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MARATHA PERIOD

  • MARATHA PERIOD
  • Bhosles of Nagpur
  • Origin and rise
  • Parasoji Bhosle
  • Kanhoji Bhosle



  • Bhosles of Nagpur

    Origin and rise

    The Bhosle family is counted among the royal or Ksatriyaclans of the Marathas. The Bhosle house to which Chatrapati Sivaji, the founder of Maratha Kingdom belonged, hailed from Verul near Daulatabad. The Bhosles of Nagpur are known as Hinganikar as one of their ancestorswho was probably a contemporary of Maloji, the grandfather of Chatrapati Sivaji rehabilitated the village Beradi near Hingani in the present district of Poona. The two brothers Mudhoji and Rupaji of Hingani-Beradi were contemporaries of Sahaji Bhosle the father of Sivaji. Like Chatrapati Bhosle house, the Nagpur Bhosle family, too, considers that it descended from the Sisodia Rajputs of Udaipur. It is quite possible that some Ksatriya clans of the Rajputs came down to the Maratha country from the north during the long ascendancy of the Muslims.Nevertheless, it is a historical fact that there were Ksatriya families in the Maratha country like the Rastrakutas, the Calukyas and the Yadavas, who had no relationship with the Rajputs of the north.

    The family tree in the bakhar of the Bhosles of Nagpur denotes ancestors who were common to this house and also to the Bhosle house of the Chatrapatis. The Bhosles of Nagpur and the Chatrapati's house belonged to the same Ksatriya clan. However, there is no independent historical evidence to establish common ancestry between the two familiesin the few generations preceding Chatrapati Sivaji. The account in the bakhar of the Bhosles of Nagpur, therefore, has to be taken with a grain of salt.

    In the biography of Chatrapati Sambhaji by Malhar Ramrav Citanis it is stated that after the death of Sivaji his obsequies were performed by Sabaji Bhosle, as Sambhaji, the eldest son was in confinement on the fort of Panhala. But James Grant Duff in his' A History of the Marathas', Vol. I, p. 243, says that Sivaji's funeral rites were performed by one ‘Shahjee Bhonslay’ (Sahaji Bhosle). There is no unanimity among contemporary writers about the person performing Sivaji’s funeral rites.

    If, however, Sabaji Bhosle performed the obsequies there is every possibility that this Bhosle the ancestor of the famous Raghuji Bhosle of Nagpur was a known blood relation of the Chatrapatis. At the time of Sahu Chatrapati's home-coming when Tarabai and her partisans purposely cast doubt about Sahu being the grandson of Sivaji, it was Parasoji of the Nagpur Bhosle house who dined with Sahu and dispelled the doubt. Then again during the last years of Sahu's reign it was strongly rumoured that he would select an heir to the gadi of Satara from the Bhosles of Nagpur as he had no son. Later, the English offered to seat one of the Bhosle's of Nagpur on the gadi of Satara. All these events indicate the possibility of a common ancestor of the Bhosles of Satara and Nagpur though direct historical evidence is not yet forthcoming to establish the fact.

    The two Bhosle brothers Mudhoji and Rupaji were contemporaries of Sahaji Bhosle and were noted roving soldiers. (NPI., p. 44.). Rupaji, it seems was residing at Bham in the district of Yavatmal where he had a jagir.(Ibid, p. 46.). He was childless. Of the sons of Mudhoji, Parasoji and Sabaji stayed with their uncle at Bham and served in the army of Chatrapati Sivaji.

    Parasoji Bhosle

    Parasoji seems to have gained some distinction by his inroads into the territories of Berar and Gondavana during the reign of Sivaji. He exacted tribute from these regions. After Sambhaji's death when Rajaram succeeded to the throne of the Chatrapati Parasoji rendered him valuable help. In appreciation of his service Rajaram honoured Parasoji by presenting him robes, jari-pataka and the title of ‘Senasaheb Subha’. Gondavana, Devagad, Canda and Berar from where he had exacted tribute were given to his charge. (Malhar Ramrav Citanis Viracita Srimant Chatrapati Sambhaji Maharaja Ani Thorale Rajaram Maharaja yanci Caritre by K. K. Sane, Third Edition, 1915, p. 51). Parasoji was the first of the Bhosles of Nagpur to have received this honorific title. This grant was made in 1699 A. D. (NPI, p. 45,)

    When Sahu was released by the Moghals, Parasoji was the first of the Maratha nobles to join him. Parasoji dined with Sahu in the same dish to dispel the doubt of the latter's royal descent. In 1707 Sahu conferred on Parasoji the title of ‘Sena suheb Subha’ and issued a sanad granting him and his successors in perpetuity ‘mokasa’ of the following places:-

    1. Prant Ritapur and Sarkar Gavel, Prant Berar, Prant Devagad, Canda and Gondavana.
    2. Mahalwise details of Anagondi, (The word Anagondi is wrongly read. Anagondi is in Karnatak. The correct reading of the word cannot be ascertained.). Berar, etc:-

    Sarkar
    Mahals
    Gavel
    46
    Narnala
    37
    Mahur
    19
    Khedale(near Baitul)
    21
    Pavnar
    5
    Kalamb
    19
    Total
    6
    147

    So far, for the grant of 147 mahals from the six Sarkars, there is no documentary evidence. (NBB, p.31 states that these Mahals were granted to Parasoji Bhosle. Independent evidence in support of this statement is not available. P. D., Vol. 20, p. 1. “The Early struggle of the Bhosles cannot yet be set down with accuracy, not a single paper relating to Parasoji the founder, of the Nagpur Rajas and first prominent adherent of King Sahu, having been hitherto discovered”).Parasoji the first Senasaheb Subha died at Khed at the confluence of the rivers Krsna and Venna in 1709, on his homeward journey from Satara. (NPI, p.50.)

    Kanhoji Bhosle

    Parasoji was succeeded by his son Kanhoji. Chatrapati Sahu granted Kanhoji his hereditary title and also some land at Khed for the maintenance of his father's memorial. Darva was taken by Kanhoji and he made Bham his headquarters.

    In the struggle between the Sayyad brothers and Nizam-ul-mulk far the control of the Delhi affairs, the farmer received the support of Sahu. Sahu sent Bajirav Pesva and Kanhoji Bhosle against the Nizam. In the battle of Balapur fought an 10th August 1720, the Nizam came out victorious. Many Marathas last their lives. In the battle of Sakhar-Kheda, 1724, Kanhoji Bhosle offered to help Mubarij Khan against the Nizam, but Mubarij impudently refused it.

    Kanhoji breaks his relations with Sahu

    Kanhoji was a religious minded orthodox Maratha nobleman. It is said that he accepted food prepared by Brahmans alone. The religious bent of his mind was probably due to his having no son. He performed sacrifices, religious rites and observed fasts so that he should be blessed by God with a san. Kanhoji soon gat a son wham he named Rupaji. (Ibid, p. 56.)

    Kanhoji it seems was hat tempered. He could not carry on well either with the Chatrapati or the Pesva (P.D., vol. 20, p. 1.). When called by the Chatrapati to explain the causes of his failure to pay the dues into the treasury, Kanhoji could neither pay the dues nor explain the accounts. The fact seems to be that he was not prepared to brook control with sahu. As the relations worsened, Kanhoji on 23rd August, 1725, decamped from Satara and hastened to the Nizam for asylum. The Nizam, however, did not back Kanhoji as Sahu reminded him that such an act was against the treaty entered into between them. When all attempts at rapprochement failed, Sahu set Raghuji Bhosle against Kanhoji. Raghuji had been asking Kanhoji, his uncle, far his share in the ancestral jagir. This had naturally strained the relations between the nephew and the uncle. Chatrapati Sahu in setting the nephew against the uncle exploited the family feud to his awn advantage.

    After making the necessary preparations Raghuji marched in 1728 from Satara against his uncle. Sahu granted him the mokasa of Devur near Wai. Far this grant the Bhosles of Nagpur were also styled as the Rajas of Devur. Raghuji received the robes of Senasaheb Subha, sanads for Berar and Gondavana and the right to extend the levy of cauthai to Chattisgad, Patna, Allahabad and Makasudabad (Bengal).

    Raghuji entered Berar via Aurangabad. Near Jalana Samser Bahaddar Atole objected to Raghuji’s taking the army through his territory as the old route passed through Nanded and Asti. Raghuji avoided an encounter with Atole and encamped at Balapur after crossing the Lakhanvada ghats. From Balapur Raghuji sent his armed men all over the Berar and collected tributes. Sujayat Khan Pathan of Akola serving under the Navabs of Ellicpur was easily defeated by Raghuji and his territory subjugated. Thus, after establishing his rule over a greater part of Berar, Raghuji proceeded towards Bham. the headquarters of his uncle, in 1730 A. D. The small fortress at Bham was besieged by Raghuji's army. He was joined by his other uncle Ranoji. Finding himself in a difficult situation Kanhoji escaped from Bham and ran for safety towards Mahur. He was hotly chased by Raghuji and Ranoji and overtaken near Mandar (Vani). In the skirmish that took place, Kanhoji was defeated and taken a prisoner. Kanhoji, the second Senasaheb Subha, spent the remaining part of his life as a prisoner at Satara. (NPI, pp. 58-64) At one time Kanhoji was an enterprising officer of Sahu. He made some conquests in Gondavana and led an incursion into Katak, laying the foundation of Maratha expansion eastward. His proposals. that he should be allowed to maintain 200 horse, and Akola and Balapur in Paya Ghat should be restored to him, were not accepted. All was lost, once he lost the favour of Sahu. (James Grant Duff., Esq.-A History of The Marathas, Vol. I, p. 424, Calcutta, Published by R. Cambray and Co., Law Booksellers and Publishers, 9, Hastings Street, 1912.) The end of Kanhoji's political career in about 1730 A. D. opened up for Raghuji new opportunities in Berar, Nagpur and the region beyond to the east.

    Raghuji Bhosle

    By suppressing the recalcitrant Kanhoji, Raghuji gained the favour of Chatrapati sahu. As already observed Sahu conferred on him the title of Senasaheb Subha and the right to collect cauthai from Berar, Gondavana Chattisgad, Allahabad, Makasudabad (Bengal) and Patna. According to Grant Duff on the occasion of granting these rights Raghuji gave a bond which stated (Ibid, p. 424.) :-

    1. That he would maintain a body of 5,000 horse for the service of the State;
    2. Pay an annual sum of Rs. 9 lacs;
    3. Pay half of the tribute, prizes, property and other contributions excluding the ghasdana;
    4. Raise 10,000 horse when required, and accompany the Pesva or proceed to any place he might be ordered.

    These terms of the bond are important in determining Chatrapati-Raghuji and Pesva-Raghuji relations.

    Details of Raghuji's early life are not available. It seems that shortly after his birth his father Bimbaji died and he was brought up by his mother Kasibai and grandmother Bayabai at Pandava-vadi near Wai (District Satara). The child, it is said, was born by the grace of one Ramajipant Kolhatkar, a pious devotee of Rama and was, therefore, named Raghuji. There seems to be much truth in this story. Raghuji was a devotee of God Rama, though the family deity was Mahadev. He installed the new idol of Rama at Ramtek and was responsible for reviving the religious importance of this ancient place. In his letter-head he incorporated the word ‘Sitakanta’ meaning, the Lord of Sita in honour of his favourite God Rama.

    When Raghuji attained manhood he served in the army of his uncle Ranoji. Later he was with his other uncle Kanhoji at Bham. Raghuji did not fare well with Kanhoji and entered the services of Cand Sultan of Devagad. For some time he was also with the Navab of Ellicpur (NPI, p. 69.) Finally Raghuji decided to serve Chatrapati Sahu at Satara. During his stay there he was asked to accompany Fatehsingh Bhosle to the Karnatak where he distinguished himself as a capable soldier. When Raghuji's qualities as a soldier and leader of men came to the notice of Sahu, he appointed him against the disobedient Kanhoji.

    In the early part of his career Raghuji appears to have been a freelance soldier, shifting his loyalty from his uncle to the weak Gond Rajas. This was rather the time-honoured expedient resorted to by many an ambitious soldier. Raghuji was not slow to grasp the political situation prevailing in the area from the distant Karnatak to Gondavana and finally threw his lot with Sahu, who was by then a well-settled Chatrapati. This was indeed a wise decision which benefited Raghuji as also the Maratha expansion.

    After consolidating his position at Bham in Berar, Raghuji turned his attention to the Gond Kingdoms of Devagad, Gadha-Mandla Canda and Chattisgad. Internal dissensions in these kingdoms and their wars with other States were the occasions availed of by Raghuji for establishing his sway over them. In 1739-1740 Raghuji was sent to Karnatak by Sahu. Raghuji distinguished himself in this expedition. Returning from Karnatak he made the necessary arrangement for the invasion of Bengal and dispatched a large' army under the command of his General Bhaskarpant. Bengal invasion engaged Raghuji's attention for ten years, from 1741 to 1751 A. D. The net gain was the province of Orissa. It was during these years that the historic dispute between. Raghuji Bhosle and Balaji Pesva arose when their interest in the east clashed. Thus, broadly the chronological sequence of Raghuji's major exploits is –

    securing Berar by defeating his uncle Kanhoji;
    extending his sway over the Gond Kingdoms;
    Karnatak expedition; and incursions into Bengal.

    Raghuji and the Gond Kingdoms

    Devagad: Raghuji for sometime had sought service (RMSH, p. 171.) with Cand Sultan of Devagad after quitting his uncle Kanhoji at Bham with whom he had quarrelled. The details of Raghuji's service with Cand Sultan are not available from the known source-material. Cand Sultan died in about 1738. (NPI, pp. 71-74; also see RMSH, p. 173-As desired by the Rani Ratan Kuvar her “possessions were divided into three equal parts and one of them, namely that containing Gondavana Pavani, Marud, Multai and Barghat was given to Raghuji Sena Saheb” “He then lived in Nagpur and Devagad provinces.”) His illegitimate son Wali Sah killed Mir Bahaddar the legitimate son of Cand Sultan. Rani Ratankuvar, the widow of Cand asked for Raghuji's help as her two other sons Akbar and Burhan were minors. Raghuji at once proceeded from Bham and defeated Wali. Sah’s generals at Patansavangi. He next conquered Pavani to the south of Bhandara on the river Wainganga. This was a, strategic post. Raghuji appointed his own officer Tulojirampant. The fort of Bhanore or modern Bhandara was Raghuji's next target of attack. Wali Sah, from Devagad hurriedly dispatched an army under his divan Raghunathsing to relieve the pressure on Bhandara fort. Raghuji was camping at Sirasghat on the Wainganga. He split his army into two divisions stationing them at Sonbardi and Giroli. A select army under Raghuji Karande was sent to face the enemy with the instruction that it should take to its heels at a suitable time and lure Raghunathsing between the two Maratha divisions. Raghunathsing's army was entrapped, routed and drowned into the Wainganga. He himself was taken a prisoner in a wounded state and honourably sent back to Devagad with a view to capturing Wali sah by treachery. The fort of Bhandara was besieged. Its killedar resisted bravely for about 22 days but was finally forced to deliver it to the enemy.

