Dadaji Konddev





Edit History Discussion

Encyclopedia Of Indian History!

Welcome to Historical India! Historical India is an academic community platform where any enthusiast may join, create and edit articles. Come contribute to this open-source community project and help create an authentic encyclopedia of Indian history. Feel free to publish interesting articles, cite references from the content-rich books, research papers etc., that you read, or just create an article on your favorite historical figure or epoch.


Editor's Search


Documentation Reference

Join Now!

Where to start?

Introduction For Beginners

Ways To Contribute


Dadaji Konddev

Dadaji Konddev Malthankar was a steward in the service of Shahajiraje Bhonsle and a guardian for young Shivajiraje Bhonsle. He was instrumental in resettling Pune after Nizamshahi was vanquished by Mughal forces and erstwhile Pune Jagir of Shahajiraje Bhonsle was destroyed by Adilshahi forces.

Shivajiraje & Jijabai at Pune

In 1630 CE, Pune was turned into a cemetery. Pune, which once housed more than three thousand inhabitants, was now home to two to four helpless and lost households, living in some obscure corner under some cactuses or crumbling, half-burnt hutments, always terrified like a small bird. A life of cemetery ascetics.

But one day, the sun brought a reddish novelty with it. Hooves of a few horses made way towards Pune. The town living in constant terror was startled. The well-appointed convoy also had a few palanquins with it. The retinue told that there were ladies with the convoy. This was a convoy of Sakala Saubhagya Sampanna (Blessed with a stable marriage) Vajra Chude Mandit (bedecked with unbreakable bangles) Rajashree Jijabaisaheb Bhosale. With her, there was a six year old boy as well. Shivajiraje Bhonsle, the son of Shahajiraje Bhonsle. Palanquin was accompanied with the Maratha cavalrymen in the front and back. There were announcing Lagis (small sized drums) on camels in the convoy. There were drummers sitting atop those camels. There were men blowing horns and trumpets. There were some musketeers, some spearmen and some shield-men. The whole convoy entered into Pune through the fallen gateways. Jijausaheb and Shivbaraje entered Pune. Pune’s eyes sparkled. The desolate faces suddenly brightened like daisies. Suddenly the defeated look vanished. Pune suddenly took up the sheen of a marriage ceremony. Horns were blown. But the royal armies had burnt down the mansions that belonged to this son and mother pair. So, they didn’t even have a place to call their home. The mansion of Pune’s Patil was somehow still holding itself together. Patil was named Zambre Patil. Zambre Patil welcomed both of them in his own mansion. The convoy had found its place of stay. Now Jijausaheb and young Raje were going to live in this mansion belonging to Zambre Patil, until they built a new house of their own. Of course, on annual rent.

Dadaji Konddev Malthankar

Jijausaheb and Shivajiraje had the whole retinue of Rajdeshmukhi (royal revenue official) with them. Servants, workmen, guards, personal soldiers, clerks, Diwani (criminal) stewards, Fadnis (civil) stewards, and a senior experienced Headclerk who used to manage the whole retinue with or without a sword, but definitely with his pen. His aura used to be on display through his speech, body language and eyes. The old man could easily be around seventy-five. Still he was erect and tough. He used to behave with all humility in the company of Jijausaheb and Shivajiraje. This old head-steward was named Dadaji Konddev Malthankar.

Early Career

Steward Dadajipant’s native village was near the Ashtavinayak Ganesha temple of Siddhatek. On the banks of Bheema river. The town was named Malthan. Earlier it used to be under the control of Bahmani Sultanate. After that it went to Adilshahi. Dadaji Konddev had spent all his life until now in Bijapur’s Adilshahi Sultanate. Since the beginning he took up the service of Bhosale family (Beginning of 1637 AD). Dadaji Konddev Malthankar served as a clerk in Adilshahi at Bijapur. He was originally the Kulkarni of his village (Village Record-keeper). Through this service, he had been climbing the promotional ladder, and in his ripe age, he had been appointed as the ‘Namzaad’ Subedar of the Kondhana suba. Pune Kasba (town) and the Adilshahi fort of Kondhana were nearby. Just about eight kos distance (23 km). Until this time, there isn’t a single reference to be found, where Dadaji Konddev would have had interaction with Nizamshahi as a servant (of Adilshahi), or any official or political, big or small interaction with Shahajiraje. Not a single record has been found relating to even a small introductory meeting with the Bhosale family.

Shahajiraje sent Jijausaheb and Shivajiraje to Pune so that they would assume the governance there. And Raje himself had appointed Dadaji Konddev Malthankar as the head-steward under them. Not a single historical document has any reference to Dadaji Konddev before this. Meaning as per the historical evidences available today, Dadaji Konddev and Bhosale Jagir of Pune have been mentioned together only hereafter (meaning from the very beginning of 1637 AD up to Dadaji Konddev’s death i.e. the first quarter of 1647 AD).

