The Candid Eye

September 10, 2009

The Royal Descendents

In Bollywood, the son of the actor becomes and actor. So also the actresses. Doctors, lawyers, engineers grow similar to their parents. We hear so much about Nehru-Gandhi family. What’s happening about the Royal Descendents of Marathas and alike? The great worriors who served the country with their blood, where are their descendents today?

Check out these articles from Open Magazine:-

Shivaji’s Descendent, Udayanraje

Mahendra Peshawa

While Udayanraje feels little bit stifled in the responsibilities of the lineage, Mahendra struggles financially, still feels the pride for being descendant of Bajirao Peshwa.

descendent-of-peshwaHere is what Mahendra has to say:

“I may be a Peshwa descendant, but does it really mean anything in 2009? When a traffic policeman stops me today and checks my driving licence, he does not even raise an eyebrow. The name Peshwa means nothing to him. He couldn’t care less. And this, in Pune, a city from where my forefathers ruled large parts of India for nearly a hundred years.

Why just the policeman. I am a non-entity even at the Parvati hill temple, which houses the family’s Lord Shiva deity. I am not allowed to enter the sanctum to perform a puja, despite the temple being run by the Dev Deveshwar Sansthan trust started by Nanasaheb Peshwa, my forefather in 1749. Today, none of my family members is on the five-man committee and this prevents us from performing even a puja.

We have filed a case with the Charity Commissioner in Pune in 2001 demanding permanent places for at least two Peshwas on the committee, given the history of the trust. However, as is typical in India, no decision has been forthcoming from the commissioner for eight long years.

It is a well-documented fact that as the Peshwas battled the British tooth and nail, the British confiscated and destroyed all the Peshwa property in Pune, except the Parvati hill temple run by the Dev Deveshwar Sansthan.

Presently, the only property that our family owns is in far away Varanasi, where we have two small ghats and two temples, one dedicated to Lord Shiva and the other to Lord Ganesha. These temples and ghats were built by another of my forefathers, Amrutrao Peshwa, brother of Bajirao Peshwa II in 1807. I  go on an annual pilgrimage to Varanasi every winter. It is the best time of the year to visit, as the weather is cool.

Presently, my father and his brother, as direct descendants of the Peshwas get a pension of Rs 13,360 per annum each from the Government of India treasury in Allahabad. This amount is the interest calculated at 4 per cent on the promissory notes deposited by the Peshwas with the British in 1855.

According to my father, Krishnarao, the British confiscated 90 per cent of the promissory notes and all the gems and jewellery belonging to the Peshwas in 1855. We have been requesting the government to release the balance amount in the treasury or at least increase the rate of interest, but our requests have fallen on deaf ears so far.

However, in spite of all this, I am proud to be a Peshwa. Our forefathers ruled large parts of the country and it feels special to be part of a clan with so much history.

Today, I live in a modest apartment in the Karvenagar area of Pune with my wife and teenaged, college-going daughter. No luxury and riches for us. I ride an old scooter and when the family has to go out together, I use my father’s old, beat-up Maruti Suzuki 800 car. I also personally shop for vegetables, milk, bread and groceries every day.

In any case, there is nothing amiss here. The Peshwas themselves were never given to creature comforts. While Bajirao Peshwa I, did construct the Shaniwar wada, home and headquarters of the Peshwas in central Pune, not many Peshwas managed to enjoy its comforts. Least of all Bajirao Peshwa I himself. It is a well-known fact that Bajirao I,  was more on horseback fighting the enemy than relaxing at his home in Pune. Ditto with a majority of Peshwas who were always on the battlefield, fighting the enemy. Don’t forget that the Peshwa army actually went past Attock in present-day Pakistan.

I work as an engineering consultant and am an expert on special purpose machines. In all probability, you will find me rushing from one shop floor to the other on any given day, trying to attend to my clients’ complaints. Like the Peshwas of yore, no creature comforts for me, thank you. The only problem is that my clients and customers assume that I am a rich man and often tease me, saying, “You are a Peshwa, why do you need the money?”

