KOLHAPUR history may be divided into three periods, early Hindu period, partly mythic and partly historic, reaching to about A.D. 1347; Musalman period lasting from A.D. 1347 to about 1700; and Maratha period since 1700. Kolhapur would seem to be one of the very old cities in the country. In making some excavations on its site in 1877 the foundations of a large Buddhist relic mound were turned up and in the centre of the mound was found a square stone box with, on the inner face of its square lid, an inscription of about the third century before Christ recording " The gift of Bamha made by Dhamaguta." [Journal Bombay Branch Royal Asiatio Society, XIV. 147-154, Bombay Archeological Survey. Separate Number 10, page 39.] Copper and lead coins and brass models have also been found at Kolhapur which show that about the first century after Christ it was under rulers who were kings or viceroys of the great satakarni or Andhrabhritya dynasties of the North Deccan, one of whom bore the name Vilivayakura. [Journal Bom. Br. Roy. As. Soc. XIV. 152-153; Professor Bhandarkai's Early History ofthe Deccan, 17, 20.] About A.D. 150 the Egyptian geographer Ptolemy mentions Hippokura as the capital of Baleocures who governed the southern divisions of the Deccan peninsula. Hippokura is probably Kolhapur [In fact it is Dr. Bhandarkar who identifies Hippokura with Kolhapur; but Dr. Katre, who has examined the problem linguistically is of opinion that Hippokura cannot be derived from Kolhapura (Social Survey of Kolhapur by N. V; Sohani, Vol II, "page 2).] and Dr. R. G. Bhandarkar identifies Baleocures with the Vilivayakura of the coins. [Bertius' Ptolemy, 205; Deccan Early History, 20.]
To about this time or a little earlier belong the Buddhist caves called Pandav Dara about six miles west of Panhala, and the Pavala caves near Jotiba's hill about nine miles north-west of Kolhapur. From the Andhrabhrtyas the district would seem to have passed to the early Kadambas (A.D. 500) whose chief capital was at Palasika or Halsi in Belgaum about a hundred miles south-east of Kolhapur. From the early Kadambas it would seem to have passed to the early and Western Calukyas from about 550 to 760; to the Rastrakutas to 973; from the Rastrakutas to the Western Calukyas, who held the district, to about 1190 and while under them, to the Kolhapur Silaharas (A.D. 942-1205), and to the Devagiri Yadavas upto the Musalman conquest of the Deccan about 1347. Of the early and Western Calukyas no copper plates or stone inscriptions referring to Kolhapur proper have yet been found, Of the Rastrakutas, two copper plate grants have been found, one at Samangad fort four miles south of Gadhinglaj and another at Sangli town. The Samangad grant, which belongs to the seventh Rasrakuta king Dantidurga or Dantivarma II, bears date sak 675 (A.D. 733-54) and mentions that Dantidurga's victorious elephants ploughed up the bank of the river Reva or Narmada, that he acquired supreme dominion by conquering Vallabha, and that he easily defeated the army of the Karnatak which was expert in dispersing the kings of Kanci or Conjeveram and Kerala, the Colas, the Pandyas, Sriharsa, and Vajrata. [Fleet's Kanarese Dynasties, 32-33. This is the earliest known inscription in which the date is expressed by figures arranged according to the decimal system of notation.] The Sangli copper plate grant belongs to the fourteenth king Govind V and is dated Sak 855 (A.D. 933-34) [Jour. Bom. Br. Roy. As. Soc. IV. 97; Fleet's Kanarese Dynasties 37.]. Of the Western Calukyas who succeeded the Rastrakutas in A. D. 973, there is a copper plate grant from Miraj, which belongs to king Jayasimha III. It was made by him in Sak 946 (A.D. 1024-25) at his victorious camp which, after warring against the mighty Colas, the lord of the city of the Candramila and after seizing the possessions of the lords of the Seven Konkans, was located near the city of Kolhapura or Kolhapur for conquering the northern country. There is an inscription of Somadeva in the Mahalaksmi temple at Kolhapur, but it does not refer to Kolhapur itself. Next in point of time is a reference in a grant of the Kadamb king of Goa of (A.D. 1078). Therein the king Sastha is said to have gone to Kolhapur and worshipped the Goddess Mahalaksmi. It was during Somesvara regime that Colas under Rajendra II invaded the Calukyan territory as far north as Kolhapur and even claimed to have set up a pillar of victory at this place. [Excavations at Brahmpuri by Dr. Sankalia and Dr. Dikshit pages 5-6.]
Apart from the inscriptional evidence on the basis of which the early history of Kolhapur is being traced here, there are many references in Puranas which throw light both on the derivation of the word Kolhapur and the sacredness that the city has come to possess on account of the location of Ambabai temple there. The Puranic evidence has to be utilised with great caution, but it would be wrong to keep it out of sight altogether. "According to Puranas," says Major Graham writing in 1854, " this tract of the country was originally called ' Kurwir' (Karavira) from the goddess Mahalaksmi using her mace (Kur) in lifting her favoured retreat from the waters of the great deluge." According to another legend the name " Kolhapur" is derived from the story that a demon " Kole " was defeated and killed on a hill in the vicinity of Kolhapur. [Sankalia and Dikshit, p. 1.] Karavir-mahatmya which was written in A.D. 1867 and is said to form part of Padmapurana refers to the goddess Mahalaksml. So does a section of the Markandeya purana called Devimahatmya, which is said to be not older than A.D. 800. Another Purana, Harivamia, refers to Karavirpura which is said to be the same as Kolhapur. It has been stated therein that Krisna, and Balaram in their fight against Jarasandha at Mathura had to go to the south and reached Karavirpura. The place was then ruled by Srgala who was a man of an evil disposition. The two brothers after some unsuccessful effort to settle elsewhere, gave battle to Srgala and killed him. The throne of Karvirpura was given to his son Sakradeva. After waiting for some time the two brothers went back to Mathura and they are said to have reached the distance within six days.
Among the literary references the most authentic and datable is that of Hemacandra (C.A.D. 1130), the famous Jain writer of Gujarat. In his Dvyasraya kavya he refers to the gift sent by the lord of Kollapura, who was blessed by the goddesses Laksmi and Gauri, for Prince Camunda, the son of Mularaja. If the account is a genuine record of events, then the antiquity of Kolhapur as a seat (pitha) of these goddesses can be placed at least one hundred years earlier than the time of Hemacandra himself (A. D. 1088-1173). In Visvakarma Sastra referred to by Hemadri in his caturvarga cintamani there is a reference to (Mahalaksml of Kollapura. Another work Sarasvatipurana refers to Kollapura as a Mahapitha (great seat) wherein the four goddesses Mahalaksml, Mahakali, Kolla and Kankala were installed in east, north, south and west of the place respectively by Jayasinha Siddharaja (C.A.D. 1093-1142). In Jain literature, Harisena'sBrhat Kathakosa, composed in A.D. 931-932 at Vardhamanapura, probably Wadhawan in Saurastra, refers in one of the stories to Kolladigiripattana in Daksinapatha. This seems to be no other than Kolhapur. As this mention occurs in a folk story recorded in the 10th century, the town must probably have been known by this name a couple of centuries earlier. [The above account is based upon the Report on the ' Excavations at Bramhapuri' (1945-46) by Dr. H. D. Sankalia and Dr. M. G. Dikshit, pp. 1 to 3]
Fresh light has been thrown by recent excavations on the antiquity and the earliest habitation of this place. The report on the excavations states that the oldest village from out of which Kolhapur later developed into a great city was situated on a hill on the banks of the river Pancaganga. It is now known as Bramhapuri. " An inscription of the Kolhapura Silahara king Gandaraditya of Saka 1048' (A.D. 1126-27) calls Kolhapura a Mahatirtha and refers to a temple Khedaditya (a Sun temple) at Bramhapuri." The statement in the inscription that Kolhapura or Bramhapuri was created by Brahman might signify that the site of Bramhapuri was so old that its origin in course of time was attributed to Brahma, the lord of creation himself. The inscription also mentions the capital Vallavadagrama, identified with Valavade, the site of the present Radhanagari, 27 miles south-west of Kolhapur. [Sankalia and Dikshit, p. 4. The exact identification of Vallavadagrama is controversial.] The years later in Saka 1058 (A.D. 1135) the same king's patronage to a Jaina temple by the name Rupa-Narayana at Kolhapur is referred to in an inscription located in the same temple in the present (Sukrawar Peth).
SILAHARAS OF KOLHAPUR
OF THE THREE SILAHARA HOUSES ruling in western India, the one ruling over the territories now comprised mostly of Satara and Belaganv districts and the former State of Kolhapur rose into prominence towards the end of the 10th century. Their rule extended over these territories for over a little more than two centuries. The Silaharas of Kolhapur, are described as Kashtatriyas in an inscription found at Kolhapur. The Kolhapur records also reveal that they hailed from the city of Tagara which is probably Ter about 95 miles from Paithan (J.R.A.S. 1901, pp. 537). The predecessors of the Silahara family seem to have migrated to Kolhapur from the territory round Ter.
The records of this house mention Kolhapur, Panhala, fort and Valavade as capitals. There is a reference to the marriage of the Calukya emperor Vikramaditya VI with Vidyadhara i.e. Silahara princess Candaladevi or Candralekha having taken place in her father's capital at Karthatak or modern Karad which suggests that Karad may have been their capital. However, as most of the records of this house are found in Kolhapur and as the Goddess Mahaaksmi of Kolhapur was their deity, Kolhapur was the chief headquarters of their administration and Karad a provincial headquarter.
The first three personages in the above genealogy are mentioned only in the Talale plates of Gandaraditya and omitted by latter plates. This indicates that they had not achieved the lull status of kings during, the period (940 to 1000 A.D.). They are described as kings by their descendants only when the latter attained a royal status.
The first ruling king of this dynasty was Jatiga II. [A. S. Altekar-The Silaharas of Western India, 1936, page 419.] His reign can be placed between 1000 to 1020 A.D. as his grandson King Marasinha is known to be ruling in 1058 A.D. The records of King Marasinha mention him as Tagranagara Bhopalaka and Pamaladurgadrisinha which indicate that he had defeated the Calukyas who were formerly ruling over portions of Kolhapur State, and held the fort of Panhala, thus establishing his rule over the area. During the reign of Gonka, the Calukyas conquered Kolhapur, under their king Jayasinha (before 1024 A.D.) The Silaharas had to submit to the Calukyas in order to retain their kingdom. In the records, Gonka is described as conqueror of Kahada (Karad), Mairiage (Miraj) and Konkan. It is probable that Gonka might have extended his rule over these territories as an agent for or with the consent of his over-lords. Gonka was succeeded by his not very ambitious son Marasinha who in a copper plate grant describes the fort of Kilagila as his capital. Guvala II succeeded his father in 1057. However, till 1110 the history of the Silahara family becomes complicated as all princes are mentioned as kings. On the death of Guvala in 1055 A.D., Bhallala and Bhoja must have ruled the kingdom. Acugi II, the Sinda ruler of Yelburga, is said to have repulsed a certain Bhoja who can be only the Silahara Bhoja. Bhoja was succeeded by Gandaraditya [A. S. Altekar-The Silaharas of Western India, 1936, page 422-423.] who claims to be the undisputed king of Konkan. During the later period of his regime, his son Vijayaditya defeated Jayakesin II of Goa who had ousted the Silahara ruler of Thana. Gandarditya executed various public works. At Irukudi in Miraj district he built a lake called Gandusamudra on the bank of which he built temples in honour of Buddha, Jina and Sankara. Gandaraditya was succeeded by his son Vijayaditya. He joined in a conspiracy which was being formed by Bijjala, a minister of his feudal Lord Taila III, and in the revolution that ensued the Calukya supremacy came to an end. The Satara plates of his son claim that Vijayaditya reinstated the fallen lords of Sthanaka and Goa. Vijayaditya had to fight hard to wrest independence from Bijjala, the new sovereign but it was only after the death of Bijjala that Vijayaditya could assume full sovereignty. The last of the family was Bhoja II. [A. S. Altekar-ibid, page 424.] He appears to have assumed the imperial titles from the beginning of his rule and was determined to retain the imperial glory so strenuously won by his father. His greatness is described in one of his own inscriptions as follows: -" fear of the edge of Bhoja's sword caused Colaraja to take a spear on his head and frightened other kings; but by the favour of Mahalaksmi, Bhoja was worshipped by the kings; he was a Vikram of the Kali age". The fortunes of Bhoja however, received a crushing defeat at the hands of Singhana, the king of the newly rising power of Yadavas in 1212 A.D. He had to run away in disgrace. The kingdom was annexed by the Yadavas and thus ended the career of the Silaharas of Kolhapur.