Bijapur’s Adilshah had retained Shahajiraje’s Jagir of thirty-six villages around Pune from before. Actually, this pargana was covered in hills and forests. All these thirty-six villages had been utterly destroyed in the period of royal campaigns. Adilshah’s royal Subedar used to sit at Suba Kondhana. His office was on Kondhana fort (i.e. today’s Sinhagad fort). But the control of the Kondhana fort was in the hands of a castellan named Siddi Ambar Wahab. Even though Dadaji Konddev was the Subedar at the fort and was managing the administration of the Suba from Kondhana, the fort was under the military control of the royal castellan Siddi Ambar. Shahajiraje had recognised the ardent, loyal, honest, obedient, hardworking, disciplined, calculating nature of Dadaji Konddev Malthankar, who used to care for his subjects and people engaged in the administration, not only with tough discipline but also with almost maternal love. Dadajipant’s hands and heart were always sacrosanct, as if he was holding god’s oblation in his hands. He was strict by nature. His nature in normal work was pointy like a needle. Prickly. But Shahajiraje made a decision to entrust the stewardship of his Jagir of thirty-six villages to exactly such loyal, vigilant, intelligent, experienced and selfless man. Raje was confident that Pant would pay fatherly attention to Jijausaheb, and would take almost grandfatherly care of Shivbaraje. Dadaji had never worked in the master-server relationship with the Bhosale family before this. But it was destiny when Shahajiraje thought of appointing this honest, loyal, elderly person as a steward and caretaker of the Bhosale realm, for his Jagir of the size of a small pargana. It was convenient as well. Because he was anyways working as a nominated Subedar by the order of Bijapur central authority on Kondhana Suba just beside Pune. Even Dadaji would have found it convenient, easy, and to his liking, to take care of the Bhosale Jagir alongside his royal service to Adilshahi. It was finalised. Dadaji Konddev was serving Adilshahi as the Subedar, now he also started playing the administrator role for the Bhosale Jagir of Jijabaisaheb and Shivajiraje.

There is no reference to be found of the actual total number of people in Dadaji Konddev’s family. But it is certain that he was married and had one son. He also took up residence near the house of Pune’s Deshpande, Honap family’s house. Royal service on the Kondhana fort office, and family back at Pune. So Dadaji used to commute between Pune and the Kondhana fort.

Pune's Resettlement

Khed Shivapur

Jijausaheb ordered Dadaji Konddev to start building their own houses in Pune and the catchment villages around it. Accordingly, Dadaji selected a few locations for the mansions. One of these locations was beyond the Katraj hill, near a village called Khed. All this area belonged to the Konde-Deshmukh family. Konde was a big and famous family. Jijausaheb had plans to settle a whole new town near Khed over the old tell mound, and converting the arable land around in an orchard. Dadaji’s experienced foresight also thought this was an appropriate thing to do. The location was amicable to everyone. High mountain ranges on all sides, Kondhana fort on the west, soft soil like jaggery, and river Shivaganga flowing through the area. First mansion was to be built like a ‘palace’, and the town was to be named after Shivajiraje – ‘Shivapur’. Pant started the work. Kondhana on one side, and Konde-Deshmukh family, as powerful as a fully grown tiger, both would come handy to protect Shivapur’s importance and power. And this was confirmed. Various trees, especially mango trees, were planted in the fields around the town. The orchard was named after Shahajiraje. ‘Shahabag’.

One location was selected for building the mansion even in Pune. It belonged to the Zambre-Patil family. It was towards the west of Kasba, large area, river close-by, abundant water-supply, the town wouldn’t be troubled with the hustle and bustle of the stables. Besides, it was around Shreemoraya. Ground-breaking ceremony was conducted and the first stone was installed.

Peth Jijapur

Around four kos from Pune, near the village named Pashan there was a Shiva temple. The deity’s name was Shree Someshwar. A small river used to flow just beside the temple. River was called ‘Ram’. A market was constructed for the village and a protective wall was constructed for the temple. Beautiful rock-set ghats, check-dam and deep basins were constructed for the river. A new name was given to the village, ‘Peth Jijapur’. Beautiful murals were drawn on the walls of Shree Someshwar temple. These included mostly Puranic scenes.

Dadaji Konddev not only had deep love, respect and loyalty, but also unwavering devotion towards Shahajiraje, Jijausaheb and Shivajiraje. Dadaji’s working style was very simple. His lifestyle was also very simple. His attention was constantly in his work. Those were like his daily oblations. Occasionally he would also pay attention to his own household chores. He used to take care of both, the responsibility of his own family and the act of reconstructing Pune that lay destroyed, entrusted to him by Shahajiraje, with the same devotion of doing a penance. The words like bribery, misappropriation, shirking responsibility, laziness, extravagance wouldn’t dare touch Pant ever.

