Team-BHP > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 29th April 2020, 11:34   #16
BHPian
 
RedTerrano's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Pune
Posts: 187
Thanked: 1,150 Times
Default re: Varsai to Kashi on foot : 1857-59

Beginning of the end

During their journey, the Godses encountered numerous people, either on the way, or in villages where they halted.
One such person they met, was a Brahmin from Gwalior, whom they ran into in a Vishnu temple. He updated the Godses, about the events in Gwalior.

After the Indian army had been routed at Kalpi, Tatya Tope and the Laxmibai, made a beeline for Gwalior. Setting up camp at the Morar cantonment, a messenger, demanding 4 lakh rupees for expenses, was dispatched to the Scindias, accompanied by a threat of battle, if their demand was not met. The prime minister of the Scindia, Dinkar Rao Rajwad, replied with their decision.
Battle.

Varsai to Kashi on foot : 1857-59-dinkar-rawji.png
Dinkar Rao Rajwade

Troops, cannons, horses, and elephants rolled out and lined up.
Jayajirao Scindia and Dinkar Rao took up command.
When the Scindia troops realised whom there were going to fight, they flatly refused.
Tatya Tope is the General of the Peshwa's Army. The Peshwas might have been banished to Bithoor, but they still represent the Royal Seat of the Bhonsale. We will not fight against the Chhatrapati's army. We still consider them to be our Lord and masters.
Saying this, they sheathed their weapons.
Enraged Jayajirao and Dinkar Rao got down from their horses. The cannons had already been lined up. They snatched the torches and one by one, ignited all the fuses. But the Scindia troops had stuffed the cannons with sacks full of Bajra instead of gunpowder. The lit fuses fizzled out and died. The cannons remained silent.
Realising they had lost control, and they had a mutiny on their hands, Jayajirao, Dinkar Rao, mounted their horses, and accompanied by a handful of loyalists, raced towards the British in Agra.
Drums and trumpets were sounded. The battle had ended even before it began.
Tatya Tope and Rani Laxmibai merged the troops and marched towards the fort.

Spending the night in a garden outside the walls, in the morning they discussed their entry into the fort. Jayajirao might have fled. His troops might have joined them. But there was a high possibility, there were loyalists still present inside the fort. Tatya advising her caution, the Rani accompanied by two hundred armed bodyguard entered the fort. Firing in the air along the way to establish their dominance, they entered the fort and proceeded towards the Scindia palace. Further enquiries revealed, the back side of the palace housed the royal quarters of Baijabai Shinde. The Rani gave strict instructions against entering that section. A messenger was dispatched to Baijabai, who was currently not in residence, updating her about these developments. Having taken over rest of the palace, a second messenger was dispatched to Tatya indicating the all clear. Then Tatya rode in with rest of the army.
Gwalior now flew the flag of the Maratha empire.

Two days were spent assuring the general populace of safety and reopening the shops. Civilians returned to their normal life.
The administrators and clerks of the Scindia government were questioned. The treasury was opened and the contents tallied with the account books.
Gold, silver, pearls, jewels, diamonds, all were appropriated.

So far so good. But Tatya and the Rani dared not rest on their laurels.
They were quite aware, where Jayajirao Scindia had fled, and why.
Gwalior had been pro British and they certainly would not take it's loss lying down. One day or the other, they would come to Gwalior, all guns blazing.
Tatya and the Rani had an army, but not in sufficient numbers. Considering everything, taking refuge in the forest made the best sense.
But the Army cannot march on an empty stomach. Food and shelter needed to be arranged. Also, the soldiers needed to be paid their salary on a regular basis.

To generate the required cash, they organised an auction of all the valuables in the Scindia palace.
All valuables from the Scindia palace were dragged out and auctioned off.

They got 18 days to rest, resupply, reorganise and plan.
By then, the British forces from Agra, accompanied by Jayajirao and Dinkar Rao, had reached Gwalior and had opened fire on the Morar cantonment.
Quickly mounting their horses, Tatya and Laxmibai led their troops into battle.
During the skirmish, the Rani got shot.
Undeterred, she continued fighting, sword in her hand.
Dust, heat and screams filled the surroundings.
There was much valour and bravery on display.
No quarter was sought, nor given.
And suddenly, a sword glistened high in the sunlight. Swinging down with force, it cleaved the Rani's thigh in two.
Already weakened by blood loss caused by the bullet wound, she died on the spot.