With the exception of what has been noted above in connection with Vijayaditya, the inscriptions of Gandaraditya and his successors give no historical details. But as regards the termination of their power, there has been no trace of any member of the family after Bhoja II; and, in Sak 1135 (A.D. 1213-14), Srimukha samvatsara, the Devgiri-Yadav king Singhana II was in possession of the country round Miraj, as is proved by his Khedrapur inscription [Jour. Bom. Br. Roy. As. Soc. XII 7.] which records the grant by him of the village of Kudaladamavada, the modern, Kurundavad,. in the Mirinji country; and as inscriptions of Singhana II shortly after that date are found at Kolhapur itself [Graham's Kolhapur, 428-436.], it would seem that Bhoja II was the last of his family and that he was overthrown and dispossessed by Singhana II in or soon afterSak 1131 (A.D. 1209-10) Sukla samvatsara, which was the commencement of Singhana's reign It is said that Singhana defeated Silahlra Bhoja at Umalvad in A.D. 1210. [Ibid, Sankalift and Dikshit, p. 5.] This is borne out by one of Singhana's inscriptions dated Sak 1160, [P. S. and 0. 0. Inscription No. 112,1. 10.11.] which speaks of him as having been "a very Garuda in putting to flight the serpent which was the mighty king Bhoja, whose habitation was Panhala." [Pannala-nilara-prabala-Bhojabhnpala-vyala-vidravana-Vihatngaraja.] An inscription of Saka 1194 indicates that the first king of the Yadava dynasty, Simha, had his original seat of power near Kolhapur at Mirijaya (Miraj), while two earlier inscriptions of the kings Mahadeva and Narayana, dated Saka 1162 and 1172 respectively refer to the temple of Mahalaksmi at Kolhapur and the district (Desa or Visaya) of the same name. The Yadavas held the place and the adjacent country for at least 15 years more until Saka 1187 (A.D. 1265) as is shown by an inscription of Mahadeva. [Sankalia and Dikshit, p. 5 Mahadeva referred to last, must obviously have been the grandson of Simha or Sindhava.] It may be assumed that the territory remained part of the dominions of the Yadavs of Devagiri, till the very end of their rule (A.D. 1306-7) when it was conquered by Malik Kafur, though probably the connection of the rulers was merly nominal as the hilly part of the country was occupied by Maratha palegars.
Before we turn to the history of Kolhapur in the Musalman period it is necessary to summarise the results of the legendary, Puranic and epigraphical accounts given so far. It would appear that the site of the modern Kolhapur, long before the city grew up on the banks of the river known at present as Pancganga, was called " Kollapura", probably after the goddess Kolla" referred to by Sarasvatipurana and Karavir mahatmya. She might have been so called because she was the deity of aboriginal tribes such as Kols or Kolis, mentioned in the legend cited by Graham. So from very early times the site came to be known as a seat of Mother Goddess (Matrkasthana, Ksetra, or pitha). It grew in importance when another goddess Mahalaksmi, was installed in the city and when a temple was built there during the Rastrakuta period (C.A.D. 800). The earliest epigraphical and literary records known hitherto cannot take us before the 9th century; the temple architecturally also is of about that period and not earlier. All the records call the city Kollapura and describe the goddess Mahalaksmi. She is, however, regarded not as the consort of Vishnu but as the avatar or incarnation of Parvati, the consort of Siva, and is more popularly called Ambabai. [Khare's Marathi Mss. in print, MaharashtrachiPanch Daivaten] It is significant that Harivamsa makes no reference to Kolla or Mahalaksmi. It merely mentions Karvirapura and it is difficult to say definitely that Karvirpur refers to Kollhapura and to none else. For, it might as well be Karhataka which has the first syllable Kara. Kolhapur seems to have been hit upon, because the king Srgala of the city was turned into the Prakrt Kolha (from Sanskrit Krostr) and his city later called Kolhapura. It was Karvir-mahatmya which definitely put the two together and identified Karvirpura with Kollapura or Kolhapura. The original word was Kol or Kolla or Kholla. It may be a non-Aryan, Dravidian or Austric word. Khare compares it with some other words like Kolla, Kholla, Golla, meaning low ground and suggests that it may be from Kannada. [Sources of the Mediaeval History of the Deccan III, p. 20-21.] It is pointed out that this interpretation would suit the topographical features of the place. [ Sankalia and Dikshit, p. 8.]
Whatever the origin of the word and the place, it appears from the inscriptional evidence and archaeological excavations, that Kolhapur had so far two periods of prosperity. The first was under the Satavahanas, who turned it into a city having well built brick houses out of a modest village. After an interval of some centuries the Silaharas built magnificent temples there. These Continued to be patronised by the Yadavas. [ Khare's Maharastrachi Panch Daivaten,-unpublished.] From the references in Brhaspatisutra, which roughly belongs to the 12th or 13th century, it appears that the place was regarded as a Mahaksetra by the Saktas; but Chakradhara the founder of the Mahanubhava sect flourishing during this period has definitely banned any visit by his followers to Matapur and Kolhapur. [This discussion as regards the derivation of the word ' Kolhapur' and its early site is taken from the report on the Excavations at Brahmapuri (Kolhapur) by Dr. Sankalia and Dr. Dikshit, p. 7-8.]
MUSLIM RULE (1347-1700).
[The history of the Musalman and Maratha periods was contributed to the first edition of this Gazetteer (1887) by Lieutenant Colonel E. W. West.] SOON AFTER THE OVERTHROW OF THE YADAVAS BY THE DELHI SULTAN Ala-ud-din Khalji and his general Malik Kafur, the eastern sub-division of Kolhapur came under the Bahamani kings of the Deccan (1347-1489). Whether Ala-ud-din or his general Malik Kafur ever went to or actually conquered Kolhapur is not known. Probably they did not. For, we are told that Bahaman Shah who soon after established the Bahamani kingdom, first at Gulbarga and later at Bidar, on his way back from Konkan took Karahad and Kolhapur from their Hindu rulers. [Sankalia and Dikshit, p. 5, There have been, however, no means of knowing exactly when this took place. An inscription at Miraj records the building of a mosque there in A.D. 1413, that is during the reign of Firus Shah Bahamani (1397-1422). So the Muhammadans must have been established there for some time before that date, and the masters of Miraj would naturally hold the neighbouring districts which belonged to Kolhapur. There are said to be inscriptions recording the existence of a Musalman settlement called Nabipur on the hill of Panhala in 1376.] During the reign of Ala-ud-din II (1435-1457), the tenth king of the dynasty, the Bahamani general Malik-ul-Tujar was persuaded in 1433 by a Raja in the Konkan belonging to the Sirke family whom he had captured and wished to convert to the faith of Islam, to make an attack on Shankar Rai the Raja of Khelna or Visalgad, whom the cunning Raja declared to be his rival and enemy. When the Musalman general hesitated on account of the difficult nature of the country, his objections were obviated by the proposed convert promising to act as guide, and the army accordingly set forth. For two days the march Was beset by no difficulties, but on the third day the invaders were led by intricate paths through a wild savage country, to describe the horrors of which is exhausted the Muhammadan historian's stock of hyperbole. They were finally led into a dense forest surrounded on three sides by mountains, and their condition having been betrayed by their treacherous guide to the enemy, they were attacked at midnight and nearly 7,000, among whom was the general, are said to have been massacred.
Several years then elapsed before the Musalmans made a further effort against Visalgad. This disaster remained unavenged for nearly seventeen years. The Rajah of Sangameswar, Jakhurai, grew in power and strength. He was the master of a number of impregnable forts, chief of which were Khelna and Rangna. He maintained a fleet of nearly three hundred vessels, which as Gawan states in one of his letters preyed upon merchants and travellers with the result that "some thousands of Muslims were sacrificed at the altar of the greed of these people ". [ Riyadul Insha Persian Text, p. 173-75.]
The influence of Vijayanagar extended far to the north of Goa. The Bahamais sought to consolidate their hold on Konkan, capture Goa, and hasten the destruction of Vijayanagar which was their principal aim. [Riyadul Insha Persian Text, p. 157-65.] After the affairs with the kingdom of Malwa had been settled, the Bahamani Sultan Muhammad Shah decided to undertake a campaign against Konkan. On his request Mahamud Gawan was appointed to lead the campaign. Followed by a large army he arrived at Kolhapur in 1470 A.D. and camped there. He sent for the detachments posted in the neighbouring districts. Asad Khan brought his troops from Junnar and Cakan. Kiswar Khan arrived with his army from Dabhol and Karad. With this army, Mahmud Gawan marched against the chiefs. As the country was full of forests he employed his men in cutting down the trees and clearing out roads.
When the chiefs learnt of the activities of Mahmud Gawan, they combined together and marching against him put up a determined resistance. Nearly fifty battles were fought between the armies of Islam and the chiefs. [Burhani Masir, p. 115, Persian Text.]
Mahamud Gawan laid siege to the fort of Khelna. The siege was considerably prolonged. Gawan was bent upon reducing the chiefs. As he heard that they had already approached influential persons in the capital, he agreed to the following terms: -
The fort of Rangna to be surrendered. An indemnity of Rs. 12,00,000 to be paid, the son of Jaku should arrive in the Bahamanl camp.
The terms had been agreed upon when the chiefs realised that once the fort of Rangna was surrendered, with the help of their army posted in Cakan, Karhad and other places, the Bahamanis would not only conquer Sangameswar, but would be able to occupy a considerable territory belonging to Vijayanagar, they turned away from the agreement.
The result was that as the siege of Khelna dragged on, the rains set in. Gawan was forced to raise the siege and retire to cantonment for the rainy-season. He, however, ensured that no provision of any article should be allowed to reach the enemy's country. [ Riyadul Insha Persian Text, Hyderabad, p. 249.]
After the rains had subsided, Gawan marched against the fort of Rangna. The fort was strong and Gawan feared that it could not be conquered without considerable loss of men. He tried other methods. The enemy were offered " Firankish cloth, both studded with jewels, palanquins, Arab steed and arms of the most exquisite pattern." [Biyadul Insha Persian Text, Hyderabad, p. 122-23.]
The fort of Rangna came into the possession of the Bahamanis, on 19th July 1470 A. D.
Gawan then marched to the fort of Macal. The fort was stormed and taken after a stiff fight. Gawan next turned towards the fort of Khelna. The Rajah was hard pressed. He sent his own son to negotiate peace. The fort was surrendered on 10th November 1470. The Rajah was left with a small territory to maintain himself. The rest of the possessions of Sangameswar were occupied and placed under Bahamani officers. The forts of Bulwara, Miriad and Nagar were also captured. The subjugation of Sangameswar was completed on 12th December 1471. Gawan next marched to Goa which was annexed to the Bahamani kingdom on the 4th February 1472.