Real Aim

Dadaji had recognised the dreams that were continuously going through Jijausaheb’s mind and constantly visible in her behaviour and speech, they were to establish an independent Maratha Swarajya. The initiative taken by Jijausaheb moments after entering Pune to wipe out the insulting signs of slavery was itself a brave move. She had started an attempt to heal the wounds inflicted on Pune by the Adilshahi demons. She had uprooted the crowbar that had been hammered here. She had begun to renovate the demolished temples and households. Small lamps had started lighting up Pune, which had been rendered dark. A different kind of plough was replacing the donkey-plough that the Sultanate had paraded. Shivajiraje’s independent seal was being put to use. All twelve standard village artisans and other village workmen had begun this reconstruction work along with Shivajiraje with high hopes. All these signs were clearly indicating that a glorious dawn was upon the whole region. The way a mother awakens her children on the Diwali morning with a bright smiling face, in the same manner Jijausaheb was awakening the Pune region. Whom was she trying to awaken? The youth of Maval.

The general administration of Pune was started in Shivajiraje’s name as the prevalent authority. The administrative mandates used to be signed and sealed with young Shivajiraje’s name. In the evenings, lamps started getting lit, people started saying their evening prayers, and the inner sancta of various households used to resonate with the words and tunes of ‘Shubham Karoti Kalyanam (Dear Lord, please do good unto everybody).’ And during the day the following words from Shivajiraje’s seal would reflect on the mandate letters of Jijausaheb.

’प्रतिपच्चंद्रलेखेव वर्धिष्णुर्विश्ववंदिता शाहसुनो शिवस्यैषा मुद्रा भद्राय राजते॥’

The ‘Shubham Karoti’ being recited by Jijabaisaheb and Shivajiraje, and the real soul within the Pratipat-Chandralekheva (growing like the new-moon) ‘benevolent seal’ used by Shivajiraje was one and the same. The meaning was one and the same. In both of them, sublime, ardent, and towering expectations and ambition shone brightly like a glorious lamplight. More and more. Like it grows bright, the moment the wick of a lamp is adjusted using a golden pin.

Lal Mahal

The construction work on the mansion near Kasba Ganpati in Pune was completed. Stables, cowshed, armoury, office, records-room, common courtyard, wells, store-rooms, living quarters, ritual rooms, kitchens, granaries etc. were built. Jijausaheb and Raje sought an auspicious day, did the Vastu-pujan, and came to live within this mansion with all their retinue. The mansion was named ‘Laal-Mahal’.

Lal Mahal had been completed as a strong and gracious mansion. Lal Mahal’s overall plan was around 17.5 gaz (1 gaz = 1 yard = 3 feet) on the east-west axis, and 27.5 gaz on the north-south axis. The mansion rooms were 10.25 gaz (30.75 feet). There were fountains in the internal courtyard. To the west of the fountains, there was a large and spacious Sadar. Sadar means a smallish court hall. The mansion had abundant Abdarkhana. Abdarkhana means water-supply. There were three built wells. There were many tanks and fountains. This was Lal Mahal’s splendour. Besides there were basements. These had been kept around 4.5 gaz (13.5 feet).

On the other side, the Shivapur mansion had also been completed. However, the name given to that other mansion is unknown. Shahabag planted around it was growing. All these things were being overseen and being done by Dadaji Konddev, as per Jijausaheb’s original plan and orders. Although his nature was a bit strict, it was passionate as well.

Pune slowly started growing. Jijausaheb and Shivbaraje used to stay in the Shivapur mansion also sometimes.

Dadajipant's Administration

It was a very difficult task to set up each and every aspect of Pune, which was completely destroyed. Jijausaheb had taken it upon herself, like it was her own household. All her staff was readily standing at her service to ensure all this work was completed diligently. Even the inhabitants of all the surrounding villages then stood behind all this effort equally diligently. All local artisans and workmen were involved in this effort. There were other families like Pasalkar, Shitole, Konde, Paygude who also got involved. Dadaji Konddev owned the responsibility to ensure all the decided tasks were correctly done. He was vigilant without exceeding his remit. This elder who would perfectly follow a given word and appointed time, was running this administration of thirty-six villages with spotless hands, equally pure heart, but strict advocacy. This important responsibility was entrusted to Dadajipant by Shahajiraje himself.

The newly initiated settlement at the new town of Shivapur started growing as well. Dadaji Konddev personally felicitated the new town’s Patil, Kulkarni, Deshpande, Deshmukh right up to Yeskar, Joshi and Gurav families, by issuing them these posts through ritual ceremonies. All this planning came from Jijausaheb. Dadaji also built his own house in all this arrangement. During this time (1637-38 AD) Jijausaheb and Shivajiraje used to stay mostly at Shivapur. Jijausaheb used to keep a very careful eye on Shivba. In this playful age, she was ensuring education and correct impressions are imparted to his young mind.

