Saturday, November 20, 2010

Peshwas (Part 5) : Decline of the Peshwas

Refer previous Peshwa articles to get a sense of continuity viz. Peshwas Part 1: Early Peshwas (Sonopant,Shyampant,Moropant,Nilopant,Bahirojipant,Ramchandrapant and Balaji Vishwanath Bhat), Part 2: Glory of the Peshwas (Bajirao I), Part 3: Peak of the Peshwas and Debacle at Panipat(Balaji Bajirao), Part 4: Strife within (Madhavrao, Narayanrao,Raghunathrao,Sawai Madhavrao), Part 5: Decline of the Peshwas (Bajirao II, Amritrao, Nanasahib).

The late 18th century marked the decline of the maratha empire. The premature death of Madhavrao Peshwa had left behind a great void in the maratha empire. He was probably the last unifying force amongst the marathas. Stalwarts like Mahadji Shinde, Nana Phadanvis etc did try to sustain the empire , but they were not cohesive enough to provide a unified command to the marathas. Thereafter the empire was wrecked by individual vested interests who were more interested in furthering their own small causes rather than that of the maratha empire as a whole. During this period was born Bajirao II who only proved to be a product of his times.

Peshwa Bajirao II (b.1775 in Dhar,M.P , rule: 4 Dec.1796-3 Jun.1818, d.28th Jan 1851) was the eldest son of Raghunathrao Peshwa and Anandibai. During this time his father was at Surat allied with the English.

Political intrigues before accession

The ailing Peshwa Madhavrao II on his deathbed had named (allegedly)  his uncle, Bajirao II, as his heir.
Note, earlier Bajirao II had started communication with his cousin and gained his sympathy by using the name of Nana Phadanvis as their common cause of discomfort. It was done through Balwantrao Vamorik whom Nana himself had posted to keep a watch on Bajirao II. But Balwantrao developed a tilt towards Bajirao II. When Nana got the whiff of this, he had Balwantrao arrested.
But his old regent Nana Phadnavis was never comfortable with the idea of Bajirao II as the next Peshwa.
Nana knew very well that Bajirao resented him and would try his utmost to undermine his authority.
Nana therefore convinced Madhavraos widow to adopt a son whom, Nana would then anoint as the next Peshwa, thus continuing to rule as a regent on his behalf.
But Bajirao II (who was in prison) had other plans. He wooed over Sardar Baloba Tatya Pagnis, the influential minister of Daulatrao Shinde (anglicized as ‘Scindia’), by promising him Nana's position. In return, Pagnis was to persuade Scindia to throw in his might behind Bajirao II in the race for Peshwa's seat.
But Nana got the whiff of Bajirao's clandestine plans and started planning his counter move.
Nana  knew very well that he could never match Scindia's might. So he thought it would be prudent if he came to an understanding with Bajirao II. Subsequently, Nana had Bajirao released from prison.
Thereafter, Nana made a pact with Bajirao whereby Bajirao would be made the next Peshwa and in return Bajirao would allow Nana to continue as the chief minister.
Bajirao too agreed with the proposal, as he knew that having the duo of Baloba Pagnis and Scindia around him for too long would also be counterproductive in the long run. He knew the duo would never allow Bajirao to function freely as the Peshwa, so he thought it was best that he for the time being agree to Nana's proposal.
Thus Bajirao II  was declared the next Peshwa. In return, Bajirao withdrew his original commitment to Sardar Pagnis and declared that Nana would continue as his chief minister.
However, Nana was well aware that Baloba Pagnis would never take this lying down and would instigate Scindia to dislodge Bajirao and himself from their posts.
Thus before Scindia's forces (led by an disgruntled Baloba Pagnis) could march onto Pune, Nana took refuge in the fort of Purander on the outskirts of Pune.
Predictably, Sardar Pagnis urged Daulatrao Scindia to appoint Bajirao II's younger brother Chimnaji Appa as the next Peshwa.
The wily Nana Phadanvis who had by now shifted base to Mahad, began secret negotiations directly with Daulatrao Scindia (Nana also sought help from the English,Nizam,Tipu,Nagpukar Bhosales,Holkars,Karveerkars to isolate Scindia and put pressure on him via what is now famously known as Mahad conspiracy).
Nana tacitly gave his approval for the appointment of Chimnaji as the next Peshwa, in return for his continuation as the chief minister.
Note, initially Nana had wanted to declare Shahu II of Satara as the king and rule as his prime minister. But due to Shahus uncertainties, Nana extended his support to Chimnaji  (younger brother of Bajirao II) as the next Peshwa.Chimnaji was thereby adopted by Yashodabai, the widow of Sawai Madhavrao and he was declared the Peshwa and Bajirao II was once again confined to prison.
Meanwhile, Sardar Pagnis who would settle for nothing short of replacing Nana Phadanvis, was making plans of seizing Nana. He had already started poisoning Scindias mind against Nana.
Nana on his part also never underestimated Pagnis's influence over Scindia. So in anticpation of a possible imprisonment, Nana went underground once again.
He renewed his pact with Bajirao to get him released from prison and make him the Peshwa, but both knew this wasnt possible without the approval of Daulatrao Scindia.
They knew, they had to wean away Daulatrao Scindia from Pagnis's side and over to their own .
They therefore utilised the offices Sardar Sakharam Ghatges (of Kagal) . They persuaded Ghatge to send the marraige proposal of his beautiful daughter Baijabai, to Daulatrao Scindia.
In return they promised him a greater say in the affairs of Pune. As per their expectations Daulatrao accepted the marraige proposal. Thus Sakharam Ghatges influence over Daulatrao Scindia increased considerably.This isolated Sardar Pagnis.

