in the church of Bom Gesu a service in honour of 
the saint. During the service were recited and played 
the prayers and music that he once had loved. Then 
opening the dead man's tomb, Alvor placed in the hands 
of the corpse his staff of office and the royal letter by 
which the king had appointed him Viceroy of Goa. In a 
firm voice the Count declared that Francis Xavier and no 
longer Alvor was now Governor-General of the Portuguese 
Indies. Earthly arms had failed to defend it ; let the saint 
now shield from harm the Estado de Goa*. This act 
performed, Alvor knelt in prayer by Xavier's head, and 
with many tears and sighs awaited the advent of the 
j:iiiracle. "What then," cries a contemporary chronicler, 
"were the dispositions of the new viceroy?" In a few 
moments the hard-pressed garrison saw on the horizon the 
advancing vanguard of a Moghul army; and after one 
desperate assault Sambhaji was forced to raise the siege. 

The modern reader will look to some cause other than 
Francis Xavier's miraculous powers for the timely arrival 
of the Moghuls. Late in 1683 the emperor had moved 
from Burhanpur to Ahmadnagar, intending to make the 
latter city his headquarters. To his two sons. Shah Alam 
and Azam Shah, he entrusted large armies. He directed 
Azam Shah to overrun Khandesh and Nasik and above all, 
to take Salher, which he soon did, through the treachery of 

* There is an admirable account of this incident in Uma dona Portugacza, 
p. 88 el seq. 

2 



18 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

the Maratha commandant. Shah Alam was to harry the 
south. Directly the siege of Goa began, the Viceroy sent 
Manucci to call to his aid the Moghul fleet, that was 
cruising off Vengorla. The Moghul admiral who had 
strict orders to prevent Akbar's flight by sea would not 
leave his post, but he seems to have sent word to Shah 
Alam of the danger in which Goa stood. 

Shah Alam had in the meantime crossed the Krishna 
and entered the Belgaum district. He had stormed Shahpur^ 
a little fort close to Belgaum, and Sampgaon, a town 
eighteen miles south-east of Belgaum. It was here that 
the prince seems to have received the message of the 
Moghul admiral. At once he led his troops through the 
Ramghat Pass, twenty-six miles west of Belgaum; and 
overcoming a Maratha force sent against him by Sambhaji, 
then struggling furiously to take Goa, his army poured 
into Savantvadi and hastened by forced marches to the 
relief of Alvor. It was the vanguard of this army that 
the despairing Portuguese saw on the sky line. It must, 
however, be admitted that the Portuguese were soon almost 
as frightened of their heaven-sent allies as they had been 
of the Marathas. The Moghul commander wished to bring 
his fleet into the Goa harbour, while his army camped 
inside the walls. But on the advice of Manucci who, as 
Shah Alam's doctor, had had a long experience of his 
patient's* character, the viceroy refused the Moghul fleet 

*Ornie's fragments, p. 171 and Storia de Mogoi-, vol. II., p. 273. As the names 
of Aurangzib's sons and dangbtei-s are confusing, I shall give their names below: — 

1. Mahomed Sultan. He deserted 1o Shuja during the war of 
succession — June 1659 — . He was thereafter imprisoned until 
his death on 3rd December, 1676. 

2. Mahomed Muazzim or Shah Alam, afterwards the emperor 
Bahadur Shah. 

3. Mahomed Azam or Azam Shah, killed in battle against Shah 
Alam. 

4. Mahomed Akbar. Commonly known as Akbar. 

5. Mahomed Kam Baksh. Commonly called Kam Baksh- Killed 
in battle against Shah Alam. 



Sons . 



THE PORTUGUESE WAR 19 

admission; and by firing on their leading galliots forced 
them to flee into the river Neriil to the north of the city. 
Shah Alam revenged himself by plundering Bardes and 
other Portuguese villages and by carrying off their women 
and children. 

From Goa Shah Alam marched on Vengorla where he 
burnt a ship belonging to prince Akbar and sacked the 
town for having sheltered it. From the surrounding 
districts he gathered in the cattle, reaped the standing 
corn and burnt the villages. In this way he soon ate up 
the Konkan and then realised the folly of his quarrel with 
the Portuguese. The viceroy no longer allowed the Moghul 
foodstuffs to use his harbours. The river Bardes wherein 
they were forced to discharge had no facilities ; and harassed 
by the Maratha horse, the victorious army was soon on 
the verge of starvation. Shah Alam broke his camp and 
began to retreat along the Konkan shore. His real 
difficulties now began. Sambhaji's troops were amply 
supplied from the grain stores in his forts, very few of 
which Shah Alam had taken. Shah Alam's army had no 
resources whatever. A pestilence broke out among the 
starving Musulmans and took a daily toll of five hundred 
men and of unnumbered horses, elephants and camels. 
The prince sent a messenger to Aurangzib imploring help. 
The emperor sent to his relief Ruhulla Khan, the imperial 
paymaster, with part of the army at first entrusted by 
him to Azam Shah. After the capture of Salher that 
prince had in vain tried to take the Maratha fort Ramsej 
or Rama's couch. It is on a hill near Nasik, and the divine 
Rama is supposed to have sometimes slept on it, when 



Daughters. 



1. Zebimnissa. She helped Akbar in his rebellion and was 

impiisoned until her death in 1702. 
2- Zinatunnissa. She succeeded her aunt Jahanara as head of 

Aurangzib's seraglio and to the title of Begam Sahib. It is 

she who befriended the youthful Shahu. 

3. Mehrunnissa. Married. 

4. Zabdatunnissa. ,, 

5. Badrunnissa. Died unmarried, aged only 22. 

2* 



20 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

living Avitli Sita on the banks of the Godavari. After this 
failure, Azam Shah had retired to the imperial headquarters. 
At the same time as the emperor sent a force by land, he 
sent by sea from Surat a fleet of foodstuffs to relieve his 
son's immediate wants. Unhappily for the Moghuls the 
food-ships fell into Maratha hands. The troops, however, 
under Ruhulla Khan successfully reached their goal*. On 
the 18th May, 1684, the remnants of Shah Alam's army 
found the welcome shelter of the walls of Ahmadnagar. 

In spite of Shah Alam's retreat, his own failure to take 
Goa seems to have weighed heavily on the Maratha King's 
mind. Since the discovery of the Shirke plot, he distrusted 
his Maratha officers, with the single exception of his 
cavalry commander, Hambirrao Mohite, a blunt and gallant 
soldier, whose nature somewhat resembled his own. Un- 
willing, in view of his great services to Shivaji, to dismiss 
Moro Pingle from the post of Peshwa, he yet would not 
give him either power or responsibility. These he gave in 
full measure to a certain Kalasha, by caste a Kanoja or 
Kanauj Brahman. He was a member of an obscure clan 
who near Allahabad lived on the offerings of certain 
Deccan families. These employed as priests the members 
of Kalasha's caste, whenever they made pilgrimages to 
Allahabad or Benares. Among the clients of Kalasha's 
family were the Bhosles and Kalasha seems to have been 
privy to Shivaji's escape from Agra and to have been 
intimate with Sambhaji, while the latter remained behind 
at Mathura. With the charming manners of Northern 
India he won a great influence over the young prince, 
which lasted until his death. Shortly after Sambhaji be- 
came king, he made Kalasha his chief executive officer 
with the titles of Kavi Kalasha or of Kalasha the poet and 
Chandagomatya.f But Kalasha, if: admirably suave and 

* History of Aurangzib, p. 294. vol. IV- 

t The meaning of this word is doubtful, but probably it means " learned in 
the Vedas." 

X The correct Hindi spelling of this \yord is Kalasha (or jar). 



THE PORTUGUESE WAR 21 

courteous towards his master, was arrogant towards his 
Maratha colleagues and subordinates and crassly stupid 
about questions of Deccan administration. He was still 
less competent to manage the royal possessions in Southern 
India. He tried to hide his incapacity by blaming the 
diffuseness of the official reports and gave out publicly 
that the king's power would increase if he abandoned all 
Shivaji's distant conquests. He used to tell Sambhaji that 
a kingdom should be like the jewel in a ring, at all times 
wholly visible to its owner's eye. The Marathas, who hated 
Kalasha both as a fool and a foreigner, believed that he 
retained his influence over Sambhaji by charms and magic 
and by hideous rites in which the blood of cows and 
buffaloes flowed abundantly. It seems, however, probable 
that the minister kept and increased his power by the 
methods commonly used in India by those who v/ish to 
subject a prince to their will. He plied Sambhaji with 
wine, bhang and opium; and, as Cardinal Dubois did for 
the Regent Orleans, he procured for him an endless suc- 
cession of pretty and lascivious women. But whatever the 
secret of Kalasha's domination, it was disastrous to the 
Maratha state. The finances fell into disorder. Shivaji's 
treasure was exhausted ; and unable to pay his troops, 
Sambhaji gave them leave to plunder at will, thus relaxing 
the iron discipline by which Shivaji had made his armies 
formidable. The result was seen in the successes presently 
gained by the Moghul commanders. 



CHAPTER XXVI 

THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 
THE CONQUEST OF BIJAFUR 

A. D. 1684 TO 1686 

Directly the rains of 1684 had abated, the Moghul armies 
began to move. Shahabuddin Khan, the father of Nizam ul 
Mulk, of whom much will be read hereafter, advanced with 
a great force to take Raygad. He was burning to achieve 
distinction, for he had been involved in Azam Shah's failure 
to take Ramsej. That stronghold had been most gallantly- 
defended. The Moghuls in vain built lofty towers from which 
to command the interior of the fortress. The commandant, 
whose name unhappily has not survived, built his walls 
still higher and repelled every assault. When his cannon 
wore out he fired leather missiles from the trunks of 
hollowed-out trees; and when these failed him he drove 
back the storming parties with showers of stones, burning 
grass, and old quilts steeped in naphtha and set on fire. 
Shahabuddin Khan was relieved hy Khan Jehan, but neither 
science nor patience could overcome the dauntless courage 
of the besieged. At last, baffled by the garrison within 
and harassed without by Hambirrao Mohite's cavalry. 
Khan Jehan withdrew his force. Before retiring he burnt 
Shahabuddin Khan's wooden towers amid the mockery of 
the Marathas, who begged of him not to run away, but to 
hide under the ashes of his own edifices.* The siege of 
Ramsej raised, Hambirrao Mohite made a countermove. 
At Pathdi, some forty miles south-east of Poona, were the 
emperor's elephant stables. Mohite detached a body of 
Maratha cavalry who swooped down on Pathdi, killed the 

* Scott's Deccan; Sarkar, toI. IV., p. 298. 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 23 

garrison, and drove off the entire herd of elephants. Khan 
Jehan, grasping tlie importance of their recovery rode night 
and day after the raiders and in the end recovered all, 
or nearly all, the missing elephants.* 

On his way to Raygad Shahabuddin Khan took and 
garrisoned Chakan and Supa in the Poona district and then 
descended into the Konkan. A large Maratha force met 
him at Pachad at the foot of Raygad, but in that hilly 
tract their cavalry had no room to deploy. They were 
severely beaten and with the loss of their guns and equip- 
ment retreated into the fort. Raygad itself was impregnable; 
and the Moghul general after magnifying his victory in 
his despatches to the emperor, raised the siege. As a 
reward for his success at Pachad he was given the titles 
of Ghazi-ud-din (the Apostle of the Faith) and Firoz Jang 
(the sapphire of battle). 

In February, 1685, Sambhaji to retaliate sent a body of 
ten thousand cavalry to plunder Khandesh under Niloji 
Pandit. This force sacked Dharamgaon t and ravaged the 
neighbourhood ; but in its absence Shah Alam moved south 
and took one after the other Gokak, Hubli, Dharwar and 
Karwar. In turn Sambhaji detached fifteen thousand 
horse to harass Shah Alam's movement. This duty they 
did so skilfully that once more Shah Alam had to retreat 
with the loss of half his army. The forts, however, that 
he had taken remained in the hands of Moghul garrisons. 

Believing that he had for the moment inflicted sufficient 
losses on the Marathas, and confident from the reports 
that reached him that Sambhaji, if left to himself, would 
abandon himself to drink and women, the emperor applied 
himself to the darling project of his life, namely, the 
conquest of Bijapur and Golconda. One of the last feats 
of the great king was to force Diler Khan to raise the 
siege of Bijapur. Since then there had been, no active 

* Scott's Deccan. 
fSarkar, vol. IV., p. 301. 



24 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

hostilities between Aurangzib and Masaud Khan, the Bijapur 
regent. Indeed, both the emperor and his daughter-in-law,. 
Shahr Banu, the wife of Azam Shah, known to the Marathas 
as Padshah Begam, had in 1681 appealed to the Bijapur 
general, Sarza Khan, to join in a combined crusade against 
Sambhaji. But the Adil Shahi government knew well that 
the destruction of Sambhaji would be followed by their 
own; and instead of sending help to Aurangzib secretly 
sent every man whom they could spare to the Maratha 
king's aid. To punish Bijapur, Aurangzib had twice sent 
Azam Shah to raid its northern territories. But it was 
not until the 1st April, 1685, that the offensive against 
Bijapur began. The difficulties ^aced by the invading 
army were three-fold. The Adil Shahi king, Sikandar 
Shah, had taken over the government himself, and Masaud 
Khan, the former regent, had retired to Adoni, where he 
hoj)ed to establish an independent state. Rid of this 
worthless man, Sikandar faced the Moghul invasion with 
calm courage,* He asked for and obtained promises of help 
from Golconda, where the wise Madanna Pant was still 
first minister, and from Sambhaji. On the 14th August^ 
1685, a Golconda force under Ambaji Pandit reached Bijapur 
and from December, 1685, Hambirrao Mohite, with a body 
of Maratha horse, began to harass the Moghul communi- 
cations with the north. In October, 1685, another body of 
Maratha cavalry, imitating Shivaji's raid on Surat, appeared 
suddenly before Broach. This historic city, known to the 
Greek mariners of Egypt as Barugaza, was one of the most 
ancient ports of India, Its name is derived from two 
words, Bhrigu and Kaccha. Kaccha means field, and Bhrigu 
Kaccha means the field of Bhrigu, the name of the mighty 
rishi, or seer, who owned it. On one occasion, so it is 
related, the rishis of India, doubtful which one of the Hindu 
triad they should honour most, sent Bhrigu to visit in person 

*He sent a spirited letter to Aurangzib demanding the evacuation of his 
country and the return of the tribute paid by him. On those terms he said he 
would join the emperor against the Marathas. See extract of his letter in Appendix. 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 25 

the gods and report to the other rishis his impressions. 
BhrigTi visited in turn Brahmadev, Shiva, and Vishnu. The 
first, absorbed in the high affairs of heaven, paid but 
scant heed to the visitor. The angry Bhrigu cursed the 
god, so that thereafter he received no worship from any 
of the children of men. Bhrigu next visited Shiva, but was 
refused admittance. Bhrigu imposed on him the penalty 
that his image should never be seen in any human temple. 
Last of all Bhrigu visited Vishnu and found the god asleep. 
Angered beyond control by the continued disrespect, Bhrigu 
kicked the slumbering god in the chest. Vishnu awoke 
and with admirable courtesy clasped the rishi's foot to his 
bosom and paid him the highest honours. The rishi, his 
good humour restored, returned to earth and proclaimed 
Vishnu the greatest of the triad. This view had since 
generally prevailed, and the god to commemorate the 
incident, wears a jewel over the spot where the rishi's foot 
struck him. It is known as Bhrigulanchan, or Bhrigu's kick.* 

The reputed holiness of the ancient town proved no 
defence against the Maratha raiders. They plundered 
Broach as thoroughly as Shivaji had plundered Surat. 
With them was prince Akbar, who hoped from Broach to 
flee back to Rajputana. The Maratha troops did him 
public homage as emperor, but their force was too small 
to cut its way north. On the appearance of a Moghul 
army from Ahmadabad, led by the Viceroy of Guzarat, the 
Marathas fled back with their plunder to the Deccan. 

The chief resource of the Bijapur king was in the un- 
daunted spirit of his people. As early as June 1685 the 
Bijapur cavalry cut the communications of Azam Shah, 
who was in command of the besieging force. At last, the 
prince's officers begged him in a council of war to retreat.f 

* Since writing the above, I have met a descendant of Bhrigu, Mr. Munshi, an 
advocate of the Bombay High Court. This gentleman very kindly added a sequel 
to the story. When Bhrigu kicked Vishnu he had a kamal or lotus on his foot. 
As a punishment for kicking a god the lotus fell off ; ever since his descendants 
have lacked the prosperity the lotus denotes. 

t Sarkar vol. IV., p. 316. 



26 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

But the fear that his brother, Shah Alam, might pay him 
back the cutting jests, that he had himself made about 
Shah Alam's disasters, made the prince cling to his post. 
Aurangzib, approving his son's conduct, determined to 
open up his son's communications. He himself was at 
Sholapur and had no provisions to spare. But he ordered 
Shahabuddin Khan, hereafter known as Firoz Jang, to set 
out from Ahmadnagar with twenty thousand bullock-loads 
of grain. The Bijapur government guessed rightly that 
the fate of their city depended on the failure or success of 
Firoz Jang. Sarza Khan, and Abdur Raf, with eight 
thousand horse, threw themselves with the utmost valour 
on Firoz Jang's convoy. For some time the fate of the 
relieving force hung in the balance. But Firoz Jang rose 
to the height of his recent honours. Through his general- 
ship and the stimulating presence of Jani Begam, one of 
Azam Shah's wives, who from the back of an elephant, 
cheered on her husband's succours, the convoy reached in 
safety the headquarters of the besieging army.* From 
this moment the tide turned ; and no longer anxious about 
his son's safety, Aurangzib was able to dam the stream of 
reinforcements that Madanna Pant was sending from 
Golconda. 

Against the Kutb Shahi king the imperial government 
had valid grounds of complaint. He had helped Shivaji 
in his great southern campaign. Although warned by the 
emperor of the consequences of such conduct, Abu Hussein 
had continued to send to Bijapur troops, equipment and 
supplies. But it was characteristic of Aurangzib that he 
advanced a wholly different ground. He sent one Mirza 
Mahomed to demand two giant diamonds, which, so the 
emperor asserted, lay hidden among the Kutb Shahi 
treasures. With exquisite courtesy Abu Hussein assured 
the envoy that had he possessed such gems, he would long 
ago have sent them as a gift to his suzerain. Foiled in 
this attempt to pick a quarrel, Aurangzib sent without 

* Khafi Khan and Scott's Deccan. 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 27 

further pretence Khan Jehan and Shah Alam with large 
armies to punish Abu Hussein for tlie aid given by him to 
Bijapur. Abu Hussein sent Ibrahim Khan with forty 
thousand men to oppose the Moghul advance.* Ibrahim 
Khan was an officer of high reputation and had the full 
confidence of Abu Hussein and Madanna Pant. He made a 
daring attempt to overwhelm Khan Jehan before Shah 
Alam could send him help. He manoeuvred so skilfully 
that he at last isolated a body of ten thousand men under 
Khan Jehan, and with his entire army attacked it in front, 
flank and rear. Khan Jehan extricated himself by his 
own skill and courage. He killed in single combat one of 
the enemy's leading officers. Thereafter he determined to 
cut his way through the ever narrowing circle of the 
Golconda troops. In front he put an elephant belonging 
to Raja Ram Sing, the son of Jai Sing and Shivaji's com- 
panion at Agra. In the elephant's trunk its mahout put a 
heavy iron chain. The sagacious beast used the chain 
with such terrible effect against the Golconda horsemen 
that he forced in their ranks a gap, through which Khan 
Jehan and most of his men succeeded in escaping. (March 
1686.) 

Khan Jehan celebrated his escape as if it had been a 
victory, and sent a glowing account of it to the emperor. 
But Aurangzib was too skilled a soldier to be deceived; 
and he reprimanded for their inactivity both the general 
and the prince. They became more slothful than ever and 
were soon besieged in their own camp and exposed to the 
rocket fire of the Kutb Shahi general. But other forces 
were working in favour of the emperor, Ibrahim Khan 
and many other Musulman officers of Abu Hussein regarded 
with envy the favoui;s conferred on Madanna Pant and on 
his brother Akanna Pant. Indeed, it would seem that with 
the avarice of increasing years they appropriated to them- 
selves large sums from the state coffers.f Ibrahim Khan 

*Khafi Khan. 
t Orme, p. 186. 



28 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

in his hatred of the Brahman brothers, listened readily to 
proposals made to him by Moghiil emissaries. Although 
master of the field he withdreAv his troops and allowed 
Khan Jehan and his army unmolested to leave their camp, 
and to occupy the fortress of Malkhed, the chief bulwark of 
the Golconda state. Justly indignant, Abu Hussein recalled 
Ibrahim Khan to stand his trial. Ibrahim Khan retaliated 
by openly deserting to Khan Jehan with the larger part of 
the king's army. Rustum Rao, Madanna Pant's nephew, 
was appointed to the chief command and rapidly restored 
discipline. But Abu Hussein's mind had been so affected 
by Ibrahim Khan's treachery that one night in June he 
abandoned Haidarabad, which he had made his capital, and 
fled to Golconda fort. The flight of the king led to a tumult 
in the city. The army retreated and fell back on Golconda 
in disorder. First the criminal classes and then the imperial 
troops plundered Haidarabad and subjected the inhabitants 
of both sexes to every kind of barbarity and outrage. 
Madanna Pant tried in vain to restore Abu Hussein's courage. 
But the king's only thought was to make peace with 
Aurangzib. On reaching Haidarabad, Shah Alam did his 
best to quell the disorder, and to that prince came the 
envoys of the trembling monarch. Shah Alam had no wish 
to be over harsh to a Musulman sovereign. Still more he 
feared his father's jealousy, if he took a fortress that had 
once defied Aurangzib's own arms. He imposed a fine of 
twelve million rupees and required the cession of Malkhed 
and the surrounding districts. Madanna Pant and Akanna 
Pant were to be imprisoned and Abu Hussein was publicly 
to ask of Aurangzib forgiveness for any offence which the 
imperial fancy might fasten on him.* These disgraceful 
terms were eagerly accepted. In silver chains Abu Hussein 
appeared in his oppressor's camp, and prostrating himself 
in the dust, implored and obtained pardon for numerous 
crimes, very few of which he had committed.f In regard 

* Khafi Khan. 
tOrme, p. 188. 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 29 

to Madanna Pant, Akanna Pant and their nephew, a zanana 
intrigue forestalled the imperial wishes. Some women in 
Abu Hussein's harem sent to their houses a band of assassins 
and all three fell stabbed by the murderers' knives. Their 
heads were sent with many compliments to the prince's 
camp. By treating with some leniency Abu Hussein, Shah 
Alam escaped the jealousy of the emperor. Nevertheless 
he incurred the censure of the commander-in-chief. 
Aurangzib sent for both Shah Alam and Khan Jehan and 
reprimanded them for not completing the conquest of the 
kingdom. (October 1686.) 

The left flank of the imperial army was now safe from 
the attacks of Golconda. Sambhaji's inactivity secured the 
safety of the emperor's right flank. Aurangzib, therefore, 
could concentrate his energies on the reduction of Bijapur, 
It took some months for Shah Alam to extort from the 
wretched Abu Hussein the large indemnity which he had 
agreed to pay. But in June 1686 all that could be squeezed 
out of Golconda had been paid into the emperor's treasury 
and the Moghul army of occupation, now under the sole 
command of Shah Alam,* joined Aurangzib's camp outside 
Bijapur. But the prince was in no humour to work 
cordially either with his father or his brother Azam Shah. 
The censures of the former and the gibes of the latter 
rankled deeply, and in order to cheat them of the glory of 
conquest Shah Alam opened secret negotiations with the 
Adil Shahi king Sikandar. The prince's envoy was one 
Shah Kuli. Sikandar's envoy was one Sayad Alam. But 
Shah Kuli was fond of forbidden liquor and in his cups 
boasted that shortly his arts would reduce Bijapur. His 
words were soon reported to Ruhulla Khan, the head of 
the military police, who repeated them to Aurangzib. Shah 
Kuli was arrested. Under torture he named his accomplices 
and among them the prince. Shah Alam repudiated the 
charge, and as even the emperor could hardly order the 
torture of a prince of the blood, the emperor released, but 

*IOian Jehan had been disgraced. 



30 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

entirely ceased to trust him, Sikandar Shah next tried an 
appeal to the emperor's religious feelings and sent his best 
theologians to convince Aurangzib that to fight against a 
true believer was opposed to the teachings of Islam. But 
Aurangzib's religion was always under the control of his 
political ambitions and he skilfully retaliated by charging 
Sikandar with his alliance with the infidel Marathas. If 
Sikandar would join him in a crusade against Sambhaji, 
Aurangzib would at once raise the siege of Bijapur. 
Sikandar knew that even so he would not save his kingdom 
and hoped against hope that Sambhaji would, as Shivaji 
had done before, lead a Maratha army to his rescue. He, 
therefore, continued the defence v/ith unabated vigour. 

The chief obstacle to the besiegers was now the moat 
round the city. It was deep and full of water ; and in 
every direction it was guarded by flanking towers. The 
emperor's aim was to fill it up with earth, but so deadly 
was the musketry fire from the walls that no labourers 
could be hired for the duty. At last by offering a gold 
coin for a single basket of earth he was able to proceed 
with the work. But earth was not the only material used. 
Dead cattle, horses and men were hurled into the moat; 
and many an unfortunate labourer who had earned a few 
gold coins was robbed of his gains and thrown in alive by 
his brother workmen.* At last the perseverance of the 
emperor and the skill of his engineers caused Sikandar 
Shah to despair. His garrison now numbered only a 
handful. In September he opened negotiations with 
Aurangzib and on the 12th September, 1686, f the famous 
city surrendered. Aurangzib entered it in triumph and at 
first affected to treat Sikandar Shah with liberality. But 
in later years the deposed king must often have regretted 
that he had not trusted to the chances of war, desperate 
though they were, rather than to the generosity of his 

* Sarkar, vol. IV., p. 322. 

fThis is the date given by ]\Ii-. Sarkar. Khafi Khan gives October as the 
month of the surrender. 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 31 

conqueror. Instead of the high office promised him by 
Aurangzib, he was given a dungeon in the fortress of 
Daulatabad. After some years he was released and dragged 
about from place to place, a prisoner in the camp of the 
emperor. In 1700 a. D., when only 32, he died during the 
siege of Satara fort. The tide had then begun to turn and 
the failure of the Moghul offensive was imminent. It was 
therefore not unfitting that then, too, Aurangzib should 
lose the pleasure he derived from the sorrows of his captive. 



I 



32 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 



APPENDIX 



EXTRACT FROM SIKANDAR ADIL SHAH'S LETTER TO AURANGZIB 

"You should hand over to me according to ancient practice the territory of the 
Moreed Zadup (Son of a spiritual pupil) which formed the jaghir of Sarja Khan 
and Mangalvedha and Sangola, etc., which are now in the possession of Nawab 
Umdat ul Mulk. If the im23erial forces and those of the nobles and ministers quit 
my territory, it will remove the misfortunes that follow a military occupation and 
the people of my villages will be happy. If I be favoured with the money which 
has been levied from the servants of the exalted court, I shall be able to pay my 
sepoys and accomplish the object of the expedition against the sinful infidel 
(Sambhaji)." 

(This letter was discovered in 1848 by Sir Bartle Frere then Resident of 
Satara.) 



CHAPTER XXVII 

THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 

THE CONQUEST OF GOLCONDA 

A. D. 1G86 TO 1687 

The conquest of Bijapur led indirectly to another event 
fortunate for the emperor, the flight of prince Akbar. 
The imperial victories and the sloth of Sambhaji iro weighed 
on the prince's mind that he resolved to flee from the 
Deccan, wherein success seemed impossible and danger 
imminent. In October 1686 he and Sambhaji parted with- 
out regret. At Rajapur the prince hired a vessel command- 
ed by an Enylishman called Bendal, * and by bribing Sidi 
Yakut Khan of Janjira, succeeded in evading the sea patrols 
established by the emperor to prevent his escape. Akbar's 
destination was Persia, but adverse winds drove him to 
Muscat. The Sultan welcomed him courteously but de- 
tained him and sent with all speed a messenger to Aurang- 
zib, offering to betray the fugitive for two lakhs of rupees 
and the exemption of Muscat ships from the Surat customs 
duties. The emperor readily agreed, and sent one Haji 
Fazil, an old naval captain, to secure prince Akbar. 
Happily for him the King of Persia had heard of his plight 
and under threat of instant war forced the treacherous 
Arab to surrender his prey. Akbar made his way to the 
Persian court, where Shah Sulaiman, and after him his son 
Shah Hussein, shewed him a generous and unwearying 
kindness. Akbar spent many years at Khorasan, waiting 
vainly for his father's death. But the great age to which 
the emperor lived defeated his ambition, and in 1706, when 
Akbar breathed his last, Aurangzib was still alive. 

*Ormo, p. 189. 



34 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

In spite of his treaty with Abu Hussein and the latter's'' 
real efforts to keep it, Aurangzib had no sooner conquered 
Bijapur than he determined to conquer Golconda. He 
called a council of war, ostensibly to consider in which 
direction the imperial armies should move. Shah Alam, 
who had signed the treaty with Abu Hussein, proposed the 
reduction of Sambhaji. Kam Baksh, however, Aurangzib's 
youngest son, acting on his father's instructions proposed 
the immediate conquest of Golconda, Shah Alam protested 
that such a course would be a stain on his own honour, 
and added that the loss of a son's honour involved the loss 
of his father's. But the word 'honour' had no meaning for 
Aurangzib. The protest, delivered in a spirited tone, 
roused the emperor's anger. He publicly reprimanded the 
prince and threatened him with lifelong imprisonment. 
Shah Alam wisely kept his temper, but his son Muazuddin 
drew his sword* and was with difficulty restrained by 
Shah Alam from killing his grandfather. "Let us not,"^ 
said Shah Alam, "set a pernicious example to posterity." 
The emperor, with a magnanimous air, affected to overlook 
the young prince's conduct, but his acts presently shewed 
that, as was his wont, he had nursed and brooded over the 
insult. To those present in the Council he declared that 
his work in the Deccan was over, that his treaty with 
Golconda forbade its conquest and that he would at once 
return to Delhi. To give colour to this story, he sent offers 
of peace to Sambhaji, who gladly consented to' a treaty 
that would leave him free to enjoy strong drink and the 
society of pretty women. 

But the emperor's intention was still to reduce Abu 
Hussein to the same state as Sikandar Shah, and he 
concealed it merely to surprise the king. He began to 
march northwards as if to Delhi; on his way, so he wrote 
to Abu Hussein, he wished to do homage to the tomb of 
Sayad Mahomed Gisu, a famous saint of Gulbarga, and 
asked leave to visit it. Abu Hussein begged the emperor 

* Khafi Khan. 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 35 

to do SO, and sent him 500,000 gold mohurs to distribute 
in charity. The emperor accepted the money, worshipped 
at the saint's shrine until his army had occupied a number 
of strategic points, and then repaid Abu Hussein's gift by 
marching with all speed on his capital. His pretext was 
the balance of the tribute which Abu Hussein still owed. 
The unhappy king did his best to avert disaster by raising 
in his city a forced loan. The amount so collected still fell 
short of his debt to the imperial exchequer. He implored 
the emperor's envoy, Sadat Khan, to intercede for him, and 
stripping himself and his wives of their Jewels begged 
Sadat Khan to send them to Aurangzib. The envoy did so; 
and the emperor's debt having been paid in full, he was 
forced to invent a new pretext for his continued aggression. 
He wrote a long letter of reproach* to Abu Hussein in 
which he repeated his charge of alliance with infidels and 
added to it charges of drunkenness, debauchery and injustice. 
To none of Aurangzib's warnings had Abu Hussein paid 
heed. "In the insolence of intoxication and worthlessness," 
wrote the emperor, "you have had no regard for the infamy 
of your deeds and you have displayed no hope of salvation 
either in this world or the next". After reading this 
hypocritical missive, Abu Hussein's spirit rose to the same 
height as in the campaign of 1677, when he defeated the 
combined armies of Delhi and Bijapur. He withdrew into 
the fort of Golconda, and fortifying it with all speed and 
care sent fifty thousand men to delay as long as possible 
the emperor's advance. But Ibrahim Khan, whose treachery 
had in the last war proved fatal to his master, commanded 
the Moghul vanguard. A traitor himself, he succeeded in 
corrupting many of the Musulman officers in the army 
opposed to him. Nevertheless, Abdur Razzak, the Kutb 
Shahi commander-in-chief, delayed the investment until 
the end of January, 1687, and then withdrew into the 
fortress to join the garrison. The emperor tried to take 
it by a sudden assault. But the leader of the storming 

*Khafi Khan, p. 325- Elliott and Dawson, vol. vii. 

3* 



36 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

party, Kulich Khan, Firoz Jang's father, and grandfather 
of Nizam ul Mulk, was killed by a cannon ball, and the 
assault failed. Both sides now prepared for a long siege, 
and Firoz Jang was placed at the head of the besieging army. 

The pride of Shah Alam had been deeply hurt by the 
emperor's disregard of the treaty, and while under the 
walls of Golconda, his feelings led him to enter into 
separate negotiations with Abu Hussein. The king plied 
the prince with presents in the hope of securing his inter- 
cession, and invited him to a personal interview within the 
fortress. Shah Alam accepted the invitation; but before 
he could act on it, news of it reached the emperor's ears. 
Next morning when Shah Alam and his two eldest sons 
Muazzuddin and Majiomed Azim, attended the daily durbar 
the emperor asked them in the kindest tones to go into an 
adjoining room to confer on matters of state with two of 
his generals. Not suspecting treachery, the princes complied 
and were at once arrested. The prisoners were treated 
with the utmost severity, and for six months were not 
allowed even to dress their hair. Gradually their imprison- 
ment grew less harsh, but it was not until seven years had 
passed that Aurangzib released Shah Alam from confinement. 
Shah Alam's arrest in no way discouraged Sikandar Shah. 
The soul of his defence was the gallant Abdur Razzak. 
Aurangzib, accustomed easily to corrupt the chiefs of 
opposing armies, offered him almost regal honours if he 
would betray his master. But Abdur Kazzak called to him 
the leading soldiers of the army, read out in their presence 
the emperor's letter, and by way of answer tore it to pieces 
on one of the bastions of Golconda. Sikandar Shah had 
accumulated vast stores of food and ammunition. The 
Golconda springs were abundant and perennial. Outside 
famine raged ; for Sambhaji, seeing that the emperor's peace 
was merely a device to gain time, sent Maratha horse to 
cut off the imperial supplies. 

The emperor decided to fill in the moat as he had done 
at Bijapur, and after purifying himself, sewed the seams 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 37 

of the first cotton bag to be filled with earth and thrown 
into the moat. In spite of the fire from the walls, the 
Moghuls filled it in and tried to build on it a mound high 
enough to overlook the city. On the mound they intended 
to place heavy guns and looked forward to a speedy 
surrender. But increased fire from the walls hindered the 
erection of the mound. And the besiegers' losses and the 
prevailing famine depressed dangerously their spirit. The 
emperor recalled Azam Shah from northern India, and 
Ruhulla Khan from Bijapur, and bade them come at once 
with all available troops and supplies. They obeyed the 
command but the reinforcements ate up the supplies which 
they brought. In May, therefore, Firoz Jang attempted a 
night surprise. He collected scaling ladders and ropes 
and his attempt all but succeeded. A few men had reached 
the top when a pariah dog barked at them and gave the 
alarm. The garrison rushed to the spot, threw down the 
ladders, killed those who had mounted by them and drove 
off the rest of the storming party by musket fire, from the 
walls. The next day Abu Hussein visited the spot and 
thanked the defenders. For the pariah dog he reserved 
special honours. He gave it a gold collar, a gold chain 
and a gold coat. He created it a noble of Golconda and 
kept it thereafter as his constant companion*. 

Next day the garrison counterattacked. At Abdur 
Razzak's orders a picked force sallied from the fortress, 
carried the mound, blew it up and destroyed both its 
garrison and the artillery to be mounted on it. With in- 
domitable perseverance, Aurangzib had the mound rebuilt 
and fresh cannon made ready for it. But now another 
ally came to the aid of the besieged. In the middle of 
June the monsoon broke and three days' heavy rain washed 
down the half finished work and flooded the trenches. 
Once again Abdur Razzak led out his men, and either 
killed or made captive every soldier inside them. Among 
the prisoners was Sarbarah Khan, one of Aurangzib's most 

* KJiafi Khan. 



38 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

trusted officers. Abu Hussein received kindly the veteran 
Moghul, and shewing him his vast stores of food and 
ammunition, tried to convince him how hopeless was the 
siege. He then sent him back to the emperor with a letter 
in which he deplored the mutual slaughter of the faithful, 
and offered to pay as tribute ten million rupees as well as 
a present of ten million rupees for each attempt that 
Aurangzib had made to storm the fortress. If the emperor 
preferred it he would provision the besieging army, so as to 
facilitate its retirement. Aurangzib angrily refused to 
cross the golden bridge. He sent back a message that he 
would never pardon Abu Hussein until he had seen him 
stand in front of him with clasped hands. Exasperated 
at his failure to raise batteries to command the fortress, 
Aurangzib decided to undermine its walls. To the skill of 
tlie engineers the emperor added his own cunning. He 
drew up his army as if to assault a spot where three mines 
had been dug under the walls. By this device he wished 
to draw there a large number of the garrison and blow 
them up together with the fortifications. But Abdur 
Razzak's skill was superior to that of the imperial engineers. 
Countermining, he discovered the mines and wetted the gun- 
powder on the side of the fortress. The result was that 
when the mines were fired only one ignited. It blew out- 
wards and harmless to the garrison, killed a number of 
the besiegers. The garrison instantly sallied out and in 
the confusion inflicted heavy loss on their enemies. The 
besiegers had no sooner driven back the sallying party 
tlian the second mine exploded unexpectedly, and proved 
also far more fatal to the Moghuls than to the fortress. 

The emperor resolved once again to build the mound 
and raise on it heavy batteries. But ill-fortune attended 
his every enterprise. On the completion of the mound and the 
erection of the batteries, he ordered a general assault. But 
a violent storm broke and in a few minutes turned the 
countryside into a sea of mud. In the water-logged ground 
the Moghul battalions could neither advance nor retire, 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 39 

and fell in heaps under the fire of the fortress. At last 
Abdur Razzak sallying out, cut them to pieces, spiked their 
guns and blew up their earthworks. He removed at leisure 
the beams and bags of earth used in building the mound 
and employed them successfully to repair such damage as 
the explosion of the mines had caused to the walls. Among 
the wounded was Firoz Jang, the commander of the be- 
sieging army. 

Disgusted at his repeated failure the emperor again 
had recourse to treachery. He made further overtures to 
Abdur Razzak, but received the reply that Abdur Razzak 
would fight to the death like the gallant men, who died 
round the prophet's grandson at Karbela. An Afghan 
named Abdulla Khan received Aurangzib's proposals more 
favourably. On the 27th September, 1687,* Abdulla Khan 
opened the gate over which he held command. The 
Moghuls passed through and overpowered the surprised 
garrison. But the loftj'' soul of Abdur Razzak refused to 
accept defeat. With only a dozen followers he threw him- 
self on the Moghul army. His followers were soon cut 
down. But Abdur Razzak's swordsmanship was as un- 
rivalled as his courage. Leaving behind him a lane of 
dead and dying, he cut his way through a thousand enemies; 
and with the blood streaming from seventy wounds he 
strove to reach the upper citadel, wherein he hoped to 
organise a fresh defence. But the dauntless spirit that 
had triumphed over ill-fortune, pain, nay even death itself, 
could no longer sustain the body's failing strength. He 
swayed in his saddle, then reeled and fell under a cocoanut 
tree in the garden of the citadel. Two days later he was 
found and carried to the house of Ruhulla Khan, who 
chivalrously cared for the fallen leader. In course of time 
Abdur Razzak recovered and, although at first he refused, 
'eventually accepted high office in the imperial army. 

Abu Hussein met calamity with the same spirit with 
which he had borne the siege. On hearing of Abdulla 

* Orme, p. 14. 



40 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

Klian's treachery, he went to his zanana and there took 
leave of his wives and asked their pajdon for any offences 
that he might inadvertently have committed. Then going 
to the great room where he had for many years held royal 
state, he seated himself on his throne and with unmoved 
face awaited the coming of the Moghul leaders. As they 
delayed, he sent for and ate his evening meal. When 
Ruhulla Khan, the first Moghul captain to enter the palace 
arrived, he greeted him with exquisite urbanity. When 
Azim Shah came he threw round his neck the rich pearl 
necklace that he himself was wearing. Escorted to 
Aurangzib's presence, so high was his bearing that he ex- 
torted from the conqueror civility, if not humanity. Like 
Sikandar Shah, Abu Hussein passed from a throne to a 
dungeon in Daulatabad, His treasures were valued at 
nearly seven millions sterling in coin alone. His jewels 
probably amounted to another million*. Of this sum one 
lakh only was diverted from the imperial treasury. Before 
Abu Hussein was sent to Daulatabad, he spent an evening 
listening to the imperial band. So pleased was he at the 
skill of the bandsmen that he said with a sigh that had he 
still been a king, he would have divided among them a 
hundred thousand rupees. The words were repeated to 
Aurangzib and he at once ordered the sum in question to 
be paid to the fortunate musicians, f 

The siege of Golconda, lasting as it did for eight months, 
caused to the imperialists vast losses both in men and 
material. Nor was there any real corresponding gain. 
The cost of the siege far exceeded the treasures found in 
the fort. The rich country round Golconda had been so 
plundered that it was no longer cultivated and it paid to 
Delhi very little of what it had formerly paid to the 
Kutbshahi kings. It is true that the prestige acquired by 
the conquest both of Bijapur and Golconda was immense, 
and the state maintained at this time by Aurangzib was 

*Khafi Khan. 
t Chitnis Bakhar, 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 41 

almost incredible. Vast stables full of horses accompanied 
the emperor on every march. Elephants carried the in- 
numerable ladies of his seraglio. Hundreds of cages con- 
taining every kind of bird and animal from ostriches and 
hawks to tigers and hunting cheetahs followed him to 
every camp. The canvas walls outside the royal tents 
were 1200 yards in circumference. Inside hung in profu- 
sion Persian carpets and tapestries, Chinese silks, Indian 
muslins, and cloth of gold, European satins, velvets and 
broadcloth. The privacj'^ of his zanana was as complete as 
in the Delhi fort, while the ceremonial observed in the 
camp Avas the same as that of the Diwan-i-Aam and the 
Diwan-i-Khas. In the midst of this pomp and splendour 
moved the grim and austere figure of the emperor. His 
personal expenditure cost the state not a single farthing. 
An old Islamic legend exists that once King David was 
vouchsafed a vision of an angel of the Lord and humbly 
expressed the hope that his government of Israel was 
pleasing in the eyes of his divine Master. The angel 
answered that it was, save in one particular. The king- 
implored forgiveness for his single deficiency and begged 
to be informed of it. "King David," said the angel, "the 
Lord is not pleased with you because instead of earning 
money for your own use, you defray your expenses from 
the State treasury". The king repented of his error and 
corrected it. From that time onwards he paid for his food 
by working in his leisure moments as a blacksmith. Bear- 
ing in mind the angelic rebuke, Aurangzib met his personal 
expenses by embroidering caps in his leisure moments. 
These he sold at a moderate price to the nobles of his 
court and spent the sum realised on the purchase of his 
food. The balance, if any, he distributed in charity*. 



* Miisulman blacksmiths still call them5.elves sometimes Daudkhanis or followers 
of King David. 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 
THE CAPTURE OF SAMBHAJI 

A. D. 1687 TO 1689 

The closing years of Sambhaji's life have long perplexed 
historians. For some months he would neglect his duties, 
suffer his armies to disperse, and his horses and elephants 
to die, for want of food, while he shut himself up in some 
fort or palace. Then he would once more appear at the 
head of his army and defeat the Moghul forces wherever 
he met them. The key to the riddle is this. Two opposing 
factions were ceaselessly struggling to obtain an influence 
over the king's mind. On the one side was Kalasha with his 
band of panders and harlots, trying to reduce the king 
to the imbecile inertness which suited their purpose. On 
the other side were Shivaji's old comrades, who were 
striving to rouse the noble and manly feelings not yet 
extinguished in Sambhaji's heart. Sometimes one faction, 
sometimes the other faction gained the victory, and the 
varying fortunes of the struggle were seen in the changing 
conduct of the king. 

Early in Sambhaji's reign a remarkable incident occurred. 
In 1681 Raghunathpant Hanmante, the governor of Jinji, 
and of Shivaji's southern conquests, arrived in state to pay 
his respects to the new king.* With him came five 
thousand cavalry and ten thousand infantry and a train of 

*Chitnis Bakhar. Grant Duff (vol. i. p. 263) writes that after the Durbar 
the king released Moro Pingle and Janardanpant. But Moro Pingle had been 
released at the coronation. Since Janardanpant was, according to the Chitnis 
Bakhar present at the banquet, he had probably been released at the same time. 
According to Mr. Sardesai (Riyasat, vol. I, p. 580) Moro Pingle died in this year. 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 43 

carts and elephants that carried between thirty and forty 
lakhs in gold coins, the surplus income of his province. 
Sambhaji received him in a specially prepared camp on 
the banks of the Birwadi river, and graciously accepted an 
invitation to a banquet. In return the king held a reception 
in Raghunathpant's honour, and invited to it the viceroy's 
brother, Janardanpant, the unlucky commander of the 
force that had invested Panhala. Among the other guests 
were Nilo Pingle, the Peshwa's son, Hambirrao Mohite the 
cavalry commander-in-chief, Netoji Palkar and Umaji Pant. 
After the king had thanked Raghunathpant for his care 
of the distant province, the latter rose to reply. But 
instead of the usual ceremonial words, Hanmante recited 
a formidable list of grievances against the new administration. 
"Why," asked the daring viceroy, "was the kingdom 
shrinking daily? Why was the Sidi still unsubdued? 
Why were the peasants discontented ? Why were Brahmans 
beheaded and not imprisoned? Why were not Sambhaji's 
enemies won over rather than executed? Why was the 
administration not in the king's hands instead of those of 
Kalasha?" Sambhaji bore the viceroy's rebuke with outward 
calmness, and merely protested that the labour and cost of 
the administration had grown since his father's death. But 
he deeply resented what he deemed Hanmante's breach of 
etiquette, and Kalasha did not fail to fan his resentment. 
Hanmante saw that it was no longer safe for him to remain 
at court. In a private interview he warned the king 
against the coming Moghul invasion, and begged him to 
meet it by an offensive and defensive alliance with Bijapur 
and Golconda. But his advice was treated with contempt; 
and a few days later he asked for and obtained leave to 
return to Jinji. On the way he fell ill and died. Never- 
theless, the courage and sincerity of the viceroy were not 
lost on the king; and the Maratha nobles added to the 
strictures of Hanmante their own respectful counsel. To 
their advice were no doubt due the vigour and activity 
o Sambhaji's early years. 



44 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

But Sambhaji had to fight an enemy from which his 
father had been free, namely, the treason of his own 
officers. I have already mentioned the great plot of the 
Shirkes, But the intrigues of Aurangzib and the intense 
dislike felt b}'^ the Marathas for Kalasha were the cause of 
many fresh conspiracies. Salher and even Ramsej, gallantly 
defended though it had been against Firoz Jang and Khan 
Jehan, fell in the end by treachery. In November, 1684,* 
two thousand of Sambhaji's cavalry tried to desert to the 
Moghuls. They obtained leave to bathe in the Godavari, 
the holy river that runs past Nasik. They intended to 
loiter there until they could conveniently join the Moghul 
army. But Sambhaji received information of their design 
and turning back, massacred them to a man. Such treachery, 
instead of furthering the Maratha cause, only led the king- 
to rely more and more on the smooth-tongued Kalasha. 
But the obvious peril which threatened the state on the 
fall of Bijapur and the siege of Golconda roused the king 
and enabled for the time Hambirrao Mohite to overcome 
the evil influence of the alien minister. In the preceding 
chapter I have mentioned the attacks of the Maratha horse 
on the army investing Golconda. But they were never 
pressed home; for the true Maratha policy was to prolong 
and not raise the siege. By lengthening the arduous 
campaign the Marathas would gain for themselves freedom 
to overrun the southern provinces of Bijapur and thereby 
increase in size and in resources the sanctuary which 
Shivaji's genius had made ready for his people. 

In 1687 Harji Mahadik was viceroy of the Maratha 
possessions in the south and south-east. To Harji Mahadik 
Shivaji had given in marriage Ambikabai, his daughter by 
his first wife Saibai, and Sambhaji's full sister. After the great 
southern campaign Harji Mahadik was made governor of 
the fort of Jinji. On Raghunathpant Hanmante's death 
Sambhaji raised Harji Mahadik to the post of viceroy of 
the south. Vyankoji, Shivaji's half brother and Raja of 

*Orme, p. 180. 




MAP OF SOUTHERN INDIA 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 45 

Tanjore had on Shivaji's death repudiated the suzerainty 
of the Maratha king and as Sikandar Shah's vassal had 
sent forces to aid him during the siege of Bijapur. Not 
only that, but he and his son Shahaji had added several of 
Shivaji's conquests to the State of Tanjore, To safeguard 
his possessions in southern India and above all the great 
fort of Jinji, Sambhaji in June 1687 sent to reinforce Harji 
Mahadik a body of twelve thousand horse under the com- 
mand of Keshav Pingle, Moro Pingle's brother, and a 
Maratha officer named Santaji Ghorpade. The latter was 
a distant connexion of the Ghorpade whose treachery to 
Shahaji was so terribly avenged by Shahaji's son. Mudhol 
was the fief of that branch of the Ghorpades. Another 
branch had established themselves at Kapshi and Mhaloji 
Ghorpade of Kapshi was the contemporary and friend of 
Shivaji whom he outlived for nine years. He died in 
Sambhaji's defence as captain of his guards. Mhaloji left 
three sons, Santaji, Bahirji and Maloji, and all three served 
in the armies of the great king. Santaji and Bahirji won 
distinction by taking Colar, Gajendragad and other strong 
places in the Carnatic. As their reward they received 
Gajendragad in fief. Kalasha had insinuated to Sambhaji 
that Harji Mahadik wished to make himself independent. 
Sambhaji, therefore, advised Keshav Pingle and Santaji 
Ghorpade to arrest Harji Mahadik and seize and hold Jinji 
in the king's name. Harji Mahadik harboured no disloyal 
feelings towards one, who was at once his brother-in-law 
and master. But his agents at court had warned him of 
the royal intention and he naturally regarded with dislike 
the commanders sent to reinforce him. Instead of co- 
operating with them cordially, he spent several weeks in 
strengthening his hold over Jinji fortress. The emperor 
who had learnt alike of the despatch of the troops and of 
the dissensions between the Maratha leaders, sent a force to 
attack Bangalore, still in Maratha hands. The straits to 
which Bangalore was soon reduced led Harji Mahadik and 
Keshav Pingle to forget their jealousies and march to its 



46 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

relief. But in August, 1687, it fell before the relieving 
army reached it. Harji Mahadik retired to Jinji and sent 
Keshav Pingle and Santaji Ghorpade with eighteen thousand 
horse to invade Mysore. 

After the battle of Talikot in 1564 and the subsequent 
break-up of the Vijayanagar kingdom the viceroy of 
Mysore had made himself an independent ruler, and had 
recently grown greatly in power. Harji Mahadik's design 
was to reduce Mysore to a Maratha possession while the 
Moghuls were still engaged in the siege of Golconda. But 
before he could achieve anything the military situation 
entirely changed. The fall of the beleaguered fortress 
had freed the Moghul army to conquer southern India. 
Nor was the emperor slow to profit by his success. Six 
thousand Moghul horse under Asad Khan seized the country 
from Masulipatam to the Palar river. The Golconda 
viceroy at Cuddapa on the north Pennar river at once 
accepted service under the conqueror. Nor were the Hindu 
governors of Canjeveram and Punamali less ready to 
secure their posts by changing sides. The latter, indeed, 
justified his conduct by a picturesque illustration. "The 
world", he said, "was constantly turning on its axis and 
altering the side which it presented to the sun. It was, 
therefore, not strange that an inhabitant of the world 
should follow so excellent an example." The Moghul suc- 
cesses produced among the Maratha leaders quarrels and 
despondency. Harji Mahadik recalled Keshav Pingle and 
ordered him to invade the countries on the eastern coast 
between the North Pennar and the Palar rivers and to 
drive out the Moghul garrisons and partisans. Keshav 
Pingle refused to obey Harji Mahadik's orders. So Mahadik 
with great daring sent instead, a part of the Jinji garrison. 
The governor of Punamali true to his principle, once more 
revolved on his axis and owned Sambhaji as his suzerain. 
The rest of the province followed suit and the small 
Maratha force without difficulty collected the revenues of 
Punamali, Arcot and Canjeveram. 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 47 

At the same time Sambhaji had not been idle. After 
the fall of Bijapur he had obtained a great accession of 
valuable troops. Aurangzib received coldly the Maratha 
leaders in the Bijapur service. On the other hand, the 
Daphles, the Manes, the Ghatges, the Nimbalkars, who had 
loyally stood by the falling dynasty had no wish to serve 
under the treacherous and bigoted emperor. They there- 
fore brought to the Maratha king their skill and experience 
and their considerable feudal contingents. His army thus 
reinforced, Sambhaji swept through the Bijapur provinces 
south of Panhala, and before the end of 1687 had reduced 
a hundred and twenty strong places and important towns. 
Nor did Keshav Pingle long remain mutinous. Ashamed 
at Harji Mahadik's easy success, and fearing the just 
reprimand of his indignant master, he took Santaji with 
him into the conquered seaboard. They occupied it with 
their troops and enabled Harji Mahadik to recall his 
garrison to Jinji. 

Thus at the end of 1687 Aurangzib realised that his 
gigantic efforts to subdue Bijapur and Golconda had added 
to Sambhaji's possessions, provinces as large as he had 
added to his own. Losing for once his self-control, the 
emperor vowed in a passion that he would not return to 
Delhi until he had seen Sambhaji's bleeding head weltering 
at his feet*. Nor was he long content with mere threats 
of vengeance. In February 1688 twelve thousand Moghul 
horse and a large number of local levies under Mahomed 
Sidik entered the Carnatic sea-board to drive out the 
Marathas. On their approach the Marathas retired from 
Canjeveram to a line of forts on both sides of the Palar 
river and the Moghuls occupied Punamali and Wandewash. 
The Moghul commander deemed it useless to besiege the 
Maratha strongholds. On the other hand, the Maratha 
commanders feared a pitched battle with the victorious 
Moghul cavalry. So both armies avoided each other and 
contented themselves with ravaging the countryside and 

*Orme, p. 201. 



48 A HISTORY OF THE MARATJIA PEOPLE 

robbing and torturing the unfortunate peasantry. While 
Aurangzib thus neutralised the Maratha successes in the 
south-east, he did not overlook the advantages of carrying 
war into the enemy's country. In December 1687 he sent 
Sarja Khan, a Bijapur officer, who had joined the Moghuls, 
to recover the western provinces of Bijapur. At first 
successful, Sarja Khan recovered the open country and 
penetrated the Krishna valley as far as Wai. There his 
army met the fate that had befallen Afzul Khan's. Hambirrao 
Mohite sent by Siimbhaji to oppose Sarja Khan drew him 
into the dense forests round Mahableshwar and after a 
fierce struggle gained a decisive victory. But severe as 
the disaster was to the Moghuls, the victorious Marathas 
suffered an even greater loss. Among those slain in the 
battle of Wai \v£ls the gallant Hambirrao Mohite. The 
warworn cavalr}^ leader added to skilful generalship an 
intimate knowledge of the Deccan and Konkan hills. On 
the battle-field tlie sound of the veteran's voice was worth 
fifty squadrons. In the council chamber he alone ventured 
to beard the infamous Kalasha or recall to his master a 
fitting sense of his exalted duties. Had Hambirrao lived, 
it is probable that with his hold firmly established on 
Jinji and with the resources of much of southern India at 
his command, Sambhaji would have repelled the Moghul 
offensive. But on Hambirrao Mohite's death Kalasha 
became all powerful and Sambhaji became more and more 
a slave to profligacy and intemperance ; and the effects of 
the king's vice and sloth were soon visible in the disasters 
of his armies. 

The Moghul troops recovered the Bijapur and Golconda 
provinces recently occupied by the Marathas, including 
Punamali, of which the volatile governor, completing his 
revolutions, adhered finally to the Moghul cause. At the 
same time Aurangzib's armies issuing from their head- 
quarters at Bijapur swept through the Maratha Deccan 
and reduced Shivaji's line of fortresses between Tathavda 
and Panhala. It is interesting to note that in this campaign 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 49 

an outburst of bubonic plague caused severe loss to the 
imperial army.* It had been imported from Ahmadabad 
and Surat, but it disappeared when the emperor moved his 
camp from Bijapur to Akluj in the Sholapur district. 
Aurangzib resolved to take one after the other the Maratha 
strongholds above the Sahyadris. Nevertheless so long as 
Sambhaji remained at Raygad the emperor's successes 
could not be decisive. That was the heart of the Maratha 
kingdom. Therein lay Shivaji's treasures, his trophies and 
his relics. It was there that the Maratha leaders gathered 
to worship the departed hero. So long as the Maratha 
sovereign dwelt at Raygad the Maratha spirit would live 
and the embers of Maratha independence burn unexting- 
uished. Raygad, if properly defended, was impregnable. 
The giant crag rising out of the Konkan to a height of 
nearly tour thousand feet defied alike the Moghul engineers 
and the imperial artillery. But in the rainy season the 
climate of Raygad is unpleasant. The monsoon bursts 
over it with exceptional violence and from June to Sep- 
tember its summit is veiled in fog and mist. To Kalasha 
born and bred in the Gangetic valley, its climate was 
peculiarly repellent. He therefore induced Sambhaji in 
the summer of 1688 to exchange the shelter of Ra5'-gad for 
the comforts of Sangameshwar, f a small township twenty 
miles north of Vishalgad and twenty-two miles north-east 
of Ratnagiri. It is built at the 'sangam' or junction of the 
Alaknanda and Varuna rivers and as the name implies, is 
sacred to the god Shiva. There Kalasha had built himself 
a palace surrounded by beautiful gardens and for the 
summer months he placed it at the king's disposal. The 
family mansion of the Sardesais§ was offered him for the 
rainy season. Trusting to the forests that lay between 
Sangameshwar and the Moghul forces, Sambhaji passed 



*Khafi Khan. 

f Place names ending in 'esluvui' imply that the spot is sacred to tiie god 
Shiva. 

§See appendix. 

4 



50 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

the monsoon of 1688 in an orgy of every kind of intemper- 
ance. Nor would any evil result have ensued, had he 
amended his ways when the rains died down. But the 
minister, unwilling to return to Raygad, artfully detained 
his master by the constant addition of new beauties to his 
zenana. At last he induced Sambhaji to seize the comely 
bride of a Maratha noble on the way to join her husband.* 
Thereafter it is probable that he persuaded his master to 
linger on at Sangameshwar until the storm raised by his 
act had abated. However this may be, the ill-fated king 
instead of returning in September to his impregnable 
stronghold lingered on in Sangameshwar until the last 
days of December 1688. This delay proved his ruin. 

Among the nobles who, during the siege of Golconda 
deserted king Abu Hussein was Shaikh Nizam Haidarabadi.§ 
As a soldier he had a high reputation and as the reward 
of his treachery, he received the command of five thousand 
horse. His son Iklas Khan was made a commander of four 
thousand. In the cold weather of 1688 father and son were 
sent by Aurangzib to besiege Panhala. Another force under 
Firoz Jang was sent to take the fortresses round Raygad and 
after isolating that fortress, to reduce it by famine. But 
Shaikh Nizam was an enterprising soldier and hearing 
reports of Sambhaji's inactivity at Sangameshwar, he con- 
ceived the daring plan of seizing the king in his own 
chosen hiding place. He first secured hillmen who knew 
the paths through the wild forests that surround it. Then 
starting from Kolhapur with his son Iklas Khan, his 
nephews and two or three thousand horsemen, he rode at 
full speed for Sangameshwar. Where the paths were too 
steep for the horses, their riders alighted, but they rested 
only so long as was needed to save their animals from 
exhaustion. Behind the raiding party followed at a more 
leisurely pace, two thousand horse and a thousand trained 

*Orme, p. 107. 

ijKhafi Khan and Scott's Deccan. His other name was Makanab Khan not 
Tukurrib Khan as given by lirant J)nff. 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 51 

infantry. They were Shaikh Nizam's supports in case the 
scheme failed. It was impossible that so large a force 
should entirely escape notice, and on the morning of the 
28th December scouts brought to the king word that a 
body of Moghul horse were approaching at full gallop. 
But Sambhaji was sleeping off the previous night's debauch 
and referred him to Kalasha. "Kalasha is a magician," 
said the drunken king, "and he will by his magic destroy 
our enemies." The scouts tried in vain to make the king 
realise his danger; but Sambhaji losing all patience drove 
them from his room, threatening to cut off their noses, if 
they told him any more wild tales of Moghul horsemen. 
The scouts went to the officers of the king's guard. They 
saw Shaikh Nizam only a mile or so away and implored 
the king to dress, promising him that they would cut a way 
for him to the shelter of Raygad. But nothing could 
rouse Sambhaji from his drunken stupor. Little time was 
now left; for the Moghul squadrons were circling round 
the village or galloping at breakneck pace through the 
streets to the palace. Some Maratha officers, despairing 
of their king, took flight and succeeded in reaching Raygad. 
Others faithful unto death remained by their master.* 
When Shaikh Nizam saw fugitives leaving Sangameshwar, 
he sent on Iklas Khan and his fastest troops with a letter 
in which he offered to enter into negotiations with the 
king. By this ruse Shaikh Nizam hoped to detain Sambhaji 
until he could arrive with the main body. But no ruse 
was needed. The king slumbered on, heedless alike of 
war or peace. Iklas Khan presented his letter to the 
sentries; but learning that the king was still inside the 
palace, he forced his way in. Such guards as resisted 
were at once cut down. Kalasha shewed unsuspected 
courage. He fought until an arrow pierced his right arm, 
when he fell to the ground. Sambhaji whom his attendants 
had forced to mount his horse, immediately dismounted 

* Among those who died fighting for Sambhaji was Mhaloji Ghorpade, the 
c.'iptiiin of his guards and father of Santaji Ghorpade. 

4* 



52 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

and carried Kalasha to a little temple of Shiva attached to 
the palace. There the king-, as his father had done at 
Mathura, tried to escape in the guise of a Shivaite ascetic. 
The priests had the king's hair and beard rapidly shaved 
and smeared him with ashes. There was, however, no 
time for the king to conceal his ornaments; and when 
Iklas Khan saw on this strange ascetic a pearl necklace, 
he at once seized his person. On Shaikh Nizam's arrival 
Sambhaji admitted his identity. He was put in chains 
and when the supports arrived he was seated on an 
elephant alongside of Shaikh Nizam. Other elephants 
carried Kalasha and the remaining prisoners taken by the 
raiders and the victorious procession started for the 
emperor's camp. (28th December 1688.) 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 53 



APPENDIX 

The date of Sambhaji's capture is a controversial (lucslion and has been very 
ably discussed by Mr. Pandurang Narsing Patwardhan. Grant Duff has not given 
the date of Sambhaji's capture, but he has given as the dnte of his execution the 
beginning of August 1689. Grant Duff, however, did not arrive at this date by 
independent enquiry. He followed Orme. In Note Ixxviii to his "Historical 
fragments of the Mogliul I'^mpire" Orme has given his reasons. A letter written 
by the Government of ^ladras to the Company at home, dated the 20th July, 1689, 
makes no mention of Sambhaji's death. But the abstract of a letter dated August 
?7th contains the following: — 

" Have news from the ^Moors' camp, their forces had surprized Sambhaji, 
brought him prisoner to the Moghul : was mounted on a camel, his eyes put out 
and beheaded; his quarters dispersed as a traitor." 

If twenty days be allowed for the coming of the news Samlihiiji must have 
been taken at the end of June or the beginning of July. If it be assumed that 
the Madras Government did not at once write to the Company on receiving the 
news, Sambhaji was probably executed towards the end of .July or the beginning 
of August. With all respect to that eminent historian, his reasoning, able though 
it be, is more or less in the nature of surmise. Against it we have the date of 
Sambhaji's capture given by the Maisur-i-Alamgiri as the 28th December (see 
footnote to p. 312, vol. II Storiado Mogor). This date finds support in the climate 
of Sangameshwar. The country round Vishalgad would in August be impossible 
to cavalry. The rainfall in August is extremely heavy and the forest paths are 
raging torrents. The king, tlierefore, must have been captured some time in the 
cold weather. Mr. Sarkar (vol. LV., p. 401) finds' that he was captured as late as 
the end of January, 1689. The real date appears to have been •28th December 
1689. (See Burgess, p. 132.) 

The residence of Sambhaji in the house of the Sai'desais is established by the 
letter 289 of vol. 20 of Mi-. Rajwade's collection. It is a letter written by one of 
the Sardesais, the family who owned the village of Sangameshwar and the house 
where Sambhaji was lal«r. Long after the occurrence a question arose whether the 
house was their private pi-operty or state property, and in this letter Sardesai 
claimed that the house was his- The letter contains this important passage: — 

' ' Our mansion at Sangameshwar is an hereditary jiroperty. His Highness the 
late Sambhaji of blessed memory, when harassed by the ;Moghnls and misled by 
K abji (Kalasha) went to Sangameshwar. His Highness passed the summer of Shake 
1610 near our mansion, then the rainy season passed. Afterwards there was a great 
disturbance everywhere. Seeing that our mansion w:is a spacious building His 
Highness, after consulting us, occupied it. Two and a half months later Shaikh 
Nizam, subedar of the Moghuls, seized him". 



CHAPTER XXIX 

THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 
DEATH OF SAMBHAJI AND REGENCY OF RAJARAM 

A. D. 1689 

As soon as he found leisure, Shaikh Nizam sent a formal 
despatch to Aurangzib, informing him of his brilliant feat 
of arms. But the news had already been conveyed by 
news writers to the imperial camp. Everywhere there was 
immense rejoicing. The regular troops looked forward to 
a speedy peace and a triumphant return to the capital. 
The Rajput contingents hoped that they would soon see 
again the wild plains of Jodhpur or those gloomy fastnesses 
in the Aravallis from which chief after chief of Udaipur 
had defied successfully the Moghul arms. The nobles of 
Bijapur and Golconda, now officers in the imperial service 
looked forward to the enjoyment of the fiefs acquired by 
their recent treachery. The wretched peasantry hoped 
that after years of warfare they would for a time, at anj-- 
rate, get a breathing space in which to repair the havoc 
caused by the contending armies. During the five days 
that it took Shaikh Nizam to go from Sangameshwar to 
Akluj' the countryside hardly slept at all, so busy were 
they celebrating the success and getting ready a welcome 
for the hero who had achieved it. Nor was the emperor 
niggardly in the bestowal of honours. He sent to a point 
four miles from Akluj a large body of troops to escort in 



*Khafi Khan. Akluj is on the north of the river Nira. Grant Duff writes 
that the emperor had by this time moved to Tulapur. Scott's Deccan gives 
Bahadurgad. The Maratha chi-oniclcrs do not give the place where the emperor 
first saw Sambhaji. They mention Tulapur as the place of execution. I think 
that Khafi Khan is right and that Akluj was the spot to which Sambhaji was 
first taken. The emperor shortly afterwards moved to Tulapur. 



w 







0^^^ 






»i*«fc«^»-.j*i#" 



SHAIKH NIZAM HYDRABADI 



[To face page 54] 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 55 

triumph the general and his prisoners. As the procession 
neared the camp, it passed through densely crowded lanes 
and streets, while a vast multitude of both sexes gazed 
from the roofs on the spectacle of successful daring and 
fallen majesty. 

The events of the last few days had sobered the king; 
and free from the fumes of wine and the evil influence of 
Kalasha, he recovered the courage with which nature had 
abundantly endowed him. With undaunted brow he 
returned the gaze of the spectators and met their gibes 
and jeers with scornful indifference. Once or twice he 
begged the Rajput soldiers whom he passed to kill him 
and so spare him further humiliation. But though they 
pitied deeply Sambhaji's condition, they yet feared more 
deeply still the wrath of the inexorable emperor. Aurangzib 
had summoned a durbar and into the assembly room filled 
with the captains of Delhi and the nobles of Rajasthan, 
Sambhaji and Kalasha were brought. As they entered, 
Aurangzib descended from his throne and humbly bowed 
his head, to shew his gratitude to the Almighty. Kalasha 
profited by the occasion to display a wit and courage, 
that half redeemed his honour. His hands were so tightly 
bound that he could not stir them. His head was so 
fastened that he could not move it. Nevertheless he 
succeeded in catching his master's eye and quoted to him 
a Hindi couplet of which the meaning was as follows : — 

"O Raja, at the sight of thee King Alamgir (the official 
title of Aurangzib) cannot keep his seat, but has perforce 
descended from it to do thee honour." 

The emperor had not as yet determined the fate of his 
captives. He ordered their removal to prison and turned 
to the more pleasing task of rewarding their captors. He 
gave Shaikh Nizam the titles of Khan Jaman (the chief of 
the time) and Fateh Jang (the victorious in battle). He 
bestowed on him an immediate grant of Rs. 50,000 and a 
horse and an elephant from the imperial stables; and he 
raised his command from one of five thousand to one of 



56 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

six thousand horse. Iklas Khan was promoted from a 
command of four thousand to one of five thousand, and 
all Shaikh Nizam's nephews who had taken part in the 
expedition received rewards. For some weeks after the 
Durbar the emperor discussed the situation with his leading 
advisers. They pressed Aurangzib to spare Sambhaji's 
life, on condition that he ordered his officers to surrender 
the fortresses still held by the Marathas. At first Aurangzib 
seems to have inclined to this merciful course, foreign 
though it was to his nature. But Sambhaji steadily refused 
to accept these shameful terms. With a courage un- 
surpassed by his father, he told the imperial messengers 
that he did not trust the emperor's word and that 
even were it kept, he for his part preferred death to 
lifelong captivity. At last, weary of their importunityf 
he broke out into passionate abuse both of the emperor 
and of the prophet whom he revered. When his speech 
was reported to Aurangzib, the emperor gladly made it 
an excuse to reject the humane suggestions of his nobles. 
He moved his camp to Tulapur, a town sixteen miles 
north-east of Poona, built near the spot where the Indryani 
river flows into the Bhima. It was at one time known as 
Nangargaon but Avas changed by Shahaji, Shivaji's father, 
to Tulapur, or the place of weighing. One day, so the 
story runs, Shahaji wished to weigh an elephant belonging 
to his friend, Murar Jagdev, the minister of Bijapur.* The 
latter had made a vow to distribute in charity the weight 
in silver of his riding elephant. In vain the learned men 
of the Adil Shahi court racked their brains to devise a 
pair of scales strong enough to bear the animal. Shahaji's 
ingenious mind solved the problem. He put the elephant 
in a flat bottomed boat on the Indryani river. Marking 
the waterline on the boat he had the beast removed and 
the boat filled with stones, until it again sank to the 
former waterline. Lastly removing the stones he weighed 

*See vol. 1, p. 143 and Wilkes' Mysore, vol. 1., p. 156. 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 57 

them and thus correctly, if laboriously, ascertained the 
weight of Murar Jagdev's elephant. 

The emperor resolved to make Tulapur memorable to 
the Maratha people by a spectacle far more terrible than 
the weighing of an elephant. He had Sambhaji and his 
favourite Kalasha dressed in the garb of wandering 
anchorites. In their hands they carried rattles and on 
their heads were caps sewn with bells. They were then 
tied on camels with their faces to the tail. In this guise 
they were led in triumph through the market place of 
Tulapur. After he had feasted his eyes on the degradation 
of his enemy, the emperor sent Sambhaji a message that 
even j^et he would spare his life if he accepted Islam. 
Sambhaji, fearless to the last, met insult with insult. He 
replied scornfully that if the emperor gave him in marriage 
his daughter, he would turn Musulman, but not otherwise. 
To this reply he added several words in praise of the god 
Shiva and in foul scorn of Mahomed. On learning 
Sambhaji's answer, Aurangzib determined to give full rein 
to his vindictive temper. He had Sambhaji brought be- 
neath his throne and there ordered his tongue to be cut 
out as a punishment for his blasphemy. His eyes were 
gouged out of their sockets by the court surgeon. His 
heart was torn out, his limbs separated from his body and 
all save his head thrown as food to the village dogs of 
Tulapur.* After Sambhaji, Kalasha and the other prisoners 
were tortured to death. Finally the heads of the king 
and his minister were stuffed with straw and paraded by 
beat of drum in all the chief cities of the Deccan. (11th 
March 1689.) f 

So died at the age of 32 the eldest son of Shivaji. The 
misfortunes of his reign are chiefly to be traced to his 
own treason to his father. But for that the great king 
would never have been estranged from him. Nor would 
Soyarabai and her Shirke kinsmen have dared to plot 

*Orme: the Shedgavkar Bakhar; Khafi Khan. 
t Burgess gives the date as 14th March 1680. 



58 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

his supersession by Rajaram. Their sedition led him to 
trust Kalasha rather than his own subjects and in the end 
enslaved him to a lewd and scheming priest, Maratha 
chroniclers have painted Sambhaji as a monster of iniquity. 
But the king was not that; and in other circumstances his 
career might have been very different. Although he spent 
most of his life campaigning, he was by no means averse 
from study. He employed a learned man called Keshav 
Pandit Adhyaksh, a friend of the great king, to read with him 
Valmiki's celebrated epic the Ramayan. As a reward, he 
gave Keshav in 1684 A. d. sixteen hundred small silver 
coins known as ladis. The king was moreover no mean 
versifier. He is known to have written two books of Hindi 
poetry, Tlie first was called Nakhshikh, in which he 
described the pleasures of love. The second was named 
Nayakabhad. In it he sang the varying charms of the 
beauties who beguiled his leisure moments. His excesses, 
both in wine and women, never blinded him wholly to the 
claims of religion. In a letter, written in 1688 a. D., which 
is still extant, he rebuked severely a subedar, for trying 
to extort money from the temple of Morya Gosavi at 
Chinch wad. "What need have you," wrote the angry king- 
to his subordinate, "to raise trouble in the village of 
Chinehwad? How can the king suffer such conduct? If 
you continue in your evil courses, there will be no 
forgiveness for you. He who raises trouble like this will 
die at the king's hands." 