Name:  Rani fell here.jpg
Views: 1483
Size:  102.6 KB
Most probably, the Rani was killed at this spot

Riderless, her horse buckled.
Tatya rushed his horse forward and caught the Rani's dead body. His personal bodyguard were right behind him.
Together they hacked their way out of the melee, and carried her away from the battle.
Seeing their leaders ride away, the troops panicked and fled. Most were followed and cut down.
Tatya's army had been utterly routed.

Tatya and the bodyguards, carried the Rani some safe distance away.
There they assembled wood for a pyre and performed her last rights.

Name:  Rani creamted here.jpg
Views: 1464
Size:  124.3 KB
The Rani was cremated on this spot

Thus died the Rani of Jhansi.
And with her, died the rebellion.
Tatya didn't know it then, but for all intents and purposes, the first war of independence had practically ended.
It was all over.

सिंहासन हिल उठे राजवंशों ने भृकुटी तानी थी,
बूढ़े भारत में आई फिर से नयी जवानी थी,
गुमी हुई आज़ादी की कीमत सबने पहचानी थी,
दूर फिरंगी को करने की सबने मन में ठानी थी।
चमक उठी सन सत्तावन में, वह तलवार पुरानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

कानपूर के नाना की, मुँहबोली बहन छबीली थी,
लक्ष्मीबाई नाम, पिता की वह संतान अकेली थी,
नाना के सँग पढ़ती थी वह, नाना के सँग खेली थी,
बरछी ढाल, कृपाण, कटारी उसकी यही सहेली थी।
वीर शिवाजी की गाथायें उसकी याद ज़बानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

लक्ष्मी थी या दुर्गा थी वह स्वयं वीरता की अवतार,
देख मराठे पुलकित होते उसकी तलवारों के वार,
नकली युद्ध-व्यूह की रचना और खेलना खूब शिकार,
सैन्य घेरना, दुर्ग तोड़ना ये थे उसके प्रिय खिलवार।
महाराष्टर-कुल-देवी उसकी भी आराध्य भवानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

हुई वीरता की वैभव के साथ सगाई झाँसी में,
ब्याह हुआ रानी बन आई लक्ष्मीबाई झाँसी में,
राजमहल में बजी बधाई खुशियाँ छाई झाँसी में,
चित्रा ने अर्जुन को पाया, शिव से मिली भवानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

उदित हुआ सौभाग्य, मुदित महलों में उजियाली छाई,
किंतु कालगति चुपके-चुपके काली घटा घेर लाई,
तीर चलाने वाले कर में उसे चूड़ियाँ कब भाई,
रानी विधवा हुई, हाय! विधि को भी नहीं दया आई।
निसंतान मरे राजाजी रानी शोक-समानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

बुझा दीप झाँसी का तब डलहौज़ी मन में हरषाया,
राज्य हड़प करने का उसने यह अच्छा अवसर पाया,
फ़ौरन फौजें भेज दुर्ग पर अपना झंडा फहराया,
लावारिस का वारिस बनकर ब्रिटिश राज्य झाँसी आया।
अश्रुपूर्णा रानी ने देखा झाँसी हुई बिरानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

अनुनय विनय नहीं सुनती है, विकट शासकों की माया,
व्यापारी बन दया चाहता था जब यह भारत आया,
डलहौज़ी ने पैर पसारे, अब तो पलट गई काया,
राजाओं नव्वाबों को भी उसने पैरों ठुकराया।
रानी दासी बनी, बनी यह दासी अब महरानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

छिनी राजधानी दिल्ली की, लखनऊ छीना बातों-बात,
कैद पेशवा था बिठुर में, हुआ नागपुर का भी घात,
उदैपुर, तंजौर, सतारा, करनाटक की कौन बिसात?
जबकि सिंध, पंजाब ब्रह्म पर अभी हुआ था वज्र-निपात।
बंगाले, मद्रास आदि की भी तो वही कहानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

रानी रोयीं रिनवासों में, बेगम ग़म से थीं बेज़ार,
उनके गहने कपड़े बिकते थे कलकत्ते के बाज़ार,
सरे आम नीलाम छापते थे अंग्रेज़ों के अखबार,
'नागपूर के ज़ेवर ले लो लखनऊ के लो नौलख हार'।
यों परदे की इज़्ज़त परदेशी के हाथ बिकानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

