The heartbreaking story of Mastani and her never ending love for Bajirao.
She was the second wife of Maratha Peshwa Bajirao I and was also one of the most beautiful women who acquired the qualities of bravery. She was also a knowledgeable lady who had insights about the literature and arts. Her bravery was very well recognized in the field of warfare where she fought without any fear of death. Peshwa Bajirao was very fond of Mastani but there were many in his court who despised her without reason.
She was the proud daughter of the Rajput clan leader of Bundelkhand Maharaja Chhatrasal. She took birth in the village of Chhatarpur district which is a part of Madhya Pradesh. She was given a different Mahal or living residence by Peshwa Baji Rao where she lived along with her son as she was not accepted in the royal court by the Peshwa family. The famous legend of Mastani is the story of how she met Bajirao I. She was sent as a secret spy by her father to Bajirao I for his help when Bundelkhand was threatened by Mughals and Pathans. In return of Bajirao kindness towards his kingdom, Chhatrasal gave his daughter in the hands of marriage to Bajirao along with the kingdoms of Jhansi, Sagar and Kalpi. Not only this but there were other expensive gifts too which helped in elevating the financial crisis of Bajirao kingdom in no time. There are many stories in and out regarding this concept of Mastani being Bajirao mistress but there are records to prove that she was the lawfully wedded wife of him. The reason for not getting an acceptance in the royal family of Bajirao is nothing but her religion. She was half Hindu and half Muslim which was not at all accepted by Bajirao mother and his brother.
The skills that Mastani possessed were endless. Along with her beauty she was also an apt horse rider who had the talent of spear throwing. Alongside this the craft of using a sword in a battle field was also mastered by her. But these skills of her did not kill the womanhood in her as she was equally good a singer and a dancer. Bajirao often took her help during his military campaigns. Bajirao was blessed with two sons from both of his wife’s during the same time of the year and they were named Raghunath Rao and Shamsher Bahadur.
She was tortured endlessly by the family members of Bajirao as she was given more importance than the first wife of Bajirao. This is the reason why she was also held in house arrest for a while when Bajirao went on a military campaign. The end of her unfortunate life came when he heard the news of the death of Bajirao due to heat stroke. Legends say that she committed suicide by the Sati Pratha few days after his death. But the entire story is still in question. The famous painting of Mastani still hangs in the Aina Mahal in Bhuj.