    Raghuji next marched to Devagad. Wali Sah was advised by his divan Raghunathsing to go out of the fort. This was preplanned. In a skirmish outside the fort Wali was defeated and arrested. Rani Ratan Kuvar considered Raghuji as her third son and gave him the third part of her kingdom. She paid him rupees ten lacs for war expenses. In 1737, the Rani granted Raghuji a sanad of her one-third kingdom bestowed upon him.

    The sanad states that the fort of Pavani along with Ba1apur, paragana Mulatai with Cikhali and 156 villages under the said paragana, the whole of paragana Marud, were granted to Raghuji and his successors in perpetuity. (NPI, pp. 71-74; also see RMSH, p. 173-As desired by the Rani Ratan Kuvar her “possessions were divided into three equal parts and one of them, namely that containing Gondavana Pavani, Marud, Multai and Barghat was given to Raghuji Sena Saheb” “He then lived in Nagpur and Devagad provinces.”). The Rani also agreed that she would not enter into a treaty with any other power without the knowledge of Raghuji. With the possession of these parts of Devagad Raghuji shifted his headquarters from Bham to Nagpur. By 1748, the divan Raghunathsing attempted to break off his relations with Raghuji. The latter, therefore, brought Akbar and Burhan to Nagpur under his direct protection and care. (NPI., p.74.) Eventually their kingdoms came to be managed by Raghuji and the Gond house of Devagad shaded into insignificance.

    According to the account given in the bakhar (NBB) Raghuji secured a fresh sanad from sahu in 1738 A. D. bestowing upon him the right to collect cauthai and mokasa of Lucknow, Makasudabad, Bedar, Bengal, Bitia, Bundelkhand, Allahabad, Hajipur, Patna and Devagad., Gadha, Bhavargad and Canda (Ibid, p. 76,). This very information given by Wills runs as follows, “while returning from Satara Sahu Chatrapati bestowed Gondavana jhadi up to Katak free of revenue upon the Senasaheb Subha.”(RMSH, P.173.) Gondavana jhari is the ancient Zadi Mandala to the east of the Wardha river which included Nagpur, Bhandara, Canda, etc.

    Gadha-Mandla.-it seems that when Bajirav was busy fighting with the Nizam at Bhopa1 in 1736, Raghuji proceeded as far as Allahabad and exacted tribute from the Raja of Gadha-Mandla. Bajirav strongly resented this act. His son Ba1aji invaded Gadha-Mandla (NHM., Vol. II, p. 213. Raghuji complained to Sahu that Balaji captured his posts Gadha and Mandla, and ruined his paraganas Sivani and Chapar. The ruler of Mandla burnt himself to death to escape disgrace.) in 1742 on his way to Bengal. Raghuji who was engaged in his Bengal expedition at this time bitterly complained to Sahu of Balaji's encroachment upon Gadha-Mandla which was his sphere of activity. Along with Bengal, Allahabad, etc., Gadha-Mandla too was the bone of contention between Raghuji and Balaji. Both were finally reconciled to one another by Chatrapati Sahu in 1743. (Ibid, p. 219)

    Canda – The fate of the Gond rulers of Canda was sealed when Devagad and Gadha-Mandla had come under Raghuji's sway. During the reign of Rama Sah, Raghuji invaded Canda, but finding him a saintly king Raghuji was so impressed that he left the country unmolested. His successor Nilakanth sah had gained disrepute as a tyrant. To deliver the people of Canda from his tyranny Raghuji invaded his country and made him a captive. The successors of Nilakanth Sah were granted pension by Raghuji. Among the Gondavana territories of Raghuji Canda was next in importance to Nagpur. (NPI., p. 37.)

    Raghuji’s Karnatak expedition

    After the death of Aurangzeb the whole of Karnatak was in a state of chaos. The various principalities were trying to extend their territory at the cost of their neighbours. Karnatak, then, roughly included the territory to the south of Krsna bound by the Sahyadri and the Eastern Ghats. Aurangzeb had put Karnatak under the subhas of Bijapur and Hyderabad. The sanad of Cauthai granted to Sahu by Emperor Muhammad sah included Hyderabad and Bijapur Karnatak in addition to the four other subhas of the Deccan. According to this sanad the tributary states of Tanjore, Tricinopoly and Mysore were also subject to the levy of Cauthai.(A History of the Marathas, Vol. I. (1912), by James Grant Duff, p. 368.). The Nizam-ul-mulk as the subhedar of the Deccan claimed that all these territories belonged to him. The various navabs of Karnatak fought among themselves, the strongest of them trying to assert his authority over others by the simple law of might. The stronger navabs were those of Arcot, Sira, Kadappa, Karnool and Savanur. The principality of Tanjore from the days of Sahaji comprised the paraganas of Bangalore. Hoskot, Kolar, Balapur and sira. Its ruler Pratapsinha, Chatrapati Sahu's cousin, was constantly harassed by Canda Saheb, the son-in-law of Dost Ali, the navab of Arcot. Canda Saheb had usurped the kingdom of Tricinopoly by tempting its Rani Minaksi to form perpetual friendship with him. With the fall of Tricinopoly he cast his covetous eyes on Tanjore which belonged to Raja Pratapsinha. Pratapsinha appealed to sahu for help who dispatched a large force under Fatehsingh and Raghuji Bhosle. In April 1740 the Maratha forces attacked Area, killed the navab Dost Ali and took his divan Mir Asad, a prisoner in May 1740. With Area in their possession Raghuji and Fatehsingh laid siege to Tricinopoly, the stronghold of Canda Saheb. Raghuji was joined by Pratapsinha. Canda Saheb unable to receive aid from his brother Bada Saheb of Madura delivered the fort to Raghuji on 14th March 1741, the auspicious day of Ramanavami. Canda Saheb and his son Abid Ali were imprisoned by Raghuji and at once sent to Nagpur under the strict supervision of his general Bhaskar Ram. Later, in 1744 Raghuji freed these royal prisoners on payment of a ransom of Rs. 7.25 lacs from the bankers of Satara. Nothing is known about the place where Canda Saheb and his son were confined. Raghuji's leadership and tact in the Karnatak campaign at once enhanced his prestige at the court of Sahu. Pleased with his exploits Sahu conferred upon him the mokasa of Berar and Gondavana up to the frontiers of Katak. (NHM., Vol. II, pp. 253-57)

    During the war Canda Saheb had sent his treasure and zanana for safe custody to Dumas, the French Governor of Pondicerry. Raghuji, who had an eye on the wealth of the navab, at once reprimanded Dumas for sheltering his enemy. Dumas politely yet firmly refused to surrender the entrusted wealth and women. Raghuji's wrath was wafted away when he was presented a few fine champagne bottles by Dumas. Raghuji's wife is said to have been highly delighted with this French gift and asked for more. When Sahu came to know of this he is reported to have remarked that a kingdom was sold for a bottle of wine. Whatever the account of this story, its realistic side must not be lost sight of by historians. Dumas at Pondicerry was well-equipped with men and material. In the extreme hour of difficulty he would have easily escaped into the sea with his wealth and women, and Raghuji’s attack would have been rendered ineffective if he had chosen to launch one. Raghuji was not slow to understand the power of the French. Weighing things in mind Raghuji might have preferred an honourable retreat to a futile attack.

    Karnatak campaign gave Raghuji eminence at the court of Satara and eventually in the Maratha confederacy. It helped him in giving a status on par with the Pesvas.

    Raghujis raids on Bengal.

    Raghuji hurriedly returned to Nagpur as the Bengal affair was awaiting his presence.

    It was Kanhoji Bhosle who first led an incursion into the territory of Orissa or Katak taking advantage of the chaotic conditions prevailing there. Before he was defeated and sent to Satara as a prisoner by Raghuji Bhosle, Chatrapati Sahu granted Raghuji a sanad of Berar and Gondavana and of the right to collect cauthai of Chattisgad, Patna, Allahabad and Maksudabad (Mursidabad). (NPI., p. 61.) The date of his sanad 1723 A. D. is obviously incorrect. On this occasion the grant of mokasa of Devur near Wai to Raghuji is dated 1731, A. D. (Ibid, p. 59.). The sanad, of Chattisgad etc., up to Mursidabad, therefore, should also be roughly of the same date, i.e. 1730 or 1731 or an year earlier. It is not likely to have been given as. early as 1723 A. D. For this sanad of collecting cauthai from Chattisgad to Mursidabad sahu never obtained regular permission from the Moghals. In order to secure the cession of Malva under imperial seal Bajirav I endeavoured hard all his life. He forced the Nizam after defeating him at Bhopal in 1738 to obtain a sanad for Malva. (NHM., Vol. II, p. 159.) Actually Malva was given to the charge of his son Balaji as its deputy subhedar by an imperial farman as late as 1741 A. D. (Ibid, p. 202.) But Sahu when he allowed Raghuji Bhosle to extend his sway as far as Bengal and collect cauthai, had not actually obtained a royal farman from Delhi to that effect.

    The political condition of Bengal was precarious by about 1740. Bengal, Bihar and Orissa were, then, all under the navab. who resided at Mursidabad. Its able governor Mursid Qulikhan died in 1727. In 1740 his son-in-law Sarfaraz Khan who was the navab, was killed by an ambitious Turk in his service named Alivardi Khan. (Ibid, p. 209.) Alivardi's usurpation was hated by the partisans of the dead navab. The strong faction at Alivardi's court was headed by an able Persian of Siraz, by name Mir Habib who had risen to the position of deputy navabship of Orissa from very humble beginnings. He had made offers to Raghuji in the Bengal territory if he undertook an invasion. This was a very tempting offer to Raghuji who had been waiting to extend his sphere of influence to the east of Nagpur. Rather he considered the region from Nagpur to Bengal as his special field of activity. His brilliant successes in Karnatak had strengthened his claim which had the full support of Chatrapati Sahu who had granted him a sanad to that effect.

    When Raghuji was in Karnatak Mir Habib had been to Nagpur urging Bhaskar Ram to invade Bengal. But Bhaskar Ram waited till his master returned home from the distant Karnatak. On his return from Karnatak Raghuji made thorough preparations and sent a force of ten thousand under the able command of Bhaskar Ram. On the auspicious day of Dasara of 1741, Bhaskar Ram set out for the expedition. He marched through Ramgad plundering Pacet (60 miles or 96.540 km. east of Ranci) on the way to Burdvan. Alivardi Khan camping at Burdvan (15th April 1742) with his slender army was surprised by the Maratha forces. Bhaskar Ram employed half of his army in looting the area adjacent to Burdvan. The Khan finding himself helpless sent his agents to Bhaskarpant begging for peace. The negotiations, however, fell through as Pant demanded rupees ten lacs as peace price. The Khan secretly left Burdvan for Katva hotly chased by the Marathas. As it was then the month of May Bhaskar decided to return to Nagpur to avoid the fury of monsoon. He, however, changed his plan at the prospect of obtaining immense booty from Mursidabad as designed by Mir Habib. Mir Habib with a light Maratha force fell on Mursidabad and returned to Katva loaded with booty worth two to three crores. Alivardi reached his capital just a day late-7th May-when it had been denuded of its wealth by the Marathas.During the rainy season the Marathas and Mir Habib established their sway as far as Calcutta. They took back Orissa. The East India Company dug a ditch round their factory known as the Maratha Ditch.

    The Maratha camp at Katva was busy celebrating the Durga puja festival on 18th September 1742. It was attacked on 27th September by Alivardi's forces compelling them to run for safety helter-skelter. Bhaskar Ram escaped towards Pacet. He had to give up the outposts of Burdvan, Hugli and Hijli. Katak was retaken by Alivardi and he returned to Mursidabad on 9th February 1743. Bhaskar Ram informed Raghuji of this discomfiture requesting him to despatch aid immediately. Raghuji however could not send succour to Bhaskar Ram owing to his clash with Balaji Bajirav Pesva.

    The Pesva had left Poona as early as 1741 with a view to putting a stop to Raghuji's activities in Bengal. He consolidated his position in Malva with the help of Malharrav Holkar, and captured Gadha, Mandla, plundering Sivani and Chapar. Alivardi was terribly afraid on learning these activities of the Pesva, as he was expecting a joint attack by the Pesva and Raghuji. The Pesva, however, offered to help the emperor and Ahvardi Khan against Raghuji if he were granted the cauthai right of Malva, Bundelkhand and Allahabad. The Emperor readily agreed to this proposal and sent the Pesva to relieve Alivardi.

    On 1st February 1743, the Pesva and his vast army took a bath in the holy waters of the Ganga and the Yamuna at Prayag. Thence he proceeded to Mursidabad where he had a meeting with Alivardi near Plassey on 30th March, 1743. Alivardi agreed to pay the cauthai of Bengal to Sahu and rupees twenty-two lacs to Balaji towards the expenditure of the army(OUM., p.11). A meeting between Raghuji and Balaji earlier could nor bring any tangible result(NHM., vol. II, p. 216).

    The Pesva’s army actually clashed with that of Raghuji's in the Bendu pass near Pacet. The rear part of Raghuji's army was attacked and plundered by the Pesva. From Pacet Raghuji made good for Nagpur and the Pesva too started back for Poona via Gaya(Ibid, p. 217).

