1615 – 13th JULY 1660 BAJI PRABHU DESHPANDE SARDAR ( COMMANDER )

BAJI PRABHU DESHPANDE BIO


Baji Prabhu Deshpande (Marathi: बाजी प्रभू देशपांडे) (died 1660) was one of the lieutenants (also known as sardar) of Chattrapati Shivaji, founder of the Maratha empire. The well celebrated legend of Baji Prabhu is intricately linked with an important rear guard battle enabling Shivaji’s escape from Panhala fort, he was the hero who sacrificed his life for his king and country. Following his shocking defeat of Afzal Khan and the rout of the Bijapuri army at Pratapgad, Shivaji continued to push deep into Bijapuri territory. Within a few days, the Marathas captured Panhala (near the city of Kolhapur). Meanwhile another Marathi force, led by Netaji Palkar, pushed straight on towards Bijapur. Bijapur repulsed this attack, forcing Shivaji and a few of his sardars to retreat to Panhala Gad (fort). The Bijapuri force was led by Siddhi Johar, an Abyssinian general. Discovering Shivaji’s location, Johar laid siege to Panhala. Netaji Palkar made repeated attempts to break the Bijapuri siege from outside, but these failed. Finally a very audacious and high risk plan was hatched and put in to action: Shivaji, Baji Prabhu Deshpande and with a select band of troops would attempt to break through the siege at the night, and make for Vishalgadh. In order to deceive the Bijapuri forces, who would give a chase once they found that Shivaji had broken the siege, Shiva Nhavi, who had an uncanny physical resemblance to Shivaji, volunteered to dress like the king and let himself be captured. On a stormy new moon’s night a band of 300 select men, led by Baji Prabhu and Shivaji, broke through the siege. They were hotly pursued by the Bijapuri force. As planned, Shiva Nhavi allowed himself to be captured and taken back to the Bijapuri camp, fully comprehending that he would be put to death once the charade was discovered. This sacrifice, however gave the fleeing Maratha force some breathing space. As soon as the Bijapuri force realized their mistake, the chase was on again, led by Siddhi Masood, the son-in-law of Siddhi Johar. Near the pass of Ghodkhind (Horse’s Pass), the Marathas made a final stand. Shivaji and half of the Maratha force pushed for Vishalgadh, while Bajiprabhu and the remaining Badal Sena of about 150 men blocked the pass. Tradition and legend describe feats of valour displayed by the Marathas during this rear guard action. Through the entire battle, Bajiparbhu, even though grievously injured, continued fighting, inspiring his men to fight on until Shivaji’s safe journey to Vishalgadh was signaled by the firing of three cannon volleys. The Khind (Pass) was subsequently named Pavan Khind (Holy Pass) by Shivaji, in honor of the sacrifice of Baji Prabhu and his troops. Shivaji also gave “manache pahile paan” (“Honor of the Court”) to Baji Prabhu’s family. Baji Prabhu Deshpande belonged to either Chandraseniya Kaysatha Prabhu Community or Deshastha Brahmins, there is some dispute over it. A street is named after him in Thane City, India, and a film of his story was made in 1939.

Baji Prabhu Deshpande

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  1. Baji Prabhu Deshpande
  2. Baji Naaik-Bandal was a Minister/Count and commander for Shivaji Maharaj, historical founder of the Maratha empire. Wikipedia
  3. Born: 1615, India
Baji Naaik-Bandal
बाजी कृष्णाजी नाईक-बांदल
Baji Prabhu Deshpande Statue in Panhala Fort.jpg

Baji Naaik-Bandal Statue in Panhala Fort
Minister to Shivaji
Sardar of Ambarnath
Born est. 1615
Shind, Ta. Bhor
(Maharashtra)
Died 1660
Pavan Khind at Vishalgadh
(Kolhapur District, Maharashtra)
Religion Hindu

Baji Naaik-Bandal (c. 1615-1660) was a Minister/Count (also known as Sardar) and commander for Shivaji Maharaj, historical founder of the Maratha empire. The well celebrated legend of Baji Naaik-Bandal is intricately linked with an important rear guard battle enabling Shivaji Maharaj’s escape from Panhala fort; he was the hero who sacrificed his life for his king and country.

