[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he story of Bajirao Masatani is the most interesting love story in the history of Maharashtra. At the age of 20, Bajirao had taken over as the Peshwa of his kingdom and fought 41 battles for next 20 years. What was great about him was he never lost even a single battle in his life. However, what is even more interesting is his love story with Mastani.
Although, there are many stories about Bajirao and Mastani, but what is common in all those stories is that these both loved each other more than themselves. The end of their love story however, was quite tragic.
Mastani ended her life on Bajirao’s Grave
Maratha Peshwa Bajirao’s second wife was Mastani. She was a Muslim and belonged from Bundelkhand. She was extremely beautiful and even tagged as the ‘Queen of Beauty’. She is believed to be the daughter of Bundelkhand’s king, Chhtrasal. On April 28, 1740, Bajirao fell very ill and died. After his death, Mastani practiced the ritual of Sati and killed herself on his grave.
This is how Bajirao met Mastani for the first time
In December 1728, Mohammad Khan Bangash was planning an attack on Bundelkhand. Maharaja Chhatrasal knew about his plan and he was worried about it. He decided to write a letter to Bajirao asking for help. Soon after receiving the letter from Chhatrasal, Bajirao left with his army to help him. Bangash lost the battle and was arrested by Chhatrasal. Later he was set free on a condition that he would never ever attack on Bundelkhand.
Chhatrasal was deeply grateful to Bajirao for helping him in the battle and called Bajirao as his third son. Not only that, Chhatrasal divided his kingdom into three parts and presented one part to Bajirao. The third part included – Jhansi, Kalpi, Siroz, Sagar and Hirdenagar. Apart from the third part of his kingdom, Chhatrasal also proposed a marriage between his daughter Mastani and Bajirao. Some people also believe that Mastani was not Chhatrasal’s daughter in reality but only a dancer of his court.
The marriage and Child
Bajirao also took Mastani as the second wife. He was fascinated by the many talents of her. Besides being really beautiful, Mastani had mastery in horse riding, sword fighting, war affairs, religious studies, poetry, music and dance, making her Bajirao’s favorite. She bore him a third son, who was named Krishnarao at birth. To take advantage of the situation, local Brahmin politicians of the times refused to accept the boy as a pure Hindu Brahmin since his mother was a Muslim. They refused to accept the marriage. This marriage with Mastani caused a rift in the orthodox Hindu Pune society of the time, and led to a major crisis within the Peshwa family.
From Kashibai’s Eye
Kashibai was the first wife of Bajirao. After her marrige she was become a queen of Maratha Emire. She was highly devoted to her husband. When Bajirao married Mastani, Kashibai accepted it as marrying another woman by a king was not looked down upon in those times. However, when Kashibai and Mastani delivered baby boys just a few months apart, the former’s son died at a very young age.
So while Kashibai was coping with the loss of her child, Mastani was becoming more and more influential in the kingdom. This infuriated her. She was jealous of seeing Mastan’s young able boy. She even plotted several ways to kill Mastani along with her in laws who didn’t like Bajirao’s second wife as well.