Wednesday, November 22, 2006

painting on the peshwas















shravan gopal gurav of pune exhibited his paintings at the leela during the end of last month.the paintings depicted the lives of the peshwas who ruled in the western region after the death of shivaji's son shambaji. the peshwas were well educated and deeply religious. they managed the maratha empire(1674-1818) which extended from the north of india right upto the karnataka and tamil regions extremely well and thwarted many attempts of the mughals to make inroads into southern india..

after shambaji's murder in the hands of the mughals,the peshwas who were playing an advisory role to the king started playing a dominant role.bajirao(1721-1740) was one of the first peshwas to rule over the empire.he was responsible for many social reforms during his reign.in 1818 the peshwas surrendered to the british and the curtain came down on the rule of the peshwas. in 1828 there was an inexplicable fire in the palace fort in shanivar wada which was built by bajirao peshwa in 1730.

four generations of peshwas resided in the luxurious stately mansions in shanivar wada that was built by bajirao.it was also the place where romance,intrigue, plotting and politics played a big part in causing the downfall of the peshwas.however,the peshwa rule was a glorious chapter in the annals of indian history.

peshwas belonged to the brahmin community and genetically unequipped to take over the reigns of power.by a combination of circumstances they were literally left with no choice. how was their rule? were they benevolent rulers? were they fair in their dealings.did they do a good job of consolidation and expansion of their kingdom or did they like many other kings fritter away their territories to the capricious enemies by forgetting their main task and indulging in sports,games, music and sex? all this should make interesting reading for those who are fond of history.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Goodness, those are wonderful canvasses indeed! I must look up the artist on the net...lucky you to have been able to visit this exhibition!

Thank you for the quick history lesson on the Peshawas...not too many of us know Maharashtra's history after the death of Shivaji. Shivaji himself has always remained an enigma for me - was he this good, but fierce Maratha as portrayed in our school history books or was he a wily, cruel warrior as some other non-Maharashtrian historians have noted? It's all so interesting.

gs said...

shivaji was an outstanding and patriotic ruler.but for him,the mughals would have totally overrun india then.till his death, they could not transgress beyond their northern territories.he was a shrewd warrior but never cruel.

Anonymous said...

I find myself wanting to read more about our (Indian) history - the history I read in our school textbooks just doesn't satisfy anymore. Shivaji recently featured in a fictional story of the Taj Mahal titled "Beneath A Marble Sky" by John Shors...he was portrayed as a caring and fun-loving ruler, it is this book that sparked a desire within me to know more about him and his rule.

gs said...

i have just started reading william dalrymple's book,'white mughals'.it is again a true story of love and betrayal.a britisher falling in love with a mughal princess.i am fascinated by his writing style and the painstaking research he seems to have done.

Anonymous said...

William Dalrymple is a favorite of mine. I have all his books here (even White Mughals) but I haven't read it yet. He has a new one out that the India media has been discussing at length called 'The Last Mughal'. I hope you will share your observations on "White Mughals" once you are done reading it.

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