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Third battle of Panipat: Maratha commander Sadashiv Rao Bhau is 'alive' in Rohtak, Haryana

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Sadashivrao Bhau

January 14, 1761. A memorable day in the Battle of Panipat.

History says that in the third battle of Panipat, the commander of the Marathas, Sadashiv Rao Bhau, lost his life.

But according to the people of Sanghi village of Rohtak district of Haryana, these brave commanders were alive after the battle and were living in the same village.

There is also a mausoleum of Maratha commander Sadashivrao Bhau in Sanghi village.

We have been reading and listening to the proverbs associated with this battle of Panipat for years. One of them is Two pearls fell, ten or twenty Asharfi Lost, no account of money…

One of these two beads is named Sadashiv Rao, who was killed during this war. But the people of Sanghi village in Haryana tell a different history.

'BhaOo Rao's throne'

Sanghi village of Rohtak district is a short distance from Panipat. People here believe that Sadashiv Rao came after the war and settled in this village and it is here that he took samadhi.

There is also an ashram in the name of Sadashiv Rao Bhau in Sanghi village, 25 km from Rohtak city. The name of this ashram is 'Dera Ladhiwala'. In this camp, Sadashiv Rao Bhau or Bhau Rao is the 'Gaddi'.

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BRITISH LIBRARY

According to the people of the village of Sanghi, in 1761, when the defeat of the Maratha army was certain, Sadashiv Rao was injured. He got out of the battlefield riding on his horse in a wounded state.

Injured and half-unconscious, he reached the village of Ugrakhedi. He then moved to the village of Moi Hooda in Sonipat district.

In the next stop, he sought refuge in Rukhi village. Then the villagers suggested him to go to Sanghi village.

According to legend, the reason was the geographical location of the village of Sanghi. This village was green due to big trees and it was easy to hide here due to the dense forest surrounding. Finally, eight days after the war, on January 22, 1761, he reached the village of Sanghi and the villagers here sheltered him.

The throne of Shri Bhaunathji

Close to the village is the 'Dera Ladhiwala' ashram. Sanghi village is also on the inner side of the main road. A path leads to the village through dense green trees. Any person in the village will take you to this ashram.

A path passes through the village and turns towards the inside. On this route, a rough road passing through the barns reaches the ashram.

Spread over 20 acres of land, this ashram is surrounded by fertile land and many fruitful trees. People believe that this ashram was founded by Bhau Rao. According to the people of Sanghi village, this throne was established by Sadashiv Rao.

However, history tells something else.

What does history sayThe

According to historian SG Sardesai's book 'Selections from the Peshwa office', "On February 24, 1761, Kashiraj wrote a letter to Nanasaheb about the funeral of Vishwarao and Sadashiv Rao's body."

When Nanasaheb received this letter, he had reached Pichodi village near Jhansi and it is mentioned in this book.

Describing the last battle of Panipat, historian George Rawlinson wrote, "In the final phase of the war, Sadashiv Rao Peshwa fought on the Arabic horse to the last with the few soldiers and was martyred."

Whatever the history experts say, but the perception of the people of Sanghi village is that Sadashiv Rao Bhau moved here.

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BRITISH LIBRARY

Image caption

Depiction of war of panipat

Nath sect initiation and samadhi

Raj Singh Hooda of Sanghi village says, "It has been shown in many serials that Sadashiv Rao Bhau was killed during the fight. But this is not true. Bhau took initiation of the Nath sect here and also established an ashram."

According to the villagers, in 1761, Bhaurao took initiation of the Nath family.

Mahanta Sundernath of the ashram says, "At Sravandham in Pehowa village of Kurukshetra, he took initiation under the guidance of Guru Garibnath and then returned to the village of Sanghi. In 1764 he prepared an army of village soldiers to fight the Rohila Pathans."

"He dug the trench on the outside of the village and dusted these Pathans. It was only after this fight that Bhau took his tomb here."

But many historical documents also say that the next day of the war, Shuja sent soldiers to take the dead body but he could not find the body of Bhau.

The Maratha soldiers identified the body with a wound on the body and some marks. Shuja sent this dead body to Abdali. Abdali ordered the cremation of the dead body. Then Kashiraj and King Anupgir Gosavi performed the last rites.

The story of the historians Kana Sane and SG Sardesai and some documents reveal the story of the death of Sadashiv Rao in a different way.

According to this story, a Maratha chieftain wearing expensive jewelery was going by horse. With the greed of jewelery, the Pathan chieftains asked the identity of the Maratha chieftain and asked for jewelry.

They fought on this matter and the Maratha chieftain was killed. When the Maratha chieftain's severed head reached Shuja's canopy, the Maratha soldiers present there recognized that this head belonged to Bhau.

The last part of his body was cremated, so the head was cremated on the second day. This statement has been mentioned in the Peshwa documents in a similar way.

Image caption

Sadashivrao Bhau's War Memorial

Villagers of Sanghi

Mahant Sundernath says, "Every year a fair is held here. Many people come to see samadhi."

Raj Singh Hooda of Sanghi village says, "I have been going there since childhood. At that time Narhar Vishnu Gadgil was the governor of that time. Then Punjab and Haryana used to be the same state. Gadgil also used to come here often."

On the day of the fair, Baba's samadhi is worshiped and a wrestling arena is organized.

It is said in history that due to this defeat, the impact of Maratha Raj in North India was reduced. A whole breed of Maratha dynasty and commander Sadashiv Rao was killed in this war.

But Sadashiv Rao Bhau is still alive and celebrated in the hearts of people in this Sanghi village of Haryana, thousands of miles from Maharashtra.

For him, he is the guardian of the village, Baba Bhaunath Maharaj. Through this festival, the villagers of Sanghi are doing the work of keeping the memory of Sadashiv Rao Bhau alive.

(This story was earlier published in BBC Marathi Seva in the year 2018.)

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