In caste matters Sambhaji had the liberal views of the 
soldier. A certain Brahman, by name Gangadhar Rangnath, 
Kulkarni of Harsul, was in the service of the Moghuls. 
Incurring their displeasure, he was forcibly converted to 
Islam and compelled to eat and drink with his new 
coreligionists. After his conversion he was again restored 
to favour and raised to high office. In course of time he 
amassed a fortune, but as he grew old he wished to re- 
enter the faith of his ancestors. He abandoned his wealth 
to his oppressors and making his way to Raygad, he begged 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 59 

Sambhaji to help him. To the strictly orthodox Gangadhar 
Rangnath had sinned bej'^ond hope of pardon. But Sambhaji 
by using his influence induced the priesthood to prescribe 
a penance by which he might once more become a Brahman. 
The penance prescribed was no light one. The unhappy 
pervert was ordered to walk three hundred and sixty times 
round a holy mountain and make two pilgrimages to 
distant shrines. Gangadhar Rangnath, however, performed 
the penance. The king thereafter obtained the signatures 
of a number of leading Brahmans to a document, that 
pronounced the sinner to be pure and declared that any 
who doubted his purity was himself guilty of an offence, 
not only against the Brahmans, but against the gods them- 
selves.* 

That Sambhaji committed grave faults cannot be denied; 
yet great as they were, his punishment was greater still ; 
and when the Maratha leaders heard of his cruel execution 
of his dauntless bearing in the face of torture, of the 
courage with which he had silently borne hideous torments, 
all resentment against the king left their breasts. They 
remembered only the gallant youth who had seized 
Janardanpant at Panhala, had defeated Alvor at Phonda 
and had hunted from the Konkan the shattered army of 
Shah Alam. 

To decide what steps should now be taken, the Maratha 
leaders assembled at Raygad. Sambhaji had left a widow 
Yesubai and a son Shivaji. Yesubai like Soyarabai was a 
daughter of the patrician house of Shirke. Her maiden 
name had been Jiubai, which she changed according to 
Hindu custom on her marriage. Her father was Pilaji 
Shirke. She was married to Sambhaji in December 1G67 
shortly after the prince's return from Delhi. Her son 
Shivaji had been born in December 1680 (Margshirsh Sud 
10, 1602), shortly after Sambhaji's accession; and in honour 
of his birth Sambhaji had given large sums in charity and 
had completed the dam of a lake left unfinished by his 

"Rajvado's Itihasachi Sadhane, vol. V. 



60 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

father. Yesubai with prince Shivaji at her side presided 
at the council and round her sat a group of men, whose 
names were in the next few years to become immortal. 
Santaji Ghorpade's origin has already been related. Next 
to him sat Dhanaji Jadav, a cousin of the prince. In 1629, 
as it Avill be remembered*, Lakhaji Jadav the father of 
Jijabai, was assassinated at Dauiatabad at the order of 
Murtaza Nizam Shah the second. With him perished his 
son, Achaloji. Achaloji left an infant son named Santaji 
whom Jijabai adopted as her own. He grew up the companion 
of Sambhaji, Shivaji's eldest brother and fell with him before 
the walls of Kanakgiri. Santaji left a son called Shambhu- 
sing whom Shivaji brought up. Shambhusing's only son was 
the renowned Dhanaji Jadav. He was already distinguished 
by his courage and soldierly talents and had won the praise 
and esteem of Prataprao Guzar. Beyond Dhanaji sat 
Khanderao Dabhade. He was the son of Yeshpatil Dabhadef 
a small landowner of Talegaon Dabhade, a village on the 
road between Poona and Bombay. Yeshpatil had for some 
years been the personal attendant of Shivaji and afterwards 
of Rajaram. Yeshpatil's two sons, Khanderao and Shivaji 
first entered the service of the royal family; then thej^ 
received commands in the army. Shivaji afterwards lost 
his life in saving Rajaram's. Khanderao Dabhade lived to 
conquer Guzarat. 

Beyond the martial faces of the Maratha captains could 
be seen the thoughtful brows of the Brahman and Prabhu 
statesmen. Hanmante was there, now fully restored to the 
royal favour. Beyond him sat Pralhad Niraji, the son of 
Niraji Ravaji, Shivaji's Sar Nyayadhish or Chief Justice. 
Beyond him again were Khando Ballal Chitnis and 
Ramchandra Nilkanth Bavdekar. Khando Ballal was the 
younger son of Balaji Avaji Chitnis, the great king's 
private secretary. His father and his elder brother had 
at Sambhaji's orders been trampled to death under the 

* See vol. 1., p. 124. 
■\ Dabhade Bakhar. 



THE GREAT MOCxHUL OFFENSIVE 61 

feet of an elephant. Khando and his brother Nilo were 
then children. Their lives were spared, but they were 
confined and their property confiscated. They found a 
friend in Sambhaji's queen Yesubai. She pitied the orphans' 
fallen state. Her prayers induced Sambhaji to release 
them, but Kalasha's malice prevented the return of their 
property. The kindly queen supported the children from 
her own private purse. Her generosity effaced from 
Khando Ballal's mind the memory of the king's injustice 
and his life was spent in the royal service. During the 
siege of Goa he saved Sambhaji from drowning, and in 
return received his father's office of Chitnis or private 
secretary, Mlo who feared Sambhaji's vindictive temper, 
left, as soon as he could, the court for Jinji and took 
service with Harji Raje Mahadik, a fast friend of Balaji 
Avaji. 

Ramchandra Nilkanth Bavdekar was the Pant Amatya 
or finance minister. He came of a family, who for four 
generations had served the house of Bhosle. His great- 
grandfather Noropant had served Maloji. His grandfather 
Sono or Sondev Narayan had been left with Jijibai at 
Shivner by Shahaji, when he himself went south in the 
service of the king of Bijapur. Sondev Narayan's two 
sons Nilkanth and Abaji had been the lifelong companions 
of Shivaji. In 1644 Nilkanth had distinguished himself 
in the capture of Tala and Gossala and in 1647 Shivaji 
had made him his muzumdar or the head of his finances. 
To the younger brother Abaji Shivaji had entrusted the 
expedition that achieved the capture of Kalyan from Mulana 
Ahmad. Nilkanth died in 1672 a. d. and on his death 
Shivaji promoted his eldest son Naropant to be muzumdar 
in his father's place. But the young man's mind turned 
rather to the future than the present. Much as the great 
king respected him, he could not keep an anchorite as his 
finance minister. At his coronation the king transferred 
the charge from Naropant to his younger brother 
Ramchandra. He altered his title from Muzumdar to its 



62 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

Sanskrit equivalent Amatya, That office Ramchandra had 
held with distinction through Sambhaji's troubled reign 
to the present time. 

Deeply incensed at the cruelties inflicted on the dead 
king, none present thought of making peace with the 
Moghuls, The first question discussed was which member 
of the Bhosle house was best fitted to succeed Sambhaji 
and avenge his death. Should prince Shivaji be crowned 
and Yesubai appointed regent? Should Shivaji be 
crowned and Rajaram appointed regent? Yesubai herself 
suggested a solution of the problem. "Let there be no 
coronation ceremony," she said, "but let Shivaji be consi- 
dered king and Rajaram regent." This question decided, 
the council debated on the plan of campaign. Pralhad 
Niraji's weighty eloquence won alike the minds of the 
statesmen and the soldiers. Discipline siiould be at 
once restored to the army, and Shivaji's regulations 
as to the deposit of all plunder in the royal treasury, 
strictly enforced. The forts should be re-armed with 
artillery and their walls repaired. They should be amply 
provisioned and strongly garrisoned. While the Moghuls 
wasted their time in sieges, a field army should be formed 
by local levies and reinforcements from the Carnatic. Let 
Rajaram command the army, while Yesubai and prince 
Shivaji remained behind the impregnable defences of 
Ray gad. 

When Pralhad's plan had been approved, Rajaram rose 
to address the queen and her council. He had been born 
in 1661 and was thus in his twenty-ninth year, but the 
great king was ten years younger when he planned the 
liberation of the Maratha people. In every quality save 
experience, Rajaram was eminently fitted to bear the 
mighty burden now placed upon his shoulders. His person 
was noble and commanding, his manners courteous and 
pleasing. From the accession of Sambhaji and the failure 
of Soyarabai's plot, he had lived a prisoner in Ra5'gad 
His confinement had been neither close nor harsh. But' 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 63 

snares lay all around him and his every word was reported 
to his jealous brother. A single false step would have 
ruined him, but like his contemporary, William of Nassau, 
he learned so to bridle his tongue, that it never disclosed 
the secrets of his heart. A captive during adolescence, he 
was not exposed to the temptations that ruined Sambhaji. 
Thus when called upon to save his father's kingdom, he 
brought to his task a cautious, discerning mind, a vigour 
unimpaired by vice and a spirit that no danger could 
appal, no disaster dismay. 

Part of Rajaram's speech has been preserved.* He 
begged his hearers to abandon any resentment that they 
still might have against the dead king. Let their thoughts 
dwell on Shivaji rather than on his son, and let them 
transfer to the young prince all the love and loyalty which 
they or their fathers had once felt for the great king. 
For, in truth, their young sovereign was the reincarnation 
of the dead hero. Had not Shivaji foretold that he would 
be born again as Yesubai's son?t Had not Bhavani told 
Shivaji that his namesake would rule long and gloriously 
and conquer all India from Attock to Rameshwaram? "I am 
but the prince's servant;" continued Rajaram, "you must, 
it is true, give me your obedience, but your loyalty and 
devotion you must keep for my master. Do but this and 
I am confident that we shall not only save the kingdom, 
but bring to pass the prophecy of the goddess". With 
these inspiring words he bound himself by an oath to 
serve the prince diligently and faithfully. The other 
councillors did likewise and left the council chamber. 
That evening Rajaram and his two wives left Raygad. He 
had been first married to Jankibai, a daughter of Prataprao 
Gujar, but she had died in giving birth to a daughter 
named Soyarabai, afterwards the wife of Bajaji Nimbalkar 
of Phaltan. Thereafter Rajaram married two ladies, one 
the famous Tarabai, the daughter of Hambirrao Mohite; 

* Chitnis Bakhar. 

t This prophecy is to be found at the en<l of the Sabhasad l?akhar. 



64 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

the other Rajasbai, daughter of Ghatge of Kagal. With 
Rajaram went Pralhad Niraji, Khando Ballal Chitnis, 
Santaji Ghorpade, Dhanaji Jadav and Khanderao Dabhade. 
Before descending the sides of the steep cliff, Rajaram 
paid a last visit to Yesubai. They had always been 
attached to each other and Yesubai's kindness had done 
much to soften the rigours of Rajaram's prison. He laid 
his head at her feet and his voice broke. But the brave 
lady sternly repressed her own sorrow, and, placing her 
hand on Rajaram's head, said to him, "There is no cause 
for grief. Victory will surely be yours and you will re- ' 
conquer your father's kingdom". Rajaram rose, embraced 
prince Shivaji, and said farewell. 

Just as Shivaji would have done, Rajaram first went 
to Pratapgad to invoke the blessing of Bhavani. But as 
he went, he inspected the fortresses that lay on the road 
and had them provisioned and armed. Everywhere the 
garrisons hailed with enthusiasm his advent. The charm 
of his address won all their hearts and from his name 
men drew a fortunate omen. Through the countryside the 
saying ran that just as in olden times Raja Ram of Ayodhya 
had conquered the demons of Lanka, so the new Raja Ram 
would drive from the land the demons of Delhi. At 
Pratapgad the prince prostrated himself before Bhavani's 
image and prayed earnestly for her benediction. When 
he had ended his prayer, so the story runs, a handful of 
flowers fell from the goddess' hand upon the young man's 
head. The prince, confident that he had been vouchsafed a sign, 
gathered the flowers and left Pratapgad filled with fresh 
hopes. His next visit was to Ramdas' shrine at Parali. 
Ramdas had died in 1681 ^nd after his death Sambhaji 
had erected on the summit of Parali a shrine in his honour. 
He had also allotted money for an utsav or religious 
festival, from the first to the tenth of the dark half of the 
Hindu month of Magh, in remembrance of the saint's death. 
The conduct of the festival he had assigned to Akka, a 
child widow, whom Ramdas had taken as a disciple. Akka 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 65 

received the prince and led him to the shrine, where lay 
exposed for worship the sandals worn by the saint. Be- 
neath them Rajaram prayed to the dead man's spirit to 
give him counsel no less precious than that which during 
his life he had given to the great king. Here again, so it 
is said, flowers fell on the prince as a token that his prayer 
had been heard. Akka picked them up and put them with 
a cocoanut into Rajaram's hands. Sure now of the goddess' 
help and the saint's advice, the prince bent all his energies 
to the task before him.* 

"Chitnis Bakhar and Ramdas Chaiitra. The festival to Ilamdas begun by 
Sambhaji is still observed. Ramdas died on the 9th of the dark half, Magh, 
Shake 1603. 



66 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 



APPENDIX 1 

Letter written at Sambhaji's orders to Krishnaji Dada 

Deshpande. It gives an insight into the frank, 

impetuous character of Sambhaji. 

• As a watandar, it was your duty to be faithful to the master whose salt yon 
had eaten so long; yet you joined the Moghuls when they came here a short time 
ago. But j'our brother Shivaji who has also joined the Moghuls is your enemy. 
Thus you had better have stayed with the king. You would thereby have shewn 
your good faith and loyalty. Still it matters not. Stay with the Moghuls if you 
still want to do so. Who cares what you do? But remember that whenever we 
decide to do so, we shall cut you and the Moghuls, your friends, to pieces in no 
time. If you really should care to join the king, do not send messages to the 
commandants of our forts. We cannot permit this. If you have any message to 
send us, send it direct. We shall then consider what you say and issue ordci-s as 
we think fit Do not write to other people, address us in pei-son. " 

Paras}ns Papers, quoted in the Riyasat. 



APPENDIX II 

The following is the genealogical tree of Ramchandra Nilkanth 
Bavdekar's family as given in Mr. Sardesai Riyasat II, p. 607. 

Naropant (in the service of Maloji Bhosle) 

! 

Sondev oi- Sono (in the service of Shahaji Bhosle) 



Nilopantli (1647 — 1672) Abaji 



NaropaBt Ramchandra (1672 — 1720) 



CHAPTER XXX 

THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 
THE CAPTURE OF RAYGAD AND THE FLIGHT OF 

RAJARAM 

A. D. 1689 TO 1690 

Upon Sambhaji's death the emperor regarded the conquest 
of the Deccan as all but completed. He discharged 
numbers of his Hindu soldiers, who at once flocked round 
Rajaram's standard. Nevertheless Aurangzib did not mean 
to return to Delhi until Raygad had fallen. He sent Itikad 
Khan*, a son of his prime minister Asad Khan, with heavy 
guns and a large army to reduce it. A daring plan 
occurred to the fertile mind of Santaji Ghorpade. The 
talents of Ramchandra, the finance minister, had enabled 
him to equip an army of forty thousand men. This force 
was under the immediate command of Dhanaji Jadav. It 
was, however, too small to achieve anything in open battle 
against the innumerable battalions of the emperor. So 
Santaji Ghorpade suggested that it should establish itself 
at Phaltan and from that base draw to itself by a series 
of false attacks the attention of the Mogliul generals. 
Santaji himself with a body of horse would raid the 
emperor's camp at Tulapur, and if possible kill Aurangzib 
in the middle of his army. Dhanaji Jadav approved the 
plan and gave Santaji two thousand troopers with Vithoji 
Chavan as his second in command. Vithoji Chavan was 
the son of one Ranoji Chavan, who had long served under 
Shivaji. He fell on field service at a place called Ghalmota, 
leaving a baby son called Vithoji. But the Chavans were 

* Manucci's Stori.i de Mogor, vol. II. 



68 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

kinsmen of the house of Ghorpade and Maloji Ghorpade 
obtained for Vithoji Chavan while still a boy a charge in 
the army. There he won the close friendship of his cousin 
Santaji and on that account was now appointed his 
lieutenant. 

Santaji and his daring band, starting at dusk, kept to 
the 'hills as far as Jejuri, the famous shrine of the god 
Khandoba. Then descending by the Diva pass they rested 
by day in the woods below the hills. At midnight they 
set out for Tulapur. They had ridden but six miles when 
they met a large body of Moghul horse. To these they 
explained that they were a body of Maratha cavalry, 
furnished by the Shirke nobles, many of whom had, after 
the failure of their plot, taken service under Aurangzib. 
Allowed to pass on, they met no further obstacle, and in 
the early dawn reached the imperial camp. Slipping 
through the sleeping sentries, they made a sudden rush 
at the emperor's tent. They cut the tent ropes and killed 
everyone inside. Luckily for Aurangzib, he was sleeping 
elsewhere, but the Marathas cut the gold tops off his tent 
poles and carried them away in triumph. Santaji Ghorpade 
was too prudent to return by the road he had come. He 
fell back on Sinhgad, then held for the young king by 
Sidoji Gujar, a son of Prataprao Gujar. He stayed in 
Sinhgad for two days. Then leaving there his wounded, 
he took his troopers down the Bhor Ghat and falling upon 
the rear of Itikad's army round Raygad, carried off five 
of the imperial war elephants. With this booty Santaji 
Ghorpade presented himself before Rajaram at Panhala- 
Rajaram distributed to the successful commander and his 
officers rich cloths and titles. To Santaji Ghorpade he 
gave the title of Mamlakatmadar, to his brothers Bahirji 
and Maloji Ghorpade the titles of Hindurao and Amir ul 
Umra. Vithoji Chavan was styled Himat Bahadur. Lastly 
prompted by Ramachandra Bavdekar, the regent appointed 
Santaji Ghorpade commander-in-chief in the place of the 
gallant Hambirrao Mohite. This raid had great indirect 




RAJARAM MAHARAJ (Shivaji's younger son) 
[To face page 68] 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 69 

consequences. The raiders, it is true, failed to compass 
Aurangzib's death, their chief object. But the gain in the 
army's moral was immense and every Maratha soldier 
from Jinji to Raygad deemed the stroke a fortunate 
beginning to king Shivaji's reign. While these honours 
were being distributed at Panhala, Dhanaji Jadav with the 
main army repulsed an attack on his position at Phaltan 
and with some of the enemy's captured guns rejoined 
Santaji Ghorpade at Panhala. There he received the title 
of Jaysingrao, or Lion of Victory. 

Unhappily this success was soon overshadowed by a terrible 
calamity, namely the capture of Raygad, together with king 
Shivaji and his mother Yesubai. Determined at all costs 
to take Raygad, the emperor continued to send reinforce- 
ments to Itikad Khan, who was soon able to invest Panhala 
as well. Rajaram who was in Panhala slipped just as his 
father had done, through the besieging lines and fled to 
Vishalgad. But fresh reinforcements enabled Itikad Khan to 
invest Vishalgad also and so prevent Rajaram from making 
any further efforts to harass the besiegers of Raygad. The 
great preponderance of the Moghul forces and the vigour 
with which the siege was conducted, affected the spirit of 
the defenders. At the same time Itikad Khan sent messages 
to Yesubai that, if the fortress surrendered, he would 
guarantee her safety and that of her son. Yesubai still 
uncertain whether or not to yield, made Itikad Khan swear 
on the Koran that he would protect her and Shivaji against 
the cruelty of the emperor. Itikad Khan did so. But 
before Yesubai could surrender Raygad, she was forestalled 
by the military governor, Suryaji Pisal. He had, or pre- 
tended to have claims to be Deshmukh or hereditary 
revenue officer of Wai. He sent word to Itikad Khan that 
if he promised to get him made Deshmukli, he would 
throw open the gates of Raygad. Itikad Khan gave his 
promise and secured the fortress 19th October, 1689*. He 

' This is the date given by Sardesai vol. I., p. 617. Burgess gives the date as 
28th October. (Mnharram 15 H. 1101.) 



70 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

kept his word both to Yesubai and to Suryaji Pisal. The latter 
Itikad Khan took to the emperor and asked him to 
give Suryaji Pisal the price of his treachery. Aurangzib 
received him graciously, but insisted upon his adopting 
Islam. Suryaji did so, and was made Deshmukh of Wai; 
but he lived to regi-et his infamy. Eighteen years later 
Shahu returned from Delhi. One of his first acts was to put 
to death Suryaji Pisal and several of his family in revenge 
for the long captivity which he had himself endured.* 

The sworn faith of Itikad Khan would hardly have 
shielded Yesubai and her son had she .not found a friend 
in the emperor's second daughter Zinatunnissa. Between 
the death of Shah Jehan and her own death in September 
1681, Aurangzib's sister, Jahanara, had been the first lady 
at court. She controlled the emperor's seraglio and bore 
the title of Begam Sahib or the Princess Royal. On her 
demise the emperor appointed to the vacant post his 
second daughter Zinatunnissa, who had never married. 
Zinatunnissa greeted Yesubai as a sister and adopted 
prince Shivaji as her son. The Maratha chroniclers love 
to repeat a strange explanation of her kindly conduct. 
In 1666, she had, as a girl, seen Shivaji's gallant bearing 
in the imperial hall at Agra and from that time on, had 
conceived a regard for the Maratha leader. Afterwards 
when Sambhaji asked for her hand as the price of his 
apostasy, she treated the request as a genuine offer of 
marriage and thereafter deemed her faith plighted to the 
dead king. In memory of him she treated Yesubai as her 
co-wife and Shivaji as her own child. However this maj- 
be, her help proved of the utmost service to the young- 
king. The emperor wished to convert the boy to Islam, 
but on Zinatunnissa's entreaty agreed to accept in his 

" The treachery of Suryaji Pisal is not mentioned in the Bakhars, but is every- 
where believed in and repeated. Grant Duff rightly accepted the storj^ The 
Musulman descendants of Suryaji Pisal still live at Ozarde near Wai on good terms 
with their Hindu kinsmen. See Riyasat vol. I., p. 617. See also Sanad at 
p. 195, Sanads and Letters by Purnshotam Mawji and Eao Bahadur D. B. Parasnw. 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 71 

place Kliandoji Gujar, ' a son of Prataprao Gujar, who, to 
save his master's religion, offered himself as a convert. 
Thereafter the emperor looked with a kindly eye on his 
enemy's son, whom he called Sahu, or the good one, as 
opposed to his grandfather and father whom he always 
abused as thieves and robbers. This nickname Sahu, 
pronounced Shahu, the young king afterwards adopted as 
his royal title, f 

On the capture of Raygad all that remained of Shivaji's 
treasure, all the records of the Maratha government, the 
royal horses and elephants with their state trappings, and 
the golden throne made by the great king for his corona- 
tion, fell into Itikad Khan's hands. So did a mistress of 
Sambhaji and his natural son Madansing. As a reward 
for this splendid success Itikad Khan was given the title of 
Zulfikar Khan and ordered to reduce Panhala. The 
Maratha commandant was Ghatge of Kagal, the ancestor 
of both the present chiefs of that name. He made a gallant 
defence. He repulsed numerous assaults and, so the tale runs, 
he once made so terrible a slaughter of the storming party 
that he was able to make a platform of their heads and 
fire cannon from it into the Moghul trenches. At last the 
emperor with large reinforcements joined Zulfikar Khan. 
Ghatge wrote to Ramchandra Bavdekar for help. But the 
Finance Minister had no troops to send him and advised 
his surrender on the best terms he could get. On receiving 
this message Ghatge opened negotiations with the emperor. 
Aurangzib, weary of the siege, offered to confirm Ghatge 
as chief of Kagal and to give him a post on the 
imperial staff with the title of Sarjerao. Ghatge accepted 
the offer and surrendered the fort ; but to convince the 

*Shahii afterwards gave Khandoji Gujar the deshmukhi right of sixty villages 
near Parali. His descendants still profess Islam although their customs and 
manners are Hindu. 

fMr. Rajwade has tried nnsuccessfully, as I think, to refute this story and to 
prove that the word Shahu is a corruption of Shahaji, the boy's real name. But 
in an extant Sanad given by Shahu in 1710 the king is referred to as Shivnarpati. 
His name, therefore, could never have been Shuhaji. 



72 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

regent that he meant on the first chance to return to his 
allegiance, he sent to Jinji his brothers with all his valu- 
ables and personal effects. The fall of MiraJ followed 
shortly on the fall of Panhala (April 1690). 

In his stronghold of Vishalgad Rajaram had foreseen 
that as soon as Panhala fell, the emperor would lead his 
entire army to the siege of the former fortress. Thus to 
stay at Vishalgad was merely to court capture and a cruel 
death. He held a council of his chief officers and told them 
that the time had come to carry out the great king's 
strategic plan and leaving Maharashtra, to fall back on 
Jinji. That fortress would be defended to the last, while 
the field army would strike blow after blow at the long 
line of the emperor's communications. Ramchandra Bavdekar 
would remain in the western Deccan to organise such 
resistance as was still possible. It was a momentous 
occasion. To realise the desperate character of the regent's 
plan, the reader must imagine for a moment that the 
French army had been beaten on the Marne and that the 
French government had decided to evacuate France and 
withdraw to Gibraltar, leaving bands of francs tireurs to 
harass, as best they could, the German communications. 
An even closer parallel will perhaps be found in the retreat 
of the Servian army to Corfu and its subsequent advance 
from Salonika. The Maratha chiefs hesitated, as well they 
might, even though Rajaram's plan had been handed down 
to him by Shivaji himself. Finally it was settled that the 
garrisons of Vishalgad and of such other strong places, as 
still held out for the king should be left to defend them. 
Rajaram and his cliief officers should split up into small 
groups and disguised as religious pilgrims go on foot from 
Vishalgad to Jinji. Ahead of them went runners to warn 
the viceroy Harji Mahadik and Nilo Pingle, Moro Pingle's 
son, and now Harji Mahadik's lieutenant, of their coming 
so that they could send bodies of cavalry to meet them, 
when they reached their neighbourhood. One night 
Rajaram with Santaji Ghorpade, Dhanaji Jadav, Khanderao 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 73^ 

Dabhade, Pralhad Niraji and Khando Ballal Chitnis, all 
dressed as Lmgayat pilgrims,* left Vishalgad fort. They 
clung as long as they could to the Sahyadri hills. Going 
due south they halted at Sonda. Thence they went to 
Bednur, where the Rani, a feudatory of the Maratha king, 
welcomed the fugitives. But the news of Rajaram's flight 
had reached the ears of the emperor. All the imperial 
officers in southern India were warned and their vigilance 
commanded. Some of the groups were surprised and 
killed. Rajaram and his party reached Bangalore safely. 
This place, as I have already mentioned, had fallen into 
Moghul hands during the dispute between Harji Mahadik 
and Keshav Pingle; and a close watch was kept for the 
Maratha fugitives. The royal party halted at the rest 
house. There Rajaram's servants began to wash tlieir 
master's feet. One servant poured water over them, 
another brought a towel and got ready to dry them. The 
deference paid by these servants to Rajaram, so inconsistent 
with the equality of pilgrims, aroused the suspicions of 
some other travellers. They were Canarese and began in 
their own tongue to discuss the incident and the possibility 
that the party were political fugitives. In the end they 
resolved to go to the fort and tell the Musulman commandant 
their suspicions. Happily, one of Rajaram's comrades 
understood Canarese and when the travellers left the rest 
house, he informed the regent and his companions of their 
peril. The devoted loyalty of Khando Ballal Chitnis found 
a way of escape. The regent, he said, Santaji Ghorpade, 
Dhanaji Jadav and Khanderao Dabhade should go by one 
route; Pralhad Niraji and one or two others should go by 
another route. He, one Parasnis, and the regent's servants 
would stay behind and stoutly maintain their character as 
pilgrims. When they had baffled the enquiries of the 
imperial officers, they would all meet at a given spot. 
The generous offer of Khando Ballal was accepted and the 
regent and Pralhad Niraji left by different ways. An hour 

*In one sanad they are said to have been disguised as kapdi i- e. eloth sellers 



74 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

or two later the commandant of the fort with a band of 
armed men came to the rest house, and seizing Khando 
Ballal and the servants began sharply to question them. 
Khando Ballal with an assurance as admirable as his 
devotion, pleaded that he and the three or four men with 
him were poor pilgrims to Rameshwar. * The others who 
had left were chance acquaintances made on the road. As 
their destination was different, they had now taken a 
different path. The commandant still doubted and had 
Khando Ballal and his companions flogged and then made 
them stand in the sun with stones on their heads. Finally 
he had bags full of hot ashes tied over their faces. Neither 
pain nor fear extorted anything from the pilgrims. The 
commandant began to think that their tale might be true. 
He threw them into prison. There they refused food on 
the plea that as pilgrims they could not eat in confinement. 
Convinced at last of the truth of their plea, he let them 
all go. In a few days they caught up the regent and the 
rest of the fugitives. From Bangalore onwards no further 
mishap befell them. Near Jinji they met a Maratha force 
led by Harji Mahadik and Nilo Pingle. The viceroy 
greeted the regent with every mark of respect and escorted 
him with great pomp and ceremony to Jinji, which now 
became the new capital, of the Marathas. (April 1690.) f 



*Chitnis Bakhar. 

t Paper 347 in Rajwade's volume XVth is dated April 1690. It contains 
ihe news of Rajaram's arrival at Jinji. 



CHAPTER XXXI 

THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 
THE SIEGE OF JINJI 

A. I). 1B90 TO 1698 

The emperor had hoped that the presence in his camp of 
the young king Shivaji, or Shahu as I shall hereafter call 
him, would split the Marathas into factions. But his hopes 
were frustrated by the generosity of Yesubai and the 
loyalty of Rajaram. After Shahu's capture Rajaram 
refused to sit on the state throne, but presided at the 
meetings of his council, seated only on a village cot. He 
acted thus lest talebearers should say to the captive king 
that his uncle had usurped his throne. At Jinji, however, 
he received a letter from Yesubai, urging him to assume 
the insignia of royalty and so leave no loophole to those 
who might, on the ground that their king was a prisoner, 
decline to fight for the Maratha cause. Rajaram followed 
her advice. But at the same time he publicly announced 
that he would reign only so long as the rightful king lay 
in prison. 

Having assumed the royal insignia, Rajaram appointed 
the eight ministers required by Shivaji's constitution. 

1. As Peshwa or prime minister he appointed Nilo 
Moro Pingle, the son of Moro Pingle. 

2. He appointed as Amatya or finance minister 
Janardan Hanmante, the son of Raghunath Hanmante*, 
the former viceroy of Jinji, who had so manfully warned 
Sambhaji against evil deeds and evil counsellors. 
Ramchandra Bavdekar who had held that office both 

*See appendix. 



76 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

under Shivaji and Sambhaji, was relieved of it and creat- 
ed viceroy of Maharashtra with the title of Hakumat 
Panha, which implied that within the viceroyalty his 
powers were equal to the king's. 

3. The Pant Sachiv or Accountant General was 
Shankar Malhar Nargundkar. 

4. The post of Mantri or Home Member was con- 
ferred on Shamjirao Pinde. 

5. The office of Sumant or Foreign Minister was 
given to Mahadji Gadadhar. 

6. Shrikaracharya Kalgavkar was made Panditrao 
and given charge of all ecclesiastical matters. 

7. The post of Sar Nyayadish or Chief Justice was 
bestowed on Niraji Ravaji. 

8. The post of Senapati or commander-in-chief was 
given to Santaji Ghorpade. He had already been appoint- 
ed to the chief command by Rajaram. But he had in the 
interval been guilty of gross insubordination. He had 
been ordered by Ramchandra Bavdekar to raise the siege 
of Panhala, But leaving Panhala to its fate he had swept 
along the valley of the Tungabhadra and finall}^ occupied 
Gooti. His intention was to create a sanctuary for him- 
self in case Jinji fell. As a punishment for this disobedi- 
ence, Ramchandra Bavdekar summarily degraded Santaji 
from his high office and gave it to Mahadji Pansambal, 
a brave but old and unenterprising soldier. He had since 
died and Rajaram restored Santaji Ghorpade to his former 
command. None of the eight seats in council was given 
to Pralhad Niraji. But Rajaram had not forgotten his 
eminent merits. He created especially for him the office 
of Pratinidhi or the king's mirror and gave him a prece- 
dence superior to seven of the eight ministers and equal 
to that of the Peshwa himself. 

Having thus formed his cabinet, Rajaram bestowed a 
number of minor offices and dignities* and sent messengers 
throughout Maharashtra to announce his safe arrival at 

* They are given at length in the Chitnis Bakhar. 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 77 

Jinji and his assumption of the royal title. The news of 
Rajaram's safety and the establishment of the monarchy 
gave fresh vigour to Ramchandra Bavdekar and those who 
with him were loyally struggling in Maharashtra for the 
royal cause. Ramchandra had less difficulty in collecting 
revenue and in obtaining supplies. His chief task now 
was the reorganisation of the Maratha army. Its head- 
quarters were partly at Jinji and partly in the Deccan. 
But the country between was overrun by Hindu soldiers 
of all castes, deserters from Sambhaji, troopers discharged 
from the imperial service or the remnants of the old 
armies of Bijapur and Golconda. They caused some losses 
to the Moghuls but far greater losses to the peasantry, and 
by plundering the countryside in the name of the Maratha 
king were making the name of the Marathas hateful all 
over southern India. The most prominent of the free- 
booters were two brothers Babaji and Rupaji Bhosle. 
They had once been captains in Shivaji's service but had 
turned marauders and they harried the Moghul posts with 
merciless perseverance. As they and their followers 
carried no weapons but spears, the word "Bhalerai" or 
spear rule came into use to designate the depredations of 
"freelances". Ramchandra Bavdekar managed to attach 
the two brothers to the royal cause. Other bandits were 
hunted down by Santaji Ghorpade, who gave them the 
choice of death or enrolment in Rajaram's army. 

The emperor halted for a time between two opinions, 
namely, whether he should remain in the Deccan until 
he had conquered fort by fort, or whether he should 
follow Rajaram to Jinji. The wisest course would probably 
have been at once to besiege Jinji. But had he done so, 
the whole Deccan would again have burst into flame. On 
the other hand, if he left Rajaram alone in Jinji, the king 
would soon conquer the whole rich eastern seaboard and 
make Jinji an impregnable stronghold. The choice was 
a difficult one. The emperor in the end decided to continue 
the subjugation of the Deccan, but at the same time to 



78 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

send a small force to keep Rajaram in check until the 
emperor could engage him with his main army. This 
scheme might have succeeded but for the activity of 
Santaji Ghorpade and Dhanaji Jadav. These enterprising 
commanders aided by Pralhad Niraji soon collected fresh 
bodies of troops and raised them to a high state of 
efficiency. When the Moghul force appeared that was to 
keep in check Rajaram, Santaji Ghorpade and Dhanaji 
Jadav at once attacked and destroyed it. 

Relieved of immediate danger, Rajaram resolved to send 
for his wives from Vishalgad to Jinji. Since his flight he 
had been living with a mistress called Sagunabai, by whom 
he had a natural son afterwards well known as Raja Kama. 
But Yesubai in one of her letters from the Moghul camp 
urged him to send for his family. If he himself led an 
irregular life, he could not restore to the army the disci- 
pline which it needed. It was impossible that the royal 
ladies should travel across all southern India, overrun as 
it was by soldiers and freelances. Tarabai, moreover, had 
recently given birth to a son named Shivaji.* It was 
therefore resolved to send tliem by sea. The three queens, 
Tarabai, Rajasbai and Ambikabai, in charge of Visaji 
Prabhu, shipped at Yeshwantgad on the Konkan coast and 
doubling Rameshwar landed near Pondicherry, whence 
they went by land to ,rinji. There in 1698 Rajasbai gave 
birth to a son named Samblmji and Ambikabai to a 
daughter, who died a few days later. 

In the meantime fortune had smiled but coldly on the 
emperor's operations in the Deecan. The effect of 
Ramchandra Bavdekar's vigorous viceroyalty and of the 
successes and reorganisation at Jinji was seen in the gallant 
defences of the Maratha strongholds. In the cold weather 
of 1691 the emperor, it is true, reduced Sinhgad and Purandar, 
but his every movement was harassed by the Maratha 
horse. After they had destroyed the detachment sent 
against Jinji, Rajaram sent Santaji Ghorpade and Dhanaji 

■"Shivaji, Tarabai's son, was born early in 1691. 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OP^FENSIVE 79 

Jadav to command the Maratha forces in the Deccan. 
Santaji Ghorpade first surprised the Moghul garrison at 
Wai. He soon followed up this success by the recapture 
of Miraj fort. At the same time Rajaram distributed among 
his nobles large grants of land formerly occupied by 
Shivaji but now in the possession of the emperor. These 
grants encouraged the Maratha leaders to equip troops at 
their own expense and with them to establish strong places 
in the midst of the Moghul possessions. Bands of Marathas 
appeared in Khandesh, South Guzerat, the Central Provinces 
and the country now known as the Nizam's Dominions, to 
enforce grants bestowed at Jinji. Patankar established him- 
self in the valley of Patau and levied Chauth and Sardesh- 
mukhi, all round Wai and Karhad. Pawar ravaged the 
Central Provinces so successfully that Rajaram conferred 
on him the title of Vishwasrao or the man of trust. Atole 
plundered the valley of the Godavari. At the same time 
Ramchandra Bavdekar raised large levies from the Dhangars 
or shepherds of the western hills, with which he retook a 
number of Deccan walled villages. At last the emperor 
saw that so long as any member of Shivaji's house remained 
at large, his plans of conquest would never be realised. 
He, therefore, sent a considerable army under Zulfikar 
Khan to besiege Jinji. The Marathas, aware of liis coming, 
tried to bar his passage. But Zulfikar Khan was a skilful 
commander. Defeating the Marathas he continued his 
march towards Jinji. On the way he took several fortified 
places and at last sat down before the Maratha capital (1691). 
Zulfikar Khan's forces were not large enough to invest 
Jinji and it was too strong to be battered down by the 
Moghul artillery. Indeed from the first he must have 
perceived that the capture of that fortress was beyond his 
resources, for he soon entered into a compact with the 
garrison that there should be no real hostilities between 
them. His object seems to have been the foundation of an 
independent kingdom on the death of the aged emperor. 
The regent readily accepted and observed the compact, 



so A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

since it allowed him to send the bulk of his garrison as 
reinforcements to the Deccan. 

In the year 1692 the recapture of Rajgad and Panhala 
were the most important Maratha successes. As it will be 
remembered, the great king had in 1647 a. d.* fortified a 
hill called Morbad and had changed its name to Rajgad. 
During the monsoon of 1688 it had been taken by the 
Moghuls and one Abu Khair Khan was appointed its 
commandant. The fort was a very strong one, hardly less 
so than Purandar or Sinhgad, and probably on that 
account had only a slender garrison. Suddenly a Maratha 
force appeared before it and demanded its surrender. 
Firoz Jang had received intelligence of the Maratha 
movements and at once detatched a large contingent to 
relieve Abu Khair. It came too late, for the fortress had 
already been betrayed by the craven fears of its governor. 
Dreading an assault in which he might have perished, he 
had surrendered the fortress on the promise of a safe 
conduct for himself, his family and his property. The 
Maratha general gave him a pass through his lines and 
proceeded to occupy Rajgad. But his soldiers, less 
scrupulous than their master, relieved Abu Khair of his 
money and clothes and his women of their jewelry. In this 
plight he met Firoz Jang's relieving column. The 
emperor, justly incensed, dismissed him from the army 
and ordered him to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca. The 
successful Maratha leader was Shankar Narayan Gandekar* 
He was the son of Naro Mukund the hereditary Kulkarni 
or village accountant of Gandapur. He took service as a 
clerk under Moro Pingle and afterwards under Ramchandra 
Bavdekar. In 1692 the viceroy ordered him to raise a 
corps of Maval infantry. This he did with such success 
that he was ordered to surprise Rajgad. My readers will 
be interested to learn that he was the ancestor of that 
loyal nobleman H. H. the Pant Sachiv of Bhor. 

The captor of Panhala was another clerk in the service 

*See vol. I, p. 134. 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 81 

of Ramchandra Bavdekar, The story runs that in Kinhai, 
a small village in the Wai taluka, lived a pious Deshasth 
Brahman named Krishnaji. He was a devout worshipper 
of the goddess Parvati and yearly used to visit Aundli, 
where she had an ancient temple. As the years passed 
and he grew too old for the journey, he prayed to Parvati 
in her temple at Aundh to come and stay near him at 
Kinhai. That night the goddess appeared in a dream to 
Krishnaji and promi-ed to follow him to Kinhai provided 
that on the way he did not turn round to look at her, 
Krishnaji promised; and when he awoke he started to 
walk back to Kinhai. As he went, the goddess followed 
him. He did not look back until he reached the top of 
some hills. Overcome by fatigue he sat down and without 
thinking looked back the way he had come. Instantly the 
goddess changed her form to that of a Maratha woman. 
It so chanced that just then a bania came up driving a 
bullock-cart filled with bags of sugar. The disguised 
goddess asked him what he had in his bags. He replied 
that they were full of salt. He went on his way, but on 
reaching home found that the sugar actually had changed to 
salt. In the meantime Krishnaji rose and resumed his 
march. But the goddess no longer followed him. Hearing 
at Kinhai of the bania's misfortune, he knew that the 
Maratha woman must have been Parvati and both returned 
to the spot where they had seen her. The bania prayed 
fervently to the goddess. She relented and turned his 
bags of salt back into sugar. Krishnaji feeling sure that 
Parvati would not go beyond the spot where he had looked 
back, built on it a temple with a wall round it and called 
it Sakhargad or the Fort of Sugar. There he dwelt until 
his death. His piety was rewarded by the birth of a son 
called Trimbak, who as his father had done spent his life 
in Parvati's service. Trimbak had two sons Madhavrao 
and Parashuram. In 1674 when in his fifteenth year, 
Parashuram entered as a lowly paid clerk the service of 
Nilo Sondev. There he became the close friend of Nilo 

G 



82 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

Sondev's son Ramchandra Nilkanth, He rose in time to be 
the latter's confidential secretary. Afterwards he received 
a military command and distinguished himself by the 
escalade of Panhala. For this and many subsequent feats 
of arms Rajaram honoured him with the title of Shamsher 
Bahadur, or the Samson of bravery. This gallant soldier 
was the ancestor of that admirable artist and courtly 
gentleman, the Pant Pratinidhi, chief of Aundh*. 

In 1693 the Marathas destroyed or took a number of 
detachments. Several of these actions have been graphically 
described by Khafi Khan. In turn Santaji Ghorpade 
captured and held to ransom Ismail Khan, Rustam Khan, 
Ali Mardan Khan, and Jannisar Khan. According to the 
Musulman historian, so great was the terror of his name 
"that there was no imperial Amir bold enough to resist 
him and every loss he inflicted made the imperial forces 
quake." The emperor was at his wits' end and said in 
public that "The creature could do nothing, for everything 
was in the hands of God. " After this confession of impotence 
he decided to relieve Zulfikar Khan of his command in 
front of Jinji. This he did in the cold weather of 1693 
and ordered Zulfikar Khan to serve under his youngest 
son, prince Kam Baksh, whom he sent there with a fresh 
army. The veteran general was infuriated at his super- 
session. Although he and his staff went out Avith all 
respect to receive the prince, he did his utmost to frustrate 
his plans and to inflame against him the minds of his 
brother officers. He was especially successful in exciting 
against Kam Baksh, Jamdat ul Mulk, who was in charge of 
the civil government of the surrounding countr}^ and 
Nasrat Jang, whose duty it was to collect the revenue. 
They declined to recognise the authority of the prince and 
took upon themselves to reprimand him for some youthful 
indiscretion. Kam Baksh appealed to the emperor, but he 

*The Aundh chiefs still worehip Parvati at Sakhargad under the name of 
Sakhargad nirasini or she who dwells at Sakhargad. Parashuram received the 
title of Mukhva Pradhan in 1695. 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 83 

was too deeply engaged in the Deccan to enforce discipline 
in the Jinji army. 

As may be guessed, the Moghul arms made no progress 
during the quarrels of the commanders. The siege dragged 
on through 1694 and 1695. The garrison made spirited 
sorties, destroying the trenches and the outposts, while 
Santaji Ghorpade held the roads by which the imperial 
convoys sought to reach the besiegers. So feeble at last 
did the investing army become, that the Maratha commanders 
resolved to raise the siege. According to the Maratha 
chronicler,* the Maratha forces numbered at this time 
nearly a hundred thousand. Of these ten thousand were 
with Rajaram in Jinji. Twenty thousand were actively 
opposing the imperial troops in the western Deccan. The 
remainder were divided into three main divisions each of 
twenty thousand, commanded respectively by Santaji 
Ghorpade, Parsoji Bhosle, honoured by the appellation of 
Sena Sahib or lord of the army, and Sindojirao Nimbalkar, 
to whom Rajaram had given the title of Sar Lashkar, or 
chief of the forces. Lastly, ten thousand men formed a 
flying column under Dlianaji Jadav. 

On hearing of the Maratha advance, prince Kam Baksh 
ordered his detached posts to fall back on the besieging 
army. This order was easier to give than to execute. 
Those nearest the prince's headquarters reached them 
safely. But those at a distance were not so fortunate and 
suffered severely on the march. A detachment under the 
command of one Ismail Khanf was first attacked by 
Dhanaji Jadav. For some time the Moghiil commander 
maintained a running fight. At last he took refuge in a 
walled village called Kokar Khan. The battle ceased 
during the night. Next morning Ismail Khan tried to 
continue his march. But he was brought to bay and forced 
to surrender with his whole command. Santaji Ghorpade 
moved further afield. At Caveripak on the Palar river, 

* (hitnis Bakhar. 

tScoit's Deccan, vol. II.. p. 87. 

6* 



84 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA. PEOPLE 

twenty miles north of Jinji, lay a Moghul division under 
Ali Mardan Khan. Santaji Ghorpade decided to destroy 
it before attacking the pi-ince's main army*. Ali Mardan 
Khan, unused to Maratha warfare, moved out to meet his 
enemy. At a critical moment in the fight some new levies 
that he had raised, deserted. He at once ordered a 
retreat on Jinji. He was soon surrounded and his division, 
with its entire transport, arms and equipment fell into the 
hands of the Marathas. 

Having thus cleared their flanks, the Maratha com- 
manders moved towards Jinji. By this time the prince, 
exasperated by the insubordination of Zulfikar Khan and 
his confederates had in turn begun to listen to Rajaram's 
envoys. They assured him that the emperor was on the 
point of death and that if Kam Baksh would but join 
Rajaram, the Maratha armies would secure him the 
succession to the imperial throne. The assurances of the 
envoys were confirmed by the rumours and the gossip of 
the camp, and Kam Baksh agreed to desert with the troops 
upon whom he could most confidently rely. Fortunately 
for the emperor he had shortly before sent his prime 
minister, Asad Khan, Zulfikar Khan's father, to report on 
the progress of the siege. He came to hear of the plot 
and informed his son. They kept a careful watch on the 
prince's movements. One night they noticed unusual 
preparations in his quarters. At the same time the 
garrison sallied vigorously against other parts of the 
Moghul lines. Certain that the prince was about to betray 
his father, they went to his tents and asked the cause of 
his preparations. He replied vaguely that he expected a 
night attack and was getting ready to meet it. Asad 
Khan assured him that his information was faulty and 
sternly directed him to countermand his order. The 
prince, seeing that his treachery had been detected, sullenly 
obeyed. In the night Zulfikar Khan brought from another 
part of the siege works a large body of loyal troops and 

* Ibid. p. 89. 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFEKSIVE 8o 

massed them round Kam Baksh's quarters. Next morning 
Asad Khan and Zulfikar Khan went on elephants inside 
the prince's zanana and seizing his person, imprisoned him 
in the fort of Bhindwasni, better known under its English 
corruption Wandewash, 

While Zulfikar Khan was trying to restore order in 
the imperial camp, Santaji Ghorpade ceaselessly attacked 
it from without. In no long time the besieging army was 
itself besieged and forced to enter into a truce with the 
garrison. The terms were that Zulfikar Khan should 
retire unmolested to Wandewash and await further orders 
from the emperor. Both Asad Khan and Santaji Ghorpade 
opposed the truce. The latter was confident that in its 
present state he could take or destroy the entire investing 
army. But Rajaram hoped that the aged emperor would 
at last make peace and release Shahu. Asad Khan did 
not wish to cease hostilities without the emperor's orders. 
But while he was trying to win over to his own views 
Zulfikar Khan, the imperial artillery mutinied and forced 
on him the acceptance of the armistice (1696). 

When the emperor learned that the siege of Jinji had 
been raised, he indignantly summoned to his presence 
both Asad Khan and the prince, and reprimanded Asad 
Khan severely. The prince he pretended to pardon, but 
sometime later* ordered his strict confinement. Pie sent 
Zulfikar Khan reinforcements and commanded him to 
renew the siege. The truce had alread}'^ been broken. 
Santaji Ghorpade, who had strongly opposed it, was deter- 
mined to interpret it strictly. He made no attack on the 
retreating Moghul army. But when it had reached 
Wandewash he deemed himself freed from his obligations. 
Hearing that a Moghul force under Kasim Khan, the 
governor of the Bijapur Carnatic,t was escorting a quantity 
of supplies to Wandewash, he resolved to intercept it, 
Ghorpade came up with the convo}'^ near Caveripak on 

* Scott's Deccan, vol. II., p. 9i. 

fThe Bijapnr Carnatic was the southern part of the old Bijapnr kingdom. 



86 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

the Palar river, Kasim Khan took shelter behind its 
walls. Zulfikar Khan, hearing of his straits, marched to 
his relief and escorted him safely to Wandewash. Santaji 
Ghorpade baulked of his prey, attacked and took a number 
of forts with their Moghul garrisons, Zulfikar Khan at 
once turned back, retook the forts and entering Tanjore 
took from Shahaji, Vyankoji's son, a large indemnity. 
Returning northwards, he led out his army from Wande- 
wash and renewed the siege of Jinji. Unable to cope with 
Zulfikar Khan's militar}' skill and the large forces at his 
disposal, Santaji Ghorpade entered the southern province 
of Bijapur*. The emperor ordered Kasim Khan to inter- 
cept him. His recent successful revictualling of the Moghul 
army had turned Kasim Khan's head. Near Dudheri fort, 
twenty-five miles north-east of Chitaldurg, he allowed his 
advance guard to be surprised. He hastened to their help 
but was soon himself surrounded. All that day he fought 
and passed the night under arms. After a three days' 
battle he was driven into Dudheri fort which Santaji at 
once invested. The siege lasted a month and the Musulman 
soldiers lived on the flesh of their horses and baggage 
camels. The Hindus starved or deserted. At last Kasim 
Khan poisoned himself and his second in command Rohulla 
Khan opened negotiations with the besieging force. 
Santaji Ghorpade, who had no wish to be encumbered 
with prisoners, demanded and obtained a promise of seven 
lakhs of rupees as ransom. He let the officers take with 
them their horses and clothes. The soldiers he let take 
such effects as they could carry. The guns, treasure and 
transport were the spoils of war. 

Santaji Ghorpade had no sooner dispersed Kasim Khan's 
army than he heard of a large Moghul force under Himat 
Khan advancing at all speed to Kasim Khan's relief. 
Rajaram and the Jinji garrison had skilfully delayed its 
advance, until the other Moghul force had been rendered 
harmless. He then let it proceed to its destruction. 

'Scott's Deccan, vol. II., p. 91. 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 87 

Santaji divided his army into two. One division attacked 
Himat Khan and then, as if beaten, retreated into a forest 
where the second division was concealed, Himat Khan 
followed blindly into the forest paths by which Santaji 
had fled. When the entire Moghul army was entangled in 
the woods, musketry fire broke out on all sides of them, 
from the branches of the trees, from thorn thickets and 
from pampas grass, Himat Khan fell shot through the 
head. In a little time those of his troops who survived 
surrendered at discretion (1696)*. 

These two important successes tempted Santaji Ghorpade 
to try once more to relieve Jinji; but Zulfikar Khan went 
out in person to meet him and severely defeated him some 
miles to the north of Jinji. Santaji realised that with 
Zulfikar Khan in sole command of the investing army, 
it was impossible to raise the siege. By 1687 it had 
become a blockade and little blood was shed save when 
Zulfikar Khan's second in command, Daud Khan, from time 
to time got drunk and senselessly assaulted the Maratha 
outposts f. Nevertheless the blockade was a strict one and 
no supplies entered the beleagured town. It was thus all 
important, before Jinji surrendered from famine, to get 
Rajaram to a place of safety. About this time, too, the 
emperor had sent for and warned Asad Khan that, unless 
his son Zulfikar Khan shortly took Jinji he would be 
disgraced and removed from his command. Zulfikar Khan 
was, therefore, anxious to secure a capitulation on almost 
any terms. The envoy employed was Khando Ballal 
Chitnisil. He had been sent by Rajaram to convey to the 
viceroy Ramachandra Bavdekar the news of his contem- 
plated escape, but on the way he had been taken and 
brought before Zulfikar Khan. He managed to secure a 
private interview and to communicate to the general the 
regent's wish to escape from the fortress. Zulfikar Khan 

* Khafi Khan. Elliott & Dowson, vol. VII., p. 355 & Scott's Deccan, p. 95. 
t Wilkes' Mysore, vol. I, p. 133. 
J Chitnis Bakhar. 



88 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

agreed to let the regent do so, if some plan could be con- 
ceived by which no blame would rest on him. At the 
same time he vigorously pressed the siege and it began to 
look as if Zulfikar Khan would carry the defences while 
Rajaram was still in the town. Khando Ballal was at his 
wits' end. At last he thought of Ganoji and Ramoji Siiirke 
who commanded the siege works to the south-west of Jinji, 
They had escaped from the Shirke massacre and had taken 
service with the emperor. At first they haughtily refused 
any assistance. But Khando Ballal would not be rebuffed. 
He pleaded earnestly Rajaram's innocence and their own 
kinship to the unhappy Soyarabai, the regent's mother. 
At last Ganoji and Ramoji Shirke gave way on the condi- 
tion of receiving a grant of the revenues of Dabhol in the 
Konkan. They in turn won over certain officers of the 
Mohite clan to which Rajaram's eldest wife Tarabai be- 
longed. Another helper was found in Nagoji Mane. He 
was the son of one Rataji Mane who had held a great 
command in the Bijapur army, where he had won a high 
reputation for courage. During Rataji's lifetime his son 
shared with his father the favour of the king of Bijapur. 
But on Rataji's death Nagoji quarrelled with the Bijapur 
court and entered the Delhi service. He now commanded 
five thousand horse opposite the western gate of Jinji. 

Khando Ballal's plan was that Nagoji should make a 
feigned attack on the western gate. In the confusion 
Rajaram and his attendants should escape to the Shirke's 
lines. Zulfikar Khan* approved the plan and it was 
carried out. The same night Nagoji Mane attacked the 
western gate and Rajaram fled to his kinsmen's camp. 
Next morning the Shirkes pretended to go on a hunting 
expedition. With them they took the regent and his 
attendants disguised as huntsmen. Out of sight of the 
Moghul army they galloped to. a spot fifteen miles away 

*I should mention here that Mr. Sardesai thinks that the evidence te against 
the treason of Zulfikar Khan. I am rehictantly forced to differ from his 
conclusion. 



I 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 8^ 

where a large Maratha force commanded by Dhanaji Jadav 
waited for the fugitive, Dhanaji took charge of Rajaram's 
person and escorted him to Vellore*. There Santaji 
Ghorpade joined them with his division and after some 
skirmishes with Mogliul horse, the regent reached Vishalgad 
in December 1697*. On Rajaram's flight Harji Mahadik's 
son took command of the garrison. But the vigour of 
Zulfikar Khan's attacks soon afterwards carried the outer 
walls. In January 1698, Daud Khan came by chance to 
learn of a path through a small wood up the side of the 
fortress. Sober for the moment, he examined it and 
without informing Zulfikar Khan, decided to storm it. He 
joined with him in the enterprise a Rajput chief called 
Dalpatrao. The garrison thought the assault to be only 
one of Daud Khan's drunken outbreaks and paid little heed 
to it, until Dalpatrao had carried the main defences. The 
garrison fled to the citadel. But the Moghul forces now 
entered the town on all sides and the citadel surrendered 
to Zulfikar Khan. As he had previously promised to do, 
he handed over Rajaram's wives and their two sons to the 
Shirkes, who arranged for their return to the western 
Deccan. 

So ended the great siege of Jinji (January 1698). 
Ending as it did by the storm of the fortress, it might 
seem that the emperor had been the gainer in the struggle. 
The contrary, however, was the case. By the time Jinji 
had fallen, its siege had eaten deeply into the resources 
of the empire. The Maratha troops had repeatedly shewn 
themselves equal or superior to Moghul armies. The 
sanctuary created by the great king had done its work. 
The endless chain of the Moghul communications had been 
strained to breaking point. The time was at hand when 
the Maratha counter-offensive might begin. 

'Wilks, p 133. 
tChitnis Eakhar. 



i90 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 



APPENDIX 

The following genealogical tree of the Shirkes is copied from 
Vol. I of Mr. Sardesai's Riyasat, p. 663. 

Waghoji Rnje 



Tanaji Pilaji Soyarabai 

I I =Shivaji T 

Kanhoji I' j i 

I Ganoji Yesubai Ambikabai 

l^a^ioJi I -^Sambhaji =rRajaram 
Pilaji 



The following tree of the Hanmantes will be found ibid at 
p. 651. 

Narayan Haiimante 



Raghunath Hanmante Janardhan Hanmante 

I I 

^ 1 1 1 I 1 

Tnmbak Timaji Amburao Baburao Gangadhar Shriniyaa 
Amatya | 
t708-1739 Avadhut 

Amatya (1739-50) 



CHAPTER XXXII 

THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE; THE LAST EFFORT 
THE BEGINNING OF THE MARATHA COUNTER- 
OFFENSIVE 

A. D. 1698 

Had the emperor been well advised, he would now have 
made peace with the Marathas, acknowleged Rajaram as 
king of the Western Deccan and Konkan and devoted his 
remaining years to the subjugation of Mysore, Travancore, 
and south-eastern India. Or better still he might after 
making peace, have retvirned to Delhi where his presence 
was urgently needed. Hindustan had been drained of its 
wealth and of its best blood in the vain attempt to subdue 
the south. The Rajput princes were weary of the wild 
hills and trackless forests of the Deccan and longed to 
return to their lands and castles in Rajasthan. The 
emperor, too, was in his seventy-ninth year and although 
young for his years was unfit any longer to conduct the 
arduous Maratha war. Nor would Rajaram have refused 
an offer of peace. He had lost a considerable treasure in 
Jinji. The finances of the kingdom were in disorder and 
Maharashtra, overrun in turn by the Moghul and Maratha 
armies, was fast becoming a desert. Asad Khan, the 
prime minister, urged Aurangzib to end the Deccan war 
in any honourable way he could. But the military party 
pressed on the emperor other views. The military chiefs 
drew large salaries and made handsome profits out of 
army contracts. They were loth to end a war from which 
they drew such ample incomes. They scoffed at the 
mention of peace. Was Aurangzib to give up his darling 



92 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

Bcheme of conquering all India in the very hour of its 
consummation? Where the infidels to deride the crowned 
saint of Islam in the moment of victory? The emperor 
had, it is true, passed the allotted span of human existence. 
But was that not a sign that the Almighty was prolonging 
his life that he might win the goal which Asad Khan now 
urged him to abandon? 

The emperor was shrewd enough to guess the motives 
of the military chiefs. But with senile obstinacy he clung 
to his hope to bring, as Alauddin had done, all India 
beneath the canopy of Delhi. Asad Khan, however, pre- 
vailed on him to open negotiations. But the loyal Rajaram 
asked for the liberation of Shahu before he would cease 
operations. The emperor lost his temper at this not un- 
reasonable demand and gladly made it an excuse to dismiss 
rudely the Maratha envoys. He was confirmed in his 
views by an event that took place about this time, namely, 
the murder of Santaji Ghorpade. For a long time past 
there had been a feud betv.-een this distinguished soldier 
and Dhanaji Jadav. It began early in Rajaram's reign 
when Santaji Ghorpade was promoted to the chief command 
in spite of claims which to Dhanaji, at any rate, seemed 
superior. So long as Pralhad Niraji lived, his high in- 
fluence and character curbed the jDassions of the angrj'- 
captains. But in 1697, during the siege of Jinji, Pralhad 
Niraji had incurred the displeasure of the regent, and 
broken-hearted by his rebuke, had gone on a pilgrimage to 
Pandharpur*, and had committed suicide before the shrine 
of Krishna. Pralhad Niraji's control removed, Dhanaji 
Jadav resolved to destroy his rival. At this time Santaji 
Ghorpade at the head of a force numbering twenty-five 
thousand men was campedf some eighteen to twenty miles 
south of Bijapur. Firoz Jang, with a large body of 
Moghuls, was advancing against him from the north. When 
still four or five marches away, he heard of Dhanaji Jadav's 

* Chitnis Bakhar. 
t Khafi Khan. 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 93 

intentions. He at once pressed forward to profit by the 
quarrels of the Maratha generals. In the very presence 
of the enemy, Dhanaji Jadav attacked Santaji Ghorpade's 
force. The latter's strict discipline and cruel punishments 
had made him unpopular with his officers and men. On 
a concerted signal the bulk of them deserted to Dhanaji 
Jadav. Santaji fled alone into the western hills followed 
by Firoz Jang on one side and on the other by his own 
troops and Dhanaji Jadav's army. He might have escaped, 
but for the tireless pursuit of Nagoji Mane. As will be 
remembered, Nagoji Mane had helped Rajaram to escape 
from Jinji and thereafter he had deserted the Moghul 
cause. He was by birth the deshmukh or hereditary 
revenue officer of Mhaswad and he had a bitter private 
feud with Santaji Ghorpade. As a punishment for some 
military offence, Santaji had ordered Nagoji Mane's brother 
to be trampled to death by an elephant*. This act Nagoji 
neither forgot nor forgave. When the others gave up the 
chase, Mane relentlessly pursued the fugitive. Santaji, 
thinking that he had shaken off his enemies, dismounted 
to bathe himself and his horse in a small stream. As he 
bathed, Nagoji Mane and his men came upon him and 
killed him. Mane cut off the dead man's head and putting 
it in a bag, tied the bag to his saddle, meaning to take it 
to Dhanaji Jadav. As he rode, the bag became unfastened 
and fell to the ground. It was picked up shortly after- 
wards by some of Firoz Jang's scouts, who opened it and 
recognised the head as that of Santaji Ghorpade. They 
carried it back to Firoz Jang who sent it by a messenger 
to Aurangzib. The latter was delighted and gave the 
messenger the title of Khush Khabar Khan, or lord among 
the bearers of glad tidings. The head was paraded by 
beat of drum through the army and through several of 
the chief towns of the Deccan. Santaji's death was a great 
loss to the Maratha cause. For seven years he had been 

* Another account given by Mr. Sardesai mentions that Santaji had killed 
Amritrao Nimbalkar Nagoji Mane's father-in-law. 



94 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

the terror of the Moghul armies and so great was the fear 
that prevailed among them both of him and of Dhanaji 
Jadav, that the Musulman troopers used, when their horses 
refused to drink, to ask them whether they saw the face 
of Santaji or of Dhanaji in the water. 

The emperor, greatly encouraged by the death of this 
brilliant soldier, devoted himself more zealously than ever 
to the subjugation of the western Deccan. He determined 
to take one by one the Maratha forts; and having driven 
the Maratha troops into the plains, to overwhelm them in 
the open. Had this strategy been adopted earlier, it might 
have succeeded. But the imperial troops had been so 
weakened by death and disease, discharges and desertions, 
that they did not now greatly outnumber the forces of the 
regent. Captured fortresses needed garrisons to hold them, 
and the creation of garrisons meant the further diminution 
of the imperial army. During the siege of Jinji the 
emperor had been compelled, in order to reinforce Zulfikar 
Khan, to reduce to a dangerously low number his army in 
the Deccan. The result was that a number of Deccan forts 
had passed into Maratha hands. I have already mentioned 
the recapture in 1692 of Rajgad and Panhala by Shankar 
Narayan Gandekar and Parashuram Trimbak. In the 
following 3''ear, 1693, Shankar Narayan took Torna and 
Rohida close to Rajgad and occupied effectively the countrj'- 
between these forts. Sidhoji Gujar, the Maratha Sarkhel 
or admiral, took Suvarnadurg and Vijaydurg on the Konkan 
coast. On Sidhoji's death the regent conferred the post 
and title of Sarkhel on Kanhoji Angre. The original name 
of the Angres was Sangpal and they claimed, apparently 
with justice that they were of pure Rajput descent. 
Kanhoji's father, Tukoji, had been a sailor in the Great 
King's fleet and Kanhoji had from boyhood served in the 
Maratha navy. He captured the Kolaba district, from the 
Abyssinians and in course of time recovered a large part 
of the Konkan seaboard. Vishalgad was retaken by 
Parashuram Trimbak. After Rajaram's fliglit the siege 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 95 

had at first languished, but was afterwards pressed with 
vigour. The viceroy evacuated it with the regular troopSj 
leaving its defence to a body of hillmen. They could not 
save the fort; but the gallantry of their defence may be 
judged by the fact that after its fall no less than seven 
hundred Maratha Avidows burnt themselves as Satis. The 
emperor garrisoned the fort with Maratha officers favour- 
able to his cause under the command of one Krishnaji 
Bhaskar Pandits The emperor's choice of a commandant- 
was unfortunate. For afterwards Parashuram Trimbak 
induced Krishnaji Bhaskar to admit a Maratha force, who 
destroyed or won over the Moghul garrison. 

To discuss the emperor's plan of campaign the regent 
called to Satara, which at Ramchandra's advice he now 
made his residence, his chief officers. It was a momentous 
council. Eight years before, the regent, then a youth of 
high promise, had left his country to the care of Ramchandra 
Bavdekar and had slipped out into the darkness to cross 
the peninsula in the disguise of a wandering beggar. His 
chances of escape were but few, j^et his death or capture 
meant the final extinction of Maratha hopes. Through 
imminent peril he had won his goal and at Jinji had 
sustained a siege hardlj' shorter than that of Troy with 
the skill and valour and more than the fortunes of Hector. 
He had created armies, he had planned campaigns, he had 
governed distant provinces. Well-nigh unbearable though 
his burden was, he had nobly and worthily borne it. 
Through an endless darkness he had kept alive the flicker- 
ing flame of his country's independence; and when the 
emperor thought lie had at last crushed him for ever, 
Rajaram had re-appeared in his own kingdom and had once 
again hurled defiance at the northern invader. 

When the council opened Ramchandra the viceroy, 
supported by his lieutenants, Parashuram Trimbak 
and Shankar Narayan, advanced to the regent's seat. 

*The descendants of Krishnaji Pandit are still to be found in Vishalgad state, 
Kiyasat 1, p. H38. 



•96 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

Ramchandra said in a grave, clear voice "During your 
Highness' absence from Maharashtra, we, so far as our 
humble powers permitted, guarded and administered your 
possessions. Now, with your leave, we return to you your 
kingdom." The regent acknowledged the viceroy's speech 
by praising the manner in which he had discharged the 
duties of his high office. He lauded the services of 
Atole, Dabhade, Pawar and Patankar and distributed 
to them and to others dresses of honour suited to their 
rank and achievements. He then disclosed to the council 
his plans. He meant to let the emperor wear out his 
army besieging the Deccan fortresses, while he and his 
lieutenants invaded with large bodies of horse the Moghul 
territories further than they had been invaded for many 
years. Thus while the emperor was trying to destroy his 
bases, the Marathas would retaliate by destroying his. 
^'The enemy's power is weakened", concluded Rajarara, 
"our troops no longer fear to meet the emperor's. Our 
task is reaching its close. By the blessing and merit of 
my father, the divine Shiva ji, fortune will crown our 
efforts with victory." He then raised Timaji Hanmante, 
son of Janardanpant Hanmante, to the office of Pratinidhi 
and appointed Ramchandra Bavdekar to his old post of 
Amatya or Finance Minister. 

Both sides were anxious to strike the first blow. But 
Aurangzib's preparations were hindered by the extraordi- 
nary rise of the Bhima river. For some years past he had 
established his headquarters at Brahmapuri. It had been 
fortified as became the residence of the emperor, and his 
high officers had built themselves costly and luxurious 
houses. In the monsoon of 1699 the Bhima river, which 
flowed past Brahmapuri, rose to an unprecedented height 
and overflowing its banks caused immense loss to the 
imperial army. Between ten and twelve thousand men 
perished; vast quantities of horses and cattle, tents, arms 
and equipment were swept away by the raging river. In 
despair the emperor wrote on scraps of paper verses from 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 97 

the Koran and with his own hand threw them into the 
water. When in due course the Bhima subsided, his 
courtiers ascribed its fall to the holy verses thrown into 
it. While Aurangzib, Koran in hand, was thus battling 
with the elements, the Maratha counter-offensive began. 
On Santaji Ghorpade's death, Rajaram had appointed 
Dhanaji Jadav to the chief command. As before, the 
Maratha army was formed to three divisions. Dhanaji 
Jadav in addition to his supreme command led one division. 
Parashuram Trimbak led the second and Shankar Narayan 
led the third. Early in 1699 Rajaram took the field with 
the combined divisions, amounting at least to sixty thousand 
men; and as the army advanced northwards, it was joined 
by brigades under Parsoji Bhosle, the founder of the 
Bhosle house of Nagpur, Haibatrao Nimbalkar, Nemaji 
Sindia*, and Atole. This mighty force moved towards the 
Godavari valley. The Moghul garrisons who tried to 
resist were overwhelmed. Dhanaji Jadav defeated one 
large body of imperial troops near Pandharpur. Shankar 
Narayan cleared another contingent under Sarze Khan out 
of the Poona district. Entering the valley of the Godavari, 
Rajaram publicly proclaimed his right to levy from it the 
chautJi and the sardeslmmkhi, the taxes of ',th and jV^^ 
which Shivaji had created. From those villages that could 
not pay, bonds were taken. From the Godavari valley 
Rajaram marched into Khandesh and Berar. This time 
he came not as a mere raider; and to convince the in- 
habitants that he would give them protection and exercise 
sovereignty, he divided the country into military districts 
and left in them strong detachments under distinguished 
generals. Khanderao Dabhade took command in Baglan 
and northern Nasik. Parsoji Bhosle was made governor 
of Berar, Nemaji Sindia governor of Khandesh and Haibatrao 
Nimbalkar governor of the valley of the Godavari. Rajaram 
himself led a large body of cavalry to plunder the rich 

* The real name is Shinde. But I have decided to adhere to the common 
spelling. 



98 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

city of Jalna, some miles south-east of Aurangbad. After 
the departure of the regent, Nemaji Sindia won an import- 
ant success near Nandarbar, a large town some eighty- 
miles east of Surat. Hearing that a Maratha army was in 
the neighbourhood, a Moghul* commander called Hussein 
All Khan, with seven or eight hundred horse and three 
thousand foot went out with more courage than prudence 
to meet it. The Moghuls fought well but they were 
surrounded and captured. Sindia fixed their ransom at 
two lakhs of rupees. Hussein Ali Khan managed to find 
among his friends security for one lakh and eighty 
thousand. Twenty thousand rupees remained still out- 
standing. He begged the help of the merchants of 
Nandarbar. But relying on a Moghul garrison, the 
merchants refused to pay anything to the Marathas either 
as ransom or tribute. Hussein Ali Khan found an ingenious 
way out of his difficulties. He induced Sindia to release 
him on parol that he might enter Nandarbar and person- 
ally interview the reluctant traders. Sindia was then to 
besiege the town. Two days afterwards Hussein Ali Khan 
would open the gates to the Marathas. Everything 
happened as Hussein Ali Khan planned. He found shelter 
inside Nandarbar and opened the gates to the Maratha 
army. He then led Sindia to the houses of the chief 
merchants and took an active part in torturing them until 
they disgorged their treasures. So effective was the joint 
action of the Moghul and Maratha commanders that instead 
of twenty thousand they soon extorted from the rich men 
of Nandarbar a hundred and seventy thousand rupees. Of 
these Sindia took a hundred and forty thousand. Hussein 
Ali Khan was allowed to keep the remainder himself. 

In the meantime the emperor had begun his new 
campaign. Leaving a garrison at Brahmapuri which he 
renamed Islampuri, he led out his grand army in October 1699 
to reduce the Maratha strongholds. His first object was 
Vasantgad, a large fort between the Krishna and Koyna 

*Khafi Khan, Vol. VII. Elliott and Dawson, p. 362. 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 99 

rivers. The garrison made a poor defence and surrendered 
before any real assault had been made*. The emperor 
fancied that he had at last hit upon the true method of 
subduing the Marathas. With premature bravado, he 
renamed his conquest Kilid-i-Fateh, or the Key of Victory. 
He next made a skilful feint towards Panhala, which the 
Marathas with all speed strengthened and provisioned. 
Then turning aside, he hastened by forced marches against 
the fort of Satara. This fort is a spur of the great 
Mahableshwar plateau and rises about a thousand feet 
above the Krishna valley. At its foot nestles the town of 
Satara, which had recently risen to the dignity of a capital. 
On the 8th December 1699 the emperor pitched his tents 
in the village of Karanja, where a ruined column still 
marks the site. To the west between Satara and Parali 
camped Azim Shah, whose name has has been commemo- 
rated by the village of Shahpurf. At Shendre village, 
Sharze Khan commanded the southern division of the 
grand army. A road which he built over the hill is still 
known as Sarza Khind or Sharze's Pass. Tarbiyat Khan 
commanded the forces to the east and was also in chief 
command of the siege operations. The siege was pressed 
with the utmost vigour and batteries were raised on the 
neighbouring mountain of Chambhar Tekadi, which com- 
manded Satara fort. But the defence was no less vigorous 
than the attack. The commandant was Prayagji Anant 
Phanse, a native of Panvel, one of that Prabhu community 
whose members had already given to Shivaji such signal 
instances of loyalty and devotion. Prayagji was an old 
servant of the house of Bhosle. As far back as 1649 he 
was in the service of Shivaji. For many years he had been 
commandant both of Satara and Parali; and a relic of his 
rule is yet to be found in the neighbourhood. On the 
great hill which marks the eastern end of the Mahableshwar 
plateau he built in the middle of a bamboo wood a temple 

* Scott's Deccan, vol. II, p. 97. 
fChitnis Bakhar. 



