Full Name: Baji Prabhu Deshpande
Born/Died: 1615 - 1660
Weapon Speciality: Danda Patta
Notable Battles: Pavan Khind 1660
Baji Prabhu Deshpande was a commander in the army of Chhatrapati Shivaji under the Marathas. Although he was born into a Brahmin CKP (Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu) family the Marathas tended to promote on the basis of merit, rather than birth. He rose to become a great Kshatriya and mastered the art of the Danda Patta (Gauntlet Sword in English). The Danda Patta was a sword that integrated a gauntlet and a hand guard and Baji Prabhu was accomplished enough to wield two of these at the same time. It was a great hand to hand, combat weapon against heavily armed Cavalry and was popular amongst Maratha warriors.
His Bravery Left a Lasting Legacy
Baji Prabhu Deshpande bravely gave up his life ensuring his King Chhatrapati Shivaji could make an escape and to take command of Vishalgad Fort. He held the narrow Ghodkhind (Horse's Pass) for hours with just 300 brave men against the Adilshah forces of 10,000 men until Chhatrapati Shivaji had reached his destination.
Read more about Pavan Khind - 1660 real life battle of the brave '300' Marathas.
Danda Patta (Gauntlet Sword) was the weapon that Baji Prabhu Deshpande specialised in.
Shivaji renamed the narrow pass 'Pavan Khind' meaning 'Holy Pass' in recognition of Dhespande and his 300 troops loyal bravery.
Originally banned by the British as it made Hindu's proud of their Kshatriya heritage, ban lifted just before independence.
Aurobindo famously made a poem called 'Baji Prabhu' in 1909, describing his heroic sacrifice