    Chatrapati Sahu who had known the deep-rooted rivalry between Balaji and Raghuji called them to Satara and brought about a reconciliation which was respected by both the parties. Had the breach been neglected it would have certainly been detrimental to the interest of the Maratha power in India. Raghuji and Balaji signed an agreement at Satara in the presence of the Chatrapati on 31st August 1743. By this, all the territory from Berar to the east reaching Katak, Bengal and Lucknow was assigned to Raghuji, and that to the west of this line including Ajmer, Agra, Prayag and Malva to Balaji Pesva. None was to interfere with other's sphere(Ibid, p. 219).

    Freed from the troubles with the Pesva, the Senasaheb Subha retuoc-ned to Nagpur from Satara and sent an expedition into Bengal under Bhaskar Ram with a view to making up the lost ground. Bhaskarpant left Nagpur early in 1744. Together with Mir Habib he harassed Alivardi pressing him to pay cauthai. Driven to desperateness Alivardi hatched a plot to kill Bhaskar by deceit. Through his agents he invited Bhaskar for a meeting. It was arranged at Mankura between Amniganj and Katva when both the parties had pledged not to do any mischief by touching the Kuran and Ganga water. Mir Habib had warned Bhaskar of the Khan's evil intention. But the brave and over-confident Bhaskar went to a parley with the Khan accompanied by a few select men. When Bhaskarpant took a seat in front of the Navab the latter gave a signal as pre-planned and the hiding Muslim soldiers cut Bhaskar and his comrades to pieces. Twenty-two Maratha chiefs were killed. This tragic event took place on 31st March 1744.(OUM, p. 12)

    Bhaskar Ram's murder was an irreparable loss to Raghuji and he never forgot the treacherous act of the Khan. With a view to punishing the Khan, Raghuji started with fourteen thousand horses, crossed the mountainous tract and putting Sambalpur to his left reached Orissa in March 1745. Durlabhram, the new deputy governor of Orissa, who was taken by surprise entered the fort of Barabati for safety. The fort was besieged by Raghuji, Durlabhram soon surrendered to Raghuji and found himself a prisoner in his camp, but the siege continued as another officer, Abdul Aziz offered stiff resistance. Alivardi was unable to send supplies to Abdul Aziz at the approach of the rainy season. Abdul therefore surrendered the fort to Raghuji on 12th May 1745, after bravely defending it for two months. When the siege was on the Marathas occupied Orissa as far as Midnapur and Hugli, and plundered Burdvan (Ibid, p. 14).

    After capturing the fort of Barabati the Marathas moved to Burdvan. At the invitation of a number of disgruntled Afghans Raghuji marched towards Bihar. An indecisive battle was fought at Mehib Alipur and Alivardi ran towards Mursidabad on 21st December 1745. At Ramdighi near Katva Raghuji received a terrible set-back and left for Nagpur in January of 1746. He stationed three thousand Marathas under Mir Habib on the understanding that he would pay rupees eleven lacs for the use of his army (OUM., pp.15,16).

    In order to checkmate the Marathas Alivardi sent his men from Mursidabad in November 1746. They inflicted a crushing defeat upon the Marathas at Midnapur. The Marathas fled towards Balasore through Jalesvar.(NHM., vol. II, p. 224)

    By this time Janoji Bhosle appeared on the scene. He reached Katak for the rescue of Mir Habib. A stiff battle ensued between Janoji and Alivardi, but as the rains were on, the latter returned to Mursidabad leaving the Marathas masters of Orissa up to Midnapur throughout the year 1747. The plundering operations of the Marathas continued unabated. Janoji returned to Nagpur on hearing the news of his mother's death. Mil Habib was at Midnapur with a Marathas force to help him. Raghuji sent his son Sabaji for the assistance of Habib.

    In 1748 Alivardi reached Balasore and despatched his army to drive away the Maratas who were making preparations to plunder the English factory under the command of Nilo Pandit. He in vain tried to search for the force under Habib, who was hiding in the jungles of Katak. He then made a surprise attack on the fort of Barabati and was finally able to take it in his possession. In June, 1749, Alivardi returned to Bengal.

    Mir Habib with the Maratha force reappeared at Katak. Alivardi had to postpone his attack on the Marathas as the rains had set in. On his reaching Mursidabad he was taken ill in October, 1749(OUM., pp.16, 17).

    From October, 1749 to March, 1751, the Marathas did not allow Alivardi to rest. They harassed him by avoiding an open war when he came out with a large army from Mursidabad. In 1750 when Alivardi was at Midnapur the Marathas quickly marched towards Mursidabad plundering all the way. Durlabhram and Mir Jafar the officers who were stationed at Midnapur were nervous and unable to check the Maratha inroads. This lingering war was a great drain on Alivardi's resources and men. The territory under him was a house divided against itself. In 1750 Alivardi was a man of 75, physically ailing. As the situation was intolerable his shrewd wife advised him to negotiate with the Marathas(NHM., vol. II, p. 224). Old Alivardi accepted his wife's counsel and deputed Mir Jafar to meet Janoji and Mir Habib to settle the terms of peace. For more than a couple of years Janoji was in Orissa(NPI., p. 98) or Raghuji was busy with the political affairs at Satara and Nagpur. The treaty was signed in May, 1751:- ,

    (1) Mir Habib was to be confirmed in the Government of Orissa as the deputy Subhedar of Mursidabad.

    (2) The Navab was to pay annually 12 lacs of rupees to the Bhosles of Nagpur for the cauthai of Bengal and Bihar.

    (3) When these amounts were regularly paid, the Bhosles were not to harass the two provinces.

    (4) The district of Katak, i.e., the territory up to the river Suvarnarekha was to be considered as the possession of the Bhosles.( NHM., vol. II, 224, Dr. B. C. Ray in his OrisNote: Vocabulariesa under Marathas, p. 20, expresses doubt regarding the exactness of the terms of the treaty. But from the treaty of Devganv, 1803, it is certain that Katak and Balssore were surrendered to the British by the Bhosles. This means that Katak and Balasore were with the Bhosles upto 1803, since their conquest.)

    After a long struggle lasting for nearly ten years, Raghuji was able to establish his right of collecting cauthai from Bengal and Bihar. The province of Katak as far as Suvarnarekha came under his possession. This was the greatest achievement of Raghuji Bhosle crowning his earlier successes.

    The smaller states of Raipur, Ratanpur, Bilaspur and Sambalpur of Chattisgad area were conquered by Bhaskar Ram during the first two raids of Bengal. Raghuji's illegitimate son Mohansingh D. was in charge of these States (NPI., p. 100).

    Raghuji's territory included the area from Berar to Katak. The Gond Kingdoms of Gandha-Mandla, Candd or Candrapur and Devagad were in his possession. Berar proper was under the dual authority of the Bhosles and the Nizam. Originally the Bhosles were to get from the revenue of Berar 25 per cent as cauthai, 10 per cent as sardesmukhi and 5 per cent as ghasdana, the total working at 40 per cent. The remaining 60 per cent of the total revenue of Berar was to go to the Nizam. But later this original treaty seems to have been reversed by which the Bhosles secured 60 per cent of the revenue and the Nizam the remaining 40 per cent.(NPI., pp. 48 and 102)

    The strategic forts of Gavilgad and Narnala with the territory attached to them were exclusively under Raghuji's possession. Similarly, the fort of Manikdurg in the Mahur area belonged to him. As already observed the states of Chattisgad were also under his sway as important outposts between Nagpur and the province of Katak. The acquisition of this vast territory speaks for Raghuji's generalship. He might have lost a few battles but he always won the war. In diplomacy, as understood in his day, he was second to none. By his mounting successes he won the confidence of Chatrapati Sahu and on critical occasions he was consulted by him Sahu, prior to his death had called Raghuji to Satara to discuss the matter of succession to the Chatrapati's gadi. Raghuji was related to Sahu through his wife.

    Like Bajirav I, Raghuji too was loved by his followers. He had capable and trustworthy persons like Bhaskarpant, Raghuji Karande, Tulojipant, Naroji Jacaka, Rakhamaji Ganes, Krsnaji Atole and others(NPI., pp. 105, 106).

    Raghuji and the Pesvas were not always on good terms. The rivalry between the two goes back to the days of Pesva Bajirav. The spheres of influence of Raghuji and Bajirav came into conflict when Bajirav secured one-third part of Bundelkhand for the timely help rendered to Chatrasal against Bangas. When Bajirav was fighting with the Nizam at Bhopal in 1738, Raghuji did not offer him any help in spite of repeated requests. In the agreement between Raghuji and Sahu, it was clearly stated that the former would accompany the Pesva in his campaigns. But actually neither Bajirav nor his son Balaji was able to command the services of Raghuji in their capacity as the Pesva or Prime Minister. Chatrapati Sahu too often found it difficult to exercise control when two or more of his high servants were at sixes and sevens. Lack of strong central authority was rather the serious defect from which the Maratha power suffered in the post-Sivaji period.

    Raghuji avoided an open clash with Bajirav knowing well his ability as also the influence he wielded over the Chatrapati. Bajirav too acting on the advice of his brother Cimajiappa settled his differences with Raghuji amilcably(NPI., p. 80).

    The differences between Raghuji and Balaji Pesva over the eastern sphere are historic. They were settled by the mild-tempered Sahu, who divided the spheres of activity of the two by granting Raghuji the territory from Nagpur to Katak and to the Pesva to the west of this line. Raghuji supported Babuji Naik who was aspiring for Pesvaship as against Balaji Bajirav. But so long as Sahu was alive such differences were not allowed to take a serious turn. After sahu's death Raghuji respected the Pesva’s authority. He did not join the Pesva’s opponents in the Maratha confederacy being convinced that he was the ablest man among the Maratha’s to occupy the Pesvaship. Raghuji knew well when to oppose and when to yield. He was not prepared to allow matters to be carried to the breaking point unnecessarily. In one of his letters to Nana Pesva he writes-' the Late Srimant Bajirav was kind to me. But differences arose when we had a clash with Avaji Kavade who had entered Berar. All these matters should now be forgotten and I should be treated as your man(PD. 20, p. 30).' Balaji Pesva on learning the death of Raghuji wrote-' Raghuji was a respectable nobleman. His death is indeed a matter of great regret. God's will has to be accepted. Of late Raghuji was of much help to us .(PD. 20, p. 68).

    Raghuji An Assessment

    Raghuji was a self-made man. He had risen to the status of a first-rate nobleman at the court of Sahu by the dint of his merit. He therefore regarded that his status was on par with that of the Pesva for all practical purposes. He disliked that the Pesva should interfere with his sphere of influence. It may be observed that for this mutual jealousy neither the Pesva nor Raghuji was so much at fault. The defect lay in the weakness of the central authority. In the absence of a strong centre the Marathas were not able to create an effective confederacy which could enforce its authority over all.

    Raghuji was mainly responsible for the prosperity of Nagpur. He brought along with him a number of Maratha and Brahman families from western Maharastra who infused new order and life in the administration of Nagpur and Berar. Cultivation of Nagpur improved under Raghuji. A number of Kunbi or' cultivators' families settled in the territory under Raghuji. The credit of settling the weavers or Kostis also goes to Raghuji Bhosle.

    Raghuji was a devotee of Rama. He installed the idol of Rama at Ramtek and revived the importance of this place of epic fame. He made land grants to many other temples and holy places.

    Janoji Bhosle, 1755-1772

    The Jari-Pataka and the saffron-coloured flag were the emblems of Raghuji. This great general who extended the Maratha power as far as Katak breathed his last at Nagpur on. the 14th of February 1755.(NPI., p. 103)

    Raghuji had four sons, Mudhoji: and Bimbaji from the elder wife, and Janoji and Sabaji from the younger. Janoji was the eldest among these brothers. It was Raghuji's desire that Janoji should succeed him and others should get their due shares of his vast territory. However, Mudhoji put his claim for his father's gadi on the plea that he was the son of the eldest wife of Raghuji. By the practice of primogeniture then prevailing, this claim was inadmissible. Janoji had the support of a number of courtiers like Krsnaji Govindrav the subhedar of Berar, Narahar Ballal, the subhedar of Nagpur, Sivabhat Sathe, the Subhedar of Katak, Raghuji Karanade, Bimbaji Vanjal, Naroji Jacaka, sivaji Kesav Talkute, Anandrav Vagh and Krsnaji Atole. Mudhoji had the support of Sadasiv Hari, his divan, Dinkar Vinayak, Sivaji Vinayak and Narashigrav Bhavanl. The dispute of the two brothers was referred to the Pesva Balaji Bajirav. Both of them were called to Poona. The title of Senasaheb Subha was conferred on Janoji while the new title of Senadhurandhar was created for Mudhoji Mudhoji received Candrapur or Canda and Chattisgad with the former as his seat of administration. Bimbaji was to reside at Chattisgad and Sabaji at Darva in Berar(NPI., pp. 115-118). The Bhosle brothers agreed to pay to the Pesva a sum of twenty lacs(NHM., Vol. II, p. 342) as present on this occasion according to the time-honoured custom. Actually the sanaa of Senasaheb Subha was issued as late as 1761 by Tarabai when Madhavrav I assumed Pesvaship. At the time, Devajipant Corghade was a promising young man who settled the amount of present between Janoji and the Pesva Balaji Bajirav.

    Janoji and Mudhoji fought among themselves when their negotiations were in progress at Poona, and even after their dispute was settled by the Pesva.

    By about 1759, the two brothers tried to settle their differences by resorting to arms. A battle was fought near Rahatganv in which Mudhoji was forced to retreat. In the treaty that followed, it was decided that Mudhoji should actively participate in the administration and Raghuji Karande, Trimbakji Raje (Wavikar), Bhosle and Piraji Nimbalkar should act as mediators with a view to avoid any rupture in future. Piraji Nimbalkar along with his force of six thousand was brought into the service of Janoji by Divakarpant. Piraji hailed from western Maharashtra.(NPI., pp. 126, 127)

    In 1760 Janoji: and Madhoji appealed to Sadasivrav to settle their dispute. Sadasivrav offered to settle it but asked them to run to his help at Udgir in his war against the Nizam. Both the brothers hastened to help Sadasivrav but the latter had concluded a treaty with the Nizam before the armies of the Bhosles could be brought into the field(Ibid., pp. 128,129).