Early life[edit]

Baji Naaik-Bandal was 15 years elder to Shivaji Maharaj, this means he was born around 1615.

Battle of Pavan Khind[edit]

Main article: Battle of Pavan Khind
File:Shivaji Maharaj and Baji Naaik-Bandal at Pawan Khind.jpg

Shivaji Maharaj and Baji Naaik-Bandal at Pawan Khind

After defeating Afzal Khan and the rout of the Bijapuri army at Pratapgad, Shivaji continued to push deep into Bijapuri territory. Within a few days, the Marathas captured Panhala (near the city of Kolhapur). Meanwhile another Maratha force, led by Netaji Palkar, pushed straight on towards Bijapur. Bijapur repulsed this attack, forcing Shivaji and few of his sardars to retreat to Panhala Gad (fort).

The Bijapuri force was led by Siddhi Johar, an Abyssinian general. Discovering Shivaji’s location, Johar laid siege to Panhala. Netaji Palkar made repeated attempts to break the Bijapuri siege from outside, but these failed.

Finally a very audacious and high risk plan was hatched and put into action: Shivaji, Baji Naaik-Bandal with a select band of troops would attempt to break through the siege at the night, and make for Vishalgadh. In order to deceive the Bijapuri forces, who would give a chase once they found that Shivaji had broken the siege, Shiva Nhavi, who had an uncanny physical resemblance to Shivaji, volunteered to dress like the king and let himself be captured.

On a stormy full moon’s night (night of Guru Pournima, Ashadh Paurnima) a band of 600 select men, led by Baji Naaik-Bandal and Shivaji, broke through the siege. They were hotly pursued by the Bijapuri force. As planned, Shiva Nhavi allowed himself to be captured and taken back to the Bijapuri camp, fully comprehending that he would be put to death once the charade was discovered. This sacrifice, however gave the fleeing Maratha force some breathing space.

As soon as the Bijapuri force realized their mistake, the chase was on again, led by Siddhi Masood, the son-in-law of Siddhi Johar. Near the pass of Ghodkhind (Horse’s Pass), the Marathas made a final stand. Shivaji and half of the Maratha force pushed for Vishalgadh, while Baji Naaik-Bandal and the remaining Bandal Sena of about 300 men blocked the pass and fought with 4000 number of mughal soldiers in pavankhind.

Tradition and legend describe feats of valour displayed by the Marathas during this rear guard action. Through the entire battle, Baji Bandal, even though grievously injured, continued fighting, inspiring his men to fight on until Shivaji’s safe journey to Vishalgadh was signaled by the firing of three cannon volleys. It should be mentioned that when Shivaji approached Vishalgad with 300 men, the fort was already under siege by another Bijapuri sardars Suryarao Surve and Jaswantrao Dalvi. Shivaji with his 300 men had to defeat Surve to reach the fort.

Accolades[edit]

The Ghodkhind pass was subsequently named Pavan Khind (“Holy Pass”) (Marathi: पावन खिंड) by Shivaji, in honor of the sacrifice of Baji Naaik-Bandal and his troops. Shivaji Maharaj honoured Baji Naaik-Bandal’s family with “maanache pahile paan” (“Honor of the Court”) (Marathi: मानाचे पहिले पान).[1]

A street is named after him in Thane and Ambarnath, India, and a film based his story was made in 1929.[2] A square is named after Baji Naaik-Bandal in Dombivali city (District ThaneMaharashtra).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Jump up^ “Baji Naaik-Bandal – Profile”. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  2. Jump up^ “Baji Naaik-Bandal – Film”. IMDb. Retrieved May 2, 2012.

Further reading[edit]

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