Wednesday, February 10, 2010


DR K Prabhakaar Rao


It was necessary for Marathas to overcome all types of inner resistance in their provinces before they claimed power in Delhi. Baji Rao was still in the offing. Sambhaji (junior ) was still resisting supremacy of Sahu and was claiming himself as Chatrapathi. The family feud continued. On the other front, Nizam was a strong adversary. The relations between Marathas and Nizam were rather blow hot blow cold type and each considered other as a strong thorn in the neck. Although Marathas helped Nizam in the battle of shaker Kheda in which they killed Mubariz Khan soon the relations got strained. Baji Rao attacked Chitradurga and Sri Rangapatnam twice at the request of Sahu ( although he was not in favor)strained the relations with Nizam. In fcat Nizam desired to gain control over Karnataka and the Maratha influence in Karnataka was much disliked. Sambhaji ( junior) also felt that Maratha attacks in Karnataka were detrimental to his rule at Kolhapur and thus Sambhaji ( Junior ) and Nizam made an alliance to counter Sahu. This resulted in Sahu ordering attack on Nizam and consequently Nizam was convincingly defeated at Pakhed near Daulatabad on 28 Feb 1728 after several battles where fortunes fluctuated. Nizam sued for peace and agreed for the conditions put forward by Baji Rao. As per the agreement made at Sairon, Baji Rao was allowed to collect Chauth and sardeshmukhi in six Mughal districts and Sahu was recognized as Chatrapathi. All forts won by Nizam earlier were handed over to Sahu. Thus Nizam was disciplined and Sambhaji ( junior) was cut to size.

In 1730 Sambhaji lost a battle with sahu and graciously sahu pardoned him and at Warha made an agreement with him and recognized Sambhaji as in dependent ruler at Kolhapur and was allowed to expand his kingdom up to Rameswaram. In turnSambhaji agreed to be the vassal of Chatrapathi Sahu. Tarabai also soon relented and was released from detention at Kolhapur and she returned to Satar to live under protection of sahu. Thus family feuds in Maratha kingdom was put to rest finally. Sahu and Nizam also got into an agreement and Nizam agreed not to interfere in Maratha efforts in


Baji Rao reached his peak in 1739. He invaded Malwa, Gujrat and Bundel Khand ( 1731-36). As a result of his attacks the Mughal emperor handed over Malwa, and the areas lying in between Chambal river and Narmada to Baji Rao apart from paying 50 Lakhs rupees. Baji Rao also recovered some jagirs that were promised to him by Nizam earlier apart from countering attacks by Nasir jung son of nizaulmulk. Baji Rao was slowly engulfing North Indian territories and eclipsing Mughal rule. Unfortunately Baji Rao died at an younger age of 42 years on April 28 1740 not before mush dissatisfaction over separation from his much lady of love Masthani.


Balaji Rao the eldest son of Baji Rao was appointed in 1740 as Peshwa by Sahu much to the unhappiness of Raghuji Bhonsle ( co- son in-law of Sahu). Sahu had no sons and he never wanted Sambhaji ( junior)of Kolhapur to succeed him as Chatrapathi. He however agreed to adopt third son Mudohji of Raghuji Bhonsle. However suddenly Tarabai revealed that Ramraj her grand son was alive and Sahu believing her nominated Ramraj as his successor.
Marathas also interfered in political feuds in Karnataka and present Tamilnadu. The Maratha ruler at Tanjavur was attacked by Chandasaheb son inlaw of Dost ali nawab of Karnataka and as a result Sahu’s help was sought by the Tanjavurs Maratha king. Raghuji Bhonsle was deputed by Sahu and this campaign was deadly ( 1740-41) and Marathas were ruthless.Tiruchinappali wsa also conquered by Marathas and Muraridev Ghorpade was appointed to take care of Tiruchinappali. Raghuji Bhonsle also attacked Bihar and Orissa andconsequently Ali wardhi Khan the nawab of Bengalhanded over complete Orissa to Marathas in iew of Chauth and Sadeshmukhi powers. Although there were some misunderstanding between Raguji Bhonsle and Peshwa Balaji Rao, Sahu made reconciliation between them and in turn Raguji Bhonsle accepted Balaji Rao as Peshwa and also accepted Rama Raju as the successor to Sahu.Having achieved the above made Peshwaship hereditary and died on 1 December1749 after an eventful rule of 42 years in which he saw many ups and downs. His life was a turbulent one throughout. Sahu also inspired Peshwa Balaji Rao to struggle for Hindu padpadshahi.

Balaji Rao in 1941 occupied Malwa and obtained rights to collect Chauth and sardeshmukhi from the emperor. the Peshwa received 1 lakhs rupees as help from the Nizam for the Malwa campaign in gratitude for Peshwa’s help in countering rebellion from his son Nasir Jung earlier. Balaji Rao also made friendship with Sawai Man Singh ruler of Jodhpur to counter Nizam in future. Marathas lost control over Karnataka when Nizam succeeded in establishing his influence after attacking Karnatak and the victories and efforts of Raghuji Bhonsle were nullified. However Peshwa Balaji Rao deputed Sadasiva Rao in 1746 December and he succeeded in his campaign and was not resisted by Nizam.


Nizam I died in 1748 an Marathas also took part in the feuds of succession between Nizams son Nassir Jung and daughters son Muzaffar jung. However these two were soon killed in battles. Maraths helped Nassir jung. The English men and the French also were involved in these feuds. Salabat Jung another son of Nizam was made Nizam with the help of French general Bussey. Elevation of Salabat jung as Nizam with the help of Bussey resulted in war with Peshwa Balaji Rao. In fact Marathas supported Ghaziuddin stationed at Delhi and eldest son of Nizam I to succeed Nizam I. Unfortunately Ghaziuddin who came from Delhi to assume the post of Subedar of Deccan was killed by poisoning by his step mother( Mother of Nizam ali who later became Nizam II after deposing Salabat jung).Salabat jung attacked Pune and Marathas lost at ahmed nagar in 1751, However Bussey and Salabat withdrew to Hyderabad when Raguji Bhonsle proceeded to attack Hyderabad. Thus Bussey’s plan faildandconsequently Salabat jung and Balaji Rao made terms at Bhalki ( In Bidar ) in 1752. they agreed to attack Karnataka provinces. In 1757 Balaji Rao and sadasiv rao attacke Mysore andreceived Peshakas. However in 1759 the Mysore ruler did not pay the peshkas and was hence attacked by Gopal Rao Patwardhan and this was repulsed by Hyder Ali. Maraths and Nizam fought again in 1757 with respect to Jagirs that were promised to the Peshwa. The Battle was fought at Sindkhed. At Sakher Kheda they came to terms and Nizam again promised the grant of promised Jagir and of course it did not come through. Marathas achieved stunning victory over the Nizam in 1760 when they defeated Nizam at Udgir, Nizam sued for peace and he returned Asir Garh, Daulatabad, Burhanpur, Ahmed nagar, and Bijapur to the Peshwa apart from handing over Jagir yielding 2 Lakh rupees. Thus Maharashtrians had constant feuds with Nizam and spent great efforts, time and money to maintain their position. This took away their time and money and troops too and naturally these efforts were at the cost of their push in the north. Pad Padshahi was still far.


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