    Later, Mudhoji was forced to leave the fort of Canda when two of his trusted officers AbajI Bhosle and Gangadharpant turned against him. Janoji taking advantage of this difficulty marched on Canda, but hurriedly left the place being involved in the Pesva-Nizam war, leaving behind Tulojipant and Majidkhan for the reduction of Canda fort.(Ibid., p. 155.)

    The differences between the two brothers often resulting in an armed clash naturally weakened the power of the Bhosles. Nagpur after the death of Raghuji became a hot bed of political intrigues. Many courtiers exploited the family faction to their selfish ends. The two brothers were finally reconciled to each other because Janoji who was without a son decided to adopt Mudhoji's son as his successor. The credit for this amity, however, goes to the situation rather than to the wisdom of either of the brothers.

    Janoji Bhosle was a man of vacillating nature. In the conflict between the Pesva and the Nizam he sided with the latter. But both the Pesvas Balaji and Madhavrav I proved too strong for him. Raghuji Bhosle when once reconciled with the Pesva by the efforts of Sahu remained loyal to him. Janoji failed to grasp the situation and had to pay heavily for the same in his relations with the Pesvas. At least as a matter of policy for safeguarding his own territory, he should have maintained friendly relations with the Pesvas.

    It was Bajirav who brought about a compromise between Janoji and Mudhoji. Janoji never cared to pay the Pesva the sum of the present he had agreed to, when he was invested with the title of Senasaheb Subha. Similarly, he was very negligent in the payment of the dues to the central treasury. The Pesva’s efforts to recover the State dues through his agents Vyankat Moresvar and Trimbakaji Bhosle proved futiles(NPI., p. 125). In 1757-58 Mudhoji accompanied Raghunathrav in his north Indian expedition. But soon returned back to Berar owing to some differences with him(NPI., p. 123).

    In the Battle of Udgir Janoji and Mudhoji went to help Bhau when the war was practically over. For a short time, when the Bhosle brothers worked in co-operation they helped the Pesva in his attack on the Nizam at Sindkhed(NHM., Vol. II, p. 342). The Bhosle brothers, mainly Janoji and Mudhoji did not accompany Bhausaheb to the battle-field of Panipat. Nor does the Bhau seem to have commanded their service when the Marathas were to engage themselves in a life and death struggle with Ahmad Sah Abdali. The cordial relations which existed between the Pesvas and the Sindes were conspicuous by their absence between the Pesvas and the Bhosles of Nagpur.

    Janoji and Mudhoji were with Nanasaheb Pesva when he was hastening to help Bhau before the final rout of the Marathas on the battle-field of Panipat. Janoji saved the retreating Marathas from the attacks of the anti-Maratha elements on their homeward journey. He brought the recalcitrant Bundela Chiefs under control.(NPI., p. 132)

    Following their defeat in the Third Battle of Panipat, the Marathas were busy putting their own affairs in order. The robes of Pesvaship were granted to Madhavrav I. His uncle who was aspiring for the same office was not happy with this arrangement. The Nizam who was smarting under the defeat he had suffered in the Battle of Udgir was eager to fish in the troubled waters at Poona. With a vast army of sixty thousand strong he desecrated the holy places of Toka and Pravara-Sangam and dug up Sinde's palaces at Srigonda for hidden treasure. In December 1761, he camped at Urulikancan for an attack on Poona. Raghunathrav sent urgent calls to the Maratha generals for help. Janoji Bhosle had joined the Pesva with his army(NHM., Vol. 2, p. 467). He was present in the Battle of Cambhargonda with a force of seven to eight thousand(NPI., p. 136). The Nizam was surrounded by the Maratha forces and compelled to surrender. Majority of the Maratha nobles felt that this was the long awaited opportunity to exterminate the Nizam. But this could not be brought about because of the easy terms he was given by Raghunathrav.

    Raghunathrav had given easy terms to the Nizam at Uruli with a view to securing his support in his dispute with Madhavrav which was expected any moment. Rav was unwilling to work in co-operation with his young nephew who was the Pesva. The situation deteriorated fast heading towards a civil war. Rav's partisans had secretly secured the help of the Nizam and Janoji Bhosle. In this great plot headed by Raghunathrav it was decided to deprive Madhavrav of his Pesvaship and power. Raghunathrav was to appoint men of his own choice in high offices. Janoji Bhosle was lured into the plot by the offer of Chatrapatiship at Satara after deposing Ramraja. Janoji and the Nizam met near Kalaburgi (Gulburga) and agreed to join the plot. From the territory that would be acquired, the Nizam was to secure sixty per cent of the total tribute and Janoji forty per cent. The Pesva’s agents Vyankar Moresvar and Ramaji Ballal tried in vain to dissuade Janoji and his adviser Divakarpant from joining the plot.

    Young Madhavrav realising the gravity of the situation boldly surrendered himself to his uncle and put an end to the civil war that was threatening to sap the Maratha power. By this dramatic decision Janoji's dream of securing Chatrapatiship evaporated.(NHM., Vol. 2, p. 472)

    Shortly after the surrender of Madhavrav to his uncle, the latter-Raghunathrav-started making his own arrangement by distributing offices and titles to his favourites and partisans. For some days in November, 1762, the Maratha leaders and diplomats assembled at Aleganv and discussed all domestic issues.(NHM., Vol. II, pp. 472-73) Unfortunately such meetings could not be had frequently to solve the problems of the Maratha confederacy. Moreover, there was not a strong central authority which could force the decisions on all the members taken at such meetings.

    The treaty between the Marathas and the Nizam proved to be short-lived. Raghunathrav who was proceeding against Haidar Ali received news that the Nizam and Janoji Bhosle along with a number of discontented courtiers were busy forming a coalition against him. Janoji and the Nizam met at Gulburga on 9th February 1763 and discussed the plan of seizing the Pesva’s lands and sharing the spoils. Among the other Marathas who joined the Nizam were the Patvardhans and the Pratinidhis. The Nizam as the head of this unholy alliance sent his demands to the Pesva stating that all the forts east of the river Bhima should be delivered unto him, those who had been deprived of their Jagirs should receive them back and the Pesva should settle all State affairs in consultation with the Nazism’s divan(Ibid., p. 475).

    This challenge nullified the easy terms which Raghunathrav had given to the Nizam at Urulikancan. Giving up the march on the territory of Haidar Ali, Raghunathrav moved towards Aurangabad. Malharrav Holkar joined Raghunathrav when he was promised an additional jagir of ten lacs. The plan of Raghunathrav and Holkar was to lay waste the territory of the Nizam and his partisans. Knowing well that Raghunathrav was a past master in the guerilla warfare, the Nizam decided to attack Poona on the advice of Janoji Bhosle. The combined armies of the Nizam and the Bhosles fell upon Poona in 1763. Gopikabai sought shelter with her men and jewellery in the fort of Purandar. Heavy tribute was exacted from the people of Poona, and the city burnt down. The shrine of. Parvati and other temples were desecrated and idols destroyed. Raghuji Karande the general of the Bhosle laid waste the region around Sinhga and Purandar. He looted the Pesvas jewellery at Sasvad and set on fire important State records taken there for safety(NPI., p. 150). To retaliate the sack of Poona Raghunathrav and his men carried fire and sword in the Nazism’s territory. His army sacked parts of Berar. Mahadaji Sinde was ordered to raid Janoji's territory and he proceeded towards Berar from Ujjain. Raghunathrav had written to Janoji reprimanding him of his disloyalty and bringing to his notice how unbecoming it was for him to join the Nizam. At the same time Malharrav Holkar was trying to dissuade Janoji to give up the cause of the Nizam through his advisers Divakarpant and Bhavani Munsi. Janoji was offered territory worth 31 lacs and was to be confirmed in the Sena-Saheb-Subhaship. These direct threats and diplomatic approaches finally won Janoji to the Pesva’s side. He agreed to leave the Nizam at the nick of the moment when the Marathas would lead an attack. The other Maratha nobles like Bhavanrav Pratinidhi, Gopalrav Patvardhan, Piraji. Nimbalkar and Gamaji were also persuaded to desert the Nizam on the promise of receiving jagirs and restoring lost positions(Ibid., p. 152). In the Battle of Raksasabhuvan (10th August, 1763) the Nizam was routed and forced to surrender. He gave to the Pesva territory worth 82 lacs. Janoji gave a banquet to the Pesva and presented him the guns he had captured in the sack of Poona along with the Nizam. Janoji and the Pesva were reconciled temporarily.

    Vitthal Sunder the divan of the Nizam who was the brain behind all the ambitious schemes of his master was killed in the Battle of Raksasabhuvan.

    The young Pesva Madhavrav distinguished himself in this battle. The success of this battle was mainly due to his strategic and tactical movements.

    Janoji and Madhavrav Pesva

    In the Maratha-Nizam struggle which ended in the battle of Raksasabhuvan, Janoji because of his changing policy had displeased both the Nizam and the Pesva. He had given up the wise policy of his father of supporting the Pesva as the strong man. His policy was devoid of any sound principle. It was guided by the idea of extending one's own territory at the cost of others, including that of the other Maratha potentates. This was rather the common malady from which the entire Maratha power was suffering. Madhavrav was determined to correct this defect. With great difficulty he had brought Janoji into his camp in the life and death struggle with the Nizam. The sack of Poona in which Janoji carried fire and sword was an act which the Pesva was not prepared to forget. In the family dispute between Madhavrav and Raghunathrav Janoji: always espoused the cause of the latter. Raghunathrav in his own way gave easy terms to Janoji looking upon him as his supporter in his dispute with Madhavrav.

    Madhavrav was waiting for an opportunity to punish Janoji. Berar was subject to the dual administration of the; Bhosles and the Nizam. This naturally created friction between the two on several occasions. In 1765 Mora Dhondaji an officer of the Nizam in Berar was attacked by Janoji's men. The Nizam's fiasco in the Battle of Raksasabhuvan was the result of Janoji’s treachery. He was keen on taking revenge upon Janoji for his breach of trust. He therefore appealed to the Pesva for help when his officer was attacked. The Pesva at once decided to help the Nizam(NPI., p. 159) On 17th October, 1765, Madhavrav proceeded from Poona and was joined by the Nazism’s divan Rukna-ud-Daula with a force of seven to eight thousand. The combined forces camped at Edalabad in December, 1765. Raghunathrav also came with his force to join his nephew. The Nizam started from Hyderabad and camped at Karanja. His army was well-equipped with artillery. From Edalabad the Pesva's forces went to Balapur and started looting the territory of the Bhosle after dividing themselves into suitable batches. Sums of Rs. 1,75,000 and Rs. 1,70,000 were exacted from Balapur and Akola respectively as tributes. Janoji and Mudhoji took shelter in the fort of Amner along with their families. Later, they shifted to the stronger fort of Canda. Janoji finding the combined forces too strong for him to overcome sued for peace through the Pesva's I envoy Vyankat Moresvar. The Pesva too had no stomach for the fight. He was satisfied with the punishment he had meted out to the disobedient Janoji. The terms of the treaty were finalised at Kholapur, near Daryapur in 1766. It was decided that the Bhosle should retain territory worth Rs. 8 lacs only, out of the total territory of Rs. 32 lacs he had received from the Pesva, in the Battle of Raksasabhuvan. Out of the remaining 24 lacs, the Pesva was to give the Nizam territory worth 15 lacs and was to retain for himself the rest(NPI., p. 165.). Many differences between the Nizam and Janoji were settled on this occasion. Following rapprochement Janoji sent his men to help Raghunathrav in his north Indian campaign.

    When the negotiations between Madhavrav and Janoji were in progress, the former's agent conveyed him Janoji’s contention. Its gist is indicative of the general state of affairs in the Maratha Confederacy. Janoji was not slow to understand that the dispute between him and the Pesva would only benefit the Nizam. But desire for power rendered any satisfactory solution difficult. The letter written to the Pesva by his agent conveying Janoji’s mind runs as follows: "The Srimant being angry with us (Janoji) has invaded Berar. I am not guilty of burning Poona.When the Nizam indulged in this act I did not support him. I, however, admit that I did not help in the campaign against Haidar Nayak. It is after all human to err. But the punishment meted out to me by depriving me of territory worth Rs. 30 lacs is too heavy. That has now been offered to the Nizam. Should the serpent be fed with milk? If I am ordered to attack the Nizam, I would destroy him in no time. ……… I shall proceed by rapid marches to meet your honour. I should not be let down".(NPI., p. 163) Janoji gave expression to his feelings in these words. But it seems that he did not really repent for what had happened. For, within a couple of years after the treaty of Daryapur he once again sided with Raghunathrav in his dispute with Madhavrav and drew the latter's wrath upon himself.

    Madhavrav attacks Janoji and humbles him.-In the quarrel between Madhavrav and Raghunathrav in 1768, Janoji decided to support the latter. However, Raghunathrav was defeated and arrested before Janoji's army could join him. Madhavrav was determined to teach Janoji a lesson for violating the treaty of Daryapur in which he had agreed to support his cause. Janoji was apprehensive of a fresh attack by the Pesva. He, therefore, sent his envoy Cimanaji Rakhamangad Citanis to the Pesva for a talk. The Pesva refused to listen to the envoy and asked Janoji to send Devajipant to Poona, as he considered Devajipant to be the mischief-maker in the Pesva-Bhosle altercation. Madhavrav arrested Devajipant and marched on Berar. The Pesva was accompanied by his generals Gopalrav Patvardhan and Ramacandra Ganes Kanade. The Nizam sent a force of eight thousand strong under Rukna-ud-daula and Ramcandra Jadhav. The Pesva with the forces of his ally occupied Bhosle's territory to the west of the Wardha river. The relatives of Janoji had taken shelter into the fort of Gavilgad. Jewellery too was removed to this place. Janoji with his forces encamped at Tivasa to the west of Wardha river, 7-12-1768.