कुटियों में भी विषम वेदना, महलों में आहत अपमान,
वीर सैनिकों के मन में था अपने पुरखों का अभिमान,
नाना धुंधूपंत पेशवा जुटा रहा था सब सामान,
बहिन छबीली ने रण-चण्डी का कर दिया प्रकट आहवान।
हुआ यज्ञ प्रारम्भ उन्हें तो सोई ज्योति जगानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

महलों ने दी आग, झोंपड़ी ने ज्वाला सुलगाई थी,
यह स्वतंत्रता की चिनगारी अंतरतम से आई थी,
झाँसी चेती, दिल्ली चेती, लखनऊ लपटें छाई थी,
मेरठ, कानपूर, पटना ने भारी धूम मचाई थी,
जबलपूर, कोल्हापूर में भी कुछ हलचल उकसानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

इस स्वतंत्रता महायज्ञ में कई वीरवर आए काम,
नाना धुंधूपंत, ताँतिया, चतुर अज़ीमुल्ला सरनाम,
अहमदशाह मौलवी, ठाकुर कुँवरसिंह सैनिक अभिराम,
भारत के इतिहास गगन में अमर रहेंगे जिनके नाम।
लेकिन आज जुर्म कहलाती उनकी जो कुरबानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

इनकी गाथा छोड़, चले हम झाँसी के मैदानों में,
जहाँ खड़ी है लक्ष्मीबाई मर्द बनी मर्दानों में,
लेफ्टिनेंट वाकर आ पहुँचा, आगे बड़ा जवानों में,
रानी ने तलवार खींच ली, हुया द्वन्द्ध असमानों में।
ज़ख्मी होकर वाकर भागा, उसे अजब हैरानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

रानी बढ़ी कालपी आई, कर सौ मील निरंतर पार,
घोड़ा थक कर गिरा भूमि पर गया स्वर्ग तत्काल सिधार,
यमुना तट पर अंग्रेज़ों ने फिर खाई रानी से हार,
विजयी रानी आगे चल दी, किया ग्वालियर पर अधिकार।
अंग्रेज़ों के मित्र सिंधिया ने छोड़ी रजधानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

विजय मिली, पर अंग्रेज़ों की फिर सेना घिर आई थी,
अबके जनरल स्मिथ सम्मुख था, उसने मुहँ की खाई थी,
काना और मंदरा सखियाँ रानी के संग आई थी,
युद्ध श्रेत्र में उन दोनों ने भारी मार मचाई थी।
पर पीछे ह्यूरोज़ आ गया, हाय! घिरी अब रानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।


तो भी रानी मार काट कर चलती बनी सैन्य के पार,
किन्तु सामने नाला आया, था वह संकट विषम अपार,
घोड़ा अड़ा, नया घोड़ा था, इतने में आ गये अवार,
रानी एक, शत्रु बहुतेरे, होने लगे वार-पर-वार।
घायल होकर गिरी सिंहनी उसे वीर गति पानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

रानी गई सिधार चिता अब उसकी दिव्य सवारी थी,
मिला तेज से तेज, तेज की वह सच्ची अधिकारी थी,
अभी उम्र कुल तेइस की थी, मनुज नहीं अवतारी थी,
हमको जीवित करने आयी बन स्वतंत्रता-नारी थी,
दिखा गई पथ, सिखा गई हमको जो सीख सिखानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

जाओ रानी याद रखेंगे ये कृतज्ञ भारतवासी,
यह तेरा बलिदान जगावेगा स्वतंत्रता अविनासी,
होवे चुप इतिहास, लगे सच्चाई को चाहे फाँसी,
हो मदमाती विजय, मिटा दे गोलों से चाहे झाँसी।
तेरा स्मारक तू ही होगी, तू खुद अमिट निशानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

~सुभद्रा कुमारी चौहान



Name:  Rani of Jhansi Samadhi.jpg
Views: 1432
Size:  78.3 KB
Rani Laxmibai Samadhi, Gwalior

Last edited by RedTerrano : 30th April 2020 at 18:46.
RedTerrano is offline   (18) Thanks
Old 29th April 2020, 16:11   #17
BHPian
 
