The Maharastrian Connection

The purpose of this page is to enable the reader to experience the association of the Purniahs with the history of the Arni Jagir, which was first granted by Shahjee (the great Mahratta leader ) in 1640 and later "confirmed" by Shivaji, his son.  The "Maharastrian Connection" with Bangalore and Mysore dates back to 1637 when the Bijapur forces captured Bangalore from the successors of Kempa Gowda, the first founder of Bangalore.( Note: Kempa Gowda 1 founded Bangalore in 1537.He died in 1569). Shahjee was the second in command of the Bijapur army and for his great valor was awarded Bangalore as a gift from the Sultan of Bijapur by "removing" it from  Kempe Gowda II.   It was during this period that a large number of Maharastrian Brahmins came into the state for its administration and government. It also became a centre for Maratha activities which included Art and Literature. Shahjee died in 1664, at the age of 70 (1594-1664) after a fall from a horse.Venkaji ( Shahjee's other son ) inherited Bangalore as a part of his patrimony.

While Shahjee was in Bangalore, he sent for Shivaji (b 1627- 1680) with the aim of him joining the Bijapur forces,. Hence he was no stranger to Bangalore when his father died, as he had lived there from 1640 to 1642. Whilst in Bangalore his marriage to Saibai Nimbalkar was arranged and he was given the Jagir of Poona to which he returned and set up a strategy to revolt against the Bijapur Sultanate, his purpose being to set up the Maratha Empire inclusive of Bangalore,  though it belonged to his younger (step) brother who was still loyal to Bijapur. At this time Venkaji led an expedition to Tanjore on behalf of Bijapur and crowned himself its ruler while at the same time shifting his capital from Bangalore to Tanjore. When Venkaji started negotiating the sale of Bangalore to the Mysore Ruler, Shivaji was enraged and tried to negotiate with Venkaji. Shivaji had no choice than to lead an expedition in 1677 and captured all the areas belonging to Venkaji including Bangalore and Tanjore. However Shivaji in his magnanimity restored Tanjore to Venkaji and Bangalore, by a Treaty, was handed over to Venkaji's wife with the proviso that she will ensure that Shahjee's samadhi was well tended. In 1680 Shivaji died.

Aurangazeb was now on the throne in Delhi and  following this  a decade of problems beset the Maratha Kingdom, most of them resulting in bitter quarrels and grabbing of territories in the Carnatic. The Moghul armies moved South and  both the kingdoms of Bijapur and Golonda fell in 1685 1nd 1687 respectively. This when the Moghul armies marched on Bangalore, the city fell. Venkaji died in 1688. Sambhaji, Shivaji's  son and successor to the Maratha Kingdom tried to continue the struggle against the Moghuls, but Sambhaji was captured by Aurangazeb, tortured and died in 1689. Thus were the Maratha ambitions for getting back Bangalore crushed.

Later, in 1690, the Moghuls sold Bangalore and the surrounding areas to the ruler of Mysore, Chikka Deva Raja Wodiyar.

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