As a child, I grew up on a diet of tales depicting Peshwa Bajirao I’s courage and valour. So quite naturally, he is my hero. Within a short span of just 20 years, he managed to take Shivaji’s concept of Swarajya ( freedom) and convert it to Samrajya (empire). Bajirao I, was the first Peshwa to take the Maratha army past Delhi and bring almost 70 per cent of India under Maharashtrian rule. He is also the only Peshwa to have never lost a battle.
Just how astute Bajirao was, can be gleaned from the manner in which he convincingly outwitted the Nizam of Hyderabad in the battle of Palkhed. A master strategist, Bajirao, with far less manpower and resources than the Nizam, managed to surround the Hyderabad ruler so completely, that the Hyderabadi ruler was forced to surrender without a drop of blood being shed.

I did my initial schooling in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, a cantonment town where we had several friends in both the army and the air force. Coming from the Peshwa family, it was natural for me to be attracted to a career in the armed forces. I was a sergeant in the junior National Cadet Corps (NCC) in my military school in Pune, where I was adept at horse riding and shooting.

However, certain family circumstances prevented me from actually taking up a career in the armed forces after I completed school. I regret that even today. So much so, that if given even half a chance today, I would join the army in a flash.

The present state of Indian politics is simply revolting. I don’t like the manner in which this country is being run. If Bajirao I were to visit Pune today, he would have been appalled by the traffic congestion and the utter lack of town planning. He would also be aghast at the countless loopholes that exist in our policing system. Successive Peshwas, starting with him, had put in place a well worked-out system and plan for Pune.

He would have also been hurt by the class divide that exists in Maharashtra between the Brahmins and Marathas today, created by modern day politicians. In his time, the Peshwa army was not just made up of Marathas, Muslims were also part of it.

The class divide has reached such ridiculous proportions now that when present-day Maharashtrian politicians make speeches, they fast-forward directly from the era of Chhatrapati Shivaji to that of Mahatma Phule, as if the 100-year reign by the Brahmin Peshwas never even happened. Isn’t that downright ridiculous?

I was never really attracted to politics and hence, have never harboured any personal political ambitions. However, among the many political parties in India, I would be more inclined to vote for the BJP.

Nowadays, I get true solace whenever I visit the Shaniwar wada with friends and family for the ‘sound and light’ show depicting the history of the wada and the life of the Peshwas. It leaves me with a lump in the throat every single time. Much like watching the Republic Day parade in New Delhi.”

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22 Comments »

  1. I am a great follower of Shivaji Maharaj and Peshwas.. I will be indebted if you give me your mobile number. I would like to meet you. Please send me your cell number on my e mail id given above.

    Comment by Manjeet Moharil — June 17, 2010 @ 5:03 PM | Reply

    • Dear friends,
      The Candid Eye Authors are not in direct contact with Peshwe. Please meet them in person by yourself.
      cheers and regards.

      Comment by Abhay — October 2, 2010 @ 5:40 PM | Reply

  2. Its sad that descendents of those who made history are treated this way. Peshwas history is more glorious than that of Nehrus and Gandhis put together.

    Comment by H.S.Deo — July 27, 2010 @ 3:56 PM | Reply

  3. I can do all possible (not dare to use Help word)to you. pls contact me. regards.

    Comment by jyotiresver singh — July 27, 2010 @ 4:53 PM | Reply

    • Please contact him in person.

      Comment by Abhay — October 2, 2010 @ 5:37 PM | Reply

  4. That’s my best wishesh & regaurds to you & your family Mr. mahendra Pehshwe. I’m big fan of Shrimant Bajirao peshwe “I”, for his tremndous perfomance’s to make maratha’s to rule on Delhi. Also for his outstanding’s in battle field for never lossed to any single battle to his enemies & acompanied by his younger brother Chimaji appa peshwe.

    Mi khup divas peshwyanche varasdar shodhat hoto, aani aaj tumhi bhetalat.

    Kiti dukha vatat ki punyat peshwyanchya varasdaran paiki konala koni olakhat sudhha nahi? aashcharya aani khed vaatato!

    If you get this comment pls. pls. reply on my mail ID – tambat.paresh@gmail.com

    by wish of god & you I want to meet you at once

    Comment by paresh — September 6, 2010 @ 3:07 AM | Reply

    • You may definitely contact him in person. Good to see your pride in Indian Heritage.

