ancient indian history

Chima Jee Peshawa

Chima Jee Peshawa

History of India, has done great injustice to the real sons of soil. Unfortunately our text books didn’t give any place in what the great patriots & brothers Bajirao Peshava and Chimaji Peshava, deserved.
We can only imagine what would have been the future of our country, if God had granted extra life to the peshawa brothers?
Chima Jee Appa Peshwa, also known as Chimaji Appa, was a prominent figure in the Maratha Empire during the 18th century. He was the younger brother of Baji Rao I, the renowned Peshwa of the Maratha Confederacy. Chimaji Appa Peshwa played a crucial role in expanding Maratha influence and power during his lifetime.
One of his notable achievements was his leadership in the Battle of Vasai (also known as the Battle of Bassein) in 1739. In this battle, he successfully led the Maratha forces against the Portuguese colonialists and captured the strategic port of Vasai (now Vasai-Virar) near Mumbai. This victory significantly bolstered Maratha control over the region and its maritime trade.

Chimaji Appa Peshwa’s military prowess and strategic acumen were evident in his campaigns against the Portuguese, Siddis, and other adversaries. He expanded Maratha territories along the western coast of India and played a crucial role in protecting Maratha interests.

While Chima jee’s brother Baji Rao I is often more celebrated in historical accounts, Chimaji Appa Peshwa’s contributions to the Maratha Empire were essential in maintaining and expanding its dominion during a crucial period of Indian history. His legacy continues to be remembered as a significant chapter in the Maratha Empire’s history.
Mughals had become weak during seventeenth century, while the Portuguese were defeated from the main parts of India and were confined to Goa only and the British had not yet become a power. It was really a misfortune of our country that the great patriots & brothers Bajirao Peshava and Chimaji Peshava died young, due to their respective illnesses.
Otherwise, India would had got freed from the shackles of Mughals.
Chimaji Appa, the younger brother of the great Peshwa Bajirao, was a towering personality. Chimaji’s sharp yet gentle personality got hidden in the shadow of Bajirao’s fiery personality.
Chimaji was born in the year 1707. Bajirao was seven years older than him. When Balaji Vishwanath, the father of these brothers, died, Chimaji was only thirteen years old.
In the early years of his life, he worked as an assistant of Bajirao.
There was love and harmony between the two brothers and Chimaji had full respect for his elder brother.
When his talent started to shine, Bajirao started giving him independent charge. The courageous, Chimaji never disappointed him. Later, Bajirao focused himself on North India and handed over the activities of the western region to Chimaji.

The western part of Maharashtra is mainly the sea coast. The Portuguese had dominated that area for two hundred years. In 1498, Vasco da Gama became the first European to come to India by sea route and after that the arrival of the Portuguese started increasing. They had better weapons and an advanced navy, with the help of which they gradually captured a large western part. Not only did they collect taxes in this part, the series of forced conversions and atrocities they carried out on the people is indescribable.
In 1567, the Portuguese implemented many anti-Hindu laws. Hindus were denied worship, Hindu marriages were banned, hundreds of temples were destroyed, wearing sacred thread was banned, festivals were banned, those who protested were burnt alive or heavy taxes were imposed. Bajirao’s own attention was on the weakening Mughal Sultanate and he was continuously increasing the Maratha border in the north. But Hindus were constantly being forced to flee from Goa and other places in the west and every visiting family narrated new heights of Portuguese brutality. In such a situation, Bajirao handed over the responsibility of settling the Portuguese by handing over the command of the west to Chimaji Appa.
The Portuguese were powerful, organized, equipped with advanced armaments and navy was their main strength.
Chimaji made Vasai his headquarters. & controlled over most of the surrounding coastal areas. Chimaji Appa started attacking Portuguese forts, one by one and making them weak.
From 1733 to 1737, he established his supremacy by defeating the Portuguese at many places including Thane, Parsik, Marol, Uran, Tandulwadi, Arnala. But they could not succeed in capturing Versova, Bandra, Sashti and most importantly Vasai.
Chimaji attacked Vasai twice but could not succeed. Then Bajirao called him to face the Nizam. In his absence the Marathas made another attempt, but despite suffering 5,000 casualties, they could not dislodge the Portuguese from Vasai.
On the other hand, Bajirao made the Nizam kneel and as soon as the war ended, Chimaji returned to the Western Ghats again. With new energy, new army and new strategy, he once again launched a vigorous attack on Vasai.

Meanwhile, the Portuguese attacked Thane, but the alert Malhar Rao Holkar defeated them and drove them away and also destroyed their ships. On the other hand, Adi Purush Ranoji Shinde of Scindia dynasty attacked Daman, Dahanu and Nagrol under the Portuguese and cut off the help to Vasai from there. In the south, Vyankoji Rao invaded Goa and conquered Margao and Cuncolim. In this way, by winning Daman and Goa, Chimaji closed the way of getting help to Vasai. Chimaji himself attacked the Portuguese with his army and soon Mahim, Dharavi, Kalve, etc. important places were snatched from the Portuguese. Now the Portuguese were surrounded in Vasai. All the Portuguese ships were under the control of the Marathas.

After achieving this strategic superiority, Chimaji attacked Vasai with an army of 40,000. This time he utilised landmines, for the warfare.
On reaching near Vasai Fort, the Portuguese were roasted alive due explosions of landmines. The Maratha heroes demolished the fort wall from many places by laying some tunnels till the fort, from where the Marathas entered the fort and started eliminating the Portuguese. Chimaji Appa, Malharrao Holkar and Ranoji Shinde themselves were involved in the fighting with their soldiers on the middle ground. Thousands of Portuguese were killed and finally on 5 May 1739, the Portuguese surrendered to the Marathas.
The areas which were under the Portuguese for two hundred years were liberated by Chimaji Appa.
In the treaty signed after the war, the Portuguese also had to promise to give the Hindus the right to practice their religion in Goa. After this defeat the Portuguese could never recover and thereafter remained confined to Goa only.

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