100 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

to the god Shiva and called it Yuvateshwar or the god of 
the bamboo trees. The temple is still to be seen and both 
it and the mountain on which it stands are familiar to 
residents in Satara as Yeoteshwar, The fort, however, was 
only provisioned for two months and must have yielded 
from hunger, had the Marathas not found an ally in the 
corruption of the emperor's son Azim Shall. Directly he 
had realised the emperor's design, Parashuram Trimbak 
had thrown himself into Parali, only six miles away. By 
means of large bribes he persuaded Azim Shah to let 
convoys of food and munitions pass from Parali into Satara. 
At the same time clouds of Maratha horse circled con- 
tinuously round the besieging army. Unable to reduce 
Satara by famine and threatened with scarcity himself, 
Aurangzib tried to make a breach in the fortifications. 
From a radius of several miles he attracted labourers to 
his camp by offering them a gold coin for every basket of 
earth they removed. When two of the borings had reached 
a sufficient depth, they were filled with explosives. A 
large storming party was held in readiness and a number 
of guns trained on the fort to support their attack. In 
order to attract the garrison to the spot where the mines 
would explode, the emperor decked himself in his state 
robes and jewels and accompanied by a splendid retinae 
had himself carried on a portable throne below the north- 
east corner of the fort. The garrison, including the 
commandant Prayagji Phanse, thinking the procession 
to be some religious celebration, crowded to the edge. 
Instantly the first mine was fired. A vast mass of stone 
rose in the air, carrying with it two hundred of the 
garrison. Under cover of the smoke and confusion and 
the fire of their own batteries, the storming party climbed 
up the hill. When they were half way up, the second mine 
was fired and the emperor hoped that its explosion would 
open a further breach for the attacking force. Unfortu- 
nately the mine exploded in the wrong direction. 
Quantities of great boulders rose in the air, but falling 



THE GREAT MOGHUL OFFENSIVE 101 

outwards showered on the heads of the unhappy Moghuls. 
The entire storming party was swept away. Some two 
thousand were buried under the falling stones. Hundreds 
of others were shot down by the garrison. Greatly cheered 
by this success, the garrison looked for their commandant. 
He had been sitting under a tree near the north-eastern 
bastion and had been blown up when the first mine ex- 
ploded. By great good luck some rocks, as they fell, 
formed an arch over his body. He was able to call his 
men who after considerable labour, dug him out unhurt. 
The loss of his storming party, as the Maratha chroniclers 
relate, so enraged the emperor that, losing his usual self- 
command, he ordered his elephants and all his transport 
cattle to be killed and their bodies piled up outside the 
walls as stepping stones by which his army might climb 
into the fort*. Asad Khan, however, persuaded him to 
countermand this ridiculous order and hinted that a better 
way would be to censure Azim Shah and make him stop 
his treacherous complaisance with the enemy. 

Aurangzib recovered his self-control and sending for 
Azim Shah reprimanded him so severely on the want of 
discipline that allowed convoys to pass through his lines, 
that the prince saw that further treachery was impossible. 
He accordingly wrote to Parashuram Trimbak warning 
him that in future he would seize all supplies meant for 
the besieged. This warning was communicated by Parashu- 
ram Trimbak to Prayagji Phanse. No sooner had the 
commandant heard it, than he received other and still 
more depressing information. This was the sudden 
death of the regent. After holding out for a week or two 
longer Prayagji opened negotiations. On the 21st April 
1700 he surrendered the fort. Although provisioned for 
only two months, it had stood a siege of six. The gallantry 
of its defence had foiled the emperor's design of reducing 
in the dry season the Maratha forts and of attacking 
during the monsoon Rajaram's unprotected armies. 

*Chitnis Bakhar. 



102 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

Nevertheless, heartened by the news of the regent's death, 
which he proclaimed everywhere by beat of drum, 
Aurangzib at once moved against Parali, To soothe 
Azim Shah's feelings hurt by the recent reprimand, and to 
stimulate him to more vigorous efforts in the coming 
siege, Aurangzib changed the name of Satara to Azim 
Tara or star of Azim Shah. He also announced that the 
whole credit of its fall was due to the tireless efforts of 
of his gallant son. On the March to Parali the emperor 
boasted to his soldiers that now Rajaram was dead, his 
arms would soon overcome the regent's helpless widow 
and children. 




ZULFIKAR KHAN 



[To face page 102] 



CHAPTER XXXIII 

THE MARATHA COUNTER-OFFENSIVE 
DEATH OF RAJARAM AND REGENCY OF TARABAI 

A. D. 1700 TO 1706 

As mentioned in the last chapter, Rajaram had taken with 
him a large force to attack Jalna. His march was at 
first successful. He plundered the city and then set it on 
fire. Entering the Godavari valley, he plundered Paithan, 
Bhid and other towns along the river banks. Fearing to 
penetrate further east he turned back, meaning to deposit 
his plunder within the walls of Sinhgad. He had no sooner 
turned than he was surprised and defeated by Zulfikar 
Khan. That talented captain had in a series of skilfully 
fought actions worsted repeatedly Dhanaji Jadav and had 
driven the Maratha troops out of south-eastern India. He 
then hastened north-west and inflicted on Rajaram's army, 
a severe reverse. The regent fell back with all speed, but 
he never shook off the Moghul pursuit. In this disastrous 
retreat the regent's resource and courage alone saved his 
army. Although half dead with fatigue, he fought for 
fifty miles a continuous series of rear-guard actions, and 
at last brought his command, reduced but not destroyed, 
to the welcome shelter of Sinhgad. Unhappily, the hard- 
ships and exposure aggravated a weakness of Rajaram's 
lungs contracted at Jinji, He at first seemed in good 
spirits at the fortunate end of his enterprise, received 
modestly the congratulations of Ramchandra Bavdekar 
and the other ministers. But after some days high fever 
set in with frequent hemorrhages. Knowing that his 
end was near, he called to his bedside his ministers and 
forgetful of his own sufferings, he commanded them not 



104 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

to relax their efforts in the war of liberation until King 
Shahu had been freed and the Moghuls driven from the 
land of the Marathas. He raised Ramchandra Bavdekar 
to the presidency of the council and bade the other 
ministers be guided by the old stateman's wisdom and 
experience. Then dismissing them, he composed his mind 
and met death with the firmness with which he had so 
often faced his enemies. (5th March 1700 Falgun Wadya 
9th, Shake 1621.) 

English historians have united in praising the placable 
temper, the regular life and the open-handed generosity 
of Rajaram. But he has been charged with complicity in 
the murder of Santaji Ghorpade. The only original 
authority that I have seen, that fastens on Rajaram a 
share in that gallant soldier's death is Scott's Deccan. 
But the Musulman historian therein translated has explained 
that Santaji Ghorpade, according to the regent's informa- 
tion, entered into a treasonable plot against him. This 
was not unlikely in view of Santaji's previous conduct. 
Nor did the times allow of formal investigation. Thus at 
most it can be said that Rajaram, acting on evidence 
before him, ordered Santaji's execution. But there is no 
reason to suppose that this historian is correct. Khafi 
Khan, a far more reliable authority, has laid no blame 
on the regent. He has ascribed the general's murder to 
the enmity of Dhanaji Jadav and Nagoji Mane. This view 
derives support from the fact that these officers made a 
common cause with the Moghul Firoz Jang, a course 
which Rajaram would certainly not have tolerated. It 
may be urged that the regent should at least have punished 
Dhanaji Jadav. Against a settled government this charge 
would have had some weight. But in times as difficult as 
those in which Rajaram ruled, it is impossible to expect 
perfect justice. Rajaram had just lost his best general. 
To have punished Dhanaji Jadav as he deserved, would 
have involved the loss of the only other Maratha captain 
who had so far shewn himself of outstanding ability, whose 



THE MARATHA COUNTER-OFFENSIVE 105 

loyalty was beyond question and who was closely connected 
by ties of kinship with the royal house. 

Rajaram's funeral ceremonies were performed by Jivaji 
Raje Bhosle. He was the direct descendant of Vithoji 
Bhosle, younger brother of Maloji Bhosle and Shivaji's 
great uncle. To keep alive the regent's memory, Ramchandra 
Bavdekar built on the edge of Sinhgad fortress a temple 
to Shiva. The temple was handsomely endowed with 
lands and money and may still be seen in undiminished 
splendour. Rajaram left two sons, Shivaji by Tarabai, 
Sambhaji by Rajasbai, and a daughter Soyarabai by 
Jankibai* his first wife, who had died in his early manhood. 
He left also a childless widow, Ambikabai, whose only 
daughter had died at Jinji. At the time of the regent's 
death, Tarabai, Rajasbai and their two sons were at Panhala. 
Ambikabai was at Vishalgad. Directly she heard the news 
of her husband's death, she declared her intention of 
burning herself as a sati. Several curious legends have 
centred round this brave lady's death. According to one 
tale, the commandant of Vishalgad laughed at her decla- 
ration and observed that it was but a sorry pretext for 
breaking through the restraints of the zanana. Ambikabai 
indignantly repudiated the charge and the gods supported 
her by striking blind the impious commandant. He humbly 
begged the queen's pardon and at her intercession, heaven 
restored the guilty wretch's sight. She then ordered a 
pyre to be prepared that she might burn herself alive. 
Her officers, however, urged that this was impossible. 
Rajaram had died three days before and his body had 
been already burnt. She should have burnt herself either 
with him or at any rate on the day of his death. She met 
this objection by pointing out that so far as she was 
concerned, it was the day of his death. She had only just 
heard of it. She then ordered wood for the pyre to be 
brought from Malkapur. Again her officers objected that 

*JaDkibai was the daughter of Prataprao Gujar, Soyarabai married Bajaji 
NimbaJkar, see vol. I, p. 243. 



106 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

this would take several hours and the sun was low on the 
horizon. But confident in her powers as a sati, Ambikabai 
put a twig on the ground and forbade the shadows to pass 
over it, until she had fulfilled her vow. Obedient to her 
command, the sun stood still in its course until the wood 
from Malkapur had arrived and the pyre had been built. 
Then taking in her hands a favourite turban of her husband 
she entered the pyre and with unflinching courage burnt 
herself to ashes. 

Tarabai, the chief queen of the dead regent, shewed a 
different but no less ardent spirit. She summoned a 
council of state on behalf of her son Shivaji and demanded 
his recognition as king of the Marathas. Ramchandra 
Bavdekar protested that the true king was Shahu, on 
whose behalf Rajaram had ruled. Shivaji could not have 
inherited from his father a better title than his father had 
possessed. At the same time he readily agreed to serve 
under Tarabai as regent for King Shahu. But the high 
spirited Tarabai impatiently brushed aside his objections 
and insisted that her son Shivaji should be crowned as 
king. "He is the Shivaji," she added, "of whom the pro- 
phecj'- runs that he will conquer all India from Attock to 
to Rameshwaram". She had already won to her son's 
cause Parashuram Trimbak and Shankar Narayan, who 
appreciated the advantage of serving a present rather 
than an absent king, no matter how strong the latter's 
claim. Relying on their support, Tarabai reduced Timaji 
Raghunath from the office of Pratinidhi and gave it to 
Parashuram Trimbak who had already held it for a short 
time in 1698. She reduced Shankar Malhar from the post 
of Pant Sachiv and gave it to Shankar Narayan Gandekar. 
The other ministers, overawed by her vigour, agreed to 
Shivaji's coronation. Early in 1701, the child was crowned 
with the customary splendour at Panhala and married to 
Bhawanibai, a daughter of the house of Ghatge. At the 
same time Tarabai threw her co-wife Rajasbai and her son 
Sambhaji into prison. 



THE MARATHA COUNTER-OFFENSIVE 107 

While this question of state was being settled, the 
emperor had taken Parali. It had been fortified and 
provisioned by Parashuram Trimbak and, according to 
the Maratha chroniclers, it received supernatural aid from 
the spirit of the dead saint, Ramdas. The vulgar belief 
had been that he was the re-incarnation of the monkey god 
Maruti, who had helped the divine Ramchandra in the 
conquest of Lanka. Sent by the dead saint, crowds of 
monkeys hastened to the defence of Parali* and hurled 
down rocks on the besieging Moghuls. Nor were they the 
only aid that the Marathas received from the animal 
kingdom. Clouds of wasps flew round the Moghul storm- 
ing parties and maddened them with their stings. However 
this may be, an attempt by Fateh Ulla Khan, the general 
in command of the siege operations, to carry the place by 
escalade failed disastrously. The scaling ladders were 
destroyed t and three hundred picked troops perished. 
But it was no part of Parashuram's policy to sustain a 
lengthy siege. All he wished to do was to engage the 
imperial army until the rains fell, when the monsoon would, 
he knew, cause it greater losses than any he and his 
garrison could inflict. He waited until the monsoon had 
burst. He then removed from Ramdas' temple the saint's 
images of Rama and Sita, sealed the saint's shrine and 
skilfully evacuating Parali, fell back on Wasota, a great 
fortress in the Koyna valley (June 1700). The emperor 
garrisoned Parali and pleased with its comparatively 
speedy fall renamed it Nauroz Tara, or the star of the 
new day. His pleasure, however, was short-lived. The 
Urmodi or Breast-breaker river which runs past the foot 
of Parali came down with the violence which has given to 
it its name, and destroyed quantities of baggage and 
animals. But when the army reached the Krishna, a dis- 
aster § of the first magnitude occurred. So violent was 

* Chitnis Bakhar. 
t Scott's Deccan. 
§ Khafi Khan. 



108 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

the current that Aurangzib's rear-guard was completely 
cut off. Nine out of ten of those who tried to swim the 
Krishna were drowned. The remainder stayed on the 
further bank without food or shelter. They perished to a 
man. Aurangzib and the bulk of the army reached 
Wardhangad in safety. There the emperor, justly attribut- 
ing the sufferings of his troops to the corruption and 
treachery of his son, Azim Shah, relieved him of his com- 
mand and appointed him governor of Ujjain. When the 
rains had abated, the emperor led his army out of the 
hills and camped at Khawaspilr* on the banks of the Man 
river. There he sent for reinforcements from Burhanpur, 
Bijapur, Haidarabad and Hindustan. But even at Khawas- 
pur the unhappy Moghuls were not free from misfortune. 
The rainfall at Khawaspur is, as a rule, light. But unluckily 
in October 1700 the rains fell with unusual violence and 
the Moghul camp was inundated by the sudden rise of a 
torrent which passed close to it. Numbers of soldiers and 
of transport cattle perished and the emperor, who was in 
bed with a sore foot was with some difficulty rescuedf. 

With senile obstinacy Aurangzib continued to besiege 
the Maratha fortresses. His next objective was Panhala. 
This fortress, as it will be remembered, had in spite of 
Ghatge's gallant defence been taken by the Moghuls and 
afterwards recovered by Farashuram Trimbak. The 
emperor once more laid siege to it. Dhanaji Jadav 
harassed in the usual Maratha way the besieging army. 
But Parashuram's tactics were now adopted by the com- 
mandants of all the forts. After a two months' siege 
during which the garrison inflicted as much loss as they 
could on the investing army, they cut their way through 
it and on the 28th May 1701 abandoned to the emperor 
the empty fortress. In the same year the emperor won 
the barren glory of retaking Chandan Wandan, near 
Satara. He met, however, a more vigorous resistance 

* Khawaspur is in the Sholapur district. 
t Scott's Deccan. 



THE MARATHA COUNTER-OFFENSIVE 109 

at Vishalgad. That stronghold, as has been related, had 
been taken by the Moghuls and afterwards betrayed by 
their commandant to the Marathas. In December 1701 
Parashuram Trimbak threw himself into Vishalgad, 
determined, if possible, to retain it. Fateh Ulla Khan, who 
commanded the besiegers, began his operations by massacring 
the entire population between Panhala and Vishalgad, a 
distance of about forty miles'. The Moghuls began the 
siege with a resolution that they had not shewn since the 
sieges of Bijapur and Golconda. Not only earth, but camel 
saddles, corpses of dead men and bodies of cattle were 
used to bring the siege works ever closer to the walls. 
Nevertheless for six months the garrison sustained with 
constancy all assaults. Then bribing Fateh Ulla Khan, 
Parashuram Trimbak left Vishalgad with his regular troops. 
On the 4th June 1702 a few hill-men surrendered to the 
Moghul general f. After this success, bought by rivers of 
his soldiers' blood, Aurangzib rested his troops. When 
the monsoon had passed, he moved to Poona and sat down 
before Sinhgad. It fell in April 1703 after a siege of three 
and a half months. But its capitulation was only obtained 
by a present of money to the commandant, who led out 
his garrison with the honours of war. The rainy season 
of 1703 the emperor spent in Poona. In December of that 
year to February 16th 1704 he was engaged in the invest- 
ment and capture of Rajgad. In March 1704 Torna fell 
by assault 1^. 

Thus by 1704 the emperor had so far achieved his object, 
that he had taken the chief Maratha strong places. But 
he was further than ever from the conquest of the Maratha 
people. He had boasted that he would soon crush his 
enemies now that the great king's house had dwindled to 
his two infant grandsons. But he was to learn that the 
death of Rajaram had in no way weakened the Maratha 



* Scott's Dcccan, vol. II, p. 110 et seq- 
t Aurangzib renamed it Saklierlaua. 
J Scott's Dcccan, vol. II-, p. 110 el seq. 



110 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

government. Tarabai had inherited the military talents 
and energy of her father Hambirrao Mohite. With the 
tireless vigour with which Hera strove to rouse against 
Priam the princes of Hellas, the Maratha queen flew from 
camp to camp and fortress to fortress. Living the life of a 
common trooper, exposed to the sun, sleeping on the ground, 
Tarabai was everywhere encouraging her officers, planning 
campaigns, organizing victories. Nor did the soldiers 
resent her interference. So clear was her vision, so 
unerring her judgment, that she was equally welcome on 
the battlefield and in the council chamber; and in no 
short time the Maratha counter-offensive, at first halting 
and ineffective, began to threaten the very heart of the 
Moghul empire. Nor could the invaded provinces offer 
any resistance. The emperor to reinforce his grand army 
had left behind only feeble garrisons and had disarmed 
the landowners to prevent them rebelling against the 
garrisons. Finding nowhere any organised opposition, 
the Marathas ceased to be mere raiders. Everywhere 
that their armies penetrated they created permanent 
administrations for the collection of revenue. Everywhere 
could be found their agents, their subhedars, and their 
Kamavisdars. In the year 1705 two Maratha armies 
simultaneously crossed the Narbada. One led by Nemaji 
Sindia forced the Vindhya mountains and ravaged Central 
India as far as Seronj, some fifty miles north of Bhopal. 
The other led by Khanderao Dabhade, turning aside from 
Surat and Broach threatened the whole of the wealthy 
viceroyalty of Guzerat. The Moghul government sent 
from Ahmadabad one Mahomed Beg Khan at the head of 
thirteen or fourteen thousand regular horse and a levy of 
ten thousand Kolis or hillmen. But Mahomed Beg Khan 
was no match for the experienced Maratha commander. 
First Dabhade sent a few squadrons to meet Mahomed Beg's 
army. Mahomed Beg thought them to be the entire force 
with which he had to deal and attacked them with twenty 
thousand men. The Maratha troopers fled at their 



THE MARATHA COUNTER-OFFENSIVE 111 

approach leaving as they fled some led horses, a few- 
spears and umbrellas. Mahomed Beg Khan congratulated 
himself and his men on their easy victory and collected 
triumphantly the spoils of war. As the day grew warmer, 
the conquerors camped on the banks of the Narbada; they 
unsaddled their horses, laid aside their arms and were 
soon asleep, dreaming of their recent triumph. Suddenly 
eight thousand Maratha horse, whose spies had been 
watching the Moghul movements burst on the unprepared 
enemy. A wild panic seized Mahomed Beg and his troops. 
The whole mass fled, hoping to put between them and the 
enemy the Narbada river. But a strong tide was sweeping 
up the estuary and men and horses were drowned by 
thousands. The remainder were cut down by the Marathas** 
Before evening the Moghul army had ceased to exist and 
Guzerat as far north as Ahmadabad was plundered by 
Khanderao Dabhade. 

These continual disasters broke the spirit of the im- 
perial soldiery. Worn out by twenty years of war, they 
could only, if led by Zulfikar Khan, be made to face the 
Maratha horse. On the Moghul side were slackness, 
disorganisation and dismay. On the Maratha side was the 
confidence born of repeated success. Indeed so great had 
become the contempt of the Marathas for the aged emperor, 
that to mock the Musulmans w^ho every Friday offered up 
prayers in Aurangzib's name, the Maratha captains also 
ordered their own men every Friday to offer up prayers 
to heaven to prolong indefinitely the life of one who 
opposed them so feeblyf. At last on the representations of 
his officers, Aurangzib's youngest son, Kam Baksh, who 
not long before had been released from captivity, obtained 
his father's leave to open negotiations with Dhanaji Jadavlj:. 
As Rajaram had done, Jadav demanded as a preliminarj'- 

* Khafi Khan. Elliott and Dowson, VII, p. 374. 

t Scott's Deccan. 

X Khafi Khan writes that Dhanaji Jadav opened the negotiations. But Grant 
Duff is, I think, correct in stating that the offer must have come from the 
Moghuls. 



112 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

condition the release of Shahu. The king was to be en- 
trusted to Kam Baksh's care and led by him to the Maratha 
camp, where he would receive and confer with the Maratha 
leaders. Thereafter the latter would present themselves 
before Aurangzib and receive recognition of the right of 
the Maratha government and levy chauth and sardeshnnikhi 
over the southern provinces of the empire. No less than 
seventy invitations to Maratha officers had been written, 
when the emperor broke off negotiations. Taught by 
bitter experience, he mistrusted the good faith of his son 
and formed the belief that the negotiations were only a 
screen for his impending treachery. It was the prince's 
intention to join with Shahu the Marathas and with their 
aid to depose Aurangzib and usurp the throne of Delhi. 
The emperor dismissed the Maratha envoys, recalled his 
own, and leaving the Maratha country led his grand army 
to the siege of Wakinkera (1706). 

After the fall of Bijapur, the Moghul generals reduced 
the fortresses owned by Sikandar Adil Shah. One of these, 
Sagar, between the confluence of the Bhima and the Krishna, 
was held by one Pem Naik*, the chief of a wild tribe 
called Berads, a name which the Musulman historians 
corrupted into Bedars or fearless ones. On the approach 
of the Moghul army, Pem Naik at once submitted and 
presenting himself at court was raised to the rank of a 
commander of five thousand. But the savage chieftain 
soon pined for his own wild highlands and asked for and 
obtained leave to go to Wakinkera, a walled village 
fifteen miles from Sagar. On his death shortly afterwards, 
Pirya Naik, setting aside the claims of Pem Naik's son, 
also called Pem Naik, succeeded to the headship of the 
Berad tribe. He presented himself at court, was given a 
command of five thousand and did excellent service under 
Rohulla Khan at the siege of Raichur. After the fall of 
that place he withdrew to Wakinkera and fortifying it 
became a robber chief. He collected round him fourteen 

*My account taken from Khafi Khan differs slightly from that of Grant Duff. 



THE MARATHA COUNTER-OFFENSIVE 113 

thousand infantry and four or five thousand horse. Allying 
himself to the Marathas, his attacks on the Moghul convoys 
prolonged without doubt the defence of Jinji. In vain 
the emperor sent against him a series of commanders. 
Some he successfully resisted, others he bribed. Aurangzib 
next sent against him his cousin Pern Naik, the lawful head 
of the Berads. But the wild tribesmen had no precise 
notion of the laws of succession and supported one whom 
they knew to be brave and fortunate. Pirya Naik drove 
away Pem Naik and cajoled the emperor with a present of 
seven lakhs. But neither threats nor danger checked the 
depredations of the Berad chief. While Aurangzib was 
besieging the Deccan forts, Pirya Naik seized a succession 
of convoys so valuable that the emperor, unable any longer 
to control his anger, abandoned in a fit of senile spite his 
whole plan of campaign. Leaving the Deccan he devoted 
his last days to the conquest of Wakinkera*. 

No decision could better have pleased the Marathas. 
Tarabai at once commanded Dhanaji Jadav to do all he 
could to thwart the besiegers, while she directed her 
generals to retake the Deccan forts. Ramchandra Bavdekar, 
although he had spoken warmly against Tarabai's usurpation 
of the throne for her son Shivaji, never relaxed his efforts 
in the national cause. On the departure of the grand 
army, he bribed the Moghul commandants of Panhala and 
Pawangad and with their connivance retook the fortresses f. 
He then ordered Parashuram Trimbak to retake Satara 
and Parali. The duty of retaking Satara Parashuram 
Trimbak delegated to a Brahman named Anaji. Anaji had 
been at one time a clerk attached to a company of Mawal 
infantry and he justified his superior's choice. He dressed 
himself in the garb of an anchorite and by performing a 
series of severe penances § outside the fort gates but in the 



*The correct spelling is Wakinkheden, but I have adhered to the spelling 
sanctioned by long usage. 

fVithoji Kesarkar and Baloji Myle commanded the Maratha forces. 
§Chitnis Bakhar. 

8 



114 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

sight of the garrison, led the Hindu sepoys to admit him. 
Inside the fort he made no attempt to hide, but built 
himself a straw shed, wherein he lived on so harsh a diet 
that he convinced the Moghul commandant that he was 
indifferent to the things of this world and cared only for 
his own future in the next. With careless contempt the 
Moghul let the anchorite roam as he would. By money 
and eloquence Anaji artfully corrupted the Hindu soldiers 
among the garrison. At the same time he kept in constant 
touch with Parashuram Trimbak, until one night the latter 
at the head of a storming party took Satara by escalade 
and put the garrison to the sword. A few days later 
Parashuram Trimbak took Parali by escalade. This was 
the signal for a great religious rejoicing. Ramdas' images 
of Rama and Sita were brought back in triumph from 
Wasota and Ramdas' own shrine was opened and purified. 
About the same time as Satara and Parali were retaken, 
Shankar Narayan Gandekar retook Sinhgad, Rajgad and 
Torna. Having thus robbed Aurangzib of the fruits 
of his recent campaign, the Maratha captains concentrated 
their divisions in the neighbourhood of Wakinkera. Pirya 
Naik had made a gallant defence and from guns of every 
calibre had fired cannon balls and showered rockets on 
the Moghul lines. Nevertheless the emperor pressed the 
siege with vigour and seemed on the point of taking 
Wakinkera when he was compelled to meet a general 
attack b}'- Dhanaji Jadav at the head of largely increased 
forces. Dhanaji Jadav and several other Maratha leaders 
had in 1703 entrusted their wives to Pirya Naik's keeping. 
They now formed a bold scheme for their rescue. The 
Maratha army pressed home a vigorous attack on the 
besiegers and were with difficulty beaten off. During the 
battle a body of three thousand horse cut their way 
through the investing lines and into the fort. There they 
mounted the generals' wives on spare horses and once 
more cut their way out. In spite of this success the 
emperor's progress continued, so the Berad chief had re- 



THE MARATHA COUNTER-OFFENSIVE 115 

course to a ruse. His brother Som Shankar* presented 
himself at the Moghul headquarters and asked forgiveness 
for Pirya Naik and a week's truce. His erring brother, 
so Som Shankar said, had gone mad and jumped from the 
fort walls. If nothing was heard of him at the end of a 
week he, Som Shankar, would surrender. The week passed 
and a small force under Muhtasham Khan entered Wakin- 
kera to take possession of it in the emperor's name. But 
the shrieks and screams of Pirya's mother for her missing 
son so distressed the new commandant that for several 
days he did not disturb her possession. At last he insisted 
that she should hand over the citadel. The old lady with 
streaming eyes consented, but prayed that Som Shankar 
should be sent back from the Moghul lines, as he alone 
knew where his brother had buried his treasures. Her 
prayer was granted and Som Shankar returned. No sooner 
had he done so than Pirya Naik emerged from hiding, 
seized Muhtasham Khan and the men with him and once 
more closed the gates in the face of the enemy. The delay 
gained by the arts of Pirya, Som Shankar and their 
mother had enabled fresh bodies of Marathas to join 
Dhanaji Jadav; so Aurangzib ordered Zulfikar Khan to 
hasten to him with all available reinforcements. The 
arrival of this talented commander restored confidence in 
the investing army and once again the siege progressed. 
Zulfikar Khan skilfully seized the wells on which the 
garrison depended, and following up this success he pushed 
his trenches so near the main works of the fortress that 
the emperor fixed the folloAving day for a general assault. 
Pirya Naik realised that Wakinkera was no longer tenable. 
He left three thousand picked troops with orders to defend 
the walls to the last. With the rest of his army he left 
the fortress by a number of secret tunnels which he had 
dug for such an emergency and joined Dhanaji Jadav. 
When Zulfikar Khan next day made his way into Wakin- 
kera over the bodies of Pirya Naik's rearguard, he found 

* Khafi Khan. 

8* 



116 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

an empty fortress (27th April 1705). The guns had been 
destroyed, the provisions burnt and everything of value 
taken away by the fleeing garrison. The emperor affected 
to be pleased by the fall of Wakinkera and renamed it 
Rahman Baksh, or the gift of the Merciful One. But the 
escape of Pirya Naik, following as it did the loss of Satara 
Parali, Rajgad, Sinhgad, Torna and Panhala, for the cap- 
ture of which he had sacrificed his grand army, preyed 
on his mind. He fell seriously ill and for ten or twelve 
days his life was despaired of. He recovered, but he knew 
himself a beaten man. He had but one desire and that 
was to withdraw safely his army and himself from the 
country which he no longer hoped to conquer. (December 
1706.) 



CHAPTER XXXIV 

THE MARATHA COUNTER-OFFENSIVE 
RETREAT AND DEATH OF THE EMPEROR 
RELEASE AND CORONATION OF SHAHU 

A. i>. 1706 TO 1708 

AuRANGZiB had recourse to two devices in the hope of 
securing an unmolested retreat. First he sent Zulfikar 
Khan to besiege Sinhgad, and thus create in the minds of 
the Marathas the belief that he still intended to reduce 
their fortresses. Next he made Shahu write to various 
Maratha leaders and call on them to submit. These 
letters, the emperor hoped, would create such divisions 
among his enemies as would enable him to escape from 
their assaults. Neither device was successful. Zulfikar 
Khan with his usual skill retook Sinhgad but had then to 
try and rejoin the emperor, thus betraying the latter's 
plan; and directly Zulfikar Khan left the neighbourhood 
Shankar Narayan once more scaled Sinhgad*. Shahu's 
letters, written as they were at the dictation of Aurangzib, 
were very properly disregarded. Seeing that the grand 
army was about to fall back, the Marathas strained every 
nerve to destroy it, before it reached a place of safety. 
Hamid-ud-din Khan was in charge of tlie Moghul rear- 
guard. But so anxious was he to save himself, that he 
gave the post of danger to younger and untried officers. 
Between Bahadurpur and Ahmadnagar, which the retreat- 
ing army was struggling to reach, Dhanaji Jadav with a 
great Maratha force fell upon the rearguard. It was 
entirely destroyed or dispersed, its commanders were 
killed or held to ransom and the emperor's own baggage 

* Scott's Deccan. 



118 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

train was taken. Indeed had Dhanaji Jadav pressed his 
success he could have captured Aurangzib himself. But 
when the Marathas had cut their way to the emperor's 
bodj^guards, the near presence and pomp of majesty so 
overawed them, that they did not dare advance. To this 
circumstance alone Aurangzib owed his escape from their 
arms. 

At last the walls of the great fort built by Ahmad 
Nizam Shah offered a kindly refuge to the war-worn 
autocrat. Twenty-one years before he had camped there, 
confident that in a few months' time he would, like 
Ala-ud-din, have added all southern India to his dominion. 
He reached it now in January 1707, bankrupt in hopes 
and power, his army shattered, his treasury empty, conscious 
that his sons were but waiting for his death to begin anew 
the struggle for the Delhi throne. All around him were 
Maratha armies led by Dhanaji Jadav, Nemaji Sindia and 
Udaji Pawar, and for a time it seemed that even Ahmadnagar 
could not long protect him. Happily for Aurangzib, he 
had with him Iklas Khan, the son of that Sheikh Nizam 
Haidarabadi who had shared with his father the credit of 
Sambhaji's capture. Iklas Khan, who had been honoured 
by the title of Khan Alam or lord of the known world, 
reorganised the troops, dismissed such officers as had 
particularly disgraced themselves and inspired in the 
cowering fragments of the grand army some of his own 
courage. Earlj'- in February 1707 he led a Moghul force 
out of the shelter of Ahmadnagar and inflicted a severe 
reverse on Dhanaji Jadav. The respite thus gained enabled 
Zulfikar Khan to effect a junction with Aurangzib. The 
arrival of this able soldier restored for a time, at any rate, 
the Moghul fortunes. He was at once put in chief command 
and Iklas Khan sent to guard Central India. Zulfikar 
Khan stored his baggage in Ahmadnagar fort and organised 
a strong flying column. With it he pursued Dhanaji Jadav, 
and driving him first across the Bhima and then across 
the Krishna, encamped at Miraj. 



THE MARATHA COUNTER-OFFENSIVE 119 

But a more powerful foe than any Maratha leader had 
risen up against Aurangzib. About the 15th February 
1707, the emperor was attacked by fever. He aggravated 
his illness by unceasing prayers; and although he shewed 
himself daily to his officers they could see on his counte- 
nance the stamp of death. Hamid-ud-din Khan, who in 
spite of his recent cowardice in the field, really loved his 
master, sought counsel of some Hindu astrologers. They, 
after the manner of their kind, prescribed that Aurangzib 
should give in charity a rich jewel and a royal elephant. 
The emperor contemptuously wrote on the back of the 
prescription that to give away an elephant was not the 
custom of a good Musulman but the accursed practice of 
Hindus and star-worshippers*. Then he sent a letter with 
four thousand rupees to the chief Kazi of Ahmadnagar 
and asked that they should be distributed among the 
deserving poor. He ended the letter with a Persian 
couplet, which being interpreted ran as follows: 

" Carry this creature of dust quickly to the first burial place 
And consign him to the earth without any useless coffin." 

He did not, however, pass away until the 3rd March 
and his last days were embittered by the quarrels of his 
sons, Mahomed Akbar and Sultan Mahomed were dead. 
The three survivors were inflamed by mutual enmity. 
Shah Alam the eldest, had been released some years before 
and was governor of the Panjab. Azim Shah was governor 
of Ahmadabad. Kam Baksh was with the emperor. Of 
these the most ambitious and self-confident was Azim 
Shah. Hearing of his father's failing health, he begged 
leave to visit him, pleading that the air of Ahmadabad 
did not suit him. The emperor had, when about to rebel 
against Shah Jehan, written in the same strain and he 
fancied that Azim Shah meant to follow his example. He 
wrote back refusing Azim Shah leave, adding sardonically 
that all airs (hava) suited a man's health except the airs 
(hava) of ambition. Azim Shah, undaunted by this rebuff, 

* Khafi IChan. 



120 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

persisted in his petitions and at last obtained leave. He 
reached Ahmadnagar a few days before the emperor's 
death and at once picked a quarrel with Ka^i Baksh, his 
father's youngest and favourite son. At last Aurangzib to 
separate them sent Kam Baksh to Bijapur and appointed 
Azim Shah to be governor of Central India. Nevertheless 
he knew that after they had left, their partisans were 
intriguing, scheming, canvassing among the soldiers to 
secure the succession. In despair the emperor drew up a 
will, by which he divided his empire between his sons and 
entrusted it to Hamid-ud-din Khan. On the morning of 
3rd March 1707 Aurangzib rose as usual and said, as 
strictly as ever, his morning prayer. An hour later he was 
dead. He had reigned for forty-nine years and was in his 
eighty-ninth year. 

It is difficult, if not imposible, for a historian of the 
Maratha people to do justice to Aurangzib. His conduct 
towards Shivaji and Sambhaji was treacherous and cruel. 
His every relation with the kings of Bijapur and Golconda 
was stained with inhumanity and perfidy. His kindness 
towards Shahu was prompted by political rather than 
charitable motives. Still it must be conceded that of all 
the Delhi emperors the memory of Aurangzib is dearest 
to Indian Musulmans. If to Hindus he was cruel and 
intolerant, to the orthodox* followers of Islam he was 
gracious and indulgent. Yet his excessive partiality to 
Musulmans convicts the emperor of folly. The Moghul 
throne was guarded by the swords of the Rajput clans. 
Conquered and conciliated by Akbar, honoured alike by 
Jahangir and Shah Jehan, the chiefs of Rajasthan had 
during their three reigns been the bulwark of the house 
of Timur. The soul of chivalry, they had poured out like 
water in the service of the empire, the best blood of their 
kingdoms. It was not until they had suffered a succession 
of insults from the bigoted Aurangzib that their hearts 

* Aurangzib treated the kings of Bijapur and Golconda badly because they 
were Shiaa. 



THE MARATHA COUNTER-OFFENSIVE 121 

turned against him. In his youth Aurangzib had rebelled 
and imprisoned an indulgent father and murdered two of 
his brothers. The crimes of his youth bore bitter fruit. 
Through his long life he was haunted by the fear that his 
sons would behave to him as he had behaved towards Shah 
Jehan ; and his great campaign in the south was several times 
frustrated by the treasons of his family. In considering the 
character of Aurangzib, it is impossible not to recall another 
great emperor, who nearly seventeen hundred years before 
ended his days in the little island of Capri. Nature had 
bestowed on Tiberius a commanding presence, a penetrating 
mind, the power to lead armies and to rule senates. Humiliated 
by his adopted father, betrayed by his wife, his daughter- 
in-law and his dearest friend, he grew into a tyrant, evil 
and suspicious. Yet had the murderer of Agrippina and 
Drusus lived during the wars against Carthage, he might 
well have emulated his kinsman and namesake, who on the 
banks of the Metaurus saved the fortunes of Italy. Had 
Aurangzib not been born in the purple, his courage, his 
military talents, his frugal and virtuous life would 
assuredly have won him high distinction; and the mur- 
derer of Dara Shukoh and Sultan Morad might well have 
left a respected name, as one of the bravest and most 
fortunate of the Moghul commanders. 

No sooner had the news of their father's death reached 
the ears of the rival princes, than the}'^ all prepared for 
war. Shah Alam, the eldest, was at Peshawar and at once 
started for the capital. Nearer than his brothers, he 
reached Delhi first and making himself master of what 
remained of the Moghul treasure, he proclaimed himself 
emperor. Azim Shah, who had at first returned to 
Ahmadnagar, marched to oppose him with the Malwa troops 
and the remains of the grand army. At Zulfikar Khan's 
advice, he released Shahu, so that the Marathas involved 
in their own disputes, might not molest him. Shah Alam, 
whose kindly nature abhorred the fratricidal strife, offered 
Azim Shah for a kingdom the provinces of the Deccan 



122 A HISTORY OF THE MARA.THA PEOPLE 

and Guzerat. But the younger brother contemptuously- 
refused the offer, observing that for the son of a Moghul 
emperor there was no choice save between a coffin and a 
throne*. The contending armies met at Jaju, fifteen miles 
from Agra. Azim Shah was defeated. Refusing to 
surrender, he died on the battlefield. After the death of 
his more serious rival, Shah Alam offered to confirm Kam 
Baksh in his governorship of Bijapur and Golconda. But 
the Moghal prince thought that to refuse battle would 
stain the honour of a descendant of Timur. Zulfikar Khan 
who, after Azim Shah's defeat had been pardoned and 
promoted by the kindly Shah Alam, was sent with an army 
against Kam Baksh. The general and the prince had been 
inflamed by mutual enmity since the siege of Jinji and 
Zulfikar Khan fell upon Kam Baksh, his talents whetted 
by the fury of his hatred. The result of the battle was 
never in doubt. Kam Baksh's army was destroyed and 
the prince wounded and taken. Shah Alam tried to console 
his brother, but the proud youth could not endure his 
misfortunes and he died a day or two after the downfall 
of his hopes. He was buried near the tomb of his ancestor 
Humayun. After the death and defeat of his two brothers 
Shah Alam under the title of Bahadur Shah became emperor 
of Delhi in February 1708 a. d. The quarrels of the dead 
emperor's sons had given Tarabai a chance of increasing 
the Maratha conquests. Poona and Chakan were at this 
time held for the Moghuls by an officer named Lodi Khan. 
Him Dhanaji Jadav attacked and defeated and Tarabai 
began to weave further schemes for the extension of her 
son's dominion. These schemes were frustrated by the 
release of Shahu. As a condition of his release he had 
agreed to rule as a feudatory of Azim Shah and to leave 
behind him as hostages his surviving wife, his mistress 
Virubai, a pretty slave girl whom Aurangzib had given 
him at the time of his marriage, his mother Yesubai and 
his illegitimate half-brother Madansing. On the other 

" Takht ya takhta, was the Persian saying. 



THE MARATHA COUNTER-OFFENSIVE 123 

hand Azim Shah had granted Shahu the sardeshmuTcJd and 
the chauth over the six Deccan subhas*. Shahu was also 
appointed governor of Gondwana, Guzerat and Tanjore 
during good behaviour. 

For Shahu's escort Azim Shah detached a few Rangadf 
troopers. His personal attendant Jyotaji Kesarkar, the 
patil or headman of Punal near Panhala, went with Yesubai 
to Delhi, in order that he might get the sanad from the 
hands of the emperor. Events, however, had turned out 
contrary to Azim Shah's hopes and by the time Jyotaji 
Kesarkar reached the capital, Shah Alam was emperor. A 
quarrel now arose between Zulfikar Khan and Munim 
Khan, the vazir, as to whether the new emperor should 
recognise Shahu or Tarabai's son Shivaji. At last Zulfikar 
Khan contrived the recognition of Shahu. Zulfikar Khan 
was subhedar or viceroy of the Deccan and he had ap- 
pointed Daud Khan, the captor of Jinji, as his deputy. 
Zulfikar Khan made Daud Khan agree to grant the claims 
of Shahu to the chauth and sardeshniukhl over the six 
subhas of the Deccan, provided they were collected and 
paid by Daud Khan's own lieutenants. 

Shahu's return was not greeted by the rejoicings that 
had welcomed the return of Shivaji or indeed of Rajaram. 
Shahu's situation resembled that of Herod Agrippa. Both 
princes had been brought up in a foreign capital and had 
all but wholly lost touch with their own countrymen. But 
Shahu's case was even worse than Herod's, for Tarabai 
had in his absence usurped his throne for her own son 
Shivaji. Indeed had the latter been a boy of ordinary 
understanding, it is probable that Shahu would never have 
regained his throne. Rajaram had indeed chivalrously 
styled himself Shahu's deputy. But for political purposes 

*The six subhas of the Deccan were Khandosh, Berar, Auiangabad, Bedar, 
Haidarabad or Goleonda and Bijapur. The two last became greatly enlarged by 
conquests. The southern provinces overrun by the Moghul armies were divided 
between these two subhas and were called respectively the Haidarabad or Bijapur 
Camatic. 

t Rangads are Rajput converts to Tslam. 



124 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

he had assumed the royal insignia and the Maratha people 
had all regarded him as their king. They therefore deem- 
ed the succession of his son Shivaji as the natural descent 
of the crown. But Shivaji was an idiot and Rajasbai, 
Tarabai's co-wife, was sedulously pushing the claims of 
her son Sambhaji. Many, therefore, of the Maratha nobles 
were ready to support Shahu to avert a civil war between 
Rajaram's widows. Tarabai, however, proclaimed that 
Shahu was an impostor and that Sambhaji's son had died 
many years before. Not to lose a weapon against the 
Marathas, Aurangzib had substituted for the dead prince 
another boy of the same age. Tarabai's proclamation was 
not inherently improbable, since Aurangzib had adopted 
this very course when, on Jasvant Sing's death, his two 
sons had escaped from Delhi to Udaipur. Tarabai com- 
manded her officers to swear on milk and boiled rice 
fidelity to her son against all claimants. Three only 
obeyed. They were Parashuram Trimbak who owed to 
her the office of Pratinidhi, Ramchandra Bavdekar, who 
had been won over entirely to Tarabai's cause and Shankar 
Narayan whose reverence for Ramchandra Bavdekar im- 
pelled him to adopt the views of his former master, what- 
ever they were. The others would only swear fidelity to 
Shivaji, provided Shahu proved to be an impostor. Thus 
the question really narrowed itself to this — was Shahu 
Sambhaji's son or not ? 

As Shahu rode through the mountain passes to Burhan- 
pur, he for the first time learnt of Tarabai's designs. In 
a hilly tract, not far from Burhanpur, lived a zamindar 
Sajjansing by name. From him Shahu begged arms and 
men, and indeed he needed them, for his only troops 
were his escort of fifty Rangad horse. Sajjansing jpromised 
Shahu his support. Encouraged by the zamindar's 
adhesion, Shahu sent letters to the chief Maratha leaders 
appealing to their loyalty. The first to join him was 
Parsoji Bhosle. The next was a robber baron named 
Amritrao Kadam Bande, who had a castle at Kokarmanda 



THE MARATHA COUNTER-OFFENSIVE 125 

on the banks of the Tapti. The third was Chimnaji Damodar 
Moghe in command of the Maratha troops in South 
Khandesh. A movement of this kind is infectious. 
Haibatrao Nimbalkar and Nemaji Sindia, the two Maratha 
officers in Baglan and northern Nasik, followed the lead 
of Parsoji Bhosle. Shahu now felt sufficiently strong to 
send to Tarabai a letter announcing his arival and 
demanding his throne. He then halted at Ahmadnagar, 
where according to the Musulman historian* he visited 
the spot where Aurangzib, for whom he had always 
cherished kindly feelings, had died where his heart is still 
turned. From Ahmadnagar Shahu went to a little town- 
ship called Paradf. The headman, a Maratha named 
Lokhande held the village in the Moghul interest. He 
closed the gates, fired on Shahu's outposts and shot dead 
the royal messenger, who called on him as a loyal subject 
to open the town. Shahu decided to make an example of 
the truculent peasants. He sent for his artillery and 
battered a breach in the walls. As he was about to order 
the assault, the headman's daughter-in-law rushed out of 
the village and put her baby at the king's feet and begged 
him to spare it. The king greeted the young woman 
kindly and had her taken to a place of safety. He then 
ordered the attack. The troops poured through the 
breach and put to the sword Lokhande and most of the 
villagers. Gratified with this success, the king on his 
return to camp adopted the Lokhande baby as his own, 
gave him the surname of Bhosle and called him Fatehsing 
or the Lion of Victory. He gave him also the fief of 
Akalkot which Aurangzib had given § to Shahu as a 
wedding present, when he married him to Ambikabai, the 
daughter of Jadav of Sindkhed, and to Savitrabai, the 
daughter of Sindia of Kanherkhed. The baby grew to be 

* Khafi Khan. 
t Shedgaokar Bakhar. 

§Aurangzib at the same lime gave Shahu Indapur and the swords of Shivaji 
and Af/.ul Khan taken at Raygad. 



126 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

a man, and became the ancestor of the well-known Rajas 
of Akalkot. 

From Parad Shahu marched to Khed, a town in the 
Poona district on the Bhima river. There he met the 
large army which Tarabai had sent against him under the 
leadership of Dhanaji Jadav and Mansing More. With 
them better to serve her interests she had sent Khando 
Ballal Chitnis. Shahu was unwilling to risk a battle 
against so redoubtable a captain as Dhanaji Jadav, so he 
resorted to other means. Taking with him his personal 
attendant Jyotaji Kesarkar who had overtaken him at 
Burhanpur he mounted his elephant and went boldly towards 
the enemy's lines until he could distinguish Dhanaji Jadav 
and Mansing More. He then called on them to join their 
lawful master. Their allegiance to Tarabai had already 
been shaken by Shahu's letters. His resolute action now 
convinced them that the prince was no impostor. They 
went over with their troops to Shahu and b}^ their desertion 
enabled Shahu to defeat and disperse Tarabai's forces. 
After the victory Shahu marched through Chakan, Poona, 
Jejuri and laid siege to Chandan Wandan a great double 
fortress visible from Satara town. It surrendered after a 
short siege. Parashuram Trimbak with the remains of the 
Khed army threw himself into Satara fort and refused to 
admit that Shahu was king Sambhaji's son. Unwilling to 
press matters against his aunt, Shahu engaged in a desultory 
siege of the place. He was moved to more vigorous action 
by the unsolicited advice of an old Maratha woman. One 
day he had gone hunting and overtaken by darkness he 
took shelter in a village called Banavadi*. The patil's 
wife, an aged lady, offered him for supper some boiled rice. 
Shahu with a hunter's appetite hastily took a mouthful 
and burnt himself. His hostess, ignorant of her guest's 
identity observed, "You are behaving like King Shahu. 
Instead of reducing the countryside he wastes his time, 
trying to take the capital. In the same way, you instead 

* Shedsraokar Bakhar. 



THE MARATHA COUNTER-OFFENSIVE 127 

of taking the rice at the edge of your plate, where it is 
cool, take it from the middle where it is still too hot to 
eat." Next day Shahu returned to his army and followed 
the old lady's excellent advice. Leaving an investing force 
round Satara fort, he reduced the Krishna and Yenna 
valleys and then returned to crush Parashuram's resistance. 
The commandant of Satara fort was a Musulman named 
Sheikh Mira, whose wife and children were at Wai. Shahu 
had them arrested and brought below the walls of Satara. 
There he tied them to guns, threatening to blow them to 
pieces unless Sheikh Mira surrendered. The threat proved 
too much for the commandant. He seized Parashuram 
Trimbak, and handed over to Shahu the fortress of Satara. 
The king entered the great stronghold in state and flung 
Parashuram Trimbak into a dungeon. Sheikh Mira was 
deeply concerned about the fate of Parashuram Trimbak, 
whom he warmly liked and respected. Before surrendering 
Satara, he had made the king promise to give him in 
return for the fortress anything he asked for. When 
Shahu had secured it he asked Sheikh Mira to name his 
reward. Sheikh Mira threw himself at the royal feet and 
begged him to release Parashuram and make him his 
Pratinidhi. The king unwilling to break his word sent 
for Parashuram and offered to confirm him in his post. 
The latter felt deeply grateful to Sheikh Mira, but he would 
not abandon Tarabai. The king sent him back to prison 
but to honour him had his iron fetters changed to silver 
ones. Shortly after Satara, Parali, and Mahimangad 
surrendered to Shahu. 

The prince had wished to make Ahmadnagar his capital 
but Zulfikar Khan would not permit its occupation by the 
Marathas. Shahu, therefore, selected Satara which since 
Rajaram's time had been the Maratha headquarters. Now 
master of it, he thought the time favourable for his coro- 
nation. In January 1708* he ascended the throne with all 

* The date of Shahu's coronation has been settled by a letter quoted by Mr. 
Sardesai. The capture of Satara has always been regarded by Shahu's successors 



128 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

the ceremonial adopted by Shivaji. Since Parashuram 
Trimbak would not desert Tarabai, Shahu gave the post 
of Pratinidhi to Gadadhar Pralhad. He gave the post of 
Peshwa to Bahiro Pingle, the son of Moro Pingie.f He 
gave to Hanmante the office of Pant Amatya held by 
Ramchandra Nilakanth, who after a quarrel with Tarabai 
was now more devoted to her than ever. The queen had 
been greatly disturbed by Shahu's success at Parad. She 
vented her ill temper so violently on Ramchandra Nilkanth 
that in his wrath he sent a friendly message to the young 
king. This came to the knowledge of the queen. She 
promptly put Ramchandra in silver chains and threw him 
into a dungeon. On hearing of Dhanaji Jadav's desertion 
and of the fall of Satara she grew desperate. She opened 
the door of Ramchandra Nilkanth's prison and had him 
escorted with great honour into her presence. On his 
arrival she placed in his lap her son Shivaji and her step- 
son Sambhaji and imploring him to protect them, made 
him her chief minister. From that time on Ramchandra 
Nilkanth remained her loyal servant. The king left vacant 
the post of Pant Sachiv held by Shankar Narayen, who 
stood by Tarabai. The office of commander-in-chief he 
gave to Dhanaji Jadav. 

Having thus settled his Government, Shahu resolved to 
visit Parali in person and win to his cause the powerful 
spiritual aid of Ramdas' followers. The saint on his death 
had resigned the management of Ramchandra's temple to 
his female disciple Akka. She received Shahu and 
acknowledged him as Sambhaji's son. She next begged 
that he would free her in her old age from the arduous 
task assigned to her and give it to Gangadhar Swami, the 



as the most important event in his reign. It was taken on a Satiirtlay and it was 
always the custom of the Maharajas of Satara — now it is the custom of their 
descendants, the Sardars of Satara — to sound drums on Saturday in honour of the 
event. Sheikh Mira was the ancestor of the present Sai'dar of Wai. 
t Nilo Pingle, Bahiro's elder brother, remained with Tarabai. 



THE MARATHA COUNTER-OFFENSIVE 129 

grandson of Ramdas' elder brother Shreshta.* The king- 
agreed and sent a palanquin with an escort to fetch 
Gangadhar. In due course Gangadhar came and while 
waiting for leave to visit the king put up in a house on 
the banks of the Krishna a few miles away. The king- 
hearing of this went to see him but found him in a deep 
religious trance. Shahu waited patiently until Gangadhar 
recovered consciousness. He then bowed in front of 
Ramdas' kinsman and invited him to go with him to 
Satara, where for four or five days he entertained the 
Swami in splendid state. The king thus strove to propi- 
tiate orthodox Hindu opinion and to gain over those, who 
had been alienated from him by his long residence at the 
Moghul court and by his recent pilgrimage to the tomb 
of the dead emperor. 

* This was his title just as Ramdas' was Samai'tha. Shreshta's real name was 
■Gangadhar like his grandson's. 



130 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 



APPENDIX 

The following is a specimen of the letters sent by Shahu to 
Maratha Officers and Nobles as he advanced. 

From Maharaja Shahu 

To Malaji Jedhe Deshmukh of Rohidkhora. 

"We, the Maharaja, are i^leased to order you as follows: — "We are at present 
at Chorwad District Utran in Khandesh. We are advancing by rapid marches. 
You have long served the ci'own. Come therefore now and serve us. As we 
advance join us with your followers. When we meet, we shall consider how best 
we can reward you. Fail not to act as we bid you." 

Sardesai vol. I. 



CHAPTER XXXV* 

SOCIAL CUSTOMS OF THE 
HIGH CASTES IN MAHARASHTRA 

The present stage in our History is, as it seems to me, a 
suitable one in which to examine for a moment the customs 
and observances of the people whose story I am relating. 
The English reader will greatly err, if he thinks that they 
in any way resemble those of western Europe. The 
Hindu's life is bound up in an intricate ceremonial quite 
foreign to the experience of Englishmen. Indeed in his 
mode of life, in his demeanour, in his mental outlook, 
when unaffected by contact with Europeans, the Hindu 
far more resembles the Hellene or Roman of classical 
times than the westerner of to-day. Nor is this extra- 
ordinary. Hinduism is the eldest of three great sister 
Aryan civilisations. The younger sisters were Hellenism 
and Mazdaism. In the first century before Christ 
Hellenism was mistress of the Mediterranean and the 
Euxine and from Marseilles to Trebizond, the populations 
worshipped the gods of Attica. In Iran flourished still 
the worship of the great Ahura Mazda, whose ears had 
once heard the prayers of Cyrus the king, the Achaemenian. 
In India Hinduism had reigned supreme for at least ten 
centuries. But if we pass over six hundred years, what 
do we find ? Hellenism has vanished completely. She 
has given place to Christianity, an offshoot of Judaism. 
If we pass over yet another six hundred years, we find 
that a second offshoot of Judaism, Islam, has swept away 
Mazdaism. But the onslaughts of both these Semitic 

* This chapter is largely based on chapter III, vol. XVIII, pp. 112 to 154, 
Campbell's Gazetteer. 

9* 



132 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

faiths were successfully resisted by the eldest of the three 
sisters, Hinduism. Nor does she shew at the present hour 
any signs of senile decay. She still lives in the full vigour 
of her eternal youth; and her acolytes number at least 
three hundred millions. It has thus happened that while 
the European has in the last two thousand years changed 
entirely, the Hindu of to-day worships the same gods, ob- 
serves the same ritual, leads the same home-life, as he did 
when Pericles invoked Pallas at Athens or when Mars and 
Jupiter received at Rome the sacrifices of ^milius and 
Scipio. 

Now in all India there are probably no more orthodox 
Hindus than the Maratha people and the Hinduism which 
they profess is of the most austere and puritan type. The 
extravagances which find a place in the religion of some 
other Indian nations are looked on with disfavour by the 
sober, simple-minded dwellers in the Deccan. In this 
chapter I shall try to give my English readers a more 
vivid idea of their private lives by sketching, as briefly as 
I can, some of the family observances of the high caste 
Hindus of Maharashtra. 

For her first confinement the young Brahman wife 
generally goes to her father's house. As soon as her baby 
boy is born, he is laid in a winnowing fan. Mother and 
child are bathed in hot water, a fire is lit in the room, 
myrrh is burnt and an iron bar laid across the threshold. 
When the father hears of his son's birth he hastens to his 
father-in-law's house to perform the Jatkarma or birth- 
ceremony. Before he begins it, he bathes carefully, dons 
a rich silk waistcloth, pours a ladle full of water on the 
ground, saying: "I throw this water to cleanse the child 
from the impurity of its mother's body." The mother 
then brings the child in her arms and sits on a stool close 
to her husband. The father takes a gold ring, passes it 
through some honey and clarified butter and lets a drop 
fall into the child's mouth. He touches the child's 
shoulders with his right hand and presses the ring in his 



SOCIAL CUSTOMS IN MAHARASHTRA 133 

left hand against both its ears. He recites some holy 
verses and smells the child's head three times. The 
father with the ring in his right hand sprinkles water on 
his wife's right breast. She may then begin to suckle her 
child. A present of money to priests ends the birth- 
ceremony. 

The child, if a boy, is given its name on the twelfth day 
after its birth. First its ears are bored for earrings. Then 
the family astrologer draws the child's horoscope and indi- 
cates four names. Three of these he selects himself. The 
fourth the parents choose. The father then reads the four 
names aloud that all may hear. The astrologer reads out 
the horoscope and calls a blessing on the child's head, say- 
ing, "May the child live to a good old age." When the boy 
is a month old, the mother shews him to the Sun and prays 
to the Sun-god to guard him. The parents then walk to 
the village temple, give the god a packet of betel-nut and 
a cocoanut and beg the Sun-god to be kind to their boy. 
When the family party return home, the father worships 
the earth, the moon and sun, the gods Shiva and Vishnu 
and the ten directions. A carpet is spread; on it are 
placed some carpenter's tools, some pieces of cloth, a pen, 
an ink-pot and paper and some jewelry. The boy is laid 
on his face near them. The first of these articles that he 
clutches is supposed to indicate the calling for which he is 
most suited. 

The boy's birthday is a festival in both east and west. 
But it is celebrated in the Deccan by observances unknown 
in Europe. In the morning a square is traced in the 
women's hall. Three low wooden stools are set in the 
square, two in a line and a third in front of them. On 
the front stool are piled eighteen little rice heaps and on 
each heap a betel-nut. One of the betel-nuts is the family 
deity, two represent the boy's parents, the others stand 
for various heroes and gods of the two great epics, the 
Ramayana and the Mahabharata. On the two stools sit 
the father and the mother with the boy on her lap; and a 



134 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

married woman marks the child's brow with red powder. 
All then bow to the house gods and the elders of the 
family; and the deities are asked to give the child a long 
life. The boy drinks from a silver cup some milk mixed 
with molasses and sesamum and then he is free to enjoy 
his birthday as only healthy little boys can. 

The munj or thread-girding ceremony corresponds in 
some measure with the Christian confirmation. By the 
one the high caste man is admitted to the caste. By the 
other the Christian becomes a fully responsible member of 
the Christian community. The thread-girding ceremony 
is very elaborate indeed and a detailed account of it 
would be both too long and too tedious. I shall mention 
only a few of the more important incidents. When the 
little boy is between seven and ten, a day for the great 
occasion has to be fixed by the astrologer in one of the 
months v/hen the sun is going northwards, i. e. January to 
June. This settled, a band is hired, a porch built in front 
of the house and invitations sent to relatives living at a 
distance. Other relations, the house gods, the village gods, 
caste men and friends in the neighbourhood are invited 
orally. On the morning of the thread-girding ceremony 
twelve low Avooden stools are set in a row and twelve 
unmarried thread-wearing Brahman lads take their seats 
on the stools. Dinner is served and for the last time the 
boy dines with his mother. After a variety of most 
complicated rites, the boy tells his fa-ther that he wishes 
to become a Brahman and be told the sacred verse. He 
nestles close to his father and the priests cover them with 
a shawl. That no one else, high caste or low caste, man 
or woman may hear the verse, everyone present goes to 
a little distance. The father three times whispers the 
sacred verse into his son's right ear and the boy repeats 
it after his father. The shawl is then removed, the priests 
invoke blessings on the boy's head and the sacred thread 
is tied with three knots round his waist. A staff is put 
in his hand and his father addresses his son— "Till now 



SOCIAL CUSTOMS IN MAHARASHTRA 135 

you have been a Suclra (low caste), now you are a Brahman 
and a Brahmachari (Brahman student)". The boy is now 
suppobed to become a begging Brahman. That evening 
he goes, to the village temple, worships the village god 
and on his return begs alms from his mother and other 
close relations. For ten or twelve days he learns the 
sandhyas or evening prayers, worships the tulsi plant or 
holy basil and then rejoins his family. A number of 
intricate ceremonies follow. On their completion, the 
family priest flings a waistcloth over his shoulders, bids 
him never bathe in the evening, never look at naked 
women, never commit adultery, never run, never climb 
trees, never go into a well, never swim in a river. "Up 
to this time," the priest continues, "you have been a 
Brahmachari; now you are a snatak or householder." 

This point reached, the boy starts out as if to go on a 
journey. His maternal uncle or other near relation feigns 
surprise and asks him where he is going. He replies, "To 
Benares;" in other words he proposes to become a reli- 
gious anchorite on the banks of the holy Ganges. The 
boy's relations crowd round him and beg him not to go, 
promising to find him a wife. He consents to put off his 
pilgrimage, goes back to his house and the thread-girding 
ceremony ends with a feast*. 

The family have now to keep their promise and find 
the lad a wife. Negotiations are opened with the parents 
of a girl of a suitable age and rank. A good deal of 
haggling ensues and the negotiations often fall through. 
If they are successful, the family astrologer is called in to 
fix a lucky day. The marriage ceremonies extend over a 
long period, but I shall at once come to the day before the 
wedding. In the evening the boy dresses himself in a new 
turban and shawl given him by his betrothed's relatives 
and his sister ties to his headdress a garland of flowers. 
With a cocoanut in his hand the boy worships his house- 
hold gods and gives them the cocoanut. He next bows 

* The last part of the thread-girding ceremony is called the Sod Mnnj. 



136 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

low to the elders of his house. He is taken to the house- 
door, his cheeks are touched with lampblack and red 
powder, he is seated on a horse and his relatives and 
friends go with him in procession to the house of his 
betrothed. To quiet evil spirits, cocoanuts are from time to 
time broken and thrown to them; and as the boy passes, 
the neighbours come out of their houses and wave lamps 
before him. On arrival at the house of his intended bride, 
the girl's father carries the boy into the marriage hall 
and seats him on a high wooden stool. After a number of 
minor ceremonies, the astrologer draws up two marriage 
papers, reads them aloud, and hands them to the fathers 
of the two families. 

The really essential part of the marriage is the sapta- 
padi or the taking of seven steps. The sacrificial fire is 
kindled. To the left of the fire are put seven small heaps 
of rice. The boy and girl leave their seats and the boy 
throws three handfuls of rice into the fire. He lifts up 
the girl and carrying her on his left arm walks twice 
round it. She then, with the help of the bridegroom walks 
in turn over all the seven heaps of rice. The boy then 
again lifts her and for the third time walks round the fire. 
The seven steps have now been taken and the priest leads 
the boy and girl out of the house and points out to them 
Dhruv or the Polestar. They gaze at it, bow to it and 
return to the house. A pretty ceremony then ensues. In 
turn the boy and girl take a roll of betel between their 
teeth and the other one bites off the end. The marriage 
festivities end with the throwing of coloured water over 
the boy by the bride's relations. Presents of clothes are 
exchanged and the bridegroom returns to his father's 
house. 

The death of a high caste Hindu is as elaborately 
ordered as his life. When he is on the point of death, a 
spot in the women's hall is heaped with cowdung, Tulsi 
leaves are scattered over the spot and a blanket is spread 
over the leaves. On the blanket the dying man is laid 



SOCIAL CUSTOMS IN MAHARASHTRA 137 

with his feel; to the south. A few drops of water from the 
holy Ganges are dropped into his mouth, a learned Brah- 
man repeats verses from the Vedas, another reads the 
Bhagwat Gita, the speech made by Krishna to Arjuna on 
the battlefield of the Kurukshetra. His relations ask the 
dying man to repeat "Ram! Ram!" the name of the divine 
hero of Ayodhya. His son sets his father's head upon his 
lap and comforts him, until he has drawn his last breath. 
When all is over, the women of the family sit round the 
body weeping and wailing; the male members sit in the 
verandah; and servants are sent to tell relatives and 
friends. Soon neighbours dressed in a waistcloth and 
shoulder cloth drop in. One of them goes to the market 
and buys what is needed for the funeral. On his return 
the body is prepared for the burning ground. It is bathed 
and dressed only in a loincloth. A piece of gold and an 
emerald are put into the mouth. Some drops of Ganges 
water are dropped between the lips and over the body, 
the two thumbs and the two great toes are tied together 
with cloth. The body is laid on the bier and is covered 
over with a cloth from head to foot. If the dead man 
leaves children, a hole is made in the face cloth over the 
mouth. If the dead man leaves a widow, she says aloud, 
** Because of the great evil that has befallen me, I shall 
shave my head." Thereupon she strips off her ornaments, 
breaks her bangles and her necklace, rubs off the red 
mark on her brow (which indicates that she is married), 
takes off her bodice and puts on a white robe. The family 
barber shaves off her hair. It is wrapped in her bodice 
and laid on her husband's bier. The funeral procession is 
now ready to start. The chief mourner walks first with a 
firepot hanging from a string in his hand. The bier is 
carried feet first by four of the dead man's nearest kins- 
men. Beside the chief mourner walk two men. One 
holds a metal pot full of cooked rice; the other carries a 
winnowing fan with parched pulse and bits of cocoanut. 
These ho throws before him to please the evil spirits. 



138 A HISTORY OF THE MAEATHA PEOPLE 

Other male mourners follow the bier bareheaded and 
barefooted, repeating in a low voice "Ram, Ram!" "Jay! 
Jay ! Ram ! " No woman goes to the burning ground. 
When it is reached a funeral pile is built and the bier 
placed on it with the feet of the body to the south. The 
sheet over the body is pulled aside, the cloths that bind 
the thumbs and the loincloth are cut, so that the body 
may return as it first came upon earth. The chief mourner 
lights the pile at the head and fans it with the end of his 
shoulder cloth. When the skull bursts, the chief mourner 
stands near it with an earthen jar full of water. Another 
mourner makes a hole in the jar with a pebble. The chief 
mourner walks round the pyre, the water trickling from 
the jar. A second hole is made in the jar and the chief 
mourner walks again round the pyre. A third hole is 
made and a third round completed. The chief mourner 
throws the pot backward over his shoulder, spilling the 
water over the ashes. He next calls aloud striking his 
mouth with his hand. The procession is now ready to 
return home. Before starting each mourner flings a pebble 
towards the nearest hill or mountain to relieve his feelings. 
Mourning is observed for ten days during which the 
deceased's family eat neither betel nor sugar and drink no 
milk. They neither shave their heads nor wear shoes nor 
turbans. On the third day the chief mourner collects the 
dead man's burnt bones and either throws them into a 
neighbouring stream or pond or buries them in a jar to 
be taken a year later to the Ganges or Godavari. On the 
eleventh day the chief mourner, if he can afford to do so, 
brands and sets free two calves. The bellowing of the 
calf when branded is believed to carry the dead man to 
heaven, and its first cry opens the celestial doors for the 
dead man to enter. If the chief mourner cannot afford to 
set free two live calves, he makes and sets free two calves 
made out of dough. A cow called the Vaitarni cow is 
given to a priest so that the dead man may cross the river 
of blood and filth that separates earth and heaven by 



SOCIAL CUSTOMS IN MAHARASHTRA 139 

holding on to the cow's tail. A number of other presents 
are then given to the priest, and as lie bestows them, the 
chief mourner says, "I make you these gifts that the dead 
man may be freed from his sins and reach heaven in 
safety; and that all his life there, he may have a cot to 
lie on, a packet of betel to eat, a maid to wait on him, an 
umbrella to shade him from the sun, and a stick to help 
him when walking." The priest after receiving these gifts 
is supposed to become the ghost of the deceased. The 
inmates, therefore, pelt him away from the house with earth 
and cowdung. A few other ceremonies are performed and 
the mourning rites are over. 



CHAPTER XXXVI 

THE CIVIL WAR AND THE REORGANISATION 

A. D. 1708 TO 1714 

Shahu should at once have followed up his victory by- 
attacking Panhala, the seat of Tarabai's government. But 
he passed the monsoon of 1708 at Chandan Wandan trying 
to increase his forces. Among those to whom he appealed 
for arms and men was Sir Nicholas Waite, the Governor 
of Bombay, who politely regretted his inability to help him. 
The king did not again take the field until October 1708 
after celebrating the Dasara festival. He first took Vasantgad 
and next led his troops against Panhala. Tarabai fled 
from that fortress to Rangna. Shahu invested Panhala 
and besieged it with vigour. In spite of its great strength 
he soon forced the commandant to come to terms. The 
latter offered to join Shahu's cause, if retained as the 
governor of the fortress. Shahu accepted the offer and 
early in 1709 moved against Vishalgad. The commandant 
surrendered it on the same terms that the Panhala com- 
mandant had done. The mighty stronghold of Rangna still 
remained in Tarabai's possession. In it were Ramchandra 
Nilkanth, Tarabai, her son and stepson Shivaji and Sambhaji. 
Ramchandra's first care was to send the royal party by 
a secret path to Malwan, which had once been Shivaji's 
naval base. He himself stayed and defended the fort with 
resource and resolution. Nevertheless he was soon reduced 
to the greatest straits. Had the siege been begun earlier 
Rangna must have fallen. Shahu himself directed the 
operations and nearly lost his life in doing so. One daj'' 
as he inspected the works of the besieging army, his horse 



THE CIVIL WAR AND THE REORGANISATION 141 

Stumbled on the edge of a precij)ice. Sheikh Mira, who 
was with the king deftly swung his master from the saddle, 
while Khando Ballal caught the bridle just in time to save 
the horse. But the season was far advanced. Shahu was 
unwilling to face the hardships of a monsoon campaign 
and readily listened to Dhanaji Jadav, who, old and war 
worn, suggested to his master that the time had come to 
raise the siege and to return to Satara. 

At Satara the king consoled himself for his failure by 
marrjang two fresh wives. One was the mild and gentle 
Sagunabai. The second was the haughty and imperious 
Sakwarbai. Both were daughters of the Shirke house. 
By these marriages he no doubt wished to renew the 
friendship of the Shirkes, which had been begun at Jinji, 
when Rajaram escaped through their good offices. 

But if Shahu feared the rigours of a monsoon campaign, 
no such fears dwelt in the dauntless bosom of Tarabai. 
Her agents won to her cause Phond Savant of Savantwadi. 
In 1662, as it will be remembered, Shivaji reduced to 
vassalage the Savant chief Lakkam Savant. The latter 
died in 1665 three years after his defeat. His brother 
Bhav Phond succeeded him and ruled Savantwadi until 
1675. He was followed by Khem Savant, a brave but 
faithless prince, who during the war of independence 
artfully increased his power by joining, as it suited his 
interests the standard of Rajaram or Aurangzib. When 
Shahu returned, Khem Savant favoured his cause. But 
Khem Savant died early in 1709 and was succeeded by 
Phond Savant. Seduced by Tarabai's promises, he sent 
the queen a well-equij^ped body of troops, with which she 
marched against Panhala. The commandant who had 
already committed one treason was soon convinced that 
a second treason was the only remedy for the first. Early 
in 1710 he surrendered the fortress to Tarabai. Gratified 
by her success, she brought her idiot son to Kolhapur*, 
which she proclaimed the capital of the Maratha kingdom. 

*Panb.ala is only a morning's drive from Kolbapur. 



142 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

She next sent her agents everywhere to corrupt the loyalty 
of those Maratha chiefs who had adhered to Shivaji. She 
urged the chiefs to make themselves independent or even 
join the Moghuls rather than serve under the banner of a 
proclaimed impostor. Her advice fell on willing ears. So 
long as the Moghuls threatened their independence, the 
Maratha chiefs willingly combined against them under the 
leadership of Tarabai or Rajaram. But the Moghul danger 
had past. The emperor and Shahu were friends. Of the 
two services that of the emperor offered more attractions. 
Military distinction could more easily be won on the far 
flung Moghul front than in the narrow Deccan. Moreover, 
the captains who served the emperor were in their own 
fiefs independent princes. Shivaji and his successors 
hitherto had given their nobles grants of money rather 
than assignments of land. This rule had no doubt been 
relaxed after the great King's death, but it still held good 
and Shahu, firmly seated on the throne, would no doubt 
enforce it. The first to join the imperial service was 
Nemaji Sindia. During Tarabai's regency he had established 
himself in Central India or Malwat. On the death of 
Aurangzib, Zulfikar Khan had won him over to the cause 
of Bahadur Shah and he had aided Zulfikar Khan in the 
battle, wherein fell the unhappy Kam Baksh. His services 
were handsomely rewarded and he was made a commander 
of 7,000 horse, while high posts were also bestowed on his 
sons and grandsons. Other chiefs proclaimed ■ themselves 
independent. The most notable of these was the Maratha 
Admiral Kanhoji Angre of whom a full account will be 
given hereafter. A Brahman named Krishnarao established 
himself near the great temple of Sundar Mahadev, at 
Khatav, a town less than twenty miles from Satara, After 
the capture and execution of Shivaji's son Sambhaji, 
Krishnarao had joined the Moghul cause and had received 
from the emperor the title of Maharaja and as fief or jagir 
the pargana or district of Khatav f. During the siege of 

*Khafi Khan. fRiyasat ii, p. 51. 