      Comment by Abhay — October 2, 2010 @ 5:28 PM | Reply

    • As mentioned by all,I have great respect for all Peshawas. I have been reading variuous book related to PEshawas and have visited some historical places related to them. Paresh, peshawanchya varasdaran baddal mahiti havi asel tar ‘Peshawe Kul Vrutantt’ by Pramod Oak nakki vach. U will get very good information.

      Vidyanand

      Comment by Vidyanand Joshi — December 12, 2010 @ 10:11 AM | Reply

  5. dear sir,

    its really very pleasant to know that,still there is any decedents is alive.

    i would like to meet you.

    please send your mail id.

    prashant aparajit

    Comment by prashant aparajit — November 26, 2010 @ 12:21 PM | Reply

  6. Dear Sir,
    I am really happy to hear that there are still Peshwas in Pune. I would like to meet you in person. I am very great fan of Maratha history. I knew that present rular will never understant the word freedom as they never work on it. But if you get time, please write back on my email ID. thanks.

    Comment by Rahul — December 23, 2010 @ 5:27 PM | Reply

  7. Sir,
    Myself and my daughter are great fan of peshwas.
    I would like to meet you. once I met Mr phadnis
    at menavali.( In nana phadnis wada) I enquired with him about ancestors of peshwas.
    Please convey your address tel no.
    Sir, you are not alone. There are are thousands of fans of peshwas. only thing is that they do not know the whereabouts of peshwas.
    regards
    Dilip velhankar.

    Comment by dilip velhankar — January 15, 2011 @ 11:28 AM | Reply

  8. बाजीराव आणि मस्तानी यांचा एक मुलगा होता. बहुधा समशेरसिंग त्याचं नाव. त्याचे वंशज अजुनही चिंचवड मध्ये आहेत असं १० वर्षांपूर्वी ऐकलं होतं. बाजीराव पेशव्यांचे वंशज अजुनही आहेत हे चांगलंच आहे. त्यांना देवदेवेश्वर संस्थानच्या पाच सदस्यांमध्ये कीमान एकाला तरी सदस्य म्हणून मान्यता मिळाली पाहीजे हे तितकंच सत्य आहे. पण त्यांनी केवळ थेट पूर्वज बाजीराव पेशवे असल्याने पेशव्यांसारखे राहता येणे ही अपेक्षा करणे चुकीचे आहे. म्हणजे त्यांना स्वत:ला बाजारहाट करावी लागते, स्कूटरवरून जावे लागते, एका छोट्या फ्लॅट मध्ये रहावे लागते ह्यात कमीपणा मानणं बंद केलं पाहीजे. पेशव्यांनी जी संपत्ती मिळवली होती ती कोणत्या का कारणाने होईना पण आता सरकार जमा आहे. हे बर्‍याच संस्थानांच्या बाबतीत झाले आहे. काही जणांकडे त्यांची संपत्ती आहे काही जणांची सरकार जमा झाली. बाजीराव पेशवे (पहिला) हे पेशवे घराण्यात जन्माला आले म्हणून नावाजले गेले नाहीत तर त्यांच्या कर्माने, शौर्याने नावाजले गेले. त्यांनी सामान्य जनतेचे रक्षण केले, मराठी साम्राज्य सुदूर पसरवले म्हणून नावाजले गेले. श्री महेंद्र पेशवा यांना असं वाटत असेल की त्यांनाही तसाच मान मिळावा तर त्यांनी सध्याच्या काळानुसार सामान्य जनतेसाठी चांगलं करून तो मान मिळवायला हवा. त्यांनी स्वत:हून १० पावलं पुढे टाकली तर लोक त्यांच्यामागे नक्की उभे राहतील. त्यांनी त्यांच्यातील शौर्य आणि सामान्य लोकांसाठी लढण्याची तयारी दाखवावी. सध्या सीमेवर लढण्यापेक्षा राजकारणात चांगल्या व्यक्ती हव्या आहेत. तुमचे शौर्य राजकारणात दाखवा. तिथे जास्त गरज आहे. मग आपोआप तुम्हाला मान मिळेल……..अगदी महेंद्र पेशवा म्हणूनही आणि बाजीराव पेशवा (पहिला) यांचे थेट वंशज म्हणूनही. येवढंच सांगावंस वाटतं.

