This still remains a question to date on Bajirao’s valor which was overshadowed by his emotions and love for Mastani. Equally brave as Napoleon and Alexander, Bajirao shook the Mughal empire and took the maratha empire to great heights.
A true successor of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Bajirao retained the Maratha Empire which had lost its power after the brutal slaying of Chattrapati Sambhaji. After the demise of Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath, Bajirao stepped in the shoes of Peshwa to complete the tasks which were left incomplete by his father Vishwanath. Under the guidance of his father Balaji Vishwanath, Bajirao had rigorously trained himself in every skill – politics, warfare, horse riding, sword fighting, and economics. Bajirao entered the battle scene at age of 20 when the roots of Mughal supremacy were weakening. He not only had to fight with the crafty Nizam-Ul-Mulk, Portuguese, Siddis but also had to wage a war against his internal enemies.
Popular Marathi Novelist N.S.Inamdar took the literary world by storm when his historical novel – Rau was published. Based on Bajirao’s relationship with Mastani, ‘Rau’ highlighted the struggles that Bajirao had to face with his own family – especially his mother Radhabai who strongly opposed his relation with Mastani. History says that Bajirao had won 41 battles which were against the enemies of Maratha supremacy. Despite leading so many military campaigns for his nation none of his efforts have been recorded with honour by historians. His only fault was that he obeyed his heart by loving his mistress – Mastani. His relationship with Mastani was even opposed by Brahmins to such an extent that they even plotted conspiracies to get Mastani killed. Not a single family member supported his relationship or understood his emotions. The family pressure and internal conflict took such a depressive toll on Bajirao’s health that he got unexpectedly sick due to heat stroke and breathed his last in a camp, isolated by his loved ones and separated by his true love – Mastani. This valiant Maratha was cremated on 28th April 1740 at Raverkhedi. Irony is that this brave Peshwa who had struggled so hard for Maratha supremacy died a quiet death leaving his legacy in hands of his children – Nanasaheb Peshwa and Raghunath Rao.
The Shaniwarwada palace built by Bajirao ironically never give any peace to his family and his successors. Bajirao didn’t spend a single day of happiness in Shaniwarwada. His successors – Madhavrao and Narayanrao died untimely death. Though his successors rose to post of Peshwa none of them was able to carry the legacy that Bajirao possessed. Only Madhavrao, his grandson had those qualities to continue that legacy which he couldn’t carry due to his death from tuberculosis.
Author E.Jaiwant Paul has succeeded to record every event of Bajirao’s military campaigns as well as his personal life in the book – Bajirao: The warrior Peshwa. This book by E.Jaiwant Paul is a reliable reference for those who want to read extensively on Peshwa Bajirao. Author Ram Sivasankaran has breathed a new life into forgotten history of Peshwa with his novel – The Peshwa: Lion and the stallion which is a thrilling historical story on rise of Peshwa Bajirao and his daring military campaigns.
Even though historians only recorded his infamous relationship with Mastani, they couldn’t ignore his daring military campaigns which crumbled down the mighty Mughal Empire. Bajirao was a born warrior whose entire life was spent in army camps and even in his last moments, he was planning military strategies in his camp.
“He died as he lived, in camp, under canvas among his men and he is remembered among the Marathas as the fighting Peshwa, as the incarnation of Hindu energy.” – Quote by S.R.Temple in praise of Peshwa Bajirao