Note: But Sarjerao Ghatge also became notoriously famous for taking advantage of the situation and looting Pune in 1797. When Bajirao II couldnt cough up the promised sum to Daulatrao Shinde, he let loose his father in law on the happless city of Pune. What followed was a period of  absolute cruelty. Ghatge looted Pune with glee abandon. He threatened all of  Nana Phadanvis's supporters to not lend him funds or financial support. He extracted lakhs from them and rendered them all financially weak so as not to be in a position to support Nana. Later Daulatrao Scindia captured Nana by deceit in connivance with Peshwa Bajirao II and imprisoned him at Ahmednagar fort.

Thus Bajirao II was declared the new Peshwa with Daulatraos support and Nana Phadanvis remained his prime minister.
But heart in heart , Bajirao II was never in favour of Nana Phadanvis. He held Nana responsible for his father Raghunathrao's ouster from the Peshwaship. Hence once Bajirao felt himself  in control, their old rivalry resurfaced .
Bajirao II induced Sardar Sakharam Ghatge to put Nana Phadanvis behind bars and instead promised him Nanas authority. Thus several charges were levelled against Nana and he was imprisoned in the fort of Ahmednagar.
But in a matter of time,Bajirao realised that this wasnt such a wise move afterall.
He was finding Daulatrao Scindia's (and Sakhatam Ghatge's) behaviour overbearing and beyond his control.
This was the time he realised the value of Nana's wise counsel.
Thus Bajirao II  had his rival Nana Phadanvis released from prison, and reinstated him in his old position albeit with much lesser authority.
By now, Nana Phadanvis was a tired man . His days in prison had also taken a toll on his health and he soon died in a couple of years time in 1800, leaving Bajirao II back to his dependency on Daulatrao Scindia.
Treaty of Bassein
Meanwhile Tukoji Holkar had died at Indore leaving behind two sons Kashirao and Malharrao II and two illegitimate sons Jaswantrao (Yeshwantrao) and Vithoji. Kashirao being the elder was made Tukojis successor, but was challenged by Malharrao. Even the illegitimate brothers Jaswantrao and Vithoji supported the cause of Malharrao .But Kashirao asked Daulatrao Scindia for his help.Daulatrao tried to seize Malharrao in person and in the fight that ensued Malharrao II was killed. His son Khanderao was then taken as a prisoner to Pune. Jaswantrao fled to Nagpur while Vithoji fled to Kolhapur. Vithoji was later captured near Bhamburda and taken to Pune. Jaswantrao meanwhile built a large army and planned an attack on Scindia who had seated himself at Pune (much to the Peshwas dismay as the latter was in his control). Scindia sensing an attack by Jaswantrao , extracted fourty seven lakhs from the Peshwa, marched out from Pune. Both Scindia and Jaswantraos armies clashed, and after a fierce battle Jaswantrao was forced to retreat.
Meanwhile Peshwa Bajirao II now feeling free from Daulatrao Scindias stranglehold, now desired to establish his complete control over Pune. He first decided to eliminate those families whom he considered his rivals (like Raste family) or those that were in opposition to his father Raghunathrao (self aggrandisment at the expense of his nobles may have been another motive). The vindictive Bajirao II was merciless with his enemies. Even Vithoji Holkar +(brother of Jaswantrao Holkar) and a friend of Nana Phadanvis ( and someone whom Bajirao believed fancied Amritrao as a Peshwa rather than Bajirao II) , was tied to an elephants leg and dragged through the streets of Pune , till he died . (ref.Kincaid).