With the conquest of Goa, Gawan's campaign of Konkan came to a close. This time the Bahamani occupation of the district was complete. No resistance to the Bahamanis is noted till the break-up of the kingdom.
The district was placed under the charge of Gawan's general Khush Qadam who already held the territory of Dabhola and Karhad under him.
Kishwar Khan, for some unknown reason, transferred the charge of Goa to one Najm-ud-din Gilani, on whose death one of his officers named Bahadur Gilani in 1486 seized Goa and occupied Kolhapur as well as other places, being instigated to this course by Yusuf Adil Khan, then one of the nobles of the Bahamani king but who afterwards (1489-1510) became himself king of Bijapur. Bahadur Gilani, thus established in a position of semi-independence, availed himself of his command of the sea coast to send expeditions against Bombay and to seize vessels belonging to Gujarat. This conduct naturally excited the anger of Mahmud Begada (1458-1511) the king of the latter country, who in 1493 sent an embassy calling on the Bahamani king to punish his rebellious vassal, failing which the Gujarat prince stated he would have to employ his own troops. This message aroused Mahmud Shah Bahmani II (1482-1518), who prevailed on his feudatories (so soon to become independent princes) to assist him and marched against Bahadur Gilani. The latter first took up his residence at Sankesvar from whence he fled on the approach of the royal forces. His troops were then defeated near Miraj and that fort was surrendered to the king, on which Bahadur made offers of submission. He was promised more favourable terms than he could have expected, so much so that, conceiving that such generosity could only proceed from weakness, he rejected them and renewed hostilities. In these, however, he was so unsuccessful that he had to take refuge in Panhala. Unfortunately for himself he quitted the fort, and after again negotiating and again rejecting the terms offered to him, he was killed in an action with the royal troops and his estate or jagir including Kolhapur was bestowed upon Ain-ul-Mulk Gilani. [Contact of the Bahamani rulers in some form or other is actually revealed by the discovery of Bahamani coins in the upper strata of excavations recently carried out, as also of some articles, including highly finished bangles showing a strong Iranian Muslim cultural influence over the area. A small colony of artisans might have been staying in the mud houses built over the debris of similar houses of the Yadava Silahara period (Excavations at Brahmapuri by Dr. Sankalia and Dr. Dikshit p. 5-6).]
In 1498, on the dissolution of the Bahamani kingdom and the elevation of its chief feudatories into the position of sovereign princes, Kolhapur and the adjoining country fell to the share of Bijapur. Ibrahim Adil Shah I (A. D. 1534) and II (A. D. 1580) took a lot of interest in Panhala and its fortifications. This is shown not only by the numerous Persian inscriptions left by them but also by the architectural style of the monuments at the place. Kolhapur proper has little of Bijapur influence, nor was anything of that found in the excavations of 1945-46 referred to above. [Sankalia and Dikshit, p. 6.]
When the great Sivaji entered upon his work of creating a nation and founding of empire, the hill-forts in the Kolhapur territory were too favourably situated for his purpose not to attract his notice. It was not till 1659 however that Sivaji seems to have taken possession of Kolhapur and Panhala. Earlier in 1631 when the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan opened a campaign against Bijapur kingdom, one Sidi Raihem who had distinguished himself by defeating the Mughal general Mahabatkhan was invited by Adil Shah with great honour and the jagir of Kolhapur was conferred upon him. [Basatin Us-Salalin, Marathi version," History of Kolhapur and S. M. States Volume II, History of Bijapur kings in Marathi by B. P. Modak, p. 168.] In 1636 Kolhapur was captured by Khan Zaman, the Mughal general, but was afterwards restored to Bijapur. [Badshahnama: Abdul Hamid Lahori, Volume I, Part II, p. 162.] In later years as Rustam Zaman was holding the districts of Miraj and Kolhapur as jagir under Adil Shah, Sivaji, after having overpowered Afzal Khan at Pratapagada made a dash southwards and took possession of Panhala [Shivkalin Patra-sar Sangrha No. 790.] and its neighbour Pavangada. From this point d'appui he reduced Rangna and Khelna or Visalgada together with the other forts in the district above and below the Sahyadris. He soon made use of his new acquisitions. After defeating Rustum Zaman and Fazal Khan in a battle fought at Raibag, a few miles east of Kolhapur, he assembled his forces at Visalgada and thence carried on operations in the Konkan, where he acquired both territory and booty. Subsequently on 2nd March 1660 when the Bijapur army under Sidi Jauhar marched against him to avenge the slaughter of Afzal Khan and his army, Sivaji shut himself up in Panhala whence, after enduring a four months' siege, he escaped by a characteristic stratagem and fled to Visalgada. His flight left Panhala and Kolhapur territory in the hands of the Sidi. [In carrying on this siege the English factory at Rajapur actively helped Sidi Jauhar and sold him some canons etc. In this connection one Mr. Revington, a factor of the East India Company at Rajapur had gone to the Sidi's camp and had stayed for some time at Kolhapur (English Records on Shivaji 1659-82, Volume I, page 21).] Sidi's general Masaud pursued Sivaji towards Visalgada but his march was effectively stopped by the heroic opposition of Sivaji's trusted general Baji Prabhu at Ghodakhinda, a difficult, mountain pass which is about eight miles west of Visalgada and which was tenaciously held by Baji with a small band of his soldiers. Wave after wave of the Bijapur army vigorously attacked the gallant defenders for the purpose of forcing their way through the pass but Baji Prabhu, mortally wounded and exhausted, heroically held his own till at last he heard the sound of the canon that was fired to announce Sivaji's reaching safe at Visalgada. The hero soon after breathed his last on the battle-field. The epic of Ghodakhinda which has since then been named as Pavanakhind (sacred pass) is rightly described the Thermopylae of Manatha History. Sivaji could not hold out at Visalgada for long, as he had received news of Saista Khan's march towards Poona. Next year he seized an opportunity to plunder Rajapur, to attack Srngarpur, and thence proceeding further south to swoop down on Mudhol, the jagir of Baji Ghorapade, against whom he had long vowed vengeance for seizing his father Sahaji and delivering him to the Bijapur authorities. On 6th March 1673 Sivaji again captured Panhala. [Shivakalin Patra-sar-sangraha, Volume III, p. 195.] The English factors at Bombay reported on 3rd September 1673, " Sevagees army also hath ransacked Hubelly, Callapore, and many other towns thereabout ". [ English Records on Shivaji, Volume I, p. 281 (1930).] It appears Sivaji was campaigning in this part of the country during this and the subsequent two or three years. On 22nd October 1673 the English factors at Rajapur wrote to Surat, " The cotton yarne was sent unsorted (but all of a piece) occassioned by Sevajees Army approaching to Callipore ". [ English Records on Shivaji, Volume II, p. 17.] After some time the Rajapur factors again reported in a letter to Bombay, dated 6th February 1674-75: " The news here is that some of Sevajee's forces have bin off Callapore which redeemed itself from their fury by a present giveing of 1,500 pagodas. Thence they went to a place called Sangam, which gave them 500 pagodas and thence is gone a roving. [ Ibid, p. 33.] Finally in 1675 Sivaji captured Kolhapur. [ Ibid, p. 41.] Some time after, on 7th August 1675 the English factors wrote to Bombay from Raybag, " The 30th ditto news brought us early in the morning that Sevajee's party at Callapore had seized the Governor there for the King. Many of the inhabitants were leaving the towne but Sevajee's soldiers kept all in with promise of faire usuage, so that the townes people are preserved in quiet and some security, Sevagee having to guard it report speaks about 2,000 men, and the Moor Governor that was in it is carried to Purnallo Castle, where he as yet remains a prisoner". [English Records on Shivaji, Volume II, p. 62.] The effects of Sivaji's campaigns in this part of the country on trade are thus referred to in a letter, dated 22nd January 1677 from Bombay to the Court of Directors of the East India Company. " By reason of the lamentable devastation which Sevagee hath made in Raybag, Hantene, Callapore, etc., marks of trade and the excessive price and want of cotton in these parts noe-callicoes have bin procurable this year, nor will any Europe goods sell. " [Ibid, p. 108. This and the preceding citations are from the Social Surrey of Kolhapur City, Volume II, by N. V. Sovani, p. 5-6.]
Towards the end of his reign Sivaji used Panhala as a place of confinement for his eldest son Sambhaji who was there when his father died in 1680. On hearing the news of his father's death, Sambhaji released himself from imprisonment and planned to direct the affairs of the State from Panhala; but he soon found that he could not check the rival forces at Raigada which had made Rajaram the successor of Sivaji. Sambhaji therefore left Panhala, reached Raigada, overcame all opposition and got himself coronated at that place in January 1681. [Jedhe Shakavali Shiva-charitra-pradipa, p. 31] Throughout his reign he was at war with the Moghuls. In 1683 Ajam Shah the Moghul Prince marched as far as Kolhapur, but Hambirarao Mohite, Sambhaji's general, drove him off. [Ibid, p. 32.] Having failed to curb the Marathas, the Moghuls diverted their forces for an attack on Bijapur. Sambhaji thereupon sent in 1683 Kavi Kulesa, popularly known as Kabji Kalusa, his trusted minister to Panhala, wherefrom the Maratha forces sallied forth and continuously harassed the Moghuls. In 1688, the Sirkes who had deserted Sambhaji and joined the Moghuls on account of a fierce family feud attacked Kalusa and compelled him to retreat towards Khelna or Visalgad for safety. Thereupon Sambhaji quickly rushed from Raigad, defeated the Sirkes, and joined his minister at Khelna [Ibid, p. 34.] (1688). After waiting for some time there, the two started towards Raigada. Halting at Sangmeswar on their way they threw off all considerations of caution and gave themselves up to merry making. In the meanwhile the Moghul general Shaikh Nazam, who had received information as to where Sambhaji was, followed him with a detachment and seized him before he had any idea that there was an enemy in the neighbourhood. The Maratha king who was caught completely unawares under the orders of Aurangzeb, was mercilessly tortured and killed.
The death of Sambhaji and the capture of the infant son of the latter by the Moghuls made Rajaram, the second son of Sivaji, the de facto Raja of the Marathas. While he carried on operations in the south he left his family at Visalgada in comparative security as, though Panhala had been speedily taken by Aurangzeb's forces, yet Visalgada and Rangna. with the adjacent country held out still under Ramchandrapant whose family later on held the jagir of Bavada and who and whose descendants held the office of Pant Amatya in the Astapradhan system (Ministry of eight Ministers) in Kolhapur. [In imitation of their progenitor Shivaji, the Kolhapur princes appointed eight chief ministers known as the Ashtapradhan. The Pant Amatya of Bavda and the Senapati of Kapsi were later on the only representatives of the Ashtapradhans in Kolhapur.] The tenure of Panhala, too, by the conquerors was but temporary as the place was ere long retaken by Parasuram Trimbaka in 1692. Panhala was again besieged by the Moghuls but the siege was raised in 1693 by the combined attack of three Maratha forces under Ramacandra Pant, Sankaraji Pandit and Dhanaji Jadhav. [Ibid, p. 37.] The Moghul operations against the fort, however, continued in a desultory fashion till 1696. After his escape from Jinji, Rajaram again visited Visalgad; but during the latter part of his reign the most important operations he was engaged in were all carried on in the country situated to the north of Kolhapur, and his death took place in 1700 at the fort of Sinhagad near Poona, a month before Satara, then besieged by the Moghuls, fell into the hands of Aurangzeb.
MARATHA RULE (1700-1818).
Shivaji II (1700-1712).
