Yashwantrao Holkar - Battle of Poona

Battle of Poona

In May 1802, Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar marched towards Pune. He kept on corresponding with the Peshwa, to whom he put forward the following propositions, which, if agreed to, would put an end to hostilities. 1. Releasing by Sindia the son of Malharrao II. 2. Recognizing this son Khanderao II as the head of Holkar family in place of Kashirao. 3. Restoration by Sindhia the possessions of Holkar; and 4. Allotment by Sindhia to Holkar of the share of territories in North India as settled in Malharrao Holkar’s time. He conquered Sendhwa, Chalisgaon, Dhulia, Malegaon, Parol, Ner, Ahmednagar, Rahuri, Nashik, Sinnar, Dungargaon, Jamgaon, Pharabagh, Gardond, Pandharpur, Kurkumb, Narayangaon, Baramati, Purandhar, Saswad, Moreshwar, Thalner, and Jejuri. On Sunday, 25 October 1802, on the festival of Diwali, Yashwantrao Holkar defeated the combined armies of Scindia and Peshwa at Hadapsar, near Pune. This Battle of Poona took place at Ghorpadi, Banwadi, and Hadapsar. Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar had ordered his army not to attack first and wait until 25 cannonballs were fired from other side; when 25 cannonballs were fired, Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar ordered his army to attack. As soon as he won the war, he ordered his army not to harm the civilians of Pune. When the Peshwa learned that he was defeated, fled from Pune via Parvati, Wadgaon, to Sinhagad. Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar asked the Peshwa to return to Pune. If Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar wanted to arrest the Peshwa, he would have arrested him; but he sent food to Peshwa so that he didn’t suffer.

On 27 October 1802, Peshwa Bajirao (II), along with Chimnaji, Baloji, and Kunjir along with some soldiers of Scindia, went to Raigad and spent one month in Virwadi. He then went to Suwarnadurgh, and on 1 December 1802, went to Bassein via a ship named Harkuriyan. The British offered him enticements to sign the Subsidiary Treaty in return for the throne. After deliberating for over a month, and after threats that his brother would otherwise be recognised as Peshwa, Bajirao (II) signed the treaty, surrendering his residual sovereignty and allowing the English to put him on the throne at Poona. This Treaty of Bassein (1802) was signed on 31 December 1802.

The British also had to check the French influence in India. The British Government feared that if they had not adopted measures for the restoration of the peshwa’s authority, Yashwantrao Holkar would have either attacked the Company’s territories, or those of their ally the Nizam of Hyderabad. They felt therefore the restoration of the peshwa under the protection of the British power was a measure indespensably requisite for the defence, not only of the territories of their allies, but of their own possessions bordering on the Marhatta dominions in the peninsula of India.

Panse, Purandhare, and some other Maratha Sardars had requested the Peshwa to return to Pune and have a dialogue with the Holkars. Even Chimanaji was against signing a treaty with British.

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Battle Of Poona

The Battle of Poona took place on 25 October 1802 near Pune between the rival factions of the Maratha Confederacy. The forces of the Scindia (Shinde) and the Peshwa Bajirao II were attacked by the Holkars. While the British East India Company was not involved in the battle, its outcome and aftermath led to the Second Anglo-Maratha War.

In May 1802, Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar marched towards Pune to solve the disputes. He conquered Sendhwa, Chalisgaon, Dhulia, Malegaon, Parol, Ner, Ahmednagar, Rahuri, Nashik, Sinnar, Dungargaon, Jamgaon, Pharabagh, Gardond, Pandharpur, Kurkumb, Narayangaon, Baramati, Purandhar, Saswad, Moreshwar, Thalner, and Jejuri.

On Sunday, 25 October 1802, on the festival of Diwali, Yashwantrao Holkar defeated the combined armies of Scindia and Peshwa at Hadapsar, near Pune. The battle took place at Ghorpadi, Banwadi and Hadapsar. Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar had ordered his army not to attack first and wait until 25 cannonballs were fired from other side; when the 25 cannonballs were fired, Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar ordered his army to attack. As soon as he won the war, he ordered his army not to harm the civilians of Pune.

The Peshwa, when he learned that he was defeated, fled from Pune via Parvati, Wadgaon to Sinhagad. Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar asked the Peshwa to return to Pune. If Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar had decided to arrest the Peshwa, he could have done so; but he sent food to Peshwa so that he did not suffer.

On 27 October 1802, Peshwa Bajirao (II), along with Chimnaji, Baloji, and Kunjir along with some soldiers of Scindia, went to Raigad and spent one month in Virwadi. He then went to Suwarnadurgh, and on 01/12/1802, went to Bassein via a ship named Harkuyan. The British offered him enticements to sign the Subsidiary Treaty in return for the throne. After deliberating for over a month, and after threats that his brother would otherwise be recognised as Peshwa, Bajirao (II) signed the treaty, surrendering his residual sovereignty and allowing the English to put him on the throne at Poona. This Treaty of Bassein was signed on 31 December 1802.

Panse, Purandhare, and some other Maratha Sardars had requested the Peshwa to return to Pune and have a dialogue with the Holkars. Even Chimanaji was against signing a treaty with British.

After conquering Pune, Yashwantrao Holkar took the administration in his hands and appointed his men. He freed Moroba Phadnawis, brother of Nana Phadnavis, Phadke, etc., who were imprisoned by Bajirao (II).

He appointed Amrutrao as the Peshwa and went to Indore on 13 March 1803. The British reinsted Bajirao (II) as the Peshwa at Pune on 13 May 1803, but soon the Peshwa realised that he was only a nominal peshwa and that British had taken total control.

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