RedTerrano's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Pune
Posts: 187
Thanked: 1,150 Times
Default re: Varsai to Kashi on foot : 1857-59

Teertha yatra

The Godses stayed in Brahmavart till the end of Kartik month.
During their stay, uncle and nephew reminisced their adventures since they had left home. They still shuddered when they recollected all the close calls they had.
They eventually realised one thing. Whenever they earned enough money to pay off their loans, fate intervened and they lost it all.
On the other hand, they had been saved from being shot.
Twice.
And once from the hangman's noose.
Was this God's way of telling them, they were running behind the wrong goal?
The more they thought about it, the more they believed it to be true.
They were up north, far away from home.
Perhaps God was telling them, they shouldn't be earning money, but punya.

Thanking God for pointing them in the right direction, they decided on their next destination.
Kashi.
They would go on a teertha yatra and then return home.

They had managed to earn enough Dakshina to reach Kashi.
The made enquiries and joined a group of around 30 Brahmins, and set off from Brahmavart.

They reached Lucknow, via Kanpur.
At holy dip in the Gomti river and they moved on.
The halted at Misrikh to take darshan at the ashram founded by Maharishi Dadhich.
Completing penance at Pandavteerth, Ramteerth, Hatyaharanteerth, they finally reached Ayodhya.

Next day was Ram Navami.
Prabhu Shree Ram's birthday!
An early holy dip in the Sharayu and the Godses took darshan
Then they went to Hanmantgadhi, a small hillock south of Ayodhya. Vishnubhat describes the Hanuman temple on top, and mentions the presence of lot of monkeys near it!

Returning back to Ayodhya, they took another holy dip in the Sharayu, and queued up with thousands of others, to take darshan at the place where Prabhu Shree Ram was born. Everyone carried the customary offering of tulsi and betel nuts in their hand.
The next day, they visited Swargdwar to offer a water Abhishek at the Nageshwar temple.
As per the norms, they had officially completed their teertha at Ayodhya.

After staying in Ayodhya for 22 days, they resumed their journey and eventually reached Kashi.
They stayed a few days in Kashi, taking darshan at as many of the numerous temples as possible.
Eventually they started off once again and reached Prayag.

Varsai to Kashi on foot : 1857-59-brahmavart-prayag.png
Brahmavart - Kanpur - Lucknow - Ayodhya - Kashi - Prayag

Last edited by RedTerrano : 30th April 2020 at 18:51.
RedTerrano is offline   (12) Thanks
Old 29th April 2020, 18:16   #18
BHPian
 
RedTerrano's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Pune
Posts: 187
Thanked: 1,150 Times
Default re: Varsai to Kashi on foot : 1857-59

Home sweet home !

Vishnubhat had already reconciled with the fact, that he was not destined to earn enough money to pay off the loans. What he could not accept, was returning home empty handed. He had been away from his family for a long time now. Surely all their efforts should mean something?
Thats when he decided, he would carry back a Ganga Kavad

Upon hearing this his uncle grew agitated. He reminded Vishnubhat, the Kavad yatra was serious business. They person carrying it, needs to walk with bare feet, head uncovered. Once you set off, it is a grave sin to not complete the journey. Hadn't they experienced enough problems, and been robbed multiple times? Was Vishnubhat really sure he wanted to risk it?

But Vishnubhat was adamant.
So they looked up an auspicious muhurta , filled up the Kavad and started on their way back.

The going was tough.
The shoulders ached, the feet hurt.
Undeterred, he pushed on.
Many a times, Rambhat would be sitting in the bullock cart they were accompanying, and it would move on and disappear in the distance, while Vishnubhat followed at a slow pace.

Travelling over many days they eventually reached Gwalior.
Remembering his promise to Keshavbhat Mandgavne in Jhansi, while Rambhat rested, Vishnubhat travelled alone to Jhansi and back. Seeing Vishnubhat once again, Keshavbhat was overjoyed.

They resumed their journey from Gwalior and reached Hoshangabad, via Jhansi and Sagar.
Hoshangabad had recently been declared a district, and they were detained and presented in front of the resident British officer.
The usual explanations were given. They were poor Brahmin pilgrims returning home to Varsai near Pen in Maharashtra. In fact they were British subjects.
Fortunately this was readily accepted. The British officer, had worked in Thane before being posted here, and was well aware of the Pen region. A few casual questions to confirm their story and they were free to go. Before they departed, the officer handed them a piece of paper with official seals, stamps and his signature. This was a certificate, he explained. It would help them clear any British check posts, they might encounter. Thanking him, they moved out.