    The Pesva did not chase Janoji. He took the fort of Amner (20-1-1769) and straightway proceeded to Nagpur. Nagpur was looted and burnt. The burning of Poona by Janoji was fully avenged. The fort of Bhandara was besieged and reduced by Ramacandra Ganes.( NPI., p. 175)

    The fort of Candrapur or Canda the strong-hold of the Bhosles was the next target or attack. The fort was besieged by the Pesva’s army. Janoji who was outside moved from place to place carrying on a running warfare with the Pesva’s army. In order to relieve the pressure on the fort of Canda Janoji spread rumours that he was marching towards Poona to release Raghunathrav from the custody. At the same time Devajipant who was in the custody of Madhavrav managed to receive secret letters from Janoji stating that when the Pesva was engaged with the siege of Canda, Janoji should attack Poona and set Raghunathrav free. The letters were intended, to be seized by Pesva’s intelligence department. This ruse had its effect. The Pesvas apprehension of Janoji's attack on Poona was strengthened. When these rumours gained currency, Poona was in the grip of consternation as the memory of Janoji's first invasion was yet fresh(NPI., p. 179). The Pesva at once decided to raise the siege of Canda and sent his men against Janoji. He sent a letter through Rukna-ud-daula to Janoji on 3rd March, 1769, expressing his desire for peace. Janoji who was eager to end the war sent his terms and the treaty was finalised on 23-3-1769 near Kanakpur. Devajipant was the principle figure on behalf of the Bhosle in bringing about this treaty.

    In the treaty of Kanakpur it was decided that-

    1) Janoji was granted a jagir of 32 lacs in 1763, out of which he was allowed to have only 8 lacs in 1766, Janoji should now relinquish all claim over the jagir.
    (2) The lands of the Bhosles, of Akkalkot confiscated by Janoji should be released.
    (3) The Bhosles used to collect ghasdna from the Aurangabad Subha belonging to the Pesva. They should. discontinue this practice. The Bhosles likewise should stop collecting ghasdana from the Nizam's territory. The Bhosles would get their ghasdana collections from the Pesva and the Nizam from their officers. The Bhosles should themselves collect ghasdana only if the Nazism’s Officers fail to do the same for them.
    (4) The Bhosles should serve the Pesvas with their army when called.
    (5) The Bhosles should make no changes in the strength of their army without the permission of the Pesva.
    (6) The Bhosles should not shelter rebels and disloyal persons' coming from the Pesva's territory.
    (7) The Bhosles should not enter into political negotiations with the Emperor of Delhi, the Navab of Oudh, the Rohillas, the English and the Nizam without the consent of the Pesvas.
    (8) The Bhosles should pay an annual tribute of Rs. 5 lacs to the Pesva in five instalments.
    (9) The army of the Pesva while passing through the Bhosle's territory would use the old routes.
    (10) The Pesva should not interfere with the domestic affairs of Janoji so long as he was looking after his relations properly.
    (11) Reva Mukundpura, Mahoba, Carthane, Jintur, Sakarkheda, Mehekar should be given to the Pesva by Janoji.
    (12) The Bhosle should send his army to Orissa only if it is not required by the Pesva.
    (13) The Pesva should help the Bhosle with his army in the event of an invasion of the latter's territory(NPI., pp. 181-183).

    Madhavrav and Janoji met at Mehekar ceremonially. Parties and presents were exchanged. The Nizam's divan Rukna-ud-duala was also present at Mehekar.(NPI., p. 184)

    A careful analysis of these terms shows that Madhavrav's aim was to bring central control in the Maratha confederacy, which was so necessary for its growth and survival. From the days of Bajirav I, the Pesvas were struggling hard to assert their authority over the Bhosles of Nagpur in their capacity as prime ministers. There was no clear constitutional ruling on this point except the prevailing practice. The Bhosles in their own way considered themselves as the equals of the Pesvas.All accepted the overlord. ship of the Chatrapati. But after the death of Sahu his successors proved to be nonentities. Under the circumstance the Pesvas tried to assert their authority over others with a good degree of success up to Madhavrav.

    During Janoji's Sena-Saheb-Subhaship Purusottam Divakar alias Devajipant Corghade of Narkhed rose into prominence. He secured for Janoji huge sums of money required for war. In his dealings with Madhavrav Pesvas Divakarpant was his chief adviser. Madhavrav considered Devajipant as the Machiavelli at the Nagpur Court. He was a full wise man out of the three and a half wise men of the day. (The three and a half wise men were popularly known as Deva, Sakhya, Vitthal and Nana. Deva stood. for Devajipant, Sakhya for Sakharam Bapu Bokil, Vitthal for Vitthal Sundar at the Court of the Nizam and Nana was the famous Nana Phadnis). For some time towards the end of Janoji's career Divakarpant lost his master's confidence and fell on evil days. But he was always looked upon as the inevitable man on critical occasions because of his keen grasp of events. Very few original papers are available about this diplomat of Nagpur. He died in 1781. Among other persons of note of Janoji's times may be mentioned Bhavanipant Munsi, Bhavani Kala and Ganes Sambhaji. Bhavanipant Munsi became Janoji's counsellor when Devajipant fell from his favour. Bhavani Kalo rose to the position of the general. For sometime he was the subhedar of Katak. He constructed the temple of Balaji at Vasim and installed the image. The last, Ganes Sambhaji too acted as the Subhedar of Katak(NPI., pp. 187-93).

    Janoji Bhosle had no son. He had decided to adopt Raghuji, the eldest son of his brother, Mudhoji. After the treaty of Kanakpur he was on good terms with Madhavrav Pesvas. Janoji travelled to Thevur near Poona where Madhavrav was on his death-bed and secured his consent to Raghuji's adoption. From Thevur he went to the holy places, Pandharpur and Tulajapur. He died at Yeral (Naldurg) on his homeward journey on 16th May 1772, owing to severe stomach-ache. Mudhoji created a monument in honour of Janoji and secured some land from the Pesvas for its maintenance(Ibid., 187).

    After the death of Janoji the house of Bhosles. was plunged into family feud worse than the one that was witnessed at the death of Raghuji. Prior to his death Janoji had secured the consent of the Pesva for regularising the adoption of Raghuji II, as he was himself without a son. Hut the actual adoption ceremony had not been gone through. Neither was the title of Sena-Saheb-Subha conferred on Raghuji II, officially. Exploiting these lapses Sabaji the younger brother of Mudhoji, approached Madhavrav Pesva for the grant of Sena-Saheb-Subhaship. As Mudhoji was a partisan of Raghunathrav, Madhavrav sent the robes of Sena-Saheb-Subhaship for Sabaji with his agent Ramaji Ballal Gune. At the same time Daryabai, the widow of Janoji, joined Sabaji and declared that she was pregnant and would give birth to a posthumous child. This created an embarrassing situation for Mudhoji(INPI.,p.195). The success of the parties at Nagpur thus depended upon the powerful personality in the family dissensions of the Pesvas at Poona. Family disputes for power and position broke out in every Maratha confederate state. Neither the Bhosles nor the Pesvas were an exception to this state of affairs.

    As a safety measure Mudhoji sent his family members into the fort of Canda and collected a force of 25,000 strong to face Sabaji. The armies of the two brothers met at Kumbhari near Akola in 1773. After a few engagements the two brothers decided to close the fight. It was agreed that Sena-Saheb-Subhaship should go to Raghuji II and actual administration should be looked after jointly by Mudhoji and Sabaji(NPI.,p.197). The Prabhu brothers, Vyankal Kasi and Kaksman Kasi were deputed to Poona for securing the robes of Sena-Saheb-Subhaship for Raghuji. At this time Narayanrav was the ruling Pesva. This arrangement proved unsuccessful as Sabaji was dissatisfied with it. In the rivalry between Narayanrav and Raghunathrav, Sabaji took the side of the former while Mudhoji supported the latter. Sabaji sought the aid of the Pesva and the Nizam, and the combined forces laid siege to Ellicpur as its Navab was a partisan of Mudhoji. But in 1773, when Narayanrav Pesva was murdered Sabaji's party was considerably weakened and he openly supported the Barabhais. Mudhoji's cause was greatly strengthened when Raghunathrav assumed power after murdering his nephew. A compromise was brought about between Mudhoji and Sabaji, which in its own way was destined to be short-lived. The Nizam, who had taken the side of Sabaji, drew upon himself the wrath of Raghunathrav. The Nizam was attacked and forced to enter into a treaty with Raghunathrav. With the Bhosles, the Nizam formed the treaty of Sixty-Forty.(Ibid., p. 202)

    The family dispute between Mudhoji and Sabaji was finally set at rest when the latter was killed in the battle of Pancganv near Nagpur on 26th January 1775. In this battle Mudhoji was joined by the Gardi Muhammad Yusuf, one of the murderers of Narayanrav(NPI., p. 205). The Pancganv battle gave Mudhoji a free hand in the political affairs of Nagpur. Daryabai and the other partisans of Sabaji quietly surrendered to Mudhoji. (NPI., p. 205)

    For sometime in 1775, the Barabhais instigated Sivaji Bhosle of Amravati to rise against Mudhoji. They promised Sena-Saheb-Subhaship to Sivaji. This move was deemed necessary by them as their rival Raghunathrav had the support of Mudhoji Bhosle. On 6th March 1775, Raghunathrav entered into an alliance with the British at Surat in order to oppose the Barabhais. The rising of Sivaji Bhosle of Amravati could not assume any serious proportion due to the timely mediation of Divakarpant.(Ibid., p. 209).

    The fratricidal wars among the Marathas were fully exploited by the English for the expansion of their power. In 1773, when the Poona court was faced with extraordinary situation following the assassination of Narayanrav, the British forces moved from Bombay and took the fort of Thana'. In fact the British had been casting their covetous eyes on the island of Sasti (Salsette), since long, for the safety of Bombay. The fort of Thana surrendered on 28th December 1773(NHM., Vol. III., p. 43). This was the actual beginning of the First Anglo-Maratha war which terminated in the Treaty of Salbye in 1782. Raghunathrav, in his quarrel with the Barabhais finally embraced the British giving them the long sought opportunity of interfering with the internal affairs of the Marathas. Raghunathrav became a British protege by the Treaty of Surat, 6th March 1775. With a view to curbing the growing ambition of the British and their aggression Nana Phadnis proposed an anti-British Confederacy consisting of the Pesva's Government, the Nizam, Haidar Ali and the Bhosles of Nagpur. At this time the prestige of the British had suffered a set-back in the eyes of the Indian powers due to the unscrupulous methods of Warren Hastings. This was rather the opportune time for the Marathas to move against the British as they were engaged in a long war with the French. But the well-conceived quadruple alliance could not be worked out because of the machinations of Warren Hastings. Realising the danger of the alliance proposed by Nana Phadnis Hastings restored Guntur to the Nizam and detached him from the Confederacy. His next move was the seduction of the Bhosles of Nagpur.

    According to the plan of Nana Phadnis, the Bhosles were to attack the English in Bengal, Haidar Ali to proceed against Madras and the Poona forces to harass the British in Gujarat and Bombay. To execute a part of this joint plan, a large force under Khandoji Bhosle popularly known as Cimanaji marched towards Orissa. Cimanaji was a man of courage and action. He was instructed to invade Bengal for the collection of cauthai which was in arrears. But at the eleventh hour he was, prevented from stepping into Bengal by Raghuji II on the advice of his crafty minister Divakarpant Corghade. Hastings was able to purchase the loyalty of both Khandoji and Divakarpant by bribing them heavily. By the end of 1778 Goddard had secured Mudhoji's permission for the passage of his army through the latter's territory into Gujarat. Nana was enraged at this and immediately sent for Raghuji and Divakarpant and secured their support to his four-party alliance(NHM., Vol. III., pp. 97, 98). But the two never kept their word

    Mudhoji Bhosle who was a sworn member of the Confederacy was the first to inform Hastings of Nana's plan. It was he who prevented Khandoji Bhosle from invading Bengal. Mudhoji, in all these activities had violated the Treaty of Kanakpur between Janoji and Madhavrav. It was presumed that he would observe the treaty to which his elder brother Janoji was a party. But at the critical juncture he cast the previous bindings to the winds and went ahead recklessly allying himself with the British and their protege Raghunathrav for selfish gains. The role played by Mudhoji, Raghunathrav and their supporters is indicative of the state of affairs prevailing among the ruling Maratha noblemen.

    In 1785 Mudhoji had been to Poona with his army to help Nana Phadnis in the war against Tipu Sultan. The battle was fought at Badiimi-1786 in which the Nizam, the Bhosles and the Pesvas jointly defeated Tipu. Cimanabapu distinguished himself in this war. On his homeward journey Mudhoji paid a visit to the holy places in Maharastra and returned to Nagpur. Mudhoji died at Nagpur on 19th May 1788(NPI.,pp. 213, 214), after a very active political career of over two decades.

    Towards the end of Janoji's career Divakarpant had fallen from his grace and was imprisoned. His property too was confiscated. Mudhoji who needed his help most released him. Divakarpant was soon restored to his former position and served Mudhoji as his principal counsellor. Mudhoji was never loyal either to the Barabhais or to Nana Phadnis. Throughout his career he supported Raghunathrav. At one time he was prepared to serve as the vassal of Warren Hastings severing his relations with the Pesva. Divakarpant had to tow the line of his master. But in doing so he could have impressed upon his master as to what was ultimately good for the Maratha nation as a whole. This naturally required a man of high moral character. It could not be expected of Divakarpant who was enjoying the confidence of Warren Hastings, to rise above self-interest. Divakarpant was bribed by Hastings in order to dissuade the Bhosles from the quadruple alliance of Nana Phadnis. Thus, 'the full-wise man' out of the noted three and a half wise men of the Maratha country, proved to be otherwise in the large national interests.

    Raghuji Bhosle II, 1775-1816

    The title of Sena-Saheb-Subha was finally conferred on Raghuji in 1775, during the Pesvaship of Savai Madhavrav(NPI., pp. 300-302). Actually he was designated for this title much earlier but sanction for the same could not be had from Poona, because of the strained relations between the Pesvas and the Bhosles. Raghuji assumed power after the death of his father Mudhoji.

    Raghuji's relations with Nana Phadnis were amicable. In the Battle of Kharda, 1795, Raghuji: sent his army under Vitthal Ballal Subhedar to help the Pesva. Vighal Ballal distinguished himself in this war and was highly honoured by Nana. Raghuji's gains in this war were substantial. He received territory worth three and a half lacs from the Nizam for the ghasdana of the Gangthadi region. The Nizam agreed to pay his arrears to Raghuji amounlting to Rs. 29 lacs. It was decided that both should share the revenues of Berar as in the past. New sanads of the territory to the south of the Narmada were granted by the Pesva to Raghuji. Sanads of this territory were granted to the Bhosles by Nanasaheb Pesva but the officers of the latter had not given the actual possession so far. Raghuji got the possession of Husangabad, Cauragad and Bacai. Raghuji stuck to the party of Nana Phandnis even after the tragic end of Savai Madhavrav. In appreciation Nana gave Raghuji Rs. 5 lacs in cash and the possession of Gadha-Mandla.

