It happened all of a sudden. I was reading about the strategic moves and warfare of Great Bajirao I. The context was that of Battle of Palkhed and Battle of Bhopal. And suddenly tears welled up in my eyes. A great surge of emotion arose. This great man Bajirao Peshwa spent his whole life fighting for his cause of protecting the motherland and creating one unified Maratha confederacy. He was more on a horse’s back than on his masnad. In those turbulent years (AD 1700 – AD 1720) India was no unified a nation. There were English, French, Portuguese, Moguls, Afghans, Siddis (Abbesynians) and even Dutch all vying for a share in the pie. In such times this man dreamed of relieving India from the tortuous shackles of invaders. Right From the day he got Peshwai in 1720 till his death in 1739 this man fought constantly. At times moving at a lightning speed and defeating much larger armies than his, he won many a strong and loyal friends in the process. He never lost a single battle. Creating one Hindawi Swaraj from Sahyadri to Hindukush was the single minded goal he pursued.
Oh what a Man! And what a life!
When I came to know that Samadhi of Bajirao I, is in Madhyapradesh only I immediately made up my mind to visit the place. This place is a village by name Raverkhedi near Sanawad, a small town in Khargone ditrict of Madhyapradesh. Bajirao was often called ‘ Rau’ or ‘Rao’ and in all probability the name Raverkhdi evolved from Rao. About a 100 km from Indore this is a village slightly in interior but the good thing is MP Govt has now constructed a ‘good motorable road’ right up to the Samadhi place. It is a very serene place and stands right on the bank of river Narmada.
Even during my journey also I felt some previous life connection. When I enquired the way at a place, quite unexpectedly I heard myself asking the villager,“Peshwa Saheb Sarkar ki samdhi kahan hai?” Before this I never used the words like Saheb or Sarkar with Peshwa.
Anyway, God only knows the reality, but I will suggest you visit this place only if you have interest, connection or affinity with the history of Marathas. Only then will you be able to experience the serenity and spirituality involved with the place.
You can visit from both Maharashtra or MP side. From Indore in MP you have to take Khandwa Road which is quite a busy and well known state highway. There are picturesque hills and greenery on the way. Your first stop should be ‘Mortakka’ which is a bridge on Narmada and comes right after Badwah a small town like place. It will take about two hours to reach Mortakka from Indore. It’s a very nice site and you get a good restaurant also for refreshment or food etc.
After this move on another 10 kms and you will reach ‘Sanawad’. In Sanawad you have to enquire ‘Khargone Road’. Leaving Khandwa Road move on to Khargone Road which is also quite a wide and nice road. Only a small patch is under construction but it is quite motorable. Keep on moving till you reach a place called ‘Bedia’ which is about 15-20 kms from Sanawad. Here you will find the signboard of MP Tourism indicating the direction to Bajirav Peshwa Samadhi Sthal. Please see the photo below.
Taking a right turn at Bedia move on Kasrawad Road and after about 7 km there is another Signboard clearly indicating the road to Raverkhedi. This is a nice single Tar Road and gives you picturesque greenery of village India on either side. In Raverkhedi you will have to enquire again because you will cross a small rivulet (Not Narmada) and will find yourself right in the village not knowing where to go? The road to Samadhi goes from the midst of village and villagers will be happy to guide you. It is still about a km or two and Tar Road is available.
Once you reach Samadhi Sthal (You will have to park your vehicle little in advance and walk a little) you will see serene Narmada flowing just beside. It’s a cool and calm place and is being maintained by ASI. Normal cleanliness has been maintained. There is a Large Pipal tree at the entrance and also a board giving the brief history of the place.
This place has a lot of emotional value. You can sit below the Pipal Tree and watch Narmada flowing quietly. How things must have been about 300 years ago? You will be suddenly transported to that era.
About a lakh of troops under Bajirao I, camped here and they were just about to cross Narmada and enter North (That time called ‘Uttar’ by the Dakkhanis). In those days Narmada was the dividing line. Below it was South and above it was North. It was the month of April and probably Nimari Sun took its toll on Bajirao. He, reportedly, had a heatstroke and developed a high fever which turned fatal. Peshwa died at a young age of 39 but within that short span he had left such an indelible mark on contemporary India that Nader Shah who was looting Delhi that time decided to go back. Peshwa's expedition of solid 1 Lakh army was to fight with the invader only. Crossing Narmada he would receive solid support from his trusted lieutenants of Malwa (Holkar), Dhar (Pawar) and Ujjain (Scindia). But that was not to be. He succumbed to an untimely death on 28th April 1740.
Had Bajirao not been taken by death, Nader Shah would have had probably the toughest time of his life and Takht-e-Touse, Koh-e-Noor etc. would have been saved. Above all India’s Self Respect would remain intact.
On May 1st , 1740 Nader Shah returned to Afganistan, leaving Delhi plundered and pillaged.
Visit this place between November to February. Avoid Monsoon and Summer. From Indore it can be easily managed in a single day. It takes about 3 hours one way.