Travelling via Indore, the finally reached the Satpuda range. On the other side, lay the Deccan. They were on the verge of exiting central India.
They crossed over, and travelling via Dhule and Malegaon, reached Nashik.
A halt for a few days to rest and darshan at Trimbakeshwar.
The moved on, and travelling via Pune and Khalapur, they finally entered Varsai around four in the afternoon.

They had made it!
After being away for almost three years, they were back home!

On entering Varsai, the first family member Vishnubhat saw was his mother, who was coming out of the Ganpati temple. He called out to her, put down the Kavad gently and ran to touch her feet. Mother and son hugged each other and cried and cried.
By now a crowd had gathered and everyone was excited to see Vishnubhat and Rambhat return safe and sound after all these years. Rambhat told his nephew, the correct thing to do would be to carry the Ganga Kavad to the Vaijanath temple in the village. Vishnubhat complied with his instructions and from there, they went home.
Seeing him back, everyone was overjoyed.
Entering the house, Vishnubhat fell to his fathers feet, who lifted him up and embraced him for a long long time.

Vishnubhat Godse Varsaikar ends his narration here with a blessing for the reader.
।। शुभं भवतु ।।

Varsai to Kashi on foot : 1857-59-prayag-varsai.png
Prayag - Gwalior - Jhansi - Sagar - Hoshangabad - Indore - Dhule - Malegaon -Nashik - Pune - Khalapur - Varsai

The detailed travel route, beginning to end.
Varsai -Khopoli - Pune - Wagholi - Nagar - Malegaon - Dhule - Karvand Bari - Mahu - Indore - Ujjain - Sarangpur - Gwalior - Jhansi - Kalpi - Brahmavart - Chitrakoot - Banda - Brahmavart - Kanpur - Lucknow - Ayodhya - Kashi - Prayag - Gwalior - Jhansi - Sagar - Hoshangabad - Indore - Dhule - Malegaon - Nashik - Pune - Khalapur - Varsai

Last edited by RedTerrano : 30th April 2020 at 19:15.
RedTerrano is offline   (16) Thanks
Old 29th April 2020, 20:24   #19
BHPian
 
RedTerrano's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Pune
Posts: 187
Thanked: 1,150 Times
Default re: Varsai to Kashi on foot : 1857-59

Epilogue

Vishnubhat's wife was pregnant when he left Varsai. Eventually she delivered a daughter, who passed away after 2 years. From her birth to her death, Vishnubhat was travelling. He never saw his daughter.
This affected him a lot. Considering his failure to earn sufficient money to repay the loans, and the death of his first born, he was convinced, it was God's way of telling him, he should stay away from material trappings.
First due to circumstances, later by choice, Vishnubhat led a very frugal lifestyle till the very end.
He stayed in Varsai till his death, and never ever undertook such an arduous journey again.

After his return, eventually he did become a parent and overall he fathered 10 children. All his children grew up to be scholars. The most illustrious amongst them, was his son, Narharshastri Godse. A renowned Sanskrit scholar, after mastering the Vedas, Narharshastri started two Geetapathsalas in Mumbai . With his intellect, Narharshastri ensured the word poverty was wiped out of the Godse dictionary. Upon hearing about his son's achievements, Vishnubhat expressed tremendous filial pride till his last breath.
Ever the dutiful son, Narharshastri asked his father, how much money should he send per month for expenses. Vishnubhat, demonstrating his frugal attitude once again, answered five rupees.

Vishnubhat has provided future generations, a valuable treasure, by documenting his journey.
In those days this was simply not done. Since his return, almost till his death, everyday, someone or the other would request him for a story. His children, later on their children, friends, family or acquaintances. Everyone used to listen to his narration with rapt attention. Eventually, 23 years after his return, he finally got round to penning the manuscript. I have documented my journey for my descendants, he proclaimed.
This manuscript was obtained by one of his students, and was published for the first time in book form in 1907, intentionally a few years after Vishnubhat's death.