THE CIVIL WAR AND THE REORGANISATION 143 

Jinji Ramchandra Nilkanth, viceroy of Maharashtra, had 
given as appanage to a Maratha noble called Daniaji 
Thorat the district of Supa, north of Poona, and that of 
Patas on the main road between Poona and Baramati. At 
Hingangaon, a village close to Patas, Damaii had built 
himself a strong castle and with a body of freelances used 
to levy contributions from the peasants up to the very 
walls of Satara. North of Satara, Shankar Narayan, the 
Pant Sachiv, held for Tarabai Poona and the great forts 
of Sinhgad, Purandar, Rajgad and Torna, in this way 
cutting Shahu off from all communication with Khandesh 
and Nasik. Thus by the end of 1710 the king's cause, 
which in 1708 had seemed so prosperous, again began to 
flag. His territory was reduced to the land round Satara 
and a few hill forts garrisoned by loyal officers. So low, 
indeed, had his cause sunk that but for a singular piece of 
good fortune, it is doubtful whether he would not himself 
have been forced to invoke Moghul aid and to become a 
petty subordinate of the empire. The fortunate event was 
the strange collapse of Shankar Narayan Gandekar. After 
his failure against Rangna, Shahu resolved to try and 
reduce the ring of forts round Poona. It was with their 
capture that the great King had begun his wonderful 
career and they were regarded by the Maratha people as 
the keys of the Maratha Kingdom. So long as they were 
in Tarabai's hands, her son might well be deemed the true 
successor of Shivaji and Sambhaji. On the other hand 
Tarabai, who had carefully provisioned and garrisoned 
them and had entrusted their defence to the skilful hands 
of Shankar Narayan, looked forward with confidence to 
their prolonged resistance. Long before her fortresses 
fell, her armies would be able to attack with effect Shahu's 
rear and retake Satara. Neither side foresaw nor could 
have foreseen how Shankar Narayan would act. Lovers 
of Walter Scott will remember how in Ivanhoe, Brian de 
Bois Guilbert, in the fulness of his strength and manhood 
and unhurt by Ivanhoe's spear, fell to the ground slain by 



144 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

tbe violence of his own contending feelings. A similar 
fate overtook the Pant Sachiv. Trusting to Tarabai's word 
that Shahu was a pretending knave, Shankar Narayan had 
sworn to defend her son's cause against all comers. He 
was now convinced that Shahu was no impostor but 
Sambhaji's son. Devotedly loyal to the house of Shivaji, 
himself a hero of the war of independence, Shankar Narayan 
could not bear to fight against the great King's grandson. 
At the same time he had sworn an oath of loyalty to 
Tarabai, which he could not as an honourable man break. 
The dilemma in which he found himself was too great for 
that loyal, brave, and simple soul. While he hesitated 
what course to pursue, Shahu's troops stormed Raj gad and 
threatened Sinhgad and Torna. Forced at last to a decision, 
he chose a course of conduct, that would present itself 
more readily to an eastern than a western mind. He 
resigned his charge and his powers; and donning the garb 
of an anchorite, went to reside at Ambavade, a holy place 
on the Nira river*. But even thus he did not escape 
from the vexations of life. Ramchandra Nilkanth incensed 
at what he regarded as desertion, sharply reprimanded 
Shankar Narayan and accused him of cowardice. The 
charge weighed heavily on one who had taken cities and 
won stricken fields. One way remained by which he might 
prove to his old master that fear of death had not prompted 
his action. He built for himself a small raft. To each 
end he fastened earthen jars, in the bottoms of which holes 
had been bored. Seating himself on the raft, he had it 
towed to a deep pool in the Nira river. As the water 
entered the jars, the raft sank carrying with it the gallant 
TDut misguided soldier. Shahu with a magnanimity worthy 
of Charles II of England, took no action against Shankar 
Narayan's infant son, Naro Shankar. He confirmed him 

*Bbor Samsthaacha Itihas and Chitnis Bakhar. Ambavade is sacrtd to the 
memory of the Maratha saint Nagnath. A short account of him will be found in 
my "Tales of the saints of Pandhai-pur. " The clothes of office could not be won 
■of Shankar's son, then only a baby. They were, therefore, tied to his cradle. 



THE CIVIL WAR AND THE REORGANISATION 145 

in his father's office of Pant Sachiv. Not to be outdone 
in generosity, the child's mutalik or agent declared for the 
king and thus enabled Shahu without the loss of a single 
man to recover the keys of Maharashtra. (1711.) 

In spite of this success the revolt of the Maratha nobles 
remained a serious menace. The next to leave the royal 
service was Chandrasen Jadhav, the son of Dhanaji Jadhav. 
His father's early adherence to Shahu had greatly furthered 
the king's cause. But in June 1710* one of Dhanaji Jadhav's 
many wounds reopened in his leg and after a prolonged 
illness, the brave old soldier died at Wadgaon on the 
banks of the Warna river. In the royal service but sub- 
ordinate to Dhanaji was a Brahman officer named Balaji 
Vishvanath Bhat. He was by caste a Chitpavan Brahman, 
a caste of which the following curious legend is told. The 
story runs that Parashu Rama, the Brahman incarnation of 
the god Vishnu, to avenge the murder of his father 
Jamadagni by the Kshatriya king Sahasrarjuna, cleared 
the earth twenty-one times of the Kshatriya clans. There- 
after he was so reeking with blood that no other Brahmans 
would eat with him. He therefore went to the summit of 
the Sahyadris and stood gazing at the sea, which then 
washed the foot of the mountains, and pondered where he 
•could find Brahmans who would dine with him. As he 
looked, he saw floating on the surface of the water the 
corpses of fourteen Mlenchas or barbarians. He dragged 
them ashore, built a great pyre and burnt them to ashes. 
From the ashes he created fourteen live Brahmans who 
had no scruples about eating with their creator. The 
meal over, the fourteen Brahmans begged Parashu Rama to 
give them a land wherein they might live. The hero 
drew the mighty bow given him by the god Shiva and 
shot an arrow into the Arabian Sea. He then commanded 
the sea to go back within its borders as far as the spot 
where the arrow had fallen. The ocean did so, thus leav- 

* Grant Duff gives the date as 1709. But see Riyasat, vol. II., p. 12. The 
Hindu year was Shake 1632. (1632 + 78 = 1710.) 

10 



146 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

ing bare the Konkan. This reclaimed tract Parashu Rama 
bestowed on the fourteen Brahmans. They went to dwell 
there and built themselves a town called Chitpolan or the 
town of the burnt heart, which in course of time became 
Chiplun. To themselves they gave the name of Chitpavan& 
or Brahmans purified by the funeral pyre. 

Whatever truth may underlie this romantic tale*, 
Balaji Vishvanath Bhat and his brother Janoji were the 
hereditary Deshmukhs or revenue officers of Shrivardhan 
and Harihar, two villages to the north of Bankot creek. 
The office of Deshmukh or Desai was a creation of the 
Musulman government. The headman of the village was 
a Maratha patil; and under the ancient Hindu rulers, he 
acted directly under the supreme government. The 
Musulman governors sought to decentralise the administra- 
tion by appointing an intermediate officer — known as 
Deshmukh — and usually a Brahman — to supervise the work 
of the patils. Besides acting as Deshmukhs, the Bhat 
family administered in Shrivardhan the revenues of the 
temples of Somaji, Laxminarayan, Baheri and Kalashri; 
and they yearly distributed among the Brahmans of the 
neighbourhood thirty-two and a half measures (Khandis) 
of rice. In the year 1648 the office of Deshmukh of 
Danda Rajpuri fell vacant and was conferred on the 
ancestor of Balaji and Janoji and remained in the Bhat 
family until 1818. According to the author of the Peshwa 
Bakhar, the Sidis of Janjira on becoming masters of 
Srivardhan confirmed Balaji and Janoji in their office. 
Afterwards the Sidis came to suspect the brothers of an 
intrigue with Kanhoji Angre. They first seized Janoji, 
sewed him up in a sack and rowing out a mile from land, 
dropped the sack into the water. Balaji succeeded in 
escaping to the neighbouring town of Velas on the southern 

* Various authors have inferred from this tale that the Chitpavan Brahmans 
are foreign immigrants from Arabia, Egypt or even Scandinavia. My own view 
is that the legend contains no truth whatever. Exactly the same legend is told by 
the Benei-Israel to explain their presence in the Bombay Presidency. 



THE CIVIL WAR AND THE REORGANISATION 147 

side of the Bankot creek. In Velas lived a Chitpavan 
family called Bhanu. It consisted of three brothers Balaji 
Mahadev, Hari Mahadev, and Ramaji Mahadev. They 
received the fugitive kindly and on hearing his story re- 
solved to flee with him. They feared that if they stayed 
behind, the Sidis would punish them for having harboured 
an enemy. They made their way to Rahimatpur where 
Balaji had a friend in Ghanashyam Narayan Shenvi, an 
officer in Dhanaji's service, who had once been hospitably 
entertained by Balaji's father Vishvanath. Ghanashyam 
welcomed the party and introducing them to Dhanaji 
Jadhav obtained for Balaji and two of the brothers posts 
under the commander-in-chief. Ramaji Mahadev took 
service with Shankar Narayan. 

This account was accepted by Grant Duff and until 
recent times was regarded as the true account of the origin 
of the Bhat Peshwas. Modern critics, however, doubted 
this fantastic story. They could not believe that within 
six years any one, however fortunate, could even in those 
troubled times, rise from a humble clerkship to the post 
of first minister. Their suspicions were confirmed by a 
reference to Balaji Vishvanath Sabhasad in an official 
Marathi paper dated 1696. The title Sabhasad, corres- 
ponding with that of Privy Councillor, was only conferred 
on men who had been some years in the royal service. 
Balaji Vishvanath must therefore have entered it some 
years before 1696. The discovery of this paper was 
followed by the discovery of several others. They showed 
that from 1699 to 1702 Balaji acted as Sarsubhedar of the 
Poona district and from 1704 to 1707 as Sarsubhedar of 
Daulatabad. But just as to-day a Civil Servant does not 
become a Commissioner until he has served for many years 
as Assistant Collector and Collector, so Balaji before he became 
Sarsubhedar must have served as Shekhdar, Kamavisdar 
and Subhedar. Thus in all probability Balaji entered the 
royal service in Sambhaji's reign, or at any rate, in the 
early years of Rajaram's regency. From this it does not 

10* 



148 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

follow that the legend in the Bakhars is wholly untrue. 
It may well be that Balaji or his father fled from 
Srivardhan in circumstances similar to those therein 
described. But the Sidis' victim could not have been 
Janoji, for an entry in his handwriting discovered by Mr. 
Raj wade, shows that in 1706 he was still alive. 

In the troubles provoked by Shahu's return to the 
Deccan, Balaji Vishvanath found his opportunity. He was 
then in high office under Dhanaji Jadhav and, according to 
Mr. Khare, it was Balaji, who at the battle of Khed, 
persuaded that commander to give to Shahu his valu- 
able support. Thereafter Dhanaji Jadhav's esteem for 
Balaji Vishvanath and his confidence in his capacity 
aroused the bitter jealousy of the former's son Chandrasen 
Jadhav.* Enraged that his father should prefer to his son's 
counsel the advice of a Konkan Brahman, Chandrasen 
began to intrigue with Tarabai. Upon his father's death 
Chandrasen was invested with the robes and the dignity 
of the commander-in-chief; and King Shahu releasing 
from prison the Pratinidhif Parashuram sent him and 
Khanderao Dabhade to convey to the young noble the 
royal condolences. By this act of courtesy Shahu no doubt 
hoped to retain Chandrasen's loyalty. He failed in his 
object, for not long afterwards Chandrasen boasted in a 
letter to Tarabai that he had won to her cause Khanderao 
Dabhade, Mansing More and Haibatrao Nimbalkar. The 
king at last aware of Chandrasen's intrigues appointed 
Balaji Vishvanath nominally to control his collection but 
really to watch his conduct. The appointment of his 
enemy to such a post sufficed to turn Chandrasen's jealousy 
into murderous hatred; and he now only sought an ex- 
cuse to destroy him. Late in the year 1710 Chandrasen 

* Dhanaji Jadhav left three sons. The eldest Santaji, by Dhanaji's first wife, 
bad quarrelled with his father and had separated from him and left him. By his 
second wife Gopikabai Dhanaji had Chandrasen and Shambhusing. We shall 
hear of Shambhusing later. Gopikabai burnt herself with Dhanaji Jadhav's body. 
Kiyas*t vol. II., p. 12. 

fRiyasat II., p. 38. 



THE CIVIL WAR AND THE REORGANISATION 149 

was leading a large force near Malegaon in the Baramati 
taluka. As the country abounded in game, herds of ante- 
lope broke away, startled in front of it. When the troops 
had all but reached their camping ground, a young black 
buck rose suddenly at the feet of a certain Piraji, an 
officer in Balaji Vishvanath's contingent. Piraji with 
several troopers raced madly after it. After a long chase, 
it took shelter in the tent of Vyasrao, a Brahman clerk of 
Chandrasen Jadhav. Piraji demanded that the wretched 
beast should be handed over to him. Vyasrao, with a 
Brahman's tenderness for animal life, replied that he could 
not do so, as the beast had sought his protection. Baulked 
of his prey, Piraji threw his spear at Vyasrao and wounded 
him. Shocked at what he had done, he ran to Balaji 
Vishvanath and confessed his crime. Vyasrao complained 
to Chandrasen. The latter required the instant surrender 
of Piraji. Balaji while expressing his regret at Piraji's 
cut, refused to hand him over, claiming that it was for 
him to punish his subordinate. The mutual dislike of the 
two leaders burst into flame, Chandrasen ordered his 
troops to attack Balaji's contingent and to seize Piraji. 
Balaji fled with his men to Purandar fort and sought an 
asylum of the Pant Sachiv. Chandrasen brought up his 
force and besieging Purandar demanded Balaji as the price 
of peace. The Pant Sachiv, fearing the formidable vengeance 
of the young noble, begged Balaji to leave the fort. At 
dead of night the Brahman with his wife, his children, 
Ambaji Purandare and some five hundred horsemen stole 
out of Indra's fortress and fled to the Nira river. There 
Chandrasen overtook them and killed or dispersed Balaji's 
troopers. Balaji and his family accompanied by a faithful 
officer, named Pilaji Jadhav, and Ambaji Purandare fled for 
their lives to Pandavgad, the fortress which named after 
the Pandava heroes of the Mahabharata, still towers over 
Wai. From the shelter of Pandavgad, Balaji sent Ambaji 
Purandare to Satara to tell the king what had happened. 
Purandare at first approached Govindrao Chitnis, the son 



150 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

of Khando Ballal Chitnis. Govindrao listened attentively 
to the story and sympathised with Balaji. He advised 
Purandare to enlist the sympathies of one Lingav, the maid 
servant of Shahu's mistress Virubai. Purandare followed 
his advice. Lingav told the tale to Virubai, who repeated 
it to Shahu's queen Sagunabai, and the two ladies won the 
royal ear. Shahu sent a force to Pandavgad to escort 
Balaji in safety to his capital and ordered Chandrasen to 
present himself at Satara and lay his case before him. 
The turbulent noble, instead of obeying the order, sent 
back a message that unless the king at once handed over 
Balaji to his vengeance, he (Chandrasen) would renounce 
his allegiance. Such language no sovereign could tolerate. 
He ordered Haibatrao Nimbalkar to reduce Chandrasen 
Jadhav to obedience. Haibatrao Nimbalkar attacked 
Chandrasen at Adarki in the Phaltan State, now a station 
on the South Maratha Railway and severely defeated him. 
Chandrasen with the remains of his army retired to 
Panhala, where he openly joined the cause of Tarabai. 
(April 1711.) 

Worse was yet to follow. In spite of his victory over 
Chandrasen Jadhav, Haibatrao Nimbalkar began also to 
open negotiations with Kolhapur. Large detachments of 
the royal troops were at this time on field service in 
Khandesh and Berar. The only high officer on whom the 
king could for the moment rely was Balaji Vishvanath 
and his contingent had just been dispersed. Shahu, however, 
sent for Balaji and sought his advice how to suppress the 
disorders of the kingdom (1711). With the optimism of 
greatness Balaji undertook to raise a fresh army. He 
soon collected round him two thousand of his old soldiers 
and with these as a nucleus soon created a respectable 
field force. The king showed his gratitude in a fitting 
way. On the 20th August 1711 he conferred on his capable 
servant the well-deserved title of Sena Kartea or "Maker 
of Armies." 

While Balaji was thus forging a weapon with which to 



THE CIVIL WAR AND THE REORGANISATION 151 

meet in the field his master's enemies, he turned against 
Tarabai her own armoury of intrigue. As long as that 
daring and active woman remained in power at Kolhapur, 
it was impossible to restore Shahu's authority. It so 
chanced that late in 1711 a fresh quarrel broke out between 
Tarabai and her wise old counsellor Ramchandra Nilkanth. 
The latter relaxed his control over the affairs of his 
mistress and gave Balaji the chance for which he sought. 
He instantly sent a message to Rajaram's younger widow 
Rajasbai and offered her Shahu's support, if she overthrew 
Tarabai and substituted for the rule of the imbecile 
Shivaji that of her own son Sambhaji. Eagerly Rajasbai 
accepted the offer. In 1712 with the aid of several of the 
Kolhapur nobles — Girjoji Jadhav, Antaji Trimal, Tulaji 
Shitole and others — she corrupted the garrison of Panhala, 
overthrew Tarabai's government and flung her and her 
son Shivaji into prison*. She then had Sambhaji crowned 
in Shivaji's stead. Ramchandra Nilkanth escaped Tarabai's 
fate but was dismissed from his office f. Chandrasen 
Jadhav fearing that Sambhaji might surrender him to Shahu 
sent his lieutenant Apparao to Nizam-ul-Mulk, the new 
viceroy of the Deccan. The Nizam gladly welcomed the 
overtures of so distinguished a commander. He offered 
him a fief with twenty-five lakhs a year on condition that 
he kept fully equipped fifteen thousand men. Chandrasen 
accepted the offer and from that time on was the unrelent- 
ing enemy of the Maratha cause. For a few years Sambhaji 
and Rajasbai grateful to Balaji for his help and advice 
ceased openly to make war against Shahu. Those few 



* Grant Duff has related that Shivaji died of small-pox in 1713. Thereupon 
Ramchandra Nilkanth removed Tarabai from the government. This is not 
correct. Shivaji did not die until 1723. The names of Rajasbai's confederates 
are taken from a letter written by Tarabai herself. 

"Lately," writes Tarabai, "our cause has suffered greatly. Sambhaji and 
Rajasbai with the heli) of Girjochi (sic) Yadav, Antaji Trimal and the garrison 
and Tulaji Shitole have seated Sambhaji Eaja on the throne and put us in prison." 
Eiyasat XL, p 44. 

t He died in 1720. 



152 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

years sufficed; and when Sambhaji again became actively 
hostile, Balaji had restored order in Shahu's dominions. 

It must, however, be admitted that Balaji's new troops 
did not meet with immediate success. But that was rather 
the general's fault than theirs. In the cold weather of 
1711 the king ordered Balaji to reduce Damaji Thorat. 
Balaji with Ambaji Purandare as his lieutenant led out his 
troops against the robber baron of Hingangaon. But they 
allowed themselves to be outwitted. Damaji Thorat pro- 
fessed himself willing to lay down his arms and invited 
the two commanders to enter his castle at Hingangaon 
and discuss with him the terms of surrender. He swore 
by the holy Bel tree and the hardly less holy Bhandar* or 
turmeric that he would allow them to enter and leave 
Hingangaon unharmed. Balaji and Purandare thinking 
that no Hindu would dare break so binding a contract, 
went to the freebooter's castle and were at once thrown 
into a dungeon. To their remonstrances Damaji Thorat 
with odious levity replied that the Bel was after all but a 
tree and that every day all of them ate turmeric. For 
himself he attached no importance to such a promise. At 
the same time he threatened to put over their heads bags 
of hot ashes unless they speedily paid him a large ransom. 
The news of their confinement reached the king who paid 
the ransom and obtained their release. 

Balaji undaunted by this mishap, planned next the 
reduction of Krishnarao of Khatao. Before, however, he 
set his forces in motion, he resolved, if it were humanly 
possible, to win over to Shahu's side Parashuram Trimbak 
the Pratinidhi. Ever since the fall of Satara that gallant 
soldier had languished in prison. For on his return from 
his mission to Chandrasen Jadav, the king had made him 
go back to his dungeon in Satara. At Balaji's advice the 
king released Purashuram and entrusted to him the great 
fort of Vishalgad and the surrounding country. Parashuram 
sent his eldest son Krishnaji to assume charge of his new 

* Bel and Bhandar are both sacred to the god Khandoba of Jcjuri. 



THE CIVIL WAR AND THE REORGANISATION 153 

possession. Krishnaji did so and shortly afterwards deserted 
to Sambhaji, who as a reward for his treachery made him 
Pratinidhi of the Kolhapur kingdom. Shahu furious at 
the son's treason, threw the father back into prison and 
ordered his eyes to be put out. Parashuram's second son 
Shripatrao was in Satara and heard of the order. He 
rushed to the house of Khando Ballal Chitnis, whom he 
found in his bath. With his garments still dripping*, the 
kindly Prabhu ran to Shahu's palace, reminded him of 
Parashuram's former services and insisted that the king 
should remit the cruel sentence. With the royal paper in 
his hand, Khando Ballal rode to Parashuram's cell. He 
reached it just in time. Parashuram had been flung on 
his back and a great stone placed on his chest. On the 
stone was seated the jail surgeon. Khando Ballal Chitnis 
rushed in, knocked over the jail surgeon with a blow in 
the face, rolled away the stone and saved his friend. 
Parashuram was so grateful for Khando Ballal's intercession 
that at the next shradha festival, the day when Hindus 
honour their dead ancestors, he gave a great banquet. To 
it, although he was a Deshastha Brahman he invited Khando 
Ballal Chitnis, a Prabhu. To the king he showed his 
gratitude in a more practical manner. Knowing that 
Balaji was about to attack Krishnarao of Khatao, he begged 
and obtained leave to send with Balaji his son Shripatrao, 
As the youth was leaving, Parashuram sent for him and 
bade him either die in battle or so bear himself as to win 
for his father the royal favour. The young man eagerly 
complied and in course of a hard-fought battle his valour 
and example won the day. The rebel army was destro3^ed; 
and Krishnarao and his eldest son fell dead on the battle- 
field. His two younger sons fled and implored the royal 
pardon. Magnanimous as ever, Shahu not only gave it, 
but confirmed them in possession of the town of Khatao 
(1713). As a reward for Shripatrao's gallantry the king 
again offered Parashuram the office of Pratinidhi (April 

* Hindus do not strip entirely when bathing. 



154 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

1713). This time Parashuram accepted it. In his judgment, 
the appointment of his son Krishnarao to the post of 
Pratinidhi of Kolhapur, Parashuram's own office, released 
him from his allegiance to Sambhaji. He was no longer 
a Kolhapur officer and was free to take service with 
Shahu. The king never again entrusted Parashuram with 
an army but he greatly esteemed him and often acted on 
his advice; and he showed his appreciation of the gallant 
old man by frequent gifts of land and money. 

In the cold weather of the same year (1713) Shahu 
resolved to reduce Kanhoji Angre. Kanhoji Angre was 
the son of Tukoji Angre, who had during Shivaji's reign 
become famous as a sailor. The real name of the Angre 
family was Sangpal, but as their native village was Angar- 
wadi they had come to call themselves Angre. Tukoji 
died in 1690 leaving a son Kanhoji Angre, who was des- 
tined to advance still further the family fortunes. He 
had long been reputed a skilful seaman and in Sambhaji's 
reign he had been promoted to high command in the 
royal fleet. At that time the chief Maratha strongholds 
on the coast were Sagargad under Mankoji Suryavanshi, 
Khanderi under Udaji Padval, Rajkot under Subhanji 
Kharate and Kolaba under Bhivaji Gujar. On the capture 
of King Sambhaji, Mankoji Suryavanshi, Udaji Padval and 
Subhanji Kharate deserted their charges and fled to the 
fort of Prabhalgad. Bhiwaji Gujar and Kanhoji Angre 
divided between themselves the coast fortresses. In 1697, 
the two Maratha leaders quarrelled and Bhiwaji Gujar, 
imprisoned by Kanhoji Angre, soon died, leaving Angre 
supreme in the Maratha Konkan. Angre received from 
Tarabai the title of Sarkhel or admiral of the Maratha 
fleet and availed himself of her quarrel with Shahu to 
make himself independent. Feigning to act under Tarabai's 
orders, he had seized the town of Kalyan and the surround- 
ing districts as well as the great fort of Rajmachi below 
the Bhor Ghat and that of Lohgad just above it. To sub- 
due this powerful noble Shahu despatched a large force 



THE CIVIL WAR AND THE REORGANISATION 155 

under his Peshwa Bahiro Pingle. Unhappily Pingle was 
a man of mediocre talents. Kanhoji Angre was one of the 
first soldiers of his time. He defeated Bahiro Pingle in a 
pitched battle and took him prisoner and throwing him 
into a dungeon in Lohgad, openly talked of an advance on 
Satara. Shahu in alarm ordered Balaji Vishvanath with 
fresh troops to oppose his march. But Balaji wisely trusted 
to diplomacy rather than arms. He formed the view that 
the royal government was no longer strong enough to 
adhere to Shivaji's old constitution, under which the king 
aided by his eight ministers was the sole ruler in his 
dominions. The time had come when that ideal must be 
put aside as an impossible counsel of excellence. Let the 
king give his nobles grants of land instead of money and 
allow them within their confines to act as vassal princes 
rather than salaried officers. Shahu accepted his minister's 
advice and consented to the change. Balaji invested with 
full powers, met the Maratha admiral at Lonavla. The 
two had kindly feelings for each other from the days when 
Balaji Vishvanath lived in the Konkan. Balaji spoke elo- 
quently of the danger which the Maratha people ran under 
rulers divided against each other. His eloquence touched 
the war-worn sailor's heart and Angre agreed to accept 
Shahu's terms. He was confirmed in the title of Sarkhel 
or Admiral of the royal fleet and was allowed to retain 
Rajmachi and a number of lesser forts in the Konkan*. 
At the same time Balaji joined his forces with Angre's and 
the combined armies invaded the Sidis' possessions on the 
western coast. The Sidis were rapidly driven out of 
Shrivardhan, Balaji's birthplace, and several other points on 
the coast which Angre added to his fief. Thereafter Angre 
released Bahiro Pingle and became an allied confederate of 
the king. In this way the Maratha confederacy was born. 

* The forts mentioned by Mr. Sardesai were Khanderi, Kolaba, Suvarnadurg, 
Jaygad, Devgad, Kanakdurg, Fatehdurg, Avachitgud. and Yeswantgad besides 16 
lesser places, e. g. Bahirugad, Kolata, Bikatgad, Manikgad, iSIirgad, Sagargad, Rasul- 
gad, Ramdurg, Khaerpatan, Rajapur, Ainberi, Satvadem, Shrivacha, ami Manaranjan. 



156 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

Shahu delighted with Balaji's success, removed Bahiro 
Pingle from the post of Peshwa wherein he had so signally- 
failed and on the 16th November 1713 conferred it on 
Balaji Vishvanath *. At the same time he directed Balaji 
to unite the forces of the kingdom against Damaji Thorat. 
After the failure of Balaji's expedition, Shahu had called 
on the Pant Sachiv to reduce the graceless filibuster. 
Naro Shankar the Pant Sachiv was still a tiny child, but 
his mutalik or agent took him on field service to encourage 
the troops. Unfortunately Damaji Thorat proved as 
formidable in battle as in low intrigue. He overthrew 
the Pant Sachiv's troops and took the little boy and his 
mutalik prisoners. These also the king ransomed. Before 
Balaji started on the third expedition, Shahu, anxious to 
give Damaji Thorat a last chance of returning to his 
allegiance, invited him to meet hitn at Jejuri and promised 
him a safe conduct. There he graciously received the 
rebel chieftain and offered him the most favourable terms. 
Confident in the strength of the castle and in his numerous 
and well-trained bands, Thorat bore himself with such 
overweening pride as to make reconciliation impossible. 
The king dismissed him and the royal commanders converged 
on Damaji Thorat's castle. Damaji met the king's troops 
in the open but for all his skill he was beaten and driven 
into Hingangaon. He defended himself bravely behind 
his castle walls, but they were breached and the place 
stormed. Damaji Thorat was taken prisoner and sent to 
a dungeon in Purandar. His fortress was utterly destroyed 
and the spot where it had stood was ploughed up by 
donkeys. The king was more pleased than ever with 
Balaji. To reward him and at the same time to show his 
displeasure at the Pant Sachiv's failure, Shahu took from 
the latter the fort of Purandar and the town of Sasvad 
and conferred them on Balaji Vishvanath. Balaji in turn 

* Grant Duff's statement that the Pant Sachiv's mother Yesubai gave Purandar 
to Balaji as a sign of her gratitude is incorrect. The governorships of the foi-t, 
•were still in the gift of the king. Eiyasat II., p. 56. 



THE CIVIL WAR AND THE REORGANISATION 157 

made Ambaji Purandare his mutalik or principal agent 
and Ramji Mahadev Bhanu his confidential clerk. 

Order had now been restored by the talents and skill 
of Shahu's minister. To celebrate his victories the king 
invited Kanhoji Angre to visit him. Angre obeyed the 
summons and met his master at Jejuri in the spring of 
1718. The temple of Jejuri has several times been 
mentioned in these pages. It was there that Shivaji greeted 
Shahaji when the father brought to the son the peace 
offers of Bijapur. Jejuri was then a tiny place but in 
the early years of Shahu's reign, it had been greatly 
improved and enlarged by Krishnarao of Khatao, who 
although a freelance, was in religious matters strictly 
orthodox and was highly esteemed by his countrymen as 
the author of a Sanskrit work on the 1000 names of the 
god Vishnu. The present noble structure, one of the 
wonders of the Deccan, was built long afterwards by 
Ahalyabai and Tukoji Holkar. The deity worshipped in 
the Jejuri temple is the god Khandoba, an incarnation 
from the god Shiva. A legend relates that in ancient 
times some Brahmans were attacked and their property 
carried off by a demon called Malla. The Brahmans 
prayed to Shiva and he took the form of a warrior named 
Khandoba and slew the demon. Before he died Malla 
became a convert to Shaivism, whereupon both he and 
Khandoba were absorbed into Shiva. 

Kanhoji Angre presented to the king a 'Nazar' or 
tribute of sea-borne merchandise and received in exchange 
a richly embroidered shawl. He stayed over the Holi 
festival and in the time-honoured manner Shahu and his 
nobles covered themselves with red liquid. From Jejuri 
the king and his court moved to Satara. There Shahu 
and Angre removed in prolonged conversations all possible 
causes of misunderstanding. After a further exchange of 
presents Angre took an affectionate farewell of his sovereign 
and returned to his strongholds on the western coast. 



158 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 



APPENDIX A 

The genealogical tree of the Pingles. 
Moio Tiimal Pingle 



Nilkanth 


Daughter 


(Nilo) 


married Eamchandra 


1681—1706 


Bavdekar 



Baidro 



CHAPTER XXXVII 

AFFAIRS AT DELHI 

A. D. 1707 TO 1719 

After the death of Aurangzib Maratha history becomes 
once again connected more or less closely with that of 
Delhi. As I have related, Shah Alam under the title of 
Bahadur Shah became after the defeat and death of his 
brothers, emperor of Hindustan. Shah Alam was the 
kindest and most humane of men, but he lacked the vigour 
that was needed to make secure the tottering throne of 
the Moghuls. He succeeded his father at the age of sixty- 
seven and for nearly fifty years he had never known a 
moment free from the fear of death or imprisonment. He 
ruled for less than five years, most of which he passed in 
fighting the Sikhs, who had now become a formidable 
power. In February 1712 he suddenly issued a peremptory 
order to destroy every dog both in his own camp and in 
Lahore city. An order so needlessly cruel in the mouth 
of so kindly a prince raised fears that his mind had failed. 
The fears were justified and on the 16th February 1712 
he fell into a swoon from which he never recovered. The 
emperor's second son Azimushan was his father's favourite 
and at once seized the royal treasure and proclaimed him- 
self emperor. But Zulfikar Khan lent his powerful support 
to Bahadur Shah's other three sons. Azimushan was 
defeated and fell on the battle-field. Before his defeat, his 
three brothers had agreed to divide the empire. But with 
the death of their rival, their amity vanished. Moizuddin, 
the eldest, fought in turn his two brothers and with 
Zulfikar Khan's help emerged from the struggle the sole 



160 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

survivor. He mounted the throne under the title of 
Jehandar Shah on the 9th June 1712, 

The new emperor was not without abilities but he was 

wholly under the sway of a pretty dancing girl Lai Koor. 

After the manner of her kind, she sought to retain her 

dominion over her lover by keeping him under the influence 

of drugs and liquor. Nor was Zulfikar Khan averse from 

Jehandar Shah's self-indulgence. He relieved his master 

of all affairs of state and became in fact, if not in name, 

emperor of Delhi. Lai Koor used her influence to exalt 

her brother Khosal and her former friends. Khosal was 

made a commander of seven thousand men. A woman 

called Zahra, who had been kind to Lai Koor when a child, 

became so rich that she assumed the state of the greatest 

nobles in court. One day Zahra was passing with her 

retinue down the street when she met Mir Kamaruddin, 

better known as Chin Kulich Khan, a title given him by 

Aurangzib. He was the son of Firoz Jang* and the 

grandson of that Kulich Khan who in 1687 had fallen 

before Golconda, After Aurangzib's death Chin Kulich 

Khan had retired from court, content with the wealth 

which his father had amassed. Seeing Zahra approach on 

her elephant he made his retinue move aside to let her 

pass. With the insolence of an upstart, Zahra rebuked 

Chin Kulich Khan for not making way for her sooner. 

"Chin Kulich Khan," she cried, "you must surely be the 

son of a blind father not to move out of the road." The 

hot blood of Turkestan boiled in the soldier's veins at the 

insult. At his signal his retinue threw themselves upon 

the servants of Zahra, beat them severely and finally 

dragged Zahra herself out of her gaily decked howdah. 

Realising his danger Chin Kulich Khan went straight to 

Zulfikar Khan, implored and obtained his protection. 

Thereafter he returned to court and asked to be reinstated 

in the imperial service. Such was the unpromising 

beginning of the career of the great Nizam-ul-Mulk, the 

*Khafi Khan. Firoz Jang died in Guzarat in 1709. 



AFFAIRS AT DELHI 161 

ancestor of His Exalted Highness the Nizam of Haida- 
rabad. 

In no long time the folly of Jehandar Shah, the whims 
of his mistress, and the overbearing manners of Zulfikar 
Khan estranged the Moghul nobles and they readily sought 
a pretender to the throne. Over the great and w^ealthy 
province of Bengal ruled Farukhsir, a son of Azimushan. 
On Aurangzib's death Azimushan, marching to his father's 
help, left behind him Farukhsir as his deputy. On the 
borders of Bengal were two brothers, who, as Sayads, 
<5laimed to be descended from the loins of the prophet. 
Hussein Ali Khan was governor of Behar. His brother 
Abdulla Khan was governor of Allahabad. These two 
powerful nobles Farukhsir won to his cause and in November 
1712 the combined armies of the three provinces marched 
to Delhi. In spite of the gallantry of Zulfikar Khan 
Jehandar Shah suffered a complete defeat and was betrayed 
to Farukhsir by Zulfikar Khan's father, Asad Khan. The 
latter's infamy saved his own life but not his son's. Asad 
Khan and Zulfikar Khan paid their respects to Farukhsir, 
but as they rose to go, Zulfikar Khan was detained. He 
had been the chief cause of Azimushan's failure to win the 
throne and in the eyes of Farukhsir he had sinned beyond 
forgiveness. He was led into a side tent and charged with 
the desertion of Azim Shah and with treason to Azimushan. 
Zulfikar Khan met the charges with undaunted bearing, but 
at last seeing that his cause had already been judged, he bade 
his tormentors kill him instead of asking him idle questions. 
The words had hardly left his lips when a band of ruffians 
threw themselves on him and strangled him to death. So 
died this talented soldier, the one officer in Aurangzib's 
army, who knew perfectly the science of Deccan warfare*. 

Farukhsir was soon to regret the murder of one who 
might have proved an ally against the two Sayad brothers. 
They assumed complete control of the state and reduced 
the emperor's power to a cypher. Jehandar Shah had 

*Siyar ul Muta Kherin, p. 122. 

11 



162 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

willingly resigned to Zulfikar Khan the toils of office, but 
Farukhsir resented the tyranny of his two allies. Not 
daring to dismiss them, he fawned on them to their faces, 
but behind their backs wove scheme after scheme for their 
destruction. On Farukhsir's elevation, he appointed Chin 
Kulich Khan to succeed Zulfikar Khan as viceroy of the 
Deccan, and Chin Kulich Khan induced Shahu in return 
for imperial recognition to agree to support Farukhsir 
with ten thousand horse. The emperor now recalled Chin 
Kulich Khan and sent the Sayad Hussein Ali Khan to take 
his place. Directly Hussein Ali Khan had left Delhi, the 
emperor begged Daud Khan to attack and destroy him. 
Daud Khan, who had been Zulfikar Khan's former deputy 
and had since been named governor of Guzarat, accepted 
readily the task. He enlisted a number of Maratha troops, 
especially those under Nemaji Sindia, who had made himself 
master of the entire revenues of Aurangabad. On the 
25th August, 1716, the two armies met on the plain outside 
Burhanpur. Daud Khan was renowned through India for 
his courage. His gallantry had won the battle when a stray 
musket ball struck him in the forehead, killing him on 
the spot. Fortune at once changed sides and Daud Khan's 
victorious army became a routed mob, Nemaji Sindia, of 
whom Daud Khan had expected great things, took no part 
in the action, but galloping about with his cavalry on the 
outskirts of the battle, only joined in it, when he saw Daud 
Khan's force finally dispersed. He then rode up to Hussein 
Ali Khan, congratulated him on his victory and applied 
himself to plundering Daud Khan's effects. 

Hussein Ali Khan secure in the viceroyalty of the 
Deccan tried to clear his province of Maratha marauders. 
The chief among these was Khanderao Dabhade. He had 
actually built a number of mud block-houses along the 
Surat-Burhanpur road,* and kept a revenue officer there 
to levy the chauth which the Marathas now claimed not 
only over the Deccan, but over Guzarat as well. Hussein 

* Siyar-ul-Muta Kherin p. 140. 



AFFAIRS AT DELHI 163 

Ali Khan sent eight thousand men under one Zulfikar Beg 
to drive away Khanderao Dabhade and destroy his block- 
houses. But the general had neither the skill nor the men 
to achieve his purjDOse. Khanderao Dabhade who had 
between eight thousand and nine thousand veteran troopers 
and six or seven thousand local levies met Zulfikar Beg 
near the edge of the Baglan forest. Zulfikar Beg instantly 
attacked him. The Marathas dispersed on all sides into 
the wooded hills. Zulfikar Beg divided his army into 
small parties so as to pursue them. When the Moghuls 
had penetrated deeply into the mountains, detachments of 
Marathas closed the paths behind them ; Zulfikar Beg was 
slain and his entire force either killed or taken. Hussein 
Ali Khan attempted to avenge Zulfikar Beg by sending 
a large army under his minister Raja Mohkam Sing to 
Guzarat. At the same time he sent another force under 
his own brother Sarfuddin Ali Khan to support him. 

Khanderao Dabhade was too wary a soldier to fight at 
a disadvantage. He clung to south Guzarat by means of 
his chain of forts which the Moghuls failed to take and 
successfully declined a general engagement. Hussein Ali 
Khan's ill success against Dabhade was learnt by the 
emperor with great satisfaction. Farukhsir wrote privately 
to various Maratha leaders, urging them to make war 
without respite on his own viceroy. The Maratha leaders 
were only too willing to comply with the emperor's request 
and broke the truce that they had more or less observed 
since Shahu's accession. Everywhere in the Moghul 
possessions in the south appeared bands of horsemen, 
who with justice announced that they were acting for the 
emperor. Hussein Ali Khan had no alternative but to buy 
off the Marathas on their own terms. 

He sent as his ambassador to Shahu's court at Satara 
a Deshasth Brahman named Shankar Malhar. He had 
been a clerk under Shivaji and had been appointed Pant 
Sachiv by Raja Ram; but he had been removed from that 
office by Tarabai. He had then joined the Moghul service 



164 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

and had acted at the viceregal court as the agent of the 
Maratha captains in the pay of the emperor. Balaji 
Vishvanath conducted the negotiations on Shahu's behalf. 
On his release Shahu had obtained a promise of the chauth 
and sardesliJiiukhi in the six Deccan provinces. Subse- 
quently by a private arrangement between Shahu and 
Daud Khan, the Maratha king had waived his right to the 
sardeshmukhi, provided Daud Khan guaranteed the regular 
payment of the chauth. The first demand, therefore, of 
the Maratha plenipotentiary was that the viceroy should 
guarantee the sardeshmukhi as well as the chauth. This 
was at once acceded to by Shankar Malhar. But this was 
only a small part of the Maratha demands. Balaji 
Vishvanath next asked for sovereign rights over all the 
territory except Khandesh which had belonged to Shivaji. 
In lieu of Khandesh Shahu should receive compensation 
round Pandharpur. The Moghuls should evacuate Shivner 
which had twice defied the great king's assaults, restore 
Shivaji's Carnatic conquests and send Shahu's mother and 
family back to the Deccan. With special vehemence 
Balaji, a devout and orthodox Brahman, demanded the 
surrender of Trimbak. It is a place dear to every Deccan 
Hindu and is yearly visited by thousands of pilgrims. It 
v/as there that the saint Nivratti, brother of Dnyandev, 
ended his earthly career. But, above all, it is renowned as 
the spot where the Godavari river rises. To the Marathas 
the Godavari is the holiest of all southern streams and by 
the dwellers on her banks she is usually called Ganga or 
the Ganges. Indeed a current legend claims for her a 
holiness even greater than that of her proud northern 
sister. When King Bhagirath by his prayers and penances 
brought down from heaven the divine Ganges, the god 
Shiva caught her in his hair. There he held her imprison- 
ed for a year, Parvati, Shiva's wife, grew jealous of the 
stately lady, whom her husband carried always with him. 
She called to her aid her son, the elephant-headed Ganpati. 
Now it so happened that near Trimbak a great sage called 



AFFAIRS AT DELHI 165 

Gautama had his hermitage and close to it he grew a 
small patch of corn to gratify his scanty needs. Ganpati 
turned himself into a cow and began to eat the , hermit's 
corn. The angered Gautama rushed out and struck the 
trespasser a violent blow with his staff. Instantly the 
cow fell down dead. The next year the rains failed and 
for miles round the peasants ascribed their failure to 
Gautama's slaughter of the cow. They insisted that by 
way of reparation he should procure other water and save 
them from a famine. Gautama, conscious of his guilt, 
began a series of penances to induce the god Shiva to 
release from his hair at least a part of the Ganges, to 
water the arid plains. Shiva at last consented and let fall 
from his hair the fairest portion of the imprisoned river. 
It fell at Trimbak and became the Godavari river. The 
peasant's crops were saved and the Ganges, bereft of her 
fairest waters, no longer roused the jealousy of the great 
god's queen. 

In return for these vast cessions, Balaji Vishvanath 
offered on the king's behalf to pay a tribute of ten lakhs 
for the chauth and keep fifteen thousand horse at the dis- 
posal of the viceroy of the Deccan. For the sardesh- 
mukhi he was to protect the Deccan, to put down disorder 
and pay a fee of 651"/o. No loyal Moghul officer would 
have agreed to a treaty which involved the surrender of 
Shivaji's Carnatic conquests; but Hussein Ali Khan was 
ready to accept any terms, by which he might secure 
fifteen thousand Maratha horse to use against his master 
the emperor. He therefore agreed to all Balaji's demands 
subject to confirmation by Farukhsir. But the clause, 
which was most attractive to Hussein Ali Khan, was utterly 
repellent to the emperor and his advisers. The treaty 
was rejected with indignation. Farukhsir sent Jannisar 
Khan to occupy Khandesh in his name and gave him a 
body of troops to guard himself from Santaji Kadam 
Bande, who was overrunning that province. But Jannisar 
Khan, as soon as the troops reached him, deserted to 



166 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

Hussein Ali Khan. Both Farukhsir and his former allies 
now prepared for war; but while the Sayad brothers 
collected men and guns with vigour and resolution, the 
wretched emperor could not decide on any settled plan. 
At last a Kashmiri called Mahomed Murad won the imperial 
favour by suggesting to him a variety of futile designs 
by which he might destroy the Sayads. In return for this 
worthless counsel Farukhsir ennobled Mahomed Murad 
with the title of Itikad Khan Farukhshahi Rukn-ud-daulat, 
which, being interpreted, means the confidential noble of 
the court of the emperor Farukhsir and pillar of the state. 
At Itikad Khan's advice the emperor recalled Sarbuland 
Khan, the governor of Patna, Chin Kulich Khan, now en- 
nobled with the title of Nizam-ul-Mulk or deputy of the 
empire and governor of Moradabad, and Ajit Sing, the son 
of Jaswant Sing, Maharaja of Jodhpur, M'^hom as a child 
Aurangzib had wished to detain in Delhi and convert to 
Islam. After Ajit Sing's successful flight, the Maharana of 
Udaipur, the first of the Rajput princes, had bestowed on him 
the hand of his daughter; and Bahadur Shah had publicly 
acknowledged him as Chief of Jodhpur. He was now 
governor of Guzarat. Ajit Sing, however, correctly gauged 
the emperor's vacillating and treacherous nature and not 
only refused to help in the destruction of the Sayads, but 
disclosed to Sayad Abdulla Khan, who was still at Delhi, 
Farukhsir's intentions. Nizam-ul-Mulk and Sarbuland 
Khan had relinquished their high offices when recalled to 
Delhi, but had been assured that they would be promoted, 
the one to be vazir, the other to be commander-in-chief. 
On these terms they were ready to attack the Sayads. 
But when they asked of the emperor the fulfilment of his 
promises, they learnt that he intended to make Itikad Khan 
both vazir and commander-in-chief. They vainly protested 
that since they had ceased to be governors, they could 
not help Farukhsir, unless he gave them high posts at 
Delhi; but they received the reply that Itikad Khan alone 
had the necessary talents to be head either of the civil or 



AFFAIRS AT DELHI 167 

the military administration. Seeing that the emperor was 
bent on his own destruction, Nizam-ul-Mulk and Sarbuland 
Khan wisely made their peace with the Sayads. The days 
of Farukhsir's reign were now numbered. Of all his 
friends Jai Sing, the raja of Jaipur, alone stood by his 
side and offered with his Rajput troops to attack and 
destroy Abdulla Khan before Hussein Ali Khan could join 
him. But fear now dominated the wretched successor of 
Aurangzib. Without an effort to resist, he allowed Hussein 
Ali Khan with the troops of the Deccan and a contingent 
of ten thousand Maratha horse under Balaji Vishvanath 
to march on Delhi and join Abdulla Khan. The emperor 
was lost. He tried in vain to conciliate the brothers, but 
they had gone too far for pardon. They replaced his 
guards by their own soldiers and insolently repeated to 
Farukhsir's face the various orders which he had given to 
compass their destruction. The emperor lost his temper 
and broke into passionate reproaches. The Sayads at once 
seized his person. A few nobles, touched by their master's 
fall, tried to rescue him, but in vain. The attempt ended 
in a street riot, during which the mob fell on the Maratha 
contingent and killed fifteen hundred of them, including 
Santaji Bhosle, a son of Parsoji Bhosle, and Balaji Mahadev* 
one of the three Bhanu brothers*. When the Sayads had 
restored order, they had their unhappy master blinded and 
thrown into a gloomy dungeon where he soon afterwards 
died (February 1719). Nizam-ul-Mulk and Sarbuland 
Khan were rewarded for their inaction, the former by the 
governorship of Malwa, the latter by the governorship of 
Kabul. 



* Chitnis Bakhar. Siyar-ul-Muta Kheiin. Khafi Khan. 



CHAPTER XXXVIII 

NIZAM-UL-MULK FOUNDS THE KINGDOM 
OF HAIDARABAD. 

A. D. 1719 TO 1724 

The body of the deceased emperor was buried in the tomb 
of Humayun, the spot where lie the remains of the murdered 
Dara Shukoh and where many years later the heirs of the 
last Moghul emperor sought in vain a sanctuary. In his 
place the Sayad brothers seated on the throne one Rafiud 
Dayat, the son of one of prince Akbar Mahomed's daughters 
and therefore the great-grandson of Aurangzib. The 
emperor was only twenty years of age, but he was already 
stricken with a mortal sickness. He was suffering from 
consumption, and three months after his coronation, he 
followed Farukhsir to the grave. At the dying boy's 
request, his brother Rafiud Daulat was crowned in his 
stead; but a victim to the same pitiless malady, he also 
exchanged in three months' time the throne for a grave. 
During the reign of these two princes the Sayads were 
masters of the empire. Abdulla Khan selected for his own 
zanana the favourite beauties of Farukhsir, and the 
Musulman chroniclers relate as a symptom* of the decay 
of the empire, that Maharaja Ajit Sing took back the 
daughter whom he had given in wedlock to the late 
emperor, and reconverting her to Hinduism, sent her back 
to his own palace at Jodhpur. The next prince whom 
the Sayads seated on the throne was Roshan Akhtar, the 
son of Jehandar Shah. In September 1719 he became 
under the title of Mahomed Shah, emperor of Delhi. 

* Siyar-ul-Muta Kherin. 



NIZAM-UL-MULK FOUNDS HAIDARABAD 169 

During the reigns of the two puppet predecessors of 
Mahomed Shah, Balaji Vishvanath and his Maratha 
contingent remained at Delhi. Balaji demanded imperiously 
the confirmation of Hussein Ali Khan's draft treaty. The 
latter, however, no longer in need of Maratha help post- 
. poned its execution and did not obtain the imperial signature 
until after Mahomed Shah's coronation. In some parti- 
culars the signed treaty differed from the original draft, 
but in essentials it remained the same. Shahu's mother 
Yesubai and his family were restored to him. He received 
the grant both of chauth and sardeshmukhi over the six 
Deccan provinces. In addition he was granted the hahti 
or 25 per cent of the balance of their revenue, the sahotra 
or six per cent of the whole of the revenue and the 
Nargaunda or three per cent of the whole. He received 
most of the territory which he had demanded, but not 
Trimbak, nor the conquests south of the Wardha and 
Tungabhadra rivers. On the other hand, he acquired the 
line of forts from Tathavda to Machendragad with their 
districts as far east as Pandharpur together with Akalkot 
and Indapur, Aurangzib's wedding gift *. The emperor 
defrayed in full the expenses of the Maratha contingent 
while under arms. Having satisfactorily concluded this 
treaty, alike advantageous to his king and disgraceful to 
the empire, Balaji Vishvanath returned to Shahu's court 
at Satara. There the gratified monarch gave him in fief 
the fort of Lohgad and the adjoining districts. 

Mahomed Shah was as destitute of talents as his immediate 
forerunners, but his mother was a woman of ability and 
courage. She forced her son to pay every respect to the 
Sayad brothers who had raised him to the throne, while 
she herself sought for some counterpoise to their outrageous 
power. In Nizam-ul-Mulk she saw a capable and willing- 
friend. He had never allied himself to the Sayads and 
as a rough soldier he heeded but little their claims to a 
descent from the prophet. Indeed but for F'arukhsir's 

* Grant Duff. 



170 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

vacillation he would willingly have destroyed them. He 
now entered readily into a plan for their discomfiture. 
He first established himself firmly in his governorship of 
Malwa, and having reduced that province to obedience, 
he resolved to make himself master of the Deccan. He 
knew a good deal about Deccan warfare and had in 1713 
and 1714, when viceroy for a short time, protected it with 
success against Maratha encroachments. His daring mind 
conceived the plan of using the resources of that province, 
which others regarded as nearly lost to the empire, to 
oust the Sayads' dominion. He assembled twelve thousand 
veteran horse at Sironj and then without warning crossed 
the Narbada and marched southwards. The Sayads, who 
had expected him to march on Delhi, were dismayed by 
this unexpected move. The rebel's march was at first a 
triumphant progress. The giant fortress of Asirgad, 
which had for many years withstood the arms of Akbar, 
surrendered on payment of two years' arrears of pay. 
Burhanpur capitulated on the same terms. Anwar Khan, 
the governor of Khandesh, at once handed over his charge. 
Rao Rambha Nimbalkar, Chandrasen Jadhav and other 
Maratha leaders, discontented with Shahu, and a contingent 
from Kolhapur presented themselves at Nizam-ul-Mulk's 
camp. Lastly, Ghaus Khan, the governor of Berar and 
a Turk like the Nizam himself, brought to his fellow 
countryman a body of veteran troops and a train of 
artillery. The Nizam's head was not turned by these easy 
successes. He knew that he would soon have to face 
Alam Ali Khan, a nephew of the Sayads and for the moment 
viceroy of the Deccan. To Alam Ali Khan's help, too, 
were marching Dilavar Khan, a Sayad like the two brothers, 
and a Maratha contingent under Khanderao Dabhade. 
The Nizam, however, had the advantage of interior lines 
and he resolved to destroy his enemies before they could 
unite. His tactics were those which he had learnt in 
Deccan warfare*. On the approach of Dilavar Khan, the 

* Khafi Khan and Siyar-ul-Muta Kherin. 



NIZAM-UL-MULK FOUNDS H AID ARAB AD 171 

Nizam left on the wooded banks of a stream his lieutenant 
Inayat Khan, with a picked body of infantry and a large 
train of artillery. With the bulk of his force he went out 
to meet Dilavar Khan. The latter, thinking that he had 
before him the entire army of his enemy, charged impetu- 
ously. The Nizam skilfully retreated until he had led 
Dilavar Khan close to his concealed reserves. While the 
Sayad was pursuing his foe in the disorder of fancied 
victory, there burst on him and his men a storm of cannon 
shot. Dilavar Khan's soldiers fell in heaps and the rest, 
taking advantage of the smoke, fled in dismay from the 
battle. (19th June 1720.)* 

In the meantime Aiam Ali Khan had reached Aurangabad. 
He had affected a junction with the Maratha contingent 
under Khanderao Dabhade and with twelve thousand 
Marathas and his own army of thirteen thousand men he 
thought himself a match for Nizam-ul-Mulk. The latter 
feared most the Maratha contingent. Against them he 
resolved to rely on massed batteries of heavy artillery, a 
device used afterwards with still greater effect by the 
French general, de Bussy. He stripped Asirgad and 
Burhanpur of their cannon and then sought his enemy. 
Khanderao Dabhade and his Marathas behaved in a way 
worthy of his high reputation. But Ghaus Khan kept them 
at a distance with the fire of his batteries and charged 
them in the field with the squadrons under Chandrasen 
Jadhav. The main action took place at a spot called Balapur 
in Berar almost half-way between Burhanpur and Aurangabad. 
The Nizam's tactics were similar to those of his recent 
victory but more artfully concealed. In the evening before 
the battle he ostentatiously massed his entire artillery in 
front of his lines. At night he withdrew the bulk of his 
guns and hid them in a copse a mile or two in the rear. 
Next morning the 10th August 1720, Alam Ali Khan 
attacked with the same fury as Dilavar Khan had done 

* This battle is known as the battle of Khandva. The battle against Alam 
Ali Khan was called the battle of Balapur. 



172 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

and fell into 'the same snare. Nizam-ul-Mulk slowly- 
retreated, followed by Alam Ali Khan, When the deluded 
commander had reached the desired spot, the concealed 
batteries in a few minutes swept away his troops by 
thousands. Profiting by their disorder Nizam-ul-Mulk 
counter-attacked. The Maratha contingent fought bravely 
until Alam Khan's death, when Khanderao Dabhade, seeing 
that the day was lost, withdrew his detachment safely to 
the Deccan. Among the fallen was Shankar Mulhar, 
Hussein Ali Khan's envoy to the court of King Shahu. 

The rebel's victories were heard with dismay by the 
Sayad brothers, but with secret joy by the emperor and 
his mother, and they deemed the time propitious for rid- 
ding themselves of their overbearing benefactors. To this 
end they won over another Turk named Mahomed Amir 
Khan, who had deserted Farukhsir to the Sayads and now 
that the Sayads' cause seemed to totter, was ready to 
desert back from the Sayads to the emperor. The suspi- 
cious brothers forbade any private interviews, but Amir 
Khan and Mahomed Shah conveyed to each other their 
plans by speaking openly in Turki, a language unknown 
to the Sayads, but always diligently studied by the house 
of Babar. As Hussein Ali Khan was the abler of the 
brothers, it was decided to remove him by assassination, 
and in one Mir Haidar, a Chagatai Moghul, was found a 
suitable instrument. The assassin pretended to offer 
Hussein Ali Khan a petition written in extremely obscure 
language. Hussein Ali Khan accepted it and while he 
tried to unravel the tangled rigmarole, Mir Haidar plunged 
a dagger into his heart. On the death of their leader the 
bulk of his troops deserted and the rest were overpowered 
by the nobles attached to the imperial cause. AbduUa 
Khan still remained to be dealt with. He was at Fatehpur 
Sikri, the beautiful city which Akbar built near Agra and 
afterwards abandoned. On hearing of his brother's 
murder he at once marched on Delhi. To give his advance 
a show of right, he had crowned another grandson of 



NIZAM-UL-MULK FOUNDS HAIDARABAD 173 

Bahadur Shah under the title of Mahomed Ibrahim Shah. 
But the nobles of Delhi were weary of the overweening 
insolence of the Sayads and gathered round the reigning 
emperor. Nevertheless Abdulla Khan was able to collect 
a considerable force; and at Shahpur on the road from 
Agra to Delhi he fought for two days a hardly contested 
action. On the second day he rashly dismounted from his 
elephant to encourage his men; but receiving several 
wounds he was taken prisoner and his army dispersed 
(November 1720)*. 

Mahomed Shah returned to Delhi in triumph. He at first 
appointed Mahomed Amin Khan as his vazir. But on his 
death a few hours later, he gave that important post to 
Nizam-ul-Mulk. Thus in a few months the rebel had not 
only conquered the Deccan, but had raised himself to the 
first office in the empire. In addition he was allowed to 
retain the governorship of Malwa and the viceroy alty of 
the Deccan. Although Mahomed Shah put up a bell in his 
apartments, the chain of which any aggrieved subject 
might pull, he was really as idle and dissolute as any of 
his predecessors. When the new vazir reached Delhi in 
January 1722, he found the imperial affairs in utter con- 
fusion. He at once applied to their study his keen and 
powerful mind. But serious and decorous himself, he 
could neither understand nor sympathise with the emperor's 
youthful levity. He constantly rebuked his sovereign in 
grave and, worse still, lengthy speeches. At last Mahomed 
Shah, tired to death of his solemn vazir, encouraged his 
courtiers and boon companions to mimic the Turk's 
manners and pull faces at him behind his back. When 
ridicule failed, Mahomed Shah thought to destroy his vazir 
by appointing him governor of Guzarat. The previous 
governor was one Haidar Kuli Khan, to whom the emperor 
sent a despatch, urging him to resist and, if possible, to 
kill the new nominee. Haidar Kuli Khan readily obeyed. 
But the Nizam was more than a match for his treacherous 

* Siyar-ul-Muta Kherin. 



174 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

master. Marching into Guzarat he contrived so skilfully 
to sow sedition in Haidar Kuli Khan's army, that at a given 
moment it deserted in a mass to the enemy. The wretched 
governor left with only a few personal friends, saved his 
life by pretending to be mad and fled to Delhi. He was 
followed there by Nizam-ul-Mulk, who once more under- 
took his duties as vazir, with the added prestige of his 
recent victory and a third viceroyalty. His return was 
so distasteful to the foolish boy who occupied the throne, 
that Nizam-ul-Mulk began to fear that if he stayed long 
at Delhi he would, like Hussein Ali Khan, be removed by 
the knife of an assassin. He begged leave to resign his 
office as vazir and go to his governorships of Malwa, 
Guzarat and the Deccan, where, as he pleaded, the fresh 
inroads of the Marathas demanded his immediate return. 
With a sigh of relief, Mahomed Shah graciously granted 
his request and lavished honours on the departing minister. 
Nizam-ul-Mulk was given the title of Asaf Jah and Vakil-i- 
Mulk, or agent-general of the empire, and permitted to 
leave court with every wish for his future success. 

The Nizam went first to Malwa and thence after a short 
interval to the Deccan. But his master's enmity preceded 
him. An imperial messenger had already reached Mubariz 
Khan, the commandant of Haidarabad fort, begging him to 
destroy the viceroy and assume the viceroyalty himself. 
Tempted by the offer, Mubariz Khan won over a number 
of the leading Musulman officers and raised an army big 
enough to encourage him to attack the emperor's enemy. 
On the 2nd October, 1724, the rivals met at Shakar Khera 
in Berar, eighty miles from Aurangabad*. Mubariz Khan 
tried to outmarch the Nizam and turning his flank to seize 
Aurangabad. But he was opposed to a master of the art 
of war. Nizam-ul-Mulk marched even more rapidly than 
he did and forced him to action. In spite of the personal 
bravery of Mubariz Khan, he was killed and his army 
overthrown. Nizam-ul-Mulk knew as well as anyone the 

* Khafi Khan. (The place is now known as Sakhar Khed.) 




BAJIRAO I. 



[To face page 174] 



NIZAM-UL-MULK FOUNDS HAIDARABAD 175 

emperor's perfidy; but he thought fit to ignore it. With 
grim irony he congratulated Mahomed Shah on the reduc- 
tion of a rebel and sent his head and his personal effects 
to increase the imperial gratification. Henceforward, 
although Nizam-ul-Mulk feigned a subject's deference to 
the emperor, and styled himself his lieutenant, he ruled in 
reality as king of the Deccan. 



CHAPTER XXXIX 

THE DEATH OF BALAJI VISHVANATH AND THE 
ACCESSION OF HIS SON BAJIRAO 

A. D. 1720 TO 1730 

Before leaving Delhi, Nizam-ul-Mulk had appointed his 
uncle Hamid Khan as his lieutenant in Guzarat. Mahomed 
Shah was advised to release from prison Abdulla Khan 
and send him to reconquer that province first and the 
Deccan afterwards. This plan was frustrated by Nizam- 
ul-Mulk's friends, who successfully administered to the 
fallen vazir a dose of poison. The emperor then chose 
Sarbuland Khan, the governor of Kabul, as his instrument. 
The latter, however, who aspired to be vazir, did not at 
once proceed to Guzarat but sent there one Shujaat Khan 
with a body of picked troops, Hamid Khan's own force 
was not equal to resistance, so he fell back on Dohad, 
where he induced a Maratha leader Kantaji Kadam Bande 
to join him, promising him in return the chauth of Guzarat. 
The allies advanced against Shujaat Khan and defeating 
and killing him at Kapadwanj, entered Ahmadabad in 
triumph. It so happened however, that Rustam Ali Khan, 
the Moghul governor of Surat, was Shujaat Khan's brother. 
He took up arms to avenge him and following his enemy's 
example induced another Maratha leader named Pilaji 
Gaikvad, with whom he had for some time past been 
conducting a more or less successful guerilla warfare, to 
patch up a truce and join him against Hamid Khan and 
Kantaji Bande. This Pilaji Gaikvad was the founder of 
the great house of Baroda; and since English historians, 
as a rule, interpret wrongly the name Gaikvad to mean 
cowherd, it will not be out of place to narrate here the 



THE DEATH OF BALAJI VISHVANATH 177 

origin of the family. The word Gaikvad is made up of 
two Marathi words — "Gai" a cow, and "Kavad" a small 
door. "Gaikvad" therefore means a "cow's door." The 
family came to adopt the name in this way. Nandaji*, the 
great-grandfather of Pilaji Gaikvad, was in charge of Bher 
fort in that part of the Mawal tract which, watered by the 
Pavana river in the Bhor state, is known as the Pavana 
Maval. One day a Musulman butcher drove past the fort 
gates a herd of cows, intending at the close of his journey 
to convert them into beef. Nandaji, like a virtuous Hindu, 
rushed out and rescued the cows, which ran for shelter 
into the fort through a side door or 'Kavad'. Proud of 
this meritorious feat, Nandaji assumed the name of "Gai- 
kavad", or cow's door which has since been corrupted into 
Gaikvad. Nandaji had a son Keroji, and Keroji had four 
sons Damaji, Lingoji, Gujoji, and Harjirao. Damaji took 
service under Khanderao Dabhade and so distinguished 
himself in the battle of Balapar that his conduct was 
brought to the royal notice. Damaji had no son but he 
adopted Pilaji, the son of one of his brothers and obtained 
for him a small post in Khanderao Dabhade's household. 
Shortly after his appointment Pilaji, who was an efficient 
horse-master, was put in charge of some forty or fifty 
mares, which had become too thin to carry Khanderao 
Dabhade's troopers. He took the mares to Narayanpur in 
the Nawapur paragana of Guzarat, where they shortly 
recovered their condition. Dabhade then gave him two or 
three hundred other foundered horses, which also recovered 
health and strength ; indeed Pilaji not only sent them back 
in excellent condition, but he also returned a part of the 
money given to him for their keep. As a reward Dabhade 
promoted Pilaji to the command of a squadron with which 
to garrison Nawapur. This pargana and the neighbouring- 
districts were then in the hands of the Bandes and the 
Pawars, also subordinates of the commander-in-chief. They 

* Pilaji Gaikvad Bakhar placed at my disposal by the courtesy of H. H. The 
Maharaja Gaikvad of Baroda. 

12 



178 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

affected to believe that Dabhade had made a mistake and 
refused to hand over to Pilaji his new grant. To com- 
pensate him, Dabhade gave him the command of two more 
squadrons and allowed him to establish himself at a fort 
near Surat, to which Pilaji gave the name of Songadh or 
the golden stronghold. He was now at the head of a 
considerable division and flattered by Rustam All's offer 
agreed to serve under his command. An indecisive action 
was fought by the two opposing Moghuls on the banks of 
the Mahi river. Rustam Ali remained master of the field. 
But Hamid Khan worsted in battle proved more formidable 
in intrigue. He induced his Maratha ally Bande to win 
over Pilaji. The next day Hamid Khan renewed the battle. 
Pilaji Gaikvad obtained leave to guard the guns and 
baggage while Rustam Ali charged the enemy. Away 
went the glittering masses of the imperial horse. Pilaji 
Gaikvad instantly spiked his commander's guns and charged 
into his rear. Attacked on all sides, Rustam All's force 
was destroyed and the too trusting generals fell on the 
battlefield*. In consideration of Pilaji's timely treachery, 
Hamid Khan divided the chauth of Guzarat between him 
and Kanthaji Bande. The two Marathas quarrelled over 
the division, but in the end they accepted Hamid Khan's 
ruling that the chauth of eastern Guzarat should go to 
Pilaji and that of western Guzarat to Kanthaji. The Mahi 
river was declared to be the boundary between them. 
After this settlement Hamid Khan returned in triumph to 
Ahmadabad and made his headquarters in the Shahi Bagh^ 
now the residence of the British commissioner. His 
triumph, however, was short-lived. Sarbuland Khan, 
feeling that if he tarried longer at Delhi he might lose 
everything, determined to go to Guzarat himself and drive 
out the deputy of Nizam-ul-Mulk. He succeeded in forcing 
his way into Ahmadabad, but there he was besieged by 
thirty thousand Marathas and compelled to give them 
drafts for large amounts on the chief bankers of Guzarat. 

* Khafi Khan and Siyar-ul-Muta Kherin . 



THE DEATH OF BALAJI VISHVANATH 179 

The Maratha leaders armed with Sarbuland Khan's authority 
extorted vast sums of money from the rich men of the 
province, with the result that trade and capital alike 
deserted it. Still had Sarbuland Khan been properly 
supported by the emperor, it is possible that he might 
have restored the Moghul authority over Guzarat. He won 
an important success over the Marathas on the plains of 
Cambay, whereupon Hamid Ali Khan fled back to the 
Deccan (December 1725). But the victory did Sarbuland 
Khan more harm than a defeat. Till then he had every 
month received five lakhs from the imperial treasury. But 
the news of his success and Hamid Khan's flight aroused 
the jealousy of the emperor and of his new vazir. Khan 
Dauran. They at once stopped the monthly payment and 
left Sarbuland Khan to shift for himself. The result was 
as might have been expected. Unable through the hostility 
of the Marathas to carry on the government, he bought 
their friendship, as will be narrated later, by formally 
ceding to them in 1729 A. D. the chauth and the sardesh- 
Tnukhi of Guzarat. 

While the foregoing events were happening in the 
Deccan and Gujarat, three of the greatest Maratha leaders 
passed away, Parashuram Trimbak, Balaji Vishvanath and 
Khanderao Dabhade. Parashuram died on the 27th Ma}"- 
1718, leaving four sons Krishnarao, Shrinivas better known 
as Shripatrao, Sadashiv and Jagjivan. Shripatrao had 
been adopted into the family of Parashuram's brother 
Madhavrao and was, therefore, no longer Parashuram's 
heir. Nevertheless Shahu, who had for Shripatrao a warm 
affection, appointed him to his natural father's office. 
Krishnarao remained at Kolhapur. His descendant is the 
chief of Vishalgad, who is still styled the Pratinidhi by 
H. H. the Maharaja of Kolhapur. Besides his sons, 
Parashuram left two daughters. One married into the 
family of Dhugardare, the other into that of the Deshpandes 
of Kolevadi, where her descendants may still be met. A 
Vrindavan or raised stand for the sacred Tulsi plant was 

12* 



180 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

erected in his father's honour by Shripatrao and may yet 
be seen at Mahuli on the banks of the holy Krishna. A 
not less enduring monument is the collection of Sanskrit 
and Marathi verse which the soldier and statesman wrote 
in Satara fort, to beguile the tedium of his imprisonment. 
Balaji Vishvanath died shortly after his return south- 
wards. The fatigues of the journey, the anxieties of his 
stay, his vast labours to obtain the confirmation of the 
treaty drafted by Hussein Ali Khan had exhausted even 
his enduring frame. Early in October 1720 he felt him- 
self unable to carry on even the ordinary duties of his 
charge and obtained leave to retire to Saswad, the little 
town below Purandar. During the winter and summer his 
family lived in Purandar, but to avoid the damp cold of 
the monsoon months it was their habit to descend into the 
valley below. In his house at Saswad, surrounded by his 
family, the great Peshwa tried to regain his strength and 
on the 11th March 1720 he married his son Bajirao to the 
charming Kashibai, but the hand of death was already on 
him. On the 1st April 1720 after a few days' illness he 
died of heart failure. It is a great misfortune that more 
has not come down to us of this distinguished man. Much 
has survived to us of his son Bajirao's life and character. 
Yet although Balaji's exploits were less brilliant than those 
of his more famous son, it must be borne in mind that the 
latter began where the former ended. The success, which 
attended Bajirao was, in truth, the success of Balaji's pru- 
dent and far-seeing policy. It must be conceded that in the 
granting of lands instead of salaries to the king's officers, 
Balaji departed from the wise rule of Shivaji. But the 
fault was not the minister's but his master's. Balaji saw 
that Shahu had not the commanding talents and energy 
which had made possible the great king's concentrated 
dominion. Since the best was not obtainable, Balaji chose 
the second best and substituted for the autocracy of the 
king the Maratha confederacy. Such a confederacy had 
the seeds of weakness. Nevertheless, as Mr. Ranade has 



THE DEATH OF BALAJI VISHVANATH 181 

observed, it made its power felt all over India and endured 
for more than a hundred years. Again it was to Balaji 
that the complicated Maratha system of collection was 
due. To it as much as to their victories in the field the 
Marathas owed the spread of their empire. Everywhere 
were scattered their agents, collectors and Kamavisdars, 
their Gumastas and Sheristedars, who by constant inter- 
ference with the Moghul officials undermined their author- 
ity, hampered their finances, fomented their quarrels and 
furnished to the Satara government a never-failing excuse 
for hostilities. As a child Balaji had married Radhabai 
Barve, a lady of extraordinary accomplishments. In an 
age when few men were literate, this talented lady could 
both read and write. She ruled her household with a rod 
of iron. Yet in social matters she was large-minded and 
tolerant. At one time it came to light that a certain Brah- 
man Sardar owned a slave girl of the Mhar caste. The 
stricter citizens would have excommunicated the offender. 
But Radhabai induced the king to impose instead of a 
sentence of excommunication a trifling penance. Balaji's 
eldest son was Visaji, better known as Bajirao, born in 
1698. His second son was Antaji, better known as Chimnaji 
Appa, born in 1708. He left also two daughters. One of 
them Anubai married Vyankatrao, the founder of the house 
of Ichalkaranji. The other Bhiubai, became the bride of 
Abaji Joshi of Baramati, the brother of Balaji Naik a 
wealthy money-lender and known to fame as Bajirao's most 
harassing creditor. 

The third great Maratha chief to die was Khanderao 
Dabhade. In every campaign, nay in almost every battle 
fought by the Marathas since the death of Shivaji, he had 
played his part. In his last great fight, that of Balapur, 
he was in no way responsible for defeat; and his courage 
in the field and his skilful retreat enhanced rather than 
lowered his reputation. But on his return to the Deccan, 
he felt himself no longer fit for service and asked for and 
obtained leave to retire. He had won wide possessions in 



182 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

the rich plains of Giizarat; but like a true Maratha he 
preferred to them all the little Deccan village which had 
seen his birth. To Talegaon Dabhade, as it is still called, 
on the banks of the Indryani river, the war-worn soldier 
went. Two picturesque lakes surrounded by shady trees 
adjoin the village and provide it with a never failing 
supply of water. The neighbouring hills furnish it with a 
beautiful and ever-changing landscape. The summer is 
not more severe than that of southern France. The winter 
is as bracing as that of Algeciras or Sicily; and if the 
rainfall is unduly heavy, the temperature is never high 
and the air is always cool and pleasant. But neither cli- 
mate nor scenery could restore the old warrior's exhausted 
frame. For some months previously he had suffered from 
gravel and he lived only long enough to see his own title 
of Sena Khas Khel transferred to his son Trimbakrao and 
to receive the assurance that Trimbakrao would also on 
his father's death succeed to the post of commander-in- 
chief. (May 1721.)* 

It was at one time commonly believed that Bajirao's 
accession to his father's office was delayed until the same 
month as Trimbakrao's appointment to the commandership 
in-chief. For some time previous to Balaji Vishvanath's 
death there had begun to form what for convenience sake 
may be called the "Deccan Party"— a combination of 
Deshasth or Deccan Brahmans and Marathas against Balaji 
Vishvanath and his Chitpavan or Konkan fellow castemen. 
The most formidable leader of the Deccan Party was 
Shripatrao, the son of Parashuram Trimbak. To him was 
joined Fatesing Bhosle, the child whom Shahu had adopted 
after the capture of Parad village. On Balaji's death 
Shahu had announced to his council that he meant to 
appoint Bajirao in his father's place. Shripatrao artfully 
urged the king to be in no hurry. Let the king wait and 
judge for himself whether the young man's abilities were 

* Grant Duff. :Mr. Sardesai gives the date of Khanderao Dabliade's death as 
1729. 



THE DEATH OF BALAJI VISHVANATH 183 

■equal to the exalted post. Bajirao, born in 1698, was now 
22 years old*. He was no scholar, such as were his father 
and his own descendants ; for his childhood and youth had 
been spent in camps and on the battlefield. But he had a 
wide knowledge of men and a spirit and courage equal to 
the most arduous tasks. He was a bold rider, a skilful 
archer, a practised swordsman. In Hingangaon he had 
shared his father's captivity and at Delhi his father's 
triumphs. On Balaji's return, he had sent Bajirao to 
command the Maratha field force in Khandesh. Shahu 
who was a shrewd judge of character overruled his 
favourite's objections f. On the 17th April at a spot called 
Masur near Karhad he invested Bajirao with the robes of 
first minister. At the same time he gave to Bajirao's 
younger brother Chimnaji Appa, then only 12 years old, 
the title of Pandit and the Saranjam or private estate 
which had once belonged to Damaji Thorat. 

In no long time the new Peshwa outlined his future 
policy. He would leave the narrow limits of the Deccan 
and carry Maratha arms into the very heart of the Moghul 
empire. The first goal should be the conquest of Central 
India. This adventurous plan the Deccan part}'- strongly 
opposed. In the council chamber Shripatrao the Pratinidhi 
urged with great force its rejection, as rash and imprudent. 
He drew a just picture of the disorganisation of the 
finances, of the disordered state of the Konkan, where the 
Sidis held many important towns. Instead of bringing on 
their country such another invasion as that of Aurangzib, 
led this time by a soldier as skilled as Nizam-ul-Mulk, let 
the Marathas consolidate their conquests. Their inde- 
pendence had been recognised. It was far better to avoid 
a rupture with Delhi or Aurangabad. At peace with their 
neighbours, let them convert their present possessions 
into a wealthy and powerful kingdom. That aim achieved, 
let them devote themselves to conquests nearer home. 

