Govind Ballal Kher
? - 1761
), historically known as ‘Govind Pant Bundele
’, was a Military General
in Northern India
. Peshwa Bajirao
appointed him his trustee for the 1/3rd kingdom rewarded to him by Maharaja Chhatrasal
. He was the founder of the city of Sagar
situated in the Central India
Govind Pant was born in a Karhade Brahmin
family in village ‘Nevare’ in Ratnagiri
district of Maharashtra
in or around 1710
. His father was Kulkarni
of the village and Govind Pant inherited this post on early death of his father. Being a vagabond, however, he was forced to leave the post and also his native place and was compelled to wander in the search of a job.
In the beginning, he worked under the then rising Maratha Generals Malharrao Holkar
and Antaji Mankeshwar
and got good experience of guerilla war and administration.
On recommendation by Antaji, Bajirao
Peshwa assigned some jobs to Govind Pant and found him extremely useful. Soon he became Bajirao
’s one of the most favorite.
from Maharaja Chhatrasal
, he appointed Govindpant as his Administrator
and Power of attorney
for this newly annexed land.
’s permission, he built a new town called ‘Sagar
’ and made it his Capital
He was always known to be the greatest ‘Fund raiser
’ of the Maratha Empire
Contribution to the Battle of Panipat
Govind Pant did his best to help the Maratha
army under the leadership of Sadashivrao Bhau
during Battle of Panipat
. He himself had trapped Ahmed Shah Abdali
in the region between Ganges
(termed as Duab
) and had made him totally helpless. Unfortunately however, a sheer misunderstanding led him to lose his life in an unexpected tussle with the troops under Abdali’s General Ataikhan. With a few soldiers with him, Govind Pant had entered Ataikhan’s camp with a presumption that it was none other than a Maratha camp.
Veteran historian V K Rajwade
holds Govind Pant responsible for the defeat of Marathas
in the battle of Panipat (1761)
. Also he does not consider him as a man of importance. Moreover, he accuses him to be always corrupt. These allegations have however been refuted stating that the first two statements by Rajwade are contradictory to each other. Govind Pant can be held responsible only if he was a man of importance. Secondly, Marathas
were on the verge of victory even after substantial time had passed for Govind Pant’s death. There were so many other reasons for the defeat including wrong decisions by Sadashivrao Bhau
, untimely retreat by Malharrao Holkar
and death of Peshwa Vishwas Rao
. Thirdly, accusing Govind Pant of corruption would mean underestimating the capabilities of Peshwa Bajirao
as Govind Pant was their Power of Attorney continuously for more than 25 years.
Category : History of Maharashtra