The Fascinating Story Of ‘The Mahrattas Of Deccan’ Who Took Over Nellore In 1757!


The historical years from 1500-1800 CE have seen nothing but wars. These years exhibited the dominance of various dynasties and various kings. One of the interesting accounts come from the Maharatta invasions in South India. These invasions stretched as far as Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. In case of Andhra, we have a candid account coming from Nellore. In the year of 1758, Nellore district was found in the hands of a successful rebel, who could not be chastised owing to the pre-occupations of the Nawab. It was then when the Maharattas under the ruler ship of Balwant Rao decided to act as the Nawab.

But did Balwant Rao really bring a blessing to the land? He increased the tax sum for the poligars and asked them to pay the amount for the remaining previous six years as well. Balvant Rao had already captured Cudappah in 1757, eventually moved to Nellore. He divided his troops into three sections, one of which was despatched against the poligar of Bomraz, and another at Venkatagiri and Kalahasti. Balwant Rao himself showed up as the head of the third troop on the gates of Nellore.

Interesting case is that of Nazibullah who was the rebel governor of Nellore, the brother of Mohammed Ali who kept waiting for a right opportunity to bring the ruler of Nellore into his command. He even proceeded to strike a deal with Balwant Rao. The results of the deal are not clearly known or weather, Maharattas succeeded in taking control of not, because soon after the Maharatta invasion, there are reports of Nellore forever being lost to the French and was by a bloody battle by the English.

During the period of Nazibullah, Nellore had been friends with the French and he had helped the establishment of the French powers of Venkatagiri and Tirupati, all the way up till Pondicherry. So what happens to the Maharattas in all these? Where did they end up? The Nazibullah kept buying the British regime just like he did with the French. The French lost a lot of power in coastal Andhra and Chennai. The Maharattas on the other hand took the possession of Tirupati and summoned three poligars to pay them tribute under the ruler ship of Gopal Rao.
The Maharattas period eclipsed in Nellore within a period of less than a year, but in Tirupati and Cudappah they ended up staying for a longer time. Considering the circumstances and the amount of money required for the war, required more taxation and more levy on goods.

No matter who ruled the life for a common man never changed. Such is the case in today’s India.


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