Rare letters giving insight into third Battle of Panipat found

ST CORRESPONDENT
Tuesday, 9 October 2018

“Since these letters were personal, they do not carry any official stamp, but they have a stamp of Shinde,” said Dhane. 

PUNE: The most eventful battle of the 18th century, the Battle of Panipat which destroyed the Peshwa empire, still creates curiosity among historians and the general public alike. 

This curiosity led history scholar Ghanshyam Dhane to search for documents regarding the battle.

And his search bore a fruit after he found two letters which give an insight into the movements and conspiracies that took place before the battle.  The third battle of Panipat took place in 1761. 

“The letters are personal letters exchanged between Amrutrao Nimbalkar and Jayaji Shinde. These letters were written a couple of years before the actual battle”, said Dhane in a press conference here on Monday.

“Since these letters were personal, they do not carry any official stamp, but they have a stamp of Shinde,” said Dhane. 

He added, “The letter denotes the movements of Ahmad Shah Abdali, King of Afghanistan. Abdali, fearing the huge forces of Marathas, had run 60 km away from Marwad and these letters pinpointed the exact movements.”

“The letters also throw light on how Peshwas were deciding the fate of  princely states like Jodhpur when the brothers Ramsingh and Bajisingh were at the loggerheads and Raghunathrao Peshwa backed Ramsingh,” he said.

“The letters also talk about the ‘Inam’, given to Khanderao Naik Nimbalkar who had its reach up to Peshawar. And because of his bravery, he was awarded the ‘Inam’ (gift)”, he added. 

“I could find this letter and study it because of Vasant Charitable Foundation’s President Rajni Indulkar as she was instrumental in making it possible,” he said. 

SHAHU MAHARAJ-ERA LETTERS
“Two more letters were found which were belonging to Shahu Maharaj era and talked about renewing the contract of Deshpande, Deshmukh, Inamdar and Patil who form the committee to solve various conflicts of the villagers. The rule and regulations were renewed and the letter informing the same was given to them,” Dhane said.

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