    The Raja of Sagar gave Raghuji a part of his territory for the help he had rendered in the event of an attack by one Amirkhan. Similarly, the fort of Dhamoni was secured from a petty Rajput chieftain and Husangabad from the Navab of Bhopal by Raghuji. Thus, by 1800 Raghuji's kingdom was at its zenith. It was the largest of the Maratha states towards the close of the eighteenth century.

    The following account might give some idea of the territory and its revenue under Raghuji II:(NPI.,p.310)

    Territory
    Revenue
    Rs. (in lacs)
    1.
    Devgad, including Nagpur
    30
    2.
    Gadha-Mandla
    14
    3.
    Husangabad, Sivani-Malva, Cauragad, etc.
    7
    4.
    Multai or Multapi
    2
    5.
    Half the revenue of Berar and of Gavilgad, Narnala, etc.
    30
    6.
    Orissa and the other feudatory states in the area.
    17
    7.
    Candrapur of Canda
    5

    8.

    Chattisgad and the other feudatory states like Bastar, Sambalpur, Sirguja, Kankar, Kalahandi, Jasapur and Gangpur.
    6
     
    111

    These figures of revenue from the different parts of the territory under Raghuji appear to be true. Raghuji, however, was destined to see the decline of the Bhosle house when called upon to face the powerful East India Company.

    In 1798, Lord Wellesley came to India as the Governor-General. His objective was to bring the Indian States under 'Subordinate Isolation' by his most potent weapon of 'subsidiary system'. Mysore was the first of the Indian States to be forced to accept the subsidiary alliance. The Nizam was the next to enter it for self-protection. Bajirav II in his wars with the Maratha potentates and in particular with Yasvantrav Holkar, embraced the subsidiary treaty in 1802. Thereafter the Maratha states one after another sold their freedom for a mess of pottage. Under the circumstances, it was not easy for Raghuji to keep himself out of the iron trap laid by Wellesley. As early as 1799 Mr. Colebrooke was sent to Nagpur to persuade Raghuji to enter the subsidiary alliance. He stayed in Nagpur for two years but was not successful in bringing Raghuji under the alliance.(NHM, Vol. III, p. 402)

    The Treaty of Bassein of 1802, by which Bajirav II bartered away his freedom was highly resented by Yasvantrav Holkar. Daulatrav Sinde and Raghuji Bhosle, too, were upset by Bajirav's decision. After the Treaty of Bassein Lord Wellesley had been pressing upon Daulatrav and Raghuji to enter into a similar alliance with the British without delay. It was clear that Wellesley was trying to hold aloof Daulatrav and Raghuji. Col. Collins was deputed for negotiations with the two chiefs. They evaded a definite reply in order to gain time, whereupon, Col. Collins left the Sinde's camp. On 7th August 1803, General Wellesley proclaimed a war against the Bhosles and the Sindes, and called upon the general populace to keep itself aloof from the struggle.

    The fort of Ahmadnagar which was equipped with munitions and supplies was attacked by Wellesley. Sinde's European Officers who were bribed and seduced went over to the English. Sinde's Brahmin keeper of the fort finding the position untenable surrendered the fort on 12th August 1803. The Bhosle's army joined the Sindes near Jalanapur and a stiff action took place culminating in the battle of Assai on 24th September. The Marathas fought well but were finally defeated. The loss on the English side was heavy, 663 Europeans and 1,778 Indians were killed in action. Stevenson next captured Burhanpur and Asirgad, the two strongholds of the Sindes. These successes of the English depressed both the Sindes and the Bhosles. On the 6th November Sinde's agent Yasvantrav Ghorpade came to Wellesley's camp to arrange the terms of peace.(Ibid, Vol. III, pp. 410,411)

    The Bhosles were now singled out by Wellesley and Stevenson advanced against the fort of Gavilgad. The Sindes sent their force to help the Bhosle, violating the truce they had made with the English. The two armies met on the vast plane between Adganv and Sirasoli. The Maratha guns played havoc among the English army forcing them to flee. But the English Generals collected their forces again and attacked the Marathas. In the last action the Marathas were defeated. The battle of Adganv thus decided the fate of the Marathas on the 29th November 1803. The fort of Gavilgad fell on 25th December when its keeper Benisingh Rajput died fighting.(NHM, Vol. III, p. 412)

    On 17th December Raghuji Bhosle signed a treaty at Devaganv near Ellicpur with the English.

    The terms of the treaty of Adganv were as follows:

    (1) The Bhosle should surrender the territory to the west of the river Wardha as also the provinces of Katak and Balasore. The Bhosles were to retain for themselves the forts of Gavilgad and Narnala and the territory under these forts worth Rs.4 lacs; i.e., the paraganas of Akot, Adganv, Bagnera, Bhatkuli and Khatkali.

    (2) Any dispute between the Nizam, the Pesva and the Bhosle should be settled through the mediation of the English.

    (3) The Bhosles should have no relations with any European except the English. The English too should have no relations with either the enemies or relatives of the Bhosles.

    (4) The Bhosles should have no relation with any member of the Maratha Confederacy.

    (5) Both the parties should have the envoy of the other at their Courts.

    (6) The Bhosles should respect the treaties which the English have formed with the former's feudatories lying between Orissa and Chattisgad.(NPI., p: 344)

    Berar was given to the Nizam for the help he rendered to the English. By this, treaty the Bhosles practically lost their independent status. The territory under them was now confined to Nagpur and the neighbouring area.

    The English were successful in keeping Yasvantrav Holkar out of the picture in their struggle with the Sindes and the Bhosles. They fully utilised the hostility between Daulatrav and Yasvantrav. The long cherished dream of the English to secure the coastal strip stretching from Calcutta to Madras was fulfilled.

    Daulatrav Sinde too, signed a treaty with the English at Suraji-Ananganv on 30th December 1803.

    According to the 5th term of the treaty of Devaganv Mount Stuart Elphinstone was sent to Nagpur as the British resident. He forced Raghuji to give up his sovereignty over the States to the east of Nagpur. Smarting under the recent defeat he had suffered at Devaganv, Raghuji was trying to reorganise his army and secure news about Yasvantrav Holkar's movement so that he might take revenge upon the English if a suitable opportunity permitted such action. But the Resident kept a close watch over. Raghuji's movements and desisted him from keeping any contact with Holkar and his men.(NPL, pp. 361.62)

    With the fall of the Sindes and the Holkars the marauding bands of the Penharis became the scourge of the restless times. They fell upon the peasants and the citizens and looted their property. Where resistance was offered they indulged in killing and raping. With the fall of their supporters the Sindes and the Holkars, the cruelties of the Pendharis became all the more wanton. They have been rightly described as the scavengers of the Maratha army.

    One of the leaders of the Pendharis Amirkhan attacked Jubbulpore in about 1809. The local Subhedar of the Bhosles Jijaba Ghatge tried his best to defend the city but was defeated and forced to take shelter in the fort of Mandla. In order to defend the Narmada region from the Pendharis inroads Raghuji appointed Vitthal Ballal Subhedar, Benisingh, Raghunathravbaji Ghatge and Muhammad Amirkhan of Sivani.

    At one time the Pendharis looted Ramtek and Bhandara and appeared in the suburbs of Nagpur. The Bhosle's officers Ali Khan and Malji Ahirrav were finally able to force them to retreat(Ibid, pp. 373-75). It was Lord Hastings who exterminated the Pendharis by conducting an all-out campaign against them.

    During the Bhosle-English wars the Navab of Bhopal had taken Husangabad and Sivani from the Bhosles. In 1807 Raghuji sent his army and captured Cainpurvadi and Cankigad of the Bhopal territory. Later he entered into an agreement with the Sindes for a concerted attack on Bhopal. The two armies besieged Bhopal fort in 1814. But Raghuji withdrew his forces when the Nawab of Bhopal asked for British help.(NPL, pp. 377-78)

    Sambalpur and Patna were granted back to Raghuji in 1806.

    After the battle of Adganv Raghuji was being persuaded to accept the subsidiary alliance. Jenkins, who succeeded Mount Stuart Elphinstone as the resident of Nagpur, once again appealed to Raghuji that he should allow the stationing of the British army at Nagpur. But Raghuji skillfully avoided all such appeals. In 1811 when the Pendharis burnt some wards of Nagpur city Raghuji asked for British help, but it was refused as Raghuji was not willing to enter subsidiary alliance.

    In 1801-02, on the occasion of the Sinhastha Parvani Raghuji with the members of his family had been to Dharmapuri on the bank of the Godavari for a bath.(Ibid, p. 308)

    Raghuji's relations with his brother Vyankoji alias Manyabapu were not happy. Manyabapu enjoyed the title of Senadhurandhar. He was brave and adventurous. He died at Kasi in 1811.(NPI., p. ;386)

    Mr. Colebrooke the great Sanskrt scholar, who was deputed to Nagpur as an envoy in 1799, has left a lively description of Raghuji. Raghuji lived in a spacious palace surrounded by gardens. The palace had six quadrangles or cauks each of which had a three-storeyed structure. The drawing hall in the palace was well decorated with chandeliers and pictures. The hall which was meant for the Raja had beautiful carving. The garden around the palace had good roads enclosed by fencing.

    Raghuji was not fond of pomposity either in dress or manners. He was sweet-tongued and behaved in a friendly manner even with his subordinates. He was, however, careful in maintaining the decorum and discipline of the darbar. During leisure hours all were entertained by singing and dancing. Raghuji was fond of hunting, so much so that when a tiger was reported in the neighbourhood he often hastened to the place with his party leaving the office work. He, however, never neglected administrative duty. Sridhar Laksman. Munsi and Krsnarav Citnais were the most trusted courtiers of Raghuji.

    The Dasara festival during Raghuji's reign was a brilliant spectacle displaying his grandeur and glory.(NPI., pp. 312-14)

    Raghuji loved his kith and kin and was extremely fond of children. Bakabai was his favourite queen. He was pious and devoted to his mother. But Raghuji lacked quick decision and courage. In the war with the English he often left his fighting forces. He was willing to wound yet afraid to strike. In diplomacy he was no match for the contemporary Englishmen with whom he was required to deal.

    After the treaty of Devaganv, Raghuji, it seems, was in financial difficulties. His anxiety for wealth grew with age bringing him into disrepute. He was nicknamed the big baniya for the methods he used in collecting money. Raghuji who had the good fortune of witnessing the glory of the Bhosle house at its zenith was also destined to see its decline. He died on 22nd March 1816.

    Parasoji Bhosle, 1816-1817

    Raghuji II was succeeded by his son Parasoji in 1816. Parasoji was paralytic, blind and mentally deranged. His father's efforts to improve him proved fruitless. Bakabai, Parasoji’s step-mother brought him to her palace and took charge of the administration with the help of Dharmaji Bhosle, Naroba Citanis and Gajabadada-Gujar. Dharmaji was an illegitimate son of Raghuji and was the custodian of the royal jewellery and treasury.

    Next to Parasoji the only other claimant to the Nagpur gadi was Appasaheb Bhosle. He was a smart young man having support of many courtiers, as Parasoji was practically insane.Ramcandra Vagh and Manbhat were prominent among his chief supporters. They were trying to seduce the partisans of Parasoji. Thus after the death of Raghuji, Nagpur Court had two factions, one headed by Appasaheb and the other led by Bakabai, Dharmaji and others with Parasoji on the ancestral gadi.

    Appasaheb had no claim over the gadi as Parasoji was the son of Raghuji. The army was under the command of Dharmaji, Siddik Ali Khan and Gajabadada. Appasaheb impressed upon the courtiers that it was not desirable that Dharmaji, a bastard. should manage the affairs of the Bhosle house. The resident Mr. Jenkins was secretly backing Appasaheb as he was counting upon him to accept the subsidiary alliance which Raghuji had been carefully avoiding all through his life. When Siddik Ali Khan smelt this, his loyalty to Parasoji and Bakabai wavered. He sat on the fence ready to jump to the side of the winning party. Appasaheb called Dharmaji for a meeting on 11th April, 1816 and got him arrested. He took possession of the Raja and his treasury. Without any further loss of time Appasaheb ceremoniously performed the coronation for Parasoji. He personally held the cauri over Parasoji's head and walked barefooted in the procession taken out in honour of the Raja. A grand darbar was held in which the Raja was made to proclaim the appointment of Appasaheb as his regent. Mr. Jenkins graced the occasion by his presence, lending stability to Appasaheb.

    Dharmaji was murdered on 5-5-1816(NPI., p. 397). Appasaheb's evil intention of occupying power for himself was thus finally fulfilled. He entered the subsidiary alliance with the English on 28-5-1816, bartering away the independent status of Nagpur which Raghuji II had maintained with great difficulty. The important terms of this alliance were-

    (1) For the protection of Nagpur the English were to maintain six platoons of foot-soldiers and one of cavalry. The king was to pay seven and a half lacs of rupees for the maintenance of this force.
    (2) The king was to grant territory worth this amount in case of his failure to pay it.
    (3) The king too was to keep a contingent force of 3,000 soldiers and 2,000 horses at his own expense, to be supervised by the Resident in respect of its pay, discipline, provision, etc.
    (4) All foreign affairs should be conducted only through the English Resident.
    (5) The king should not engage in wars with the friends of the English.(NPI., p. 399)

    This alliance was brought about through Appasaheb's envoys Nagojipant and Narayan Panditji. The former received an annual pension of Rs. fifteen thousand from the English for his successful mediation.

    Part of the English subsidiary force moved from Ellicpur to Nagpur under General Dovetone and the rest was stationed at Kalamesvar near Nagpur to strengthen Appasaheb's position. Afraid of the machinations of the rival party Appasaheb left the palace and took residence in the Telankhedi Garden.

    On the morning of 1-2-1817 Parasoji was found dead in his bed. Appasaheb was out of station. It was rumoured that Appasaheb managed to throttle Parasoji to death by seducing his body-guards Sadikmanu Bhaldar and Janu Bansod. The Resident absolved Appasaheb of the murder charge which was thickly rumoured at this time, but later, when he tried to break the bonds of subsidiary alliance he was conveniently made the culprit(NPI., pp. 403-404).