*Riyasat vol. II., p. 143. 
t Ibid, p. 103. 



184 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

The Moghuls had overrun Shivaji's southern conquests. 
Let the Marathas retake Jinji and all its fertile districts 
and the provinces torn by the great king from Bijapur. 
This second ambition realised, it would be time enough to 
set in motion their armies against Delhi. 

Bajirao replied that the way to restore their finances 
was to plunder the rich provinces of Hindustan and not to 
waste their strength and treasure in the barren plains of 
the Deccan. He drew a vivid picture of the deeds of 
Shivaji, who with far less resources had defied the Moghul 
empire in its heyday. He excited Shahu's cupidity by 
dwelling on the indolence, the imbecility, and above all, on 
the wealth of the Moghuls; and he stimulated his religious 
zeal by urging him to drive from the holy land of Bharat- 
varsha the outcast and the barbarian. The orator's 
reasoning might have been wasted, but for his transcend- 
ent personal qualities. The commanding stature, which 
all but reached the low ceiling of the royal palace, the 
rich, clear voice, the bold virile features, the dark, imperi- 
ous eyes that forced attention, and above all, the rare 
felicity of diction that for centuries has been the peculiar 
gift of the Chitpavan Brahman, produced an irresistible 
effect. At the close of a lofty peroration, the minister 
fixed on Shahu his glowing gaze and said : 

" Strike, strike at the trunk and the branches will fall of themselves. 
Listen but to my counsel and I shall plant the Maratha banner on the 
walls of Attock." 

Rhetoric succeeded where argument might have failed. 
Shahu, completely carried away, cried with blazing eyes: 
"By heaven! You shall plant it on the throne of the 
Almighty ! " * 

It was, however, sometime before Bajirao could fulfil 
his dazzling promises. The finances had to be put in 
order, troops raised and the royal authority strengthened. 

* Grant Duff. The learned author has wrongly translated "Kinnar Khand!" 
The phrase in Shahu's mouth did not mean the country beyond the Himalayas, 
but the celestial regions. 



THE DEATH OF BALAJI VISHVANATH 185 

In 1724, however, he felt strong enough to invade Malwa. 
This province, as it will be remembered, had been bestowed 
on Nizam-ul-Mulk. But on the latter's invasion of the 
Deccan the emperor dismissed him from the governorship 
of Malwa and conferred it on Raja Giridhaar. The latter 
was able, since Nizam-ul-Mulk had drained the province 
of his troops to conquer the Deccan, to win it back with 
little difficulty to the imperial cause. To resist the Maratha 
leader was a harder task. Bajirao swept like a whirlwind 
through Central India. Then leaving it, he appointed 
as King Shahu's agents Udaji Pawar, Malharrao Holkar and 
Ranoji Sindia, The first of these was the founder of the 
house of Dhar, the second was the founder of the state 
of Indore, and the third the ancestor of the Maharajas of 
Gwalior. 

Malharrao Holkar was of lowly origin. His ancestors 
were Dhangars or herdsmen by caste and first lived in 
the village of Waphgaon. Afterwards they moved to Hoi 
on the banks of Nira, forty miles from Poona and 
within the limits of the Phaltan state. Their original 
name was Virkar, but this they changed to Holkar as a 
result of their new residence. Malharrao's father was one 
Khandoji Holkar who held in Hoi the office of Chaugula 
or Chaudhari, a superior village servant. He became the 
father of a baby boy, to whom he gave the name of 
Malhari. When the boy was only three years old, Khandoji 
Holkar died. To save her baby from the malice of his 
father's brothers, his mother Jiwai took him with her to 
her own village of Talode in Khandesh. There Malhari or 
Malharrao as he now came to be called, was brought up 
by his mother's brother Bhojraj, who was in command of 
a troop of irregular horse under Kantaji Kadam Bande. 
One day when still a child he went to sleep in the shade 
of a tree. As he slept, so the story runs, the sun moved 
and its rays fell upon the unconscious boy. When his 
mother came to fetch him home, she saw a large cobra 
protecting his face with its hood expanded. She called 



186 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

her brother to witness this strange spectacle and both 
agreed that it foretold the boy's future greatness*. Not 
long afterwards Bhojraj had a vision of the goddess 
Lakshmi, who told him that his nephew was destined to 
be a king. Convinced by these two events that Malharrao 
was reserved for something better than a herdsman's 
life, Bhojraj enlisted him as a trooper and gave him in 
marriage his own daughter Gautamabai. Malharrao's 
courage soon brought him rewards, but he once nearly 
ended his career by striking in the face Balaji Vishvanath's 
son Bajirao with a clod of earth, because the latter objected 
to his cutting the peasants' corn to feed his horses. Bajirao 
was generous enough to ask his father to spare the rough 
soldier. This generositj'^ Holkar did not forget. After 
the battle of Balapur (1720) in which he greatly disting- 
uished himself, he smoothed over a quarrel between 
Kanthaji Kadam Bande and Bajirao. This pleased the 
young Peshwa so much that in 1725 he gave Holkar a 
command of 500 horse in his own service and became 
greatly attached to him. 

Ranoji Sindia came of an ancient Kshatriya family of 
which the original name was Sendrak. They rose to the 
royal notice in the time of the Bahmani Kings and their 
name was corrupted into Shinde, a word which the English 
have further corrupted into Sindia. They became patils 
or herdsmen of the village of Kanherkhed, about twelve 
miles from Satara. In Aurangzib's time they held com- 
mands in his army and the emperor married to Shahu, 
while in captivity, Savitrabai, the daughter of a Sindia in 
his service. On Aurangzib's death Savitrabai's father fell 
fighting for Azam Shah. Ranoji Sindia was a scion of a 
younger branch. His father was in Balaji Vishvanath's 
service and he himself was brought up as a playmate of 
Bajirao. When Bajirao grew up, he made Ranoji his 
orderly and it was Ranoji's duty to carry his master's 
slippers. One day Bajirao found his orderly asleep, but 

* Holkar Charitra by Mr. Atre, p. 12, 



THE DEATH OF BALAJI VISHVANATH 187 

in his slumber Ranoji still held fast the Peshwa's slippers. 
Bajirao promoted him, believing that one who was so faithful 
in small things would prove no less faithful in great ones. 

The family of Pawar claimed descent from the Parmar 
Rajputs, whose house, according to the legends of Malwa, 
ruled over that country for a thousand and fifty-eight 
years. Krishnaji Pawar distinguished himself under Shivaji 
and his son Babaji won the title of Vishvasrao from Rajaram 
at Jinji. He had two grandsons Sambhaji and Kalaji who 
both served in the royal armies. Sambhaji's three sons 
were Udaji, Anandrao and Jagdev. (Malcolm's Central 
India, Chapter IV.) 

By the year 1726, however, Nizam-ul-Mulk, rid of the 
enemies launched against him by the emperor began to 
feel himself strong enough to oppose the pretensions of 
Shahu and his minister. In this he was encouraged by 
Chandrasen Jadhav who hated his former master with the 
fury of a renegade. Nor was ample ground lacking for a 
renewal of hostilities. Since his arrival in the Deccan in 
1720 the Nizam had been trying continuously to spread his 
dominion to the farthest limits of southern India. Early 
in 1723 he seized the town of Trichinopoly from Sarphoji, 
the son of Shivaji's brother Vyankoji and the ruler of 
Tanjore. Sarphoji appealed to Shahu. In 1727 A. D. Shahu 
sent to Sarphoji's help a large army under Fatehsing 
Bhosle, who was deemed to have special interests in the 
Carnatic. Under Fatehsing Bhosle went Bajirao and the 
Pratinidhi Shripatrao. The Marathas exacted arrears of 
tribute from the chiefs of Bednore, Gadag and Shrirangpatan, 
better known by its English name of Seringapatam. But 
owing to the ill-feeling of the Pratinidhi towards Bajirao 
and the indifference of Fatehsing Bhosle to his soldiers' 
welfare, the Maratha losses were extremely heavy and the 
Nizam soon regained most of the territory that Shahu had 
taken. 

The Nizam's plan to humble Shahu was a subtle one. 
He first withdrew his headquarters from Aurangabad to 



188 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

Haidarabad and won the Pratinidhi's good-will by offering 
him a jaghir in Berar, as an equivalent for the chauth 
payable on his new capital. Bajirao indignantly protested 
but in vain. Shahu, who did not penetrate the schemes 
of his powerful neighbour, was induced by the Pratinidhi 
to approve the exchange, since, so he said, the Nizam 
would feel deeply the payment of tribute on his metropolis. 
Encouraged by this success, the Nizam next affected 
ignorance of the respective claims of Shahu and Rajaram's 
son Sambhaji. He declared himself unable to pay to the 
Maratha government its chauth and sardeshmukhi, until 
the matter had been settled. At the same time he removed 
Shahu's agents from his dominions and invited both Shahu 
and Sambhaji to send envoys to Haidarabad, where he 
would himself decide which of the two princes had the 
better right to the crown of the Marathas. The Pratinidhi 
blinded by his hatred for Bajirao, urged his sovereign to 
comply. But the Peshwa laughed his rival to scorn and 
so worked on Shahu's feelings that the king instantly 
declared war. The Nizam successfully invoked the aid of 
Sambhaji. The latter joined the Nizam's camp with a 
large Maratha force and the Nizam flattered himself that 
he would be able to destroy the power of the Marathas, 
forcing them into a civil war, which would never, if 
his efforts availed anything, be ended. But he had counted 
without the genius of Bajirao. That aspiring statesman 
soon shewed himself as great in the field, as he had been 
eloquent in the council chamber. On the 7th August 1727, 
while rain was still falling, Bajirao led his army into the 
field. Entering the Aurangabad district, he first plundered 
Jalna and the districts round it. The Nizam sent a force 
under Ewaz Khan to meet him. After an indecisive action, 
the Peshwa outmarched his opponent and reached Mahur. 
Again turning towards Aurangabad, he gave out that he 
meant to plunder Burhanpur. To protect the wealthy city, 
the Nizam hastened to join Ewaz Khan. But Bajirao had 
already left Khandesh and plundering as he went, had 



THE DEATH OF BALAJI VISHVANATH 189 

entered Guzarat and had informed Sarbuland Khan with 
grim humour that he was invading the province under the 
Nizam's orders. The latter furious at being outwitted, 
marched with his whole strength on Poona. Bajirao whose 
plan was to exhaust the Nizam's soldiers before he attacked 
them, left Guzarat and again invaded his enemy's dominions 
along the banks of the Godavari. The Nizam abandoned 
his plan of marching on Poona and went eastwards so 
rapidly that he crossed the Godavari lower down and 
waited for Bajirao astride the river. The Nizam's cavalry 
was now tired out, so Bajirao no longer fled before him. 
Retreating slowly Bajirao tempted the Moghuls to follow 
him away from the river into the hilly country near the 
town of Palkhed*. He then took the offensive and soon 
forced the Nizam to take post. Thereupon Bajirao 
completely surrounded him and but for the Nizam's heavy 
artillery, he would soon have been compelled to surrender 
together with Sambhaji. The Nizam's big guns saved him. 
Forcing his way by the fire of his massed batteries through 
the investing force, he succeeded in reaching the Godavari 
river near the town of Mungi Shevgaon. He had now 
water and a considerable store of provisions. Nevertheless 
his was a besieged force and he sent his lieutenant Ewaz 
Khan to open negotiations. Bajirao demanded the immedi- 
ate surrender of Sambhaji, the payment of all arrears of 
chauth and sardeshmukhi, the reinstatement of the Maratha 
revenue officers, the recognition of Shahu as sole king of 
the Marathas, and the grant of a substantial jaghir to 
Bajirao. The Nizam honourably refused to surrender 
Sambhaji, but he agreed to the remaining conditions. 
Eventually it was settled that the Nizam should send 
Sambhaji with his force to Panhala and that thereafter 
Shahu should be at liberty to take such action against 
him, as he might deem necessary. This treaty known as 
the treaty of Mungi Shevgaon was signed on the sixth 
March 1728. The docum.ent executed, Bajirao allowed the 

* The battle is known as the battle of Palkhed. 



190 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

Nizam to retire to his own dominions and turned his 
attention to Guzarat, where Sarbuland Khan, deserted by 
the emperor and by the vazir, Khan Dauran, was anxious 
to come to terms with the Marathas. Pilaji Gaikvad and 
Kanthaji Kadam Bande were already living on the country. 
A third force under Chimnaji Appa, the younger brother 
of the Peshwa, now invaded Guzarat and plundered Dholka. 
The two first Sarbuland Khan regarded as little better 
than bandits, but Chimnaji Appa had behind him the 
authority both of the king and the Peshwa. To Chimnaji 
Appa, therefore, the distracted Sarbuland Khan addressed 
himself and offered to give him the chauth and sardesh- 
mukhi of Guzarat, if he would protect him from other 
Maratha marauders. This offer was reported to the Peshwa 
and in 1729 A. D. a treaty was executed between Bajirao 
and the viceroy of Guzarat. Surat was wholly excepted 
from the treaty. Of the Ahmadabad revenues the Marathas 
were to receive only five per cent. On the rest of the 
Guzarat province Sarbuland Khan agreed to pay chauth 
{\) and sardeshmukhi (j'^th). On the other hand, Shahu 
was to provide two thousand five hundred cavalry for the 
imperial service and keep in check Pilaji Gaikvad and 
Kanthaji Kadam Bande. 

In spite of the failure of his first scheme, the Nizam 
did not yet despair of sowing discord between the Maratha 
leaders. He found ready to his hand a fitting instrument 
in Trimbakrao Dabhade. He, it will be remembered, was 
the son of Khanderao Dabhade and the commander-in-chief 
of the Maratha army. Pilaji Gaikvad was his lieutenant. 
The recent treaty between Sarbuland Khan and Bajirao 
gravely affected his interests. Khanderao's early victories 
and Pilaji Gaikvad's later successes were to be wholly 
disregarded and the fruits were to be gathered for the 
king's treasury by Bajirao alone. On the other hand, as 
may be seen from a letter written to him by Shahu on the 
21st May 1728*, Trimbakrao himself was debarred from 

* "What business have you," wrote the king, "to collect money and raise a 



THE DEATH OF BALAJI VISHVANATH 191 

improving his fortunes in Malwa. After a vain protest to 
King Shahu, the high-spirited Maratha lent a willing ear 
to the emissaries of the Nizam. It was agreed that 
Trimbakrao Dabhade should march with all available 
troops and effect a junction with the Nizam's army near 
Ahmadnagar. Letters were also sent to Prince Sambhaji, 
inviting his assistance. Bajirao's secret service was excel- 
lent and he soon came to hear of this formidable plot and 
informed King Shahu. On the other hand, Dabhade's 
friends at court vigorously assured the king of the Maratha 
chief's loyalty. It was not he, they pleaded, who began 
the quarrel, but Chimnaji Appa. The latter had entered 
Guzarat, the province that by right of conquest belonged, 
under the royal authority, to the Dabhade family. With 
his habitual good sense Shahu brushed aside these plausible 
quibbles. No matter what wrongs Trimbakrao Dabhade 
had, retorted the king to the Deccan leaders, nothing justi- 
fied his treason with the Nizam and his seditious corres- 
pondence with Sambhaji. Dabhade had chosen to have 
recourse to arms and he would suffer the consequences. 
The royal resources would be placed entirely at Bajirao's 
disposal. Nevertheless Shahu was greatly averse from 
civil warfare. Defeat meant the possible extinction of the 
dynasty. Victory would hardly be less disastrous than 
defeat. Bajirao and not the king would profit by the 
former's success. On the 8th July 1730 Shahu summoned 
to his camp at Umbrej Bajirao and Chimnaji Appa. He 
ordered them to go with a field force to Guzarat, but to 
neglect no means of conciliating the enemy before attack- 
ing him. The brothers agreed; but it was the height of 
the monsoon and in the rainy season the roads of Guzarat 
are impassable. Family affairs, too, contributed to delay. 
On the 2nd August 1730 Rakhmabai, the wife of Chimnaji 

disturbance in Malwa and plunder the country side? Whatever money you have 
collected, you must pay to Bajirao Pandit ; otherwise he will collect an equivalent 
from your private estates. In future you must leave Malwa alone and, retiring to 
Guzarat, give no further cause for complaint. " 



192 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

Appa, gave birth to a baby boy, who on the 14th August 
received the name of Sadashivrao. On the 31st August 
Rakhmabai died of puerperal fever. The sorrowing 
brothers passed September in Poona. On the tenth October 
fell the Dasara festival and on that auspicious day the 
tents of the two commanders rose at the Sangam or junc- 
tion of the Muta and Mula rivers, now the residence of 
the judge of Poona. On the 13th October the royal army 
began the march to Guzarat. Whatever efforts to concili- 
ate Trimbakrao Bajirao may have wished to make, the 
presence of two armies in the field must have rendered 
their success unlikely ; and while he conducted negotiations, 
he had to take careful measures to prevent Trimbakrao's 
junction with the Nizam. Bajirao's troops numbered 
twenty-five thousand, while Trimbakrao had no less than 
forty-five thousand men. But the latter's force was com- 
posed largely of Koli and Bhil levies, who, as the Peshwa 
knew, would be useless against Maratha troops. The 
soldiers whom he feared were the Deccan veterans, who 
had served under Khanderao Dabhade. But these did not 
outnumber his own and he had besides the prestige of the 
royal authority. Dabhade, so Bajirao proclaimed, was a 
rebel and was leagued with a foreign army to enslave 
Maratha freedom, won by the great king and to divide 
Shivaji's conquests between Sambhaji and the Moghuls. The 
first encounter between the rivals was on the Narbada 
river, when a body of troops under Damaji Gaikvad in- 
flicted a severe reverse on Bajirao's vanguard, as it was 
crossing the stream. But Bajirao with the main army 
pressed on and on the first April 1731 forced Trimbakrao 
to a battle between Dabhai and Baroda, commonly known 
as the battle of Dabhai. As Bajirao had foreseen, the new 
levies fled at the first charge of the Maratha horse. 
Kanthaji Kadam Bande, who had joined Trimbakrao, but 
whose interests were really opposed to his, fled also. But 
the soldiers of Khanderao Dabhade fought with desperate 
valour in defence of his son. Nor was the general unworthy 



THE DEATH OF BALAJI VISHVANATH 193 

of his troops. That his elephant might not be swept away 
in the tide of flight, he had its legs chained to a gun 
carriage. From his howdah he shot so many arrows that 
the skin peeled off his fingers; and he directed the battle 
with such resolution, that at one time it seemed to Bajirao 
that the day was lost. To save it the Peshwa exchanged 
his elephant for a horse, collected a number of picked 
swordsmen and with them cut his way near to where 
Trimbakrao's elephant stood. He then sent a camel sowar 
with a flag of truce and a letter to the opposing general. 
"Such gallantry as yours," he wrote, "should be shewn 
against the Maharaja's enemies. Let us stay the fight and 
once more try to effect a compromise." Trimbakrao 
scornfully rejected the offer and unchaining his elephant's 
legs, ordered the mahout to drive it against Bajirao. The 
Peshwa's swordsmen surrounded the beast and killing the 
mahout attacked the general. Undaunted, the Maratha 
chief flung on the ground the mahout's body and taking 
his place, showered arrow after arrow at the swordsmen. 
Bajirao called to them not to kill Dabhade but to take him 
alive. This, however, was impossible, as Dabhade refused 
to yield. At last perfidy succeeded, where generalship had 
failed. At the moment that Trimbakrao was preparing to 
counterattack and was ordering a general advance, his 
maternal uncle Bhausingrao Toke* treacherously shot him 
in the head from behind, killing him instantly. On the 
death of their leader Trimbakrao's troops broke and fled. 
The Peshwa's victory was complete. Jawaji Dabhade, 
Maloji Pawar and a son of Pilaji Gaikvad fell on the battle- 
field. Pilaji Gaikvad escaped wounded from the fight, but 
he was unable to make any further resistance to the king's 
authority. 

After the battle Bajirao sent an account of it to his 
royal master. Shahu's reply shewed how deeply he felt the 
quarrels of his high commanders. 

"He intrigued no doubt with the Nizam," wrote the 

* Dabhade Bakhar. 

13 



194 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

king sadly, "in his wickedness he fought against us and he 
has eaten the fruit thereof. But the lives of my officers 
have been uselessly wasted. The past can never be effaced. 
Both sides must now make peace with each other and 
cease from strife." 

Having thus written to Bajirao, Shahu sent for him and 
for Trimbakrao's brothers Yashwantrao and Savai Baburao 
and for Khanderao Dabhade's widow Umabai and did all 
that he could to effect a reconciliation. He made both 
Bajirao and Chimnaji Appa fall at Umabai's feet and ask 
her forgiveness. ' Thereafter he conferred on Yashwantrao 
the title of Senapati and on Savai Baburao that of Sena 
Khas Khel. He then bade Umabai and her sons return to 
Talegaon Dabhade. He himself went to the temple of 
Khandoba at Jejuri. After prostrating himself in the 
presence of the gods, he purified himself from the guilt of 
Trimbakrao's death. He next set himself to the practical 
side of the question. He defined the boundaries of Malwa 
and Guzarat and passed orders that half the revenues of 
each province should be paid direct to the royal treasury 
by the Peshwa. The other half of the Guzarat revenues 
should be allotted to the Dabhades for the upkeep of the 
army of occupation. The other half of the Malwa revenues 
should similarly be allotted to Bajirao for his militarj'- 
expenses. But in spite of the royal generosity, the house 
of Dabhade never recovered from the ruinous defeat of 
Dabhai. Yashwantrao in spite of his title of commander- 
in-chief was unwilling to serve with his father's conqueror. 
His idleness led him into evil waj'^s and he became a victim 
to drink and opium. In course of time all the power of 
the house of Dabhade passed to their lieutenants, the 
descendants of Pilaji Gaikvad. 

While King Shahu's arms were thus victorious in 
Guzarat, he won a no less decisive success on his southern 
frontier. Prince Sambhaji on his return to Panhala still 
refused to acknowledge Shahu's suzerainty. Nevertheless 

* Eiyasat, vol. II., p. 258, 



THE DEATH OF BALAJI VISHVANATH 195 

overawed by the defeat of the Nizam, he remained for 
some months quiet in Panhala fort. In 1729, however, he 
received both from Trimbakrao Dabhade and the Nizam 
letters appealing to him to join them in overthrowing the 
domination of Bajirao. These appeals found support in 
Sambhaji's wife Jijabai, a headstrong, violent-tempered 
woman of the house of Sindia of Toragal and in one of 
the prince's nobles Udaji Chavan. The latter was the son 
of that Vithoji Chavan, who had acted as Sa>itaji Ghorpade's 
lieutenant in the daring raid on the emperor's camp at 
Tulapur. In 1696 Vithoji Chavan had fallen in the 
Carnatic and his son Udaji succeeded to his possessions 
and his title of Himmat Bahadur. The father had been the 
close friend of Ramchandra Nilkanth and with Ramchandra 
Udaji joined the side of Tarabai. He built himself a 
castle at Battis Shirale and from that vantage point raided 
Shahu's territories. With grim humour he gave to his 
plunder the name of "Chavan Chauth." 

Udaji Chavan now obtained from Sambhaji leave to 
lead a force across the Warna river. He pitched his camp 
at Shirol and began to plunder the countryside. Shahu 
who was hunting in the neighbourhood, sent for Udaji 
Chavan, promising him a safe conduct. Udaji Chavan 
presented himself before the king, who complained bitterly 
of his behaviour. Udaji Chavan said little in reply, but 
returned to camp, his heart bursting with resentment. A 
few days later four assassins entered Shahu's tent. So 
majestic was the king's bearing and so indifferent was he 
to danger, that the assassins lost heart and throwing down 
their arms, begged for mercy. He asked them whence 
they had come and they admitted that they had been sent 
by Udaji Chavan, With admirable irony Shahu gave them 
each a gold bracelet and bade them pick up their arms 
and take back to their employer a certificate from himself, 
that they were good and faithful servants. But if the 
king could thus jest with death, he was in earnest in his 
resolve to put a stop to these unprovoked inroads. Since 

13* 



196 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

the battle of Palkhed the Pratinidhi had lost much of his 
master's favour. Hearing that a force was to be raised 
for service against Sambhaji, he begged the king to entrust 
to him the command and allow him by his future conduct 
to atone for his mistakes in the past. The king consented, 
but sent as Shripatrao's lieutenant an experienced soldier, 
Shambhusing Jadav. He was the second son of Dhanaji 
Jadav and the younger brother of Chandrasen Jadav. He 
had with his brother entered the Nizam's service. Having 
quarrelled with Chandrasen, he had made his peace with 
the king. 

Sambhaji although willing to wound, was yet afraid to 
strike; and he would gladly have disowned Udaji Chavan. 
This, too, was the counsel of Vyankatrao Joshi, Bajirao's 
brother-in-law and of Bhagwantrao, the son of Ramchandra 
Nilkanth. But Udaji Chavan had great influence with his 
master; and by promising him certain victory he induced 
Sambhaji to declare open war and to join the camp on the 
Warna with large reinforcements. In spite of Udaji's 
boasts, victory did not attend Sambhaji's banners. In 
January 1730 the Pratinidhi, at Shambhusing's suggestion, 
suddenly marched against the Warna camp and completely 
surprised the enemy. Udaji Chavan, who was responsible 
for the expedition, was one of the first to leave the field. 
He induced Sambhaji to flee with him. The Kolhapur 
soldiery, deserted by their leaders, lost heart and were 
slaughtered like sheep or driven into the Warna. All 
Sambhaji's military chest and stores fell into the Prati- 
nidhi's hands. So, too, did Tarabai, Rajasbai, Sambhaji's 
wife Jijabai, Bhagwantrao Ramchandra and Vyankatrao 
Joshi. The Pratinidhi took his prisoners to King Shahu. 
The latter with chivalrous courtesy sent to Panhala Rajas- 
bai and Jijabai, Sambhaji's mother and wife. He would 
also have sent Tarabai. But the old queen was only too 
glad to escape from her co-wife's clutches. With sardonic 
wit she observed that it was her lot everywhere to live in 
confinement. It was, therefore, useless to move her from 



THE DEATH OF BALAJI VISHVANATH 197 

one prison to another. Shahu readily consented to keep 
her with him. He had an old palace in Satara fort 
prepared for her reception. There she lived until Shahu's 
death once more brought her into prominence. Bhagwantrao 
Ramchandra was ransomed by Sambhaji and after the 
lapse of some time Bajirao paid ten thousand rupees as 
ransom for Vyankatrao Joshi. Udaji Chavan's influence 
did not survive this decisive defeat and his own cowardly 
conduct. The Pratinidhi's victorious army took Vishalgad 
by storm in October 1730. Sambhaji's nobles hastened to 
make their peace with the invader; and the prince had no 
alternative but to throw himself on his cousin's mercy. 
Generous as ever, Shahu willingly forgave him and Tarabai 
lent her services in the negotiations for peace. There had 
been two previous attempts on Shahu's part to obtain a 
treaty, first from Prince Shivaji in 1708 and again from 
prince Sambhaji in 1726. The drafts of these abortive 
negotiations formed a basis for the new draft. Pending 
its preparation Shahu invited Sambhaji to visit him. Such 
an invitation was indistinguishable from a command and 
Sambhaji accepted it. In January 1731 Shahu sent from 
Satara Shripatrao the Pratinidhi, Ambaji Purandare and 
other notable officers and nobles to escort Sambhaji into 
his dominions. With a large body of horse the Pratinidhi 
encamped below Panhala. Ascending the fort, he presented 
Sambhaji with a number of horses and elephants and 
costly saddlery. A day or two later Sambhaji descended 
from the fort and returned the visit. These courtesies 
over, Sambhaji escorted by his own picked troops and the 
Pratinidhi's escort marched with him to Wathar in the 
Satara district. There the prince and the soldiers halted 
while the Pratinidhi went to Umbraj to inform Shahu of 
the arrival of the royal visitor. From Umbraj the king 
moved to Karhad and pitched his camp on the banks of 
the Krishna river. An open space known as the Jakhinvadi 
plain had been chosen as the meeting place of the two 
cousins. The ground between the royal camps was covered 



198 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

with the tents and equipage of the nobles of Maharashtra, 
who on this great occasion vied with each other in the 
splendour of their trappings and the profusion of their 
jewelry. There were present no less than two hundred 
thousand soldiers together with horses and baggage trains 
in countless numbers. On the appointed day Shahu and 
Sambhaji on the backs of elephants set out from their 
respective camps, their howdahs blazing with precious 
stones. When they came in sight of each other, their 
elephants kneeled and their riders left them to mount 
richly saddled Arab chargers. When the horses met, the 
two princes alighted. Sambhaji put his head on Shahu's 
feet in token of submission. Shahu bent down and lifting 
up his cousin' clasped him to his breast. Then according 
to the gracious custom of the East, Shahu and Sambhaji 
decked each other with golden favours and garlands of 
flowers. This formal meeting over, both princes returned 
to their quarters. On the 17th February 1731, Shahu 
received a visit from Sambhaji. It was arranged that the 
king and prince should again meet in public on an open 
space close to Karhad on the banks of the Krishna. The 
ceremonies observed were similar to those at the first 
meeting. But after the princes had embraced, Shahu 
seated Sambhaji beside him on his own elephant, Avhile 
Shambhusing Jadav waved impartially over the heads of 
both the royal horsetails. Shahu's elephant bore him and 
his guest back to the king's camp. There Shahu lavished 
on his cousin presents of elephants, horses, cloth of gold, 
jewels and treasure. From Karhad the princes went to 
Umbraj, where the king gave a series of magnificent 
entertainments. Then he insisted that Sambhaji should 
pass with him the Holi festival at Satara. The Peshwa's 
mansion was placed at the prince's disposal. There he 
remained for two months. While the terms of the treaty 
were being discussed, the Maratha nobles in turn invited 
Sambhaji to a series of splendid banquets. When the 
treaty of Warna, as it is called, had been settled, Shahu 



THE DEATH OF BALAJI VISHVANATH 199 

showered on his guest further gifts, one of which was a 
sum of two hundred thousand rupees in cash and allowed 
him to depart. Fatehsing Bhosle was ordered to escort 
the prince back to Panhala. Shahu himself accompanied 
Sambhaji for eight miles, all of which were ablaze with 
the jewels and silks of the nobles in the train of the two 
monarchs. Even the splendours of the French nobles, 
when Henry met Francis on the field of the cloth of gold, 
would have paled before the magnificence of Sambhaji's 
reception by Shahu. Nevertheless behind all the royal 
courtesy and munificence were the clauses of the treaty 
and they did not err on the side of undue leniency. Its 
wording shewed that it was dictated by a superior to an 
inferior and converted Sambhaji from an independent 
sovereign to a prince in subordinate alliance to Shahu and 
completely cut off Sambhaji from the North. He could only 
extend his dominions southwards and even then he bound 
himself to hand over half his conquests to Shahu. The 
full text of the treaty will be found in an appendix to 
this chapter. 

Sambhaji never again carried on war against his 
suzerain. But he often grumbled at the harshness of tlie 
Warna treaty and made various efforts to get it modified, 
In 1734 and 1741 he went with his queen to Satara to try 
to win over Shahu to leniency, but in vain. In 1741, 
however, he induced Balaji Bajirao to promise to him the 
succession of Shahu's kingdom, a promise, which, for 
reasons to be disclosed hereafter, Balaji failed to keep. 
In 1746 Sambhaji spent no less than six months in Satara 
trying without success to enforce his claims to some estate 
in the Carnatic. It must be conceded that there was nothing 
in the prince's character to excite the reader's sjanpathy. 
He was lazy and self-indulgent and cared for war onlj' 
as a means of obtaining plunder. He married seven wives 
and on them and on his mistresses he spent the revenues 
of his little kingdom. He died on the 20th December 
1760. His former adviser Udaji Chavan predeceased 



200 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

him by seven years. In spite of the treaty of Warna, 
Udaji Chavan still strove to create disorders in Shahu's 
kingdom. In 1731 he made another raid into the king's 
territory. Shahu detached a force under Yashwantrao 
Potnis to oppose him. He was defeated and taken, but 
released on payment of a heavy fine. In 1737 M'hen Shahu 
marched against Miraj, Udaji Chavan openly helped the 
Nizam. He was made prisoner by the Pratinidhi. Shahu 
graciously pardoned him, but he fled into the Nizam's 
dominions, whence he from time to time made plundering 
expeditions into Maharashtra. In 1751 Balaji Bajirao 
bribed him with an estate near Digraj in Sangli territory. 
But Udaji Chavan never ceased to be a robber chief. In 
1753 he made a raid on a village near Miraj. A bu'llet 
from a villager's gun knocked him off his horse. His foot 
caught in his stirrup and hanging head downwards, he 
was dragged and kicked to death. 

After the Dabhades had gone to Talegaon, Bajirao 
returned to Guzarat. Obtaining from Sar Buland Khan a 
ratification of their former treaty, Bajirao went back to 
Satara. His intention was to teach the Nizam such a 
lesson as would for ever restrain him from attempts to 
sow discord among the chiefs of Maharashtra. 



THE DEATH OF BALAJI VISHVANATH 



201 



APPENDIX 

THE TPwEATY OF WARNA GRANTED BY SHAHU 
TO SAMBHAJI 

Clause 1. The proviuce known as the Waruna Mahal is given to you with all 
its forts and strong places. 

Clause 2. Half of all the states from the Tungabhadra southwards to 
Rameshwaram aie given to you and half is kept for ourselves. 

Clause 3. In exchange for Kopal you have given us Ratnagiri. 

Clause 4. The fort of Vadgaon must be destroyed. 

Clause 5. All your enemies shall be our enemies. Our enemies shall be your 
enemies. We shall both work in union for the welfare of the kingdom. 

Clause 6. From the junction of the Warna and Krishna rivers as far as the 
junction of the Tungabhadra and the Krishna the southern bank with 
all its forts and strong places is yours. 

Clause 7. The Konkan from Salsi as far as Ankola is yours. 

Clause 8. You shall employ and pay no one in our territories. We shall 
employ and pay no one in your territories. 

Clause 9. You must surrender the fort and district of Miraj and the forts and 
districts of Bijapur, Athani and Tasgaon.* 

* History of Ichalkaranji State, p. 39. 



13a 



CHAPTER XL 
KANHOJI ANGRE AND THE ENGLISH 

Since their naval encounter with Shivaji* the English in 
Surat and Bombay had lived in peace with their neighbours. 
They were brought to the verge of ruin by a domestic 
upheaval. The British Parliament had certainly meant to 
confer on the East India Company the monopoly of the 
eastern trade; but the charter was ambiguously worded, 
and some adventurous London merchants interpreting its 
language according to their own wishes, held that they 
were allowed by law to set up as trade rivals to the 
Company. In September, 1682, one Say set up as a trader 
in Muscat. In October 1682 another English ship came to 
Goa, three more to Bengal and yet another to Surat. 
These "interlopers" as they were called, made such hand- 
some profits that two of the Bombay Council, Petit and 
Bourchierf by name, took shares in their ventures. Their 
conduct came to light and they were dismissed. Two other 
Englishmen, Vincent and Pitt, were for similar offences 
dismissed by the Bengal Council f. These four men combined 
and by their correspondence corrupted their former fellow 
servants. At the same time they did their utmost to win 
over to the cause the military. Their task was made 
easier by the action of Sir John Child, the President of 
the East India Company. He had lately cut down the 
officers' allowances and reduced the rate of exchange at 
which both they and the common soldiers were paid. 
The officers at first remonstrated, but on receiving a 
discourteous refusal, determined to mutiny. On the 24th 
December 1683 Captain Keigwin, the senior military officer 

*See vol. 1., p. 289. 
fOrme's Fragments, p. 182. 



KANHOJI ANGRE AND THE ENGLISH 203 

in Bombay, backed by the guard of the fort, seized 
Mr. Charles Ward, the deputy governor, and his four 
members of the council. He then issued a proclamation 
that he was holding the island for the king as his loyal 
subject and that the government would in future rest in 
himself as governor. As his council, he appointed Captains 
Fletcher and Thornburn and two ensigns. Any attempt 
to restore the Company's government would be suppressed 
with military rigour. 

It must be admitted that the rebels shewed a resolution 
that had often been lacking in the counsels of the Company. 
They got Sambhaji to confirm Shivaji's treaty with 
Mr. Oxenden and to pay the 2000 pagodas which were 
still due to the Company for their losses at Hubli and 
Rajapur. Further, the king granted them the right to 
establish factories at Cuddalore and Thevenapattam. On 
the other hand, the Portuguese would neither trade with 
nor recognise the rebels ; and the friendship of the Sidis 
which they cultivated was more harmful to them than 
profitable. The Sidis used the harbour of Bombay as a 
base for their piracies ; and in no long time the inhabitants 
of the mainland refused to the islanders supplies. By the 
end of the monsoon of 1684, the rebels were pressed by 
scarcity and readily accepted an amnesty offered them by 
Sir Thomas Grantham, who on the 3rd November, 1684, 
reached Bombay in His Majesty's ship, Charles the Second. 
On the 11th November, the Company without bloodshed 
recovered their possession. Keigwin sailed back to England; 
the rest of the rebels resumed their former posts. 

The outbreak, although suppressed, had evil conse- 
quences. The trade of Bombay dwindled and its importance 
declined. At the same time the rise of Kanhoji Angre's 
power threatened its very existence. As admiral of the 
Maratha fleet, he was in possession of the island of Khandori, 
sixteen miles south of Bombay harbour. As has already 
been related, he tried to make himself independent, but 
was at length induced by Balaji Vishvanath in return for 

i;ja* 



204 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

help against the Sidis of Janjira to become a subordinate 
ally of King Shahu. With the aid of the royal troops he 
drove the Sidis from the Konkan seaboard, taking a number 
of their fortresses, of which the chief were Viziadurg, or 
Gheriah as it was then called, and Kolaba, To retain his 
possessions against the Sidis, Kanhoji Angre was obliged 
to maintain a large force and to pay his men he had to levy 
chauthf as he called it, from the ships trading in the Arabian 
Sea. His method of levying chauth was to take the ships 
with their entire cargoes, and the phrase was merely a 
euphemism for piracy. 

His first recorded attack on an English ship was on 
the yacht* conveying Mr. Chown, the newly appointed 
governor of the English factory at Karwar. With Mr. Chown 
was his wife, who lived to have the cruel experience of 
being widowed three times before she was twenty. She 
was the daughter of Captain Cooke, the Company's Chief 
Engineer in Bengal and was married when only thirteen 
to Mr. Harvey, the then governor of Karwar, a man far 
older than she was. He died a year after her marriage 
and not long afterwards she married Mr. Chown, who had 
been nominated governor of Karwar in her husband's 
place. They embarked together on the yacht of Mr. Hasleby, 
then governor of Bombay. To escort the yacht went a 
small man of war. While they were still in sight of 
Bombay island, the two ships were attached by a fleet of 
grabs or armed sailing vessels belonging to Angre, The 
yacht defended itself gallantly. But Chown's arm was 
shot off and he bled to death in his wife's arms. Mrs. Chown 
and the crew were taken. The man-of-war fled back to 
Bombay with the news of Mrs. Chown's capture. The 
Bombay government applied for her release, but to procure 
it had to pay Rs. 30,000 by way of ransom. A short time 
after her return to Bombay she married a Mr. Gifford, 
who in no long time was murdered at Anjango by the Nagas 

*The following account is taken from Clement Downing's "History of the 
India Wars " 



KANHOJI ANGRE AND THE ENGLISH 205 

of Malabar, She then sailed to England and remained for 
the rest of her life satisfied with this triple although brief 
experience of matrimony. For two years after the capture 
of the governor's yacht Angre left the English alone ; then 
he attacked the 'Sommers' and the 'Grantham', two ships 
commanded by Captains Peacock and Collet, The two 
ships successfully beat off the pirates, but afterwards 
Angre took a number of country craft which he armed 
and added to his fleet. These caused immense damage to 
the English coastwise trade. In 1715 Mr. Charles Boone 
was appointed governor of Bombay. He decided to destroy, 
if he could, Angre's strongholds. He had built at Surat 
two large frigates called the 'Fame' and the 'Revenge' 
and at Karwar a third frigate called the 'Britannia.' About 
the same time he built a wall round Bombay and mounted 
on it a number of forty-eight pounders. He next fitted 
out the frigates and sending with them a fleet of smaller 
vessels he ordered them to make an attack on Viziadurg. 
In April 1717 the English fleet cast anchor in Viziadurg 
harbour, which was only twelve hours' sail from Bombay. 
In command was Captain Berlew, His plan was to batter 
down the fortifications by the fire of his frigates, next to 
send in a lighted fireship which would drive the garrison 
out of the fortress, and then running his small vessels 
ashore destroy the garrison and take Viziadurg by escalade, 
as they strove to retreat. But Captain Berlew had made 
his plan without a full knowledge of its difficulties. The 
fortifications resisted the heavy guns of the frigates. The 
shells that fell inside the fortress did little damage, because 
their fuses were too long. A boom across the inner 
harbour stopped the fireship and the garrison so far from 
retreating, jeered at their enemies from the secure shelter 
of the walls. When the English tried to escalade, their 
scaling ladders proved too short. Night fell and the 
besiegers had achieved nothing beyond knocking down 
three houses inside Viziadurg, It was clear that to take 
the place was impossible. It was, therefore, decided to 



206 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

destroy the shipping and sail back to Bombay. But even 
this proved beyond the power of the besiegers. Next 
morning they landed safely at some distance below Viziadurg. 
But when they came within a mile of the shipping they 
found it protected by a deep and muddy swamp which 
they could not cross. The garrison watched with amuse- 
ment their futile efforts and directly they began to retreat, 
opened on them a heavy fire. As the garrison did not 
exceed a hundred, they did not sally out of the castle; so 
Captain Berlew, once out of range, withdrew unmolested 
to his ships. He had achieved nothing and had lost a 
number of killed and wounded. The casualties had been 
increased by the bursting of a gun on board a galley 
called the Hunter, which killed three and wounded many 
others. 

Mr. Boone attempted nothing more until November 1718, 
when the English fleet set out to storm Khanderi. Un- 
happily he chose for his admiral not one of his English 
captains, but a Portuguese named Manuel de Castro. This 
man had become a Musulman and had joined Angre. 
Afterwards to escape that chief's wrath, he had fled to 
Bombay. Insinuating and persuasive, he won Mr. Boone's 
confidence by assuring him that he knew perfectly every 
cove and inlet of Angre's islands. His appointment as 
admiral not unnaturally annoyed the English captains, 
who had formed no high opinion of de Castro, when present 
at a recent action against some Kanarese pirates near 
Karwar. The fleet under de Castro's command was a 
formidable one. Three British ships, the Addison, the 
Stanhope and the Dartmouth with 300 soldiers on board 
had reached Bombay in September and with this reinforce- 
ment the English numbered no less than 2500 men. On 
the 3rd November 1718 the fleet anchored south of Khanderi. 
On the 4th November de Castro sent a number of boats to 
row round the island and reconnoitre it for a suitable 
landing place. The sailors reported that they had found 
a sandy cove and it was resolved to land there after 



KANHOJI ANGRE AND THE ENGLISH 207 

silencing the enemy's guns. At 4 a. m, on the 5th the 
English ships opened fire and continued all day, repeatedly 
dismounting Angre's cannon. The garrison replied vigor- 
ously until 4 p. m. when their ammunition gave out. Their 
silence filled the besiegers with hope and Mr. Boone, who 
was present on board the Addison, told de Castro to lie at 
the mouth of the sandy cove to prevent any enemy ships 
entering it. But de Castro proved not only incompetent, 
but treacherous. During the night he landed on the island, 
told the garrison Mr. Boone's plan and afterwards let five 
Maratha supply ships pass through his fleet. Mr. Boone 
heard of de Castro's treachery next day and he passed the 
6th November in considering whether or not he should 
attempt a landing. He finally decided to attempt it. 
Early on the 7th, the boats were manned but the tide was 
too high and before the English could get on shore the 
Marathas with their fresh supply of ammunition shot down 
sixty of them. Nevertheless the landing party persevered 
until they reached one of the outer gates of the fort. 
A Mr. Steele, axe in hand, cut through the bar of the gate 
and had he been supported might have forced it open. 
But two captains in the Company's service disgraced 
themselves. One threw down his sword and refused to 
leave his boat. The other marched up to one of the gates 
and fired his pistol into the lock. As he might have 
anticipated, the bullet rebounded and wounded him in the 
nose. The pain of the wound overcame his courage, and 
sounding a retreat he fled back with his men to the boats. 
A small party under one Downing, from whose account I 
have written this chapter, still persevered. But the 
garrison shot them down from the walls, until the few 
survivors were forced to follow their comrades and return 
to their ships. 

Mr. Boone, justly angered at the failure of the assault, 
relieved de Castro of his command and a court-martial 
sentenced him to be sent as a slave to Saint Helena. From 
that island, however, he succeeded in escaping back to 



208 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

India and again joined Angre. Mr. Boone although 
disgusted, was not dismayed and had a floating castle 
made to which he gave the name of the Prahm. It had a 
low draught, was very stoutly built and carried twelve 
48 pounders. It was believed that, it would, if towed 
close to Khanderi, be able, uninjured itself, to batter down 
the fortifications. But before it could effect anything a 
strange mishap overtook it. In 1719 the English fleet 
with the Prahm in tow went down to Anjango. On their 
return journey they fell in with two English pirates, 
England and Taylor, on board the Cassandra and Victory, 
two ships which they had taken from the Portuguese. 
The English fleet could easily have overpowered the pirates; 
but Captain Upton, the officer in command, was a poltroon 
and he was so alarmed that he burnt the Prahm and sailed 
back as fast as he could to Bombay harbour. 

By this time the successes of Angre and the harm done 
their ships by England, Taylor and other pirates had led 
the court of Directors to beg King George I. for naval 
help. In 1722 the king graciously sent out a squadron of 
four men-of-war the Lyon under Captain Readish, the 
Salisbury under Captain Cockburn, the Exeter under 
Sir Robert Johnson and the Shoreham under Captain 
Maine ; the squadron was under the command of Commodore 
Mathews. The ships reached Bombay at different intervals, 
but were all gathered in the great harbour by the 3rd 
October. Some days, however, passed before the Commodore 
would land. As a highly placed officer of the Royal Navy, 
he deemed himself superior in rank to Mr. Boone, the 
governor of Bombay and President of the Council, and 
Would not leave his ship until he had received a salute 
from the shore batteries. On the other hand Mr. Boone 
who, as President ol the Council was the king's representa- 
tive, considered himself senior to the Commodore.* After 
many messages and much controversy, Mr. Boone gave 
way and saluted Commodore Mathews, as he desired. The 

* He was appointed Governor by the Company and President by the king. 



KHANOJI ANGRE AND THE ENGLISH 209 

Commodore and his officers then landed, but bore 
themselves in a manner that left in no doubt the poor 
opinion they had of the Company's servants. They would 
hardly deign speak to any one except the Governor. At 
the same time hardly a day passed, that they did not fight 
at least one duel among themselves. The Company's 
servants, although humiliated by the arrogance of the 
visitors, still hoped great things from their quarrelsome 
dispositions and fancied that the mere sight of one of 
Angre's castles would rouse them to such fury, that 
resistance would be impossible. Commodore Mathews 
discussed various plans with the President and his council. 
Finally it was resolved to attack Kolaba and to invite the 
help of the Portuguese. Messengers were sent both to the 
Portuguese Viceroy at Goa and to the General of the 
North, as the Governor of Bassein and the island of 
Salsette was called. Both the high Portuguese officials 
came to Bombay and accepted the English invitation, 
agreeing to lead in person contingents from Goa and 
Bassein. Mr. Boone entertained them magnificently and 
they in turn consented courteously to serve under a 
British commander. Mr. Boone appointed a Mr. Cowing, 
one of his council, general-in-chief, and distributed among 
other civil servants of the company a number of military 
commissions. The Governor of Bombay reviewed the 
English forces on the island and expressed himself confident 
of success. The troops embarked and were conveyed to 
Chaul, where the Portuguese contingents awaited them. 
From Chaul they marched ten or twelve miles to Kolaba. 
The allied forces numbered no less than five thousand 
men with twenty-four field pieces, and if properly led, 
should have conquered all Angre's possessions. But the 
general-in-chief, Mr. Cowing, had no experience of war. 
Commodore Mathews had only seen service at sea; and 
between the English and the Portuguese was the mutual 
distrust born of more than a century of rivalry and 
warfare. From the first, things went badly with the 

14 



210 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

expedition. Captain Maine, anxious to bring his guns to 
bear on the fort ran his ship, the Shoreham, on the rocks. 
Commodore Mathews venturing out too far to reconnoitre 
the enemy's position, was attacked by one of Angre's 
troopers and received a lance wound in the thigh. Galloping 
after the trooper in one of the furies of rage to which he 
was unusually prone, Mathews fired at him his two pistols, 
only to find that he had forgotten to load them. The 
Viceroy of Goa complained of illness and retired to his 
cabin on board ship. Mr. Cowing, however, would not 
delay the attack and next day the English army led by 
Mr. Cowing and the Portuguese contingents led by the 
General of the North, marched boldly up to Angre's walls. 
The English sailors put up scaling ladders and a number 
of them under Mr. Bellamy, a naval officer, scaled the 
walls. But Angre, cognisant of the allied plans, had 
assembled a considerable army inside the fortress. The 
sailors were attacked and checked by large bodies of 
Marathas while another Maratha force accompanied by 
numerous war elephants attacked the Portuguese flank. 
The Portuguese, ignorant how to meet the monsters, were 
seized with a panic and fled, leaving the English sailors 
and soldiers to sustain the shock of Angre's entire army. 
After a brave resistance, the English were driven back to 
their camp with the loss of several of their guns and 
nearly all their ammunition. Commodore Mathews, furious 
at the defeat did not hesitate to charge the Portuguese 
with treachery ; and to enforce his argument he thrust his 
cane into the mouth of the General of the North and was 
hardly less discourteous to the Viceroy of Goa. No further 
co-operation was possible after the Commodore's conduct. 
The Portuguese marched back to Chaul. The English 
sailed back to Bombay. After this third disaster, Mr. Boone 
gave up attempting to reduce Angre's strongholds and 
confined himself to the convoy by armed vessels of the 
English trading ships. In 1724 the Dutch attacked 
Viziadurg with no less than seven warships, two bomb 



KHANOJI ANGRE AND THE ENGLISH 211 

vessels, and a body of regular troops. They also failed; 
and the stout old Maratha admiral, victorious alike over 
English, Dutch and Portuguese, sailed the Arabian Sea in 
triumph. In 1727 he took the Darby, a richly laden East 
India man, and up to 1731*, the year of his death, he was 
the terror of the western coast. 

*I have taken the date of Angre's death from Mr. Ismael Gracias' Os ultimos 
cinco generaes do Norte. Grant Duff has given 1728. But he admits that he is 
not sure of it. 



14* 



CHAPTER XLI 

MARATHA CONQUEST OF MALWA AND GUZARAT 

A. D. 1731 TO 1736 

At the close of the penultimate chapter I left Bajirao 
planning a campaign to punish Nizam-ul-Mulk for his 
conspiracy with Trimbakrao Dabhade. That wary old 
soldier could expect no help from Delhi and feared to face 
unaided the entire resources of the Maratha kingdom, led 
by Bajirao in person. He at once sent envoys to the 
Peshwa and in return for peace, offered to give him a free 
passage through his dominions into Malwa and pressed 
him rather to carry his arms to Delhi than to waste his 
energies against a mere viceroy like himself. This advice 
was eminently pleasing to the Peshwa and was similar to 
that which he had himself offered to his king. In August 
1731 Bajirao and Nizam-ul-Mulk agreed to give each other 
a free hand. The Nizam should be at liberty to gratify 
his ambitions in the south, the Peshwa in the north. After 
the execution of the treaty, the latter made full preparation 
for the conquest of Central India. As previously related, 
the emperor had, on the rebellion of Nizam-ul-Mulk, 
conferred the government of Malwa on a certain Raja 
Giridhar. He was a man not only of great parts and 
courage, but also a scion of a distinguished house. His 
family were Nagar Brahmans of Allahabad. His father 
Dayaram and his uncle Chabilaram had been the personal 
attendants of Bahadur Shah's second son Azimushan during 
his long viceroyalty of Bengal. On Bahadur Shah's death 
in 1712 Dayaram fell fighting for Azimushan. After the 
latter's defeat and death, Chabilaram attached himself to 



MARATHA CONQUEST OF MALWA AND GUZARAT 213 

Jahandar Shah and was appointed military governor of 
Manikpur. He took on his staff Dayaram's son Raja 
Giridhar. On Farukhsir's rebellion Chabilaram and Raja 
Giridhar, as old servants of his father Azimushan, deserted 
to the pretender and gave him valuable help both in 
soldiers and money. Chabilaram distinguished himself 
greatly at the battle of Agra and was made viceroy of 
that province and afterwards of Allahabad. On the fall of 
Farukhsir the Sayads flung Raja Giridhar into prison. 
He escaped and joined Chabilaram at Allahabad. There 
Chabilaram died. But Raja Giridhar managed to outwit 
the Sayads by corrupting the officers sent against him and 
on the rebellion of Nizam-ul-Mulk was raised to the 
government of Malwa, In the absence of the Nizam, Raja 
Giridhar was for a time complete master of the provmce. 
He easily overcame local disaffection ; but in the end he 
was unable to make head against the Marathas. As far 
back as 1698 Udaji Powar had raided Malwa and camped 
at Mandu. But it was not until the Rajput chiefs disgusted 
at Aurangzib's treatment, invited the Marathas to free 
them from the Moghuls, that the Marathas gained a 
permanent footing in the province. The chief leader in 
this movement was Savai Jaysing, the Maharaja of Jaypur. 
An even more valuable ally they found in one Nandalal 
Mandloi Chaudhari. His family were chaudharis, village 
servants similar to chaugulas, in the town of Indore. It 
was their special duty to guard the fords across the 
Narbada river. Nandalal Chaudhari entered into a corres- 
pondence with the Peshwa and between 1723 and 1724 
Malharrao Holkar was through his help first able to camp 
at Indore, while Udaji Powar conquered the town and 
province of Dhar. Pilaji Gaikwad next began to make 
incursions from the side of Guzarat and Chimnaji Appa 
also plundered the stricken province. In vain Raja 
Giridhar appealed for help to Delhi. By 1729 his force 
had dwindled almost to nothing and Chimnaji Appa and 
Udaji Powar combined to destroy it. Raja Giridhar was 



214 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

encamped fifty miles to the north-east of Dewas at the 
village of Sarangpur. By a forced march Chimnaji Appa 
and Udaji Powar contrived to surprise and kill him. On 
the death of Raja Giridhar the emperor at once appointed 
his cousin Daya Bahadur to the viceroyalty of Malwa. On 
12th October 1731 he met the fate which had overtaken 
his kinsman. On his arrival in Malwa he tried to restore 
order by instituting a reign of terror. At the same time 
he implored the vazir Khan Dauran to send him a few 
troops, promising him that so long as he lived, a wall 
stood between the Marathas and the capital. On his fall 
they would overwhelm the empire. In spite of this 
prophetic truth, Khan Dauran sent him no more troops 
than he had sent Raja Giridhar. On the other hand the 
oppressed nobles of Malwa implored the help of Savai 
Jaysing of Jaypur. The latter was unwilling to declare 
himself openly against the emperor of Delhi. He invited 
the nobles of Central India to apply for help to Bajirao. 
Bajirao referred them to Malharrao Holkar. At the same 
time Nandalal Chaudhari undertook to guide Holkar across 
the fords of the Narbada. Late in September 1731, Holkar 
with twelve thousand men crossed the great river 
near the village of Akbarpur and invaded Malwa. Nothing 
daunted, Daya Bahadur hastened to block Holkar's further 
progress by holding a pass known as the Tanda Ghat. 
But Nandalal's spies informed Holkar of Daya Bahadur's 
movements and he led Malharrao Holkar through another 
track, known as the Bhairav pass. Daya Bahadur hastened 
after his mobile enemy. This time Holkar no longer fled- 
Wheeling back, he met Daya Bahadur at the village of 
Thai, near Dhar, and destroyed his army. Daya Bahadur 
fell on the battlefield. 

Daya Bahadur's successor was a Rohilla Afghan named 
Mahomed Khan Bangash. He was a gallant soldier, whose 
bravery had earned him the title of Ghazenfer Jang or 
the Lion in battle. But in every quality except courage 
he seems to have been lacking. When he received the 



MAHRATHA CONQUEST OF MALWA AND GUZARAT 215 

viceroyalty of Malwa, he was governor of Allahabad. He 
collected a large force of his own clansmen and obtained 
a train of artillery by stripping his fortresses. With these 
in 1733 A. D. he entered Central India. Instead, however, 
of trying to rouse the Rajput clans to join him against 
the common Maratha peril, he acted as if he were in an 
enemy's country and by his conduct speedily made it so. 
He first occupied Bundelkhand, the land of the Bundela 
Rajputs, and drove out of it one of its lawful and most 
powerful princes, the Raja Chatrasal. He invaded his 
capital and seized his strongholds. Chatrasal knowing 
that he could get no redress from the emperor sent in the 
form of a stanza a message to Bajirao begging him to save 
him from his enemy just as Vishnu had saved Gajendra.* 
The story to which the Raja alluded is whimsical even 
among Hindu tales. According to that story it so happened 
that about the same time, but at widely different places, a 
king named Indradyumna and a gandharva or immortal 
singer of Indra's court named Huuhu were by the curses 
of 7'ishis turned, the one into an elephant, the other into a 
crocodile. The rishi who cursed Indradyumna so far 
relented as to promise him that he would regain his human 
shape at such time as the god Vishnu would save him 
from the jaws of a crocodile. Indradyumna spent many 
years in the guise of an elephant and so great was his 
prowess that he became the king of a wild herd and took 



*The Peshwa Bakhar gives the stanza as follows : 
"Tich gati zali gajendrachi 
Tich aj amchi sachi 
Baji jate Bundelachi 

Rakhi Bajiraiya". 



But the real words are given in Rao Bahadur D. B. Parasnis Marathyanche 
Parakram, p 65- 

"Jo gat Grahgajendraki so gat hhai he aj 

Baji jat Bundelanki rakho Baji laj" 
(What befell Gajendra has come to pass now 
The Bundela's honour is being lost 

Save him O Bajirao.) 



216 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

the title of Gajendra or Indra among elephants. One day 
when Gajendra was bathing in a pool, the gandharva 
Huuhu, now a crocodile, seized him by the leg and for all 
his strength would have dragged him in and drowned him, 
had Vishnu not heard his agonizing prayers. Leaving his 
heaven Vaikunth, the god, hastened to Gajendra's help 
and with his divine discus shore the crocodile in two. 
Touched by the discus, Huuhu once more became a 
gandharva. Gajendra freed from Huuhu's grip became 
once more a human being and, as such, was taken by the 
kindly god to his heavenly kingdom. 

Bajirao's help to Chatrasal was not less effective than 
that of Vishnu. Mahomed Bangash was resting from his 
labours during the rainy season and so satisfied was he 
with his easy successes, that he sent back to their own 
country his Rohilla levies, retaining round his person only 
a small bodyguard. While he thus lived in a fool's paradise, 
Bajirao was approaching at the head of an allied army of 
Marathas and Bundelas. The Bundelas led Bajirao safely 
through the forests and mountains of that wild country, 
and came upon Mahomed Bangash before he could recall 
his Rohillas. With his tiny force he boldly met the enemy 
in the field and suffered a complete defeat. With a few 
survivors he escaped through the jungles to the fort of 
Jetpur, or the town of conquest. The allies at first lost 
touch with him but afterwards besieged him and reduced 
him to the greatest distress. From this intolerable situa- 
tion he was saved by the energy of his wife and of his 
son Kaim Khan. They first threw themselves in vain at 
the foot of the throne and asked for reinforcements from 
the first minister. The wife then sent round her veil 
among the Rohilla nobles and Kaim Khan harangued them 
with the eloquence of despair. The joint appeal to their 
honour and emotions was irresistible. Every adult in the 
clan vowed to rescue their chief or die in the attempt. 
By forced marches they followed Kaim Khan to Jetpur, 
and falling in a mass on the investing troops forced their 



MARATHA CONQUEST OF MALWA AND GUZARAT 217 

way into the fort and carried back their clansman to the 
safety, of Rohilkhand. The emperor, although slow to help, 
was quick to censure and at once dismissed Mahomed Khan 
Bangasli not only from the viceroyalty of Malwa, but also 
from the governorship of Allahabad*. 

Although the allies failed to take Mahomed Khan 
Bangash, his flight definitely rid the Bundelas of their 
enemy. Raja Chatrasal was so grateful that he adopted 
Bajirao as his son and by his will divided his kingdom 
between Bajirao and his rpal offspring f. As the Raja died 
soon after this campaign, Bajirao obtained the ownership 
of one-third of Bundelkhand, including the provinces of 
Sagar and Kalpi. From this vantage point he was able 
soon to dominate all Central India. 

Although the emperor and Khan Dauran had refused all 
support to Sarbuland Khan, the viceroy of Guzarat, they 
were both indignant at his cession to Bajirao of the chautli 
and sardeshmukhi and at once relieved him of his office. 
To it was appointed Abhai Sing, son of Ajit Sing and 
Maharaja of Jodhpur. Sarbuland who was conscious of no 
fault, attacked and defeated his successor. His honour 
satisfied, he made his way unattended to the Maharaja's 
camp, trusting to Rajput chivalry to leave it without harm. 
Nor was his trust misplaced. Abhai Sing rose and 
embraced his visitor. Learning from Sarbuland Khan that 
he had merely fought the action to vindicate his honour, 
and that he wished to retire from Guzarat, he took from 
the Musulman's head his plain cloth turban and put on it 
his own headgear blazing with jewels. Then with every 
honour and a fitting escort he sent him on his way to 
Delhi (A. D. 1734). There the emperor at first refused 
to receive him, but at length appointed him, in place of 
Mahomed Khan Bangash, governor of Allahabad. 



* Siyar-nl-Miita Kherin. There is a dispute about the date of this incident. 
Mr. Sardesai gives the date as 1729. But I have preferred to follow the Musulman 
historian. But see W. Irvine's History of Nawabs of Farrukabad. 

fSee Appendl.x A to this chapter. 

14a 



218 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

On the departure of Sarbuland Khan, Abhai Sing applied 
himself to the arduous task of driving the Marathas from 
Guzarat. Nor was the opportunity unfavourable. The 
Peshwa was away in command of the army of Malwa. 
Chimnaji Appa, his brother, was watching the family 
interests at court. There remained only Pilaji Gaikvad. 
His reputation had suffered since the defeat of Dabhai. 
Nevertheless he had established himself in Baroda and 
several other large towns. Abhai Sing sent a large force 
under a Rajput subordinate to retake Baroda. The re- 
capture of Baroda, however, was Abhai Sing's only success. 
Pilaji Gaikvad was personally popular with the hillmen of 
Guzarat and with their aid won several fights against 
Abhai Sing's Rajputs. In his anger, the Maharaja was 
tempted to an act of treachery most uncommon among 
Rajput princes. He decided to assassinate Pilaji during a 
pretended negotiation. The spot chosen for the crime was 
Dakore, a place deemed holy by the worshippers of Krishna. 
In beautiful verse the Maratha poet Mahipati* relates that 
a Maratha saint named Ramdas, who lived at Dakore, used 
every year to perform a pilgrimage from that city to 
Dwarka in Kathiawar, the former capital of the divine Krishna 
and the chief seat of his worship. At last Ramdas grew 
so feeble that he resolved to make but one more pilgrimage 
and then bid the beloved idol of Dwarka good-bye for ever. 
When he reached Dwarka, Ramdas told the god his decision, 
and with many tears bade Krishna farewell. The deity, 
touched by his devotion, told him that if he would put the 
idol in the temple chariot, it would go with him to Dakore. 
Although the idol was a great mass of stone and Ramdas 
was weak with age, he lifted it without effort into the 
chariot and drove with it back to his own village. Next 
morning the priests missed both the image and the chariot, 
and guessed that Ramdas had stolen them. They followed 
him with all speed to Dakore. Ramdas tried to hide the 
idol in the village pond. But the priests dragged the pond 

*Mahipati's Bhakti Vijaya. 



MARATHA CONQUEST OF MALWA AND GUZARAT 219 

and recovered the god. Before starting for Dwarka the 
priests went to eat their dinner, and Ramdas left alone 
with Krishna upbraided him for letting himself be taken. 
The god replied that if Ramdas would offer to buy the 
image for its weight in gold, the priests would let him 
keep it. Ramdas replied that he had no gold save a single 
nosering in his wife's nose. "Put the nosering in the 
scales," answered the god, "and I shall make it outweigh 
my image." Ramdas did as Krishna ordered and events 
happened as the god had foretold. The greedy priests 
consented to sell their image for its weight in gold. The 
villagers brought the village scales and at Ramdas' request 
stood near them. so that, if need be, they could hold the 
priests to the bargain. In one scale was put the idol. In 
the other Ramdas, amid shouts of laughter, put his wife's 
nosering. But the laughter ceased when the scale with 
the massive image rose upwards and the scale with the 
tiny golden circle dropped to the ground. The priests 
would have gone back on their agreement, but the villagers 
drove them away and kept Krishna's idol. A new image 
of Krishna was set up at Dwarka. The old one is still to 
be seen at Dakore and is deemed doubly sacred both from 
its age and from the miracle performed by it to honour 
the Maratha saint. 

Unhappily the sanctity of the spot neither hindered the 
assassin nor prolonged the victim's life. Several times 
Pilaji received the pretended envoys of the Maharaja but 
no chance occurred favourable to the assassins. One 
evening they deliberately prolonged the discussion until 
after dusk, then took leave and went outside the tent. 
Suddenly one of their number exclaimed that he had 
forgotten something. He entered the tent, put his mouth 
close to Pilaji's ear, as if to whisper to him some state 
secret, and with his dagger stabbed him to the heart 
(A. D. 1732). The murderer was instantly killed, but his 
companions escaped. Abhai Sing was soon to realise that 
he had been guilty not only of a crime but of a blunder. 

14a* 



220 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

The Kolis, Bhils, Waghris, and other wild tribes of Giizarat, 
enraged at the murder of Pilaji Gaikvad, rose everywhere 
against the viceroy. Pilaji's brother, Mahadji, marched 
from Jambusar on Baroda and took it by storm (1732 A. D.) 
and made it what it is still, namely, the Maratha capital 
of the province. Damaji Gaikvad, Pilaji's eldest son, 
advanced from Songadh and after reducing eastern Guzarat 
invaded Jodhpur itself and forced Abhai Sing to hasten to 
the defence of his hereditary dominions. Once back in 
Jodhpur, he gave himself up to intoxication and ceased to 
pay any attention to the affairs of his viceroyalty. The 
emperor relieved him of his post and appointed in his 
place Najib-ud-Daulat. But Abhai Sing's deputy refused 
to surrender Ahmadabad and Najib-ud-Daulat called to his 
aid Damaji Gaikvad. The latter took the last stronghold 
of the Moghuls and occupied it with his troops. Guzarat 
was thus wholly lost to the empire (1735 A. D.). 

Nor did Malwa fare better. On the flight of Mahomed 
Khan Bangash the emperor appointed as his successor 
Raja Savai Jai Sing of Jaipur (1734). But the Rajput 
chiefs no longer deemed it an honour to serve the Moghul. 
They now aspired to complete independence and fancied 
that they saw in the growth of the Maratha power, the 
best means to obtain it. After some desultory operations 
against Bajirao, the Raja of Jaipur pressed the emperor 
to appoint in his place the Peshwa as viceroy of Malwa. 
The emperor was unwilling to resign, without a further 
effort, one of his richest provinces. Distrustful with good 
reason, of the capacity of most of his officers, he thought 
that he saw in Muzaffir Khan, the brother of his Vazir 
Khan Dauran, the qualities of a skilful captain. With 
Muzaffir Khan the emperor sent his household troops and 
no less than twenty-two generals. These with their staffs 
made on the parade ground an appearance so splendid, 
that no Maratha troops, so Muzaffir Khan imagined, would 
dare to face them. Bajirao allowed the imposing array to 
advance unopposed through Central India as far as Sironj, 



MARATHA CONQUEST OF MALWA AND GUZARAT 221 

realising that the farther they advanced, the more difficult 
would be their retirement. At Sironj he attacked the 
imperial forces in the traditional Maratha manner, cutting 
off Muzaffir Khan's supplies and rendering useless his 
cavalry by false attacks and innumerable raids. At last 
Muzaffir Khan was obliged to appeal to his brother for 
help. For a time he received nothing but long Persian 
despatches* full of brilliant couplets and witty abuse of 
the Nizam and the Marathas. Realising at last that 
Muzaffir Khan needed help more substantial, Khan Dauran 
sent what remained of the Delhi troops and with great 
difficulty succeeded in rescuing his brother and his 
beleaguered army. Khan Dauran now decided to take the 
field in person. After wasting several weeks in the neigh- 
bourhood of Delhi, he reported that the Marathas were 
nowhere to be seen. At the same time, however, the 
emperor learnt from the plunder of some towns, only two 
hundred miles from Delhi, that they had by no means 
returned to the Deccan. At last both the emperor and his 
minister thought that it would be better to give up Malwa 
and Guzarat, if by so doing they could save the northern 
provinces. But Bajirao in the full tide of success, would 
not sell peace, save at a price that even the trembling 
emperor hesitated to give. He no longer demanded the 
mere governorship of Malwa. He demanded the alienation 
of the whole province together with Allahabad, Benares, 
Gaya, and Mathura. In addition he asked for an immediate 
payment of fifty lakhs or an assignment to that amount 
on Bengal, as well as an hereditary grant of five per cent 
of the Deccan revenues. In other words he asked for 
nearly all that remained to the emperor of Hindustan 
together with a ground for constant interference in the 
governments of Bengal and the Deccan. The emperor 
would only agree to the grant of five per cent on the 
revenues of the Deccan. The Nizam had long ceased to 
pay him anything and nothing would have pleased him 

*Siyar-uI-Muta Kherin. 



222 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

more than a quarrel between the rebel viceroy and the 
Maratha leader. Negotiations were broken off and hosti- 
lities again began. To reinforce his army, the emperor 
withdrew his troops from the north-western passes. Mahomed 
Khan Bangash was also ordered to attend with his Rohillas. 
Khan Dauran took command but, as before, he moved his 
army backwards and forwards in such parts of the country 
as he knew to be free from Maratha horse. Bajirao who 
regarded the imperial commander with just contempt, 
moved in every direction, as if no army opposed him. He 
levied a large contribution from the Raja of Bhadavar, 
while Malharrao Holkar with a great body of horse crossed 
the Jamna and sacked the towns of Akbarabad and 
Sayadabad. In the imperial army there were neither 
courage nor capacity, but Sadat Khan, the governor of 
Oudh, had still some enterprise left. In March 1737 he 
surprised Malharrao Holkar and inflicted on him a severe 
reverse.* Holkar fled across the Jamna, losing a number 
of men in the crossing. With the remains of his army he 
rejoined Bajirao. Sadat Khan wrote to Delhi so exaggerated 
an account of his success, that the emperor and his advisers 
thought that all danger had passed and that the few 
Marathas who had escaped from Sadat Khan's sword were 
fleeing in all haste to the Deccan. When this absurd 
story reached Bajirao, he observed grimly "I shall prove 
to the emperor that he has not heard the truth, by showing 
him Maratha horse and burning villages at the gates of 

Delhi "t. 

Sadat Khan had by this time joined Khan Dauran and 
seems to have become infected by that commander's 
insolence. The two generals camped on the Ajmir road, 
some sixty miles from Delhi. Instead of pursuing the 
recent success, they spent several days in celebrating it by 
banquets and supper parties. While they were still 
commemorating Sadat Khan's victory, Bajirao marching at 

* Siyar-ul-Muta Khcrin. 

t See Appendix B. Bajirao's letter to Chitnnaji Appa. 




MASTANI 



[To face page 222] 



MARATHA CONQUEST OF MALWA AND GUZARAT 223 

great speed got between the Moghiil army and Delhi and 
began to plunder the capital. He pitched his camp at 
Tuglakabad, the city of Ghazi-ud-din-Tughlak, of which 
the giant walls still overawe the casual spectator. On 
account of some local festival in Bhavani's honour, 
Tughlakabad happened to be full of pilgrims and pleasure 
seekers and pious persons, both Hindus and Musulmans, 
from Delhi. These the Marathas, regardless of their victims' 
piety, robbed of all they had. Bajirao then moved his 
camp to the Kutub Minar, where the column erected by 
the emperor Kutb-ud-din looked down with dismay on the 
presumption of the infidels. After plundering the town 
wherein dwelt once the Afghan emperors, he then moved 
nearer Delhi and camped in the south-western suburbs, 
where a viceregal palace, more splendid than any of its 
imperial forerunners, is now rising into towers. The 
fugitives of the sacked towns rushed into Delhi and filled 
the capital with their clamours. The emperor ordered 
one Amir Khan to march against the Marathas with every 
soldier in the city. Bajirao sent out a few horsemen to 
meet Amir Khan and concealed his main army. This 
common Maratha artifice tempted one of Amir Khan's 
generals, a Sayad named Mir Hussein Khan, to charge out 
into the open plain. Directly Mir Hussein Khan and his 
men were beyond the range of the cannon on the Delhi 
walls, the Maratha horse under Malharrao Holkar and 
Ranoji Sindia wheeled round, killed, and wounded six 
hundred imperialists, including Mir Hussein Khan, and 
drove the rest back into the city*. 

It was, however, impossible that Bajirao should remain 
where he was. Messengers had at once been sent to Sadat 
Khan and Khan Dauran. Immediately after his defeat of 
Mir Hussein Khan, the Peshwa learnt that the two generals 
were hastening back to join Amir Khan with the main 
Moghul army. Unwilling to risk a pitched battle so far 
from his base and with Nizam-ul-Mulk on his line of 

* Siyar-ul-Muto Kherin. 



224 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

communications, Bajirao decided to accept the imperial 
offer of the viceroyalty of Malwaf. Sacking as he went 
the towns of Rivadi and Basoda (1736 A. D.) he retreated 
into Central India and thence into the Deccan. 



t Grant Duff mentions also a promise to pay thirteen lakhs. I have not been 
able to find any authority for this, although it is very likely correct. 



MARATHA CONQUEST OF MALWA AND GUZARAT 225 



APPENDIX A 

An admirable account of the Marathas in Bandelkhand will be found in Rao 
Bahadur Parasnis' work Marathyanche Parakram 81. 

By the terms of Chatrasal's will his eldest son Hirdesa received territory yield- 
ing a revenue of 42 lakhs. Within his portion were Panna, Kalinjar, Mhow, 
Inch and Dhamoni. Chatrasal's second son Jagatraj received country yielding 
36 lakhs. Within his borders fell Jetpur, Ajayagad, Charkari Banda and Bijawar. 

