Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus, Bajirao Mastani is a story that has been waiting to be told. The film has taken more than a decade to occur but it has finally seen the light of day. Releasing on December 18 this year, Bajirao-Mastani has seen many ups and downs just like the Emperor himself. Bajirao would have gone onto become the undisputed ruler of Bharatvarsh  and who knows how history might have changed. Have a look at the most intriguing details about the Peshwa.

1. Born on 18th August, 1700, Bajirao lived only 41 years, fought over 41 battles and he never lost a single battle. He was popularly known as ‘Rao’.

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2. After Shivaji, he is considered as the most influential, powerful Maratha leader. He was a natural warrior and champion in different war tactics. He extended Maratha Empire to the north that reaches to it’s highest territory during his son’s reign.

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3. At the age of 20 he was appointed as Peswa (Prime Minister) by Chhattrapati Shahu, the then Maratha Emperor, after sudden death of his father. Shahu recognised his talent and selected wisely.

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4. Bajirao had a firm plan to conquer all over India. The time was ripe, Mughals were weak, Britishers were not consolidated yet.

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5. Bajirao’s first wife was Kashibai. They had 2 sons, Nanasaheb (later appointed as Peshwa by Sahu in 1740 after death of Rao). Their second son was Raghunathrao.

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6. Mastani was second wife of Bajirao. Mastani was the daughter of Maharaja Chhatrasal of Panna with a Persian-Muslim wife Ruhaani Bai, who was court dancer of Nizam of Hyderabad.

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7. Chattrasal handed over his beautiful daughter Mastani to Bajirao as a gratitude when Bajirao saved his kingdom from a Mughal attack in the year 1727-28. Bajirao was also gifted 33 lakh gold coins.

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8. According to another theory, Mastani was a court dancer of Chattrasal. When Bajirao visited Chattrasal, he fell in love with her and they eloped.

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9. Mastani was a skilled horse rider and warrior. Bajirao Mastani fought many battles side by side.

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10. Bajirao Mastani had one son, Shamsher Bahadur. Bajirao gave Jaagir of Banda to Shamsher. Shamsher fought the 3rd battle of Panipat in 1761 against Ahmed Shah Abdali and died on the battle field.

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11. Bajirao died in the year 1740, due to a sudden fever. According to legend Mastani committed suicide after hearing about his death. Some say she committed ‘Sati’ jumping into his pyre. Bajirao Mastani were of same age.

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Sehar Akram
I love old books, all things stationery, rain-washed roads, copper-hued autumn and many more things.