ON THE DEATH OF RAJARAM HIS ELDER WIDOW. Tarabai, who was the mother of his eldest son Sivaji placed the latter then a child only four years old [ibid 38-] on the throne and assumed charge of the administration, aided therein by the Pant Amatya, the Senapati, [Sidoji Ghorpade, a member of one of the oldest and most distinguished Maratha families, had been made Senapati by Sambhaji, and received the jagir of Kapsi, which continued to vest in his family till the abolition of all jagirs in Bombay State in 1956.] and Parasuram Trimbak whom she made Pratinidhi. Her first act was to place in confinement her husband's second widow Rajasbai with her son Sambhaji, a child only one year old.[ ibid 66.] Her position was a most difficult one, as shortly after Rajaram's death. Aurangzeb in person moved against Kolhapur [In the course of excavations recently carried out by Sankalia and Dikshit a coin of Aurangzeb was found near Kolhapur. It is very likey that Aurangzeb might have his temporary camp in this place while he was engaged in the siege of Panhala. (Sankalia and Dikshit, p. 6).] and besieged Panhala and Visalgada both of which places he took. His siege of the former place possesses a special interest as, while he was engaged on it in 1701, he received Sir William Norris, an ambassador sent to him on behalf of the new East India Company, with letters from the King of England. The annalist of the East India Company gives a very elaborate account of the ambassador's procession on the occasion of his reception on the 28th of April by the Emperor, but refrains from giving historical information of any importance. We only learn that Sir William Norris presented 200 gold mohars to Aurangzeb, that his negotiations on behalf of the new Company were unsuccessful, and that he finally took his leave of the Great Moghul on the 5th of November. Aurangzeb, however, was ere long called away by the state of his affairs towards Ahmednagar and the effects of his absence were soon perceived. The Pant Amatya shortly after the Emperor's departure took Panhala by escalade, whereupon Tarabai took up her abode in it and the place was for many years the virtual capital of Kolhapur. The Marathas met with equal success elsewhere and the Moghal power in that part of the country was annihilated; but after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707 a stroke of policy was effected by his successor which checked their onward progress by the divisions it excited among them. This was the release of Sahu, the son of Sambhaji, who was encouraged to assume his place as head of the nation. He accordingly sent letters and messengers to the leaders of the Marathas, calling on them for assistance and announcing his approach. Tarabai, however, was not disposed readily to give up the authority she had so long held or to see her son's claim to the sovereignty set aside. She therefore affected to treat Sahu as an impostor,[ In a letter of 17th September 1707, Tarabai argues that the kingdom of Shivaji was destroyed in the days of Sambhaji and her husband Rajaram founded a new State to which Shahu, Sambhaji's son could have no claim. Again Shivaji intended to make Rajaram and not Sambhaji his successor, therefore Sainbhaji's son could have no claim to his kingdom (Sardesai's Balaji Vishwanath, p. 36).] and was supported in her resistance by the leading men of the Marathas who led an army against the grandson of Sivaji.
SAMBHAJI II (1712-1760).
Sahu however, managed to win over to his cause one of the ablest of the generals opposed to him, Dhanaji Jadhav, [Sardesai, Marathi Riyasat, Peshwa Balaji Wishwanath, p. 40.] after which he defeated Tarabai's forces at Khed on the banks of the Bhima and in 1708 obtained possession of Satara where he formally seated himself on the throne. He pressed on operations in the following year against Kolhapur and at first met with considerable success, Panhala and Visalgada falling into his hands and Tarabai being obliged to fly into the Konkan. After this success he withdrew his forces in order to attack the Pant Saciv, but no sooner were they withdrawn than the energetic Tarabai returned and recovered Panhala. All her hopes, however were frustrated in 1714 on account of a successful plot against her by Rajasbai her co-wife with the object of raising herself and her son Sambhaji to power. She was captured and placed in confinement together with her son Sivaji II [Shivaji II died of Small-pox in 1727 (Sardesai's Balaji Vishwanath, p. 75).] and Sambhaji, was placed on the gadi, the administration being conducted by Ramchandra, the Pant Amatya of Bavd'a. The eldest son of the Pratinidhi joined the cause of Sambhaji, which was further strengthened by the support of Sarjerav Ghatge of Kagal. The dissensions between the descendants of Sivaji were actively fomented by Chin Klich Khan, the first Nizam, whose policy it was to weaken the Marathas and who threw his influence into the scale on the side of Sambhaji. On the other hand, Sahu. was assisted by the genius of the first Pesva Balaji Vishvanath and the Pratinidhi [Both of these officials died, before matters were finally settled, and were succeeded, the first by his son Bajirav and the other by his second son Shripatrav, the eldest son having adhered to the cause of Sambhaji and become the founder of family of the Pratinidhi, the chief of Vishalgad in Kolhapur.] and was favoured by the Moghal Emperor whose feudatory he professed to be. It is not necessary to follow here in detail the fluctuations of the struggle that continued for years between the Kolhapur and Sitara parties. The latter, while holding their own against Kolhapur, directed their attention chiefly to affairs in the north; but in 1727 a crisis was brought about by the ill-judged action of the Nizam, who claimed to be arbiter in the dispute between Sahu and Sambhaji and sequestrated some territory belonging to the former pending its settlement. Sahu and the Pesava on this directed their whole power against the Nizam and his ally Sambhaji. The Nizam was soon obliged to give up the cause of Sambhaji and the latter brought down the vengeance of Sahu on his head by rejecting the overtures made to him; after which, when moving with an army towards Satara, he was utterly defeated by the Pratinidhi and driven to Panhala with the loss of all his baggage. Tarabai and her daughter-in-law Bhavanibai, the widow of Shivaji II, were taken prisoners on this occasion and confined in the fort of Satara. Sambhaji by this defeat was so reduced that he was obliged to come to terms, and on 26th April 1731 a treaty was concluded at Varna by which he gave up all claims to territory north of the Varna river, his sovereignty being acknowledged over the tract of country lying between the rivers Varna and Krisna on the north-east and the Tungabhadra on the south, and over the part of the Konkan between Salsi and Ankola. After the conclusion of the treaty, the two cousins, Sahu and Sambhaji met each other with great ceremony and with expressions of affection towards each other. It does not appear that the whole of the tract of country thus defined was at any time in the possession of the Rajas of Kolhapur; and reading between the lines of the treaty the real purport of the instrument seems to have been that the Kolhapur Rajas might make what conquest they liked to the south of the Varna, provided they kept that river as their northern boundary and did not cross the Krsna on the east. Sambhaji and his successors indeed seem to have made hardly any attempt to assume the sovereignty of the whole of the districts thus made over to them, and some thirty-four years after the date of the treaty the Peswa granted to the Patvardhan family a large saranjam, a very considerable portion of which was situated in these very districts. The effect of the treaty was to isolate Kolhapur from all that lay to the north of the territory and consequently from participation in the stirring events that subsequently took place there.
Before twenty years had elapsed from the date of the treaty, there was a chance of both the branches of Shivaji's family uniting under one head. Sahu, the Raja of Satara, had lost his only son, and being now advanced in years it became incumbent on him to adopt an heir. Nothing could have been more desirable if Sahu would have thought of adopting the cousin Sambhajl and naming him as his successor. Notwithstanding the earlier wars between them, the two cousins used to meet each other occasionally, after the partition treaty of 1731. Their relations were formal if not cordial. The Peswa on the whole was favourably inclined towards the union of Satara and Kolhapur. Even Rani Sakwarbai who was taking an active part in the diplomatic intrigues of the palace and who was ever opposed to the Peswa, welcomed such a step. But Tarabai who had been all the while carefully watching the course of events was quick to see that there was a golden opportunity for her to fish in the troubled waters. She declared that she had a grandson Ramaraja, [His real name was Rajarain but as Tarabai, according to Hindu custom would not utter the name of her husband, she transposed the terms and made it Ramaraja.] Shivaji's son, born at Panhala whose life she had managed to save by the exchange of another infant born at the same time. Because of the probable danger to his life the prince's existence was kept a secret by getting him conveyed out of the fort of Panhala and sent to a sister of Bhavanibai, who brought him up. The exchanged infant, said Tarabai, soon expired and as it was widely taken to be the death of the prince, his existence elsewhere remained a well guarded secret. Such an assertion of course did not meet with universal credence. Even Sahu at first hesitated to put implicit faith in the story, but after satisfying himself with some proof and words of faith, he came to be inclined towards accepting the story as true. It was, however, loudly asserted by the partisans of Sambhajl that the so-called son of Sivaji was spurious, and arrangements were made to oppose his claims to Satara. While this discussion was going on, Sahu, (1749), lay on his deathbed constantly attended by his wife Sakwarbai, who was opposed to Ramaraja. The Peswa however, caught an opportunity to obtain a secret interview with Sahu, whose inclinations he promised to honour and give effect to. The Raja therefore signed a note empowering the Pesava to govern the whole Maratha empire on condition of his not entertaining the claims of Sambhajl and keeping up the dignity of the house of Sivaji in the person of Ramaraja, Tarabai's grandson, and his descendants. [Sardesai's New History of the Marathas, Vol. II, p. 272-273. The text of the note is published in Kavyetihas Sangraha.] The document further gave the Peswa power over the Rajamandala (i.e., the Maratha jagirdars,) though Kolhapur was, tacitly, not included in it.
The question whether Ramaraja was or was not the son of Sivaji and whether the deed of cession to the Peswa was or was not really executed by Sahu, is one that has been much discussed; and the historians Mount stuart Elphinstone and Grant Duff [ Elphinstone's History of India, 4th Edition, 642; Grant Duff II, pp. 22-25.] take opposite sides, the former doubting and the latter maintaining the genuineness of both heir and deed. Subsequent research in Maratha history had tended to support Grant Duff in this controversy. [See Eajwade's Preface to Volume I of the sources of Maratha History, pp. 40-45.] It is sufficient to state that Ramraja was eventually acknowledged by the Marathas as the adopted son and successor of Sahu.
In 1760 Sambhaji of Kolhapur died without issue and his widow Jijabai, according to his wishes, selected for adoption the son of Sahaji Bhonsle of Kanvat, a collateral descendant of the house of Sivaji. This step, however, was strongly opposed by the Peswa, whose interest ever was to unite the Satara and Kolhapur families and possibly to act as the Peswa on behalf of both. Jijabai, however, managed to obtain possession of the boy; and the Peswa, unwilling to offer open opposition to an arrangement so much in accordance with Hindu feeling, religion, and custom, acknowledged the adoption which he could not prevent and did so with as good a grace as possible, by presenting the usual honorary dresses and gifts. The boy thus adopted received the name of Sivaji and during his long minority the Kolhapur State was administered by his adoptive mother Jijabai. [It is said that on the death of Sambhaji the Peshwa intended to confiscate a large portion of Kolhapur, leaving a small jahagir for his widow Jijabai; but the timely action of Jijabai saved the situation. Subsequently the disaster of Panipat completely distracted his attention from Kolhapur affairs (V. V. Khare's History of Ichalkaranji State, pp. 89-90.)]
This period was a disastrous one for Kolhapur. The Peswa, in order to keep it in check, established the powerful family of Patwardhans on the eastern frontier with a large saranjam sufficient for the maintenance of 8,000 horse. Afterwards, irritated at the communication kept up by the Kolhapur court with the Nizam, he deprived the State of the two districts of Chikodi and Manoli, which he bestowed on the Patvardhans. He restored them, it is true, afterwards but the example he set was followed and the districts in question constantly changed hands during the succeeding fifty years. Then raids in the sea increased to such an extent that in 1765 an expedition was sent from Bombay against the maritime possessions of Kolhapur and Fort Augustus or Malavan was taken by the English. [The Kolhapur pirates were known in Bombay as the Malvanis from the name of the port. Those from Sawantvadi were termed Kempsaunts, a corruption of the name of the Sar Desai Khem Savant.] In the following year, a treaty was entered into, the first one between the East India Company and Kolhapur, in which it was stipulated that the fort should be restored to Kolhapur on payment by the latter of £38,289-12. (Rs. 7,50,000) to the Company. It was further agreed that the English should be allowed to establish a factory in the neighbourhood of Malvan and should have full freedom of trade. Other commercial privileges were conceded, provision was made against piracy and wrecking, and the treaty concludes with the following fourteenth article, which shows a somewhat astute diplomacy on the part of the English: "Maharaja, Jijabai, the Rani, agrees, should the Honourable Company be attacked and they should require her assistance, to provide them with what troops they may want, they supplying them with provisions only. The Honourable Company in the like manner agrees to assist the Rani should it be convenient for them."
