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Raghoji Bhonsle

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Title: Raghoji Bhonsle  
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Subject: Gondwana, India, Bhandara district, Betul district, Nagpur kingdom, Deogarh, Madhya Pradesh, Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, Muhammed Saadatullah Khan II, History of Nagpur
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Raghoji Bhonsle

Raghoji I Bhonsale (died 1755) of the Bhonsale dynasty, was a Maratha general who took control of the Nagpur Kingdom in east-central India during the reign of Shahu. His successors ruled the kingdom until 1853.

The Bhonsale family were originally headmen from Deor or Deur (presently in Koregaon Taluka, District Satara and was under Deshmukhi rights of Bhoite Clan), a village in Satara District. Raghoji's grandfather and his two brothers had fought in the armies of Shivaji, and to the most distinguished of them was entrusted a high military command and the collection of chauth (tribute) in Berar.

Nagpur was then the capital of a Gond kingdom ruled by Chand Sultan, who had moved the capital to Nagpur from Deogarh. On Chand Sultan's death in 1739, there were disputes as to his succession, and his widow invoked the aid of Raghoji, who was governing Berar on behalf of the Maratha. Raghoji, on being called in by the contending Gond factions, replaced the two sons of Chand Sultan on the throne from which they had been ousted by a usurper, and retired to Berar, with a suitable reward for his assistance. Dissensions, however, broke out between the brothers, and in 1743 Raghoji again intervened at the request of the elder brother and drove out his rival. But he had not the heart to give back a second time the country he held within his grasp. Burhan Shan, the Gond Raja, though allowed to retain the outward insignia of royalty, became practically a state pensioner, and all real power passed to the Marathas.

Bold and decisive in action, Raghoji was the type of a Maratha leader; he saw in the troubles of other states an opening for his own ambition, and did not even require a pretext for plunder and invasion. Twice his armies invaded Bengal, and he obtained the cession of Cuttack. Chanda, Chhattisgarh, and Sambalpur were added to his dominions between 1745 and 1755, the year of his death. He was succeeded by Janoji Bhonsle.

Battle of Damalcherry

Dost Ali Khan ordered Chanda Sahib to march against the Rajah of Tirusivapuram. There upon the Rajah invited the assistance of the Maratha Confederacy.

Soon afterwards took place the Battle of Damalcherry, which was a major confrontation between the Mughal Empire's Nawab of the Carnatic, Dost Ali Khan and his Maratha opponent Raghoji I Bhonsale. The battle concluded with the fall of Dost Ali Khan and three years of Maratha occupation in the Carnatic.

Battle of Burdwan

Raghoji I Bhonsale and his forces numbering more than 40,000 Marathas were routed in battle by the Mughal Emperor's Nawab of Bengal Alivardi Khan during the Battle of Burdwan.


  • Hunter, William Wilson, Sir, et al. (1908). Imperial Gazetteer of India 1908-1931; Clarendon Press, Oxford.

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Preceded by
Chand Sultan
King of Nagpur
Succeeded by
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