Shrimant Gangadharrao Govind Alias Balasheb Patwardhan (I) of Miraj 1741-1809

Gangadharrao (I)

Shrimant Gangadharrao alias Balasaheb  was the fourth son of Govind hari.

Govind Hari died in 1772; his eldest son Gopal Rao had died in 1771 without issue, therefore it came upon his second son Vamanrao to become Jagirdar, Vaman Rao died in 1775 Jainabad without male issue(he had two daughters). Therefore the Jagirdarship pasted to Pandurangrao who died in 1777 with one issue Chintamanrao who later became first Ruler of Sangli.

Children of Govind Hari

On the 6th of February 1783 Chintaman Rao was eight years old and was granted the Sardarki of Miraj (given ten vastra).

The families of Miraj, Tasgaon and Kurundwad were were all granted separate Jagirs but the main Jagir was granted to only Miraj.

Children of Hari Bhat (Brothers of Govind Hari/ Uncles of Gangadharrao)

Gangadharrao was the fourth son of Govind Hari and mainly focused on administration he was not interested in warfare although; Gangadharrao fought against Haider Naik, Dhondoji Wagh and Bhosales of Nagpur. According to historian Govind Vinayak Apte he was very courageous and wise.

Therefore when Chintamanrao was granted the vastra of Miraj the matters is regarding battle were handled by Parshuram Bhau of Tasgaon(Son of Ramchandra Hari).

As Chintamanrao grew older a difference of opinion began to emerge between uncle(Gangadharrao) and nephew. So in 1799 a family arrangement was reached and a division between Chintamanrao and Gangadharrao was decided internally due to the efforts of Ramachandra Appa Tasgaon and Ragunathrao of Kurundwad(mediation).

In 1800 this division got Peshwa assent and Chintamanrao officially shifted to Sangli. This shift by Chintaman Rao caused complete chaos as almost every family with a position in the Miraj court was also forced to have a division one brother stayed in Miraj and the other went to Sangli. These included Patwardhan’s of Kagwad(a Sardar family of Miraj), Patwardhan’s of Shedbal, Watve (Upadya to the Patwardhan’s), and others.

In the year 1774 a printing press was sold to Bimeji Parekh. After the death of Nana Phadnis in 1800 the downward trend of the Peshwa empire began, very little could be achieved but Gangadharrao got the printing machinery and the Bhagwad Gita was printed at Miraj in the Devnagri Script. He also erected a mint at Miraj and coins were made printed; these coins were known as Miraj Agyyari.

Gangadharrao Govindrao managed, through guile and bribary, to secure recognition of his rights over Miraj from the Peshwa in 1808. The Patwardhan domains were effectively separated, though none of the parties actually recognized this at the time.

In 1808 the documents of division were finalised Chintaman Rao had to give up the Mira Killa in order to gain a larger land revenue share of the Jahagir of the old Jahagir. In this way the fort of Miraj came to the younger brother.

So after leaving Miraj Chintamanrao established Sangli and built Ganesh Durg (the fort at sangli), a Ganesh Temple(Ganpati Mandir at Sangli) and the Darbar Hall. Hence Miraj was divided into Sangli and Miraj in 1809 and this was the first division in the Jahangir of the Patwardhans.

Unfortunately this was not the end of the troubles for the Patwardhan is of Miraj after the death of Gangadhar Rao in 1809 the new Jagir of Miraj was further divided in 1821 into Miraj, Bhudgaon(later known as Miraj Jr), Soni and Supari Bagh.

After the division of Miraj and Sangli as agreed by Peshwe Sarkar, there was another division between Tasgaon and Jamkhandi. During this time Ganpatrao Parshuramrao was ruling Tasgaon and Ramchandra Parshuram was ruling Jamkhandi, and in Kurundwad Ganpatrao Kohenrao and Trimbak Raghunath were accepted by the Peshwe Sarkar.

The close association of all the Patwardhans was divided and the major force of Patwardhans as a Military power was lost.

Gangadharrao constructed:

  1. Govind Talav
  2. Ghat on Krishna river as per the wishes of Gopalrao(Year),
  3. Madhavji Mandir in the fort area(Year)
  4. Ganesh Mandir in the year 1799, at a cost of Rs 40000 and water tank at Ganesh Peth(year).
  5. He also constructed Shiva Mandir on Krishna Ghat (Known as Markanteshwar).

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