Balaji Baji Rao Biography – Nana Saheb’s Life and Achievements

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Balaji Baji Rao Biography – Balaji Baji Rao, also called Nana Saheb was the 8th Peshwa of the Maratha empire. He was born on 8th December 1720 to Peshwa Baji Rao and Kashi Bai. He was lovingly called Nana Saheb by his mother. He had three younger brothers: Ramchandra Rao, Raghunath Rao, and Janardhan Rao. He also had a stepbrother from his father’s second marriage to Mastani: Shamsher Bahadur.balaji baji rao biography

In 1740, when Peshwa Baji Rao died due to fever and exhaustion after prolonged wars, his eldest son Balaji Baji Rao was ascended to the throne later by Chhatrapati Shahu. He received opposition from several people including Raghoji Bhosale who desired to be the Peshwa himself. However, Nana Saheb continued to rule the Maratha empire and prospered in the later years.

Balaji Baji Rao Biography – Balaji Baji Rao – Family

Balaji Baji Rao was born to 7th Peshwa, Baji Rao, and his wife Kashibai in 1720. He had three younger brothers but his youngest died in early childhood. He was married to Gopikabai and had three sons. His eldest son Vishwasrao died in the battle of Panipat in 1761. He was succeeded by his second son, Madhavrao. And his third son, Narayanrao succeeded Madhavrao later.

Malwa Conquest

Malwa was promised to Peshwa Baji Rao but was not actually transferred. Hence, Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao first went on the secure Malwa for the Maratha Empire. He sought the help of Jaipur’s King Jai Singh and reached an agreement with the Mughals. He was appointed the Deputy Governor of Malwa and had to pledge his support and faithfulness to the Mughals.

Balaji Baji Rao Biography – Relationship with Raghoji Bhosle

Raghoji Bhosle had helped Maratha Empire to expand to the South and East India. But he rebelled against the appointment of Balaji Baji Rao as the Peshwa. Hence, they both became rivals. Raghoji had expanded to Hyderabad by defeating Nawab Dostali and imprisoning his son-in-law, Chanda Saheb. However, later Nizam-ul-Mulk attacked Hyderabad but then Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao sent Sadashivrao Bhau there who got the region under the control of the Peshwa.

Raghoji Bhosle had expanded to Orissa, Bengal, and Bihar. In Bengal, Alivardi Khan sought Peshwa’s help to stop Raghoji Bhosle, and hence, Peshwa defeated him in many places.

Later, Shahuji Maharaj called upon both of them and got them to agree with each other. Later, Raghoji took over Orissa increasing the sovereignty of the Maratha empire. Peshwa was asked to leave the region under Raghoji’s control by Shahuji Maharaj.

Balaji Baji Rao Biography – Battle of Panipat

In order to expand to North India, the Maratha empire extended to Gujarat and Malwa region. Under his father, Baji Rao’s expedition, parts of Delhi and Punjab came under the Maratha empire. However, angered by Maratha’s expansion, the King of Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Durrani started expanding his control in India. Soon, Marathas and Durrani became biggest rivals. It led to the 3rd Battle of Panipat in January 1761. It was one of the biggest battles ever fought. The Marathas were defeated badly in this battle, with Peshwa losing his eldest son Vishwasrao and Sadashiva Bhau Rao in the battle.

Balaji Baji Rao – Death

After the Battle of Panipat, Peshwa Balaji Bajirao fell into depression. He died on 23rd June 1761. He was succeeded by his second son, Madhavrao.

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