Pant and Jijabaisaheb started settling down the complete region with ardent eagerness. Both of them insisted on improving the health of the whole Pune region. Pant had resolved to wipe out the whole misfortune of Pune under the gaze of his Raje. Sultanate Sardars had paraded the donkey ploughs over Pune; he would now parade a plough of gold! He would re-settle Pune again! He would reap diamonds and pearls from Pune’s soil!

In the Pune region, due to constant campaigns, even fertile lands were left fallow. Numerous villages had been left desolate. So many towns had been rendered devoid of humans. Forests had started acquiring back cultivable lands. Wild animals like tigers, leopards, wild boars, hyenas, wolves and foxes had begun ruling all these lands in style. The old trade routes of yore had completely vanished. People had been rendered paupers. Pant roamed around in all these villages. He could not bear this misery. He sat thinking in the Lal Mahal. He took help from the other stewards and clerks, and consensually drew up a plan to resettle the whole region. The whole intent started to get implemented in Shivba’s name. Pant called out to all farmers and inhabitants of the twelve river basins around Pune. His real intent was to celebrate this year’s Diwali in the whole region!

Pant called back all the local artisans and workmen like Patil, Kulkarni, Chougule, Choudhari etc. from all the deserted villages. The Mutha river basin in the Maval region had been rendered especially deserted. The original inhabitants were also recalled. All these people came to the Lal Mahal court, and sat down after bowing down to Shivba. Shivba sat on the seat of power, Pant sat to his right on the ground. Pant carefully and patiently listened to the peoples’ stories. What would people say? Their shelter broken. Sultanate armies robbed and burnt down homes. Kidnapped household ladies. On whose support would they continue to live? It happened once, twice, and then it became a regular feature. Then finally they left.

It was true. And then Pant told them affectionately that Pune region was now part of Shahajiraje's Jagir. Nobody had anything to fear any local or foreign rowdies. He asked them to return to settle their villages, build their homes and temples. He showed them that Shivajiraje was there to listen to their complaints, and his Lal Mahal was open all-day for their complaints and requests.

The hearts of Patils, Kulkarnis and all the other inhabitants became assured. Everybody went back with a smile on their faces. Pant had attempted a resettlement. Dead minds were awakened with a whiff of magic breeze. Deserted villages, even in the desolate Mutha basin, started getting re-settled. The Teli started his mill with a new hope, and new satisfaction. Gurav started emptying his milk pot on top of the deity’s idol in the local temple. Brahmins started drawing the year’s calendars. Baniyas started their business by breaking the auspicious jaggery cake. Blacksmith’s bellows started pumping. Potter’s wheel started turning. The heaps of mud started taking shape. Rooster started crowing. Villages got populated. Mutha basin was resettled. The soil itself started speaking. Fields all flowered up. Even the local Vasudev also started his song and dance routine. Destiny had shown favourable inclination towards this Swarajya, started in God’s name! It had favoured Raje Bhosale! It had favoured Dadajipant…!

Pant’s intellect was a goldmine. One more golden idea came to his mind. Pant helped inspire common people to turn the surrounding farms fertile and take crops every season with his right hand, and at the same time appreciated them by patting their backs with his left hand. And what magic! Maval farmers also fell in line with his plan. They moistened the soil with their own sweat. Toiled equal to their bullocks. Took care of the seedlings like their own children. And then there was a harvest of diamonds! Of pearls and gems! Rows and rows of farms were filled with abundant crop ears. Farms were filled with ripe crops. Pune region, which was dying of hunger for twelve years, started eating a bellyful by resting against crop storage bins. If the farmer mixes his heart in soil, he gets a harvest of pearls! No other fertiliser is necessary!

The whole region was troubled because of tigers, leopards, wild boars, foxes and wolves. They were not letting any livestock animals like goats, sheep, cows, and calves stay alive in the stables for a single day. Pant realised this menace. He decided to put an end to this wild rule. And that too at the hands of farmers! He declared various public prizes. Whoever killed such menacing wild animals and proved it in the Jagir court, he would be rewarded by the Jagirdar! And then these wild animals started falling to the Maval farmers’ spears and darts. Mavalas got the power to fight these tigers and play cunning games with foxes.

Golden Plough

The tell-mound of Pune had become completely desolate. What would remain when someone parades the donkey-plough over it? Pant thought of doing something new. He brought a plough. Affixed a 24-carat gold hoe onto the plough! And he paraded that golden plough on Pune’s tell-mound. He ploughed the land with a golden plough! All the new inhabitants were impressed by this. Pant’s fame reached in the surrounding twelve basins. Pant brahmin was a good man. Maval was blessed to have him.

Pune’s soil was tended to with this golden plough!

Prior to this, the whole region was troubled with thievery, looting and robberies. To prevent that, and even to prevent the Sultanate officials’ trouble like kidnapping livestock as well as women, Pant kept his own cavalry at the ready. He also warned the village guard castes (Ramoshis) to stay alert for any such happenings. Everything fell into the right place due to all this. Pant had held a sort of caring shadow on the heads of the farmers toiling in the fields.