    Comment by शांतीसुधा — January 15, 2011 @ 10:48 PM | Reply

  9. Your Highness, Sanstang namaskar. I am a maratha from mauritius island in the indian ocean whose ancestors left Pune in 1859 in order to come and settle in mauritius. I am the fifth generation here. I have retired from the judicial department. There are many maratha decendants in mauritius. Most of them take pride in their ancestry.
    I am fascinated to learn that you are a descendant of the great Peshwas who marked the history of not maharashtra only but of the whole of india.
    I am sad to note the ingratitude towards a descendant of the valiant Peshwas. I believe the suggestions of Shanti sudha hold water.
    Please kindly give it a thought!!!Nukki hazaron marathas will be supporting you.Paheli payri jhalish baki che sope hoil. Apla namra Gannoo….Morde koulacha.
    My number is 00230-7516045
    my email is gannoosaccaram@yahoo.com

    Comment by Gannoo SACCARAM — March 19, 2011 @ 9:33 AM | Reply

  10. bad to hear this shrimant.That injustice with you?surprising anyways think what ur forefather would have done in this condition and put ur steps that way.Jai Shivaji

    Comment by shailendra khopkar — April 17, 2011 @ 5:06 PM | Reply

  11. how is he a direct descendant of the peshwas can he clarify because bajirao seconds adopted son nanasaheb disappeared into thin air..
    and thorale madhavrao and his brother did not have any children..so whom are they descended from bajirao firsts brother chimaji or a distant relative..before claiming his ancestry he should clarify his lineage..

    Comment by rohini — August 7, 2011 @ 11:21 PM | Reply

    • Rather than him proving, its for us to figure it out, if we are proud of the country’s best rulers. It is we who need to dig out the information and preserve our history and their lineage.

      Comment by Abhay — August 8, 2011 @ 12:55 AM | Reply

  12. Even I have doubt about how Mahendra is direct descendant of Bajirao. But I respect Peshwas so much that even if Mahendra is remotely related to Bajirao, I would like to meet him, touch him, salute him. Peshwas were the only few royal families who actually fought against foreign rulers(Britishers). Rest, helped britishers and are still enjoying the riches given to them for robbing India of its wealth. Bajirao and Shivaji are the only persons who I actually worship. They are my heroes. I am proud that I stay in Karvenagar where Mahendra “Peshwa” lives. Long live Peshwas…
    In case anyone knows how to contact Mahendra Peshwa, please post it. I would like to meet him at least once and salute him.

    Comment by Abhijit — December 14, 2011 @ 5:44 PM | Reply

  13. The Peshwa Decendants live in Pune ….. in deccan as heard by me …. the Decendant of Shamsher Bahadur lives in Indore An place called “Bandha Kothi”

    Comment by Sandesh Panvelkar — February 23, 2012 @ 2:37 PM | Reply

  14. I tried To contact Mahendra Peshwa Through Facebook but he Didn’t Respond ……………….?????

    Comment by Sandesh Panvelkar — February 23, 2012 @ 2:39 PM | Reply

  15. it is happy and also poignant to read about the descendant of the great peshwas. we people in other states who admire our earlier generations who fought the invaders would like to study about people like peshwas. but authentic materials are scarce and difficult to locate and obtain. I would like to request this scion of peshwas to provide information about authentic sources, preferably books about peshwas and their times. I come from the capital city of Nizam. I know that his heirs live a very luxurious life compared to what is described by sri Mahendra. But then our country’s rule came into the hands of the B-team of the British. we cannot expect any better deal for the descendants of those who held the flame of freedom and native rule high. All the same I convey my respectful regards to the living symbol of one of our greatest lineages. Prasad.

    Comment by prasad — June 15, 2013 @ 10:40 PM | Reply

  16. 4.That’s my best wishesh & regaurds to you & your family Mr. mahendra Pehshwe. I’m big fan of all peshwas . Mi khup divas peshwyanche varasdar shodhat hoto, aani aaj tumhi bhetalat.

    Kiti dukha vatat ki punyat peshwyanchya varasdaran paiki konala koni olakhat sudhha nahi? aashcharya aani khed vaatato!

    Comment by ninad — November 5, 2016 @ 4:47 PM | Reply

  17. I really respect Peshawa n Peshawas family.. they have given there entire life to the country government should do something for them which they deserve.

    Comment by sanjayvrajak09@gmail — December 2, 2016 @ 11:13 PM | Reply


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