+[Vithoji Holkar had managed to stir a rebellion against Bajirao II around the Pune region while his brother Yeshwantrao (Jaswantrao) managed the affairs in central India]

Jaswantrao Holkar when he heard about his brothers death was furious and swore revenge on the Peshwa . He once again gathered his forces and marched onto Pune. He dodged Scindias forces on the way and made way to Pune. The Peshwa Bajirao II immediately fled Pune and sought refuge on its outskirts at the fort Sinhagad.(Bajirao did not want to seek help from Scindia, as that would be inviting his control over Pune, once again, so he decided to seek help from the English). From Sinhagad, he fled to the Konkan, where he boarded a English ship at Rewandada and sailed to the port town of Bassein (present day Vasai).There he signed a treaty (6th Dec 1802, Treaty of Bassein) with the English seeking their protection against his enemies.
Note: Earlier in 1791, the Peshwa Sawai Madhavrao had flirted with the English, when he supported them in their battle against Tipu Sultan of Mysore. For his services the Peshwa had been suitably rewarded with vast lands of Tipu’s territory.

Meanwhile Jaswantrao Holkar had sacked Pune and after installing the Peshwas brother Amritrao (as per some reports Amritraos son Vinayakrao) in the place of Bajirao II, he had left for Indore. 

Note: Amritrao had been adopted by Raghunathrao after the death of his sons in infancy and the next offspring being a daughter. But subsequently Bajirao II was born followed by Chimnaji.

The British army accompanying Bajirao II entered Pune. The British army was led by General Arthur Wellesely (brother of , the Governor General) . 
On the way they were joined by Peshwas aides like Patwardhan,Bapu Ganesh Gokhale,Appa Nipanikar,Patankar and Vinchurkar (grandson of Vithal Shivdev Vinchurkar). 
Amritrao was pensioned off by the English to Benaras with his family to Varanasi.
 Bajirao II was once again reinstated as the Peshwa at Pune.

Note: Amritrao's son Vinayakrao maintained good relations with the English. He lived in Varanasi 
(later Karvi in Banda state) with a comfortable princely amount sanctioned by the English. Vinayakrao adopted a son Narayanrao. But later relations soured between the father and his adopted son and another son Madhavrao was adopted. But the family lost a major chunk of their wealth when in 1857 they were suspected by the British of colluding with the mutineers.