Pant got the overall land measured and categorised. He gave everybody the rightful land-parcels and increased incomes overall.

Pant's Justice

Before this, there was no justice. Whatever Qazi decided, would be termed justice! Pant forcibly retired all Qazis. He instituted a judicial court in Lal Mahal itself. Pant himself would listen to peoples’ complaints and grievances and started doing justice. As Shivba started growing old, Pant started engaging him in this difficult task. He would ask Shivba to sit in attendance in the court, and would take judicial decisions after discussions.

There was a village named Asavali. The village patil was named Damaji Dhamal. One of his cousins Dattaji Dhamal murdered Damaji to capture his patil post! The time itself was of anarchy. No complaint, no grievance. Damaji’s wife Rupau took two small children Janoji and Suryaji with her and ran away. There was no guarantee that these so-called brethren would murder her and her children too. Dattaji assumed the patil rights. People used to fear him like they feared a wild boar. The widow Rupau’s heart would not let her sit still at this injustice. She grew old like that. Her elder son Janoji and younger Suryaji also grew old. Janoji was completely terrorised due to all this fratricide. Younger Suryaji used to ask his elder brother, why they could not reclaim their Patilki rights and restore their mother's respect.

But his brother Janoji would not bring up the courage for fear of death. Suryaji couldn’t bear this cowardice. The guy got up. He did not have any power to physically fight with his cousins. He went straight to Bengaluru to Shahajiraje without telling anyone. Because Asavali village had now come under Raje’s Jagir. Suryaji laid his grievance in front of Shahajiraje. Raje immediately gave him a letter for Dadajipant and sent him back. Because he had appointed Pant as an administrator at Pune, just sometime back.

Suryaji came back and took his old mother and went to meet Pant. He held Raje’s letter in front of Pant. Raje had written about the wrongs done to them, ordering a thorough investigation and subsequent justice to be done.

Pant read the letter. He immediately ordered the guards to go to Asavali. The guards captured Dattaji Dhamal and his son Sambhaji, and presented them in the court. Pant arrested them. The plaint came up for hearing. Pant carried out the inquiry in front of the village Panchayat. And gave the judgment. Pant granted the patilki rights which belonged rightfully to Rupau. She got her justice after so many years. She went to her native village with great respect as Patil.

Pant resolved many of the disputes in his usual style. At the time of giving judgment, Pant used to announce his decision, only after calling the village Panchayat meeting, where the responsible people of the village would participate, and after doing complete inquiry, taking all sides of the dispute into consideration. Then he used to put together the Mahzar, that is the judgment. Then he used to take signs and fingerprints from the people who had sat in the said judgment. Many such judgments are found with his name. He made a lot of people happy with his justice.

One woman named Gojava, who had been left completely alone by her family, was given her share of the family’s income through his judgment. One rowdy from Parinda, Ratnoji Jadhav forcibly acquired various weapons belonging to a poor man named Sambha Koli. These were shield, dagger, sword, other knives etc. Sambhaji Koli presented himself in front of Pant for the complaint. Pant again called the assembly of elders and gave the judgment as per consensual decision by the Panchayat. Ratnoji was given a very heavy fine by Pant for his rowdyism, and he was made to pay the amount of the fine to Sambhaji. Ratnoji did not have the money. So, Pant asked him to mortgage his Watan and collected all the fine! Such was Dadajipant! His discretion was perfect.

Many times, Aaisaheb herself used to sit in the court hall for some judgments. She used to listen to the whole dispute and used to give perfect judgment. It was her who had adjudicated the dispute between the guravs of Jejuri. Many such instances she was the judge. Pant alone had adjudicated the Watan dispute of Shirvalkar Deshpande previously. But that didn’t satisfy Ramji Vitthal Deshpande. He met Aaisaheb and requested her to bring his dispute in front of the assembly of elders, and demanded justice from the Panchayat. Aaisaheb agreed for this and ordered Pant to hear the said dispute in the Panchayat. Pant also accepted Aaisaheb’s order and complied.

Prosperity Arrives

The Jagir started getting transformed at a fast pace. The revenue collection was regularised and started increasing. Some savings started getting accumulated in the treasury at the end of the year. Lal Mahal and peoples’ houses started seeing prosperity. Abundance of food, fodder, livestock, and horses was visible everywhere. Aaisaheb started feeling blessed about the administration being run by Pant. It was such a small Jagir, but it started priding itself like an independent kingdom. The whole Pune Jagir consisted of just thirty-six villages!

Pant was continuously and earnestly working for the improvements in farming. He used to grant lands on rent. Bring government land under cultivation. He was really passionate. There is a small village named Rahatwade near Shivapur. There was a family named Chorghe living in that village. It was engaged and happy in farming. Pant helped them by getting a well dug in their field. And the Chorghe land-holding turned into prime horticultural land. Abundant supply of water became available. Pant also got a beautiful step-well constructed on top.

