The Nizam's plan to humble Shahu was a subtle one.He first withdrew his headquarters from Aurangabad to Haidarabad and won the Pratinidhi's good-will by offering him a jaghir in Berar, as an equivalent for the chauth payable on his new capital. Bajirao indignantly protested but in vain. Shahu, who did not penetrate the schemes of his powerful neighbour, was induced by the Pratinidhi to approve the exchange, since, so he said, the Nizam would feel deeply the payment of tribute on his metropolis. Encouraged by this success, the Nizam next affected ignorance of the respective claims of Shahu and Rajaram's son Sambhaji. He declared himself unable to pay to the Maratha government its chauth and sardeshmukhi, until the matter had been settled. At the same time he removed Shahu's agents from his dominions and invited both Shahu and Sambhaji to send envoys to Haidarabad, where he would himself decide which of the two princes had the better right to the crown of the Marathas. The Pratinidhi blinded by his hatred for Bajirao, urged his sovereign to comply. But the Peshwa laughed his rival to scorn and so worked on Shahu's feelings that the king instantly declared war. The Nizam successfully invoked the aid of Sambhaji. The latter joined the Nizam's camp with a large Maratha force and the Nizam flattered himself that he would be able to destroy the power of the Marathas, forcing them into a civil war, which would never, if his efforts availed anything, be ended.
|Painting of Bajirao- at Parvati temple|
It is worth noting here, that the very canons Nizam was planning to defeat Bajirao with, as well as the nature of his army was now becoming an increasing hindrance to his movement. Heavy artillery units, and heavily armored cavalry were becoming too slow to counter the rapid and light maratha cavalry. The Nizams army also included his Zanana, or womenfolk, which would ultimately slow it down. Over and above, this army also contained provisions which were meant to last for the entire duration of the war. This was really taking a toll on the speed with which the Nizam could operate. Thus leaving behind most of the heavy units and artillery behind at Ahmednagar, he marched towards Aurangabad. The Maratha army on the other hand traveled light and lived off the plunder. It gave them a great advantage in terms of speed, making risky and surprising maneuvers at great speed. Not only were they marching at great speed, but they were completely plundering the rich provinces of the Nizam and laying waste his country.
The Palkhed Campaign of 1727-28 in which Baji Rao [I] out-generalled Nizam-ul-Mulk , is a masterpiece of strategic mobilityIt should be worth investigating whether Bajirao had planned the entire campaign from the outset or the campaign took its shape dynamically as it progressed. A detailed study of the same is high on the priority list.
A look at the overall campaign:
It is a tragedy that our so called "liberal and secular" school history books and the education board do not include these victories nor these undefeated generals in their syllabus, making their honour trivial and ultimately leaving an already ignorant population in even greater darkness. This is a small attempt to light a lamp and exterminate that darkness.
 मराठी रियासत खंड ३ (सरदेसाई)
 प्रतापी बाजीराव (म.श्री.दीक्षित)
 मराठ्यांच्या स्वारयांचे मुक्काम ( वि.गो. खोबरेकर)
 Bajirao 1- An Outstanding cavalry general (Col. R.D. Palsokar)
 History of Marathas- Vol 1 (James Grant Duff)
 History of Marathas- Vol 2 (Kincaid, Parasanis)
 Khare Jantri.
 Maps- Google Earth.
 Image- Chinmay A Datar.