Bapuji Mudgal Deshpande

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Bapuji Mudgal Deshpande (Marathi: बापुजी मुदगल देशपांडे; 1608–1665) was a general in the early Maratha Empire during the reign of Shivaji. He is best remembered for his major role during first and second recapturing attempts of “Kondhana” fort in 1647 and 1656 respectively. He was also one of the first settlers of Khed Shivapur village in south of Pune. He pursued many Maratha and Muslim families to settle down in this newly developed village.

Background[edit]

Bapuji Mudgal Deshpande was born into the Deshastha Brahmin family and his native place was Khed which is 30 km south of Pune. This village is also very close to Sinhagad fort.His family had a tradition of Military Accountants. While some family members working as accountants (Karkhanis) on Kondhana fort, some were engaged in Freelance -Wars along with of Konde-Deshmukh family.

Early life[edit]

The Deshpande family warriors never had firm directions before 1636 and they used engaged in battles sometime from side of Adilshah or from Nizamshah. The Deshpande family had a light infantry of 500 people consisting of local Mahadev Koli, Ramoshi and Marathas.

It was 1636 when, the family met Jijabai, Konde Deshmukh and Dadoji Konddeo offered their own Wada to stay to the Bhonsales.

Shivapur Village[edit]

This family supported and encouraged idea of new village development of Khed Shivapur.

First recapturing of Kondhana in 1647[edit]

By using force of his military, Bapuji removed Adilshahi, the Kiladar of Kondhana,, and started Swarajya’s rule over there. Later Muse Khan made complaint to Adilshaha about this incident as a response Sultan sent small army headed by the Ghorpades (who used to hate Bhonsale family) but Bapuji Mudgal Deshpande, Dadoji Konddeo, 18-year-old Shivaji Maharaj convinced Ghorpade about their action, Ghorpades believed to punish Dadoji Konddeo by cutting his one hand as he sided the Bhonsale’s wing in spite of servant of Adilshah.

Second recapturing of Kondhana in 1656[edit]

After giving Kondhana fort to Adilshaha in 1650, Shivaji realized the need to have control of this strategically important fort near Pune. He ordered Bapuji to look on to this matter. Bapuji had unique idea to handle this issue without war, he convinced Muslim Kiladar of Kondhana by offering huge “Inam” tax free land near Shivapur village in return of this fort’s control and thus avoided battle and blood lash. Shivaji Maharaj got so impressed when he came to know the way by which Bapuji got this fort, he paid good reward to him and kept “Karkhanishi” of fort to Deshpande family.

Later life and inheritance[edit]

His son Keso Narayan Deshpande fought in Purandar fort’s battle during 1670 and successfully recaptured this fort but was unfortunately killed in the battle in the hands of Mirad Khan who was Kiladar of Purandar. Later Shivaji Raje awarded Mujumdari (Administrative Post) of fort and area from Pune to Baramati to Niliopant Mujumdar of Pune.