Pant had ensured perfect arrangement for the personal expenses of Aaisaheb. The revenue income from two villages Kelvade and Ranjhe near Shivapur was assigned for Aaisaheb personal expenses. The income from these two villages was handed over to Aaisaheb. She was free to do whatever she like with it. To perfectly manage all her expenses and administration, an independent steward had been appointed. His name was Naro Tryambak Pingle.

Maval Anarchy

Pant’s administration started again, as if the seventy-year old Pant had shed his old skin! The twelve Maval basins started circling his mind. The old man had turned rouge! Actually, Pant was in his twilight years. People knowing him were half expecting him to declare his innings any time. But the times had turned around! Now Pant didn’t even have the time to die!

Pant started working with a vengeance to establish the grand new kingdom. He started making rounds of the Maval basins with Shivba. Maharashtra’s real power lies in Sahyadri’s mountains. If the Marathi Deshmukh, Deshpande, Patil, Kulkarni people in these Maval basins pledged their loyalty to us, the whole region would become invincible not only to these Sultans, but even to the Yamraj (Death). That was it! Pant went to work deciding to turn all these Deshmukh, Deshpandes into loyal friends for Shivba as his first task. He himself was an appointed Mokashi steward of the Pune Jagir belonging to Shahajiraje. Besides he was the nominated Subedar of the Kondhana fort as well. Being a royal Subedar, the gravity, weight and awe of his word, everything was huge.

All these Deshmukhs had been building up their strength in each of their own Maval basins. Especially in the time of incessant campaigns (1605 to 1636 AD) these Deshmukhs had established a reign of terror in the Maval region. The watan of one Deshmukh shared borders with that of another. It is natural. All the twelve river basins are contiguous. These Deshmukhs were so much addicted to the watans, petty beliefs of status, respect, and the associated competition, that the horrible incidents that took place through those jealousy induced quarrels, would terrify anybody! In the archive documents of these Deshmukhs, one finds half of them related to quarrels, murders, arson, and humble applications submitted to the Sultan while crawling in front of them. Not a single family existed amongst these Deshmukhs, who did not have a history of quarrels, bloodshed, murders or massacres. Everybody had the blood of their relatives on their hands! These mighty tigers of Sahyadri were slitting each other’s throats and loyally serving the Emperors!

Khopde Deshmukh of Utravali and Jedhe Deshmukh of Kari always used to be passionate about their quarrel. This same story had been the history before the birth of Kanhoji Jedhe. Kanhoji’s uncles and other family members had once picked up an invaluable opportunity to murder one of the Khopdes! Khopde family had a marriage ceremony planned. The marriage was supposed to be held at a village named Karnawade. Khopde family had fixed the marriage with Nichal family. The marriage parties from both sides arrived. The ceremony started and the Jedhe family suddenly attacked the marriage area itself! Everybody attending the Khopde family’s marriage was massacred! Sixty people were killed! Even women were not spared. This was a vengeance for the vicious murder of Appaji Jedhe in Gadekhind (Gade mountain pass) by the Khopde family!

Similar enmity existed amongst the Chorghe and Shilamkar Deshmukh families. Absolutely stunning incidents like massacring women and children, demolishing houses to the ground, stealing the watan documents, burning down ripe crops and houses to ashes, etc.! How many more incidents involving many other families should one relate?

Besides, in each of these families, the internal quarrels between two brothers used to take place, that was even more terrible! That also had all types of cruelty. Primary motive would be to destroy the relative and capture the watan! Then they were ready to let the family blood spill in droves for that.

There was nothing new about each having ten-twelve murders to his credit. But why to only blame these Deshmukhs who were slitting throats of their own? Weren’t even bigger Sardars fighting with each other? Some for a respectable position in the Sultanate court, some others for supposed insults done to them by the Emperors! Jadhavrao and Bhosale…! Remember?

Why shouldn’t Maharashtra rot in slavery?

Poor hardworking common men of Maval were unnecessarily being troubled in the selfish quarrels of these hot-headed Deshmukhs. They were simply living on, like the tongue which carries on living inside the prison of thirty-two teeth all its life without complaint.

Pant Brings Deshmukhs Around

Pant recognised this. Shahajiraje also knew the shenanigans of these Deshmukhs. In all these Maval Deshmukhs, two were really good. One of them was Baji Pasalkar and the other was Kanhoji Jedhe. Kanhoji Jedhe was actually serving Shahajiraje himself in Karnataka. Baji Pasalkar used to live in Tav village near Paud. He also had a house in Mose village. There was not a single brave, magnanimous and gentle man like Baji Pasalkar in the whole of the Mose basin. Baji enjoyed a lot of weightage in the surrounding region. People used to respect him a lot. Baji himself had adjudicated a lot of common quarrels there. If the primary earning man of a family died due to these fratricidal quarrels, and his wife and children were left without support, Baji used to provide them shelter in his own household. Baji had an ancestral epithet of ‘Yeshwantrao’. He would put in a word here for someone’s loan application. He would help someone in distress somewhere else. He would help somebody else in their marriage. Baji was like a huge, old banyan tree. His shade was helpful to everyone.