To the Peshwa were bequeathed lands that yielded 33 lakhs. Within his Vwrdere 
fall Kalpi, Sagar, Jhansi, Sironj and Hardenagar. 

The will contained the following three clauses: — 

1. With the exception of expeditions beyond the Jamna or the Chambal, 
both brothers (i. e. Hirdesa and Jagatraj) shoidd join Bajirao Sahib in 
every campaign and should share in the plunder and conquered lands 
in proportion to the troops provided by them. 

2. If Bajirao should be involved in Deccan warfare, the two brothers 
should defend for at least two months the frontiers of Bandelkhand. 

3. King Chatrasal has looked on Bajirao Sahib as his son. Bajirao Sahib must 
therefore guard his (^Chatrasal's sons), as if they were his blood brothers. 

Bajirao put in charge of his Bandelkhand estate Govind Ballal Kher, a Karhad 
Brahman. He was the son of Narsipantbaba Kher, the kulkaini of Bunnad in 
Eatnagiri. He was adopted into the family of Balaji Govind Khei', the kulkarni 
of the neighbouring village of Nevaren. On his adoptive father's death, he was 
robbed by his adopted relations and forced to take refuge with his natural family. 
Afterwards he obtained the office of Shagird or personal attendant in the Peshwa 
Bajirao's service. Once when Bajirao was unable to obtain firewood, Govindpant 
Kher took some from the funeral pyre of a corpse and served his master an 
excellent dinner. Struck with his servant's resource, the Peshwa promoted him to 
a military command. In it he ditl so well that his further advancement was 
assured. 

In 1733 Bajirao appointed him as his agent and afterwards as governor of his 
possessions. He assumed the name of Govindpant Bandela. As we shall see 
hereafter, Govindpant fell on the field of honour shortly before Panipat. 



15 



226 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 



APPENDIX B 

Translation of a letter sent by Bajirao to his brother Chimaji 
Appa, sent from Jaypur bearing the date of 5th April 1 737. It first 
appeared in R. B. Parasnis' Life of Brahmendraswami. 



Camp Sawai Jayanagak (Jaypub), 

8th of the dark half of 

Vaishakh moon, 15th Jilhej. 

To Appa. After compliments. You must have already learnt from our lettei-s 
sent with Kasis (special couriers) in which I have given in detail the news of our 
having left in Bundelkhand all our followers in charge of Piince Jagatraj and of 
the action with Sadat Khan. Sadat Khan crossed the Jamna and ai-rived at Agra. 
If we were to meet him there we were not sure of defeating him owing to his 
advantageous position there. If we were to wait at the confluence of the Jamna 
and the Gambhir, that place was also unsafe owing to landslips and erosions. 
Besides Khan Dauran and Mahomed Khan Bangash were on their way to Agra 
from Delhi, and in case they and Sadat Khan happened to join, it would have 
been a serious affair. So it was not thought proper to encamp at the confluence. 
Further, Sadat Khan wrote to the Emperor and his courtiers that he had routed 
the Maratha Army that had crossed the Jamna, killing two thousand cavalry and 
drowning two thousand in the river; that Malharji Holkar and Vithoba Bule had 
fallen in the action. Such had been the result of Bajirao's invasion! He further 
vauntingly wrote that he would cross the Jamna and defeat the Marathas and drive 
them away beyond the Chambal. The emperor expressed great satisfaction at 
this and sent to Sadat Khan a dress of honour, a pearl necklace, an elephant and 
an aigrette. Clothes of honour were also presented to Sadat Khan's agent at the 
Delhi court. Thus Sadat Khan strengthened his and his party's influence with 
the emperor. He also wrote to several nobles in contemptuous terms about 
Marathas. Dhondo Govind (Peshwa's agent at Delhi) kept us informed of all these 
particulars from time to time. In short, Sadat Khan tried to impress the Moghul 
court that the Maratha anny had neither spirit nor energy and that he had 
completely defeated it. You are already aware how things pass in Moghul politics. 
No action and high talk is their motto. The emperor fully believes all this but 
he must now be disillusioned. This could be done in two ways — either to inflict 
a crushing defeat on Sadat Khan or to march on Delhi and to set fire to the capital, 
and thus disprove Sadat IChan's boastful statements. We accordingly decided to 
march against Delhi as Sadat Khan would not leave Agra, and setting fire to the 
capital bring to the notice of the emperor the existence of the ^Marathas. With 



MARATHA CONQUEST OF MALWA AND GUZAEAT 227 

this determination we started for Delhi on the 26th Jilkad (18th March 1737), 
Leaving aside the imperial route we followed the hilly tract along the Newati 
frontier through the territory of Daman Sing, Chudaman Jat. Dhondopant our 
Vakil was with Khan Dauran. Sadat Khan sent a word to Khan Dauran: — "I 
have defeated Bajirao's army. His followers have fled away and Bajirao himself 
has crossed the Chambal. Now why do you flatter him and with what object? 
Why should you entertain his Vakil at your court? He must be now dismissed." 
Dhondopant was accordingly sent away. He then came to us. Kamruddin Khan, 
Azmulla Khan and others encountered us, but we did not meet them- Leaving 
them 14 miles off to our right, we arrived at Delhi on the 7th Jilhej (28th March) 
after forced marches of 40 miles each. We pitched our camp near Kushbandi (a 
suburb of Delhi) leaving Barapula and Kalika temple to our right. We wanted to 
burn the capital to ashes but on second thought we saw no good in destroying the 
mighty city and ruining the imperial throne at Delhi. Moreover the emperor 
and Khan Dauran desired to make peace with us, but the Moghuls would not 
agree to it. An act of outrage however breaks the thread of politics. We, there- 
fore, gave up the idea of burning the capital and sent lettere to the emperor and 
Raja Bakhatmal. Two elephants, some horses and camels coming out from the 
city were however captured )jy our advanced guard. Some of our soldiers had a 
scuffle with the people from Delhi who had gone out to attend the Bhawani fair. 
Next day, Wednesday, 30th March, Raja Bakhatmal sent a reply under commands 
of the emperor, asking us to send Dhondopant to the imperial court. We did not, 
however, despatch him as there was a great commotion in Delhi owing to our 
presence near the capital ; but we sent a word in reply. " We are sending Dhondopant, 
please send a strong guard under a reliable officer to escort him. We are marching 
on to the Zil Tank as our presence near the city is likely to disturb its peace. " 
And we moved on. As we were passing the capital a force consisting of 7 to 8 
thousand men was sent by the emperor under Nawab Mir Hasan Khan Koka, 
commander of the Khas Chowki, Nawab Amir Khan, Khoja Roz Afzul Khan, 
Raja Shivsingh Jamadar, Commander of the Cavalry, Muzfur Khan, Deputy- 
General, Nawab iSIuzfur Khan, brother of Khan Dauran, who met us near Rikabgunj 
outside the city. Satwaji Jadhav who commanded the advance guard met the 
Moghul forces and a fight took place between them. On hearing this we sent 
forces to help him under Malharji Holkar, Ranoji Shinde, Tukoji Pawar, Jiwaji 
Pawar, Yeshwantrao Pawar, Manaji Payagude and Govind Hari. They gallantly 
fought with the Moghuls and completely defeated them. Raja Shivsingh and ten 
other noblemen were killed ; Nawab Mir Hasan Koka was wounded and about three 
hundred soldiers from the emperor's army were killed and four hundred wounded. 
Roz Afzul Khan, Amir Khan, Muzfur Khan fled to the capital. We captured 
two thousand horses though five or six thousand fled away. Indroji Kadam from 
Ranoji Shinde's cavalry received a bullet wound by which two of his fingers were 
cut off. No other person of note on our side was killed but some men and horses 
were wounded. We then encamped at the Zil Tank. About two hours before 
sunset news came that Kamruddin Khan had arrived from Padashahpur. We at 

15* 



228 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

once started to meet him. A fight took place. Yeshwantrao Pawar captured an 
elephant that was within a gun-shot from the Moghul artUlery. A number of 
horses and camels cauie to our camp when it was sunset. We wanted to besiege 
the Moghul army from all sides and give them a crushing defeat next day. But 
we could not do so as there were several difficulties in our way, the Zil Tank was 
about 32 miles off from us, Kamruddin Khan was to our right and in our front 
was the capital. Besides this, the news of our march on Delhi reached Nawab 
Khan Dauran, Sadat Khan, and ISIahomed Khan Bangash on Tuesday the 7th of 
Jilhej (28th March) at Radhakund. They left behind their heavy baggage and 
immediately proceeded to Badel about 64 mUes distant with an army of about 
twenty-five to thirty thousand strong. Next day they halted on the rivulet of 
Alawardi about 50 miles off. On Thursday morning Khan Dauran, Sadat Khan 
and Bangash were to join Kami'uddin Khan. The situation then would have been 
perilous, as the capital was near. We, therefore, lelt the Moghuls and halted at a 
distance of 8 miles. On our side Firangoji Patankar was killed by a bullet. A 
few men aud some hoi-ses were also wounded. The Moghul casualties amounted 
to from 5 to 10- On Thursday Sadat Khan, Khan Dauran, and Bangash joined 
Kamruddin Khan. Their camps were spread from Alawardi to the Zil Tank. 
We designed to draw the Moghuls on us and then to fall back and defeat them. 
With this object we broke the camp and moved oq via Revad, Kotputali, and 
ISIanohaqjur. The news has come that the ^Moghuls have not as yet left their camps 
between Alawardi and Zil Tank and that Mir Hasan Khan Koka who was wounded 
in the first action has died. Khan Dauran wrote letters after letters to Sawai 
Jaising to send reinforcement. He has accordingly started with a force of fifteen 
to sixteen thousand men and artillery and has arrived at Basava. He intends 
visiting Khan Dauran. Sawaiji has also sent us friendly lettei-s, requesting us to 
leave his territory undisturbed. Our agent, Venkaji Ram, is in his camp. He 
writes these letters to us. We do not disturb his territory, as we expect to get 
supplies of grain and fodder from Sawaiji on our way. Abhayasing is at Jodhpur. 
Now we are going to collect our dues from the Gwalior and Bhadavar Provinces. 
If the Moghuls still pursue us, we shall harass them and reduce them by driving 
them by force from place to place and utterly crush them by the grace of our 
king (Raja Shahu) and the blessings of our ancestors. Be not anxious on our 
account. The chief thing to be noted is that the emperor and Khan Dauran wish 
to make peace with us while the Moghuls are striving to defeat us, and Sadat 
Khan is at their head. If by the favour of God his vanity is subdued, everything 
will be to ouv satisfaction. If the terms of peace are favourable we shall accept 
them. Otherwise wc shall not conclude any peace. We have annexed the 
territory about Delhi. The territory about Sonpat and Panpat beyond the Jamna 
still remains with the iloghuls. We shall plunder and capture it soon and see 
that the Moghuls will be starved. We shall write to you later on what happens 
here. If perchance the ISIoghuls remain in possession of Delhi we shall go to Agra 
and enter into Antarved (districts between the Ganges and Jamna) and ravage the 
whole territory. If Nizam-ul-Mulk rises and crosses the Narbada, fall upon his 



MARATHA CONQUEST OF MALWA AND GUZARAT 229 

i-ear and harass him as previously advised. On this side none is to be afraid of. 
Let there be none whom we need fear. It will be better if the Nizam is held in 
check. I close this with my blessings to you. Continue to love me as ever.* 

(Parasnis' Collection.) 



* Grant Duff must have seen this letter. He has pai-aphrased part of it when 
he writes, "I was resolved," said Bajirao, "to tell the emperor the truth to prove 
that I was still in Hindustan and to show him flames and JIahrathas at the gates 
of his capital." 



CHAPTER XLII 

THE WAR AGAINST NIZAM-UL-MULK AND 
NADIR shah's invasion 

A. D. 1737 AND 1738 

NizAM-UL-MULK had been watching with concern the extra- 
ordinary progress of the Maratha arms. The stern old 
soldier feared that the emperor, who had never forgiven 
his desertion, might well confer on Bajirao the government 
of the Deccan. The Nizam would then have to defend his 
province against tlie united onslaught of the Marathas 
and the imperial army. He had, during Bajirao's recent 
campaign, adopted so threatening an attitude that Bajirao 
had written to his brother Chimnaji Appa, ordering him to 
watch with a large force ths Nizam's movements. "If he 
attempts," wrote the anxious Peshwa, "to cross the Narbada, 
fall instantly on his rear and put heelropes on him*." The 
threat of an attack from Chimnaji's army kept the Nizam 
within his own borders. But after Bajirao's retreat he let 
the emperor know that he was again willing to serve and 
to defend, so far as lay in his power, the Mogliul throne. 
Danger had softened Mahomed Shah's hatred of Nizam-ul- 
Mulk and he sent to the viceroy several flattering messages 
and an imperial, decree by which he raised the Nizam to 
the command of eight thousand horse and graciously 
invited him to return to court. On the 22nd June 1737 
the veteran statesman appeared at Delhi. 

The emperor and his courtiers vied with each other in 
their deference to the pardoned rebel; and in spite of his 

* Grant Duff. The great historian must have seen the letter given in the 
appendix to the last chapter. The phrase occurs there. 



WAR AGAINST NIZAM-UL-MULK— NADIR SHAH 231 

recent gift to Bajirao of the government of Malwa, he gave 
both it and the viceroyalty of Guzarat to the Nizam's 
eldest son Ghazi-ud-din and placed at the Nizam's disposal 
all the remaining resources of the empire. But so low had 
these resources fallen that only thirty-four thousand men 
could be gathered to his banner. To remedy his lack of 
troops the Nizam sent for his entire train of artillery. At 
the head of his new army he crossed the Jamna at Allahabad 
and against Kalpi. He entered Bandelkhand and after 
seizing the persons of Raja Chatrasal's sons he marched 
southwards. With him were the Raja of Kotha, one of the 
few Rajput chiefs who still adhered to the Moghul cause, 
and Safdar Jang, the nephew of Sadat Khan and ancestor 
of the kings of Oudh. He is still recalled to English 
tourists by the beautiful mausoleum built by himself on 
the road between modern Delhi and the Kutb Minar. 
Bajirao hastened to meet him and with no less than eighty 
thousand men came up with him at Bhopal. This city, 
now the capital of one of the most famous princesses in 
the world, the Begam of Bhopal, was once surrounded by 
a sheet of water so large, that those who saw it exclaimed 
that in the world it only was entitled to the name of lake * 
All other so-called lakes were but ponds. Scattered 
through this inland sea were islands extensive enough to 
bear whole villages, while on its shores rose innumerable 
temples that daily resounded with the chants of Buddhist 
saints of both sexes. The Musulman invaders in their 
fanaticism destroyed the lake and converted its bed into 
an endless succession of wheat fields, rice-fields and pastures. 
A pool, hardly two miles long, survived the ruin and with 
it to guard his rear and a river to guard his front the 
Nizam awaited Bajirao's onset. He should have moved 
out to meet the Marathas, but he doubtless lacked confidence 
in the imperial troops, who had so often fled before their 
present enemy. He stayed in his camp and soon found 
himself besieged, as he had been on the Godavari. His 

*Tal to Bhopal Talaur sub Taliya. 



232 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

guns again saved him. Whenever the Marathas charged 
home, his massed batteries swept them away. Nevertheless, 
Bajirao foiled every attempt of the Nizam to extend his 
lines. At last Malharrao Holkar and Yashwantrao Pawar 
succeeded in getting between Safdar Jang's contingent and 
the Nizam's camp and forced Safdar Jang to retreat north- 
wards. The Nizam wrote for help to Delhi, but in vain; 
for Khan Dauran was now openly rejoicing in his rival's 
failure. He wrote to his son Nasir Jang, whom he had 
left as his deputy at Haidarabad and the latter made every 
effort to send reinforcements to his father's help. But 
the Nizam's supplies had become so straitened, that the 
old soldier resolved to wait no longer, but to extricate 
himself at any cost. He piled his baggage within the walls 
of Bhopal and tried to retire towards Delhi under cover 
of his cannon. The Marathas strained every nerve to 
stop him, but his gunners stood by their guns and with 
storms of cannon shot broke up and dispersed every 
hostile formation. Nevertheless the Nizam's retreat did 
not exceed three miles a day. On reaching Seronj, he 
learnt that the Persian king Nadir Shah had invaded India. 
The news seemed to the Nizam so serious that he resolved 
to buy off Bajirao at almost any price. The latter had at 
one time been so sure of capturing the Nizam and his 
whole army, that he had refused all offers; but his troops 
had suffered so from the Nizam's cannon, that he also had 
become willing to negotiate. On the 11th February 1738 
the generals signed a treaty. By it the Nizam gave to 
Bajirao not only Malwa, but all the territory between the 
Chambal and the Narbada.* He further promised to obtain, 
if he could, from the emperor fifty lakhs by way of indemnity. 
He obstinately refused, however, to pay any indemnity 
himself. 

Having bought off the Marathas by this humiliating- 
convention, the Nizam marched to Delhi to help the emperor 

* The Nizam really assigned to Bajirao the province of Malwa wilh its borders 
largely extended. 




MAP SHEWING SALSETTE ISLAND AND OTHER PORTUGUESE 

POSSESSIONS 



WAR AGAINST NIZAM-UL-MULK— NADIR SHAH 233 

against his new and even more terrible enemy. The 
origin of Nadir Shah, king of Persia, was of the humblest. 
In the reign of Shah Hussein, the last Shah of the Safavi 
dynasty, the Ghilzai Afghans had invaded Persia, taken 
Herat and captured the Shah himself inside the town of 
Isfahan. His son Tamasp escaped and fled to the shores 
of the Caspian, There he called in the aid of one Nadir 
Kuli, a freebooter, who had carried on unremitting warfare 
against the Afghan conquerors. The alliance of the free- 
booter and the heir to the crown proved irresistible. The 
Ghilzais were driven from their conquests and their 
king killed. Not only was Persia liberated, but Kandahar 
Avas in its turn taken by the Persians. A quarrel, however, 
occurred between Tamasp and Nadir Kuli, with the result 
that Tamasp was deposed by his troops and the freebooter 
crowned Shah in his place. Nadir Shah's victories brought 
the Persian monarchy to the borders of the Moghul empire, 
which at the time included Kabul. The necessities of the 
Maratha war had forced Mahomed Shah to withdraw most 
of his troops from his northern frontier and his minister 
Khan Dauran had misappropriated the pay of those who 
remained. Nadir Shah, on the pretext that the Indian 
government had refused to surrender some Ghilzai 
fugitives, advanced on Kabul, which he took with little 
difficulty from the starving and mutinous garrison. He 
crossed the Indus at Attock and entered Lahore. On the 
15th January 1739 the distracted emperor ordered Nizam- 
ul-Mulk to join him and advanced on Karnal in the 
southern Panjab. Nadir Shah skilfully eluded the Moghul 
outposts and surprised the Oudh troops under Sadat Khan. 
Khan Dauran hastened to the latter's assistance but fell in 
action. The rest of the imperial soldiery were driven into 
their fortified camp and starved into submission. Mahomed 
Shah sent Nizam-ul-Mulk to open negotiations. The Nizam 
induced Nadir Shah to promise to retire on payment of an 
indemnity of two crores of rupees (£ 2,000,000). But 
Sadat Khan's jealousy frustrated the Nizam's efforts as an 



234 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

envoy. Sadat Khan told the Persian king that if he 
marched to the capital, he could easily extort a ransom a 
hundred times greater; and Nadir Shah insisted upon 
escorting the unfortunate Mahomed Shah back to Delhi 
(February 1739). On the day after their entry into the 
imperial city, a rumour spread that Nadir Shah was dead. 
Instantly the mob rose upon his troops. All night the 
Shah strove to restore order, but in the morning he lost 
his self-control and called in his entire army to massacre 
the citizens. According to the popular legend often 
illustrated by Indian artists, Nadir Shah seated himself in 
the mosque of Rukn-ud-Daulat in the great bazaar and 
drawing his sword bade his men not to cease from slaughter 
until he had replaced it in its scabbard. For several hours 
he thus sat gloomy and silent, v/hile the helpless Indians 
were exposed to the savage fury of the northern barbarians. 
About midday the emperor and his nobles by continued 
tears and intercessions, induced the Shah to sheathe his 
sword and the carnage, such was the discipline of the 
Persian troops, instantly ceased. Having glutted his 
vengeance, Nadir Shah turned again to the question of the 
indemnity. He seized all the imperial treasures and 
jewels, including the celebrated peacock throne. He then 
seized the property of the nobles and bade his officers 
extort what they could from the common citizens. The 
order was eagerly obeyed. Every house, wherein imagina- 
tion could picture wealth, was invaded and its owners 
brutally tortured. To use the graphic words of the 
Musulman historian*: "Before, it was a general massacre; 
but now the murder of individuals. In every chamber 
and house was heard the cry of affliction. Sleep and 
rest forsook the city." After fifty-eight days even Persian 
greed realised that the city contained nothing more of 
value and the Shah decided to return to Persia. Before 
he left, he married his son to a Moghul princess descended 
from Shah Jehan, placed a worthless crown on Mahomed 

* Scott's Deccan, vol. II., p. 210. 



WAR AGAINST NIZAM-UL-MULK— NADIR SHAH 235 

Shah's head and sent a letter to Bajirao warning him to 
give due obedience to his imperial nominee*. He then 
departed, leaving Delhi in ashes and the Moghul empire 
a ruin. 

* Nadir Shah's letter is given in the Appendix to this chapter. 



236 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

APPENDIX 

Letter of Nadirshah to Bajirao Peshwa * 

I begin with the name of God who is gracious and merciful. 

I begin with 

the name of God. 

A precious stone 

of two religions had gone. 

By the help of God he made him- 
self known by the name of 

Nadir, Iran. 
Baji Rao possessing a charming face and being a man of good luck, a devotee 
towards Moslem faith, being a candidate for the royal favour, is ioformed that this 
time with the help of the Almighty Delhi is the capital and military place, and is 
the rising star of the great kingdom : as the great Nawab is, of the Turks. To 
Emperor ^luhammad Shah whose greatness is like that of the heavens, who is the 
fulfiller of all hopes who is highly respected and noble, whose noble birth is from 
a Turkish mother, and whose forefathers were of the Guijanis tribe, the kingdom and 
crown of India is entrusted, treating him as brother of the same religious profession 
and as a son ; and as you having a sweet face, and being a leader of the brave 
tribe, who maintains himself, always by the wealth of the state. It is necessary 
for you to serve the emperor honestly and well, keeping in mind his rights. But 
up to now it is not reported that you are serving just as -you ought, but done is 
done. As at the present juncture on account of the affection, perfect, noble and 
hearty friendship between our states having taken place, we understand as if 
Muhammad Shah's state given by God is connected with ours for putting down the 
rebels and the invadcre of the said state of the Gurjanis, a brave and courageous 
person is necessary to be appointed. When, therefoi'e, you will be informed of 
the contents of our noble command. Raja Shahu of great nobility, of good visage, 
well-experienced and obedient to the Musalman religion, has been appointed to 
that post, after this you would send news of your good health and safety remember- 
ing always that you are to be obedient to the royal order, which order should be 
received hy Shahu for the jjerformance of the services, heartily and without 
neglect and fail, he (Shahu) should try his best to act accordingly. By the help 
of God, every one far or near, if he be obedient to the state would be regarded as 
worthy of service and deserving of rewards and gifts, but whoever should try to 
rebel against the state, a victorious friend of religion is ready for war to defeat 
such an enemy and to suppress him and such a large army will be sent, that by 
going to the ))0undaries of the jjlace of I'ebellion, necessaiy punishment will be 
inflicted upon them (rebels). In these matters you must be aware of good warning 
and act according to your position. 

Dated 27th month of Mohurrum 1152. 
*rrom the Parasnis Collection. 



CHAPTER XLIII 

THE CONQUEST OF THE KONKAN. 
WARS AGAINST THE SIDIS AND THE PORTUGUESE 

A. D. 1733 TO 1739 

At this point I must return to the narrative of Maratha 
affairs within those provinces, which although inhabited 
by a Marathi speaking population, were yet under the 
dominion of foreigners. During Aurangzib's conquest of 
Maharashtra, the Sidis had given him valuable help both 
by land and sea. In return he had bestowed on them 
Mahad, Dabhol, Raygad and a number of other strong 
places along the Konkan coast. The Sidis' possession of 
Raygad was peculiarly offensive to the Maratha monarchs; 
for it was full of memories of the great king. It was at 
once the symbol of his sovereignty and the seat of his 
worship. These political considerations were aggravated 
by a personal quarrel between one of the Sidis, Sat Sidi 
by name, and one Brahmendraswami. The latter has by 
some of his admirers been compared with Ramdas and he 
certainly enjoyed during his life-time great consideration 
from the king and the eminent men who surrounded him. 
Brahmendraswami's father was Mahadev Bhat a Deshasth 
Brahman from Berar. His mother's name was Umabai. 
They had an only son whom they called Vishnu. When 
the boy was twelve years old, both his parents died. From 
his earliest years he had been devoted to the worship of 
the god Ganpati and he had the strange gift of passing 
every year into a religious trance from the first of Shravan 
(July) to the fourth of Bhadrapad (August) a period of 
thirty-four days. In 1663 Vishnu went to Benares, Tliere 



238 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

he became an ardent follower of the god Vishnu, his 
namesake; and he assumed the title of Brahmendraswami. 
After some years he left Benares and wandering from the 
Himalayas to Rameshwaram, visited every Indian shrine 
in turn. At last he came to Maharashtra and settled near 
Chiplun at Parashuram village, where at one time had 
stood a noble temple to Parasu Rama, the sixth incarnation 
of Vishnu. It had now fallen into ruins. Close by was a 
beautiful wood called the Dhamni wood. To it every 
Shravan, Brahmendraswami retired in order to pass into 
his trance or perform his religious meditations. His piety 
and his penances first attracted the notice of the neigh- 
bouring villagers and then spread far and wide. The 
saint had early been acquainted with Balaji Vishvanath 
and with remarkable foresight had prophesied his rise to 
the highest office. As Brahmendraswami's fame grew, he 
devoted himself to the collection of funds for the restoration 
of Parnsu Rama's temple. Nor were his persuasive powers 
exercised only on his coreligionists. The chief of the Sidis, 
Rasul Yakut Khan, so reverenced the saint, that he gave 
him the revenues of the villages of Ambdas and Pedhe 
and lent him the services of two clerks Bapujipant and 
Dhondopant Tambe. In the struggle between Shahu and 
Tarabi, Brahmendraswami had the wisdom to join the 
king and later to support the claims of Balaji Vishvanath 
to the post of first minister. The grateful Peshwa induced 
the king to bestow on him Dhawadshi, a village near Satara 
With its revenues and those of the villages given him by Sidi 
Rasul and of Davale and Mahling given him by Parashuram 
Trimbak, Brahmendraswami soon restored to its former 
splendour Parasu Rama's temple and laid down a gorgeous 
and elaborate ceremonial for the worship of the god. The 
saint's cordial relations with Sidi Rasul Yakut Khan were 
interrupted bj^ an unfortunate misunderstanding. A certain 
Sidi, Sat Sidi by name, had by Rasul Yakut Khan been 
appointed governor of Anjanvel on the southern bank of 
the Dabhol creek. It so happened that Sat Sidi had 




BALAJI BAJIRAO (Third Pesliwa) 



[To face page 238] 



CONQUEST OF KONKAN. SIDIS, PORTUGUESE WARS 2S9 

received from the Nawab of Savanur a gift of a remarkably- 
fine elephant ; but between Savanur and Anjanvel stretched 
the Maratha country. It was certain that in ordinary 
circumstances the elephant, if sent by the Nawab of Savanur^ 
would never reach its destination. Sat Sidi implored the 
help of Brahmendraswami. It happened that the anchorite 
was about to start for the Carnatic to beg money for his 
temple. With great courtesy, he offered to bring back the 
Nawab's gift. On his return journey he took the beast 
with him and got it safely through the Vishalgad pass 
into the Konkan. Thinking that its dangers were over, 
he sent it on ahead. Beyond Sangameshwar, however, 
some of Kanhoji Angre's forest guards, learning that it 
belonged to one of the Sidis, captured it and sent it to 
Jaygad one of Angre's forts. Brahmendraswami was much 
distressed at the incident and wrote to Kanhoji Angre a 
strong letter of remonstrance. The latter was a disciple 
of the saint. He at once ordered the elephant's release 
and expressed deep regret for his subordinate's action. 
In the meantime Sat Sidi had heard of the animal's capture. 
He sent a force against Jaygad which Angre, who had not 
then received the letter of his spiritual guide, attacked 
and defeated with heavy loss. Sat Sidi became still more 
incensed and formed the belief that the capture of the 
elephant was part of a deep plot of Brahmendraswami. 
In February 1727 on Mahashivratra day, the god Shiva's 
festival, he made a sudden raid on the temple of Parasu 
Rama. He pulled it down stone by stone, plundered it of 
all its treasure and tortured such Brahman priests as he 
could catch, to make them point out any wealth that they 
had been able to hide. Conduct so ungrateful would have 
annoyed any one ; and in the celestial mind of Brahmendra- 
swami it aroused inextinguishable anger. He sent the 
elephant to Sat Sidi and with it a fearful curse: "You 
have wrought evil on the gods and the Brahman s," he 
wrote, "and similar evil may they wreak on you!" In 
vain Rasul Yakut Klian expressed his deep sorrow at the 



240 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

outrage, made Sat Sidi restore his plunder, promised to 
rebuild the temple and offered as compensation the 
revenues of two more villages. In vain Kanhoji Angre 
begged the Swami to forgive and forget the past. In 1728 
the infuriated anchorite shook from off his feet the dust 
of the Konkan and ascending the Ghats went to live in 
Dhavadshi, There he was cordially welcomed by Shahu, 
his queens, and the Maratha nobles. Until the end of his 
life he never ceased to preach a crusade against the 
Abyssinians and to urge on the king the disgrace of their 
presence on the shores of his kingdom. 

The known friendship of Brahmendraswami for Balaji 
and Bajirao was sufficient to set in motion against any 
suggestion of his the intrigues of Shripatrao Pratinidhi 
and of the Deccan party. Kanhoji Angre, moreover, threw 
into the scale his powerful influence. For the previous 
ten years he had been friendly to the Sidis and had no 
wish to exchange their friendship for war. In 1729, how- 
ever, Kanhoji Angre died and was succeeded in the office 
of High Admiral by his eldest son Sekhoji. From con- 
temporary accounts the latter seems to have been a man 
of exceptional character and talents. He regarded with 
disfavour his father's kindly feelings for the sea-kings of 
Janjira. The Sidis, aware of his dislike for them, announced 
that their treaty with the Angres had been ended by 
Kanhoji's death and ravaged Sekhoji's territories. Another 
incident made Brahmendraswami's task the easier. In 
1733 Sidi Rasul Yakut Khan died. He left a number of 
sons of whom the following Abdulla, Sambul, Ambar, 
Rahyan, Yakut and Hasan were the eldest. Although 
Abdulla was the first born, desire for their father's throne 
inspired against him the hatred of his brothers. Abdulla 
secretly sought help from the Maratha king. Shahu sent 
into the Konkan a Prabhu Sardar Yashwantrao Mahadev 
Potnis to foment the family quarrel. Potnis not only did 
this with success, but also corrupted a certain Sheikh 
Yakub Khan, a daring sailor who possessed the full 



CONQUEST OF KONKAN. SIDIS, PORTUGUESE WARS 241 

confidence of the sea-kings. He was of the lineage of the 
ancient Koli monarchs and was the hereditary patil or 
headman of Gohagad. Potnis offered to Sheikli Yakub 
Khan, as the prize of a successful revolution, the command 
of the fleet and an ample portion of the Sidis' lands. 
Last of all Abdulla's son, Abdul Rahman, who aspired to 
oust his father and uncles, fled from Janjira and openly 
asked Potnis for help. The Prabhu Sardar reported his 
success to Shahu, who at once summoned Bajirao to Satara. 
So excited was the king, that he began his order with the 
words "Do not read this letter. Mount your horse and 
then read it * " On the arrival of the first minister he and 
the king discussed the plan of campaign. Finally Shahu 
ordered that the Pratinidhi should take a force into the 
Konkan. Afterwards Bajirao and Fatehsing Bhosle would 
join him there. Owing to the slowness of the Pratinidhi, 
Bajirao and Fatehsing Bhosle were ready to start before 
him. In April 1733 they descended the Sahyadris. The 
Pratinidhi did not follow them until the end of May. 
Hearing that Sidi Masud was about to start for Janjira 
with help from Surat, Shahu wrote both to Umabai Dabhade 
and to Damaji Gaikvad and commanded them to seize 
Sidi Masud and prevent his sailing. Lastly the king sent 
two thousand Mavalis from his own bodyguard to assist 
his commanders in the capture of the Sidis' forts. So 
anxious, indeed, was Shahu to learn at the earliest the 
successes of his captains, that he had a line of runners 
posted between their camp and the capital. In this way 
he daily received their despatches. 

But in sjDite of the ardour of the king, the royal forces 
achieved nothing commensurate with his hopes and 
preparations. Yashwantrao Dabhade and the Gaikvads 
refused to take any part in the campaign. From the first 
Bajirao shewed little interest in the expedition, which he 
thought a waste of time and money. The Pratinidhi sulked 

* " Patra-na-vachancu. Ghodyavar basaiien, mag patru vachanen" (Riyasat, 
vol.11., p. 271). 

16 



242 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

and refused to help Bajirao. At first the Marathas won 
some important successes. In May 1733 Bajirao repulsed 
an attack led by Sidi Rahyan, in which the leader and a 
hundred of his men fell. He also took the forts of Tala 
and Gossala and plundered Rajpuri, Nagothna and other 
towns of the Sidis. About the same time Manaji Angre, 
Sekhoji's younger brother, inflicted a severe defeat on the 
Sidis' fleet near Janjira. On the 8th June 1733 Bajirao 
retook Raygad amid the universal rejoicings of the Maratha 
people. The historic fortress, the capital of the great 
king, had been taken by Aurangzib in October 1789 and 
had for over forty-three years been in the possession of 
the Abyssinians. At the end of June, Sekhoji Angre took 
the fort of Raval on the Pen river and the fort of Thai 
close to Bombay. But these advantages were more or less 
nullified by the murder of Sidi Abdulla, on whose help the 
Marathas had counted in their final attack upon the island. 
Rid of their brother, the remaining Sidis defended them- 
selves with stubborn courage and held in a firmer grip 
Anjanvel, Govalkot, Viziadurg and Janjira. The English, 
too, became alarmed at the near approach of the Marathas 
and were incensed by Sekhoji Angre's capture of an 
English ship called the Rose, which he held to ransom for 
7603 rupees. The chief hope, however, of the Sidis lay in 
the jealousies of the Maratha captains. It was in vain 
that Shahu reprimanded his generals; it was in vain that 
Brahmendraswami refused to plunge into his annual 
religious trance. Still their bickerings continued. In 
August 1733 the Sidis amused the Pratinidhi with pretended 
offers of peace. At the same time they attacked and 
defeated a Maratha division under Bankaji Naik at Chiplun. 
They then broke off their negotiations with the Pratinidhi 
and inflicted on him two severe reverses. The unlucky 
commander appealed to Shahu, who ordered Chimnaji 
Appa to take him reinforcements. On various pleas 
Chimnaji Appa put off his obedience to the order, until 
the exasperated king wrote to him that, unless he started 



CONQUEST OF KONKAN. SIDIS, PORTUGUESE WARS 243 

at once, he, the king, would take over the command of his 
division. The English now resolved to give substantial 
help to the Sidis. They supplied Janjira with food, guns 
and munitions and sent under Captain Haldane on the 
warship Mary a force to help the Sidis defend their island 
fort of Underi, which Sekhoji Angre was besieging. In 
September 1733 Sekhoji Angre, the most single-minded and 
loyal of the Maratha captains died and Sambhaji Angre 
was raised to his dead brother's office of High Admiral. 
From this moment all hopes of taking Janjira vanished. 
Sambhaji Angre and his brother Manaji Angre were on 
bad terms and would not work together. Shahu fearing 
to give offence, would not appoint a single commander-in- 
chief, but sent separate orders to each divisional general 
and tried to conduct the campaign from his palace at 
Satara. Although Shahu had written to Chimnaji Appa 
that he was not to return to Satara without having taken 
Janjira, the king had reluctantly to bow to the inevitable. 
The alliance of the English with the Sidis had robbed the 
Marathas of the command of the sea. It was therefore 
better for the Marathas, so Bajirao advised, to secure their 
present advantages by a treaty with the sea-kings than 
drag on a useless war. In December 1733 the Sidis and 
Bajirao signed a treaty. The Sidis resigned to Abdul Rahman, 
as his share in his grandfather's kingdom, the revenues 
of eleven and a half mahals. The Marathas retained 
Raygad, Tala, Gossala and the other forts that they had 
stormed. 

Brahmendraswami, as it may be imagined, was deeply 
disappointed at the treaty. He was not, however, to lose 
his revenge. His old enemy Sat Sidi was no less dis- 
satisfied at the close of the war. Had it but continued, so 
he thought, it would have ended in an Abyssinian victory. 
In spite of the execution of the treaty, he continued to 
raid the territories ceded to the Marathas. Early in 1736 
he brought his fleet to the port of Rewas and tried to take 
the fort of Sagargad, On the 10th March 1736 Shahu 

IG* 



244 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

despatched Chimnaji Appa to punish the aggression. On 
the 19th April a battle was fought at the village of Charai 
near Revas. In it the Sidi was defeated and slain. With 
him fell the commandant of Underi and eleven thousand 
men. Shahu was overjoyed and he wrote to Chimnaji 
Appa, "Sat Sidi was a demon no less terrible than Ravan; 
by killing him you have uprooted the Sidis. Everywhere 
your fame is spread abroad." Summoning to his court 
the young general, he showered on him presents and robes 
of honour. Brahmendraswami was equally lavish in his 
encomiums and until his death in 1745, he derived from 
his enemy's downfall a great and pious satisfaction*. 

The Portuguese were an even more formidable enemy. 
In the ninth chapter of this work I have related their 
coming to India and their capture of the town of Goa. 
They soon established friendly relations with the kingdom 
of Vijayanagar and were at constant war with their 
Musulman neighbours. Their chief foes were the kings of 
Guzarat, who had made themselves independent on the 
break up of Mahomed Tughlak's empire. They did not 
aim, as the French and English afterwards did, at large 
inland conquests. They desired mainly the trade of the 
Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf, and for that purpose 
wanted a chain of commercial posts or factories along the 
western coast. They principally coveted Diva or Diu, a 
a small island off the coast of Kathiawar. It commanded 
the Gulf of Cambay and, almost due west of Surat, formed 
a convenient stage on the homeward and outward journeys 
and a safe anchorage during the May storms. For the 
same reasons Bahadur Shah, the king of Guzarat, was 
unwilling to part with it. War ensued, during which the 
Portuguese attacked the cities held by the king of Guzarat 
along the western seaboard of the Maratha country. In 



*Riyasat vol. II., p. 289, Brahmendraswami had a friendly feeling for the 
EngUsh. Parasnis' Brahmendraswami Charitra, p. 1 11 . With Chimnaji Appa in this 
battle was Pilaji Jadav the ancestor of the Jadav Sardare of Wagholi. Itihas 
Sangraha, Sept. 1010, p. 64. 



CONQUEST OF KONKAN. SIDIS, PORTUGUESE WARS 245 

1530 Antonio de Silveira and in 1538 Diego de Silveira 
harried the whole seacoast from Bandra to Siirat, taking 
no less than four thousand captives, whom they made to 
work at the churches and convents of Goa. To prevent a 
recurrence of this piracy, Malik Tokan, a Guzarat officer, 
built a strong fortress at the mouth of the Ulhas river 
close to the little village of Vasai. As soon as the Portu- 
guese heard of the new fortress, they determined to destroy 
it. A Portuguese general, Nuno de Cunho, stormed it and 
razed it to the ground. But a new enemy now threatened 
Bahadur Shah. The daring and restless Humayun was 
about to invade Guzarat. Bahadur Shah begged the 
Portuguese to become his allies. As the price of their 
friendship, he offered them Bombay and Mahim, Diu, 
Daman, Chaul and Vasai. The Portuguese readily accepted 
the generous offer and gave Bahadur Shah such valuable 
aid, that in 1535 Humayun retreated to Delhi. The 
Portuguese next set themselves to the task of exploiting 
their acquisitions. Chaul and Diu they converted into 
strong fortresses. Daman became a thriving port. But 
on Vasai they bestowed special favour. Although a small 
village, the Hindus prized it as a seat of the worship of 
the god Shiva, who had an ancient temple on Tungar hill 
(to the east of the Bombay and Baroda railway). Its 
foundation had been the outcome of a struggle between 
the god and the demons*. A body of evil spirits led by 
one Vimala had been harassing the Brahmans, who lived 
to the east of the Sahyadris, which then still marked the 
limits of the Arabian Sea. The Brahmans called to their 
aid Parasu Rama, or Rama with the axe, who hunted into 
the sea Vimala and his confederates. As he ran away, 
Vimala took on his head one of the spurs of the Sahyadris. 
Planting it in the sea, he gave it the name of "Tungar", 
which in the Sanskrit tongue means "Hill". He had, how- 
ever, learnt wisdom from his defeat and on Tungar hill he 
so propitiated by his penances and his adoration the god 

■' Da Cnnha's Antiquities of Bassein. 



246 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

Shiva, that the deity gave him immortality on condition 
that he left the Brahmans alone. The demon chief agreed 
and built in the great god's honour a temple on Tungar 
hill, wherein he worshipped Shiva under the appellation 
of Tungareshwar of "God of the Mountains". All went 
well, until one day Vimala heard a band of anchorites 
praise Parasu Rama. Vimala became so wroth at hearing 
the praises of his deadly enemy, that he forgot his promise 
to Shiva. Running at the anchorites, he drove them away 
and putting out their holy fire, spoilt their sacrifice. The 
anchorites again invoked Parasu Rama, who once more 
made war on Vimala. But although he repeatedly struck 
off Vimala's arms and legs, they instantly grew again, 
because of the immortality bestowed on him by the god 
Shiva. Parasu Rama then went in person to Shiva and 
pointed out that Vimala had broken his promise and had 
forfeited the divine boon. Shiva was convinced and, 
abandoning his follower, he gave Parasu Rama the Parasu 
or axe, from which he derives his name. With this formi- 
dable weapon Parasu Rama soon hewed Vimala in pieces. 
Ignorant of this holy legend, the Portuguese corrupted 
the name Vasai to Bai^-aim, a word which the English 
again corrupted to Bassein. They made it the capital of 
their new acquisitions, called by them "The Province of 
the North" and governed by an officer styled "The General 
of the North". Nor was Bassein, apart from its sanctitj^ 
unworthy of its new masters' favour. The wide mouth of 
the Ulhas river issuing from hills that recall in their 
beauty the Highlands of Scotland, enabled ships to take 
their merchandise far inland. Another branch of the same 
stream flowed southwards into the magnificent harbour of 
Bombay. The delta of the Ulhas river which the Portuguese 
occupied as an appanage of Bassein was known as Sasashti, 
or the island of sixty-six villages. This word the Portu- 
guese corrupted into Salcete and the English into Salsette. 
Its fertile soil watered alike by the river and by abundant 
rains, yielded rich harvests of wheat, maize and rice ; and 



CONQUEST OF KONKAN. SIDIS, PORTUGUESE WARS 247 

dotted among the yellow cornfields could be seen an endless 
succession of mango groves, orchards and banian trees. 
There the Portuguese settled in great numbers and enriched 
by trade and agriculture, built themselves stately palaces 
and charming villas. So great indeed was the prosperity of 
Bassein, so abundant the wealth of its inhabitants and so 
lavish the display of costly dresses and splendid equipages, 
that in common parlance the city was known as Dom 
Bagaim or Lord Bassein. In 1661 the King of Portugal 
gave to the English the islands of Bombay on the southern 
point of Salsette, as the dowry of Catharine of Braganza, 
the queen of Charles II. From that time began the decay 
of Bassein. The English East India Company, to whom 
Charles transferred Bombay, proved themselves formidable 
trading rivals. But a more pressing danger was the rise 
of the Maratha power. I have already related Sambhaji's 
siege of Goa, and from that time forwards the Marathas 
and the Portuguese carried on a desultory warfare. In 
1730 a Maratha army had threatened the island of Salsette 
and had been repulsed with difficulty. Eventually through 
the mediation of Robert Cowan, the English Governor "of 
Bombay, a treaty of perpetual peace was signed by the 
Viceroy of Goa and the Maratha king. The danger to 
which the Portuguese had recently been exposed caused 
the viceroy, John Saldanha da Gama, to hold an enquiry 
into the defences of Salsette. The report of the com- 
missioner Coutinho revealed the most lamentable neglect, 
due, it would seem, to the system of administration, under 
which all munitions and supplies were left to the 
control of the Jesuits. Da Gama sanctioned a large sum 
of money to put Salsette in a proper state of defence, but 
he returned to Europe before he had completed his task- 
His successor was the Count of Sandomil. He came with 
strict instructions to carry out the plans of the late viceroy 
and no doubt wished to do so. But his endeavours were 
thwarted by a fate so unhapp}-, that the Portuguese sought 
for an explanation in some suijernatural event. At last it 



248 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

was remembered that when landing from his ship, he had 
put his left and not his right foot first on the soil of India. 

It must be admitted that his policy was calculated to 
aid the influences of destiny. The key of the island of 
Salsette was the fortress of Thana. It was an old Moghul 
outpost and just as Chester derives its name from " Castrum" 
so Thana took its name from the Marathi word "Thanen" 
a fortified post. It was essential that a Portuguese viceroy, 
who wished to embark on a vigorous foreign policy should 
see to it that Thana was impregnable. If Thana could 
not be made impregnable, it was wisest not to give offence 
to one's neighbours. The Count of Sandomil did indeed 
order that Bassein and Salsette island should be fortified 
and gave the work to a distinguished engineer Jose Lopes 
de Sa. But by the time that the fortifications of Bassein 
were finished, the money allotted was exhausted and the 
wall round Thana was never completed. Unhappily about 
this time the quarrels of Kanhoji Angre's sons seemed to 
offer to the Count of Sandomil a chance of extending the 
territories of Portugal and of regaining some of her 
ancient renown. 

Kanhoji Angre had left two legitimate sons Sekhoji 
and Sambhaji. As it will be remembered, Sekhoji succeeded 
without opposition to his father's honours. When Sekhoji 
died in September 1733 his rank and possessions passed 
to his legitimate brother Sambhaji. But Kanhoji had also 
left four illegitimate sons Yesaji, Manaji, Tulaji and Dhondji. 
Early in 1734 Sambhaji planned the capture of Anjanwel 
from the Sidis. He took with him his third brother Tulaji. 
Yesaji he left behind at Suvarnadurg. He put Dhondji in 
charge of Kolaba fort, and to Manaji he entrusted his fleet. 
Manaji was ambitious and unscrupulous. He disliked the 
subordinate charge assigned to him and offered to cede to 
the Count of Sandomil the fortress and lands of Revadanda 
not far from Chaul, in return for Portuguese support. 
Unhappily the viceroy had not the strength of mind to 
refuse the bribe and promised Manaji a Portuguese con- 



CONQUEST OF KOXKAN. SIDIS, PORTUGUESE WARS 249^ 

tingent. Manaji, thereupon, imprisoned and blinded Yesajr 
and declared himself independent. Sambhaji hastened to 
the spot, but was beaten off by the Portuguese. The 
danger past, Manaji refused to surrender Revadanda and 
the viceroy recalled his troops. Sambhaji again attacked 
Kolaba. Knowing that he would not again get help from 
the Portuguese, Manaji appealed this time to Bajirao,. 
offering him the forts of Kothala and Rajmachi. The Peshwa 
had long regarded with a jealous eye the power and in- 
dependence of the Angres. He affected to treat the 
quarrel between Sambhaji and Manaji as an ordinary 
civil dispute between two members of a joint Hindu family. 
He summoned before him the brothers and decided that 
Manaji was entitled to Kolaba, as his share of his father's 
inheritance. It was now Sambhaji's turn to call in the 
Portuguese. He promised to cede to them either Revadanda 
or an equivalent elsewhere and give them back all the 
Portuguese vessels taken by his father. The viceroy 
accepted Sambhaji's offer, because, as he explained to his- 
government, it seemed the only way by which he might 
recover the cost of the first expedition. He did not 
realise that he was beginning a war that would increase 
the cost of the expedition a thousandfold. Before moving 
to Manaji's help, the Peshwa insisted that he should be put 
into possession of Kothala and Rajmachi. On the surrender 
of the two forts, he hastened with a large force to the 
relief of Kolaba. He defeated Sambhaji and his Portuguese 
allies and drove Sambhaji back into Suvarnadurg. At the- 
same time he declared war against the Goa government. 
The viceroy was by this time utterly weary of his alliance 
with the Angres and offered terms of peace. Bajirao, 
whose aspiring mind revolved vast schemes of conquest 
elsewhere, was glad to accept them and both parties 
signed a treaty. It contained a clause that the Portuguese 
should give the Marathas a site for a factory on Salsette 
island. The site was to be chosen by the General of the 
North. Unhappily for the Portuguese, the General of the 



^50 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

North was at this time Luis Botelho, the .viceroy's nephew. 
He was a young man of parts and courage, but of a violent 
temper. He had already quarrelled with the Jesuits and 
with many of the leading citizens of Bassein. When he 
learnt that he had to select inside Salsette a site for a 
JVTaratha factory, he resolved not to do it. For a long 
time he put off the Marathas with fair promises. At last 
Bajirao, suspecting his good faith, sent to Botelho as his 
special envoy his brother-in-law, Vyankatrao Joshi, better 
i<:nown as Vyankatrao Ghorpade. This distinguished man, 
the ancestor of the present chief of Ichalkaranji, was the 
son of one Naropant Joshi, a Chitpavan Brahman, whose 
father Mahadji had died while Naropant was only five years 
old. Mahadji's widow obtained support from the kindness 
of Mhaloji Ghorpade and brought up her son to be a priest of 
Ramchandra, the family god of the Ghorpades. But Mhaloji's 
son, the famous Santaji Ghorpade, saw with a captain's eye 
the delight Naropant took in horses, arms and equipment, and 
made the boy a trooper in his squadron. From that time 
on the boy was Santaji's devoted admirer and so faithful 
was he in his service, that Santaji bade him call himself 
his son and take the name of Ghorpade. One day, so the 
•story runs, Santaji's wife to tease the boy bade him, as 
Santaji's son, eat off the same dish as his father. Had 
Naropant done so, he would have lost his Brahman caste. 
Nevertheless he readily offered to forfeit it, if his father 
wished it. Santaji Ghorpade was too high-minded to exact 
-such a sacrifice; but from that time on, he regarded 
Naropant always as the son of his loins, Naropant's son 
was Vyankatrao. When Balaji Vishvanath was still a 
subordinate, he was glad to marry his daughter to 
V3'^ankatrao. In this way Vyankatrao came to be the 
brother-in-law of Bajirao. As they grew up, the brothers 
in-law took opposite sides in politics. Vyankatrao took 
the side first of Shivaji and then of Sambhaji of Kolhapur. 
He was taken prisoner by Shripatrao, the Pratinidhi, at the 
battle on the Warna in 1730 A. D. and was thrown into 



CONQUEST OF KONKAX. SIDIS, PORTUGUESE WARS 251 

prison as a rebel. In the end, as I have already related, 
Bajirao ransomed him. Vyankatrao was now ordered to 
demand from Luis Botelho the instant cession of the 
promised site. Luis Botelho, unable any longer to put off 
the fulfilment of the viceroy's undertaking, lost his temper 
and so far forgot not only the courtesies of diplomacy but 
those of ordinary social life, as to call, to Vyankatrao's 
face, the handsome and fairskinned Bajirao a negro. 
Vyankatrao at once broke off the interview and returned 
to Bajirao, who, deeply incensed, determined to avenge the 
insult without delay. 

As a number of towns and strong places will be named 
in the ensuing account of the fighting and as the geography 
of the place has greatly changed, it will be as well to 
sketch as briefly as possible their positions. Due east of 
Bombay was the fortified island of Karanja. To the north 
of Karanja lay the islands of Gharapuri and Turambe now 
known as Trombay. To the north of Bombay was the island 
of Vandra or Bandra. At the mouth of the Panvel creek stood 
the town of Belapur. Nearer Thana were Anjur and Kelve. 
These last were inhabited chiefly by Pathare Prabhus, who 
hadhadreligious quarrels with the Portuguese and had appeal- 
ed to Bajirao, To the east of Bandra was the strong place of 
Marol. Off the coast between Andheri and Bassein was a 
row of islands. To the west of Goregaon was the fort of 
Vesava, called by the Portuguese Varsova. Beyond Varsova 
again was Malad, of which the inamdars Antaji Raghunath 
and Ramchandra Raghunath were in secret correspondence 
with Bajirao. Near Bassein was the fortified island of 
Dharavi. On the opposite bank to Bassein but a little 
further up stream was the fort of Ghorbandar, which 
guarded tlie southern mouth of the Uhlas river. Beyond 

This curious incident is to be found in a lelfer written to the king of Poitueal 
by Antonio de Alcacova. It is reprinted in a serial study of the siege of Bassein 
entitled " Os ultimos cinco gcucras do norte" by Mr. J • A. Isniael Gracias-0 Oriciito 
Portugues Vol. III. p. 288.) Antonio's words aic as follows. "A sous com- 
missaries em Bapaim foras pelo general dea compostos de palavras injuri osas exccd- 
endo escandalo de faltar com vituperio do Bag! Rao, tratando o dc Negro". 



252 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

Bassein was the fort of Tarapur and the towns and talukas 
of Mahim, Dahanu and Ambargaon and the posts of Shirgaon 
and Chinchni. On the shore near Bassein was the fort of 
Arnala. To the north-east were Manora and Asheri. 
Prior to Coutinho's report, the fortifications of all these 
towns were in ruins and weakly garrisoned, Bassein had 
ninety guns but only twelve gunners. The cavalry 
numbered eight and the infantry eighty only. The wall 
had in places fallen down. The fort of Varsova was small, 
old and ruined. It had a garrison of fifty men and ten 
guns, but only two of the pieces were serviceable. The 
walls at Manora were not more than six feet high. Of its 
eight guns five were useless. Asheri had a garrison of 
a hundred and fifty broken down old men. The fort at 
Belapur had four companies of a hundred and eighty men 
each and fourteen guns, none of them very formidable, 
Mahim fort had a garrison of sixty, of whom only seven 
were Portuguese. At Tarapur were sixty men and twenty- 
three guns but no artillery men. Coutinho's report led to 
the repair of the walls of Bassein and the strengthening 
of its garrison. For lack of means little was done to the 
other strong places except Thana. But its walls, as I have 
mentioned, were never completed. 

With great speed, secrecy and diligence Bajirao collected 
a large force at Poona under the pretence of a more than 
usually elaborate festival in honour of the goddess Parvati. 
He induced the king to appoint Chimnaji Appa general- 
issimo. The latter on his appointment sent first a thousand 
men under Ramchandra Joshi and Khandoji Mankar to 
Kalyan, where they were joined by detachments under 
Narayan Joshi, Antaji and Ramchandra Raghunath, 
Chimnaji Appa drew up the bulk of his force at some 
distance from Belapur. Skilfully as these preparations 
were hidden, it was impossible wholly to conceal them; 
and John Home, the British governor of Bombay, warned 
Luis Botelho that large Maratha forces were collecting in 
the neighbourhood of the Province of the North. He 



CONQUEST OF KONKAN. SIDIS, PORTUGUESE WARS 253 

might have saved himself the trouble. He received from 
the general the haughty reply that when the barbarians 
came, he would know how to receive them. Luis Botelho, 
however, made no preparations for their reception. On 
the night of the 6th April 1737 the Maratha troops began 
an attack on Thana fort. At the sound of the guns, 
Chimnaji Appa came up with the bulk of the army. 
Before he could arrive, the advanced troops had swept 
through the unfinished walls of Thana. The Portuguese 
garrison after repulsing two attacks, died fighting gallantly 
at their posts, Chimnaji Appa delighted with this success 
renamed the fort of Thana the Fateh Buruj or the 
Tower of Victory. The Maratha columns now poured 
into Salsette. Narayan Joshi stormed the neighbouring 
fort of Parsik and the island of Dharavi. About the same 
time Shankarji Keshav took the fort of Arnala. Another 
party escaladed Ghorbandar. Before morning all that 
remained to the Portuguese of Salsette was the island 
fortress of Bandra. This the English, anxious for their 
own safety, helped to defend. Indeed had the Marathas 
after taking Arnala at once attacked Bassein, it is not 
impossible that that stronghold might have fallen too. Other 
counsels, however, prevailed and the Marathas devoted 
themselves to the reduction of minor strongholds. Before 
the rains began, they had taken Mandvi, Manora and 
Balapur as well as a number of other villages. On the 
1st July 1737 Chimnaji Appa, leaving a considerable force 
under different commanders to invest Bassein returned 
to Poona. 

The viceroy of Goa, deeply concerned at the disaster, 
relieved his nephew of his command and sent in his place a 
gallant old soldier named Antonio Cardim Froes. He had 
left Portugal in 1698 and had risen from the lowest rank 
to the highest office. He reached Bassein on the 23rd 
May 1787 and the veteran's presence revived the sinking- 
spirits of the Portuguese. On the 27th August a Maratha 
force, eight hundred strong, made an assault on Bandra 



254 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

but were repulsed with great slaughter by the garrison 
who only numbered a hundred and fifty. At the end of 
September Bajirao thought that the time had come for a 
general assault on Bassein. He first took the covering 
fort of Sabais. The commandant defended it bravely 
until his water-supply failed and he was forced to capitulate. 
On the same day storming parties simultaneously attacked 
Bassein and Varsova. Nine thousand Marathas succeeded 
in reaching the walls of Bassein and put against them 
forty scaling ladders. But the Portuguese stood at bay 
with a resolution, that would not have shamed the companions 
of Lorenzo d'Almeida. The Maratha ladders were thrown 
down and the Maratha soldiers who reached the top of 
the walls were either killed or taken. At Varsova, too, 
victory rested with the besieged and the Portuguese cannon 
took a fearful toll of the storming parties. The general 
of the North, however, complained bitterly of the English, 
who, pleading neutrality, refused him their help. At the 
same time they sold gunpowder and cannon balls stamped 
with the English mark to the Maratha generals. 

After the failure of the assaults, the siege languished 
and the Lisbon Government sent out two transports, the 
"Nossa Senhora da Victoria" and the "Bom Successo", full 
of Portuguese soldiers. Thus reinforced the general of the 
North was able to relieve Mahim, several miles to the 
north of Bassein, with a strong force under Pedre de Mello. 
Arriving by sea they surprised the Marathas in their 
trenches and put them to the sword. Pedro de Mello 
shortly afterwards relieved Asherin called by the Portuguese 
Asserim, which had been reduced to the greatest straits. 
Antonio Cardim Froes now thought himself strong enough to 
begin a vigorous offensive and planned nothing less than the 
recapture of Thana. The recapture of this place, so he justly 
thought, would completely disconcert the Maratha staff and 
would probably result in the retreat, if not surrender of the 
Maratha troops within Salsette island. On the 1 2th September 
1738, four thousand five hundred soldiers, of whom five 



CONQUEST OF KONKAN. SIDIS, PORTUGUESE WARS 255 

hundred were pure blooded Portuguese, sailed in transports 
from Bassein and through the harbour of Bombay up the 
Thana creek. Led by the gallant Pedro de Mello, they 
attacked the important strategic point known as the Forte 
dos Reis, or the fort of the kings. On the other hand the 
Marathas had also received large reinforcements. After 
Bajirao's return from Northern India the Maratha leaders 
hastened to the Portuguese war, so that Chimnaji Appa 
had now a fine army at his disposal; and in command of 
Thana fort was no less a soldier than the redoubtable 
Malharrao Holkar. Still had the Portuguese secret been 
kept, the attack might well have succeeded. But Mr. John 
Home, the governor of Bombay, on seeing the Portuguese 
transports, sent an express messenger to warn the Marathas. 
At the same time he allowed a few of his English gunners 
to pretend to desert to them, so that they might help the 
Marathas to point their guns. Thus the Portuguese found 
the Marathas fully prepared. Their artillery, directed by 
the English gunners, mowed down the Portuguese and a 
cannon ball fired, so the Portuguese believe*, by an 
Englishman killed Pedro de Mello, as he tried bravely to 
rally his men. The Portuguese broke and fled back to 
their ships. 

In the beginning of the year 1739 the viceroy relieved 
Antonio Froes and appointed Martinho da Silveira to be 
general of the North. His task was a formidable one. 
The Marathas had renewed the siege of Mahim and early 

* Grant Duff writes that it was Antonio Froes who was killed, but Mr. Ismael 
Gracias has declared this to be a mistake and that the general who fell was Pedro 
de Mello. Grant Duff maintains that the Portuguese belief that de Mello was 
killed by an Englishman, is incorrect. He does not quote the authority on which 
he relies. On the other hand the charge was made in an official letter written 
by the viceroy on the 4th Januaiy 1739 to the Governor of Bombay, from which 
I qiiote the following passage. — " Quando a nossa armada foi a ata<;ar o forte dos 
Keys, soccorreo ao Maratha com tres condestaveis inglezcs c essa certoza tenho de 
Bombaim e tambom de pessoas de llha de Salcote que nie certificao o mesmo e 
que hum dos condestaveis forao que fizero tiro com que matarao ao general".— 
O Orienle Portuguese 111., j). 234. 



^56 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

in January 1739, took it by storm after a most gallant 
defence.* At the same time Bajirao resolved to dam the 
stream of reinforcements, that flowed from Goa to Bassein. 
On the 23rd January 1739, Vyankatrao Ghorpade, the 
envoy insulted by Luis Botelho, invaded Goa territory 
with twelve thousand horse and four thousand foot soldiers. 
In his efforts to save Bassein the Count of Sandomil had 
left himself few Europeans, but without their support the 
native levies would not face the Marathas. On the 25th 
January Vyankatrao took Margao by escalade and laid 
siege to the fortress of Rachol, the key of Goa. The 
viceroy reinforced the commandant of Rachol as best he 
<}ould. But a sortie under an inexperienced officer ended 
in a serious disaster and Sandomil was compelled to fill 
the ranks of the garrison by calling to arms the monks 
and priests of Goa. By the aid of these new conscripts, 
Luis de Ceatano, the commandant of Rachol, repulsed in 
February, 1739, a vigorous assault of seven thousand 
Marathas. Li spite, however, of occasional Portuguese 
successes, the end was now certain. Each month brought 
the viceroy news of fresh disasters. For a short time 
Nadir Shah's invasion gave the Portuguese hope. For 
Bajirao, on the news of the sack of Delhi, thought of nothing 
less than an alliance of every state in India against the 
Persian barbarians. "The war with the Portuguese is as 
naught, " wrote the Peshwa. " There is now but one enemy 
in Hindustan. The whole power of the Deccan, Hindus 

*Mr. Paiasni's industry has discovered a letter, dated 13th December 1738, in 
which Vasudev Joshi reported to Chimnaji Appa an unsuccessful attack on Mahiin. 

"Ramchandra Ilari and Mahadji Keshav trained batteries on Miihim. Two 
or three days later Portuguese and Abyssinians came ia hundreds of boats to assist 
in the defence.... The enemy vvas very strong; we trained our batteries on the 
northern wall of Mahim. On the South, the Kelve side, we did not attack. The 
enemy fell back behind his fort walls. On the 10th November Ramchandra Ilarl 
with 700 or SCO men attacked Kelve. They killeil 25 to 30 of the enemy. One 
of our horsemen fell and two horses were wounded. Thereafter the enemy, seizing 
the opportunity attacked our batteries with 1500 to 2000 men. At the same time 
he opened a tremendous cannonade from the fort and set fire to our guns. We 



CONQUEST OF KONKAN. SIDIS, PORTUGUESE WARS 257 

and Musulmans alike must assemble, and I shall spread 
our Marathas from the Narbada to the Chambal"*. But 
so great were the resources of Bajirao that he could provide 
both an army to besiege Bassein and another large enough 
to drive Nadir Shah from Delhi. The viceroy of Goa 
learnt of the fall, one after another, of the Portuguese 
strong places dotted throughout the province of the North. 
Quelme, Sirigaon, Tarapur, Dahanu were taken by storm 
and the garrisons put to the sword. Varsova and Karanja 
surrendered. Bandra was abandoned. Indeed but for a 
change in the Bombay Government, Bassein would have 
been starved into submission. But John Home's successor, 
Stephen Law, had different ideas about a neutral's duties. 
He refused to send to either side guns or ammunition, but 
he sent quantities of provisions by sea to Bassein and with 
this aid and their own dauntless courage, the Portuguese 
prolonged the defence beyond all expectation. Martinho 
da Silveira, the new General of the North, claimed descent 
from Antonio da Silveira f, the hero of the defence of Diu 
against the Turks; and he vowed like his reputed ancestor 
that so long as he lived, the flag of Portugal would never 
be hauled down from the ramparts of Bassein. On the 
15th April, 1739, the valiant Silveira met a soldier's death 
in the bastion of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios. A cannon 
ball struck him in the body and killed him instantly. 
Caetano de Souza Pereira succeeded to the command but 

had no room to deploy. Kamchandra Hari, Amarsing Shirke and othei-s with 10 to 
15 horsemen attacked the "enemy and killed about 15 of them. Ramchandra Hari 
killed two with his own hand and so cheeked them. Just then a bullet hit him 
in the right hand. He dropped his sword and as it fell, it wounded him on the 
knee. Thereupon our men gave way and the enemy captured our batteries. 
Mahadji Keshav, Vaghoji Khanwalkar and othei- high officers were in the batteries. 
They had no time to escape and so fell fighting. About 200 of our men were 
killed and ahout 100 wounded. Tnable to bear the reproaches of Bajirno, they 
threw away their lives and fell on the batllefielil. 

ParasDis' Brahmendrastvami Charilra, p- 78. 

* Grant Duff. 

fXhe ancestry was apparently dou1)tful. 

17 



258 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

after Silveira's death, the Marathas made greater progress. 
Their army, according to Portuguese accounts, now numbered 
two hundred thousand men; and by the 13th May, 1739, 
they had after repeated failures succeeded in mining the 
tower of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios. At 7 a. m, on the 
13th May the explosion of two mines partially destroyed 
the bastion. The Marathas rushed to the attack, but were 
driven back by the valour of the garrison and the explosion 
of a third mine caused them heavy losses. Throughout 
the day the Maratha leaders, Chimnaji Appa, Manaji Angre, 
Malharrao Holkar, Ranoji Sindia vied with each other in 
trying to scale the walls of the doomed city. They delivered 
no less than eleven assaults on the tower of San Sebastian 
and six others on that of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios. 
The Portuguese repulsed them with hand grenades and 
musketry fire. During the night the besieged made a 
curtain of lighted firewood inside the latter tower and 
barricaded the breaches in the tower of San Sebastian, 
with broken doors and disused hencoops. On the 14th 
May the explosion of a fourth mine laid the tower of San 
Sebastian level with the ground. The Marathas established 
themselves in the ruins of the masonry and enfiladed the 
garrison. All day the Portuguese defended themselves 
with the courage of despair. In the evening a Maratha 
envoy bearing a white flag told Pereira that in the morning 
three fresh mines would be fired, the town carried and the 
Christian population put to the sword. Pereira called a 
council of war. The officers reported that the troops were 
exhausted and unfit any longer to man the walls. No 
succours could be expected from Goa ; and Pereira decided 
to make terms while this was still possible. In the hour 
of victory the Marathas showed commendable generosity. 
They allowed the garrison eight days in which to leave 
Bassein with the honours of war. British ships took them 
to Bombay where the Governor, Stephen Law, entertained 
them hospitably and furnished them with money. In 
September 1739 he sent them in native boats to Chaul, 



CONQUEST OF KONKAN. SIDIS, PORTUGUESE WARS 259 

where they arrived in time to repulse the assault of a 
Maratha army that had been besieging it for some months 
previously. But the troubles of the war-worn garrison 
were not yet over. Having saved Chaul, they set out for 
Goa. When only two hours' march from their journey's 
end, they were attacked and routed by the Savant of 
Savantvadi with the loss of two hundred of their best men. 

Directly Bassein had fallen, Holkar and Sindia hastened 
northwards to join Bajirao in his march against Nadir 
Shah, But the Persian king had already retreated and 
the Marathas were at liberty to concentrate their armies 
round Goa. Nevertheless they did not besiege that city 
with the same vigour as they had besieged Bassein. They 
entered into negotiations with the Portuguese, demanding 
in return for peace the cession of Chaul, Daman and a 
quarter of the revenues of the province of Goa. The 
mediation of the English softened their demands. They 
agreed to grant peace upon the cession of Chaul in addition 
to the conquests that they had already made. The Portu- 
guese lessened the shame of the surrender of Chaul by 
ceding it to the English, who in turn ceded it to Bajirao, 
who bestowed it on Manaji Angre. The Marathas admitted 
that in the siege of Bassein they had lost five thousand 
men. The Portuguese claimed that their enemies' losses 
amounted to twelve thousand. Their own losses did not 
exceed eight hundred. Nevertheless by the cession of 
Bassein, Chaul and the island of Salsette they paid a heavy 
price for Botelho's unworthy insult. 

One part of the story still remains to be told. Sambhaji, 
whose quarrel with Manaji had been the first cause of the 
hostility between the Portuguese and the Marathas, had 
seen his allies overthrown without lifting a finger to help 
them. When the Maratha army left the neighbourhood, 
he again attacked his brother Manaji, took Chaul, Alibag 
and laid siege to Kolaba. Manaji once more invoked 
Bajirao's help. To Manaji's relief Bajirao sent his son 
Balaji, the future Peshwa and Chimnaji Appa and induced 



260 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

the Governor of Bombay to aid in the enterprise. The 
siege of Kolaba was raised. Chaul and the other places 
taken were recovered and Sambhaji escaped with difficulty 
to his fortress of Suvarnadurg. 

The defeat of the Portuguese left the English and the 
Marathas face to face. It must be admitted that the 
conduct of the English was based on no consistent policy. 
They tried to please both sides and pleased neither. The 
Portuguese were angry with them for warning the Thana 
garrison; and Chimnaji Appa resented the help given by 
Stephen Law to the Portuguese. The Company decided to 
send two missions, one to Chimnaji Appa and one to the 
Maratha king. On 12th May 1739 Captain Gordon left 
Bombay for Shahu's court. On the same day Captain 
Inchbird went to Bassein, to remove from Chimnaji Appa's 
mind his unfavourable impressions and to induce him to 
abandon a projected expedition against Bombay. Chimnaji 
Appa received Captain Inchbird coldly and hinted that the 
Company's object in sending two missions was simply to 
create ill-feeling between him and the king. Captain 
Gordon met with better fortune. On the 13th May he 
reached Danda Rajpuri. There he was received in state 
by the Sidis. On the 14th he again started, this time 
by sea; but on the 15th he was arrested by the 
Marathas. After seeing his papers, they released him. 
A similar experience befell him on the 19th May. On the 
20th Captain Gordon began to ascend the Ghats. On the 
23rd May he reached Satara, but the king had gone 
towards Miraj. On the 25th Antajipant, the agent of the 
Pratinidhi, called on Gordon, presented him with a dress 
of honour and received in return a ring.* On the 1st June 
1739 the English envoy reached Shahu's tents. On the 
3rd June Captain Gordon called on the Pratinidhi. The 
latter asked him a few questions about Bombay and 
enquired mockingly whether it was fear of Bajirao that 
had sent him. On the 8th June the envoy succeeded in 
reaching the king. But he transacted no business. While 



CONQUEST OF KONKAN. SIDIS, PORTUGUESE WARS 261 

he was in the royal presence, a letter came from Bajirao 
to say that Nadir Shah, according to rumour, intended to 
march against the Marathas. Shahu, disgusted at the news, 
pulled off his turban and flinging it on the ground, cried 
out "I lost twenty thousand men at the siege of Bassein. 
Will Bassein give them back to me?" The rumour, how- 
ever, proved false. On the 14th June the king in open 
Darbar proclaimed that Nadir Shah through fear of the 
Marathas had fled the country. On the 19th June the 
victorious Vyankatrao returned from the siege with the 
pleasing intelligence that the Portuguese had accepted the 
king's terms. Cheered by this news, Shahu on the 25th 
June again sent for Captain Gordon and, receiving him 
far more graciously, gave him leave to go, and said on 
parting, "Tell my friend the Governor to be so kind as to 
send me eight geese, a pair of turkeys, a pair of Basra 
pigeons and any other rare birds that he may have." He 
also condescended to admire the sword of the envoy, who 
with ready courtesy begged the king to accept it. Shahu 
was so pleased at the gift, that on the 27th June, he 
for the third time required Gordon's presence and said, 
"You English are good, honest people. You have no aims 
other than trade. You never persecute any one for his 
religion. You English will be very useful to us in our 
new conquest of Bassein."* He then informed the envoy 
that he had entrusted this part of his business to Bajirao. 
He, however, wrote to the Peshwa commanding him, if 
possible, to make friends with the English. This order 
the Peshwa obeyed and granted the English peace and 
free trade f. Captain Gordon had thus attained his object 
and on the 30th June he set out for Bombay. 

* Brahmendraswami Charitia by R. B. Paiasiiis, p. 111. 
t Aitchison's Treaties, V. 14. 



CHAPTER XLIV 

SHAHU TAKES MIRAJ; THE DEATH OF BAJIRAO 
AND THE SUCCESSION OF HIS SON BALAJI 

A. D. 1739 TO 1740 

The reason why Captain Gordon did not find Shahu at 
Satara was a curious one. The successes of the king's 
generals were the pride of the Maratha nation. Never- 
theless much as they applauded the royal victories, the 
peasantry and burgesses could not help whispering to each 
other, that in Shivaji's time his battles had been won by 
his own valour and skill and not by the generalship of his 
subordinates. Shahu had abundance of courage, but he 
disliked the fatigues of a campaign. In this view he was 
encouraged by his flatterers, who repeated to him that a 
king, so great as he was, could only take the field, if 
opposed in person by the emperor of Delhi. At last, 
however, the murmurs of the commonalty reached the 
royal ears and the king decided that he would cast aside 
his faded laurels and deck himself with fresh ones. The 
town of Miraj had from Aurangzib's time held a Moghul 
garrison. It lay in the heart of the Maratha country and 
is now the capital of the Chitpavan chief of Miraj. It 
was easy for the Marathas to attack it and difficult for 
the Nizam to defend it. The king, therefore, resolved to 
take it and by this achievement convince his people that 
the burden of administration alone prevented him from 
emulating his grandfather's renown on the battlefield. 
The Miraj campaign, however, resembled a royal procession 
rather than a military expedition. The daily march rarely 
exceeded four miles* , The royal tents were almost as 

*Riyasat, vol. TI., 319 ct. seq. 