The name of the Regent Jijabai has terrible associations connected with it in Kolhapur. It is related that one night under her manifestation as the Goddess Kali, Sita, appeared to her with the intimation that to secure prosperity the shrine of the Goddess at Panhala, where Jijabai always resided, should be kept constantly wet with human blood. The intimation was obeyed but too implicitly, and parties sent out by the Regent at night constantly scoured the neighbourhood of Panhala to procure fresh victims, who were sacrificed at a spot in the inner fort which is still pointed out with horror.
SIVAJI III (1760-1812).
In 1772 Jijabai died, leaving her adopted son still a minor and surrounded by enemies. The Peswa's troops were encamped on the Krsna and committed great devastation in the eastern districts of the Kolhapur territory: Konherrav Trimbak, one of the Patvardhan Saranjamdars, was making raids from the saene quarter, while the Pant Pratinidhi of Aundh was threatening hostilities from the north. Yasvantarav Sinde, the minister in whose hands the administration then was, showed considerable energy. He entered into negotiations with Haidar Ali of Mysore, with the object of getting assistance from that prince and punishing the Peswa Madhavarav by getting his uncle and rival Raghunatharav installed in his place, at the same time that he induced the Peswa to withdraw his troops from the Krsna and routed the Patvardhan. He suffered, however, a signal defeat at the hands of the Pratinidhi, and was so weakened that Konherarav again overran the country and in 1776 laid siege to Kolhapur for a period of seven days. " On this occasion he burned and pillaged-the celebrated Math (Monastery) which was situated in the suburbs, when a rich spoil was taken, the property of the affluent inhabitants of the city, who trusting to the protection of the holy sanctuary had stored their most valuable effects within the sacred walls". [Graham: Statistical Report on the Principality of Kolhapur (1854) p. 498.] The tide then turned, again for a time. Instigated by the Court at Poona the chiefs of Kagal, Bavada, and Visalgad in 1777 rose in revolt against the minister, but Yasvantray Sinde, aided by Haidar Ali with money, defeated them without difficulty and then turned his arms against the officer deputed by the Peswa to recover Chikodi and Manoli, whom he drove out of those districts. This success, however, proved in the end disastrous to Kolhapur as it brought the Poona Court to see the necessity of strenuous efforts, and Mahadji Sinde was accordingly despatched with a large force against Kolhapur in 1778. The Darbar of that State applied hastily to Haidar Ali who promised to send a force of 25,000 men, but these reinforcements did not arrive in time so that the Kolhapur authorities were obliged to come to terms with Mahadji and to agree to make a payment of Rs. 15 lakhs for which Chikodi and Manoli were given as security. The Kolhapur Raja was further bound to abstain from plundering the adjacent districts and from receiving and harbouring rebels against the Peswa.
The troubles of Kolhapur were, however, by no means over, for the Patwardhans continued hostilities on the eastern frontier, while on the south-west the Sardesal of Savantvadi fomented and stirred up rebellion and then assumed an openly hostile attitude. [The feud with Savantvadi arose partly from disputes about villages in the Malvan sub-division which were claimed both by that State and Kolhapur. It was exacerbated at this time by jealousy on the part of the Kolhapur court at the honours obtained for the Sar Desai by Mahadji Shinde, whose niece he had married and who was all powerful at Delhi. The distinctions that gave rise to so much jealousy were the title of Raja Bahadur and the privilege of using the morchah or peacock's feather fans.] He was defeated at Rangna by the contingents of the Visalgad and Bavada chiefs, but the mutiny he had excited among the garrison of the strong hillfort of Bhudargad in the south of Kolhapur was not so easily suppressed and that fort was given up by the mutineers to Parasuram Bhau, the greatest of the Patvardhans, who had previously taken Akevat and Sirol towns on the north-east frontier of Kolhapur.
At this juncture Yasvantrav Sinde, died in 1782, and was succeeded by Ratnakar Pant who persuaded the young Raja to leave his seclusion at Panhala, which thenceforth ceased to be the seat of the court, and put himself at the head of the army which was to march against the Savantvadi chief. The expedition was successful, the Sardesai being compelled to sue for peace and pay the arrears due to Kolhapur. The title of Himmat Bahadur, bestowed on him for his services on this occasion as a member of the Cavan family or clan, is still held by his descendants.
After his return to Kolhapur which now became his capital the Raja had to face a new trouble. The Gadakaris [In each fort in the Maratha country a permanent garrison was kept up composed of men called Gadkaris, for whose maintenance lands were assigned which they held on condition of service. These men were always very tenacious of their real or fancied rights, and ready to resent any infringement of them by taking advantage of their secure position.] of the fort of Bavada followed the example of their brethren at Bhudargad and revolted in consequence of some real or supposed interference with their rights. The Raja proceeded in person to suppress the revolt; but the fort, which is situated on a precipitous hill rising directly from the Konkan and only joined to the main line of the Sahyadris by a narrow passage, was found to be impregnable. He was obliged to withdraw his forces and grant the terms demanded by the mutineers; but shortly afterwards, when the Gadkaris of Pavangad were stirred up by the Savantvadi chief to follow the example of revolt, he was more successful. He marched at once against the fort, which was surrendered immediately and finding there ample proof of the part played by the Sardesai he resolved to punish the latter by invading his territories. This expedition also was successful and districts were added for a time to Kolhapur yielding a revenue of Rs. 1½ lakhs per annum. [They were restored in 1792 through the intervention of the Peshwa and Sindia.] While the Raja was engaged on this foray the minister Ratnakar Pant was equally successful in suppressing a revolt raised by some disaffected chiefs.
The State thereafter enjoyed comparative peace for some years. During this period raids on the sea which though checked had never been totally extinguished, revived and became more rife than ever. So much annoyance was caused to the English by this that in 1789 they meditated an attack on the States of Savantvadi and Kolhapur from where they often originated, but hesitated about attacking the latter, because they fancied it was subject to the Pesva with whom they were anxious not to embroil themselves. Nana Phadnavisa (1774-1800), the famous minister of the Peswa, informed the Raja of the designs of the English and offered to help him. The Raja at first seemed inclined to accept the mediation of the Pune Court. Finding, however, that there was little immediate danger, as the English were about to engage in a war with Tipu Sultan (1782-1799), he broke off the negotiations, and attacks on English ships flourished more than ever while the English were occupied with the Mysore war. As soon as it was over, however, they made vigorous preparations for the suppression of such attacks and the Raja to avoid hostilities was obliged to sue for peace and agree to the terms offered. The second treaty between Kolhapur, and the English was then, in 1792, concluded. The former State was bound by it to pay an outstanding balance due to the English and- accepted as a favour the remission of the interest due on the same. Immediate payments were made as compensation for the losses suffered by the British merchants at the hands of the Kolhapur raiders and further payments on the same account were arranged for, as a security for which the establishment of an English factory at Malvan was stipulated for, to be temporary or permanent at the option of the British. The latter were further authorised to establish a factory at Kolhapur itself and the Raja agreed to furnish the provisions required for the sepoys of both factories till the articles of the treaty were fully executed. The practical results of these arrangements did not prove to be very satisfactory to the British, as in the year immediately following the treaty there were the same complaints as of old against the Kolhapur Raja, and sea raids were not suppressed till the latter was deprived of his maritime possessions.
The close of the Mysore campaign brought another difficulty to Kolhapur. Parasurambhau, Patavardhana, who had taken part in the campaign as an ally of the English, on his return to his saranjam commenced a series of attacks on the eastern districts of the State and committed great devastation. In one of these excursions the Patvardhan's troops under Parasuram's son Ramachandra were met at Alta, a town about fifteen miles to the east of Kolhapur, by the Kolhapur forces under the Raja in person and totally defeated, Ramachandra with his principal officers being captured and taken to Kolhapur. They were not only kindly treated there, but were almost immediately set at liberty and sent back to their homes with presents and dresses of honour. If this policy was intended to bring about peace with Parasurambhau it entirely failed. Stung at the humiliating defeat his troops had undergone, that leader renewed hostilities and carried them on with such vigour and skill that he succeeded in penetrating to the capital, which he closely invested. At last he was induced to raise the siege on the Raja agreeing to pay Rs. 3 lakhs and making over hostages for the payment of the sum. However successful Parasurambhau was at the time, he soon found reason to repent for having made the Kolhapur Raja a deadly enemy, as the current of events in a very short time brought to the latter an opportunity of revenge which was not neglected. A quarrel took place between Nana Phadnavisa and Parasurambhau; and while the latter was engaged at Pune, in the thick of the intrigues that followed the suicide of Savai Madhavarav Pesava and ended finally in the accession of Bajirav, the Raja was incited by the minister to attack the districts of his enemy, which were thus left undefended. Sivaji was not slow to take the hint and further perceived clearly what an opening was offered to him by the dissensions that paralysed the Pesava's power. Calling out the entire force of his State he recovered the fort of Bhudargad which was still in hands of Parasurambhau and then carrying the war into the latter's country burnt the town of Tasganv and his palace there. He further repossessed himself of the districts of Chikodi and Manoli which during the late disturbances had fallen into the hands of the Nipanikar, the chief of Nipani some thirty miles to the south of Kolhapur, who had recently raised himself from the position of a humble Desai to that of a powerful leader. Encouraged by these successes the Raja carried his arms to the south, took the fort of Jamakhandi from Nina Phadnavisa and sent his forces to plunder and levy tribute in the Karnatak.
While these events were going on, the Raja of Satara made an attempt to throw off the yoke of the Pesava, but was defeated by Parsurambhau. His brother Citur Singa, however, escaped and collected some troops, with which he joined the Kolhapur Raja. Parsurambhau and Nana Phadnavis having now become reconciled, the Court at Poona was able to turn its attention to affairs in the south and the Patvardhana chief was despatched to hold the Kolhapur Raja in check. He met the latter at a village called Pathankudi in Chikodi and an engagement ensued in which Parsurambhau was killed in 1799. This event led to fresh exertions on the part of the Pesava and Ramchandra, the son of the fallen chieftain, was sent against Kolhapur with a large force, his own troops being reinforced by those of the Pune feudatories and five of Sindia's disciplined battalions under the command of a European officer, a Major Brownrigg. The invaders met with a check at first, but soon rallied and regularly invested the town of Kolhapur. The siege lasted for two months; but though the besiegers were reinforced by the Pesava's general Dhondopant Gokhale and a wide breach was made in the fortifications, all attempts to carry the place by storm failed. The siege was at last raised in consequence of an intrigue at Pune. Nana Phadnavisa had died and Sindia at the instigation of his favourite Sarjerav Ghatge [Sakharam Sarjerav Ghatge was rewarded for the service done to Kolhapur on this occasion by the grant of the Kagal estate, though he was the representative of the younger branch of the family in whose possession it had been more or less continuously for many years. Sarierav Ghatge's career is a matter of history. Sindia married his daughter the well known Baijabai; and his son, who received the title of Hindurav, resided entirely at Gwalior, and seldom, if ever, visited Kagal. When Sakharam Ghatge received the grant of the Kagal estate a smaller appanage was conferred on the representative of the senior branch of the Ghatge family. The chief distinction of this branch is their frequent intermarriages with the royal family of Kolhapur. With the general abolition of all jagirs in Bombay State in 1956, these jagirs have disappeared.] who was a Kolhapur subject and with the connivance of the Pesava Bajirav who was a deadly enemy of the Patavardhans, resolved to take possession of the saranjam belonging to that family and ordered his troops at Kolhapur to act accordingly.