Baji was blessed with a huge body and solid physique. Big moustaches on top would give him a larger aura. He was very fond of wrestling. He had given shelter to a tailor’s son named Ananta Khurchule. This Ananta was a wrestler. Baji himself took great care of his food, milk etc. arrangements. Besides he had also maintained a standing contingent of fourteen brave Rajputs, and around a hundred other servants. Baji’s mansion would be constantly busy. One extremely brave mang named Yelya Mang and another equally brave mahar named Khandya Mahar were also in his service. These two were utterly devoted to him. Baji had a very fine mare. She had an excellent pedigree. Her name was Yashwanti.

This Baji Pasalkar was drawn into an affectionate relationship by Pant. And Baji willingly joined. Baji became very fond of Shivba. So much, that Baji quickly became a beloved friend of Shivba. Shivba’s charming nature cast a spell on him. Baji also had his brave companion Kavji Malhar with him.

The effect of Baji’s mighty support started becoming evident slowly. Pant was successful in turning around all the Maval basins one by one, slowly but surely. All Deshmukhs started holding Shivba in high regard. Pant started adjudicating the quarrels amongst these Deshmukhs with great foresight and selflessness. He started getting larger of these disputes adjudicated via the local panchayat mechanism. All these results started getting decided in front of Shivba’s office. Disputes started getting resolved. All the disputes in Rohida basin were resolved like this. Same was the case in Gunjavani basin.

Local Resistance to Shivba

However, some unrelenting brutes persisted. Ramaji Chorghe of Khedebara was one such crazy person. He had become habitual to headstrong and arrogant ways. He wouldn’t accept Pant’s interventions. He started cheating. Pant waited patiently for some time and then one fine day he got Ramaji Chorghe killed! All twelve maval basins were stunned due to this whiplash from Pant! Ramaji Chorghe’s brother Chitoji Chorghe was so afraid of Pant’s action that he went absconding. But looking at this Pant granted him pardon, and allowed him to return to his household.

Phulji Naik Nimbalkar was another one of such idiots. Wouldn’t accept the decision given. Pant tried to convince him through numerous intermediaries. Still won’t listen. Then Pant got him beaten up one day with bamboo sticks. While establishing a rule of law, dominance, discipline and honour, if such ruinous hooliganism is not broken down by strict actions like this in its nascent stage itself, then that dominance would never get set. Establishing and maintaining law and order was not child’s play. To demonstrate this, Pant had to resort to such strict punishments.

There was one more such knavish Deshmukh who came across Pant. His name was Krishnaji Naik Bandal. This Bandal had established his hectoring all over the Bhor pargana. He had himself started forcefully collecting the taxes from the public! His hooliganism had come to a head. Complaints against him started reaching the centre. Pant told him many times to avoid such activities. But he was so conceited, that one day he stealthily cut away the tails of Pant’s horse! Still Pant only sent men to arrest him, and brought him to the Kondhana fort. Again, he tried to reasonably convince him. Still he wouldn’t listen. Then Pant lost his cool! Suddenly he ordered his hands and legs to be chopped off!

Such was Pant’s nature! An example in terror. An example in affection as well!

Jhunjharrao Maral Deshmukh of Kanad basin, Haibatrao Shilamkar Deshmukh of Gunjavani basin, Baji Pasalkar Deshmukh of Mose basin, Konde Deshmukh of Khedebara’s Shivaganga basin, Paygude Deshmukh of Mutha basin, Vithoji Shitole Deshmukh of Karyat basin, Jedhe Deshmukhs of Rohida basin, and Khopde etc. people were brought under Shivba’s protection by Pant. He also brought under control their internal fratricidal tendencies. 

Now the whole administration of this new, small, but independent kingdom started by the disciplined way, which Pant had put in place. Pant himself was overseeing everything. He had introduced a land-revenue system, that was an ounce better than Malik Ambar’s method. Cavalry, infantry, fort, judiciary, all departments were perfect. Pant’s tough discipline and loving attachment had made their way into Shivajiraje’s nature as well.

It was like a skilled sculptor takes his hammer and chisel to create an idol of a God. He sculpts an extremely beautiful idol through absolute dedication. The idol takes on the serene godliness, which comes only by perfection. The moment the idol is complete, the sculptor looks at it, and quickly keeping aside his hammer and chisel, takes a handful of flowers in his hands and lays them at the idol’s feet. There is no place there for even an ounce of pride, that I created this idol, I am its creator. Exactly this was the state of Pant’s mind. Pure bliss!

Raje had become an absolute expert in everything that Pant had taught him. Everybody would get amazed by such mature capability, at such a young age in Raje. Pant however, would just get overwhelmed by immeasurable happiness. Pant put away the hammer of his administration, chisel of his pen and devotedly put his hands together for Shivajiraje. A sculptor’s relationship had ended. A devotee’s relation had begun.

