Fort's StoryThe story of Fort Jadhavgadh has to start from a man who himself was as strong in mind and body as the stone structure he envisioned to create. The man named Pilaji Jadhavrao who not only rose to fame as the Maratha general in the army of Chhatrapati Shahuji, but also proved his mettle each and every time someone dared to challenge the supremacy of the Maratha ruler.
In 1707, Chhatrapati Shahuji, the grandson of the great Chhatrapati Shivaji, was released after 21 years of imprisonment by the Mughal ruler Shahjahan.
These were troubled times in Maratha region.
The Mughals still held on to the control of area but were soon loosing grounds after the death of Aurangzeb. Queen Tarabai, the widow of Rajaram, Shivaji's second son was also finding it difficult to proclaim her rise to the throne as the Mughals had made it clear that Shahuji was the true Maratha leader.
It was during this time that Shahuji thought of a comprehensive plan. His ultimate goal was to bring back the lost glory of the Maratha empire and recapture the region from the Mughals. He was also an excellent judge of characters. Therefore, he appointed a select group of men whose loyalty was undeniable, to spread far and wide across the terrain and recharge the quiescent emotions of the people. The final aim – reunite the forces and fight against the Mughals as well as anyone else who dared to seize power from him.
It was this select group of men of honor that Pilaji Jadhavrao was a part of. With a keen focus on the mission assigned to him, Pilaji lost no time in gathering able men across Jadhavgadhi and Saswad area and train them to fight for the victory of Marathas. Power of the mind or the sword, whichever instrument seemed more befitting for use at a particular situation, Pilaji used most assuredly. His stories of valor and the way he could use the sword are still spoken about.
It was indeed through the heroic efforts of men like Pilaji Jadhavrao that Chhatrapati Shahuji finally sat on the throne and later governed with the help of his loyal Peshwas.
Pilaji Jadhvrao breathed his last in 1784 after leading a long and fulfilling life of a true patriot, serving the Marathas and 3 generation of Peshwas.