Defeat of the Scindias and the Holkars
Scindia did not appreciate Peshwas proximity to the English and nor did Raghuji Bhosale of Nagpur.
Rather both resented the the fact that Bajirao had preferred a foreigners help over their own, not to mention decrease in their clout over Pune.
They also felt that the English were unnecessarily interfering in what they considered the Maratha affairs . They therefore decided to punish the English and collected an large army to take them on headlong.
Scindia was confident of a victory over the English, mainly because of his strong artillery and cavalry cultivated and commanded by a Frenchman called De Boigne.
Jaswantrao Holkar who had a disdain for both Scindia and Bajirao stayed neutral.
But Daulatrao Scindia soon realized that he had underestimated the English.
Scindias army were the first to face defeat (at the battle of Assaye on 21st Sept 1803).
Raghuji Bhosale followed next at Argaon in Berar (on 29th Nov 1803, forcing Raghuji to sign the treaty of Devgaon).
Scindias army were also defeated by Col.Woodington at Bharuch, Champaner,and by Col Lake at Aligad , Delhi and Laswari .
Bundelkhand was reduced by Col Powell.
Finally Daulatrao Scindia accepted defeat and on 30th Dec 1803 signed the Treaty of Surji Anjangaon. Scindia ceded all his lands between rivers Jamuna and Ganga and control of his lands in Rajputana. Ahmednagar and Bharuch forts were also given away to the English.
The treaty of Surji Anandgaon was supplemented by the treaty of Burhanpur on 27th Feb 1804, whereby Scindia became an ally of the English.
Meanwhile successes of the English alarmed Jaswantrao Holkar, who feared for his own possessions. He probably feared that if Scindia allied with the English, then it was possible that they collectively might encroach on his dominions.
 Jaswantrao Holkar started planning an preemptive attack on the English. He raised an army and attacked the English divisions. But he was isolated against the collective might of the English.
General Wellesely and his troops clashed with the forces of Holkar and soon Holkar too was subdued.
On 14th Dec 1805,Jaswantrao Holkar too became an ally of the English vide the treaty of Beas. But the treaty weighed heavily on his mind . He tried uniting the Marathas against the British until his premature death by a brain stroke on 20th Oct 1811 at Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh. He was just thirty five.
Note:Jaswantrao Holkar allegedly (as per British historians like Kincaid and Duff ) went insane and had his brother Kashirao and his nephew Khanderao killed.Though some historians mention Khanderao dying of Cholera.
 Jaswantrao was succeeded by Malharrao Holkar III under the regency of Jaswantraos widow. But the English allegedly plotted her death. Malharrao III and his later wife Bhimabai continued their struggle against the English inspite of a defeat at Mahidpur. Indore was later incorporated by the English as a princely state in the Central India Agency.

Bajirao II’s reign and friction with the English
Bajiraos reign was marked by vindictiveness and perfidy. His entire exercise seemed to be acquiring the estates of his nobles, sometimes over the flimsiest of pretexts. Earlier it had been the estates of Sardar Raste , Nana Phadanvis.
It was followed by the estates of the Pant Pratinidhi and Pant Sachiv. Bajirao also unsuccessfully tried to acquire the estates of the Sawantwadi nobles, when the latter were fighting with the Raja of Kolhapur.
Bajirao II imprisoned Baburao Phadke the son of gallant warrior Hari Ballal Phadke who had so courageously served the Maratha kingdom.He confined Baburao at Bassein fort where he died.Thereby the Peshwa attached his property.
Peshwa even attached some lands of Gaekwads of Baroda over a revenue dispute. The English then intervened and had the Gaekwads send a representative to negotiate matters with the Peshwa. But the Peshwas aide Trimbakji Dengale (as alleged by the English chroniclers) had Gangadhar Shastri, the representative of the Gaekwads, murdered.
The English were incensed becaused of this act and arrested Trimbakji. But the man broke free from the Thana prison and gathered a small army around himself. Bajirao too was beginning to dislike the regular interference of the English in his affairs and actively encouraged Trimbakji Dengale.
Then the Resident Monstuart Elphinstone, openly asked for the arrest of Trimbakji Dengale and the surrender of forts like Sinhagad,Purander and Raigad. When Bajirao refused, Pune was encircled by the English troops forcing the Peshwa too sign the treaty of Puna on 8th May 1817. Along with the forts the English also forced the Peshwa to give up all the estates of his nobles which he had acquired in these years.Bajirao was even asked to dismantle his forces.
Note: To the credit of Bajirao II, he never surrendered Trimbakrao Dengale to the English, though the latter was captured shortly near Khandesh.