    Appasaheb bhosle, 1817-1818

    After Parasoji's death, Appasaheb being the only heir to the Nagpur gadi his succession ceremonies were gone through quietly on 21st April 1817. The moment Appasaheb assumed charge of Nagpur he began to feel the weight of British supremacy which he had accepted by the subsidiary alliance. His efforts hereafter were directed to overthrow the British yoke. The Resident suspected that Appasaheb was in contact with Bajirav Pesva and the Sindes. The agents of one of the Pendhari leaders Cituu were openly honoured in the darbar by presenting dress. As a precautionary measure Col. Adams was asked to move his force to the south of the Narmada to meet any emergency. Similarly, Scott left Ramtek for Nagpur. It was in this atmosphere that Appasaheb decided to receive the robes of SenaSaheb-Subha, formally, from Bajirav Pesva; 24th November 1817 was decided as the day for receiving the robes in the darbar. Appasaheb invited the Resident for this ceremony. But the latter declined it as war had broken out with the Pesvs in Poona, and informed Appasaheb that he should not receive the honours from the enemy of the British. In spite of this opposition Appasaheb received the robes and the title in the darbar. This was considered as a breach of the subsidiary treaty by the Resident and a war with Appasaheb seemed imminent(NPI., p. 408).

    Like. Bajirav, Appasaheb too wanted to free himself from the shackles of the subsidiary treaty. He was helped in this task by Manbhat, Ramcandra Vagh, Subhedar Nimbalkar and Narayan Nagare. Appasaheb's Arab soldiers occupied a position between the city and Sitabuldi. He had a total force of 18 thousand men and 26 guns while the English force numbered only 1,800.

    Having come to know the movements of the Maratha army, the Resident ordered Lt. Col. Scott to occupy the Sitabuldi hills. Scott had two battalions of Madras Native infantry, two companies of Native infantry and three troops of Bengal Cavalry. He was equipped with four six-pounder guns. Strategically the Marathas committed the first blunder in allowing Scott to occupy the hills.

    The Raja's palace was in the present Mahal area which was protected by the Sukravar daravaja. This was the fort.

    The English had taken shelter in the Tulsibag, about the 24th December 1817.

    The English residency was situated to the west of the Sitabuldi Fort, i.e., on the site of the present Nagpur Mahavidyalaya. The English had their treasury to the west of the smaller hill of the two Sitabuldi hills. The southern hill spreads, from east to west and is the bigger one. The smaller one is to the north. The two hills roughly rise above the ground to a height of hundred feet and are separated by the same distance.(NPI., pp. 411-13)

    Peace talks were in progress when both the sides were preparing for war simply to gain time. On the evening of 26th November 1817, the Arabs of Appasaheb opened fire on the smaller hill. He sent a message to the Resident saying that this had been done against his orders. Appasaheb throughout this war was wavering making the position of his loyal supporters like Manbhat most awkward. It is possible that the mercenary Arabs might have acted on their own without waiting for the orders of their master but this speaks for Appasaheb’s lack of leadership. Appasaheb, after his defeat, pleaded that his Arabs opened fire at the order of Manbhat.(Ibid., p. 417)

    The fire of the Arabs was well replied by the English guns on the hills. Captain Lloyd was in charge of the bigger hill. Captain Sadler was killed by a shot while he was defending the small hill. On the morning of 27th the Bhosle's forces approached the hill. The smaller hill was attacked and occupied. The English were in a confused state. The Arabs were preparing to launch an attack on the bigger hill. The English would have lost the battle but for the brave and spirited attack of Captain Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald's determined onslaught pushed the Maratha’s back and they broke in all directions. This infused new spirit in the English soldiers who were drooping from fatigue. A combined attack of the cavalry and infantry finally won the day for the English.(NPI., p. 422)

    It was Manbhat and his Arabs who really fought well bringing victory within easy reach for the Maratha’s(Ibid, p. 423). But lack of concerted action and Appasaheb's vacillation were mainly responsible for the defeat of the Maratha’s. Appasaheb in order to save himself pleaded to the Resident that all was done by Manbhat without his orders. Bakabai too towed his line. Thus, in war, Appasaheb proved to be a coward and in defeat acted most disgracefully. Manbhat, Ramcandra Vagh, Ganpatrav Subhedar and their supporters were against any talk of peace. When Doveton was preparing to-attack the city, Appasaheb walked into the protection of the Resident on 16-12-1817, at about 90'clock in the morning(Ibid, pp. 42.8-29). The masterless Marathas fought one more battle known as the battle of Sakkardara, only to lose(Ibid, p. 430). Manbhat with his Arabs and North Indian soldiers totalling 5,000, defended the city from behind the fort.

    But he was helpless when the Arabs in a, divided state of mind were seduced by the English. They left. Nagpur on the 30th when the arrears of their pay were cleared. The Union Jack was hoisted on the old palace of the Bhosles on the same day. Poor Manbhat was arrested and later died in prison(NPI., p. 434).

    Appasaheb signed a treaty on 6-1-1818 with the English in which he was bound by terms stricter than those of the subsidiary alliance. The terms of the treaty were: –

    1. Appasaheb was to surrender the forts of Gavilgad, Narnala and the territory attached to them, along with the states of Sirguja and Jaspur.
    2. The civil and military administration of Nagpur was to be conducted through the Resident.
    3. Appasaheb was to stay in Nagpur under the supervision of the Resident.
    4. Appasaheb was to pay the arrears of pay of the subsidiary army.
    5. He was to surrender any fort which might be asked for by the English.
    6. He should hand over all those who acted against his order in the war.
    7. The Sitabuldi hills were to be surrendered to the English along with the neighbouring area they might ask for(Ibid, pp. 435-36).

    This sealed the fate of Appasaheb as also of Nagpur once for all.

    These terms of the treaty were ratified by the Governor General.

    With the surrender of Appasaheb Bhosle the outlying posts of Jubbulpore, the forts of Sivani, Dhirud (south-east of Nagpur), Gavilgad, Cauragad. Narnala and Mandla fell to the English without much resistance. The fort of Mandla which was protected by the river Narmada offered resistance for sometime. But when its keeper Raya Hajari ran away the beleaguered force numbering 1,100 surrendered.(NPI., pp. 438-44)

    After his surrender, Appasaheb was reinstated on his ancestral gadi and allowed to stay in the palace. For three months things appeared to move smoothly. On 19th February 1818 Bapu Gokhale the last great general of Bajirav fell fighting in the battle of Asta. Bajirav lost all hope of regaining his position and took to heels begging for help till his surrender to Malcolm. During his flight he was at Vasim for a while and then camped at Panharkavada. He was accompanied by Ganpatrav Subhedar one of the generals of Appasaheb. It was rumoured that Balrav would be joined by Appasaheb and both would march to Canda which was yet in the hands of its keeper Gangasingh. Jenkin's suspicion that Appasaheb was in correspondence with Bajirav was strengthened when a letter from Appasaheb to Bajirav was intercepted by Elphinstone and sent to him(Ibid, p. 445). He at once arrested Appasaheb on 15-3-1818. Appasaheb along with Ramcandra Vagh and Nagopant was sent to Prayag, as his presence in Nagpur was considered dangerous.

    The fort of Canda fell on 30th May 1818. Its keeper Ganga-singh fought desperately till he fell dead along with his trusted followers. (NPI., p. 473)

    On his way to Prayag Appasaheb escaped from the English camp at Raicur on 13-5-1818. Hereafter began the long flight of Appasaheb.

    Appasaheb took shelter in the Mahadev hills of Madhya Prades and was helped by Mohansilig Thakur of Panchmadhi and Cain Sah of Harai. A few petty Gond Kings too supported Appasaheb in his last days. The English forces under Adams, MacMorin and Scott combed out the Hills and arrested the Gond leaders. Mohansing and Cain Sah were taken into custody. Appasaheb made good for the fort of Asirgad, the gateway of the Deccan, on 1st February 1819. He was escorted by the Pendhari leader Cittu and his followers. Appasaheb was received into the fort by Yasvantrav Lad, its keeper. The fort was yet in the possession of the Sindes. It was admirably suited for defence. The English moved their men and material from Malva, Poona, Nagpur and Hyderabad. Prior to the surrender of the fort on 9th April of l819, Appasaheb had escaped towards Khairi Ghat to the north-west of Asirgad and taken shelter with a Brahmin at Burhanpur. From there Appasaheb travelled through the territory of the sindes, Holkars, Jaipur and Jodhpur begging for asylum and took shelter for sometime with Ranjit Sing. The Raja of Mandi gave Appasaheb protection for a short time. Finally Appasaheb was found with the Raja of Jodhpur. The Raja refused to hand over A Appasaheb to the English in keeping with the chivalrous traditions of the Rajputs. In 1829 Appasaheb's wandering career came to an end and he spent the remaining part of his life as a guest-cum-royal prisoner at the court of Jodhpur. He died in l840(NPI., p.465).

    During. his luckless days Appasaheb desperately moved from court to court begging for help. But he was too late. Had he shown sufficient courage and determination in the battle of Sitabuldi the chances of success were brighter. He let down his honest supporters like Manbhat and Ramcandra Vagh. In expecting aid from Bajrav, Appasaheb was leaning on a reed. After his confinement at Jodhpur nobody seems to have been really sorry for the unfortunate Appasaheb. In his flight his wife Umabai supplied him money secretly. His other wife Savitribai who was enjoying a pension at Nagpur did not go to him even after she came to know of his stay at Jodhpur.(Ibid, p. 466)

    Rahuji III, 1818-1853

    When Appasaheb was arrested the Resident Mr. Jenkins decided to adopt Bajiba, the son of Banubai, as the successor to the Bhosle gadi. Banubai was the daughter of Raghuji II. The adoption ceremony was performed on 26-6-1818 and Bajiba was renamed Raghuji III. He was then only ten years old. It was the Resident who took the entire administration into his own hands during the minority of Raghuji III. Bakabai was to look after the palace affairs. Her ambition to rule may be said to have been fulfilled at least partly. Prior to his retirement the Resident held a grand darbar and read out the terms of the treaty with Raghuji III on 1-12-1826. It was ratified by the Governor General on 13-12-1826.

    The terms of the treaty were
    (1) The terms of this treaty which were not contradictory to the subsidiary alliance of 1816 were accepted by the Raja.
    (2) The Raja was not to have any relationship with the other Maratha States. He was to retain the title of Sena-saheb-Subha but was to relinquish the honours connected with it.
    (3) The Raja should give to the English territory worth Rs.7.5 lacs for the maintenance of the subsidiary force. He was hereafter not required to keep the contingent force as decided previously by the subsidiary alliance of 1816. The English promised to continue the raj in the house of the Bhosles perpetually.
    (4) The raj was given over to the King as he had come of age.
    (5) Canda, Devagad, the territory up the Ghats, Lanji and Chattisgad were to be under the English along with the feudatories of these regions. The Raja was to receive Rs.17 lacs from these territories after deducting the expenses. The Raja was to rule over Nagpur and the rest of the territory.
    (6) the Raja should act on the advice of the English in respect of the appointment of officials, the Raja's privy purse and the laws of the territory. The English had the right to inspect the King's treasury and the accounts of his kingdom.
    (7) In the event of maladministration the English were free to appoint their own officers and manage things.
    (8) The English were free to take over Sitabuldi or any other fort they required.

    Mr. Jenkins gave charge of his office to Captain Hamilton on 29-12-1826 and proceeded to Bombay for further journey.(NPI., pp. 486-88)

    Jenkins deserves praise for the peace and good administration he gave to the Bhosle raj during his ten years career. He was able to turn the deficit of the kingdom into a surplus treasury. His treatment of the Bhosles was far more considerate than the one meted out to the Pesvas by Malcolm. He could have easily annexed Nagpur to the British territory had he meant so.

    Jenkins took care to educate Raghuji III. Raghuji was introduced to the 'Three R.'s' and had working knowledge of Persian and Marathi though he had no inclination for learning.(Ibid, p. 482) In the early part of his royal career Raghuji took keen interest in administrative matters but later neglected them. He loved music and dancing and later indulged in gambling to the neglect of his duties. He was addicted to drinking and during his last illness he drank desperately. Apart from these personal vices Raghuji was on the whole a just and good administrator. He was a popular King.

    Raghuji was not blessed by progeny though he had in all eight wives. He had one son who died in infancy after whom he probably did not get any issue. He does not seem to have cared for his successor. He probably considered his being without a son as a blemish and left the question of succession to its own fate. This, however, proved to be detrimental to the Bhosle House as is borne by facts. Raghuji was not on Rood terms with Resident Mansel. This might have adversely affected the succession question.

    Raghuji had been to Kasi, Gaya and other holy places on a pilgrimage in 1838. He was accompanied by Captain Fitzgerald with his Madras contingent. Raghuji died at the age of 47 after a long illness of 25 days on 11th December 1853. His obsequies were performed by his nephew Nana Ahirarav and it was decided to adopt his son Yasavantrav as the next successor.(NPI., pp. 507-08)

    Annexation of Nagpur

    The question of adoption to the Nagpur gadi was discussed thrice prior to the death of Raghuji III. In 1837 the Resident Mr. Cavendish stated that Raghuji III had no right to adopt as his territory had been conquered by the British and given back to him and his sons. In the absence of an heirapparent or a posthumous child, therefore, the Raga’s kingdom should escheat or lapse to the British. The views of Resident Wilkinson were in favour of Raghuji. In 1840 he opined that Raghuji or after his death his queen had the right to adopt a son as successor to the gadi. The case of Nagpur was in no way different from that of Gwalior or Hyderabad. Actually, according to the treaty of 1826, when Mr. Jenkins was the Resident, the British had promised to continue the raj of the Bhosles in perpetuity. But this term was very conveniently set aside and the Court of Directors in England concurring with the views of Lord Dalhousie, the Governor-General, ordered that "it had been determined on grounds, both of right and policy, to incorporate the State of Nagpur with the British territories"( HFM., p. 45). Mr. Mansel, the then Resident, had suggested that Nagpur should be annexed. The fateful decision of the Court of Directors was proclaimed by Lord Dalhousie, and Mr. Mansel was ordered to take charge of Nagpur as-the first Commissioner. He started working in this capacity from 13th March 1854.

