Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Jai Jagannatha by Marathas

In 1692 A.D. Aurangzeb the Moghul Emperor issued an order to destroy the temple of Lord Jagannath. At that time Divyasingha Deva was the king of Khurda. Ekram Khan was the Nawab of Orissa who waged this invasion on the temple with the help of his brother Mastram Khan. The Nawab entered the temple and climbed to the - golden throne of Jagannath. The treasure of the temple was looted. The King was unable to face the invader hidden in an unknown place. Lord Jagannath was hidden behind the‘Bimala Temple’ in the precinct of the Srimandir. The triad were shifted one after another to ‘Maa Bhagabati Temple’ at Gadakokal located at Brahmagiri block. As per records of the‘Madalapanji’ the Bije- pratima (Representatives of Lords) were transferred to Gadakokal. Then the deities were shifted to Bada Hantuada in Banpur across the Chilika Lake. The deities were returned to Puri in 1699 A.D. This was the sixteenth invasion on the temple of Lord Jagannath . Muhammad Taqi Khan became Naib Nazim (Deputy Subedar) of Orissa from A.D.1727 to 1734. During his time he invaded the temple of Jagannath for two times in 1731 A.D. and 1733 A.D. He invaded the temple with iconoclastic zeal. He invaded to demolish the temple, desecrate the God and plundered its treasure. So the servitors removed the idols to Hariswar in Banpur, Chikili in Khalikote,Rumagarh in Kodala, Athagada in Ganjam and finally to Marda of Kodala. Kodala located in Athagada region considered as a safe place for the idols as this place was under the rule of Nizam of Hyderabad and not of Moghuls. Marda itself was situated inside a dense forest and hills. So the place was invincible for the invaders. The ruler of Athagada Jagannath Harichandan Jagadev had strong family relation with the Gajapati rulers of Khurda. The idols were kept at Marda from 29.12.1733 to 31.12.1736. At Marda a beautiful temple was hastily constructed and arrangement was made for all the rituals of Lord Jagannath. Even it is believed that the Rath Yatra was held here with full vigour.   

Photo Gallery of Lord Jagannath Temple Puri, Old Photos of Puri ...

The Expeditions in Bengal was taken by the Maratha Empire after the successful campaign in Carnatic at the Battle of Trichinopoly. The leader of the expedition was Maratha Raghuji Bhonsle of Nagpur.  Over a period of 10 years, Alivardy Khan came under repeated attack from Raghuji Bhosale’s armies. Finally, in 1751, the Nawab of Bengal agreed to give away the territory of Orissa to Nagpur, as well as the annual chauth of 12 lakh rupees from Bengal.It was from this point that the temple of Jagannath in Puri came within the administrative purview of the Marathas.  The  King  Birakishore  Deva  was frightened with the Maratha Bargis. So Maratha Dewan Bahadur Khan wrote a letter to the King in 1752 A.D. with the assurance that no invasion would be launched on the Jagannath temple during the  Maratha  rule.  The  servitors  should  continue worship of the deities as usual without fear. It was the  direction  of  the  Maratha  Dewan  to  King Birakishore Deva. 
Maratha Invasion Of Bengal Post Shivaji: An Underlying Truth | UnBumf
 The first two Governors under Marathas were  MuslimsIn  1760Sheo  Bhatt  Sathe became the first Maratha Subahdar till 1764. When  the  Marathas  under  Sheo  Bhatt assumed  direct  administration  of  Odisha, Jagannath   Narayan   Dev,   the   Raja   of Parlakhemundi  of  Odisha  claimed  to  be  the legitimate  descendent  of  Imperial  Gangas. Birakeshari sought the assistance of the Marathas to drive out the invader and promised to pay them rupees  one  lakh  for  such  assistance.  But Birakeshari failed to pay the stipulated sum and instead,  gave  four  mahals  or  parganas to  the Marathas. He not only lost four parganas but also  the  control  over  the  management  of  the Jagannath  temple,  situated  in  one  of  such parganas. As Mr. Kulke has stated “The Rajas of Khurda  seem  to  have  retained  only  a  nominal position  as  Gajapatis  in  the  Jagannath  cult  the  control  over  the  Jagannath  cult  had  passed completely  into  the  hands  of  group  of  temple administrators  which  were  appointed  by  the Marathas”. 
As the Maratha rulers were Hindus, they guarded  the  interests  of  the  temple. During  the Maratha  rule the  temple administration  was  supervised  under  the direction of the Raja of Khurda. The sources of  income  of  the  temple  were  the  revenue collected from the "Satais Hazari Mahal" town duties and the sale of the Lord's sacred food Mahaprasad. The Satais Hazari Mahal- a vast area  of  landed  property  was  donated  by Raghuji  Bhonsle  of  Nagpur  in  order  to  meet day-to-day expenditure of Lord Jagannath. In the  beginning  the  financial  management  was very  satisfactory. But with the passage of time, the revenue from the Satais Hazari Mahal was not collected in proper way. The Parichhas in that period were engaged in corrupt practice and  had  earned    money  in  illegal  way.  No proper account was kept in the temple office in this regard. So Maratha Govt. was providing extra  amount  for  proper  management  of Jagannath temple because of insincerity of the Parichhas at the time of the Maratha rule. The management  of  the  Jagannath  temple  was vested  on  the  hands  of  Parichhas.  MarathaGovt. gave appointment four Parichhas with specific  duties  for  the  better  management  of Jagannath  templeFirst  and  third  Parichhas were the Marathas and the second one was theman of local. He was called Jagannath Rajguru and also holding the right for the post of Deula ParichhaThe  third  Parichha  was  known  as Satais Hazari Parichha. His duty was to collect revenue  from  the  Satais  Hazari  Mahals.  The king of Daspalla supplied the log to Maratha Govt. Free of cost for  the construction of chariots. So the king of Daspalla was exemptedfrom paying any tribute to Maratha Govt. The Parichhas  became  corrupted  as  a  result  the Maratha Govt. had to pay additional amount to  meet  the  deficiency  that  occurred  in  the temple  treasuryThe  Maratha  Government  recouped  the  money spent on the temple by continuing the pilgrim tax,which  was  imposed  by  the  Muslims. The  Maratha  Govt.  also imposed a tax on Parichhas in order to makeup the loss. 
Old Jagannath Temple | Lord Jagannath

During  the  time  of  Maratha Subahadar  Rajaram  Pandit  (1778-1793), Birakeshari Dev became mad and murdered four of  his  sons.  The  Subahdar  imprisoned  him  in Barabati  fort  at  CuttackHis  son  Dibyasingha Dev-II was made Raja of Khurda on the condition that  an  annual  tribute  to  the  tune  of  rupees  would be paid to the Marathas by him. During the time of Birakeshari many new temples were constructed and old ones renovated in the State. The Jagannath temple was again lime-plastered.  The  Ratnavedi  of  the  temple  was renovated. A small statute of Birakeshari is found in  the  front  side  wall  of  the  Ratnavedi.  Also  has been inscribed there.