The Patwardhan family were of the Chitpavan Brahmin caste, originally from the village of Kotawde in Ratnagiri, in the state of Maharashtra. The patriarch of the family, Haribhat, was the family priest for another Chitpavan Brahmin family, the Joshi family, who served as the Chiefs of Ichalkaranji. Three of Haribhat’s sons served the Peshwas and distinguished themselves during various conquests. They were each rewarded for their efforts with a Jagir, together covering all the land between the Tungabhadra and Krishna Rivers. Although significantly reduced in size, their Jagirs were later to be raised to the status of Princely state under the British Raj, and the Rajas of Jamkhandi, Kurundwad, Miraj and Sangli were all lineal descendants of these Patwardhan brothers.
After the Treaty of Salbai aligned the Marathi with the British, the three Patwardhan chiefs lent their armies in the British campaign against Tipu Sultan. They gained a reputation of heroism and success in battle. Their contributions became highly valued by the British, and in 1804 Arthur Wellesley called the Patwardhans “the most ancient friends that the British Government have in the Maratha Empire” and “the most respectable of all the Peshwa’s subjects properly so called”.