    Bakabai, the favourite queen of Raghuji II, and the queens of Raghuji III were informed of this proclamation. There was no popular agitation against this unjust decision of the British, though the late king Raghuji III was liked by his subjects. There was, however, sorrow and resentment among the Brahmins and the Marathas of Nagpur as is witnessed by the two posters which were stuck on the wall of Jagrutesvar temple. One of the posters expressed anxiety regarding the very existence of the Hindu State after the death of Raghuji and called upon all the Brahmins to attend the abhiseka and japa (recitation of God's name) which were being performed in the temple of Jagrutesvar in the city. Those not attending were considered as bastards.

    The other poster condemned Dadoba sirke, a relation of the Bhosles, who helped the British in the annexation of Nagpur.(HFM., pp. 46, 47)

    These posters have their own value but they cannot be taken as expressive of popular view. Colonel Low, a member of the Governor-General's council, who was against the annexation of Nagpur wrote that the people in the raj of the Bhosles were very much tired of their rule and would be happy under the British. Mr. Mansel, the Resident, in his report says that the annexation of Nagpur raj would cause great sorrow to all those who are connected with it, but the general public to whom the Marathas were foreigners would desire to be relieved from their troublesome rule, This stale of affairs has got to be taken into account in studying the history of Nagpur after its annexation.

    The unjust annexation of Nagpur was followed by the highhanded confiscation of the private treasure of the Bhosle family. Popular estimate placed the value of the treasure between Rs.50 lacs and Rs.75 lacs.(Ibid, p. 49) On July 15th, 1854, the Resident's Assistant informed the 'ranis that they would be pensioned and with the exception of a small portion of their jewellery their property would be seized on behalf of the Government. The strong protests of Bakabai and others were of no avail. By the end of October 1854, 136 bags of treasure were removed from the palace to the British treasury. The palace animals were sold by public auction and part of the jewellery was sent to Calcutta where Messrs. Hamilton and Company were appointed as auctioneers.(Ibid, p. 52)

    This loot of the private property of the Bhosles under the garb of law deeply wounded the feelings of Bakabai and the widows of Raghuji III, and caused great excitement among the citizens of Nagpur.

    Parvatrav and Jamaluddin who helped the Resident in this arbitrary act became targets of mob fury. The latter was beaten. Mr. Hislop the well-known missionary of Nagpur was mistaken for an officer and manhandled.

    From the sales of the confiscated property of the royal family, the Bhosle Fund was formed. This was to be utilised for the pensions of the relatives of the royal family.

    Pensions sanctioned for the members were as follows: –

    Rs.
    Bakabai 1,20,000
    Annapurnabai (the eldest queen) 50,000
    Other queens 25,000 each
    Savitribai (wife of Appasaheb) 10,000
    Others 20,000
    The Gond Raja of Nagpur 1,25,000
    (The pension he enjoyed in the past was continued).(NPI., p. 521.)

    Bakabai tried to represent her case directly to Calcutta pointing out that she herself and the ranis of the late king had expressed their desire to adopt a son, but the Resident completely changed their case and sent it up while he always promised them that he would look to their interest. Bapu Hanmantrav, the envoy of Bakabai, was asked to send the case through the Commissioner of Nagpur. Later, Bakabai sent her envoys to England to meet the members of the Board of Directors. But she withdrew her case and called back her envoys fearing that this might result in the displeasure of the Commissioner. Bakabai died on 7-9-1858 at Nagpur at the age of seventy seven.

    Prior to her death Bakabai arranged the adoption of Yasvantrav, the son of Nana Ahirrav, as the next successor in 1855. Yasvantrav was renamed as Janoji. Final sanction to this adoption was received in 1861 during the Viceroyalty of Lord Canning. An annual pension of Rs. 1,20,000 was sanctioned for Janoji’s and the title 'Raja-Bahadur of Devur' was conferred on him. The pension was subject to revision after Janoji's death but the title was to continue in the' family perpetually. Janoji II died in 1881.

    Nagpur during the Revolt of 1857

    What happened in 1857 in India has been variously described by historians as the Revolt of 1857, the Sepoy Mutiny, 1857, and the War of Independence. The last view that it was a War of Independence is borne by the fact that it was an attempt to overthrow the Government of the East India Company which was well-established in India. The attempt was sufficiently widespread. Any attempt to overthrow an established Government is recognised as War of Independence. By virtue of this definition, what happened in 1857 can be considered as the War of Independence.

    There was certainly favourable background for an uprising in Nagpur as the memories of annexation of the raj of the Bhosles, confiscation of their jewellery and public auctioning of their palace property were yet fresh in the public mind. The question of adoption to the Nagpur gadi was kept pending as late as 1861.

    The Nagpur army and the people learnt with excitement the happenings at Meerut, Delhi, Lucknow, Kanpur and Jhansi. The irregular cavalry at Takli, about three miles from Nagpur was much agitated by the news of the risings. It consisted mostly of Muslims who were disturbed by the recent Government proposal to shift their burial place from the vicinity of the city to an outside spot. In co-operation with some civilians they seem to have hatched a plot. On 13th June at the signal of a fire-balloon it was decided to attack the Residency. But the plot leaked out and failed. Mr. Plowden, the Commissioner, who had known about the plot ordered a company of the Sitabuldi regiment to move into the city. The irregular cavalry at Takli was dismayed by this action and gave up the attempt of attack. Major Arrow tried to elicit information from the soldiers about the ring-leaders. But none came forward to give out the names. From Kamptee and Nagpur arms numbering over 5,000 were collected from unauthorised persons as a. precautionary measure. After an enquiry of the plot Dildar Khan, Dafadar of the army, and Inayatulla Khan, Vilayat Khan and Navab Kadar Khan of the irregular cavalry were tried and executed.

    Bakabai during the troubled period summoned all her relations, Brahmins, Sardars, Marathas and Muslims numbering between 400 and 500 and dissuaded them with threats from any action against the company's Government. This completely chilled the spirit of the public. In 1858, Tatya Tope's presence was reported in the Melghat. He looted Multai. There was no response or agitation in Nagpur. Thus, all was quiet in Nagpur when Nana Pesva, Rani of Zhansi and Tatya Tope were desperately fighting against the British.

    Nagpur Aministration under Bhosles

    By about 1737 A.D., Raghuji I received one-third of the Devagad kingdom from Rani Ratan Kuvar for the help he rendered her in the fratricidal war. Shortly after this he shifted his capital from Bham in Berar to Nagpur and in 1748 the whole of Devagad kingdom came under his sway. He removed the sons of Rani Ratan Kuvar, Akbar Sah and Burhan Sah to Nagpur under his care.Thus, in 1748 A.D. Raghuji assumed direct charge of the whole of Devagad kingdom, though by a formal sanad the cauthai and mokasa of Devagad and Canda of Prant Gondvana were granted to him by Chatrapati Sahu much earlier.

    Raghuji's new administrative set-up in Nagpur forming part of Devagad below the ghats was more or less a prototype of the system common in other parts of the Maratha country.

    When Raghuji I was offered the robes of Sena-Saheb-Subha he first proceeded to Berar and then to Nagpur, and was accompanied by a number of experienced officials of the Rajamandal recommended by Sahu. The officials going with Raghuji to Nagpur were assigned important posts.
    1. Kanher Ram Mujumdar was to
    2. Rakhamaji Ganes, Ranadive, was appointed as the Secretary – Citnavis.
    3. Narasingrav Cimaji Prabhu was to work as assistant to Rakhamaji Ganes, the Citnavis.
    4. Bhaskar Ram was placed in charge of the army.
    5. Sankaraji Rakhamaji became the Potnis and was also in charge of the Jamdarkhana and the Stores.
    6. Mahadaji Prabhu was to act as the Phadnavis, i.e., the Secretary for finances.
    7 and 8. Vyankajipant and Raghopant were appointed as Baksi-Paymaster of the army.
    9. Anantbha Citale became the Sikkenavis or Keeper of the Seal.
    10. Vedamurti Visvambhar Vaidya was to help Rakhamaji Ganes, the Citnavis(NBB., pp. 43-44.)

    These posts assigned to different persons shed light on the principal structure of Nagpur administration. Sahu's intention in sending his own men with Raghuji was to help him to carry on the administration of Nagpur successfully and at the same time to keep an effective check over Raghuji. However, the aim of keeping central control over the distant noblemen was not so successful. It depended upon the personality of the Chatrapati. After Sahu's death the central authority of the Chatrapati remained only in name and the Maratha Sardars tried to be independent within their own territories. This is borne out by the serious differences which existed between the Pesvas and the Bhosles from the beginning to the end.

    The Divan was the chief minister of the Bhosles and represented them in all the. matters of the State. He was sometimes addressed as the Karabhari. The word Karabhari in addition to being synonymous with Divii1J means a manager. Its use in this sense shows how the Divan or the Karabhari was all-in-all.

    The Citnavis was the General Secretary. This office continued to be in the family of Rakhamaji Ganes throughout the reign of the Bhosles. The duties of the Citnavis were:
    (i) to carryon the private correspondence of the Raja;
    (ii) to issue all kinds of orders-adnyapatra and takidpatra;
    (iii) to issue permits and tax-free passes and to prepare the same;
    (iv) to date all important letters.

    In addition, the Citnavis tendered advice to the Raja on all diplomatic matters. By his very office, Secretaryship, he wag closely associated with the ruling Bhosle.

    For the loyal services of Rakhamaji Ganes, Raghuji I gave him Varambh in the Umred tahsil of Nagpiir district as inam in perpetuity(From the unpublished papers of Srimant Raja Balasaheb Citnavis of Nagpur).

    Bhaskar Ram was Raghuji's General. He distinguished himself in the Bengal expeditions of Raghuji I. He, however, does not seem to have the entire army of Raghuji under his command. There were for instance other noblemen like Raghuji Karande, Anandrav Vagh, Babaji Ghatge, Zunjararav and Sambhaji Sirke having armies under their own command and themselves being directly responsible to Raghuji.

    The Potnis was in charge of the treasury, royal jewellery and valuables, and stores. He was to credit to the treasury presents-Najarana, tribute-peskas, etc., and maintain the accounts.

    The Phadnavis was the Secretary of the Finances, and the Baksi the Paymaster of the army. The Sikkenavis was the Keeper of the Seal of the Bhosles. He was to put the seal on all important State documents.

    The office of the Munsi, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, seems to have been created by the later Bhosles. He was usually wellversed in Persian and transacted all the correspondence in that language.

    Sometimes two offices were combined in one person as in the case of Bhavani Kalo who was in charge of the army but also acted as the Divan(NPI, p. 285).

    The Subhedar of the Subha or the province held military as well as civil command within the subha. These officers held jagirs for their services.

    The Varhadpande was responsible for land revenue.

    The Maratha noblemen were known as Mankaris and were directly responsible to the Raja. There were no hard and fast rules regarding the duties attached to a particular office. For instance, Divakarpant Corghade, who was the Divan, also acted as the ambassador of the Bhosles to the East India Company. The Subhedar in a distant province like Katak, similarly, acted in various capacities as the man on the spot.The Bhosles held their darbar-court in an open varandah. They sat on the throne with the sword and the shield placed in front. Ministers and Military officers attended the darbar. All business which required the Raja's attention was openly transacted here. The Raja was accessible to the people, he heard their grievances and redressed the wrongs.

    The revenue office took cognizance of civil and criminal cases, while the patil or the village headman decided cases requiring minor magisterial powers. In important cases the appeal rested with the Sena-Saheb-Subha who decided them in the open darbar after consulting the proper authorities.

    The Bhosle administration was direct and efficient though inelegant. It was free from burdensome mannerism and less paper-ridden than that of the Pesvas.

    The Sena-Saheb-Subha was not an absolute ruler. Constitutionally he was accountable to the Chatrapati and the Pesva. The younger brothers of the Sena-Saheb-Subha were assigned territories wherein they were more or less independent. Mudhoji, the younger brother of JanojI Bhosle was given Canda and the title of Sena-Dhurandar. The two other younger brothers Bimbaji and Sabaji were posted at Chattisgad and Darva respectively. Other relations of the Bhosles too were given important assignments.

    The army of the Bhosles consisted of the foot-soldiers, the cavalry, artillery and elephants.

    The details of the cavalry given by Forster, the first Resident of Nagpur (1788-1791) are as follows:

    2,000 Bargir {directly paid by the Bhosles for the maintenance of the horse).
    4,700 Cavalry under the Siledars.
    300 Cavalry of the Jagirdar of Sivani.
    2,000 Cavalry in Katak subha.
    1,500 Cavalry in Gangthadi.
    10,500 Total Cavalry of the Bhosles.
    200 Elephants.
    15 Cannon pieces manufactured in Nagpur, under the command of a Portuguese and a French(NPI., p. 289).

    The cavalry of the Bhosles was known for its speed and efficiency. After the death of Raghuj I, the army of the Bhosles became heterogeneous in an increasing proportion. In the Battle of Sitabuldi, Manbhat was in command of the Arab contingent.

    The income of the Bhosles from different provinces during the Residency of Forster was:

    Rs. in lacs.
    Nagpur
    18
    Berar 1/2 Income
    10
    Gangthadi
    2
    Katak
    17
    Ratnapur
    3
    Multai
    2
    Others items
    7
    Total
    59

    Out of this income, Rs. 16 lacs were spent in the following manner(NPI., pp. 289,302) :

    Rs. in lacs.
    Burhan Sah, the Gond Raja for his maintenance
    3
    Jagirdar of Sivani
    3
    For the expenditure of the army in Berar
    3
    For the expenditure of the army in Katak
    7
    Total
    16

    In 1800 A.D. the Bhosles received highestrevenue as the territory under them was at its maximum

      Rs. in lacs.
    1 Devagad including Nagpur
    30
    2 Gadha-Mandla
    14
    3 Husangabad, Sivani-Malva and Cauragad
    7
    4 Multai
    2
    5 1/2 revenue of Berar and revenue of Gavilgad, Narnala, etc.
    30
    6 Orissa and the feudatory states
    17
    7 Candrapur or Canda.
    5
    8 Chattisgad and the feudatory states
    6
    Total
    111