SHAHU TAKES MIRAJ ; THE DEATH OF BAJIRAO 263 

splendid as those of Aiirangzib; and indeed the state held 
and the etiquette observed were based on imperial precedent. 
The king and his high officers rode on elephant-back 
inside splendidly decorated howdahs. In front of the 
elephants went innumerable batteries of artillery. In 
front of the batteries marched picked infantry and in front 
of them chosen squadrons of Maratha horse. Behind the 
king were massed the royal musicians, who beguiled the 
tedium of the march by tunes on immense brass war-horns. 
Then came drummers on horseback, war elephants, in- 
numerable cavalry and countless regiments of infantry. 
With due pomp and circumstance the king at last reached 
Umbrej, which he made his permanent headquarters. 
Thence Shahu sent a small force into the Carnatic and 
gave himself up to the pleasures of the chase. A month 
or two later he sent the Pratinidhi to attack Udaji Chavan, 
who was plundering the neighbourhood. This task the 
Pratinidhi successfully achieved and brought Udaji Chavan 
a prisoner into the royal presence. Not until the end of 1739 
did Shahu decide to move against Miraj, He sent against it 
an army of thirty thousand men, commanded by Appajirao 
Pingle, the son of that Bahiru Pingle, whom he had dismissed 
from the office of Peshwa. Miraj fort was strong and the 
garrison resisted stoutly. At last Shahu losing i^atience 
went to Miraj in person. Having reconnoitred the position, 
he ordered the Pratinidhi to make a general assault on 
the following day. The assault was preceded by a violent 
cannonade, which made a breach in the north-eastern tower. 
The Maratha infantry, fired by the king's presence, cut 
their way through the breach and made themselves masters 
of Miraj. They lost a hundred and fifty killed and fifty 
wounded. The king followed up his success at Miraj by 
some operations against free-booters in the neighbourhood. 
Triumphant in all of them, Shahu returned to his head- 
quarters at Umbrej. There he dismissed his officers and 
went with a small retinue to Chaphal*, where at Ramdas' 

* There is a shrino of Ramdas at Thaplial as well as at I'aili- 



264 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

shrine he gave thanks for his victories. Last of all he 
returned in splendid state to his palace at Satara and 
erected gudis or maypoles throughout the city to celebrate 
his victorious campaign. His joy, however, was soon to be 
darkened by the death of his first minister, 

Bajirao had been successful in all his wars and had 
defeated in turn the armies of Delhi, of Nizam-ul-Mulk and 
of the Portuguese, He was so fortunate as to meet death 
in the very height of his glory. On the 29th July 1739 
he returned to Poona. On the 3rd September Chimnaji Appa 
came there also after his successful campaign against the 
Portuguese. Bajirao's son Balaji had been with Shahu at 
the siege of Miraj, On the 4th November he joined his 
father and uncle. On the return of Balaji, he, Bajirao's 
mother Radhabai, and Chimnaji Appa united in urging 
Bajirao to get rid of Mastani, a Musulman mistress to 
whom he was devotedly attached. Several stories are told 
how this lovely girl came into Bajirao's possession. One 
is that Chatrasal of Bandelkhand gave her as a gift to 
Bajirao. The second tale is that the Nizam gave her as a 
present to the great minister. The third story is told by 
the author of the Peshwa's bakhar. According to him 
Mastani had been the mistress of a certain Shahajat Khan, 
a Moghul officer at one time in command of an imperial 
force in Central India, Chimnaji Appa surprised Shahajat 
Khan and among other spoil took captive Mastani, The 
lovely girl would have taken poison, but Chimnaji Appa 
promised her Bajirao's protection and sent her to his 
brother. Bajirao fell deeply in love with her, but Mastani 
was as prudent as she was pretty and would not accept 
Bajirao's advances, until he had promised that any son 
born of their union would receive a fitting share in his 
father's possessions. 

A fourth and more probable account has been given 
in the Marathi Monthly " Itihas Sangraha, " According to the 
learned author*, Mastani was the daughter of Raja Chatrasal 

*Rao Bahadur Parasnis. 



SHAHU TAKES MIRAJ; THE DEATH OF BAJIRAO 265 

by a Musulman mistress. As a return for Bajirao's help 
Chatrasal gave Mastani to Bajirao. Whatever her origin, all 
the stories agree as to her wit and beauty; and the chief 
attraction in the festival held by Bajirao in honour of 
Ganpati, his family god, was the singing and dancing of 
this Indian Salome. Nor was she less daring than lovely. 
She accompanied Bajirao on many of his campaigns. On 
one occasion he so far forgot etiquette as to take her with 
him to Satara, when he went to pay his respects to the 
king, a piece of conduct which drew on him a reprimand 
royal from the indignant Shahu. As the years passed, the 
minister grew so infatuated with the beautiful dancing- 
girl, that he neglected his wife Kashibai. It was this 
infatuation which led his brother Chimnaji Appa, his 
mother Radhabai and his son Balaji to protest against his 
behaviour. He paid no heed to them. At last, early in 
November 1739, his brother and his son, fearing that his 
attentions to Mastani were undermining Bajirao's health, 
removed her by force and imprisoned her in a single room 
in the Shanwar Wada. The minister retired gloomily to 
Patas. But the beautiful and spirited courtesan would not 
resign her empire without a struggle. On the 24th 
November she escaped from prison and rejoined her lover. 
Her enemies followed her and again successfully used their 
power to separate the minister and his mistress. Weary 
of the struggle, Bajirao decided to seek on the battlefield 
that peace of mind which he could not find in his own home. 
An excellent excuse existed for a fresh campaign against 
the Nizam. In 1728 by the treaty of Mungi Shevgaon, 
the Nizam had promised to Bajirao a substantial private 
jaghir, but he had failed to keep his promise. The Nizam 
was away at Delhi, but his son Nasir Jang was in the 
Deccan and could easily have granted the jaghir, had his 
father wished it. On the 12th December 1739 Bajirao 
reviewed his troops and set out from Poona to enforce 
this part of the Mungi Shevgaon treaty. A few days later 
Chimnaji Appa joined him with a large contingent. Nasir 



266 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

Jang, hearing at Aurangabad of the invasion marched 
with forty thousand men to oppose it. The armies met on 
the banks of the Godavari and for two months an indecisive 
struggle raged up and down the river. At last Bajirao 
forced Nasir Jang to retreat to Aurangabad and take 
shelter in the fort, Nasir Jang was soon closely besieged. 
At last, he sued for peace and gave Bajirao in jaghir the 
districts of Handia and Khargon south of Indore. Bajirao 
had thus attained the object of the war. He sent Chimnaji 
Appa back to Poona. His son Balaji he sent to Kolaba, 
that he might try and settle the endless disputes of the 
Angre brothers. He himself, with the interest of a new 
proprietor, went northwards to Khargon and spent the 
winter there, inspecting his jaghir and mastering the details 
of its administration. Suddenly at Raver, as he was touring 
along the banks of the Narbada, he fell ill of fever. His 
frame exhausted by war and labour, harassed by family 
quarrels and disappointed passion, was unable to resist the 
attacks of disease. On the 25th April he passed away at 
the age of forty-two in the presence of his younger son 
Janardhanpant and his faithful and forgiving wife Kashibai. 
The news reached Balaji at Kolaba and he and Chimnaji 
Appa were present at the funeral ceremonies. With them 
went Mastani. Separated from her lover in this world, 
she passed fearlessly through the flames to greet him in 
the next. Kashibai survived her husband for many years. 
In 1746 she went on a pilgrimage to Benares, On the 
27th November 1758 she died greatly mourned and 
respected, having lived to see her son reach an eminence, 
far loftier even than that attained by Bajirao*. 

By his wife Bajirao had four legitimate sons Balaji, 
born on 8th December 1721, Ramchandra, Raghunath, born 
on the 1st August 1734 and Janardan. By Mastani he 
had one illegitimate son. Bajirao wished ardently that 
his mistress' child should be declared a Brahman. But 

* Bajirao was born in 1698. Sardesai, vol. II. Rajvade gives tlie date as 1686, 
wrongly as I think. 



SHAHU TAKES MIRA J ; THE DEATH OF BAJIRAO 267 

powerful although he was, he could not break down the 
opposition of the priesthood. Hinduism accepts no converts; 
and the son of a Musalman concubine could never be in- 
vested with the sacred thread. Bajirao was reluctantly 
forced to bring him up in his mother's faith. He became 
a Musalman and was named Shamsher Bahadur. As a 
soldier he was renowned for his ardour and courage. In 
1761 when only twenty-one years of age, he fell fighting 
bravely on the field of Panipat. He left a son Ali Bahadur, 
whom Nana Phadnavis sent to Malwa in the hope of 
checking the formidable rise of Mahadji Sindia. This Ali 
Bahadur failed to do. But he made himself master of a 
considerable tract of country and became the ancestor of 
the Nawabs of Banda, 

Judged by any standard, it can hardly be denied that 
Bajirao was a great man. His person was commanding, 
his skin fair, his features strikingly handsome. So wide- 
spread was his reputation for beauty that, according to a 
Maratha legend, the ladies of Nizam-ul-mulk asked of 
their lord as a special favour that they might at his next 
meeting with the Brahman minister, unseen themselves, 
catch a glimpse of his fine presence and classic features. 
At the same time his dress was simple and his fare was as 
meagre as that of any trooper in the field. An amusing 
story runs that once the emperor Mahomed Shah, curious 
to learn something of the appearance of the great soldier 
who was overrunning his dominions, sent his court artist 
to paint him. The artist brought back a picture of Bajirao 
on horseback in the dress of a trooper. His reins lay loose 
on his horse's neck and his lance rested on his shoulder. 
As he rode, he rubbed with both hands ears of corn which 
he ate, after removing the husks. The emperor in great 
alarm cried, "Why, the man is a fiend" and at once begged 
the Nizam to make peace with him. Bajirao lacked the 
attractive courtesy, for which the other members of his house 
were noted. His manners were overbearing. His letters 
often contained censure but never praise. Indeed he seems 



268 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

rarely to have written save to reprimand a subordinate. 
In spite of his eminent talents he was not liked by the 
king and he was detested by the Deccan nobles. He was 
feared, not loved even by his own children. 

The monument of Bajirao most familiar to Englishmen 
in Poona is the ruin of his house the Shanwar Wada or 
the Saturday Palace. Eight years after his elevation to 
the office of Peshwa he formed the design of building it. 
Two years later he put his design into execution. Two 
reasons have been handed down by legend for his choice 
of the site. One is that he saw on it a dog pursued by a 
hare and therefore assumed that the dwellers on that spot 
were invincible. The other is that his horse stumbled 
there and that from this incident he concluded that it was 
the wish of Providence that he should remain in the 
neighbourhood. A more probable reason was the favour- 
able situation of Poona watered by two rivers and sheltered 
alike by Sinhgad and Purandar. It was alive, too, with 
memories both of the great king and of Balaji Vishvanath. 
It was at Poona that Shivaji had passed his boyhood; 
and Balaji had at one time been Sarsubha of the town and 
district *. 

Close to the Muta river stood an old Musalman fort 
which had long fallen into disuse and decay. This Bajirao 
pulled down as well as two villages which stood close by 
and which the king, at his request, gave him. The first 
stone was laid on the 10th January 1730 A. D. and the 
palace was completed on the 22nd January 1732. It was 
called the Saturday Palace, because it was on a Saturday 
that the earth spirit was appeased by the burial of a living 
victim beneath the projected site; and it was on a Saturday 
also that the foundation stone was laid. The palace itself 
no longer exists as it was destroyed by fire on the 21st 
February 1828, but descriptions of it have survived. It 
cost Rs. 16,110 to build. It was six stories high and had 
four large and several smaller courtyards. The main 

*Sardesai Riyasat, vol. II., p. 25. 



SHAHU TAKES MIRAJ; THE DEATH OF BAJIRAO 269 

courtyards were known as the Granary Court, the Dancing 
Court, the Kitchen Court and the Sweetmeat Court. There 
were no less than seven great reception halls. They were 
known as (1) the Gokak hall, so called because its walls 
were hung with toys made in Gokak, (2) the Nach or 
Dancing hall, because in it the dancing girls beguiled the 
tedium of the Peshwa's leisure hours, (3) the Mirror hall, 
so named because the walls and ceiling were entirely 
covered with mirrors, (4) the Kacheri Diwankhana, or court 
of audience. It was here that the Peshwa in later years 
received his ministers and the ambassadors of other powers. 

(5) The Ivory hall because of its ivory ornamentation, 

(6) the Ganesh Diwankhana. It was here that the Peshwa 
worshipped his family God Ganpati on Ganesh Chaturthi, 
the festival of the god's birthday. (7) Narayanrao's hall. 
It did not, however, obtain this name until the murder of 
Narayanrao, many years after Bajirao's death. The main 
northern entrance with its massive walls and protecting 
bastions was not built until after Bajirao's son Balaji had 
made himself master of the kingdom. The tale runs that 
when Bajirao was about to build the northern wall, king 
Shahu sent him a polite but at the same time significant 
message. In it he begged Bajirao not to build it, for fear 
of alarming the emperor of Delhi, towards whose throne 
the new fortifications would look. That part, however, of 
the bviilding which most excites human interest is the 
Mastani gate, which led into the apartments specially built 
by Bajirao for his beautiful courtesan. 

The death of Bajirao was on the 17th December 1740 
followed by the death of his younger brother Chimnaji 
Appa. He had long been ailing and had often expressed 
the fear that he would not live to see the fall of Bassein. 
Indeed he had ordered his generals that, if he died, they 
should ram his corpse into one of their cannon and fire it 
into the hostile city. Thus in death, if not in life, Bassein 
would be his dwelling place. In spite of failing strength, 
he had never spared himself; and so long as the flag of 



270 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

Portugal waved over the Bassein ramparts, Chimnaji Appa's 
ardent spirit overcame the ills of his body. When Bassein 
fell the reaction came. On the 10th September he wrote 
to Brahmendra Swami, "Lately I have been greatly worried 
by an incessant cough. I suffer from pain all over my 
body. It is this that has kept me from writing to you for 
the last four days. With the Swami's blessing I hope to get 
well." This hope was never realised. In October 1740 he 
felt so ill that he returned to Poona. Day by day his 
cough grew worse, until on the 17th December he died in 
the thirty -fourth year of his age. He was born in 1708, 
being ten years younger than Bajirao. His first wife, 
Rakmabai, the sister of Trimbakrao Pethe died on the 
31st August 1730, shortly after giving birth to their son, 
Sadashivrao. On the 9th December 1731 he married his 
second wife Anapurnabai. By her, he had a daughter 
Bagabai, who married Gangadharnaik Onkar. Anapurnabai 
was devoted to her husband and proved her devotion by 
burning herself alive upon his body. 

The fame of Chimnaji Appa has been overshadowed by 
that of his elder brother; yet his talents were, it is probable, 
in no way inferior to those of Bajirao. On the other hand 
Chimnaji Appa's was the far more attractive personality. 
His mind was bent towards study. His manners were 
pleasing. His temper was sweet and reasonable. It often 
happened that the Deccan nobles, unwilling to approach 
the haughty first minister and to risk a sharp, discourteous 
refusal, reached their object by winning to their cause 
Chimnaji Appa, against whose persuasive pleading even 
Bajirao was rarely proof. Nay, at times the king himself 
stooped to adopt the device of his nobles. It was to 
Chimnaji Appa that Bajirao's children turned for that 
affection, which their father, led away first by his ambitions 
and afterwards by his passion for Mastani, denied them. 
While Bajirao incurred gigantic debts for the upkeep of 
his armies, Chimnaji Appa checked with strict economy 
the household expenses. It was Chimnaji Appa who saw 



SHAHU TxVKES MIRAJ ; THE DEATH OF BAJIRAO 271 

that Bajirao's sons were educated, were invested with the 
sacred thread, were united to suitable wives and taught 
the high morality and noble truths of the Hindu faith. 
While Chimnaji Appa had in abundance the humble virtues, 
he in no way lacked either physical or moral courage. It 
was he who defeated and killed Sidi Sat, and but for his 
perseverance and energy Bassein would most likely never 
have fallen. His moral courage stood a searching test 
when he dared to interfere with Bajirao's intrigue with 
Mastani, He not only rebuked his elder brother, but twice 
forced him to dismiss his beautiful mistress and return to 
the embraces of his wife and children. His early death 
was a profound calamity for the Maratha people. Had he 
lived longer, he would doubtless have controlled the 
quarrels of Raghunathrao and Sadashivrao, both of whom 
revered him as their father, and thus saved his country 
from the disaster of Panipat. His wisdom would have 
guided the counsels of Balaji, checked the ambitions of 
Holkar and Sindia and preserved his nation from those 
unhappy rivalries, which more than aught else brought 
about the downfall of Maratha independence. 

On the death of Bajirao, the Deccan party made a fresh 
effort to stop the hereditary prime ministership of the 
Bhat family. The leader of the Deccan party was now 
Raghuji Bhosle. He was not a man of great capacity, but 
he was a personal favourite of king Shahu. He was a 
bold horseman and a keen hunter. When Kanhoji Bhosle, 
the heir of Parsoji Bhosle, fell under Shahu's displeasure, 
the king conferred on Raghuji Bhosle his cousin, the post 
of Sena Sahib Subha, till then held by Kanhoji. A long 
enmity had divided the royal favourite and the first minister. 
When Bajirao had surrounded the Nizam at Bhopal, 
Raghuji Bhosle sacked Allahabad, a part of India which 
Bajirao deemed that he alone had the right to plunder. 
In return Bajirao had sent one Avaji Kavade to plunder 
Berar, the province of Raghuji Bhosle. Raghuji Bhosle 
now used all his influence with the king to prevent the 



272 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

nomination of Bajirao's son Balaji as first minister. The 
king, however, was wise enough to see that for all his 
skill as a hunter and his courage as a soldier, Raghuji 
Bhosle was unfit to be Peshwa. 

There was yet another candidate in the field, namely 
Babuji Joshi, the brother-in-law of Bajirao and the husband 
of Balaji's aunt Bhiubai. He was nothing more than a 
successful business man and money-lender. But, like 
Crassus, he fondly fancied his talents equal to any task. 
Raghuji Bhosle gave him his support, intending to use him 
as a mask for his own ambitions. 

The chief objections to Balaji's elevation Avere the vast 
debt left by his father and his own youth. Bajirao's 
liabilities amounted to fourteen and a half lakhs. These 
he had borrowed from some thirty creditors at rates 
varying from 12 to 30 per cent. The largest creditors 
were Raghunath Patwardhan, whose debt was three lakhs 
and Brahmendraswami whose debt amounted to one lakh 
and five thousand. Both of these were content to wait 
for their mone3\ ^^^t Babuji Joshi to whom Bajirao had 
owed but thirty-six thousand rupees, dunned Balaji merci- 
lessly. To Balaji's rescue went Mahadji Purandare, who 
paid Joshi in full, Balaji's youth was a no less serious 
difficulty. The king and the men round him were all in 
the evening of life. Balaji who was born on the 12th 
December 1721, was only in his nineteenth year. But in 
the East men mature early. He had been married to his 
wife Gopikabai when only eight years old and had been 
living with her for over a year. He had already dis- 
tinguished himself in the war against the Sidis and had 
been brought up under the care of the wise and valiant 
Chimnaji Appa. If he lacked the constructive genius of 
Balaji Yishwanath and the more splendid talents of his 
father Bajirao, he was yet an able, resourceful and industrious 
man. Above all, Shahu loved him like his own son. At 
the instance of the Pratinidhi, Avho disliked Raghuji Bhosle 
even more than his Chitpavan rival, king Shahu on the 



SHAHU TAKES MIRAJ; THE DEATH OF BAJIRAO 273 

25th June 1740 appointed Balaji in his father's place. As 
he did so, he gave him the following letter of instructions. 

"Your father Bajirao and your grandfather Balaji 
served me most faithfully and in my service did mighty 
deeds. I sent Bajirao to humble the Persian and restore 
the Moghal empire. But he died almost immediately after- 
wards. His ambition was to guard the Moghul empire and 
at the same time to conquer all Hindustan. You are his 
son; realise your father's ambition. Lead your horsemen 
beyond the walls of Attock ! " 

The ceremony of investiture was an imposing one. On 
its completion Shahu bade Balaji go to Poona. Raghuji 
Bhosle he sent on an expedition to the south. 

The motive of the expedition was an appeal to Shahu 
for help from Pratapsing, Raja of Tanjore. After the fall 
of Jinji the Moghuls had rapidly made themselves masters 
of south-eastern India. Zulfikar Khan's deputy, Daud 
Khan, had again made one Sadat Ullah Khan, Nawab or 
governor of the Carnatic, and it was his duty to impose 
everywhere the Moghul ascendency. This task Sadat Ullah 
Khan ably performed and at the time of Raghuji Bhosle's 
expedition the whole south-east of the peninsula was under 
Musulman suzerainty. 

Tanjore, however, had survived by making due sub- 
mission and was at this time larger than ever before. 
Shivaji's half-brother Vyankoji had died in 1687 leaving 
three sons, Shahaji, Sarfoji and Tukoji. They succeeded 
each other and between them occupied the throne from 
1687 to 1735. The youngest Tukoji left two legitimate 
sons Baba Sahib and Sahooji and a natural son Pratapsing. 
Baba Sahib succeeded but died very shortly afterwards, 
leaving no issue. After a troubled reign of a few months 
Sahooji was deposed by his half-brother Pratapsing. The 
latter, however, had recently been greatly harassed by one 
Chanda Sahib, a name famous in the early history of the 
struggles between the English and the French. Pratapsing 
now earnestly besought his kinsman Shahu to send an 

18 



274 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

army to his relief. Shahu, who had always regarded the 
house of Tanjore with the kindliest feelings, consented to 
do so; and it was in command of the army of relief that 
Shahu placed Raghuji Bhosle. 

Sadat UUah Khan was one of the best rulers of his time. 
He died in 1732. On his death his nephew Dost Ali 
succeeded him. On hearing of Raghuji Bhosle's intended 
invasion, Dost Ali at once took steps to save the Carnatic. 
He chose a strong position on the Damalcherry pass to the 
north of the river Pone. He had with him only ten 
thousand troops, but he trusted to the difficulty of the 
country and sent pressing orders to his son Safdar Ali and 
Chanda Sahib, who was his son-in-law, to hasten to his help. 
Safdar Ali, however, was engaged in a distant expedition; 
while Chanda Sahib was loth to leave Trichinopoli, which 
he had recently acquired from the widow of its hereditary 
governor by an act of gross treachery. Winning her 
affection, he swore on the Koran to marry her, if she 
admitted him and his troops into her fortress. She did 
so and was at once flung into a dungeon. Her appeal to 
Chanda Sahib's oath was met by the explanation that he 
had not really sworn on the Koran, but only on a brick 
wrapped up in cloth of gold. Such an oath was in Chanda 
Sahib's opinion not binding on him. Dost Ali was thus 
forced to meet the Maratha army with only the troops 
by him. Raghuji Bhosle had fifty thousand men, but 
even so Dost Ali might have repulsed him, had not the 
Hindu chief, who was guarding the key to the position, 
deserted to the enemy. Early on the 19th May*, 1740, the 
Marathas pressed through a gorge to the south of Dost 
All's camp and attacked him in front, flank and rear. In a 
few hours the Musulman army was totally destroyed and 
Dost Ali lay dead in the field. Hearing of the disaster, 
Chanda Sahib fortified himself in Trichinopoli. Safdar Ali 
retired to Arcot. Both entrusted their families and their 

* Colonel Malleson's History of the French in India. This chapter is largely 
based on that admirable work. 



SHAHU TAKES MIRAJ; THE DEATH OF BAJIRAO 275 

valuables to M. Dumas, the French governor of Pondicherry. 
Raghuji Bhosle, after his victory, plundered a vast stretch 
of country and moved against Arcot. Safdar Ali fled to 
Vellore, where in August 1740 he made a treaty with the 
Marathas. They were on the one hand to recognise him 
as Nawab of the Carnatic and help him to drive Chanda 
Sahib from Trichinopoli. On the other hand he was to 
pay Raghuji Bhosle ten million rupees and to reinstate all 
the Hindu princes and landowners whom he and his father 
had dispossessed since 1736 A. D. 

Raghuji Bhosle then marched on Trichinopoli. Chanda 
Sahib, who was a man of parts and energy, had spent the 
interval by strengthening its fortifications and in storing up 
large quantities of grain. So ready was he for the Maratha 
onset that Raghuji Bhosle gave up the idea of storming 
Trichinopoli, and adopted with success a trick that should 
not have deceived a man of Chanda Sahib's capacity. He 
gave out that the campaign had been a great pecuniary 
loss, and that weary of the Carnatic he would return to 
the western Deccan. He gave colour to this statement by 
retreating to Shivajaya, some eighty miles south of 
Trichinopoli. Chanda Sahib, thinking that the Marathas 
had left for good, sold his stores of grain and sent his 
brother Barra Sahib with ten thousand of his men to invade 
Madura. Directly Raghuji Bhosle heard that Chanda Sahib 
had fallen into his trap, he hastened by forced marches to 
Trichinopoli and had begun to besiege it before Chanda 
Sahib had had time to replenish his empty granaries. 
Chanda Sahib defended himself as best he could and 
ordered Barra Sahib to return. Raghuji Bhosle detached 
twenty thousand cavalry to intercept him. Barra Sahib, 
surrounded by the Maratha horse, made a fine defence 
until a cannon ball knocked him off his elephant. There- 
upon his army dispersed. His body was found on the 
battlefield and brought to Raghuji's tent. The Maratha 
leader had it clad in rich clothes and sent it to Trichinopoli, 
that Chanda Sahib might learn from it, as Hannibal had 

18* 



276 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

learnt from the head of Hasdrubal, the death of his brother 
and the downfall of his hopes. In spite of this disaster, 
Chanda Sahib defended himself bravely from the 15th 
December, 1740, to the 21st March, 1741, when, his ammu- 
nition and stores exhausted, he had no alternative but to 
surrender. Raghuji Bhosle sent him a prisoner to Satara 
fort and appointed Murarirao Ghorpade, a great nephew 
of the famous Santaji Ghorpade, to hold Trichinopoli with 
a garrison of fourteen thousand men. 

Raghuji Bhosle next advanced against Pondicherry and 
demanded the instant surrender of Chanda Sahib's family 
and jewels, an indemnity of six million rupees and a regular 
annual tribute. It will be remembered that in 1672 the 
French admiral, M. de la Haye, had established himself in 
Saint Thome, at one time a Portuguese settlement on the 
Coromandel coast. The king of Golconda, urged thereto 
by the Dutch and aided by a Dutch contingent, set out to 
retake it. The departure of the Golconda army had enabled 
Shivaji to extort two million pagodas from the king of 
Golconda*. But the latter revenged himself on the French. 
In 1674 he and the Dutch took Saint Thome; but so gallant 
had been the defence of M. Francois Martin, the French 
governor, that he and his garrison were allowed to march 
out with the honours of war. Some of the French soldiers 
were shipped back to France. Francois Martin with the 
remainder marched to a spot at the mouth of the Jinji 
river, which some years before he had, as a refuge in evil 
times, bought from Sher Khan Lodi, the Bijapur governor. 
The spot was quite open and destitute alike of comforts 
and necessaries. But Martin was a man not easily dis- 
couraged. He soon built houses and laid out gardens for 
himself and his followers. Round them grew a native town 
which the Indians called Phulcherry, or the town of flowers. 
This name the French corrupted into Pondichery and the 
English into Pondicherry, In May, 1677, Sher Khan Lodi 
was routed and captured f by Shivaji, who thereafter 

*See vol. 1 p. 238. f vol. 1. p. 255. 



SHAHU TAKES MIRAJ ; THE DEATH OF BAJIRAO 277 

appeared before the walls of Pondicherry. Martin's 
courtesy, backed by a handsome present and a promise 
never to make war on the Marathas, appeased the great 
king and he left the French alone. In 1693 the Dutch 
took Pondicherry, but at the treaty of Ryswick (September 
21st, 1697) the French recovered it and M. Martin, warned 
by previous experience, spent large sums in strengthening 
it and made it one of the most thriving towns in that part 
of India, M. Dumas was now the French governor of 
Pondicherry. He had never been deceived by the 
Marathas' feigned retreat and had warned Chanda Sahib 
against denuding Trichinopoli. At the same time both 
during their retirement and while they were besieging 
Chanda Sahib, he strained every nerve to prepare Pondicherry 
against their coming. He repaired its fortifications, col- 
lected vast quantities of stores, formed a body of twelve 
hundred French infantry and drilled five thousand Musul- 
mans, not in the somewhat careless way that the Portuguese 
had done, but with the rigorous discipline which the 
renowned generals of Louis XIV. had introduced into his 
standing armies. In doing so he made the greatest military 
discovery of the eighteenth century. He invented the 
Indian sepoy ; who, tried on a thousand battlefields against 
every enemy, has shown himself, if properly led, the equal 
of all but first class European troops. 

As Raghuji Bhosle marched against the French fortress, 
he sent in advance a haughty letter to the governor. 

"My sovereign", wrote Raghuji Bhosle, "gave you leave 
to establish yourselves at Pondicherry on condition of 
paying him an annual tribute. Believing that the French 
deserved his friendship and kept their word, he made over 
to you a considerable territory but you never kept the 
condition. The Maratha army has now come to enforce 
it. It has beaten the proud Musulmans and compelled 
them to pay tribute. I have orders to take Trichinopoli 
and Jinji and to collect our arrears from the Europeans 
in the seacoast towns. . . . You were wrong in not paying 



278 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

tribute. We treated you with favour, yet you took sides 
against us. Chanda Sahib has left in your care the 
treasure chests of Trichinopoli, his jewels, his horses, his 
elephants, his wife and his son . . . You know how we have 
treated the town of Bassein. My army is very numerous 
and it wants money for its expenses. If you do not act as 
I demand, I shall know how to draw from you money to 
pay my whole army. I rely upon your at once sending 
me upon receipt of this letter the wife and son of Chanda 
Sahib, together with his elephants, horses, jewels and 
treasure". 

M. Dumas summoned his council and read them Raghuji 
Bhosle's letter. It was better in his eyes, he said, to endure 
a siege than to dishonour themselves by handing over the 
refugees to the Marathas. The chivalrous Frenchmen 
unanimously approved their chief's opinion. Confident of 
their support, M. Dumas replied to the Marathas courteously 
but firmly*. "You tell me," he wrote, "that for fifty years 
we have owed tribute to your king. Never has the French 
nation paid tribute to any one. Indeed were I to do so, I 
should forfeit my head to my master, the king of France. 
When we were given, not by your king, but by the princes 
of this country, a piece of land on which to build a fortress 
and a town, they required but one condition, namely, that 
we should not molest the temples and the religion of 
the country people. This condition we have faithfully 
observed 

"You have asked me to make over to your horsemen 
the wife and son of Chanda Sahib and the riches she 
brought here. You are a nobleman, at once generous and 
brave, what would you think of me if I were guilty of so 
base an act ? The wife of Chanda Sahib is in Pondicherry 
under the protection of the king of France, my master; 
and every Frenchman in India woiild sooner die than hand 
her over 

* Memoire dans les archives de la compagnie des Indes quoted in original by 
Colonel Malleson. 



SHAHU TAKES MIRAJ ; THE DEATH OF BAJIRAO 279 

"Finally you threaten, if I refuse compliance, to lead 
against me your armies in person. I am making ready to 
receive you well and win your esteem, by showing you with 
what valour the bravest nation in the world can defend 
themselves against those who attack them unjustly. Above 
all I put my trust in Almighty God, before whom the 
strongest armies are as the straw which the wind blows 
away. My hope is that He will favour the justice of our 
cause. I have indeed heard what happened at Bassein, 
but Bassein was not defended by Frenchmen." 

The tone of this letter so surprised Raghuji Bhosle that 
he sent to Pondicherry an envoy, nominally to repeat the 
warnings that his letter had conveyed, but really to 
ascertain what it was upon which M. Dumas relied for a 
successful defence against such overwhelming odds. 
M. Dumas received the envoy with that exquisite politeness 
which is the national inheritance of the French people, 
shewed him his piles of stores, his ramparts bristling with 
guns, his French soldiers and his drilled sepoys. He then 
told the envoy that so long as one Frenchman still lived, 
the French flag would fly over Pondicherry. "If your 
master," added M. Dumas, "hopes to find in our town 
mines of gold or silver, tell him we have none. But it is 
rich in iron and that iron we are ready to use against all 
comers." To soften the asperity of the reply, he gave the 
envoy ten bottles of French liqueurs by way of a present 
to Raghuji Bhosle. Raghuji Bhosle passed them on to his 
wife. Although Hindus of all classes are forbidden to 
touch spirits, Marathas do not obey the prohibition with 
the same strictness as Brahmans; and the insinuating- 
Frenchman had disguised the alcoholic nature of the 
liqueurs under the insidious name of "Nantes cordials." 
Raghuji's wife tried the liqueurs, then tried and tried again. 
Nor will it surprise any one acquainted with their taste, 
that tJie more she drank, the more she liked them and 
saw with increasing dismay their rapidly approaching end. 
She implored, nay, insisted that her husband should obtain 



280 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

a further supply by making friends with the French of 
Pondicherry. Raghuji Bhosle had been greatly struck by 
the envoy's report of the dauntless bearing of Dumas and 
his soldiers. He began to open negotiations and hinted 
after much circumlocution that a further present of "Nantes 
cordials" would make for peace. Dumas sent him thirty 
more bottles. This time Raghuji Bhosle tried the liqueurs 
himself and saw how just had been his wife's appreciation. 
He at once withdrew his demands and with his army 
returned to Satara, deeply impressed by the valour of 
France's sons and won to her cause by the golden produce 
of her vineyards. 



CHAPTER XLV 

THE MARATIIAS INVADE BENGAL. AHMAD SHAH 

INVADES INDIA 

A. T). 1740 TO 1748 

The great province of Bengal had owing to its remoteness 
been hitherto saved from the Maratha armies, that had 
overwhelmed Central India and Guzarat, and had crossed 
the Jamna and threatened Delhi. From every other point 
of view except distance, Bengal invited the invader. The 
vast plains covered with ricefields, traversed by the 
mightiest rivers of Asia, watered by two monsoons and 
inhabited by a teeming, unwarlike population had often 
been the prize of war. From Bengal Sher Shah had driven 
Humayun out of India. The capture of Bengal had stabi- 
lised the throne of Akbar. Its almost inexhaustible wealth 
had furnished Aurangzib with the means of carrying on 
the endless warfare of the Deccan, It had now become, 
like the Deccan, the dominion of an independent prince. 
During the reign of Aurangzib one Murshid Kuli Khan 
became at first civil and afterwards military governor of 
Bengal. He was given the title of Jaffir Khan, but his 
name of Murshid has survived in the town of Murshidabad, 
which he founded. He was succeeded by his son-in-law 
Shujah-ud-Daulat. He was by origin a Turk and he bestowed 
his friendship on one Mirza Mahomed, who had married 
his kinswoman. Mirza Mahomed had two sons, Haji Ahmad 
and Alia Vardi Klian, the Anaverdy Khan of some old- 
fashioned histories. Both the sons were able and ambitious, 
but by far the abler was Alia Vardi Khan, who rose after 
Shujah-ud-daulat's accession to the office of first minister 
and afterwards to the governorship of Patna. On Shujali- 

18 a 



282 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

ud-daulat's death his son Sarafraz Khan succeeded; but in 
1740 A. D. Alia Vardi Khan, with the aid of his brother 
Haji Ahmad, contrived to defeat and kill him and to usurp 
the viceroy alties of Bengal, Behar and Orissa*. Alia Vardi 
Khan's worth as a commander was now to be put to a 
stricter test. Shujah-ud-daulat's son-in-law Murshid Kuli 
Khan had at first acquiesced and afterwards rebelled 
against Alia Vardi Khan's usurpation. He was forced to 
flee the country; but his diwan Mir Habib invited into 
Bengal Bhaskarpant Kolhatkar, the minister of Raghuji 
Bhosle. Bhaskarpant accepted the invitation and invaded 
Behar. He surprised Alia Vardi Khan at Burdwanf. But 
the usurper abandoned his baggage and refusing to 
surrender, stubbornly fought his way to a strong position 
on the banks of the Ganges. Bhaskarpant would then have 
retired, but Mir Habib implored him to remain and live 
on the country. He convinced Bhaskarpant of the feasi- 
bility of his scheme, by borrowing from him four thousand 
Maratha horse and with them plundering the factory of 
one Jagat Shet Alamchand, a wealthy banker, of no less 
than Rs. 300,000 §. Acting on Mir Habib's advice, Bhaskar- 
pant took Hooghly, Midnapur, Rajmahal and all the Bengal 
districts west of the Ganges except Murshidabad. Alia 
Vardi Khan, however, rose to the height of the danger. 
He sent messengers both to the emperor and to the Peshwa 
asking for help. At the same time he made a daring 
attack on Bhaskarpant's camp at Cutwa, not far from 
Plassey. Before the rains had ceased. Alia Vardi Khan 
crossed the Hooghly and the Aji. In crossing the Aji his 
bridge of boats broke and he lost six hundred men; but 
undaunted by this loss he attacked the Marathas and drove 
them from their camp. Bhaskarpant fled but doubling 
back, tried to make a stand at Midnapur. Here Alia 
Vardi Khan came up with him, defeated him and chased 

* Siyar-ul-Muta Kherin. f Scott's Deccan, vol. II., p. .313 et. 
§ Scott's Deccan. Grant Duff says that the plunder was 2 \ millions sterling. 
He does not quote his autliority. 



MARATHAS INVADE BENGAL, AHMAD SHAH, INDIA 283 

him across the frontier of Bengal. Alia Vardi Khan now 
informed the emperor that he no longer needed help and 
invited Safdar Jang of Oudh, who had come to his aid 
with a body of imperial troops, to return to his own 
province. Alia Vardi Khan, however, was not so safe as 
he fancied, for Raghuji Bhosle hastened from Berar to join 
Bhaskarpant. Hearing this, Balaji who had received Alia 
Vardi Khan's message and wished both to appear as an 
imperial general and to gratify his enmity against Raghuji 
Bhosle, marched with all haste to the help of Alia Vardi 
Khan. The latter taught by experience welcomed him 
gladly. But Balaji leaving his ally far behind, attacked 
and routed unaided Raghuji Bhosle's army. The latter 
fled to Nagpur ; but Balaji remained in Bengal, plundering 
the country with as much zeal as if it had been an enemy's 
province. As a reward for his victory over Raghuji 
Bhosle, the emperor formally appointed him governor of 
Malwa. To save the imperial feelings, the deed was made 
out in the name of Shah Mahomed's son, prince Ahmed. 
Balaji was appointed as his deputy governor. 

It was, however, idle to expect that the Maratha chiefs, 
whatever their private quarrels might be, would long 
fight each other to the profit of their Musulman enemies. 
In 1744 Raghuji Bhosle and Balaji made a secret compact 
that they should not interfere with each other in their 
future expeditions, Bengal v/as to be the preserve of 
Raghuji Bhosle, The country north of the Narbada was 
to be plundered by Balaji alone. Thereafter Balaji gave 
no further help to Alia Vardi Khan, For a time, the 
usurper resisted Raghuji Bhosle single-handed. In 1745 
Bhaskarpant, at the head of twenty thousand Maratha 
horse demanded a sum equal to that paid by Alia Vardi 
Khan to Balaji for his assistance. Alia Vardi Khan, unable 
to meet Bhaskarpant in the field, begged him to come to 
his tents and there discuss the amount of the indemnity 
and the manner of payment, Bhaskarpant, not suspecting 
treachery, accepted the invitation and moved his army 

18* a 



284 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

close to Alia Vardi Khan's camp and waited on Alia 
Vardi Khan. The latter received the trusting Brahman 
in a tent, of which the inside was surrounded by screens. 
Behind the screens were hidden a band of assassins. At the 
cry of "Cut down the infidel", the concerted signal, they 
rushed from behind the screens and murdered Bhaskarpant 
and no less than nineteen out of twenty officers with 
him. One only, Raghuji Gaikvad, escaped. At once Alia 
Vardi Khan ordered a general attack on the Maratha army. 
Taken by surprise, it had great difficulty in effecting its 
retreat under the leadership of Raghuji Gaikvad. 

The treachery of Alia Vardi Khan might have had 
greater results, but for the insurrection of one Mustapha 
Khan, to whom Alia Vardi Khan had first promised and then 
refused the government of Behar. Mustapha Khan implored 
Raghuji Bhosle again to invade Bengal. Alia Vardi Khan 
attacked Mustapha Khan vigorously and deceived Raghuji 
Bhosle by pretended negotiations. When Mustapha Khan 
had fallen in the field, Alia Vardi Khan sent Raghuji 
Bhosle the following ridiculous letter : — 

"Those who seek peace from an enemy are guided 
either by a sense of their own loss or inferiority or hopes 
of advantage; but praised be God, the heroes of the faith 
feel no dread of encountering infidels. Peace, therefore, 
depends upon this- — when the lions of Islam shall so engage 
the monsters of idolatry, that they shall swim in each 
others' blood and struggle until one party shall be over- 
powered and beg for quarter." 

Raghuji Bhosle saw that he had been fooled. Never- 
theless he did not let the letter remain unanswered. He 
wrote that while he had advanced a thousand miles to 
meet Alia Vardi Khan, that lion of Islam had not moved a 
hundred to meet him. Alia Vardi Khan was determined 
to have the last word and wrote, begging Raghuji Bhosle 
to refresh his troops during the monsoon, as during the 
cold weather he, Alia Vardi Khan, meant to wait on him 
until he had escorted him back to his own frontier. 



MARATHAS INVADE BENGAL, AHMAD SHAH, INDIA 285 

Raghuji wisely made no further reply, and by means of 
his light horse, levied the revenues of Burdwan and Orissa. 
When the rains abated Alia Vardi Khan, true to his promise, 
attacked and defeated the Maratha general near Cutwa 
(1745 A. D.). This checked the Marathas for a time; but 
in 1750 A. D. Alia Vardi Khan found it necessary to cede 
to Raghuji Bhosle the province of Orissa by way of 
settlement for the chauth of Bengal and Behar*. In this 
way the Marathas obtained in Bengal the firm footing, 
still recalled by the ditch that once protected Calcutta 
and by the word "Ditcher" a name still given to Calcutta 
steamers. 

At this point we must turn again to Northern India, 
into which a new invader had descended by the same 
passes that had admitted Nadir Shah. The latter survived 
the sack of Delhi for seven years. But the cruelties 
committed by him there, seem to have changed his character 
from a just, if stern, ruler into a cruel and loathsome 
tyrant. His last two years were so inhuman that a body 
of Persian nobles condemned to die next day, took courage 
from their despair and in the night assassinated him. 
(June 1747). On Nadir Shah's death the Afghan tribes 
recovered their independence. The hereditary chief of the 
Abdali Afghans was one Ahmad Khan. Although only 
23 years of age, his valour and capacity had won the rare 
praises of Nadir Shah. 

On the Persian King's death Ahmad Khan extended 
his influence over the neighbouring tribes and before the 
end of 1747 was formally crowned king of Kandahar. His 
coronation was hardly completed when he marched through 
the Afghan passes into India. His first goal was Peshawar, 
which stood a few weeks' siege. His second goal was 
Lahore, which surrendered after little or no resistance. 
Elated by this easy success, Ahmad Khan, like Nadir Shah, 
aspired to conquer Delhi. The emperor sent his only son, 

*This tribute was called by Ragbnji Bhosle ' Mnnd Katai ' or head cutting in 
memory of Bhaskarpant's assassination. 



286 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

Prince Ahmad, Kamar-ud-din Khan, Safdar Jang, now 
viceroy of Oudh, the Raja of Jaipur and others of his 
generals to stem the fresh tide of invasion. They reached 
the Sutlej only to learn that Ahmad Shah, as it is now 
right to call him, had outmarched them and had seized 
Sirhind with the whole of the prince's baggage. Both 
armies entrenched themselves and for some days 
their light horse engaged in constant skirmishes. At 
length a rocket magazine exploded in Ahmad Shah's camp 
and caused such a panic that the Afghan chief gave up 
his projected conquest of Delhi and declaring himself 
satisfied with the plunder of Sirhind, began to retreat the 
way he had come (March 1748)*. Prince Ahmad, while 
about to pursue Ahmad Shah, was recalled to Delhi by the 
illness of his father. Thereupon Ahmad Shah halted on 
the Indus and forced the viceroy of the Panjab to promise 
him a permanent share of the Panjab revenues. In April 
1748 Mahomed Shah died and was succeeded by his son, 
who like his Afghan neighbour assumed the title of Ahmad 
Shah. The new emperor, alarmed at the vicinity of the 
Afghan king, invited Nizam-ul-Mulk to be vazir of Delhi. 
The Nizam, however, was too old and too ill to accept the 
post, and on the 19th June 1748 he died. His death was 
followed by a series of complicated events, which greatly 
favoured the schemes and ambitions of the French. 

* Scott's Dcccan, vol. II., p. 122. Elphinstonc states that Ahmad Shah was 
defeated in a general attack on the Moghul camp, 



CHAPTER XLVI 

THE RISE OF THE FRENCH NATION 

A. D. 1741 TO 1750 

In the last seven years the power of the French had grown 

beyond all expectation. M. Dumas' defiance of a great 

and victorious Maratha army had earned him throughout 

southern India the reputation of a hero. Nizam-ul-mulk 

sent him a letter of thanks and a dress of honour. Safdar 

Ali sent him the jewelled armour of his father Dost Ali, 

three elephants and numerous other presents. The emperor 

conferred on him the title of Nawab, together with the 

command of four thousand five hundred cavalry. In 1741 

M. Dumas returned to France. He was succeeded by one 

of the greatest men whom even France, that fruitful 

mother of heroes, has ever produced. His name was 

Joseph Francois Dupleix, who had already, as governor of 

Chandernagore near Calcutta, given proofs of the most 

signal capacity. That capacity was soon to be tested to 

the uttermost. Safdar Ali, whose taxation had made him 

unpopular, was, on September 2nd 1742, murdered by his 

brother-in-law Mortiz Ali. Mortiz Ali, however, was unable 

to profit by the murder, and Nizam-ul-Mulk appointed 

Anvar-ud-din Khan, a stranger to the family of Sadat-ulla 

Khan to be the new Nawab of the Carnatic. With this 

ruler Dupleix established such friendly relations that when 

in March 1744 war was formally declared between France 

and England, he successfully applied to Anvar-ud-din Khan 

for protection against the English. Not daring to fight 

both the Nawab and the French on land, the English naval 

commander, Barnet, tried to intercept a French fleet under 



288 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

La Bourdonnais, who had sailed to Dupleix's assistance. 
After an indecisive action Barnet withdrew and La 
Bourdonnais sailed into Pondicherry. Dupleix now began 
a coimteroffensive. Li August 1746 La Bourdonnais 
sailed against Madras. The site of this town had been 
bought by the English Company from the last Hindu 
prince who had styled himself king of Vijayanagar. Madras 
had never been properly fortified and its garrison consisted 
of three hundred men, of whom only two hundred were 
fit for duty. On the 21st September it surrendered to 
La Bourdonnais. The English appealed to Anvar-ud-din 
Khan for the protection which he had previously accorded 
to the French against them. Dupleix, however, overcame 
Anvar-ud-din's scruples by promising to hand over Madras 
to him. But when the time came for keeping his promise, 
Dupleix delayed so long that Anvar-ud-din sent his eldest 
son, Maphuz Khan, with ten thousand men to enforce it. 
Dupleix ordered the governor, Depremesnil, to hold the 
town at all costs. The garrison amounted to five hundred 
French troops and five hundred of Dumas' sepoys. To 
reinforce the garrison Dupleix sent a Swiss officer named 
Paradis with two hundred and thirty Frenchmen and seven 
hundred sepoys. Maphuz Khan tried to destroy the rein- 
forcement before it reached Madras and with ten thousand 
men supported by massed batteries, waited for it on the 
banks of the Adyar. On the morning of the 4th November, 
1746, Paradis to his dismay saw this great force in front 
of him. His orders were to join the Madras garrison and 
he resolved to cut his way through. Calling on his men 
to follow him, he plunged into the river and clambered up 
the other side. The French troops fought as became their 
nation. But Dumas' sepoys to the astonishment alike of 
their commander and the enemy fought with no less 
courage. Li a moment the Nawab's guns had changed 
hands and were pouring volley after volley into Maphuz 
Khan's troops, who were crowded into St. Thome, trying 
to escape. They were all but annihilated. Those who 




RAJA SHAHU AND HIS MINISTER BALAJI BAJIRAO 
[To face page 288] 



THE RISE OF THE FRENCH NATION 289 

survived did not halt until they had reached the shelter 
of Arcot. The historian* of the French in India has justly 
claimed that this battle was one of the most decisive in the 
history of that country. Thenceforward it became manifest 
that there had arisen a new power, whose valour and tactics 
supplied abundantly their lack of 'numbers, and whose on- 
set the largest armies might contemplate with dismay. 

Dupleix having dispersed the host of the Nawab, de- 
termined to drive the English from Fort Saint David, their 
last refuge on the Coromandel Coast. But before he could 
achieve his purpose a large English squadron arrived to 
relieve it. It was now the turn of Dupleix to stand a 
siege. On the 6th September, 1747, Admiral Boscawen 
with no less than six thousand men, of whom three 
thousand seven hundred and twent}'' were Europeans, sat 
down before Pondicherry. But the genius of Dupleix 
soared even higher in adversity than in success. Undaunted 
by the fall of his best officer, Paradis, he himself took 
command of the garrison, and although without experience 
of war, he soon displayed behind the walls of Pondicherry 
the qualities of a great captain. In vain Boscawen used 
his energy and skill ; in vain the English troops attacked 
with the proud and stubborn valour of their nation. In 
vain Boscawen appealed to the neighbouring princes to 
help him destroy the stronghold of their common enemy. 
Fruitless alike were skill and experience, eloquence and 
courage. Fired by Dupleix's example, the French fought 
in a way, that even they in their long and splendid history 
have rarely equalled. Overawed by his genius, the neigh- 
bouring princes refused to the victorious English either 
support or supplies. By the 17th October Boscawen had 
lost a thousand and sixty-five of his best troops and had 
lost rather than gained ground. The winter rains had 
begun. Sickness was spreading among his men; and the 
English admiral had no alternative but to raise the siege 
and retreat f. 

* Colonel MiiUesoii. tMalleson and Ornie. 

19 



290 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

It was at this moment when the reputation of the 
French had reached the highest point, that the death of 
Nizam-ul-Mulk gave the fullest scope to the aspiring mind 
of Dupleix. Nizam-ul-Mulk left six sons, Ghaziuddin, 
Nasir Jang, Salabat Jang, Nizam Ali, Mahomed Sharif, and 
Mir Moghul. Nasir Jang was at Aurangabad. In 1741 he 
had rebelled and his angered father did not wish him to 
succeed to the crown of the Deccan. The Nizam's favourite 
was Muzaffir Jang, a daughter's son, and before his death 
the old statesman had obtained from the emperor a decree, 
appointing Muzaffir Jang as his successor. But when 
Nizam-ul-Mulk was dead, Nasir Jang defied the imperial 
mandate. Seizing his father's treasures, he won over the 
army and the leading nobles and proclaimed himself 
subhedar or viceroy of the Deccan. Muzaffir Jang went 
to Satara to invite King Shahu's assistance. There he met 
Chanda Sahib, who, ever since the fall of Trichinopoli had 
been held by the Marathas to a ransom far beyond his 
means. The prisoner and the exile made common cause 
and agreed to offer King Shahu great concessions in the 
south, if he would make Chanda Sahib Nawab of the 
Carnatic and Muzaffir Jang, vicero}' of the Deccan. Before, 
however, they made definite proposals to the Satara 
government, Chanda Sahib asked for time to consult 
Dupleix. The latter on receiving the captive's letter, wrote 
back that if the two princes would but trust to him rather 
than Shahu, he would support them and pay Chanda 
Sahib's ransom. The two princes readily consented, for 
neither desired save in the last extremity the help of 
Raghuji Bhosle. Dupleix at once paid to King Shahu 
Chanda Sahib's ransom of seven lakhs of rupees ; and while 
Chanda Sahib was returning to his home, Dupleix made 
every preparation to keep his part of the three-sided 
compact. In .July, 1749, Chanda Sahib and Muzaffir Jang 
with some thirty-six thousand men and a small French 
contingent under M. d'Auteuil met the army of Anvar-ud- 
din at the Damalcherry pass where Raghuji Bhosle had 



THE RISE OF THE FRENCH NATION 291 

defeated and killed Dost Ali, the father-in-law of Chanda 
Sahib. With magnificent bravado M. d'Auteuil offered to 
attack Anvar-ud-din with his unaided contingent. The 
delighted princes accepted his offer and the gallant French, 
less than a thousand strong, moved to attack an army of 
twenty thousand men in position. Twice the French 
commander fell back under the fire of the Nawab's guns, 
manned as they were by European adventurers. The 
second time d'Auteuil fell wounded in the thigh. On his 
fall his place was taken by a captain worthy of even such 
a governor as Dupleix. The captain's name was Charles 
Joseph Patissier, Marquis de Bussy Castelnau. He was 
born in 1718 at Bugy near Soissons. His father died when 
he was a child, leaving him a marquis' title but little else. 
But Louis XV. proclaimed that in the east a French noble 
might engage in trade without derogating from his order. 
De Bussy, as he is usually called, went first to the Isle of 
France and thence sailed with La Bourdonnais to India, 
He was now 21 years of age. His form was slight but 
with sinews of steel. He had the superb courage of the 
French noble and he was in the fulness of youthful vigour. 
He rallied his wavering lines and for the third time led 
them to the assault. Under such a leader the French 
were irresistible. Reserving their fire to the last moment, 
they shot point-blank into the enemy and dashed over the 
entrenchments. A moment later the day was theirs. 
Anvar-ud-din fell to a sepoy's bullet and his army melted 
away, leaving its guns and baggage as the spoil of the 
victors. 

The French had destroyed the host of the Nawab of 
the Carnatic, but they had still to reckon with Nasir Jang. 
He refused to recognise Chanda Sahib and furnislied 
Anvar-ud-din's son Mahomed Ali with twenty thousand 
men. TJiis force, d'Auteuil, with thirteen hundred French, 
two thousand five hundred sepoys and a thousand Indian 
cavalry, attacked on the Pawar river and dispersed without 
the loss of a single man. Inspired by this second victory, 

19* 



292 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

Dupleix dreamed of conquering not only the Carnatic, but 
the whole Deccan. His first objective was the conquest of 
Jinji. This fortress had withstood several assaults led by 
the great king in person. For eight j^ears it had defied 
Aurangzib. Since its capture by Zulfikar Khan, its forti- 
fications had been greatly strengthened by Sadat Ulla 
Khan, Nawab of the Carnatic. With two hundred and 
fifty Frenchmen, two hundred sepoj'^s and four cannon 
de Bussy set out to take the strongest fortress in southern 
India. Mahomed Ali covered its approaches with twelve 
thousand men. De Bussy at once attacked the covering 
army and drove it headlong into Jinji, where it deemed 
itself safe. But against such a commander not even the 
walls and cannon of an impregnable fortress could offer 
sure protection. The defences consisted of three great 
citadels. That night three French detachments, one of 
which was led by de Bussy, moved out to take the three 
citadels simultaneously. One by one the redoubts fell into 
their hands. Each success animated them to fresh efforts 
and as day broke on the eastern sky, de Bussy was master 
of the last defences of the fortress. In twenty-four hours 
he had beaten an army that outnumbered his own by twenty 
to one, driven it into a stronghold deemed impregnable 
and at a single assault taken by storm both stronghold 
and army. As the sun rose, the great captain looked with 
awe at the stupendous towers, that frowned below him and 
asked himself by what miracle he had achieved the im- 
possible. As he wondered, there rose above his head to 
flutter triumphant in the breeze the lily-decked banner of 
the most brilliant of nations, 

Nasir Jang now advanced in person against Jinji. His 
army numbered twenty-five thousand men, the picked 
troops of the Deccan. Dupleix sent against him three 
thousand eight hundred only. But the French were invincible. 
Nasir Jang was defeated and killed and at Fondicherry 
Muzaffir Jang proclaimed himself ruler of the Deccan and 
Dupleix Nawab of the Carnatic. Dupleix in turn resigned 



THE RISE OF THE FRENCH NATION 293 

to his ally, Chanda Sahib, the Nawabship. Not long after 
his elevation to his grandfather's throne, Muzaffir Jang 
was killed in suppressing a mutiny. The French, now the 
masters of the kingdom, set up in the dead man's place 
his uncle Salabat Jang. On June 20th, 1751, Salabat Jang, 
escorted by de Bussy and a French contingent, entered 
Aurangabad in triumph and proclaimed himself Nizam-ul- 
Mulk and autocrat of the Deccan. 



CHAPTER XLVII 

THE DEATH OF SHAHU AND THE FALL 
OF THE BHOSLES 

A. D. 1740 TO 1750 

While the French were thus laying the foundations upon 
which the English were afterwards to build up their 
eastern empire, various causes had prevented any action 
by Shahu's government. The king's last years were 
embittered by the ceaseless quarrels of his surviving wives 
Sakwarbai and Sagunabai. In the early years of his 
reign the king had kept a considerable establishment. As 
I have already mentioned, he married in the emperor's 
camp two wives Ambikabai and Savitrabai and took a 
mistress called Virubai, On his arrival in the Deccan he 
married two more wives Sakwarbai and Sagunabai. He 
also took into his zanana two dancing girls Lakshmibai 
and Sakhu. He had by Sagunabai a legitimate son 
Sambhaji who died in infancy and a daughter Gajrabai, 
who married into the Bande family. By his mistress 
Lakshmibai he had two sons Yesaji and Kusaji, to whom he 
gave the subha of Shirala in the Satara district. By Virubai 
he had a daughter Rajasbai, whom the king gave in 
marriage to one Shankarji Mahadik. The Shahu had 
always treated Virubai rather as a queen than a concubine 
and she ruled with a rod of iron over the inmates of the 
royal zanana. But Virubai died in 1740. By this time 
both Shahu's earlier wives were dead and mutual hatred 
divided the two surviving queens Sakwarbai and Sagunabai. 
The fault was undoubtedly the former's. By nature 
Sagunabai was mild and forgiving. But she revolted 



DEATH OF SHAHU AND THE FALL OF THE BHOSLES 295 

against the tyranny which the elder queen sought to impose 
on her. The court took sides for and against the two 
infuriated ladies, until at last the king had to call in the 
Peshwa to arbitrate between them*. Shahu's troubles were 
aggravated by the death of Shripatrao the Pratinidhi, his 
lifelong friend. Although the king thought fit to follow 
Bajirao's rather than Shripatrao's policy, it was the latter 
who won and kept his warm affection. Many stories 
survive of the relations between the king and his minister, 
whom his royal master familiarly addressed as Rao. One 
of them will suffice. Once during an eclipse King Shahu 
went to bathe at Mahuli, the spot where the waters of the 
Krishna and the Yenna meet. After his bath King Shahu 
wished to bestow, according to custom, a gift on some pious 
Brahman. He could see none near him. Shripatrao, who 
was at his side said with a smile "I am both pious and a 
Brahman, make me the gift." Shahu readily complied and 
bestowed on the ingenious Pratinidhi the sixty acres upon 
which now stand the village and temples of Vasti Mahuli. 
Shripatrao died on the 25th November 1746. On his body 
his faithful wife Radhabai immolated herself. To honour 
her as well as his dead friend, Shahu paid a visit to the 
brave lady and with his own hands decked her with jewels 
before the terrible ordeal. To Shrij^atrao's office Shahu 
appointed his younger brother Jagjivan; but he never 
filled in Shahu's heart the gap caused by the loss of his 
dearest friend. 

Almost at the same time as death robbed Shahu of his 
beloved companion, his favourite queen Sagunabai died. 
In July 1746 she complained of internal pains and at her 
wish the king took her to the temple of Jejuri, where he 
spent thousands of rupees in ceremonials and in charity. 
But neither royal gifts nor prayers could move the purpose 
of the gods and to the king's deep grief Sagunabai on the 
25th August 1748 passed away. The death of Sagunabai, 
no doubt calmed the jealousy of Sakwarbai; l)ut now the 

* Sec Apj>emlix A. 



296 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

question of Shahu's succession came to distract the poor 
king's few remaining days. Balaji had on his appointment 
as Peshwa pledged himself to support the claim of Sambhaji 
of Kolhapur. This policy, which would have united under 
one crown the two Bhosle kingdoms, would certainly have 
been best for the Maratha people. But in spite of their 
apparent reconciliation Shahu hated Sambhaji and never 
forgave him his alliance with the Nizam or Udaji Chawan's 
attempt to assassinate him. Sambhaji, too, had no children. 
It was, therefore, better to settle in Shahu's lifetime the 
question once for all, than to pass it on still open to his 
successor. Sagunabai's first cousin was married to Raghuji 
Bhosle and she had pressed on Shahu the adoption by 
herself of Mudhoji Bhosle, Raghuji Bhosle's son. So long- 
as Sagunabai was alive, Sakwarbai stoutly opposed the 
suggestion ; for if acted on, it would have made Sagunabai 
a more important person than herself. At the same time 
she actively fomented an intrigue to remove Balaji from 
the post of first minister. With a creature of her own in 
office, she could adopt any one she pleased and in his name 
govern, so long as life lasted, the Maratha empire. Raghuji 
Bhosle gave her his support; so, too, did the Dabhades and 
the Gaikwads. Into Shahu's ear she poured a ceaseless 
torrent of calumny against the Peshwa. She magnified 
the looseness of his private life, which Avas not blameless. 
She talked of his arrogance and ever-growing ambition. 
"With such a minister," she cried, "what power is left to 
the king? The royal troops win victories in every quarter 
of Hindustan and the Carnatic. The plunder fills the 
coffers of the Peshwa; the barren glory is the sole profit 
of his master." The king's poverty and indebtedness were 
her favourite theme. They had been caused by her own 
folly and extravagance. At the same time it was true 
that Balaji had by his careful control of the state finances 
and his own domains not only paid off his fathers's debts, 
but amassed a large fortune. "Let the king turn Balaji out 
of his office" whispered the insidious queen "and confiscate 



DEATH OF SHAHU AND THE FALL OF THE BHOSLES 297 

his property, and the royal treasuries will be filled to 
overflowing." The prospect of getting rid of his debts 
overcame Shahu's scruples and he sent Govindrao Chitnis 
to inform Balaji that he was no longer Peshwa. The 
Deccan party hoped that Balaji would rebel and that then 
they would be able to unite and overwhelm him. But 
Balaji was far too astute to play into their hands. He 
resigned his office without a murmur, confident that he 
was indispensable. Directly his resignation became known 
to the confederates, their mutual friendship vanished. No 
one was either willing to take on his own shoulders the 
vast burden of the kingdom or to let any one else do so. 
After some months of futile discord, during which all state 
business stagnated, Balaji managed to secure an interview 
with the king. In the course of it he dilated on the 
dangers of the situation and at the same time offered to 
pay out of his own pocket the royal debts. This last offer 
removed all doubts from Shahu's mind. On the 11th April 
1747 he went to Balaji's camp and restored to him the 
robes and dignities of first minister. 

Upon Sagunabai's death, Sakwarbai declared herself 
ready to adopt Mudhoji Bhosle and his adoption in the end 
was approved by all the conflicting parties. Even the 
Peshwa saw that it was impossible to win Shahu to the 
succession of Sambhaji. At Govindrao Chitnis' urgent 
request, the king formally agreed to adopt Raghuji Bhosle's 
son. At this point a wholly unexpected event brought the 
transient armistice to an end. Directly Govindrao Chitnis 
had left the royal presence, a messenger from Queen Tarabai 
asked for and obtained an interview. After the ordinary 
ceremonial courtesies had been exchanged. King Shalui 
asked the messenger why he came. To the king's surprise 
the messenger replied that he had been sent to ask the 
following question. "Why should you adopt an outsider 
when you have a descendant of Shivaji, ready to succeed 
you?" The astonished king asked the man's meaning, 
"I have no son" he said, Sambhaji has no son. Tarabai's 



298 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

son Shivaji had a baby boy and he died." The messenger 
then delivered to tlie king's wondering ears the following 
verbatim message, entrusted to him by the old queen. 
"When my son Shivaji died," had said Tarabai "his 
widow Bhavanibai was pregnant. Three months after 
her husband's death she gave birth to a son in Panhala. 
To save the boy from the jealous hatred of Rajasbai, I 
induced Bhavanibai to entrust her boy to a trustworthy 
Rajput couple. The wife had just lost her baby, but she 
still had milk in her breast and she declared herself 
willing to nurse the royal child in place of her own. The 
same night I gave the little prince so large a dose of 
opium, that he passed into a death-like sleep. At midnight 
I and Bhavanibai began to scream at the top of our voices. 
When the guard came to ask what the matter was, we told 
them that the little boy was dead. Afterwards I got 
leave from Sambhaji to bury the prince's body. As I went, 
I handed it over to the Rajput's wife. I took a piece of 
cloth and wrapped it round a loaf and two dead fowls, 
so as to make the bundle look like my grandson's corpse. 
I then buried the bundle in a hole in the ground on 
the slopes of Panhala hill. In this way I deceived the 
guards and made them think that I had buried Shivaji's 
son. * 

"In the meantime the Rajput and his wife took the baby 
to Bavade village, where with my permission they told the 
story to Bhagwantrao Ramchandraf. For five years he 
provided them with money. A rumour that the prince 
was still alive reached the ears of Rajasbai, who began a 
vigorous search for her husband's nephew. To escape 
detection the Rajput and his wife took the child into the 
Konkan, where they stayed for two years unmolested. 
Then the prince's fostermother died. The Rajput there- 
upon took the boy to Pangaon and obtained the protection 
of Daryabai Nimbalkar. She hid him in the house of a 

*Saidesai HI (unpublished) Shivaji died in 1723. 

t The son of Ramchandra Nilkanth near Barsi in Sholapur District. 



DEATH OF SHAHU AND THE FALL OF THE BHOSLES 299 

Gondhali or professional ballad-singer in the neighbouring 
town of Tnljapur. Two years later the Rajput died, but 
tlie boy stayed on at Tuljapur and is still there or some- 
where in the neighbourhood." 

The king could hardly believe his ears. He had Tarabai's 
own statement recorded in writing by Govindrao Chitnis 
and he demanded of her what witnesses she could call to 
support her incredible tale. Tarabai bade her nephew 
send for Bhagwantrao. The king sent him a message, 
commanding his instant presence at Satara. On his arrival 
the king cross-examined him closely and found that in all 
particulars he supported Tarabai. Even so the king was 
not satisfied. He bade Jagjivan, the Pratinidhi, take 
Bhagwantrao to Mahuli, where the Krishna and Yenna 
rivers join. There Jagjivan was to make Bhagwantrao 
take water from the holy Krishna in his hand and swear 
that Tarabai's tale was true. This Bhagwantrao did. The 
king at last convinced that Tarabai's grandson still lived, 
sent for Govindrao Chitnis and told him that in view of 
Tarabai's statement, there could no longer be any question 
of an adoption. The crown must on his own demise pass 
to the young prince. Tarabai had given him his grand- 
father's name Rajaram, but to distinguish him from her 
husband had inverted the two component parts of his name 
and had always called him Ramraja, the name by which he 
is known in history. Sakwarbai, who had hoped as the 
adoptive mother of a young king to enjoy a long spell of 
power, burst into a passion of rage. Denouncing Ramraja 
as an impostor, she wrote to Sambhaji of Kolhapur, begging 
him to take instant steps to save the kingdom, by adopting 
Mudhoji Bhosle and b}^ claiming on Shahu's death the 
whole kingdom of Maharashtra for himself and his adopted 
son. Nor was her action confined to correspondence. 
She won over the Pratinidhi, Avho, in spite of Bhagwantrao's 
oath, doubted his story and she ordered Yamaji Sliivdev, 
formerly in the employ of Shripatrao, and now her own 
confidential agent, to assassinate the Peshwa. The plot 



300 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

failed through Yamaji Shivdev's jealousy of Govindrao 
Chitnis, whoso aid Sakwarbai was also courting. He hired 
an assassin called Tulaji and at the last moment told him 
to kill Govindrao Chitnis and not Balaji. But Govindrao, 
who had been warned of Yamaji Shivdev's design, was 
armed and ran Tulaji through the body with his sword, 
before he could strike with his dagger. 

On the night of the 15tli December King Shahu died. 
Ever since August of that year he had been confined to 
his room and at times his wits wandered. Nevertheless on 
the whole he retained his faculties and often expressed 
himself concerned about Ramraja's succession. He knew 
that many of the Deccan nobles, especially Jagjivan the 
Pratinidhi, were raising troops for the coming struggle 
and were willing to support either Sambhaji or Sakwarbai 
as occasion offered. Unknown to Sakwarbai, he urged 
the Peshwa secretly to assemble a large force near and 
round Satara, so as to secure the crown for the young- 
prince. On the morning of the 15th December he com- 
plained of severe pains and with the sure instinct of a 
dying man knew that his end had come. He sent for 
Govindrao Chitnis, told him that after much thought and 
care he had arrived at the best decision in regard to his 
successor and bade him help the Peshwa. He next called 
to his side Balaji and bade him look after the welfare of 
the kingdom, preserve the Bhosle dynasty and continue 
the gifts of land that he had made even to the humblest 
of his followers. He then handed the Peshwa two letters, 
written as it would seem at different times. In these he 
conferred on him and his family the post of hereditary 
first minister. Having done so, he gave Balaji his blessing.* 

His earthly affairs settled, Shahu dismissed his ministers 
and with a mind composed, waited calmly for death. He 
sprinkled holy ashes over his body and took his rosary 
between his fingers. He murmured softly the names of 
Rama, Shiva, Har Har, several times and met his end as 

* See Appendix B 



DEATH OF SHAHU AND THE FALL OF THE BHOSLES 301 

became the nephew of Rajaram and the grandson of 
Shivaji.* 

The Peshwa, who had assembled round or near Satara 
an army of thirty-five thousand men, had for some weeks 
past halted between several plans. He now acted with the 
promptitude of Frederick. At dawn a body of cavalry 
galloped into Satara town, seized Jagjivan Pratinidhi and 
Yamaji Shivdev and sent them in irons to distant forts. 
Every street swarmed with the Peshwa's troops and a 
strong detachment made themselves masters of Satara fort. 
That evening Balaji called a meeting of the Council with 
the exception of the Pratinidhi and produced before them 
the papers given him by the late king. These documents 
empowered him, as he justly said, to administer the 
Maratha kingdom on behalf of Ramraja and his descendants. 
In view of these papers, Balaji declared and the Council 
agreed that Ramraja was the only possible successor to 
the late king. Indeed Balaji had already sent a body of 
troops to escort the new monarch to his capital. Having 
settled the succession, the next question discussed was the 
treatment of Sakwarbai. All agreed that she was a turbulent, 
unmanageable woman. If she were allowed her liberty, 
she would certainly denounce Ramraja as an impostor, 
and adopting a son to her dead husband, would with the 
aid of Sambhaji of Kolhapur embroil the Maratha nation 
in civil war. On the other hand, the imprisonment of 
Shahu's queen would deeply offend Maratha sentiment and 
would give Damaji Gaikvad and other Maratha leaders an 
excellent excuse for rebellion. One way out of the diffi- 
culty presented itself. It had long been the custom in 
high-born Hindu families for widows to burn themselves 
on their husband's bodies. Shivaji had with difficult}- 
restrained his mother, Jijabai, from committing sati with 
Shahaji's body. With Shivaji's body Putalabai had com- 
mitted herself to the flames. The act, too, was one of 

*The king died in the Rangmalial. The ruins of this palace are still to be 
seeu below Satara fort. 



Ofli 



02 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

great religious sanctity. It was believed to confer on the 
husband immediate release from future rebirths. The 
Council unanimously resolved that Sakwarbai, as a child- 
less widow, should be pressed to become a sati and to burn 
herself with the dead king. To hide her intrigues, she 
had publicly given out that she meant to immolate herself; 
and the Council waiting on her brother, won him over to 
the view that if she now shrank from the ordeal, she would 
stain the honour of her house. This course Tarabai also, 
who detested Sakwarbai as an obstacle to her own ambitions, 
eagerly supported*. 

Sakwarbai had been deeply depressed at the failure 
of her schemes; and when her brother urged her to commit 
sati and told her that her refusal would brand with 
cowardice the whole clan of the Shirkes, she had not 
the firmness to refuse. On the day that her husband's 
body was to be committed to the flames, she decked herself 
as became a sati in her choicest robes and jewels and 
attended by music was conveyed on an elephant down the 
steep path, that leads from Satara fort to Satara city. At 
the spot where the path meets the road to Mahuli, the 
meeting place of the Yenna and Krishna rivers, a vast 
multitude in mourning dress awaited her. When they 
recognised the widowed queen, there went up to heaven a 
great cry of " Har Har Mahadev " by way of greeting to her 
and of invocation to the god Shiva. To prevent any chance 
of rescue there stood, posted at various points along the 
road, grim ranks of veterans, whose valour had won battles 
in Guzarat and on the Narbada and whose torches had 
fired the suburbs and outskirts of the imperial city. But 
neither the memory of recent defeat nor the certain 
prospect of a cruel and lingering death could tame the 
untameable pride of this daughter of the Shirkes. Her 
eyes wandered, as if indifferent alike to the past and the 

*Chitnis Bakhar. Grant Duff is wrong in placing the entire responsibility 
of Sakwarbai's ' sati ' on the Peshwa. Whatever blame attached to him must be 
equally shared by the Council. 



DEATH OF SHAHU AND THE FALL OF THE BHOSLES 303 

future, from the mob garbed in white to the frowning- 
walls of the fortress she had left behind; and from the 
temples along the road to where the mighty hill of Jaranda 
lowered in front of her. According to popular belief, 
Jaranda is a fragment that fell from Drona mountain, as 
the monkey god Hanuman carried it to Lanka, and it 
seemed now to look down with approval on her act and to 
beckon her along the path Avhich led to her husband's pyre. 
When her elephant's stately steps had traversed the 
two miles that separate the town from the junction of the 
two rivers, Sakwarbai dismounted. In her hands she 
took Kusa grass and sesamum seed and turned towards 
the east and the north, while the Brahman priests repeated 
several times the mystic word "Om!" She then bowed to 
the god Narayan and declared that in order to enjoy with 
the dead king the felicity of heaven, to sanctify both his 
ancestors and her own and to expiate his sins, she would 
ascend his funeral pile. As witnesses to her vow, she called 
aloud on the ten Directions, the Sun, the Moon, on Air, on 
Ether, on Earth and Water, on her own soul, on Yama the 
king of Death, and on Day, Night and Twilight. On the 
pyre was erected a cabin of grass and leaves. Sakwarbai 
entered it and the corpse of Shahu was placed beside her. 
Next as if to shew that she had left behind her the petty 
quarrels of this life, she beckoned to her side the Peshwa 
Balaji. She gave into his hand her earrings of pearls and 
rubies; and blessing him, bade him rule the country well 
and make its people happy *. Last of all she took a lighted 
candle in either hand and bade her relatives apply their 
burning torches to the wood stack. On the spot where 
Sakwarbai met her death the Peshwa Balaji had a stone 
Shivlinga or sign of the god Shiva built. At one end of it 
he placed a sculptured image of Sakwarbai. Every evening 
for a hundred and fifty years the Shivlinga has been 
honoured by the homage of priests and the offerings of 
the pious ; and any evening the visitor to Satara who cares 

*Bombay Government Gazetteer for Satara. 