Ramchandrarav thus deserted and betrayed had no option but to fly and his districts were taken by his quondam allies. The siege was thus raised and the Raja, who had been at Panhala while it was going on, entered the city in triumph. The besiegers are said to have suffered a loss of 3,000 killed and wounded on the day they attempted to storm the town. [Among the killed were some of the European officers of Sindia's forces. The tombstones over the graves of a French and a Spanish officer, are still extant. The former bears the inscription ' Jules Romeu, ne 1768 a Catte on Languedoc, Comman un Battalior de l'armee de Sindia. Tue aux tranches de Colapour, 23 Mars 1800.]
One of the first steps taken by the Raja after the siege was raised was to retaliate on the Patvardhans. The Nipani chief who was in alliance with Sindia had unsuccessfully besieged the fort of Nerli in the Miraj saranjam, but on troops being sent to his assistance from. Kolhapur the place fell. Kolhapur indeed seemed just then to be exceptionally fortunate. Sarjerav Ghatge, who came from Pune with the draft of the treaty that was to be entered into with Sindia, brought with it two standards that had been taken by the Pratinidhi of Karhad from Kolhapur and also the formal consent of the Pesava to the resumption by the Raja of the districts of Cikodi and Manoli. The happiness of the prince was completed by the birth of a son and heir, who received the name of Sambhu but was generally known as Abasaheb.
Kolhapur for some time after this enjoyed unusual quiet. General Wellesley when engaged in the campaign against Scindia and the Raja of Berar having given the Kolhapur prince plainly to understand that aggressions against the allies of the English would not be permitted. The feud with the Sardesais of Savantavadi however was kept up and mutual incursions were made which resulted in 1806 in the defeat of the Savants in a pitched battle and the siege of their capital. The place would probably have been taken had not Laksmibai, the Regent of Savantvadi, applied for aid to the Pesava. The latter assisted her by secretly instigating the Nipani chief to take possession of the districts of Cikodi and Manoli, on which the Kolhapur Raja hastily raised the siege of Vadi and returned to his own territory. Active hostilities then took place between him and the Nipanikar, which resulted in the total defeat of the former in a battle at Savganv in 1808. The Nipanikar, however, did not press his advantage, and in the following year a peace was negotiated which was to be consolidated by the marriage of the Nipanikar with one of the Kolhapur princesses. The marriage took place but had not the desired effect. In the midst of the wedding festivities the Nipani chief suddenly decamped with his bride; and a hostile incursion made not long after into Kolhapur territory showed that the new tie was not of much political importance. The attack, which was made at the instigation of the Pesava, was so successful that the town of Kolhapur would probably have been taken were it not for a new treaty made with the English in 1812 under the following circumstances.
The attitude assumed by the great feudatories of the Pesava towards their master rendered it necessary for Elphinstone, the British Resident at Poona, to interfere and bring them to terms. With this view he assembled a force at Pandharpur in 1811. It was resolved to take advantage of this opportunity to put a stop once for all to the sea raids which prevailed in the States of Savantvadi and Kolhapur and which the provisions of former treaties had utterly failed to suppress. Accordingly negotiations were entered upon with the Kolhapur Raja. Some delay was occasioned by the Pesava, who made an assertion that the Raja was his feudatory while at the same time he kept urging on the Nipanikar to continue hostilities against Kolhapur. On the 1st of October 1812, a treaty was concluded by which the Raja ceded to the British the harbour of Malvan and its dependencies, engaged to abstain from sea raids and wrecking, renounced his claim to the districts of Chikodi and Manoli, and further agreed not to attack any foreign State without the consent of the British Government, to whom all disputes were to be referred In return for these concessions the British renounced all their claims against the Raja, who received the British guarantee for all the territories remaining in his possession "against the aggression of all foreign powers and States." Kolhapur, in short, became a protected State under the British Government.
The pattern of the history of the district of Kolhapur subsequent to the establishment of British authority is inherently different from that of the histories of most other districts of the State, the area comprised by which was brought directly under British Government after the defeat or submission of their respective rulers. For such districts was evolved a system of bureaucratic administration under British aegies. However, even after its conquest Kolhapur was not annexed to the British dominion. Like other Indian States in different parts of India it was permitted to retain its identity as a political unit. Its rulers were permitted to retain their regal status and to enjoy, subject to the overall control when necessary of the paramount power, full powers of internal administration. There was thus no break with historical continuity and not much of an alteration in the old aspect and apparatus of Government. Till its merger in the Indian Union in 1948, the history of Kolhapur was to a great extent the history of its rulers; they. created and controlled the administration and personally directed the affairs of the State. It was only at a very late stage that agitation for rights started among their subjects and some machinery for associating the people's representatives with Government was brought into existence. Events however moved with unexpected rapidity after World War II and within a year after the achievement of freedom, in 1948 the artificial distinction between Indian India as represented by Indian States and British India completely disappeared.
After a reign of fifty-three years the Raja Sivaji died on the 24th of April 1812, leaving two sons Sambhu alias Abasaheb and Sahaji alias Bavasaheb. The condition of Kolhapur during this period is thus summarised by Major Graham in his statistical account of that Principality: [A considerable part of this narration is based on Graham's account.]
" The long reign of Sivaji had been from the commencement one of almost incessant hostility and continued suspense between the prospects of reign and of conquest; and to support the fierce struggle for independence, every effort to provide means had been resorted to, piracy at sea, plunder at the court, and oppression in the collection of the revenue, and all frequently without avail.
" Grants of land were unsparingly made to the impoverishment of the Crown estates; two-thirds of the entire country were thus transferred to partisans for military services, and a swarm of reckless characters were left behind who rejoiced in anarchy and whose livelihood was to be gathered only among the troubled waters. All the evils also of the feudal system prevailed in full force; continued warfare was allowed between the petty authorities; the rayats were oppressed and the entire rent forcibly seized during the harvest season; fines increased and only meted out to favoured followers; merchants and wayfarers were despoiled during the journey; the labour of the cultivator was exacted without remuneration; and a multiplicity of monopolies existed to the destruction of all trade."
Shambhu or Abasaheb, [Every Maratha of standing has besides his proper name, another designation such as Babasaheb or Nanasaheb which is used by those about him. The later Rajas of Kolhapur are almost invariably referred to by these familiar names.] who succeeded to the gadi at this juncture, was a prince of a mild disposition, too mild indeed for the people whom he had to govern. He devoted his attention to the restoration of order in his State and to the cultivation of the arts of peace in preference to those of war. Some five years after his accession war broke out between the British and the Pesava and he espoused the cause of the former. He was rewarded for his conduct at the close of the war by the grant of the districts of Cikodi and Manoli, which had changed hands so often during the previous sixty years. At the same time arrangements were made for the management of his possessions in the Kohkan, which had for their object the consolidation of the British power in that quarter and the effectual prevention of sea raids.
In 1821, Abasaheb met with a violent death. A refugee sardar from Karhad, of the Mohite family, who had been hospitably received in the Kolhapur territory and had received villages for the maintenance, felt aggrieved at a grant of land in one of these villages being made to a servant of the Raja, and expressed his sense of this grievance in unbecoming terms, at the same time that he pressed with vehemence for the payment of some Rs. 20,000 which he said were due to him. After his repeated petitions on the subject had been disregarded, he presented himself at the palace on the 2nd of July, accompanied by six of his relations fully armed. On being admitted to the presence of the Raja, Sayaji the leader behaved with such insolence that Abasaheb ordered him to be expelled from the palace and turned himself to leave the room. As he did so one of the party discharged a pistol at him, which inflicted a desperate wound. Four of the Raja's confidential servants were then slain and, strange to say, such a panic was created that the murderers were able to hold their position in the palace and to keep the wounded Raja in their hands throughout the whole day. In the evening they surrendered on their lives being guaranteed by two sardars of high rank and the chief guru or priest. Shortly afterwards, however, the Raja died and the securities, feeling unable to act up to the guarantee they had given, provided the Mohites with horses and allowed them to escape. The murderers however were soon overtaken and cut to pieces by a party sent in pursuit by the Raja's widow, and vengeance was taken on their families who were either trampled to death by elephants or imprisoned in Panhala.
Abasaheb having left an infant son, arrangements were made to secure the regency for the child's mother to the exclusion of his uncle. The death of the boy shortly afterwards, however, changed the state of affairs, and Sahaji, generally known as Bavasaheb, the second son of Raja Sivajl, succeeded without dispute, his title being recognized in open Darbar by the Governor of Bombay who visited Kolhapur at this juncture.
The new Raja was of a character very different from that of his brother and predecessor, wild, reckless, debauched, utterly regardless of truth and honesty, his conduct at times seemed to pass the bounds of sanity. Most of the leading men of the State having taken part in the attempt' to exclude him from the regency during his nephew's lifetime, he deliberately set them aside and chose for his officers and associates men of low rank and lower character. With such companions and such counsellors he soon threw off all restraint and embarked on a mad and self-willed career. Justice was unheard of, the rights of property ceased to be respected, and life was utterly insecure. The revenue of the State were alienated to support the profligate extravagance of the Raja and his seraglio and the friends relations and dependants of the women of the harem. The Raja himself accompanied a favourite servant of his, Subhana Nikam by name, who was at the head of a gang of highway robbers, on his marauding excursions, and on one occasion he is said to have used the services of this band to plunder his own treasury. The object of this last feat was to get possession of the State jewels, and thus supply himself with funds without the notoriety that would attach to pawning these jewels.
The Raja's conduct soon attracted the attentino of the British Government, but in accordance with the policy of the day no notice was taken of it officially so long as the general peace of the country was left undisturbed. This, however, was not long the case. Bavasaheb, shortly after his accession, increased his forces considerably and during the disturbance that took place in 1824 at Kittur, when Mr. Thackeray, the Political Agent, and some other British officers were killed, his movements excited considerable apprehension. The suppression of the Kittur insurrection checked whatever intention he may have had of acting against the British Government, but he proceeded to use his force in a way that soon called for the intervention of that power. His own feudatories the chiefs of Kagal and Ichalakaranji [The founder of the Ichalkaranji family was a Brahman clerk named Naro Mahadev, in the service of an ancestor of the Senapati of Kapsi, who bestowed on him the village of Ichalkaranji in inam. In compliment to his benefactor the grantee assumed the latter's family name of Ghorpade. Naro Mahadev goon increased in wealth and power, and his fortunes reached their zenith in 1722, when his son was married to the daughter of Balaji Vishvanath the first Peshwa. This alliance was of immense importance to the chiefs of Ichalkaranji, who always relied upon the sympathy and support of the Peshwa in case of apprehensions received from the Rajas of Kolhapur. Treaties and agreements concluded from time to time between the Peshwas and Rajas of Kolhapur contain references to the protection granted to Ichalkaranji by the Peshwas against the Kolhapur Rajas (vide Treaties, Agreements and Sanads by Vad, Mawaji and. Parasnis p. 71).] were attacked and their jagirs overrun, and the Raja marched about with his forces, sacking towns and plundering and devastating. His own subjects were not the only sufferers from his acts of violence, which extended even to allies and subjects of the British Government. As it was absolutely necessary to put a stop to such proceedings, a force was marched against Kolhapur. The Raja at first meditated resistance but thought better of it and in January 1826 concluded a treaty with the British Government. In this engagement the Raja bound himself to reduce his army and refrain from disturbing the public peace, as well as from molesting the Kagal and Ichalkaranji chiefs and others. He also promised to respect the rights of the Savantvadi State, as well as the rights and privileges of theinamdars and others in the districts of Cikodi, and Manoli, the cession of which to the Kolhapur State was formally confirmed by this treaty, which also fully acknowledged " the independence of the Raja as a Sovereign Prince."