As he grew older, Vishnubhat's detachment to worldly affairs also grew. After his wife passed away, seven years prior to death, he grew more distant and took Sanyas for all practical purposes. Majority of his day was spent in Pooja, vrat and fasting. He could be found more times in some temple than at home. This does not mean he ignored his home and hearth. His discipline was proverbial and all his children obeyed him to the letter. One anecdote regarding Narharshastri is known, who by know had become a successful adult as well as a father. Once he got a severe talking to from Vishnubhat...because he turned up late for lunch !! Ever the devoting son, he apologised for the mistake and vowed it would not happen again.

Vishnubhat's strict discipline extended only to his children. Grandchildren were absolutely doted upon.
His eldest grandson, fell severely ill. Medicines available as per those times were administered. The child's health continued to deteriorate. One morning, the child's mother realising, this was turning very serious, panicked. Vishnubhat, as per his habit, was at the temple. She ran to him, and informed about his grandson's condition. Vishnubhat returned home with his daughter in law, and to her surprise, instead of going to the sick child, he went to the altar. He sat down, and argued with the Gods.
How dared they, he thundered. Hadn't he done enough for them? Hadn't he given up all moh maya and continued on the path of God? Over the years, he had religiously followed all vrat and fasts. He had never missed a single Pooja. Then how come the Gods stood by and watched this happen to my grandson who is still a mere child? Don't you dare take him before me. I have accumulated more than enough punya in my lifetime, to let that happen.

Once done, he took some haldi kumkum, entered the child's room and handed it to his daughter in law, instructing her to apply it to his grandson's forehead. It was as if he had passed on all his piety to his grandson in that haldi kumkum. As he came out of the room, he felt immensely drained out and lay down on his bed to rest.
From that time onwards, the child started to recover, but Vishnubhat's condition began to deterioriate. Sensing the end was near, wishing to spare the child the trauma, he ordered him to be sent to his maternal grandparents. Conscious till the last moment, Vishnubhat continued to stare intently at a spot in front of him. With a prayer on his lips as always, one day he passed away.

Vishnubhat is long gone.
But his story still survives to this day.

Last edited by RedTerrano : 30th April 2020 at 19:04.
RedTerrano is offline   (29) Thanks
Old 1st May 2020, 08:27   #20
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 57,381
Thanked: 160,677 Times
Default Re: Varsai to Kashi on foot : 1857-59

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
GTO is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 1st May 2020, 10:42   #21
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 206
Thanked: 635 Times
Default Re: Varsai to Kashi on foot : 1857-59

Thank you Red Terrano for bringing this gem of an account to us. I feel blessed to have started my day with this tale of devotion and courage. As a history buff this truly was an epic read and one that I will never forget. Thank you again for this rare find and the immense effort you have put in to bring this tale alive.
Iyencar is offline   (5) Thanks
Old 1st May 2020, 10:53   #22
Senior - BHPian
 
rrsteer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: 144022
Posts: 1,070
Thanked: 1,509 Times
Default Re: Varsai to Kashi on foot : 1857-59

I have just started reading the thread. But what a gigantic distraction. I know I am going to put aside everything to read the thread completely, and take me back to those times. Immensely grateful for sharing it.

I just started reading, and wanted to clarify the statements, I have highlighted in bold. What is Vishnubhat's relation to Keshavbhat? I am sorry if they are clarified later on the thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTerrano View Post
Preparation and setting off

Years passed.
There were new additions to Keshavbhat's family now.
In 1827, his wife Radhabai, gave birth to a son, whom they named Vishnubhat, eventually followed by Haripant, Dhondbhat and Krushnabai.
The Godses had never been rich. But during their employment with the Peshwas they had lived a decent life, with their basic needs met.
Life at Varsai was a bit harder.
With their traditional vocation of priesthood, supplemented by some rice produce from their family farms, they managed to pull on.
Around the time Vishnubhat was 10, his uncle Keshavbhat passed away in Bithoor, and Rambhat returned, married and settled in Varsai.
The Godses had always been a joint family, but Rambhat took up residence with his wife and son in a separate house. Inspite of the physically separated households, both patriarchs and their families enjoyed excellent relations with each other.
rrsteer is offline   (3) Thanks
Old 1st May 2020, 11:00   #23
BHPian
 
RedTerrano's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Pune
Posts: 187
Thanked: 1,150 Times
Default Re: Varsai to Kashi on foot : 1857-59

Quote:
Originally Posted by rrsteer View Post
I have just started reading the thread. But what a gigantic distraction. I know I am going to put aside everything to read the thread completely, and take me back to those times. Immensely grateful for sharing it.