304 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

to leave the town and journey to the river may see the 
rites performed in memory of king Shahu and of his high- 
spirited queen. Surely for Sakwarbai death had no sting, 
nor in the blazing pyre was there any victory*. 

Greatness cannot be claimed for Shahu. Nevertheless 
we cannot withhold our admiration, when we consider 
the difference between the Maratha power as he found it 
and as he left it. When he ascended the throne, his 
kingdom was a mere strip of land round Satara fort. 
When he left it, it completely overshadowed the Moghul 
empire. If he had no great talents, he possessed sound 
common sense. He had a kindly nature and a placable 
temper. He had the wisdom to employ great men and the 
greater wisdom to give them his entire support. He was 
a keen huntsman and preferred the pleasures of the chase 
to the toils of office. But the indolence, which marred his 
reputation as a ruler, increased the love of his subjects 
for their kindl}'^ prince. Many stories are still told of his 
lavish generosity; and by his court he used often to be 
compared with Kama, the open-handed hero of the 
Mahabharataf, 

Those stories which deal with his favourite dog Khandya 
will probably prove the most interesting to English readers. 
This animal once saved the king's life by flying at a 
charging tiger. As a reward Shahu gave it a sanad, 
conferring on it a seat in his darhai\ the rank of a 
jaghirdar and maintained for it from his own private 
purse a palanquin and a complete set of palanquin bearers. 
One day he made a humorous and judicious use of Khandya's 
palanquin. A Maratha noble named Indroji Kadam held 
a high post in the Moghul army§. He got leave to 
return to his native village of Sup a in the Poona district. 

*I have described the evening ceremonies periormed over the Shivlinga in my 
book ' The tale of the Tulsi plant'. 

t The courtiers used also behind the king's back to call him Bhola Shankar 
or simjjle Shiva Shankar is another name for the god Shiva. 

§ This and the succeeding stories will be found in the Shedgaonkar Bavdekar. 



DEATH OF SHAHU AND THE FALL OF THE BHOSLES 305 

Shahu sent him word that although he was in foreign 
service, he should as a Maratha pay a formal visit at 
court. Indroji Kadam on receiving the message, determined 
to impress with his rank and importance the king and his 
courtiers. He had his horse shod with silver shoes. He 
covered his person with jewels, and with a splendid 
retinue went to visit Shahu. As he rode, his drummers 
beat their drums and his bandsmen played their flutes 
and fifes, although it was against oriental etiquette for a 
noble's band to play within the hearing of the king. Shahu 
met the situation by putting on plain white cotton clothes, 
unrelieved by a single ornament. But he loaded his dog 
Khandya with jewels and sent it in his palanquin to escort 
his visitor into the royal presence. The Maratha chiefs 
entered whole-heartedly into the jest and took off their 
ornaments also. Thus when Indroji Kadam appeared, he 
and Khandya were the only beings present who wore 
jewelry. Indroji Kadam was wise enough to accept the 
rebuke and to admit to the king that a man must be judged 
not merely by his riches but by his merits. 

When Khandya died, the king gave it the funeral to 
which a jaghirdar was entitled. He had its body cremated 
and its astld or charred bones committed to earth on the 
banks of the sacred Krishna. Over the asth'i he erected a 
monument and on the top put a red stone image of his 
dog. In the opinion of the vulgar, this tomb became a 
holy spot and for many years those who wished to come 
by the desire of their hearts, used to make vows at Khandya's 
cenotaph. Nor was it unable to protect itself from the 
usage, which the nobles of Rome dealt out to the ancient 
monuments of the eternal city. Once a Brahman, so the 
tale runs, wished to build a house at Mahuli Vasti. For 
this purpose he stole a number 'of stones from Khandya's 
monument. But every time that the building neared 
completion the walls tumbled down, until the Brahman, 
reduced to despair, prayed to heaven for divine guidance. 
As if in answer to his prayer, Khandya appeared to him 

20 



306 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

in a dream and told him that if he wished to finish the 
house, he must put back the stolen stones. The Brahman 
did as he was told and had no further mishap. The 
monument to Khandya still stands, but the sculptured image 
on the top is so weather-worn as to be unrecognisable. A 
small sculpture at the side still preserves the likeness of 
the hound. There a marvellous beast prances through the 
ages — awe-inspiring, fear-compelling, tiger-tearing. Surely 
no dog save that of Odysseus of Ithaca ever had a more 
enduring memorial. 

One day, excited by the chase, king Shahu rode ahead 
of his companions and found himself close to a small farm 
where the owner was ploughing his land. The king took 
the plough from the farmer and ploughed the field himself. 
Afterwards as a memorial of his visit, he gave the farm 
as a freehold to his host. Another day he passed through 
Sangam Mahuli and saw a naked anchorite performing 
penances by the banks of the Krishna. He told the 
anchorite to ask for alms; but all the saint would ask for 
was a piece of Kambli or old blanket. The king was so 
delighted at the anchorite's moderation, that he bestowed 
on him a neighbouring village, which happened also to bear 
the name of Kambli. 

The morning of Shahu's death, Balaji had, as he informed 
his council, sent messengers to escort Ramraja to Satara- 
During Shahu's lifetime a quantity of gold-mounted saddles 
and elephant trappings had been stored at Pangaon for the 
occasion. The Peshwa now sent there Limbaji Anant and 
Indroji Kadam with a large body of cavalry. On the way 
Daryabai Nimbalkar met them with five thousand horse. 
She asked them for a token and on seeing Tarabai's ring, 
led them to the house where the prince lived. This imposing 
array did homage to Shahu's heir and after the two leaders 
had distributed five thousand rupees among the Gondhalis 
of Tuljapur who had concealed the prince, they started 
back with Ramraja to Satara. On the 26th December the 
cavalcade reached Waduth on the banks of the Krishna 



DEATH OF SHAHU AND THE FALL OF THE EHOSLES 307 

river. There Tarabai joined them and publicly welcomed 
her grandson. The new king could not, however, enter 
Satara until such day as the astrologers had pronounced 
auspicious. After duly taking counsel together, they declared 
the fourth January a fortunate day. Until it dawned the 
prince remained on the banks of the Krishna, receiving 
and returning visits. There, too, the Peshwa's cousin 
Sadashivrao joined the royal camp. Early on the appointed 
day Ramraja set out for Satara. The whole town was gay 
with maypoles and wreaths and hanging garlands of 
flowers. The streets were red with the coloured liquid 
which the citizens sprinkled on the roadways and the 
pavements. The balconies were filled with young married 
women, waiting to shower down on the young king handfuls 
of rice and so win for him the favour of the deities. The 
town echoed to the sound of horns and the shrill singing 
of the dancing girls. Balaji met Ramraja at the outskirts 
of the city, seated him on a royal elephant and mounting 
behind him waved a horsetail over his head. Shambhusing 
seated himself on Balaji's left and did likewise. On the 
way Ramraja distributed to the temples as he passed gifts 
of money and cocoanuts. When he alighted at the palace, 
beautiful young matrons waved lamps over his head and 
then leaves of the sacred nirn tree to scare awajj- the demons 
from hindering his coronation. Entering the palace, 
Ramraja prostrated himself before the family gods of the 
Bhosles and fervently thanked them for having guarded 
his young life and raised him from a cabin to a throne. 
He then bathed, was invested by Balaji with the royal 
robes and crowned with the pomp of Shivaji. 

Ramraja was at this time twenty-seven years of age. 
But Balaji making his inexperience an excuse and relying 
on King Shahu's deed, informed the young king that he 
would himself conduct the administration with Tarabai's 
help. Ramraja offered no objection. He Avas allowed 
full freedom of movement in the town of Satara and 
received a yearly revenue of sixty-five lakhs for his 

20* 



308 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLK 

maintenance and establishment. But if the young king 
was oiven little share in the administration of his kingdom, 
he was not stinted in the matter of wives. No less than 
three brides were bestowed on him. The eldest was Tukabai 
of the Mohites of Nevas, the second Jankibai of the Mohites 
of Ving, the third Sagunabai daughter of Barhanji 

Mohite. 

The Peshwa had taken every precaution that human 
foresight could conceive. But his situation was so full of 
dangers that only consummate skill could surmount them. 
Tarabai's intrigues were a constant menace to Balaji's 
safety. Old age had not chilled her ambition; and she soon 
realised that the Peshwa meant merely to use her name 
and to retain in his own hands the full powers of the state. 
Again what attitude would Raghuji Bhosle take? Would 
he denounce Kamraja as an impostor? Would he declare 
himself independent? Would he join the Nizam in an 
attack on the Maratha kingdom? The third question which 
confronted the harassed minister was how to deal with 
the Pratinidhi. Strictly speaking, Jagjivan's rank was as 
high as his own. Jagjivan's brother Shripatrao had been 
the nearest friend of the late king. His father Parashuram 
Trimbak had been a hero of the War of Independence. 
To condemn Jagjivan to perpetual imprisonment would 
cause deep offence to the Maratha nobles and would unite 
them all against him. Faced by a Deccan party of such 
formidable strength, the Peshwa would be helpless. Lastly 
how long would Ramraja suffer his minister to manage his 
kingdom, with wives and flatterers at his ear, urging him 
continually to free himself? 

While Balaji pondered over these riddles, Raghuji 
Bhosle arrived in Satara. But years had softened his 
turbulent spirit and he soon let Balaji know that he would 
not, if confirmed in his eastern possessions, disturb the 
peace of the realm. Balaji willingly granted his demands 
and issued a sanad giving him full powers in Bengal, 
Berar and Gondwana. He added to these provinces an 



DEATH OF SHAHU AND THE PWLL OF THE BHOSLES 309 

unexpected gift. He took from the imprisoned Pratinidhi 
the jaghir in Berar, which the Nizam had bestOAved on 
Shripatrao and conferred it on Raghuji Bhosle. For form's 
sake the great noble still questioned Ramraja's origin and 
demanded that Tarabai in his presence should eat with 
her grandson. She did so ; and satisfied with this evidence, 
Raghuji declared his entire adherence to the new govern- 
ment. 

The Peshwa had hardly weathered this storm, when to 
his dismay a still fiercer one burst. In the fort of Sinhgad 
lay the ashes of Rajaram. Over them stood the noble 
temple reared by the devotion of Ramchandra Bavdekar. 
To that temple, so Tarabai suddenly announced, his sorrow- 
ing widow would repair to spend her remaining days in 
worshipping at the shrine of her beloved lord. The 
coronation and marriage ceremonies occupied January and 
February. In March Tarabai set forth on her pilgrimage 
to Sinhgad. That great stronghold was in the hands of 
the Pant Sachiv, Chimnaji the son of Naro Shankar and 
grandson of Shankar Narayan Gandekar. With courtesy and 
reverence he received the queen at Sinhgad ; but she soon 
threw off her mask of widowed devotion and successfully 
incited the Pant Sachiv to denounce the Peshwa and to 
lead his troops to free from his tutelage the young king 
of the Marathas. The Peshwa's acute mind had from the 
first seen through Tarabai's designs and he politely invited 
her to attend in Poona the weddings of his son Vishvasrao 
and of his cousin Sadashivrao. Tarabai had no intention 
of leaving Sinhgad ; but she accepted nevertheless the 
invitation and at the last moment pleaded ill-health. In 
spite of her absence the Peshwa celebrated the marriages 
with great splendour. Sadashivrao had already been 
married to an earlier wife Umabai. She had died on the 
22nd March. According to Indian custom, he took very 
shortly after her death a second wife. On the 2r)th April 
he married Parvatibai the daughter of Bhikaji Naik 
Kolhatkar of Pen. On the 2nd May Vishvasrao married 



310 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

Lakshmibai, the daughter of Sadashiv Hari Dikshit 
Patwardhan. Both these young women lived to witness 
their husbands' deaths in the awful disaster of Panipat. 

The wedding festivities over, Balaji resolved to stamp 
out, before it had time to spread, the sedition of the Pant 
Sachiv. He demanded the instant presence at Poona of 
the queen and her accomplice and warned them in menacing 
tones of the consequences of refusal. Terrified at the 
unexpected discovery of their plans, the two confederates 
reluctantly complied. In order to detach Tarabai from her 
fellow-conspirator, the Peshwa bestowed on her regal 
honours. When she reached Shivapur, she was met by 
the Peshwa's brother Raghunathrao and a little later by 
Balaji himself. On meeting her, the Peshwa presented her 
with a nazar or tribute of five thousand rupees. He then 
escorted her with royal state to the mansion of Bapuji 
Naik in Poona, Which he had specially prepared for her 
reception. The Pant Sachiv was treated with all the 
formalities due to his rank, until his arrival in Poona. 
There on the 25th June 1750 he and his son Chitkopant 
were arrested and imprisoned. On leaving Satara to 
celebrate his son's marriage, Balaji had entrusted Ramraja 
to the care of Raghuji Bhosle. With the utmost deference 
the Peshwa now wrote to the king, begging him to come to 
Poona to dispose of the case against the Pant Sachiv. As 
early as March 1750 the young king had begun to shew 
his jealousy of the minister's power. Writing to a friend 
on the 26th of that month Balaji had complained that the 
king squabbled with him over trifles and that he did not 
know how long the situation would last.* Nevertheless 
Ramraja was not insensible to the flattery contained in the 
appeal to the royal tribunal. 



*"It is now seven months," wrote Balaji, "that I have been here. In both 
places disputes arise between me and the Swami (the king) about simple matters. 
The Swami is weak, I do not know how long we shall be able to work together. 
So far by great good fortune I have kept the royal favour. " 

Sardesai (unpublished). 



DEATH OF SHAHU AND THE FALL OF THE BHOSLES 311 

The Peshwa had already decided what punishment the 
king should impose on the Pant Sachiv. The latter had, 
it seems, with Shahu's acquiescence, but without any formal 
sanad occupied the forts of Tung and Tikona and the 
country round them. The Peshwa's troops issuing from 
Poona in two columns seized simultaneously Tung, Tikona 
and Sinhgad. The first two forts were occupied without 
resistance. Sinhgad had to be stormed by the Peshwa's 
lieutenant Jivaji Ganesh Khasgiwala. Having made himself 
master of these three fortresses, the minister advised the 
king to remove Sinhgad from the Pant Sachiv's control 
and entrust it to Balaji; and in its place to issue to the 
disgraced noble formal sanads for Tung and Tikona. The 
Pant Sachiv bowed to the royal order and obtained his 
release. Tarabai, her scheme brought to nought, went 
nursing her anger to Satara fort, resolved at no matter 
what cost to avenge the defeat which she had just suffered. 

Having thus baffled the old queen, the Peshwa turned 
his attention to the Pratinidhi. At Ramraja's coronation 
Jagjivan the Pratinidhi was still in prison and to punish 
him for his adhesion to Sakwarbai, he was degraded from 
his office and his brother Bhavanrao raised to it instead. 
When Raghuji Bhosle escorted Ramraja to Poona, he 
interceded for the unlucky noble and obtained from the 
Peshwa a reluctant consent to his release. Balaji, however, 
was determined not to restore Jagjivan to the Pratinidhi- 
ship and was also resolved to render for the future the 
occupant of that office harmless. He ordered Jagjivan to 
surrender all his possessions. Jagjivan sullenly acquisced 
and sent Yamaji Shivdev to arrange for the rendition of 
Sangola* and Mangalvedhe, the chief strongholds of the 
Pratinidhi's power. Yamaji Shivdev, however, had no 
intention of handing over to the Peshwa his former 
master's lands. He decided to oppose Balaji by force of 
arms and in the end to yield to Ramraja in person. In 
this way he hoped to foment such ill-feeling as existed 

* Sangola is iu the Sholapur district. 



312 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

between the king and the minister. The plan was well con- 
ceived. Fearing some fresh plot of Tarabai, Balaji did not 
dare leave Poona. He was, therefore, forced to send the 
king to reduce the rebel. But with him he sent his own 
cousin Sadashivrao. The latter was in the flower of his 
age. His person was strikingly handsome and he had 
won a high reputation for courage in the Carnatic. At a 
later date his military mistakes caused the greatest 
calamity that ever befell the Maratha people. He now 
served the Peshwa with skill and fidelity. He drove 
Yamaji Shivdev into Sangola fort and attacked it with 
such ardour that on Dasara day, the 29th September 1750, 
Yamaji Shivdev was forced to ask for terms. Sadashivrao 
would grant none. All he would promise was that on 
Yamaji Shivdev's unconditional surrender, he would obtain 
the release of Jagjivan Pratinidhi, who had again been 
arrested on Yamaji Shivdev's revolt. The rebel had no 
alternative but to submit. Sadashivrao sent for Bhavanrao 
and got the king to confirm publicly Bhavanrao's previous 
appointment as Pratinidhi. He then advised the king to 
strip the family of Sangola and Mangalvedhe and confer 
them on Ranoji Mohite, a Maratha officer in whom Balaji 
had confidence. (October 1750.) 

The new king was thus firmly established on his throne. 
He had taught the Pant Sachiv and the Pratinidhi lessons, 
not likely to be lost on other Maratha officers; and he 
now formally appointed after the manner of his prede- 
cessors his council of state. 

(1) The first minister was Balaji to whom was 
accorded the title of Pant Pradhan. 

(2) The Pratinidhi was Bhavanrao, 

(3) The commander-in-chief ship was taken from 
Yashwantrao Dabhade, whom drunkenness and 
vice had made incapable of performing his 
duties and given to his son Trimbakrao. 

(4) The Nyayadhish was Khanderao Kashi. 

(5) The Panditrao was Dhondbhat Upadhye. 



DEATH OF SHAHU AND THE FALL OF THE BHOSLES 313 

(6) The Mantri was Ghanashyam Narayan. 

(7) The Pant Sachiv was Chimnaji Narayan. 

(8) TheAmatya wasBhagwantrao son of Ramchandra 
Nilkanth. 

(9) The Sumant was Vithalrao Anandrao. 

Besides these Tulaji Angre was appointed Sarkhel or 
admiral of the fleet and Govindrao Chitnis and Ramrao 
Jivaji were the king's private secretaries. Everything 
indeed pointed to a long and prosperous reign and Balaji 
saw with apprehension the probable revival of the kingly 
power. Suddenly and without warning these fair hopes 
vanished utterly. 

Tarabai's design had from the first been to restore the 
conditions which prevailed, when she ruled in the name of 
her idiot son Shivaji. It was with this object that she had 
demanded the sati of Sakwarbai, so that no son adopted 
by the younger queen, might stand between her and her 
unslaked ambitions. She had hoped that gratitude and 
inexperience would always keep Ramraja under her 
authority and that through him she v/ould crush the first 
minister and become in fact, if not in name, the autocrat 
of the kingdom. She saw with bitter anger the failure of her 
plot against the Peshwa and with utter disgust the rising 
prestige of the young king. There was only one way in 
which she could attain to the power for which she thirsted. 
If she could seize Ramraja's person, rally in his name the 
Maratha nobles, the Pratinidhi and Pant Sachiv against 
the Peshwa, she might still become once again the mistress 
of Maharashtra. She laid her plans with unscrupulous 
skill. Under the pretence of an intended visit to the 
shrine of Shambhu Mahadev, not far from Satara, she 
obtained admittance to the fort. As early as the loth and 
20th September she had sent letters to Sheikh Mira, who 
was still commandant, ordering him to collect an abundance 
of supplies and munitions. On her arrival, she won to her 
cause, by means of her own commanding presence and 
large gifts of money, the karkhanis and the other chief 



314 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

officers of the fort. On the 17th November the unsuspect- 
ing Ramraja came to Satara town, flushed with his successes 
at Mangalvedhe and Sangola. With him were Govindrao 
Bapuji Chitnis and Trimbak Sadashiv Purandare with a 
large force of cavalry. On the 23rd November Tarabai 
asked her grandson to visit her in the fort. When he had 
entered the palace and exchanged the usual formal courte- 
sies, she took him on one side and pressed him with 
vehemence to summon the Pratinidhi and with his help 
and that of the Deccan party, to dismiss from his office 
Balaji and with him, all his friends and satellites. Ramraja, 
who realised how insecure his throne really was and how 
dangerous such an adventure would be, demurred. The 
old queen grew very angry and let her grandson go without 
further conversation. Fortunately for the king, he had 
with him a strong guard. Their leader Bapuji Khanderao 
so grouped them round the royal palanquin, that Tarabai 
shewed her displeasure only by her angry looks. The next 
day was the feast day of Champasashthi. 

It is the custom for Deshasth Brahmans and Marathas 
to observe the Champasashthi festival every year in honour 
of the god Khandoba's victory over the demon Malla, already 
described by me in an earlier chapter*. The festival 
begins on the bright half of the Hindu month of Margshirsha. 
The images of Khandoba and Malla are cleaned and 
worshipped, while priests repeat mantras or holy sayings. 
For six days a fast is observed. On the seventh day the 
worshippers break their fast by a feast known as the 
Champasashtliiche parne. An invitation to this feast is 
regarded as an invitation from the god Khandoba himself and 
is even harder to refuse than an invitation to a Christmas 
dinner in an English family. Early in the morning Tarabai 
sent her servants with a message to the king, begging him 
to spend the holiday with his grandmother. The message 
was couched in most affectionate terms. Nevertheless 
Bapuji Khanderao, remembering the furious looks of the 

*Ohapter35. 



DEATH OF SHAHU AND THE FALL OF THE BHOSLES 315 

old queen and the fierce glances of her officers on the 
previous day, implored his master not to go. Ramraja at 
first excused himself. Tarabai's servants well drilled by 
their mistress, expressed wounded surprise at the king's 
refusal and his implied distrust. "Were the king's sus- 
picions," they asked Avith feigned mortification, "a fitting 
reward for the care which Tarabai had lavished on him in 
his childhood? Would she have saved his life as an infant, 
if she meant to kill him as a man? Would she have raised 
him to the throne, if she intended to depose him a few 
months later?" They painted with consummate skill a 
pathetic picture of the old queen surrounded by enemies 
of state and deserted on that auspicious day by the children 
of her own house. The king bewildered by their subtle 
argument was at a loss what to do. He put off his decision. 
Then giving his guards the slip, he resolved to shew his 
confidence in Tarabai by going unattended to Satara fort. 
An hour or so after the king had ridden alone up the 
bridle path that leads to the northern gate, Bapuji 
Khanderao heard of his master's act. Calling his men, he 
galloped at full speed after him. He found the gates 
closed; and the sentries warned him through the loopholes 
to return or the}^ would fire on him and his men. The 
brave soldier with his handful of guardsmen could not 
hope to storm the great fortress. He returned sadly the 
way he had come. 

In the meantime Tarabai had given the king a fond 
welcome, had feasted him and effectuallv removed from his 
heart all traces of suspicion. When it was time for him 
to go, she bade him an affectionate good-bye. Ramraja 
mounted his horse, smiling to think how idle had been his 
subordinate's fears and rode towards the gate. He found 
it shut and swarming with the queen's soldiers. He ordered 
them to let him through. They insolently replied that the 
Maharani had commanded them not to let him leave the 
fort. Tlie historian of the French Kovolution has asserted 
that if at Varennes Louis the Sixteenth had, as his ancestor 



316 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 

Henri IV would have done, drawn his sword and defied 
the frontier guards to touch the son of Saint Louis, he 
would have passed safely through to his friends across the 
border. Had Ramraja drawn his sword and commanded 
at their peril the soldiers of Tarabai to open the gates 
and let him through, probably not one among them would 
have dared lay a finger on the grandson of Rajaram and 
the lineal descendant of the great king. But just as the 
heart of the Bearnais did not beat within the breast of 
Louis, so the spirit of his great-grandfather had no place 
in the bosom of Ramraja, A childhood spent in squalid 
surroundings, a youth passed in the idleness of a vagrant's 
hut, had not trained the king for the present danger. 
Instead of forcing his way through Tarabai's guards, he 
turned his horse and rode back to the palace to ask an 
explanation of Tarabai. But instead of that malignant 
beldame, he found the house full of soldiers. He was 
disarmed, arrested and thrown into a dungeon. From his 
prison he never again emerged alive. So long as she 
lived, Tarabai kept her grandson a captive. After her 
death the Peshwa's power was so firmly seated, that none 
thought of changing what had become a practice conse- 
crated by time. For sixty-eight years Ramraja and his 
descendants remained prisoners in Satara fort. As time 
went on, the rigours of their captivity were softened. A 
throne was built on the northern bastion and on it the 
heirs of Shivaji used to sit. In their ears their servants 
would whisper that their empire extended far beyond the 
distant line of hills to the waters of the Jumna and the 
walls of Attock. But in reality their dominion ceased at 
the parapet, on which rested their indolent feet. Their 
deliverance was in the end effected by the coming of a 
foreign power. It opened the prison gates that Tarabai 
had closed and created a little principality for the faineant 
kings of Maharashtra, 

The Peshwa has been greatly blamed for having deposed 
the heir of Shivaji. With what far-sighted prudence he 



DEATH OF SHAHU AND THE FALL OF THE BHOSLES 317 

profited by the turn of events, will be told in a succeeding 
volume. But the blame surely rests on the Bhosles them- 
selves. It was the quarrels of Tarabai and Shahu that led 
to the rise of Balaji Vishvanath. It was the sedition of 
Sambhaji that created the ascendancy of Bajirao. It was 
the bickerings of Sagunabai and Sakwarbai, the monstrous 
ambition and inveterate malice of Tarabai that led to the 
sovereignty of Balaji and the fall of the house of Shivaji. 
To use the well-known phrase of Napoleon, the first minister 
did not take the crown from another's brow. He picked 
it out of the gutter, where it had fallen. But whosesoever 
the fault, the consequences were certain. With the im- 
prisonment of Ramraja the epic of the Bhosles ended. 
The Chitpavan epic had begun. 



318 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 



APPENDIX A 

RULES DRAWN UP FOR THE GUIDANCE OF THE RANIS 
BY THE PESHWA AT SHAHU'S REQUEST 

1. Neither Rani should quarrel with the other. 

2. The Raja ahould grant to each Rani similar cash allowances and lands. 

3. All jaghii-s in the occupation of the Ranis without sanads should be 
surrendered. 

4. The Ranis should not requisition supplies of money from towns of districts 
alienated to zilledars (cavalry soldiers) or mokasdars. 

.5. The Ranis should not seize lands in other persons' saranjams or jaghirs. 

6. The Ranis should not confiscate deshmukhships (village offices) or watans 
(hereditary village grants of land). 

7- Whoever gives one Rani a present of land should make a similar present 
to the other. 

8. The Ranis should not take sides in disputes arising in the capital. 

9. The Ranis should not hear suits brought by creditors against their debtors. 
10. The Ranis should not levy taxes or tolls. 

Both the Ranis have accepted these terms. This should continue for ever. 

Parasnis Papers. 



DEATH OF SHAHU AND THE FALL OF THE BHOSLES 319 



APPENDIX B 

SHAHU'S TWO LETTERS TO THE PESHWA 

To Balaji Pradhan Pandit. 

It is hereby ordered that you should command the whole forces. I gave 
orders to every one else to do this, but none was destined to hold the post. We 
ai-e ill and are afraid that we shall not recover. The government of the empire 
must be carried on. Some one of our relatives must continue the dynasty. But 
bring no one from Kolhapur. We have told everything to Chitnis. He will tell 
you our wishes. Act accordingly. Be loyal and obedient to the descendants of 
our house and maintain the court and the nobles. The Chitnis is our faithful 
servant. In consultation with him preserve our kingdom. Our descendants will 
not interfere with your office. Be prudent and wise. 



To Balaji Pandit Pradhan. 

We hereby state that we hope and believe that you will ably conduct the 
administration of this kingdom. The Chitnis, as I have already told you, is of 
proven loyalty. Our blessings rest on you! Oiu' successors will continue you in 
office. Should our successor act otherwise, we hereby bind him with a solemn 
oath and command him not to do so. Be obedient and loyal to him and protect 
our kingdom. Nothing more need be said. Be prudent and wise. 

Parasnis papers- 



320 A HISTORY OF THE MARATHA PEOPLE 



APPENDIX C 

Letters from Mahadji Purandare to Balaji and Sadashivrao. It 
throws much light on the state of the court at the close of Shahu's 
reign. (Parasnis papers.) 

To Nana (Balaji) and Bhao (Sadashivrao) Peshwa. After compliments, 
about His Highness' health, 

In the afternoon His Highness feels feverish and exhausted. His stomach 
is all covered with the juice of the marking nut (an ajtplieation to relieve pain). 
Though His Highue&s' health is so poor, the two Ranis are daily quarrelling. This 
so pains His Highness that he exclaims "It would be far better, if God would end 
my life!" His Highness neglects his health. He listens to no one. Govindrao 
and Yeshwantrao spoke about it to His Highness, but he did not answer. From 
time to time he says "What jjui-pose, does my life serve!" 

Last Wednesday Nagojirao Keshavrao was at the court. Raghorain's men put 
to death a certain debtor. His Highness heard the case and then he observed, "If 
my servants and guards had been involved and had put Appaji Raghunath to death, 
what could I have done? It is useless to coimt on my support or my power. 
The two Ranis are now supreme. I have no power to stop them from doing 
anything they want to. They have caused a quarrel between the Kasais (bangle- 
sellers) and the Parals (a caste). The grocers have all gone on strike and we 
cannot dissuade them. When the grocers leave the town perhaps the Ranis will 
give way. If we cannot gpt any grocery, the maids must cook us a dinner but we 
do not want to get mixed up in the quarrels of the two shrews. We wanted to see 
Gajrabai living happily with her husband. But the elder Rani threatens her son- 
in-law. From this her behaviour towards others maybe judged. We have become 
powerless. " These were His Highness' words. In short His Highness is powerless 
against his Ranis. Such is the state of things here. For the last three or four 
days the money-lenders are visiting the palace. "We are bankrupt" they shout, 
"We want our money." His Highness fears that if they sit dhaina* he will be at 
his wit's end. Both the Ranis keep talking about the king's debts ajid the money- 
lenders. Bad times are coming. We must wait and see how the Ranis' quarrels 
will end. 

*To sit dharna is to starve oneself until one's debt is paid. 



INDEX 



Abaji Joshi of Baramati, 181. 
Abaji Sondev, Gl. 
Abdul Rahman, 241. 
Abdulla Khan, 39 ; Governor of Allaha- 
bad, 161; at Fatehpur Sikri, 172; 

imprisoned, 173; death 17G. 
Abdur Razzak, 35 ; 39. 
Abhai Sing, 217 ; captures Baroda, 218. 
Abu Hussein, 26; abandons Haidarabad, 

28; imprisoned at Daulatabad, 40. 
Abu Khair Khan, governor of Rajgad, 80. 
Abyssinian fleet, 10. 
Adarki, 150. 
Adyar, river, 288. 
Ahmad, Prince, succeeds Mahomed 

Shah, 286. 
Ahmadabad, 178. 
Ahmad Khan, King of Kandahar, takes 

Delhi and Peshawar, 285, 286. 
Ahmadnagar, 10, 118. 
Ajit Sing, 160. 

Ajit Sing, son of Jaswant Sing, 8. 
Akalkot, 125. 
Akanna Pant, 129. 
Akbar, 8; letter to Sambhaji, 12; at 

Goa, 15; death, 33. 
Akka, 64, 128. 
Akhij, 49, 54. 
Alaknanda, river, 49. 
Alam Ali Khan, 170; defeated at Bala- 

]mr, 171; death, 172. 
Ali Bahadur, son of Shamsher Bahadur, 

267. 
Ali Mardan Khan, 84. 
Alia Vardi Khan, son of Mirza Mahomed, 

281; defeats Bhaskarpant Kolhatkar, 

282. 
Alvor, Count, 14. 
Ambaji Pandit, at Bijapur, 24, 
AmbajiPurandare, 149, 157 ; imprisoned, 

152. 
Ambargaon, 252. 
Ambavadi, 144. 
Ambikabai, 78; daughter of Shivaji, 44; 

death, 105. 
Amir Khan, 223. 
Amritrao Kadam Bande, 124. 



Anaji, 113. 

Anapurnabai, wife of Chimnaji Appa, 

270. 
Anaverdy Khan, 281. 
Angarwadi, 154. 
Anjango, 204. 
Anjur, 251. 

Annaji Dattu, 3; death, 9. 
Antaji, 181. 
Antaji Raghunath, 251. 
Antaji Trimal, 151. 
Anubai, 181. 
Anvar-ud-din Khan, Nawab of the 

Camatic, 287. 
Anvar-ud-din Khan, attacked by 

d'Auteiul, 290; death, 291. 
Anwar Khsm, 170. 

Appajirao Pingle, sou of Bahiru Pingle, 
263. 

Arcot, 275, 289. 

Amala, fort, 252. 

AsadKhan, 46, 84, 161; seeks peace, 91. 

Asirgad, 252, falls to Nizam-ul-Mulk, 
170. 

Atole, 79. 

Attoek, 63. 

Aundh, 81. 

Aurangabad, Salabat Jang at, 293. 

Aurangzib, 1 ; goes to Deccan, 7; sous, 18; 
daughters, 19; Sikandar Adil Shah's 
letter, 32; marches on Golconda, 35; 
at Tulapur, 56, 67; captures Shivaji 
and Yesubai; Raygad and Panhala, 69; 
advised to cease war, 91; at Brahma- 
puri, 96; captures Vasantgad, 98; at 
Satara, 99; Satara surrenders to, 101; 
at Wardhangad, 108; at Sinhgad, 109; 
breaks negotiations with Marathas, 
112; leaves the Deccan, 113; at 
Ahmadnagar, 118; death, 119. 

Avaji, son of Balaji Avaji, 2. 

Avaji Kavade, 271. 

Azam Shah, 17, 37, 99; invades Raj- 
putana, 8; Governor of Ujjain, 108; 
Goveraor of Central India, 120; 
death, 122. 

Azim Tara, Satara re-named, 102. 
Azimushan, 212; death, 159. 



21 



322 



INDEX 



S 



Babaji Bhosle, 77. 

Babuji Joshi, 272. 

Bagabai, daughter of Chimnaji Appa, 270. 

Baglan, 97. 

Baglan forest, 16P>. 

Bahadurpur, 7, 

Bahadur Shah, emperor, 122. 

Bahadur Shah, King of Guzarat, 244. 

Bahirji Ingle, 2. 

Bahiro Pingle, defeated by Kanhoji 
Angre, 155- 

Bajirao, 181, 191; first minister 183; 
defeats Nizam-ul-MnIk, 189, 232; 
defeats Trimbakrao Dabhade, 193; 
Treaty with Nizam, 212; defeats 
Mahomed Bangash 216; attacks Muz- 
affir Khan, 220; plunders Delhi, 
223; letter to Chimnaji Appa, 226; 
Nadir Shah's letter to, 236; retakes 
Raygad, 242; defeats Sambhaji Angre, 
249; at Poona, 252, 264; death of, 
266; sons, 266; monument of 268. 

Balaji, son of Bajirao 259; appointed 
Peshwa, 273; defeats Raghuji Bhosle, 
283; removed from office and rein- 
stated 297; plot against his life, 299; 
seizes Satara, 301 ; Pant Pradhan, 312. 

Balaji Avaji, 2, 61. 

Balaji Avaji Chitnis, 9. 

Balaji Mahadev, 147. 

Balaji Naik, 181. 

Balaji Vishvanath, attacked by Chandra- 
sen Jadhav, 149; raises army, 150; 
impiisoned by Damaji Thorat, 152, 
defeats Krishnarao of Khatao. 153; 
meets Kanhoji Angre at Lonavla, 
155; defeats Damaji Thorat, 157; 
returns to Satara, 169; death, 179; 
family, 181. 

Balaji Vishvanalli Bhat, 145; escapes 
from the Sidis, 146. 

Balapur, 171. 

Bandra, 251; attacked by^Marathas, 253. 

Bangalore, fall of, 45; Rajaram at, 73. 

Bankaji Naik, 242. 

Bapuj! Khanderao, 314. 

Bardes, 19. 

Bard wan, 282. 

Barnet, English naval commantler, 287. 

Baroda, captured by Abhai Sing, 218. 

Barra Sahib, invades Madura, 275. 

Bassein, 240; Marathas capture, 258. 

Bednur, 73. 



Behar, invaded 282. 

Belapur, 251. 

Belgaum, 18. 

Bendal, English commander, 33, 

Bengal, 281. 

Berar, Rajaram at, 97. 

Berlew, captain, 205. 

Bhagwantrao Ramchandra, 196, 298. 

Bhagwantrao the Amatya, 313. 

Bbalei'ai, spear rule, 77. 

Bhaskarpant Kolhatkar, invades Behar, 

282; death 284. 
Bhat Peshwas, origin of, 147. 
Bhausingrao Toke, 193. 
Bhavani, 63. 
Bhavanrao, brother of Jagjivan, 311; 

Pratinidhi, 312. 
Bhav Phond, 141. 

Bhawanibai, wife of Shivaji, 100, 298. 
Bhid, 103. 
Bhima river, 50, 90. 
Bhivaji Gujai', 154. 
Bhojraj, 185. 
Bhopal, 231. 
Bhosle, house of, 2. 
Bhrigu, or Brigu, 24. 
Bhrigulanchan, legend, 25. 
Bhuibai, 181; wife of Babuji Joshi, 272. 
Bijapur, 1. 
Bijapui", 47; surrenders, 30; recaptured 

by Moghuls, 48. 
Birwadi, river, 43. 
Bombay, ceded to Portuguese, 245. 
Bom Gesu, 16. 
Boone, Mr, Charles, 205. 
Boscawen, Admiral, 289. 
Botelho, Luis, 250. 
Bourchier, Mr., 202. 
Brahmapuri, 96; renamed Islampuri, 98. 
Brahmendraswami, 237; quarrels with 

Sat Sidi, 238; retires to Dhavadshi, 

240. 
Broach, Maratha cavalry at, 24. 
Bundelkhand, occupied by Mahomed 

Khan Bangash, 215. 
Burhanpur, 124, 189; falls to Nizam- 

ul-Mulk, 180. 



Cambay, plains of, 179. 

Canjeveram, 46. 

Camatic, 45; Dupleix, Nawab of, 292. 

Caveripak, 83. 

Central Provinces, 79, 



INDEX 



323 



Chabilaram, 212. 

Chakan, 23; taken by Dhanaji Jadav, 

I-.' 2. 
Chainbhar Tckadi, 99. 
Champasashthi, feast of, 314. 
Chanda Sahib, 274; siinenders to Ma- 

rathas, 27G; liberated by Siiahu, 290; 

Nawab of the Carnaiic, 293. 
Chandan Wandan, 108; surrenders to 

Shahu, 126; Shahu at, 131. 
Chandrasen Jadhav, 145, 148, 170, 187; 

attacks Balaji Vishvanath, 149: de- 
feated at Adarki, 150- 
Chaphal, 263. 
Chapora, 16. 

Chatrasal, Raja, 215, 225; death 217. 
Chaul, 14, 245; ceded to Marathas, 259. 
Child, Sir John, 202. 
Chimnaji Appa, 181, 183, 190, 213, 

259; wife and son, 191; death, 269; 

imprisoned at Poona, 310; released, 

311. 
Chimnaji Damodar, joins Shahu, 124. 
Chimnaji Narayan, Pant Sachiv, 313. 
Chinchu, 252. 

Chin Kulich Khan, 160, 166. 
Chiplun, 242. 
Chitnis, family, 12. 
Chown, Mr., 204. 
Cockburu, Captain, 208. 
Colar, 45. 

Collet, Captain, 205. 
Coromandel Coast, 289- 
Cowan, Robert, 247. 
Cuddalore, 203. 
Cuddapa, 46. 
Cumbarim, 15. 
Cunho, Nunode, 245. 
Cutwa, 282. 



Dabhade, 96. 

Dabhai, battle of, 192. 

Dadaji Raghunath, 11. 

da Gama, John Saldanha, 247. 

Dahanu, 252. 

Dakore, 218. 

Damaji Gaikvad, 192, 220, 241. 

Damaji Thorat, 143, 152; defeats Naro 

Shankar, 156. 
Damalcherry pass, 274, 290. 
Danda Rajjturi, 1 46. 
Daryabai Nimbalkar, 298, 306. 
da Silveira, Martinho, 255; death, 257. 



Daud Khan, 87, 123, 162; enters 

Jinji, 89. 
Daudkhanis, 41. 
Daulatabad, 40, 60, 147. 
d'Auteuil, M-, attacks Anvar-ud-din, 

290; defeats Mahomed Ali, 291. 
Daya Bahadur, 214. 
Dayaram, 212. 
de Bussy Castelnau, Marquis, 291; 

captures Jinji, 292. 
de Castro, Manuel, 206; court mar- 

tialled, 207. 
Dcccan, Muzaffir Jang, Nawab of, 292. 
Deccan Party, 182. 
de Ceatano, Luis, 256. 
de la Haye M., admiral, 276. 
Delhi, Mahomed Shah crowned at, 168; 

Bajirao at, 223; plundered by Nadir 

Shah, 234; captured by Ahmad Shah, 

285. 
de Mello, Pedre, 254; death, 255. 
Depremesnil, governor of Madra=, 288. 
de Tavora, Francesco, viceroy, 13. 
Dhanaji Jadav, 60, 111, 147: command- 
ing Marathas, 67; leaves Phaltan, 69; 

leaves Vishalgad, 72; plans murdei 

of Santaji Ghorpade, 91; defeats 

Lodi Khan, 122; joins Shahu, 126; 

Shahu's commander-in-chief, 128; 

death, 145. 
Dhar, 213. 
Dharavi, 251. 
Dhodsa, 8. 

Dhondbhat Upadhye, Panditrao, 312. 
Dilavar Khan, 170; defeated by Nizam- 

ul-Mulk, 171. 
Diler Khan, 23. 
Din, 245. 
Diwan-i-Aam, 41. 
Diwan-i-Khas, 41. 
Dohad, 176. 
Dost Ali, 274; father-in-law of Chanda 

Sahib, 291. 
Dudheri, fort, 86. 
Dumas, M., refuses Raghuji's terms, 278; 

returns to France, 287- 
Dupleix, Joseph Franf'ois, 287; defends 

Pondicherry, 289; nawab of the 

Carnatic, 292. 
Dutch attacked Viziadurg, 210. 



E 



East India Company, 202. 



324 



INDEX 



English, in Surat, 9; attack Kanhoji 
Angre, 205; attack Khanderi, 206; 
attack Kolaba, 210; aid Sidis, 243; 
support Manaji, 260; obtain peace with 
Maiathas, 261; attack Pondicheny, 
289, 

English pirates, 208. 

Ewcaz Khan, 188. 



Farakhsir, 161; death, 167. 

Fateh Jang, 55. 

Fatehpur Sikri, 13, 172. 

Fatehsing Bhosle, 182, 241; adopted 

by Shsdiu, 125; defeated by Nizam- 

ul-Mulk, 187. 
Fateh Ulla Khan, 109. 
Firoz Jang, 26 ; night attack on Golconda, 

37; advances against Santaji Ghorpade 

92. 
Fletcher, Captain, 203. 
Froes, Antonio Cardim, 253. 



6 



Gadadhar Pralhad, 128. 

Gaikvad, origin, 177. 

Gajendra, legend, 215. 

Gajendragad, 45. 

Gajrabai, daughter of Shahu, 294. 

Gangadhar Rangnath, 58- 

Gangadharnaik Onkar, 270. 

Ganges, legend of the, 164. 

Ganoji Shirke, 88. 

Ganpati, Bajirao's family god, 269. 

George I, King, 208. 

Ghalmota, 67. 

Ghanashyam Narayan, Mantri, 313. 

Ghanashyam Narayan Shenvi, 147. 

Gharapuri, 251. 

Ghatge of Ragal, 71. 

Ghaus Khan, 170. 

Ghazi-ud-din, 231, 

Ghaziuddin, son of Nizam-ul-Mulk, 290. 

Ghorbandar, fort, 251. 

Gifford, Mr. 204., 

Girgoji Jadhav, 151. 

Giridhar, Raja, 185, 212; death, 214. 

Golconda, 1, 34, 35, 46; entered by 

Moghuls, 39; i-ecaptured by Moghuls 

48. 



Goa, 13; siege raised, 17; Marathas 

besiege, 259. 
Godavari valley, 97. 
Gooti, 76. 
Gondwana, 123- 

Gopikabai, wife of Dhanaji Jadhav, 148. 
Gopikabai, wife of Balaji, 272. 
Gordon, Captain, mission to Shahu, 260. 
Govind Ballal Kher, 225. 
Govindpant Bandela, 225. 
Govindrao Bapaji Chitnis, 314. 
Govindrao Chitnis, 149, 313; peshwa, 

297; kills Tulaji, 300. 
Grantham, Sir Thomas, 203. 
Gidbarga, 34. 
Guzarat, 123, 173. 



H 



Haibatrao Nimbalkai", 125 148; governor 
of Godavari, 97; defeats Chandrasen, 
150; [188. 

Haidarabad, 28; Nizam's headquarters, 

Haidar Kuli Khan, 173. 

Haji Ahmad, son of Mirza Mahomed, 281. 

Haji Fazil, 33. 

HaJdane, Captain, 243. 

Hambirrao Mohite, 20, 43, 63; at Patdi, 
22; death, 48. 

Hamid Khan, 176; defeated, 178. 

Hamid-ud-din Khan, 17. 

Hanmante, 128- 

Hanmantes, genealogical tree, 90. 

Harihar, 146. 

Hari Mahadev, 147. 

Haiji Mahadik, 44, 72. 

Harji Raje Mahadik, 01. 

Hasanpur, 7. 

Himat Khan, 86. 

Hingangaon, 152. 

Hiroji Farzand, 2; death, 9. 

Hooghly, 282. 

Home, John, governor of Bombay, 252. 

Hubli, 203. 

Humayun, 122, 245. 

Hunhu, 215. 

Hussein Ali Khan, 10, 98; governor of 
Behar, 161; defeats Daud Khan, 162; 
death, 172. 

Huuhu, 215. 



Ibrahim Khan^ 35; ileaerts to Khan 
Jehan, 28. 



INDEX 



325 



Iklas Khan, 50, 

Inehbircl, Captain, 260. 

Indradyumna, legend, 215. 

Indroji Kadam, 304; at Pangaon, 306. 

Indryani, river, 56. 

Ismail Khan, 83. 

Itikad Khan, 166, 171; at Raygad, 67- 



.lagat Shet Alamchand, 282. 

.lagjivan, pratinidhi, 295. 

.lahanara, 70. 

.lai Sing, raja of Jaiiiur, 1<57. 

Jaju, 122. 

Jalna, 98, 189. 

Jamdatal JIulk, 82. 

Janardhan, son of Bajirao, 266. 

.Tanardhan Hanmante, appointed finance 

minister, 75. 
Janardanpant Hanmante, 43; brother 

of Raghunath Hanmante, 2; captured 

3. 
.lanjira, 9, 240; Sambhaji at, 10; Dadaji 

Raghunath at, 11, 
.Tankibai, Ramiaja's wife, 308. 
.Jannisar Khan, deserts to Hussein All 

Khan, 105. 
.Tanoji Vishvanath Bhat, death, 146- 
.laswant Sing, Raja, 7- 
.Tawaji Dabhade, death, 193. 
.fehandar Shah, defeated by Farukhsir, 

161. 
Jejuri, 68, 205; Shahu at, 156. 
Jetpur, 216. 
Jijabai, 00; Sambhaji's wife, 195; pri- 

sonei-, 196. 
Jinji, capital of the Marathas, 74; 

besieged by Zulfikar Khan, 79; 

armistice, 85; surrenders, 89; falls to 

the French, 292. 
Jivaji Ganesh Khasgivala, 311. 
Jivaji Raje Bhosle, 105. 
.riwai, 185. 
Jodhpur, invaded by Damaji Gaikvad, 

220. 
.Johnson, Sir Robert, 208. 
Jyotaji Kesarkar, 123. 



K 



Kaim Khan, 216. 

Kalasha, 42; Sambhaji's chief executive 

officer, 20 ■ captured, 51; brought to 

Akluj, 54; death, 57. 



Kalpi, 217. 

Kalyan, 154. 

Kamar-ud-din Khan, 286. 

Kam Baksh, 34, 82, 111; imprisoned 

in Bhindwasni, 85; death, 122. 
Kanakgiri, 00. 
Kanhoji Angre, 94, 140, 154, 203; 

admiral, 142; defeats Bahiro Pingle, 

155; attacks English ship, 204; sons 

of, 248. 
Kanhoji Bhadwalkar, commandant of 

Raygad, 2; arrested, 3. 
Kantaji Kadam Bande, 170, 180, 190, 

192. 
Kapadwanj, 176. 
Kapshi, 45. 
Karanja, 99, 251. 
Karbela, 39. 
Karhad, Shahu and Sambhaji meet 

at, 197. 
Kashibai, Bajirao's wife, 265; death, 206. 
Kasim Khan, 85; death, 86. 
Keigwin, Caj^tain, 202. 
Kelve, 251. 

Keshav Pandit Adhyaksh, 58. 
Keshav Pingle, 45; captures Santaji, 47. 
Khan Dauran, 214, 221; death, 233. 
Khanderao Dabhade, 00, 97, 110, 148, 

170; leaves Yishalgad, 72; defeats 

Zulfikar Beg, 163; family, 179; 

retires to Talegaon, 181; death, 182. 
Khanderao Kashi Nyayadhish, 312. 
Khanderi, 154, 203; Engli.sh attack, 

200. 
Khandesh, 17, 79; Sambhaji attacks, 0; 

Rajaram at, 97; falls to Nizam-ul- 

Mulk, 170. 
Khandoba, legend of, 157. 
Khando Ballal Chitnis, 00, 87; leaves 

Vishalgad, 72, plans escape from 

Bangalore, 73. 
Khandoji Gujar, 71. 
Khandya, Shahu's dog, 304. 
Khan Jaman, 55. 
Khan .Tehan, 6; sent against Abu 

Hussein, 27. 
Khawaspur, 108. 
Khed, 126. 
Khem Savant, 141. 
Khosal, 100. 
Kinhai, 81. 
Kokar Khan, 83. 
Kokarmanda, 124. 
Kolaba, 154; English attack, 209; 

attack repulsed, 210. 



326 



INDEX 



Kolhapur, 2 ; capital of the Marathas, 141. 

Kondaji Farzand, 10. 

Konkan, 49. 

Kotha, Haja of, 231. 

Kothla, fort, 249. 

Krishnarao of Khatao, 142; defeated 

by Balaji, 153. 
Krishna] i, legend, 81. 
Krishnaji Bhaskar Pandit, at Vihhalgad, 

95. 
Krishnaji Dada Deshpande, letter from 

Sambhaji, (3(5 
Krishna valley, 48 
Kulich Khan, 30. 
Kiisaji, 294- 
Kuth Shahi, 26. 
Kutiib Minar, 223, 



La Boiirdonnais, 288. 

Lakhaji Jadav, 60. 

Lakkam Savant, 141. 

Lakshmibai, 294; wife of Vishvasrao, 

310. 
Lai Koor, 160. 

Law, Stephen, assists Portuguese, 257. 
Limbaji Anant, 306. 
Lodi Khan, 122, 
Lohgad, 154. 

Lokhande, headman of Parad, 125. 
Loyala, Ignatius, 16 



M 



Madanna Pant, 29; minister of Golconda, 

24. 
Madansing, 122- 
Madhavrao, 81. 

Madras, surrenders to the French, 288. 
Madura, 275. 
Mahableshwar, 48. 
Mahad, 11. 
Mahadji, 220. 

Mahadji Gadadhar, foreign minister, 76. 
Mahadji Pansambal, 76. 
Mahadji Purandare, pays Balaji's debts, 

272. 
Maharashtra, 1; social customs in, 131. 
Mahi, river, 178. 
Mahim, 245, 252; Marathas capture, 

256. 
Mahomed Aii, son of Anvar-ud-din, 291. 
Mahomed Amir Khan, 172. 
^lahomcd Azini, 36. 



Mahomed Beg Khan, 110- 

Mahomed Khan Bangash, 214; defeated 
by Bajii'ao, 216. 

Mahomed Murad, 166. 

Mahomed Shah, 169; crowned at Delhi, 
108; death, 286. 

Mahomed Sharif, son of Nizam-ul-Mulk, 
290. 

Mahomed Sidik. 47. 

Maine, Captain, 208. 

Malad, 251. 

Malegaon, 14n. 

Malharrao Holkar, 185, 213; defeats 
Daya Bahadur, 214; defeated by 
Sadat Khan, 222. 

Malik Tokan, 245. 

Malkapur, 105. 

Maloji Pawar, 193- 

Mai Savant, IJ- 

Malwa, 185. 

Mai wan, 131- 

Manaji Angre, 242; attacked by Sam- 
bhaji, 259. 

Mangalvedhe, 311 

Mankoji Suryavanshi, 154. 

Manora, 252. 

Man, river, 108. 

Mansing More, 148; joins Shahu, 125. 

Manucci, 15. 

Maphuz Khan, defeated by Paradis, 288. 

Marathas, leaders at Raygad, 59; raise 
siege of .Jinji, 83; army at Godaveri 
Valley, 97; retake Satara and Parali, 
114; attack Portuguese, 252; attack 
Bandra, 254; repulse Portuguese 
attack, 255; capture Mahina, 256; 
capture Bassein, 258; besiege Goa, 
259; peace with English, 261; treaty 
with Safdar Ali, 275. 

Margoa, surrenders, Ki. 

Marol, 251. 

^lartin Francois, 276. 

Masaud Khan, regent of Bijapur, 24. 

Mascarenhas, Maria, wife of Akl)ar, 13. 

Mastani, 2(i4. 

Masulipatam, 46- 

Masur, 182. 

Mathura, 20. 

Matthews, Commodore, 20«. 

Mhaloji Ghorpade, 45. 

Midnapur, 282. 

Miraj, 118, 200; fall of, 72; recaptured, 
79; Shahu attacks, 262; captured by 
Shahu, 263. 

Mir Habib, 282. 



INDEX 



327 



^lir Haidar, 172. 

Mir Hussein Khan, 223. 

Mir Moghul, son of Nizam-iil-Mulk, 290. 

Mirza Mahomed, 281. 

Moghul, fleet at Vingorla, 1«', occupy 

Punamali and Wandewash,47; pursue 

ilarathas to Singhad, 10:!; capture 

Parali, renamed Nauroz Tara, 107; 

defeated at Narbada, 111; retreat, 

117. 
Mohkam Sing, Raja, 163- 
Moizuddin, ascends throne, title Jehandar 

Shah, l.j9. 
Moro Pingle, 3, 5. 
Morti/. Ali, 287. 
Muazuddin, 34; arrested, 36- 
Mubariz Khan, 174. 
Mudhoji Bhosle, son of llaghuji Bhoslc, 

2!Mj. 
Mudhol, 45. 

Munji Slievgaon, treaty, 189, 265. 
Murarirao Ghorpade, 27B. 
Murshid Kuli Khan, 2M. 
Murshidabad, 281. 
!Murtaza Nizam Sliah, 00. 
Muscat, 33. 
Mustapha Khan, 284. 
Muzaffir .lang, nawab of the I>e<can, 

292; death, 293. 
Muzaffir Khan, 220. 
Mysore, invaded, 4(3. 

N 

Nadir Shah, 232; origin of, 233; plunders 

Delhi, 234; letter to Bajirao, 23G; 

death, 28,^. 
Nagoji Mane, 88; murders Santa ji 

Ghorpade, 93. 
Nagpur, 283. 
Najib-ud-DauIat, 220. 
Nfmdalal Mandloi Chaudhari, 213. 
Nandarbar, 98, 110, 170. 
Nangargaon, 50. 
Narbada, river, 192. 
Naro Mukund, 80. 
Naropant Joshi,, 250. 
Naro Shankar, 144; imprisoned by 

Damaji Thorat, 15(3. 
Nasik, 17- 
Nasir Jang, 2G5; son of Nizam-ul-Mulk, 

290; death, 293. 
Nasrat .lang, 82. 

Nauroz Tara, Parali renamed, 107. 
Nemaji Siudia, 125, 142, 1(32; Governnr 



of Khandesh, 97; captures Nandarl)ar 
98; at Seronj, 110. 

Nerul, river, 19. 

Netoji Palker, 43. 

Nilo Ballal Chitnis, (31. 

Nilo Moro Pingle, appointed prime 
minister, 75. 

Nilo Pingle, 43, 72. 

Nira, river, 144. 

Niraji Ravaji, 60; chief justice, 7G. 

Nizam Ali, son of Nizam-ul-]\Iulk, 290. 

Nizam-ul-Mulk 36, 151; governor of 
Malwa, 167; plans against Sayads, 
169; captures Asirgarh, Burhanpur, 
Khandesh, 170; vazir, 173; defeats 
Mubariz Khan, 174; opposes Shahu, 
1 87;defeated, 189; treaty with Bajirao, 
212; at Delhi, 230 ; defeated by Bajirao, 
232; death, 286-290; sons of, 290. 



Pachad, 2. 

Paithan, 103. 

Palar, river, 46, '63- 

Paligad, 8. 

Palkhed, battle of, 189. 

Pandharpnr, 9 k 

Pangaon, 306. 

Panhala, 1, 48; Sambhaji occupies, 2; 
Santaji Ghorpade at, 68; captured, 
69; Shivaji crowned, 106; captured 
by Aurangzib, 108; captured by 
Shahu, 131; surrenders to Tarabai, 
141; Sambhaji ci owned 151; Sambhaji 
at, 197. 

Parad. 125. 

Paradis, M-, defeats Maphuz Khan, 288; 
death, 289. 

Parali, 64, 99, 113. 

Paraihu Rama, legend, 145. 

Parashuram son of Krishnaji, 81. 

Parashuram Trimbak, 109, 124; retakes 
Vishalgad, 94; imprisoned by Shahu, 
126; released, 152; death, 179. 

Parsoji Bhosle, governor of Berar, 97: 
joins Shahu, 124. 

Parvati, 81. 

Parvatibai, wife of Sadashivrao, 309. 

Patankar, 79, 96. 

Patas, 143. 

Patdi, 22. 

Patharc Pral)hus, 25 1 . 

Pa war, 79, 9(). 



328 



INDEX 



Pawar, river, 291. 

Peacock, Captain, 205. 

Pem Naik, 112. 

Pennar, river, 46. 

Pereira, Caetano de Souza, 257. 

Peshawar, 121; taken by Ahmad Shah, 
285. 

Petit, Mr., 202. 

Phaltan, 69. 

Phond Savant, 141. 

Phonda, fort, 14. 

Pilaji Gaikvad, 17 (J, 190, 213, 218; 
death, 219. 

Pilaji Jadav, 149. 

Pilaji Shirke, 59- 

Pingles, genealogical tree of the, 158. 

Piraji, 149. 

Pirya Naik, 112; abandons Wakinkera, 
115. 

Pitt, Mr., 202. 

Pondicherry, its beginning, 276; Ra- 
ghuji Bhosle at, 277; English attack, 
289. 

Poona, taken by Dhanaji Jadav, 122; 
Bajirao at, 264; Pant Sachiv Chimnaji 
imprisoned at, 310. 

Portuguese, assist the English, 209; 
attack Kolaba, 210; attack Bahadur 
Shah, 244; assist Bahadur Shah, 245; 
defeated by Bajirao, 249; attacked 
by Marathas, 252; commence offen- 
sive, 254; attack fails, 255; Stephen 
Law assists, 257; leave Bassein, 258. 

Pralhad Xiraji, son of Niraji Ravaji, 60; 
plans campaign, 62; leaves Vishalgad, 
73; death, 91. 

Pratapgad, 64. 

Pratapsing, Raja of Tanjore, 273. 

Prayagji Anant Phanse, 99. 

Punamali, 46, 47. 

Purandar, 78; Balaji Vishvanath flees 
to, 149. 

Purandar, fort, 156. 

Putalibaij 301. 

R 

Rachol, 16, 

Rachol, fortress, 256. 

Radhabai Barve, wife of Shripatrao, 

181, 295. 
Rafiud Daulat, 168. 
Rafiud Dayat, 168. 
Raghuji Bhosle, 271; terms to M- Dumas, 

277; leaves Pondicherry, 280; flees 



to Nagpur, 283; defeated at Cutwa, 
285; at Satara, 308. 

Raghuji Gaikvad, 284. 

Raghunath, son of Bajirao, 206. 

Raghunathpant Hanmante, 42; death, 
43. 

Raghunathrai, brother of Balaji, 310. 

Rahimapur, 147- 

Rahman Baksh, Wakinkera renamed, 
116. 

Raichur, 112. 

Rajapur, 203. 

Rajaram, 1; regent, 62; wives, 63: at 
Pratapgad, Parali, 64, leaves Vishal- 
gad, 72; at Bangalore, 73; at Jinji, 
74; King, 75; escapes from .Tinji, 88; 
at Vishalgad, 89; at Godaveri Valley, 
97; at Sinhgad, 103; sons and 
daughtei"S, 105. 

Rajasbai, Rajaram's wife, 64, 78, 151, 
196; imprisoned, 100. 

Rajasbai, Shahu's daughter, 294. 

Rajgad, 80, 144. 

Rajkot, 154. 

Rajmachi, foit, 154, 249. 

Rajmahal, 282. 

Rakhmabai, wife of Chimnaji Appa 
191, 270. 

Ramaji Mahadev 147. 

Ramchandra, son of Bajirao, 266. 

Ramchandra Nilkanth Bavdekar, 124; 
finance minister, 60; genealogical tree, 
66; viceroy of Maharashtra, 76; 
reappointed finance minister, 96; 
president of the council, 104. 

Ramchandra Raghunath, 251. 

Ramdas, 4, 218. 

Rameshwaram, 63. 

Ramoji Shirke, 88. 

Ramraja, Tarabai's grandson, 299; suc- 
ceeds Shahu, ;501; at Satara, 307; 
wives of, 308; appoints council of 
state, 312; at Satara, 313; attends 
feast of Champasashthi, 315; death, 
316. 

Ramrao Jivaji, 313. 

Ramsej, fort, 19, 44. 

Rangna, 131. 

Ranoji Mohite, 312. 

Ranoji Sindia, 185; family history, 
186. 

Rao Rambha Nimbalkai', 170. 

Ratapur, 33. 

Ratnagiri, 49 

Raval, fort, 242. 



INDEX 



329 



Raygad, 49; Maratha leaders at, 50; 

captured by Aurangzib, 69; Bajirao 

retakes, 242. 
Rcadish, Captain, 208. 
Revandanda, 248- 
Rohida, 94- 
Rohilkhand, 217. 
Rohulla Khan, 86. 
Roshan Akhtar, Emperor Mahomed 

Shah, 168 
RuhuUa Khan, 37, 39, 40. 
Rupaji Bhosle, 77. 
Rustum AH Khan, 176, 178. 
Eustiim Rao, 28. 



s 



Sabais, 254. 

Sadashivrao, son of Chimnaji Appa, 
192, 270, 307, 309; captm-es Sangola, 
312. 

Sadat Allah Khan, nawab of Camatic 
273. 

Sadat Khan, 35, 222. 

Safdar Ali, 274; death, 287. 

Safdar Jang, 231, 286. 

Sagar, fort, 112, 217. 

Sagai-gad, 154, 243. 

Sagunabai, Ramraja's wile, 308. 

Sagunabai, Shahu's wife, 141, 150, 294, 
295. 

Sahu, Shivaji's nickname, 71. 

Sahyadris, 49. 

Saint David, fort, 289- 

Saint Thome, 276, 288. 

Sajjansing, 124. 

Sakhargad, 81. 

Sakhu, 294. 

Sakwarbai, Shahu's wife, 294; asati,301. 

Salabat Jang, son of Nizam-ul-Mulk, 
290; nawab of the Deccan, 293- 

Salher, 17; 44. 

Salsette, 246. 

Sambhaji, 1, 2, 8, 43, 44, 56; enters 
Raygad, 3; accession, 4; attacks 
Khandesh, 6; at Janjira, 10; Akbar's 
letters to, 12; at Chaul, 14; takes 
Santo Estavao, 16; raises siege of 
Goa, 17; in Bijapur, 47; at Sanga- 
meshwar, 49; captured, 51; brought 
to Akluj 54; death, 57; poems, 58; 
family, 59; letter to Krishnaji Dada 
Deshpande, 66. 



Sambhaji of Kolhapur, 296. 

Sambhaji, Shahu's son, 294. 

Sambhaji, son of Rajaram, 78, 105, 194; 
imprisoned, 106; crowned at Panhala 
151; aids Nizam-ul-Mulk, 188; sent 
to Panhala, 189; defeated at Warna, 
196; meets Shahu at Karhad, 197. 

Sambhaji, son of Kanhoji Angre, 248; 
attacks Manaji, 259; escapes to 
Suvarnadurg, 260. 

Sandomil, Count of, 247, 256. 

Sangam, 192. 

Sangameshwar, 49. 

Sangola, 311; captured by Sadashivrao, 
312. 

Sangpal, original name of Angres, 94. 

Santaji Bhosle, 167. 

Santaji Ghorpade, 45, 47, 76; at Raygad, 
60; aijpointed commander-in-chief, 
68; leaves Vishalgad, 72; recaptures 
Wai and Miraj, 79; at Dudheri, 86; 
death, 92; Rajaram's complicity in 
death of, 104. 

Santaji Jadav, 67. 

Santo Estavao, 16. 

Sarafraz Khan, son of Shujah-ud-daulat, 
282. 

Sarangpur, 214- 

Sarbarah Khan, 37. 

Sarbuland Khan, 166, 176, 189, 200; 
governor of Kabul, 167; defeats 
Marathas, 179; treaty with Shahu, 
190; Governor of Allahabad, 217. 

Sardesais, 49. 

Sarfuddin Ali Khan, 163. 

Sarja Khan, 48. 

Sarphoji, 187. 

Sarza Khind, 99. 

Sarze Khan, 97. 

Sasvad, 156. 

Sat Sidi, 237, 238; attacks Sagargad, 
243; death, 244. 

Satara, 99, 113; Rajaram at, 95; sur- 
renders, 101; name changed to Azim 
Tara, 102; besieged by Shahu 126; 
Shahu and Kanhoji Angre at, 157; 
seized by Balaji, 301 ; Ramraja crown- 
ed at, 307; Tarabai at, 311. 

Saturday Palace, 268. 

Savai Baburao, 194. 

Savai Jaysing, Raja of Jaipur, 213,220. 

Savantvadi, Shah Alam at, 18. 

Savarnadurg, 94. 

Savitrabai, wife of Shahu, 125. 

Sayad Abdullah Khan, 166. 



330 



INDEX 



Sayad, brothers, defeat Farnkhsir, 167. 

Sayad, Mahomed Gisu, 34. 

Sekhoji Angre, 240; captures English 
ship, 242; death, 243. 

Shah Alam, 17, at Savantvadi, 18;. at 
Vingorla, 19; retreats to Ahmadnagar, 
20; sent against Abu Hussein, 27; 
arrested, 36; emperor, 122; death, 
159. 

Shahabuddin Khan, 22- 

Shahaji, 45; fable, 56. 

Shah Hussein, 33. 

Shah Kuli, 29. 

Shahr Banu, wife of Azam Shah, 24. 

Shah Sulaiman, King of Persia, 33. 

Shahu, kills Suryaji Pisal, 70, 164, 
184; release refused, 92; released, 
121; his return, 123; appeals for 
support, 124; at Ahmadnagar, 125; 
crowned at Satara, 126; at Parlai, 
128; at Chandan Wandan, 131; 
captures Panhala and Vishalgad, 131; 
marries Sagunabai and Sakwarbai, 
141; at Jejuri, 156; celebrates victo- 
ries, 157; gives Fort Lohgad to 
Balaji Vishwanath, 169; treaty with 
Sarbuland Khan, 190; at Umbrej, 
191; regret at Trimbakrao's death, 
193; reconciliation with Khanderao's 
family, 194; attempted assassination 
by Udaji, 195; and Sambhaji at 
Karhad, 197; receives Capt. Gordon, 
260; attacks Miraj, 262; at Chaphal, 
263; assists Pratapsing, 273; liberates 
Chanda Sahib, 290; family, 294; 
adopts Mudhoji Bhosle, 297; death, 
300. 

Shaik Nizam, Haiderabadi, 50; captures 
Sambhaji and Kalusha, 51; returns, 
to Akluj, 55. 

Shambhusing, 60, 307. 

Shamjirao Pinde, 76. 

Shamsher Bahadur, son of Mastani, 267. 

Shankarji Mahadik, 294. 

Shankar Malhar Nargundhar, 76, 163; 
death, 172- 

Shankar Narayan Gandekar, 114, 124; 
recaptures Rajgad, 80: collapse of, 
143; death 144. 

Sheikh Mira, 127, 313. 

Shendre, 99. 

Sher Shah, 281. 

Shirala, 294. 

Shirkes, massacre of, 9; genealogical 
tree, 90- 



Shivajaya, 275. 

Shivaji, 1. 

Sbivaji, son of Sambhaji, 59; King, 62; 

captured, 69. 
Shivaji, son of Rajaram, 105; crowned, 

106; imprisoned by Rajasbai, 151. 
Shivlinga, 303. 
Sholapur district, 49. 
Shrikaracharya Kalgavkar, 76. 
Shripatrao, son of Parashuram Trimbak, 

153, 18.S, 295. 
Shrivardhan, 146, 155. 
Shujaat Khan, 176. 
Shnjah-ud-Daulat, 281. 
Sidi Masud, 241. 
Sidi Misri, 11. 
Sidi Rahyan, 242. 
Sidi Rasul Yakat Khan, 240. 
Sidis, Marathas attack, 10; driven from 

Shrivardhan, 155. 
SidojiGujar,68, 94. 
Sikandar Shah, 24, 29, 31: letter to 

Aurangzib, 32. 
Silveira, Antonio de, 245. 
Silveira, Diego de, 245. 
Sinhgad, 68, 78, 103, 109; Tarabai at, 

309; captured by Balaji, 311. 
Sirhind, 286. 
Sirigaon, 252. 

Sironj, 110, 221 ; Nizam-ul-Mulk at, 170. 
Somaji Banki, 2. 
Sonda, 73. 
Songadh, 220. 
South Guzerat, 79. 
Soyarabai, 1 ; death, 3. 
Soyarabai, daughter of Rajaram, 105- 
Soyarabai, wife of Balaji Nimbalkar of 

Phaltan, 63. 
Subhanji Kharate, 154. 
Supa, 143, 304. 
Surat, 9, 20. 
Suryaji Kank, 2, 
Suryaji Pisal, 70- 
Sutiej, 286. 
Suvtirnadurg, 248, 249 • 



Talikot, battle of, 46- 

Talode, 185. 

Tambe, 251. 

Tanjore, state of, 45, 86, 123- 

Tarabai, wife of Rajaram, 63, 78; 

regent, 106; goes to ^lalwan, 141; 

flees to Rangna, 141 ; captures Panhala 



INDEX 



331 



141; impnsoned by Rajasbai, 151; 

prisoner, 19G; at Satara, 197; reveals 

birth of Sbivaji's son Ramraja 298; 

at Sinbgad, 309; at Poona, at Satara 

fort, 310; keeps Ramraja captive, 

31G. 
Tarapur, fort, 252. 
Tathavda, 48. 
Taylor, pirate, 208. 
Thai, 214, 242. 

Thana, renamed, Fatehsing Binuj, 253. 
Thcvenapattam, 203. 
Thoniburn, Captain, 203- 
Tikona, fort, 311. 
. Timaji Hanmante, 96. 
Tivim, IG. 
Torna, 94, 109. 
Triebinopoli, 275. 
Tiimbak Sadashiv Purandare, 314. 
Trimbakrao, son of Khanderao Dal)hade, 

182; aids the Nizam, 190; death, 193. 
Trimbakrao, son of Yasbwantrao 

Dabbade, 312. 
Tuglakabad, 223. 
Tukabai, Ramraja's wife, 308. 
Tukoji Angre, 94. 
Tulaji An«re, 300, 313. 
Tulaji Shitole, 151. 
Ttilapur, 56. 
Tuljapur, 299. 
Tung, fort, 311. 



u 



Udaipur, Rana of, 8. 

Udaji Chavan, 263; attempts to assassi- 
nate Shahu, 195; defeated at Wama. 
196; death, 200. 

Udaji Padval, 154. 

Udaji Pawar, 185, 213; history of 
family, 187. 

Ujjain, 108. 

Ulhas, river, 245. 

Umabai, widow of Khanderao Dabbade, 
194. 

Umabai, wife of Sada,sbivrao, 309. 

I'maji Pant, 43. 

Umbraj, 263. 

Upton, Captain, 208. 



Vandra, 251. 
Varuna, river, 49. 



Vasai, 245. 

Vasantgad, 98; captured by Shahu, 131. 

Velas, 147. 

Vellore, 89. 

Vesava, fort, 251. 

Vijayanagar, 244. 

Vimala, legend, 245. 

Vincent, Mr., 202. 

Vingorla, 18. 

Virubai, 122, 150. 

Visaji, son of Balaji Vishvanath, 181. 

Visaji Prabhu, 78. 

Visbalgad, 49, 69, 94; captured by 

Aurangzib 109; surrenders to Shahu, 

131. 
Vishvasrao, son of Balaji, 309. 
Vithalrao Anandrao the Sumant, 313. 
Vithoji Chavan, 67. 
Viziadurg, 94, 205, 210. 
Vyankatrao Gborpade or Joshi, 181, 

196, 250; invades Goa, 256. 
Vyankoji, 44. 
Vyasrao, 149. 



w 

Wadgaon, 145. 

Waduth, 306. 

Wai, 48, 79. 

Waite, Sir Nicholas, 131. 

Wakinkera, 112; captured by Moghuls, 

116. 
Wandewash, 47, 85. 
Ward, Mr. C, 203. 
Wardhangad, 108. 
Warna, river, 145. 
Warna, treaty of, 201. 
Wasota, 107, 114. 
William of Nassau, 63. 



X 

Xavier, Francis, 16. 



Yakub Khan, 240. 

Yakut Khan, 11. 

Yamaji Shivdev, 299, 311. 

Yasbwantrao, brother of Trimliakrao, 

Dabbade, 194, 312. 
Yasbwantrao Mabadev Potnis, 240. 
Yesaji, 294. 



332 



INDEX 



Yeshpatil Dabhatle, GO- 
Yesubai, wife of Sambhaji, 59; cap- 
tured, 09. 
Yeswantgad, 78. 
Yuvateshwar, 100. 



Zahra, IGO. 

Zinatunuissa, daughter of Aurangzib, 70. 



Zulfikar Beg, 1G3. 

Zulfikar Khan, Itikad Khan's title, 71; 
before Jinji, 79; superseded, 82; at 
Tanjore, 8G; captures Jinji, 89; at 
Wakinkera, 115; at Ahmadnagar, 
118; death of, 161. 







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