Pant Takes His Leave

Slowly Raje himself started overseeing all administration. Pant had grown very old. And growing older. Nowadays he used to only speak in sign-language. Now every day the intensity of difficulties to be faced would go on increasing. Pant was behind Raje like a mountain. But age had taken its toll.

Pant couldn’t do all this running, riding around. Exhaustion. Even ten times because of concern.

The Kasba Ganpati temple, which was the first one to be restored by Shivajiraje and Aaisaheb, had been granted the arrangement of a sacred lamp by Pant himself (Dt 19 March 1646). Same day, he had also arranged for a permanent worship and offerings with Vinayakbhat Thakar appointed for the same.

And an already exhausted Pant fell ill. His health started deteriorating daily. His strength started depleting. His old wife and son would always be with him. His life was in its twilight. Pant was not concerned about his own wife and son. There was no reason to worry on that account. They would not be left uncared for; that mother who was trying to cover the whole Maharashtra under her care, would never exclude his family, was the absolute confidence he had. Pant was actually concerned about the new kingdom, Shivajiraje and Aaisaheb herself! What would happen to all these? How would they get through this terrible ordeal? How would this boat reach its destination after he had pushed it in this ocean? Pant was requesting God daily to keep a watch.

Time and again, Pant had taught Shivajiraje in affectionate words, and exhorted him about God's plan to establish Swarajya and Swadharma through his hands. He asked Raje to run the kingdom with foresight, mature intellect, recognising his enemies. He needed to take care that common people don't assume that the inherited kingdom was being wasted away. He reiterated to Raje the difficult nature of his cause. He warned of the four Sultanates that would soon stand against Raje on all four sides. He suggested Raje to engage with only one enemy at a time; to work proactively; to surround himself with closest friends. He maintained that the cause was bigger than all of them. He exhorted Raje to keep wise counsel, and heed their advice. He requested Raje to keep the kingdom on a tight leash; and not to give space to compassion in politics.

Pant became bedridden. He realised his end was nigh! Yamaji Bhaskar himself (colloquial reference to the God of Death – Yama) had set up outposts to besiege the fort. Very soon his army would take positions in the siege! Now this fort, with this emaciated body would not last many days. Pant started the preparations for his end. There was nothing left to explicitly instruct anybody now. So far, he himself had taught everybody everyday sometimes scolding with compassion, sometimes lovingly, sometimes explaining, sometimes pleading, and sometimes just with a terrifying stare. He had taught discipline. He had taught how to recognise the difference between justice and injustice, profit and loss, friends and enemies, real and duplicitous, everything. Nothing remained now.

Pant’s final day started approaching. His highly devoted wife was at his bedside all the time. His son was also near. Pant voice started growing weak. He beckoned Shivajiraje. Raje came near. Raje’s heart was overflowing with the realisation, that this frail body had toiled extremely hard until its final hour. Shivajiraje’s heart had a special pride of place for Pant. Raje used to be always prepared and eager to listen to every word uttered by Pant. There was faith, love and gratitude.

Raje bent near Pant to hear him. Pant’s trembling lips started uttering a mix of clear and faint words, to listen to Dadajipant's last words.

Pant handed over the protective umbrella of duty, that he had held over the subjects till today to Shivajiraje. Pant also handed over his own son to Raje.

Now only bowing to the God! Whatever was expected in this world, Pant had carried it out perfectly. Now his soul was just simply showering his numerous blessings over Raje, Aaisaheb and the Swarajya. He turned his eyes around, and that tough but loving gaze was broken permanently! Pant moved on! The final shroud was put on by Death.

But the cosy protective covering over Raje was blown away!

Dadaji Konddev’s administration was perfect. The stories of his perfect administration used to be recounted in faraway kingdoms. His administration had been praised by Delhi’s Aurangzeb himself.

Dadajipant’s ancestral house still stands in Malthan today. It is now used for the local school. He took care of Shahajiraje’s Pune Jagir’s administration for overall ten years. The exact date of his death is not known. But he was not alive after March 1647. There is not even a single sign left of his Samadhi or his bloodline. He took leave of this world after completing his duty with a pure heart. The concept of creating the God’s own Swarajya by revolting against the Sultanate, had always been in his heart. But he was fully conscious of the terrible consequences of the rebellion against the Sultanates and the failure. He was aware of the terrible beating that had been given to Phaltan’s Vankoji Naik Nimbalkar’s and Shahajiraje Bhosale’s revolts against the Sultanates. That was why he was always concerned about Shivajiraje’s new sacred but difficult enterprise of establishing Swarajya.[ref]

Articles you might like to read


We are a group of patriots who love our motherland - Bharat Mata! Historical India is an opensource community based project dedicated to the history of Greater India. Join us to create the encyclopedia of Indian history...

Copyright©2021 All Rights Reserved by Historical India