Tag Archives: Holkar

The Marathas Part 18 The March to Destruction: 50 Years of Chaos Section I: Early English Invasions

Canberra, 23 June 2022 Moroba Phadnavis who was the prime plotter in the repeated attempts to capture the infant Peshwa, his mother and the senior ministers of the Federation had not been chastened and remained at large to further pursue his nefarious activities, brought on by his intense jealousy of his cousin Nana Phadnavis, the […]

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The Marathas Part 17 The Supreme Council of Calcutta: English Interlude

Canberra, 23 June 2022 In April 1774, when he started his retreat from his march towards Pune, Raghunath Rao entered into negotiations with the English East India Company through their Bombay Government. The English, still basking in the glow of the resounding victory Robert Clive had achieved in Bengal, readily grasped at the overtures although […]

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The Marathas Part 16 Raghunath Rao: Ambition Knows no Bounds

Canberra, 11 June 2022 As mentioned in the previous chapter, in June 1770 Madhav Rao was forced to hand over the Carnatic expedition to Trimbak Rao and return to Pune on account of his illness. He had inherited the tendency to be afflicted with consumption that had affected his father and grandfather and gradually the […]

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The Marathas Part 15 Peshwa Madhav Rao Section I: Accession, Rebellions and Consolidation

Canberra, 22nd May 2022 In 1761, the Maratha polity was reeling from the defeat in a battle that need not have been fought. The disaster was the culmination of extended ambition, unwanted hubris, inexperience in diplomacy, strategy, operational art and tactics and flawed command and control arrangements. The defeat of the magnificent Maratha army continues […]

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The Marathas Part 14 Peshwa Balaji Rao Section IV The Battle of Panipat

A Fateful Day Canberra, 9 March 2022 After their easy victory at Kunjpura, the Marathas camped at Pasina Kalan, anticipating that Abdali would attempt to cross River Yamuna upstream. However, the Afghans crossed the river at Bhagpat, between the Maratha camp and Delhi. Although they suffered some losses during the crossing, the entire army was […]

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The Marathas Part 14 Peshwa Balaji Rao Section IV The Battle of Panipat

Canberra, 28 February 2022 The Inexorable March to the Debacle The army that was put together to avenge Maratha honour consisted at the core of the Peshwa’s personal soldiers who were surrounded and supported by soldiers owing allegiance to other Maratha sardars, chiefs. The total fighting strength was around 25,000. When Sadashiv Rao Bhau left […]

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The Marathas Part 14 Peshwa Balaji Rao Section III North India Beckons

Canberra, 21 February 2022 Punjab was in political turmoil throughout the 1740s, destabilised by different claimants to its governorship, inevitably in conflict with each other. Further, the Sikhs were in open rebellion. In the broader Indian political scene, between 1748–49, three influential ‘chiefs’ died: chiefs who were men of old values and traditions; chiefs who […]

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The Marathas Part 14 Peshwa Balaji Rao Section I: A Hesitant Start

Canberra, 7 January 2022 On the untimely death of Baji Rao, the Deccan faction in the Maratha court once again attempted to stop the hereditary appointment of the Chitpavan Brahmin Bhat family as Peshwas. This faction was led by Raghuji Bhonsle, who was also one of King Shahu’s favourite nobles. Raghuji had been at loggerheads […]

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