Balaji Vishwanath Bhat was the first of a series of hereditary Peshwas hailing from the Bhat family who gained effective control of the Maratha Empire and the Mughal vassals of the Marathas during the early 18th century.
26 Facts About Balaji Vishwanath
Balaji Vishwanath assisted a young Maratha king Shahu to consolidate his grip on a kingdom that had been racked by civil war and persistently intruded on by the Mughals under Aurangzeb.
Balaji Vishwanath was called the Second Founder of the Maratha State.
Balaji Vishwanath secured a grant from the Mughal court that confirmed Shahu as the legitimate Mughal vassal, at the expense of his rival Sambhaji.
Balaji Vishwanath Bhat was born into a Marathi Konkanastha Chitpavan Brahmin family.
Balaji Vishwanath went out in search of employment to the upper regions of western ghats and worked as a mercenary trooper under various Maratha generals.
Balaji Vishwanath was despatched by Dhanaji Jadhav to meet secretly with Shahu and verify his bona fides.
Balaji Vishwanath is believed to have persuaded his master to support the cause of Shahu.
Dhanaji's confidence in Balaji Vishwanath aroused the jealousy of his son and successor, Chandrasen Jadhav.
Chandrasen besieged Purandar whereupon Balaji Vishwanath fled again to Pandavgad whence he sent an emissary to plead for help from his sovereign.
Shahu had Balaji Vishwanath brought under escort to his capital Satara and asked Chandrasen to make the case against Balaji Vishwanath before him.
Bereft of his experienced generals, Shahu turned to Balaji Vishwanath, who undertook to raise a new army in the cause of Shahu.
Balaji Vishwanath next turned against Tarabai and her own armory of intrigue.
Balaji Vishwanath induced Rajaram's other widow, Rajasbai to conduct a coup against Shivaji II, the son of Tarabai and install her own son, Sambhaji II, on the throne of Kolhapur.
Balaji Vishwanath captured the major trading center of Kalyan and the neighboring forts of Rajmachi and Lohgad.
Balaji Vishwanath preferred the path of negotiation and was appointed as Shahu's plenipotentiary to negotiate with the admiral.
Balaji Vishwanath ruled his territory with the advice of the Ramchandra Pant Amatya.
Balaji Vishwanath captured Ashta, Yelvi and other villages in the Warana valley, and went on to attack Panhala.
Balaji Vishwanath got the news that Balaji Vishwanath captured his jagir in Warana valley and went to attack on Panhala fort.
Balaji Vishwanath immediately took some troops with him and went towards Panhala fort.
Balaji Vishwanath returned in triumph from Delhi to Satara, having secured the release after decades of Mughal captivity, the mother, wife and half-brother of Shahu.
Weary from his labors and the tiresome journey back from the imperial capital, Balaji Vishwanath's health began to fail.
Balaji Vishwanath was succeeded by his elder son, the celebrated Baji Rao I, who was appointed Peshwa by Chattrapati Shahu.
Balaji Vishwanath laid the foundation for the complex administrative system of the Marathas that held sway for a century after his death.
Balaji Vishwanath married Radhabai Barve and had two sons, Baji Rao I and Chimaji Appa.
The older, Bhiubai married Abaji Joshi of Baramati, brother of the banker Balaji Vishwanath Naik famed as Bajirao I's most tormenting creditor.