As soon, however, as the immediate pressure was removed the Raja returned to his former ways, kept the country in a constant state of alarm and violated the treaty that had just been concluded, so that a force had again to be marched against Kolhapur and a new preliminary treaty was concluded in October 1827. In this the instances of breach of the former treaty were set forth side by side with the steps the British Government was compelled to take. Thus the Raja, though bound by the former treaty to reduce his army to the peace establishment, had not only raised large forces but had employed them in disturbing the public tranquility and committing all sorts of excesses. He was therefore now bound down to keep no more than 400 horse and 800 foot exclusive of garrisons for his forts. The districts of Cikodi and Manoli were resumed by the British Government, and Akivat, a notorious haunt of robbers, was ceded to the latter. The Raja bound himself to pay compensation to the amount to about Rs. 1½ lakhs to those who had suffered from his lawless violence and agreed to transfer temporarily territory yielding Rs. 50,000 for the liquidation of this debt. To secure observance of the present treaty it was stipulated that British garrisons should be received into the fort of Kolhapur and Panhala, the expenses of the same being defrayed by the Raja.
With a view to getting this treaty modified, Bavasaheb proceeded to Pune to see the Governor, accompanied by a force considerably in excess of the number to which he had bound himself to limit his army. After the intentions of Government had been fully explained to him, he still remained on regardless of all hints and intimations that he had better return to his own territory, apparently in the hope of wearying out the Government by his pertinacity. During this period the lawless conduct of himself and his followers made them most unwelcome visitors, until at last an act of violence was perpetrated on a trooper in the British service, and the Raja in fear of the possible consequences left Pune hastily. Untaught by experience, Bavasaheb renewed on his return to Kolhapur the excesses which had already brought him into such trouble, wantonly violated his engagements with the British Government, and disturbed the public tranquillity to such a degree that a force had to be sent against him for the third time. A definitive treaty was concluded on the 15th of March 1929 in which were embodied the provisions of the preliminary treaty made on 24th of October 1827. On this occasion a brigade of British troops was left at Kolhapur to secure the observance of the treaty. After some time, However, this was withdrawn.
During the last ten years of Bavasaheb's reign he abstained on the whole from such conduct as would necessitate the intervention of the paramount power to preserve the peace, but his rule was what might be expected from a prince of his character. Overwhelmed with debt he never thought of reducing expenditure by legitimate means, but maintained a large standing army and the same expensive style of grandeur as before. As the pay of his troops and officials was issued most irregularly, they helped themselves to whatever they could get. Most of the sardars had to mortgage their estate to the money-lenders and thus became beggared. Money being scarce and land of little value, the Raja alienated an enormous proportion of his territory by grants and inamswith which the most trifling services were rewarded. Of course with such a ruler and under such circumstances, bribery, favouritism, and pandering to his evil passions were the only means of advancement, and altogether the State was reduced to as miserable a condition as can well be conceived.
The very last act of Bavasaheb was most characteristic. Under pretence of a pilgrimage to Tuljapur he prepared for a plundering expedition by raising an army of 20,000 men. As he was bound by treaty not to take guns about with him, he concealed his ordinance in carts under leaves and started off. Fortunately for his descendants, however, he was attacked with cholera before he could execute his wild project, and died at a village near Pandharapur on the 29th of November 1838, leaving two sons, Siva or Sivaji and Sambhu, generally known as Babasaheb and Chimasaheb, and two daughters.
SIVAJI IV (1837-1866).
Babasaheb was at once placed on the gadi, but being a minor, a council of regency was formed, consisting of his mother, his aunt the Divansaheb as she was styled, and four karbharis. The ladies quarelled and in the course of six months the Divansaheb,being the most energetic and having the strongest followers, managed to get the whole power into her hands. As she blindly followed in most respects the system adopted by the late Raja, her rule was not by any means calculated to improve the condition of the State. Indeed, with a population composed of such turbulent elements as that of Kolhapur and so inured to anarchy and violence, it would have been impossible for a woman to stem, even if she had the will to do so, the tide of corruption, oppression, and iniquity. The British authorities made a faint effort to improve matters by getting two of the karbharis dismissed and making use of an akhbarnavisa as Native Agent, but no improvement was thus effected and at last in 1843 it was determined to act on the clause of the treaty which empowered the British Government to appoint a minister, and accordingly a respectable Brahman official, Daji Krsna Pandit, was selected for the post. Immediately after his arrival, two of his co-adjutors were dismissed for speculation and the chief power was thus left uncontrolled in his hands. He at once set about the work of reform, reduced expenditure and checked to a great extent the illicit gains of the chiefs and officials.
He also seems to have hurt the pride of the latter, and became most unpopular throughout the State. The Divansaheb and her party did not relish the transference of power to a Brahman interloper, as they considered the new minister to be, and every reform introduced and every abuse checked by the latter raised up for him a host of enemies. A year after his arrival the latent speaks of disaffection arose which had to be suppressed by British troops. The actual insurgents were the gadkaris, the permanent garrisons of the hill-forts, but they enjoyed the sympathies, if not the more tangible support, of other classes as well. These men were dissatisfied with an arrangement by which their lands were placed under the supervision of the mamlatdars of the adjoining sub-divisions. They had always been accustomed to seek redress by mutinying and they were encouraged to do so on this occasion by the reports which had been carefully disseminated throughout the country of the paucity of British troops in those parts. Accordingly in July 1844, the garrisons of Samangad and Bhudargad in the south of the Kolhapur territory, revolted and shut the gates of the forts.
A force was despatched from Belaganv, in the middle of September against Samangad, while Kolhapur troops were sent against Bhudargad. The British force, after taking the peta or sub-division found itself unable to take the former fort by storm and was obliged to send to Belaganv, for siege guns, while the Kolhapur force was worsted in a sally made from Bhudargad. This success of the insurgents brought numerous adherents to their cause and spread the disaffection widely. The sibandis or local militia at Kolhapur rose in revolt, confined the minister Daji Pandit and set up a Government in supersession of that acknowledged by the British. Affairs having now assumed such a serious aspect, corresponding efforts were made for the suppression of the revolt. Reinforcements were sent to the disturbed district and on the 8th of October 1844, General Delamotte assumed command of the whole force. Three days afterwards four siege guns arrived at Samangad and were at once put in position Mr. Reeves the Commissioner then gave the garrison opportunity of stating their grievance and coming to terms but as it was found that they only wished to gain time in the hope of getting aid from Kolhapur, fire was opened on the fort, a practicable breach was made in a day and on the following day, the 13th of October, the place was stormed and taken. Colonel Outram at this time joined the camp as Joint Commissioner and immediately after the fall of Samangad marched towards Kolhapur with a portion of the force. After much negotiation he, on the 24th of October, obtained the release of Daji Pandit, and was joined by the young Raja, his aunt and mother, and several of the chiefs and sardars.On this Babajl Ahirekar, the ring leader of the sibandi rising, fled with five hundred of his men to Bhudargad. After considerable delay General Delamotte appeared with his force before this fort. He admitted the garrison to surrender on the 10th of November and allowed himself to be detained at one gate while Babaji and his party escaped by another and took refuge in Panhala. Shortly afterwards Colonel Ovans, who had been appointed Commissioner, was captured by the insurgents while proceedig to take up his appointment and confined in the same place. General Delamotte therefore marched thither and on the 25th of November appeared with his whole force before Panhala, accompanied by the Commissioner, Mr. Reeves and Colonel Outram. The garrison were called on to release Colonel Ovans and surrender at discretion or take the consequences. With the first of these demands they complied, in the hope of obtaining favourable terms, but as they refused to surrender, the attack commenced. On the 27th of November, the peta was taken. The batteries opened on the 1st of December, a breach was made in a few hours and in the afternoon the place was stormed and taken. The garrison attempted to escape into the neighbouring fort of Pavanagad but were followed so closely by the British troops that this fort also was taken on the same day. During the storm Babaji and some of the other leaders were killed and a large number of prisoners were taken.
Almost immediately after the fall of Panhala a force was despatched under Colonel Wallace against the fort of Rangna, which was evacuated by the garrison a day or two after his arrival. Visalgad, was about the same time surrendered and this put an end to military operations as far as Kolhapur was concerned, the scene of hostilities being then transferred to Savantvadi.
The captured forts were then dismantled and steps were taken to secure the future tranquillity of the country.
Among the measures adopted for the administration of Kolhapur was the appointment of a British officer as Political Superintendent. Previously to this the political supervision of the territory had been vested, first in the Principal Collector of Dharwad and afterwards in the Collector of Belaganv who was also Political Agent in the Southern Maratha Country. Experience, however, showed that Kolhapur required the undivided attention of a British officer on the spot, and Captain D. C. Graham of the Bombay Army was appointed first Political Superintendent. He had a difficult task before him. The Principality was overwhelmed with debt as, in addition to the debt incurred by its rulers, the cost of suppressing the insurrection was charged to Kolhapur and had to be paid to the British Government by instalments. Education was almost unheard of and the arrangements for the administration of justice were very imperfect. There were a large number of persons, too, in the State who despised any other occupation but that of carrying arms and who, if left unemployed, would form a class dangerous to the community. Such persons were provided with occupation by being enlisted in a local corps which was raised and disciplined by British officers and which on more than one occasion did good service. Arrangements were made to liquidate by degrees the debts of the State and the administration, was carried on as economically as was consistent with due provision for the requirements of justice and education.
The work begun by Captain Graham was carried on by his successors and the annals of Kolhapur during this period, though dull, as uneventful annals generally are, present a picture of continued progress. Under the steady firm Government that was established, peace and order prevailed and the anarchy and disorder that had once characterised the place became a tradition of the past.
The stability of this improved state of affairs was severely tested in 1857, when the Twenty-seventh Regiment Native Infantry which was then stationed at Kolhapur, followed the example of the Bengal Army and mutinied under the leadership of one Ramji Sheersat on 31st July 1857. The Kolhapur local corps remained staunch on this occasion and the mutineers, receiving no support either from them or from the townspeople, fled towards Ratnagiri, murdering, on the way, three of their European officers who had escaped when the mutiny broke out unfortunately took a road that brought them in contact with the mutineers and were subsequently killed by them. [Source Material for a History of Freedom Movement Volume I, p. 258.] A little before this, there was an abortive attempt at a rising in Kolhapur. A number of men marched into the town one day and took possession of the palace and the gates of the fort. Troops were immediately marched from the camp to the town but found on their arrival that little remained for them to do, the ringleader of the insurgents having been shot by a guard of the local corps on duty at the palace, after which his followers only thought of making their escape. The news of his rising at Kolhapur, however, caused consternation among Bombay Europeans, some of whom sent their families to the ships. General Jacob was sent to Kolhapur immediately. He reached there about the 10th August 1857 and made inquiries about the rebellion. The first report sent by Bombay Government to the Government of India stated that " in no case the population of the Native Chiefs of the Southern Maratha, country evinced any sympathy with the mutinous spirit." But Jacob himself has said that "disaffection was general." [Ibid, 258.]
