Our history has given us many courageous and smart women who redefined the traditional convictions about women in unimaginable ways. Kashibai is one such lady of character who represented the 17th century women. Maratha history cannot forget the name of Kashibai who is often admired and adored for the role that she played in her husband Bajirao’s life.
Maharani Kashibai – Early Life
Kashibai was no commoner. She was born in 1705 AD in an illustrious family that brimmed with riches. Her wealthy father Mahadji Krishna Joshi and her mother Shuibai were well known in the village. Kashibai was the most pampered kid at home and was loved by the family. ‘Laadubai’ as she was fondly called, grew up with her brother Krishnarao Chaskar at their sprawling mansion in Chaskaman, Maharastra.
Maharani Kashibai – Marriage with Peshwa Bajirao
Child marriage was a very common phenomenon in 17th century and Kashibai who was barely 8 years old was married off to the very influential Bhat family scion Bajirao I. It is believed that since Kashibai’s father was well-connected it became easier for him to find a dynamic alliance for his daughter in Bajirao I.
Maharani Kashibai – Life as Peshwa Bajirao’s Wife
Kashibai was an important member in Bajirao’s family. Radhabai -mother of Bajirao treated Kashibai with loads of love and affection. She had a great equation with almost all the family members. Kashibai bore four sons to Bajirao but lost two of her children at different point in her life.
Kashibai was an affectionate wife to Bajirao. Even when Bajirao fell in love with the very beautiful and talented Mastani, Kashibai is said to have accepted her husband’s love toward the Mastani. Kashibai did not react the way her family did when it came to Mastani; however she is believed to be a part of plans chalked out to drive Mastani away from the Peshwa.
Kashibai did not have a say in the official matters but she used to manage Shaniwarwada when her husband used to go on war expeditions.
Maharani Kashibai – Bajirao’s Death
The year 1740 was tough on the Bhat family as Bajirao’s health was on a decline. In the early part of the year Bajirao left to Delhi to realize his ambitions but he met his death in Khargone with Kashibai by his side.
Maharani Kashibai – Mother to Shamsher Bahadur
Another highlight in Kashibai’s life was her amiable and helpful nature. Despite experiencing angst over her husband’s separation due to Mastani, Kashibai mothered Mastani’s son Shamsher who was left orphaned after Bajirao and Mastani’s death.
Kashibai had a big heart to take a six year old toddler Shamsher under her wings and care for him like he is her child.
Kashibai was deeply religious who believed in charitable activities. Historians say that Kashibai often went on pilgrimages along with thousands of people and after one such pilgrimage in Banaras, she requested her brother to build a Shiva temple to which her brother agreed. The temple complex work was started without delay in Chas.
Kashibai – Death, An Aftermath of Third Battle of Panipat
Kashibai seem to have died as an aftermath of Battle of Panipat as it caused death of Balaji Bajirao, Shamsher Bahadur. Third Battle of Panipat also cause significant damage to Maratha Empire, especially in Northern part of India. Kashibai could not come out of the shock.