By now Bajiraos dislike for the English had turned into intense hatred. He soon started building an army for himself under the guidance of his confidante Bapu Gokhale. He also tried to seduce the Indian guards in the English army with emoluments. On 5th Nov 1817, the Peshwas troops and the English troops clashed at what we now know as the battle of Khadki. Peshwa himself retreated to the temple of Parvati at a hill top and watched the entire proceedings of the battle. But seeing his army being routed, the Peshwa fled from battle (earning him the nickname ‘Palputaa’ or the ‘Fleeing one’). Rest of the period was spent running from fort to fort (Satara,Nagpur,Kopargaon,Chanda), pursued furiously by the English forces.
Finally on 3rd June 1818, Peshwa Bajirao II surrendered to Col John Malcolm at Mhaw near Indore.
The British were careful so as not to humiliate the Peshwa, or imprison or execute him, lest he rebels, or is able to generate sympathy (as in the case of Ch.Sambhaji) which leads to other marathas rallying under a common banner. Col Malcolm himself has outlined the British policy to be followed in India. they preffered to purchase the individual loyalties of each maratha sardar, divide them and thus rule by proxy.
 The English exiled the Peshwa to the town of Bhramhavarta or Bithur near Kanpur on the banks of the Ganges, which was to be his jagir for retirement. He was sanctioned an princely pension to meet his royal expenses.

Bajiraos family Bajirao II had eleven wives, but none could produce an male heir (his only son through his eldest wife Varanasibai had died in his infancy). Therefore on 6th June 1827, Bajirao II adopted a boy, Dhondopant Narayan Bhat, a son of a priest from Venegaon near Bhor ghat. Subsequently he adopted Dhondopants brothers Sadashivarao and Gangadharrao. Dhondopant succeeded Bajirao II as the next Peshwa and came to be known as Nanasaheb. Bajirao's daughter Bayabai was probably the last survivor amongst his children.
Death Bajirao II died in 1851 at a ripe age of eighty.
An estimation of Bajiraos character
Bajirao II remains one of the most controversial Peshwas in Maratha history. Most denounce him as vindictive, cruel, greedy, extremely money minded, myopic and cowardly (known as ‘Palputaa Bajirao’ or the ‘Fleeing Bajirao’), while some term him as a victim of circumstances.
Most of Bajirao IIs formative years were spent in prison. Thus his administrative/political education was neglected , perhaps deliberately (but he was said to be keen on outdoor activities like wrestling , malkhamb, knowledge of arms-archery,spear throwing,swordsmanship ref.Grant Duff. Bajirao was also said to be good in the shastras and was a ardent Shivbhakt) and due to the constant hostilities surrounding him, he grew up to be a very suspicious and vengeful person. He never had the chance to hone up the qualities of a good ruler, let alone be a capable general like his forefathers. His personal life was also no different than the princes of those times and quite amorous. His rule has been largely criticised for the prevailing lawlessness, nepotism, casteism and wasteful expenditure in superstitions and rituals. 
Because of his nature , Bajirao II lost several supporters (his equation with his foster brother was also one of suspicion and they never got along. Bajirao had even imprisoned his younger brother Chimnaji for he feared that someone might use him as a tool to upstage him) and eventually he was isolated and forced with no other option but to seek the help of the English, which paved the way for their rule in the country.

In the words of Grant Duff ' No other empire was so foolishly lost '.