The second rebellion broke out on 6th of December 1857. This was handled by Major General Jacob himself and was suppressed on the second day. A drum court martial was immediately held on the open ground of the palace where eight men were blown up from guns, two hanged and eleven shot by musketry. " All met death with fortitude, refusing to purchase life by betraying their common secret." From the report made by General Jacob to the Bombay Government, it was clear that (1) there was communication and planning between the Native Infantry at Kolhapur, Belganv, and Dharwar; (2) Chimasaheb, the younger brother of the Raja was the moving spirit behind this organisation, (3) Chimasaheb, and contacts with Nanasaheb, Pesava, whose emissary had brought a gilded sword for him; (4) Chimasaheb, had contact with Gwalior leaders, from where a deputation had visited Kolhapur under some pretext and had negotiations with him; (5) chimasaheb, also had assured the Satara emissaries in June 1857 that Kolhapur sepoys and some chiefs were ready for action and that they were waiting for a signal from Satara. There was also a link between the rebels at Kolhapur and their friends in the Poona School of Musketry. In the course of this rising, 31 rebels were executed on the first occasion before the trial was completed and 51 persons were executed for the second rebellion. Jacob himself had seen twenty-one souls being shot or blown." [Ibid 259.]
During the mutiny of 1857-58 the Raja was considered to have remained staunch and loyal to the British Government, but his brother Chimasaheb was charged with treason and deported to Karachi, where he died some years later. The Government marked their sense of the Raja's loyalty by conferring on him the Order of the Star of India and granting a sanad of adoption. He was further, at the end of 1862, vested with the administration of his Principality, a new engagement being entered into defining his powers and providing for the liquidation of the debt still due to the British Government.
RAJARAM II (1866-1870)
Babasaheb did not long enjoy his powers, as he died in August 1866. A son that he had by his wife, the daughter of the Gaikwad of Badode, had died some time previously; so, being without issue, he adopted on his death-bed Nagojirav, the son of his eldest sister who had been married to a member of the Patankar family and had died not long afterwards. Nagojirao, who received on his adoption the name of Rajaram, was about sixteen years of age at the time of the Raja's death and had received some education. When the adoption was sanctioned by the paramount power and he was formally recognized as Raja, arrangements were at once made to finish his education and give him as complete a training as was possible under the circumstances. With this view a special Assistant to the Political Agent was appointed who, in addition to his other duties, was entrusted with the supervision of the Raja's education and training, the actual work of tuition being carried on by a Parsi graduate of the Bombay University. He was sent to Europe where he was presented to the Queen. After spending five months in seeing England, Scotland and Ireland he proceeded to the continent but unfortunately took seriously ill on the way and breathed his last in Florence on 30th November. His remains were burnt according to the rites of the Hindu religion on the banks of the Arno at the spot beyond the Cascini, now marked by a cupola and a bust of the deceased, and the ashes were collected afterwards and taken to the Ganga by his attendants. [A diary kept by the Raja during his residence in Europe was after his death edited by Captain, afterwards Lieutenant Colonel West and published by Smith and Elder of London.]
SIVAJI V (1870-1883).
As Rajaram left no issue, his widows were allowed to adopt and the choice of the family fell on Narayanrao son of Dinkarrao Bhonsle, a member of the same branch of the family from which the adoption was made in 1760 as narrated above. The choice was approved by Government and in October 1871 the boy, then in his ninth year, was formally adopted, receiving on the occasion the name of Sivaji. Arrangements were made for the education of the minor prince under the guardianship of Mr. Hammick, a member of the Civil Service, and everything progressed fairly upto 1879, when unfortunately the Raja's mind was reported to show signs of failing and he was withdrawn from the Rajkumar College at Rajkota where he had been prosecuting his studies. In spite of the treatment of several distinguished medical officers, his condition gradually became worse. In January 1882, a committee of medical officers appointed by Government examined the Raja. As the committee pronounced his malady to be incurable, Government thought it necessary to appoint a form of administration during his disability. Accordingly in March 1882, under a Government Resolution the affairs of the Kolhapur administration were transferred to a Regency Council. The Regent, the Chief of Kagal, was assisted by a Council of three, the Divan, the Chief Judge, and the Chief Revenue Officer.
SAHU CHATRAPATI (1884-1922).
On the 25th of December 1883, the Raja died at Ahmednagar where according to the version of British authorities he had been removed for the benefit of his health. However, reports about the ill-treatment of Sivajirao at the hands of those who were supposed to look after him were widely prevalent amongst the public ever since 1880. The insane Maharaja was whipped by his European guardians and Dr. Murphy justified that kind of treatment, in his statement made in a court of law. Having been removed to Ahmednagar fort, far away from Kolhapur and much against the will of his nearest relatives, the Maharaja was often subjected to similar torture. His death occurred in the course of a scuffle between him and his guardian Mr. Green. [Lokmanya Tilak who was then editor of Mahratta, the English weekly of Poona, and his friend and colleague Gopalrao Agarkar who was editor of Kesari, the Marathi weekly also of Poona, gave through their editorials vigorous expression to the popular feeling of resentment against the way in which the Maharaja was reported to have been treated. Unfortunately their writing was based upon evidence that could not be judicially corroborated and they were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of four months on 17th July 1882, in spite of their having tendered apologies.
Kolhapur State had eleven feudatories; their titles or names were: Pant Pratinidhi (Chief of Vishalgad), Pant Amatya (Chief of Bavda), Senapati (Chief of Kapshi) Sarjerav Vajarat Mab (Chief of Kagal), Ghorpade (Chief of Ichalkaranji), Sena Khaskhel (Chief of Torgal), Amir-ul-Umrav (Chief of Datvad), Himmat Bahadur, (Sarjerav Deshmukh of Kagal), Sar Lashkar Bahadur and Patankar.
The more important of the feudatories were: the Chiefs of Vishalgad, Bavda, Kagal, and Ichalkaranji. The Chief of Vishalgad, styled Pant Pratinidhi, was a Deshasth Brahman and his family name was Jaykar. His headquarters were at Malkapur, twenty-eight miles north-west of Kolhapur. The Chief of Bavda, styled Pant Amatya was a Deshasth Brahman and his family name was Bhadanekar. He used to reside at Kolhapur. The Chief of Kagal, styled Sarjerav Vajarat Mab, was a Maratha by caste and his family name was Ghatge. He used to reside at Kolhapur. The Chief of Ichalkaranji, styled Ghorpade, was a Konkanasth Brahman and his family name was Joshi. His head-quarters were at Ichalkaranji about eighteen miles east of Kolhapur. He was a first classsardar of the Bitish Government for rank and precedence only and had subsequently been permitted to pay a separate visit to the head of the Government.]
As the Raja died without any issue the Ranis of Kolhapur, with the approbation of Government, selected Yashavantarao alias Baba Saheb, the eldest son of the Regent, the Chief of Kagal, to fill the vacant throne, and accordingly on the 17th of March 1884, under the style and title of Sahu Chatrapati Maharaja, he was adopted by Anandibai Saheb, the widow of the late Sivaji Chatrapati. As the new Maharaja was only ten years old, the affairs of the State continued to be conducted by the Regency Council. On 2nd of April 1894 he was installed on the gadi of Kolhapur and invested with full powers of the State. Kolhapur had undergone a long period of regency rule and the reports that were widely believed in about the way in which the last Chatrapatl, Sivaji V, had been treated at Ahamadnagar had created an atmosphere of suspicion about the intentions of the paramount power. Hence when the Maharaja was installed on the gadi, people in Maharastra had reason to be jubilant over the occasion. An address was presented to the Maharaja by the Poona Sarvajnika Sabha a responsible body which was then more or less the mouthpiece of the awakened and enlightened opinion in the Deccan.
The accession of Sahu Chatrapatl to the gadi may be said to have opened a new chapter in the life of Kolhapur and to a considerable extent in the life of Maharastra. His rule lasted over 38 years from 1884 to 1922 and witnessed the release of powerful social forces which succeeded in bringing about a remarkable transformation of the existing social picture. The significance of the change can be properly understood in the context of the larger background of a national renaissance which was slowly rising on the Indian horizon from the early years of the present century.
It is a matter of common historical observation that a living society and a living religion periodically pass through the cycle of stagnation, deviation, resurgence and reform. For several decades before and during the 19th century Hinduism had come to be disaffected and distorted by many irrational dogmas, beliefs and practices. The social structure, based as it was on caste which in its turn was based purely on birth and heredity, tended to generate among large sectors of Hindu society an undercurrent of a sense of suppression, injustice and injury. The introduction and spread of western education with its accent on reason, scientific analysis and the rights of man further accentuated the discontent against a social order which sanctified artificial inequality between man and man, seemed to attach hardly any importance to human personality as such and condemned large masses of men to a pattern of life which was at once static and unpleasant. Intellectual unrest against such a palpably unfair and untenable arrangement began to manifest itself among a prominent section of the intelligentia. Great reformers like Ram Mohan Roy, Mahadeo Govind Ranade, Dayanand Saraswati, Gopal Ganesh Agarkar and others appeared on the scene and vigorously expounded the new liberalism which denounced distinctions based on caste and creed, advocated a proper spiritual and philosophical approach to religion and preached the sanctity of the individual irrespective of his birth and social status.
Jyotiba Phule who belonged to a Maharastrian community which was educationally backward and who himself was not highly educated Could feel at first hand the iniquity and the harm imposed by the caste system and by the so-called religious injunctions supposed to be prescribed in the sastras. Endowed with a native intelligence and fired by the zeal and courage of a rebel, Jyotiba started an energetic campaign to expose the crudities and absurdities of the prevalent beliefs and practices considered to be a part of religion and the injustice of determining human values merely by the accident of heredity and birth. He founded an organization called the Satya Sodhak Samaj (Society for Search after Truth) and by his forthright writings and eloquent speeches awakened among the masses a spirit of questioning and self-assertion which soon developed into a solid opposition to orthodox tenets and rituals enjoined by the established priesthood.
The formative years of Sahu Chatrapati's life and the earlier years of his rule synchronised with the growth of this movement which was gradually gathering momentum. The majority of his subjects were educationally backward and suffered from the handicaps of caste domination. It is no wonder that he was attracted to the teachings of Jyotiba Phule and the doctrines of the Satya Sodhaka Samaj. And his interest in that reformist crusade assumed immensely active proportions when he found that even he, the Chatrapati, was denied by his archaic priesthood the privilege of vedic rites on the ground that he was not a Kshatriya. Fortunately for him, the Maharaja possessed not only the urge of a reformer but also, as a ruler, the power to enforce his will in his State. In addition, he possessed throughout Maharastra great prestige as the scion of a family the founder of which is held in the highest veneration by all Marathi-speaking people.
With these assets, the Maharaja set about his task with energy and vigour. Primary education was made compulsory in the State. Special facilities were provided for backward classes to receive higher education. Free boarding houses were established for students of different communities. Services in the State were manned by persons belonging to the so-called backward classes. Untouchability was given a serious below. The existing religious pitha or organized religious centres which had proved itself to be incapable of a dynamic approach to its responsibilities and which had enjoyed revenues from State endowments was practically disestablished and its endowments withdrawn. No quarter was to be given to religious obscurantism and ungodly superstitions. In short, social life as a whole received a new look, a new tempo and a new orientation.
In mighty social upheavals of this type, it often happens that in the enthusiasm to do away with one set of wrongs and injustice, new wrongs, new iniquities and new indignities are perpetrated. A mass upsurge frequently comes to be driven by its own motive power towards irrational and violent extremes, and the ferment in Kolhapur was not immune from such unhealthy aberrations. It is also noticed that the militant social reformism which permeated and conditioned life in Kolhapur in the first two decades of this century is nat, curiously enough, found to have developed any significant counterpart in the shape of keen appreciation of and understanding sympathy for movements towards political liberalism and national freedom which were filling the pages of contemporary Indian history, particularly in Maharastra. On the contrary, there was active support to the opponents of these movements among the alien rulers. However, times were moving and changing, and the next generation did witness the people of Kolhapur having their share in the wider political consciousness that was fast growing in the country and in the resultant national struggles for liberation. After the advent of independence in 1947, Kolhapur in common with other Indian States took the historic decision to merge its individuality in the larger entity of free India, and its territory now forms the Kolhapur district of Maharastra State.