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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 7, p. 32.


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32 BARODA STATE
Gujarat. Khande Rao was some time afterwards present at the battle
of Balapur, where his troops behaved with great bravery; and it was on
this occasion that one of his officers, Damaji Gaikwar, distinguished
himself so much that he obtained the title of Shamsher Bahadur, or
the 'illustrious swordsman,' a title which has been borne by the
Gaikwars ever since. In I72I Khande Rao and Damaji both died,
the former being succeeded by his son Trimbak Rao, and the latter
by his nephew, Pilaji.
Pilaji Gaikwar, who may be considered as the founder of the present
ruling family, obtained the command of a pdga, and thereafter dis-
tinguished himself by his incursions into Gujarat. But in consequence
of internal dissensions he was obliged to remove to Songarh, and it was
from here that he conducted his future raids. Not only was Songarh,
therefore, the cradle of the Gaikwar house, but it continued to be their
head-quarters till 1766. For several years Pilaji, aided by other
Maratha chiefs, invaded and exacted tribute from the Surat atthadvisi
or 'twenty-eight subdivisions.' In 1723 he marched on Surat itself,
defeated the governor, and from that time began regularly to levy
tribute in Gujarat. Help was afterwards afforded him by the Desais
of Padra, Chhani, and Bhayali, by whose assistance he was enabled to
direct his ravages as far as the Mahi river. In 1725, after establishing
his claim to the districts south of the Mahi-namely, Baroda, Nandod,
Champaner, Broach, and Surat-he returned to his stronghold of
Songarh, while at about the same time his superior, the Senapati,
established himself at Dabhoi, not far from Baroda, making this place,
which had been captured by Pilaji, his regular head-quarters. Reverses
now began to befall the Marathas, and for a time they almost lost the
hold they had gained over Gujarat. Pilaji himself was forced to fly to
Cambay, and thereafter to Sorath. But the Muhammadan viceroy,
Sarbuland Khan, owing to want of succour from Delhi, rapidly lost
ground in his turn, and was obliged to cede to Pilaji a share in the
chautl of the districts south of the Mahi. On the other hand, as Pilaji
was the agent of the Peshwa's rival the Senapati, the Peshwa directed
his own adherent, the Ponwar, to drive Pilaji out. Sarbuland Khan
now came to terms with Peshwa Baji Rao, and promised him the
chautl and sardeshmukhi (an additional tenth), on condition that the
Peshwa should support him against Pilaji and other Maratha leaders.
Notwithstanding this, in 1727 Pilaji succeeded in capturing both
Baroda and Dabhoi. The next event that happened was that Sarbu-
land Khan's grants to the Peshwa were not ratified at the Delhi court,
and he was replaced as viceroy in 1730 by Abhai Singh, Raja of
Jodhpur. As soon as the latter was in power, Baji Rao concerted with
him to oppose Pilaji, and, if possible, to turn him out of Baroda. For
this purpose the Peshwa advanced to lay siege to that town in 1731,



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