Bajirao I

Bajirao I

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Category: Royal

Bajirao I Profile

  • Name:
  • Bajirao I
  • Profession / Known For:
  • Ruler
  • Spouse:
  • Kasibhai, Mastani

Bajirao I Biography

Bajirao I, also known as Bajirao Ballal is the most important figure after Shivaji Maharaj in building the Maratha Empire. He was a noted general who served as the Maratha Peshwa to Chhatrapati Shahu Raje Bhosle from 1720 until his death in 1740. Acknowledged as one of the greatest warriors of Indian history, Bajirao fought over 41 battles and has never been defeated in any. But he died at his glorious 40th year, when his glory was in its peak. He is credited to expanding Maratha Empire to the north and    is acknowledged as the most influential of the nine Maratha Peshwas. He dreamt of a Hindu empire and fought against Mughals to protect Hindu dharma.

 

He was born on 18 August 1700 into a Marathi Chitpavan Brahmin family as the son of Balaji Vishwanath, first Peshwa of Chhattrapati Shahu. He was appointed as Peshwa at the age of 20, though there were a few more people who could claim for the same position. Bajirao was quite popular among soldiers and till now known as a brave warrior. Kashibhai was his first wife with whom he had two sons. His elder son Balaji Bajirao Peshwa later ascended the throne. Half-Muslim Mastani was Bajirao’s second wife with whom he had one son, Shamsher Bahadur (also known by the name – Krishna Rao). His second marriage to Mastani caused a drift between him and his family members, who never accepted Mastani to the royal family.

 

His military campaigns were classic examples of his genius, which even changed the political map of India in the mid-18th century. He was well trained by the Maratha cavalry generals. He started his campaigns at a very young age of 20 and was in his glorious period when he died. He expanded the Hindu Kingdom beyond Maharashtra across the Vindhyas and even recognized in Delhi, the capital of Mughals. Bajirao died on 28 April 1740 of a sudden fever, possibly heat stroke at the age of 39. His wife Mastani, who was at 40 followed him soon after. The love story of Bajirao, Mastani and Kashibai is the subject of Sanjay Leela Bansali’s magnums opus ‘Bajirao Mastani’.

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Updated: December 24, 2015

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