Nanasahib Peshwa (b.1824) a.k.a Dhundiraj a.k.a Dhondopant, is remembered in the pages of history as the last Peshwa.
Nanasahib was the adopted son of Peshwa Bajirao II. Dhondopant was the biological son of an priest, Narayan Bhat and Gangabai.
Nanasahib was declared the next Peshwa after the death of Bajirao II.

Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 
Though Nanasahib outwardly professed loyalty to the English, he always resented their sway over the Maratha dominions. Moreso, he was incensed when he was refused (1853) the title of the Peshwa (he was known simply as the Maharaja of Bitthur) and his entitlement to the pension by the English Governor General Lord Dalhousie. The British also started interfering in the Peshwa's financial and internal matters (On one occassion a property case was filed on the Peshwa indirectly by the British and the womenfolk in the Peshwas household were summoned to the court).This infuriated Nanasaheb to no end.
Opportunity to get back at the English came his way, when in 1857 the Indian Sepoy Mutiny broke out in India.
Nanasahib collected a fifteen hundred strong contingent, maintaining that it was for the protection of the English lest the rebellion spreads to Kanpur. But on 5th June 1857, he surrounded the 53 Native Infantry division of the British East India Company and declared himself on the side of the mutineers.

Note: As per some reports Nanasahib was a reluctant leader and was forced to take charge by the mutineers. Acc. to reports neither was Nanasahib trained  militarily nor did he have the basic requisites to be a general. Since the British treasury and arms at Kanpur were in his temporary charge, he was forced by the mutineers to join in the rebellion.

Nanasahib then proceeded to loot the treasury.He then came across an contingent of mutineers who were on their way to Delhi. They were soon induced to his cause. He attacked the British entrenchment led by General Wheeler, the next morning. The English held on to the entrenchment till June 26th. Thereafter they surrendered to Nanasahibs army on an assurance that he would give them an safe passage to Allahabad.

Satichaura Ghat and Bibighar Massacare
On 27th June, the English column consisting of soldiers and their families reached the Satichaura Ghat, from where they were to proceed by boat. For reasons unknown some India boatmen jumbed in the waters and started swimming to the banks. In the process some lanterns were knocked off setting some boats ablaze. This led to a lot of confusion. Someone fired the first shot, and soon there was exchange of fire between the mutineers and the English soldiers. Tatya Tope an aide of Nanasahib was leading the mutineers that fired upon the English. Many Englishmen were massacared that day. The women and the children were pulled away and taken prisoners to the Savada House, and later to Bibighar House (under the supervision of a prostitute by the name of Begum Hussaini Khanum), where they were united with the other English imprisoned womenfolk from Fatehgad.
Meanwhile a strong English contingent (consisting of Sikh soldiers) led by General Havelock had set out from Allahbad to take on the mutineers at Kanpur and Lucknow. They defeated Nanasahibs army at Fatehgad. They further defeated the army led by Nanasahibs brother Balarao at Aong on 15th July. They were also said to be perpetrating atrocities against the Indian villagers on the way.
When this news reached Nanasahibs camp, the mutineers were furious. They wrecked their anger against the hapless women and children at Bibighar. They were mercilessly gunned down (despite Nanasahebs protests).
This sordid incident goes down in history as the Bibighar massacare.
The English forces soon reached Kanpur and captured the town. Nanasahib and his men escaped to Bithur. The English who by now had gotten to know about the Bibighar massacare went on a rampage, indulging in arson,loot and killing.
The English troops later entered Bithur. But found that Nanasahib had escaped from there as well.
Nanasahibs general Tatya Tope continued offer a stiff resistance to the English.
It is said that Nanasahibs confidantes like Tatya Tope, Rani Laxmibai and Raosaheb (Nanasahibs nephew and close associate) met at Gwalior (June 1858) and declared Nanasahib as their Peshwa and vowed to continue their fight against the English.
But Rani Laxmibai met her valorous end at Jhansi .Tatya Tope also led an brave gureilla campaign against the English until his alleged capture and execution at Shivpuri.

