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Bhau, Sadashiva Rao

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(4 August 1730 – 14 January 1761) Maratha general (a first cousin of the Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao). Encouraged by his resounding victory over the Nizam in 1760, Bhao rashly attempted to destroy Ahmad Shah Abdali’s power in the Punjab and to establish Maratha supremacy in North India. He failed, however, in diplomacy as well as in battle, and the entire Maratha army was routed (14-1-1761) at Panipat by Abdali’s forces. Some say Bhao was killed in the battle.

Bhao Girdi is not actually his name or title, but simply a transcription of the Marathi phrase “Bhau gardi”, which refers to the utter confusion and stampede (“gardi”) that occurred in the battle of Panipat after Bhao had fallen from his horse, rushed into the melee and disappeared. The phrase may also mean “Bhao and Gardi”, i.e., Sadashiv Rao Bhao and Ibrahim Khan Gardi who commanded a large train of artillery maintained by Bhao.

Mentioned: {SABCL 26} 353

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