Preserving our Heritage - Bajirao’s Collapsing Memorial!
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Drive 143 kms from Indore to the village of Raverkhedi in the Khargone District and you will find the crumbling, miserable looking memorial to one of the greatest commanders in Indian History! Peshwa Bajirao - I was the Commander-in-Chief of the Maratha Army, and is credited with expanding the Maratha Empire across India. In his short lifetime, he won a total of forty-one battles! In a lifespan of just 40 years Bajirao - I ( 1700-40) spread the Maratha footprint across India, conquering Malwa and Gujarat, even making an audacious dash for Delhi with his able, handpicked commanders like Malharrao Holkar and Ranoji Scindia, who went on to head their own kingdoms!
In 1740, Bajirao left for a campaign to the north with an army of 1,00,000 soldiers. He fell sick as the army camped on banks of Narmada and it is in the village of Raverkhedi that he was cremated after his death. His loyal commanders built a memorial for him here.
Sadly, there is little to celebrate the glory or the courage of this man. The Samadhi or memorial of Peshwa Bajirao I lies in a derelict state, crying for attention. The walls have become so weak that they are in danger of collapsing. It is not just the official apathy that threatens Bajirao’s Samadhi. Large dams have been built near Maheshwar and Omkareshwar for hydro electric projects. The rising waters of the Maheshwar Dam threaten to submerge this memorial. Heritage enthusiasts have been campaigning for the protection of this monument, but sadly, nothing has been done, so far.
Peshwa Bajirao -I, whose victories defined a whole era of Indian history
is said to have never lost a battle in his lifetime. It is ironic that his memorial is losing the battle for its very survival!
Are we doing justice to our past and our esteemed Heritage ? The great Maratha warriors memorials are at stake today. Recently Shivneri of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was taken up by Government of India to preserve as heritage site, why not this one of Great Peswa Bajirao -I. Let us not forget, if Hindus as a community and the Hindutva is alive today, is only due to these Greats.
It is never late Sir. Still we can preserve it and make it worth for tourism.
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