Peshwa Bajirao-I, also known as Bajirao Ballal, was the 7th Peshwa (modern-day equivalent of a Prime Minister) of the Maratha Empire, which included much of modern-day India. He is widely recognised as one of the most accomplished generals in Indian history, having served in the Army for over 20 years and never losing a fight during his operations. Balaji Vishwanath and his wife Radhabhai Barve gave birth to Bajirao on August 18, 1700. Chimaji Appa, his younger brother, and two younger sisters, Anubai and Bhiubai, were his siblings.
His father was Chhatrapati Shahu’s Peshwa at that time. Bajirao spent his boyhood in Saswad, where he was taught in Sanskrit and developed an early interest in military issues. From an early age, he joined his father on military campaigns, even joining him on an expedition to Delhi in 1719. What he saw there, convinced him that the Mughal Empire’s dominance was waning, and that the timing was perfect for a Maratha power expansion to the North. Balaji Vishwanath died in 1720, and Chhatrapati Shahu named Baji Rao, a 20-year-old Peshwa.
The Mughal ruler Muhammad Shah had granted him the authority to collect taxes in the old Deccan regions ruled by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (born February 19, 1630) decades before. The Maratha monarch was persuaded by Bajirao that it was time to go on the offensive because the Mughals were at their weakest and would fall if the advantage was exploited. Furthermore, the regions under Maratha authority were already being contested by viceroys in the Deccan rulers of minor kingdoms, thus the Marathas had to assert their claim to these lands.
Because of his youth, he faced significant criticism from other members of the court who thought he was inexperienced and rash in his actions, but the young Peshwa overcome these obstacles. Bajirao believed that the two Maratha factions of Satara and Kolhapur had to join together if Shivaji Maharaj’s high ambition of a Hindupad Padshahi or Hindavi Swaraj, as he termed it, was to be realised. When Bajirao recognised that this was unacceptable to the Kolhapur side, he resolved to accomplish his goals on his own.
Bajirao’s first campaign in the North-West began in 1723 with the conquest of Malwa, which was followed by the conquest of Gujarat. Bajirao conquered Gujarat and most of Central India, and by attacking imperial Delhi, he shook the Mughal Empire to its core.
Peshwa Bajirao-I was the one who went ahead and conquered several Mughal territories right in front of their eyes. Bajirao’s political knowledge was quite crystal clear and this was visible in his Rajput policy. He avoided conflict with the Rajput houses, which were former Mughal loyalists, and established a new period of good relations between the Marathas and Rajputs
He was the one who went ahead and conquered several Mughal territories right in front of their eyes. Bajirao’s political knowledge was quite crystal clear and this was visible in his Rajput policy. He avoided conflict with the Rajput houses, which were former Mughal loyalists, and established a new period of good relations between the Marathas and Rajputs. Bundi, Dongargarh, Udaipur, Jaipur, Jodhpur, and others were among the houses. The Sultan, seeing the danger lying perilously near to Delhi, requested the help of the Nizam, who had previously defeated the Sultan. Bajirao lowered him to the ground once more. Bajirao exercised great power over the Delhi court as a result of this. With the approval of the Chhatrapati, he shifted the Maratha Empire’s administrative headquarters from Satara to the new city of Pune in 1728.
The defeat of Bungash Khan, at Mahoba, who was regarded as the bravest leader of the Mughal army, while he was engaged in tormenting the old Hindu King of Bundelkhand, was Bajirao’s crowning achievement. Bajirao’s deed of military help made Chhatrasal feel beholden to him for the rest of his life. As he wreaked havoc on the dissolving Mughal Empire and set up his jagirdars, Bajirao created the Kingdoms of Scindias (Ranoji Shinde) of Gwalior, Holkars (Malharrao) of Indore, Gaekwads (Pilaji) of Baroda, and Pawars (Udaiji) of Dhar (fiefdoms). Bajirao is said to have never lost a combat battle in his 41 battles. He is one of just three generals who have never lost a war in their lives. Many eminent historians have compared him to Napoleon Bonaparte.
Bajirao fell ill and died on the banks of the Narmada on April 28, 1740, when in the village of Rawar Khedi in his Jagir in Khargaon preparing to march out with his army. He died in camp, under canvas, among his soldiers, as he lived, and every Indian still remembers him as the battling Peshwa and the epitome of Hindu vitality. He was well-known for his efficient employment of light cavalry, which helped him win numerous battles. His tactics were studied by British field marshal Bernard Montgomery, a renowned World War II commander, who came to the conclusion that a quick, mobile force with the ability to live off the land were critical components of his quick victories by keeping the enemy confused and deciding how to conduct his battles on his own terms.