I just started reading, and wanted to clarify the statements, I have highlighted in bold. What is Vishnubhat's relation to Keshavbhat? I am sorry if they are clarified later on the thread.
Oh bummer!
I have made a snafu.
Thanks for pointing this out.

It should read
There were new additions to Balkrishna's family now.

Balkrishna = father
Keshavbhat = uncle (deceased)
Rambhat = uncle (who accompanied Vishnubhat on his journey)

@Mods could you please edit the relevant section in this (Varsai to Kashi on foot : 1857-59) post?

You are indeed right.
I stand corrected.

Last edited by RedTerrano : 1st May 2020 at 11:09.
RedTerrano is offline   (8) Thanks
Old 1st May 2020, 11:43   #24
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Pune
Posts: 70
Thanked: 155 Times
Default Re: Varsai to Kashi on foot : 1857-59

You did a great job RedTerrano , very proud of you. Thanks for sharing it.
hondafanboy is online now   (2) Thanks
Old 1st May 2020, 11:49   #25
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 2
Thanked: 3 Times
Default Re: Varsai to Kashi on foot : 1857-59

Thank you RedTerrano for taking us through this amazing journey. Not only is it an apt entry in the Team-Bhp Travelogue section, but It also shines a light on the plight of ordinary citizens during turbulent times.
It's also fascinating how the Maratha empire left a lasting mark throughout India.
Kudos to your patience for penning down this tremendous journey and sharing it with everyone.
skendora is offline   (3) Thanks
Old 1st May 2020, 12:37   #26
BHPian
 
2himanshu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Karanja
Posts: 94
Thanked: 523 Times
Default Re: Varsai to Kashi on foot : 1857-59

This is the history, every Indian should be aware of, great job mate! The mutiny is documented from various angles over the years and we should always remember it.

My grandma always said there is much to learn from anybody’s life story and she never missed autobiographies. Kudos to man for documenting his journey in the difficult time. We can’t even imagine that world now.

Again a nice write up!
2himanshu is offline   (4) Thanks
Old 1st May 2020, 12:45   #27
BHPian
 
prithm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: MAA - HYD
Posts: 664
Thanked: 650 Times
Default Re: Varsai to Kashi on foot : 1857-59

I am literally reading every single post and reliving past. What a thread !!

Thanks RedTerrano for taking time out to give us a amazing topic to read.

This one line gives me the same goosebumps just like the time of my Hindi Language class in school. My Hindi teacher made it a point to reserve this poem till the end of the class year (exactly last week before final exam) to help kids get that flair for language and appreciate our glorious Independence struggle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTerrano View Post
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

Last edited by prithm : 1st May 2020 at 12:55.
prithm is online now   (4) Thanks
Old 1st May 2020, 13:48   #28
KMT
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Coorg
Posts: 432
Thanked: 771 Times
Default Re: Varsai to Kashi on foot : 1857-59

RedTerrano, I cant thank you enough for having the patience to share such a wonderful story of our past with us.
This thread couldnt have come at a better time.
KMT is offline   (3) Thanks
Old 1st May 2020, 14:05   #29
Senior - BHPian
 
W.A.G.7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 1,161
Thanked: 927 Times
Default Re: Varsai to Kashi on foot : 1857-59

Wow! That was a massive piece of history and a superb travelogue. I read it in two parts. I am always intrigued by the British Raj and the India that was there, around that time. Thank you for compiling together and preserving such a beautiful piece of history. Back in 1857 it must have been quite an accomplishment to undertake and complete such a journey.

P.S: The pictures are wonderful! Did you source them all from Google, or did you have them somewhere in your collection?
W.A.G.7 is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 1st May 2020, 16:27   #30
BHPian
 
whitewing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 208
Thanked: 222 Times
Default Re: Varsai to Kashi on foot : 1857-59

Tantya Tope, Jansi Laxmibai - only had a few paragraphs in my school history book... these have been brought back to life. Though there was a more detailed one i think with a amar chitra katha, but none having so much detail and personal perspective.

Many thanks for taking the time to compile this !
whitewing is offline   (1) Thanks
Reply

Most Viewed
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks