Source Information

  • Title WIKI.Bhaskar_Ram_Kolhatkar 
    Short Title WIKI.Bhaskar_Ram_Kolhatkar 
    Author Wikipedia 
    Publisher Wikipedia 
    Call Number 
    Repository WIKI.EN 
    Source ID S49 
    Linked to भास्कर राम कोल्हटकर 

  • Bhaskar Ram Kolhatkar or Bhaskar Pant/ Bhaskar Pandit
    Born Maratha Empire
    Died 30 March 1744
    Bengal Subah
    Allegiance Nagpur Kingdom
    Years of service 18th century
    Commands held Dewan of Raghuji Bhonsle. Commander of Nagpur Maratha army.
    Battles/wars Maratha invasions of Bengal
    First Battle of Katwa
    Maratha conquest of Chhattisgarh
    Siege of Ratanpur
    Maratha Conquest of Odisha
    • Narayan Ramaji (father)
    • Konher Ram (brother)

    Bhaskar Ram Kolhatkar, known as Baba Bhaskar Pandit by the people of Bengal, was a Maratha general and statesman. He was the dewan (revenue minister)[1] of the raja of Nagpur, Raghuji Bhonsle.[2][3] He played an important role in the kingdom of Nagpur's expansion. The first Maratha invasion of Bengal in 1741, as also the third in 1744, was led by him.[2][3] He was an able military leader, proven by his success in the Maratha invasions of Bengal and conquest of Chhattisgarh.[4][5] He was killed by Alivardi Khan on 30 March 1744.[6][2]

    Early life

    Bhaskar Ram was born to one Narayan Ramaji and his brother was Konher Ram.[7]


    Invasion of Bengal

    Raghuji Bhonsle sent him with a strong force to Bengal to collect chauth (tribute) from the Nawab of Bengal for the first time in 1741, and for the second time in 1744.[8][5][3][2] By 1742, he bought Orissa under his control with the help of Mir Habib, formerly in the service of Alivardi Khan, and captured the neighborhood of Calcutta and Hughli.[4]

    Conquest of Chhattisgarh

    The Bhonsle Maratha armies passed through Chhattisgarh on their way to invade the Odia kingdoms in eastern India. Bhaskar Pant invaded the Haihaiyavanshi Kingdom at the close of 1740. According to Sir Charles Grant, his army is said to have consisted of 40,000 men, chiefly horse. The branch Haihaiyavanshi ruler of Raipur, Amar Singh, did not oppose him. However, the Haihaiyavanshi ruler of Ratanpur, Raghunath Singh offered resistance by shutting himself in his fort. According to Sir Charles Grant, Raghunath Singh was bowed down with a heavy sorrow, which was the loss of his only son. He refused to take any interest in the government for nearly a year. At best, he was a feeble man, but now worn out with years and afflicted in mind. The raja made no effort to defend his kingdom and waited till Bhaskar Pant reached his capital. Even then, there was no resistance from the defenders. Bhaskar Pant bought his guns to play on the fort, and soon a part of the palace was in ruins. At this point, one of the Ranis (queen) named Laxmi hoisted a white flag on the ramparts of the fort. The gates for opened, and the invading Marathas entered the fort and looted the city.[9][10][11]

    A fine of one lakh rupees was imposed on the town and all the wealth that remained in the treasury was seized. Then the country was pillaged in all directions by the Maratha army. However, Raghunath Singh was not harmed in any manner and allowed to rule at Ratanpur under the suzerainty of the Marathas. Having crushed the Haihaiyavanshi king, the nominal overlord of the many petty chieftains and surrounding states, the Marathas demanded that the petty rulers submit to them, and the rulers did.[9]

    Raigarh fell to the Bhonsles in 1741, and by 1742 Maratha control over the kingdom was firmly established.[12]


    Alivardi Khan invited Bhaskar and other Maratha leaders to entertainment at Mankara, near Katwa[13] in a large tent.[1] They were not aware of the assassins in the shadows, whom Alivardi Khan had employed. The assassins rushed out and killed all of the 21[13] Maratha leaders. The head of Bhaskar Pant was bought before Alivardi Khan.[6][2] This turn of events enraged Raghuji and he conducted brutal annual raids into Bengal, until 1751.[14][15]

    The Bargi dacoits led by Bhaskar Pant into Bengal caused so much destruction that lullabies were composed in which mothers would use the fear of a Maratha raid to get their children to go to sleep. These poems are popular amongst Bengalis even today, one traditional song translated is as follows:

    When the children fall asleep, silence sets in, the Bargis come to our lands Bulbuls have eaten the grains, how shall I pay the nawabs tax demands?[16][17][18]

    Further reading

    • Wheeler, James Talboys (1881). The History of India from the Earliest Ages: pt. I. Mussulman rule. pt.II. Mogul empire. Aurangzeb. N. Trübner.


    1. 1 2 Alka, Grover B. L. & Mehta (2018). A New Look at Modern Indian History (From 1707 to The Modern Times), 32e. S. Chand Publishing. ISBN 978-93-5253-434-0.
    2. 1 2 3 4 5 Wheeler, James Talboys (1881). The History of India from the Earliest Ages: pt. I. Mussulman rule. pt.II. Mogul empire. Aurangzeb. N. Trübner.
    3. 1 2 3 Journal of Historical Research. Department of History, Ranchi University. 2003.
    4. 1 2 Sarkar, Sir Jadunath (1957). Sir Jadunath Sarkar Commemoration Volumes: Life or letters of Sir Jadunath Sarkar. Department of History, Panjab University.
    5. 1 2 Maharashtra State Gazetteers: Chandrapur. Directorate of Government Print., Stationery and Publications, Maharashtra State. 1974.
    6. 1 2 The History and Culture of the Indian People. G. Allen & Unwin. 1951.
    7. History Of Orissa Vol Ii. 1931.
    8. Sehgal, Prabha (1992). Political History of Modern and Medieval India in the 18th Century: A Study of Inter-state Relations, Wars and Diplomacy. Sanjay Prakashan.
    9. 1 2 Grant, Charles (1870). The Gazetteer of the Central Provinces of India. Education Society's Press.
    10. Estudios de Asia y Africa (in Spanish). El Colegio de México. 2002.
    11. Khan, Zakiya Tasneem (1994). Bilaspur: A Study in Urban Geography. Northern Book Centre. ISBN 978-81-7211-049-9.
    12. Dube, Saurabh (19 March 1998). Untouchable Pasts: Religion, Identity, and Power Among a Central Indian Community, 1780-1950. SUNY Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-3688-2.
    13. 1 2 New History Of The Marathas Vol-ii 1707-1772 (1948). B. G. Dhawale, Bombay. 1948.
    14. Kumar, Praveen. Complete Indian History for IAS Exam: Highly Recommended for IAS, PCS and other Competitive Exam. Educreation Publishing.
    15. Alka, Grover B. L. & Mehta (2018). A New Look at Modern Indian History (From 1707 to The Modern Times), 32e. S. Chand Publishing. ISBN 978-93-5253-434-0.
    16. Ahmed, Wakil (2012). "Folk Literature". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
    17. The story behind the lullaby: Maratha invasions in Bengal. 7 June 2020. {{cite book}}: |newspaper= ignored (help)
    18. Daniyal, Shoaib. "Forgotten Indian history: The brutal Maratha invasions of Bengal".
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