NoteTatya Tope (b.1814-d.1859) was the son of Pandurangrao Tope, an courtier of Bajirao II. Tatya was born at Yeola in Maharashtra. He along with Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi were the childhood friends of Nanasahib Peshwe. He became the commander in chief of Nanasahibs forces and led an extensive gureilla campaign against the English forces. His skills in gureilla strategemns were praised even by his enemies.He was captured because of betrayal by a friend and finally executed.

Rani Laxmibai a.k.a Manikarnika a.k.a Manu (19 November 1828 – 17 June 1858) was the Queen of Jhansi.She was the daughter of Moropant Tambe an courtier of Peshwa Bajirao II. She married Gangadharrao Newalkar, the Raja of Jhansi. Her son died in his infancy and was soon followed by her husband. She having no son wanted her adopted son Damodar rao to succeed her. But the English wouldn’t allow it.When the English led siege to the Jhansi fort, Rani escaped and she joined the cause of the mutineers in 1858. They captured the fort of Gwalior and carried on its defense with the other rebels. This brave woman preffered to fight the English rather than surrender and met her glorious death in battlefield at Kotah ki Serai,Phoolbagh near Gwalior. General Sir Hugh Rose commented upon her death that the Rani "remarkable for her beauty, cleverness and perseverance" had been "the most dangerous of all the rebel leaders”.
Both Rani Laxmibai and Tatya Tope are revered as the icons of the First Indian Freedom Movement against the British

Disappearance of Nanasahib

Nanasahibs whereabouts were never known. Some reported that he escaped with his family to Nepal and died a fugitive in that country. While some claimed sighting him at Constantinople, while there were also rumours of him having escaped to Tibet. An person resembling Nanasahib was also caught at Gwalior by Maharajah Scindia, but its veracity was never confirmed. A ascetic alleged to have been Nanasaheb was also said to be living in the whereabouts of Sihor, Gujrat. In recent years there were even documents produced by a family living in Gujrat claiming to be the descendents of Nannasaheb.But none of these reports could be substantially confirmed.
The last Peshwa of the Marathas seemed to have disappeared in thin air.


1. Advanced Study in the History of Modern India 1701-1813 .Jaswant Lal Mehta (New Dawn Press - New Delhi )
2. New Cambridge History of India: The Marathas, 1600-1818 By Stewart Gordon, Cambridge University Press.
3. A History of the Maratha People by G.A.Kincaid and Rao Bahadur D.B.Parasnis (Humphrey Milford Oxford University Press).
4. History of the Mahrathas by James Grant Duff (Exchange Press, Bombay)


  1. did you read the book written by MR.PARAG TOPE, the great grandson of shri tatya tope, operation red lotus. He has exposed lot of myths related with the INDIAN SEPOY'S loss, which marxist historians have created.

  2. As per some experts in history of Marathas, the lawless had reached to such an extent that Pune people were so over joyed at the fall of Peshawai that they erected Gudhi and Toran to welcome the English army after 1818 Anglo Maratha war. Can any body give a proof of this claim?

    Even Mr.Kurundakar says the same in the preface on the novel Sriman Yogi (Julmache Rajkaran sample)

  3. Please read Gondavalekar's maharaj's biograhy. Gondavalekar maharaj used to meet nanasaheb in the himalayas where Nanasaheb spent his last days. Maharaj helped him understand the realities of his life and how ways to get freedom from British have changed. Nanasaheb spent his last years in nam-jap chanting. His last rights were performed by Gondavalekar maharaj.

  4. Well Nanasaheb disappeared from the rebellion grounds due to the hot pursuit of British forces. Later he remained an ascetic in Shirdi. In repentance of Bibikaghar massacre & the spilled blood, which he was unused to he began serving communities. Some old connections due to Peshwa influence started secretely visiting him & offered some money; which he spent on the needy people. Later he became "Saibaba of Shirdi" !

  5. Maratha's are one of the bravest community in India. Although it is history now but still feel bad for decline of peshwas. Astrolika