War Between: Maratha Empire Vs Adilshah Sultanate
Battle Leaders: Baji Prabhu Deshpande (Maratha's) Vs Siddi Masud (Adilshah Sultanate)
Battlefield: Pavan Khind, Kolhapur, Maharashtra, Bharat (India)
At the time the Maratha King, Shivaji Maharaj was held up in Panhal Fort by the Adilshah army under the command of Siddi Masud. The Adilshah dynasty under the ruler of Ali Adil Shah the 2nd was furious at Shivaji's embarrassing victories over his forces and was determined to bring his life to an end. Normally at odds with the Mughals, they joined their Islamic forces to stop the Hindu King at any cost.
Chhatrapati (Ruler) Shivaji was planning to escape and capture the Vishalgadh fort, which was then under Adilshah rulership by a Maratha chieftain named Range Narayan. But Range Narayan had planned to switch sides back to his native Maratha side to push the invaders out. There was even a Moghul garrison stationed at the fort, which would have to be taken out to secure the fort. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was more cunning than most and waited until food supplies at the fort were low. He also had with him hardened men, mountaineers from the Mawal region. Choosing 600 of his best men from the Mawal clan, one of which was disguised as himself to provide a decoy for enemy troops to capture, Shivaji made his escape. The Adilshah armies immediately began pursuit with a force of around 10,000 men and captured the decoy, which brought the Maratha forces some time. But Shivaji knew he couldn't both face the Adilshah forces of 10,000 and the Mughal forces at Vishalgadh fort with only 300 men, split his 600 men into two and left a rear guard of only 300 Marathas to face the Adilshah forces.
Shivaji told Baji Prabhu to wait for the sounds of the cannons at Vishalgadh fort to know he was safe and the brave 300 men made their stand at a narrow pass, called Ghod Khind (Horse Pass)
The Battle Begins
The brave Marathas knew this was a suicide mission, just 300 of them facing up to 10,000 of the enemy forces. The Adilshah army struck at the Maratha forces three times but they were unable to get through the narrow pass. The battle raged for hours, the defenders slowly loosing numbers but holding their defence. Baji Prabhu Deshpande himself was severely injured but kept fighting until he heard the cannons at Vishalgadh fort firing, knowing his King was safe after 5 hours and made the ultimate sacrifice. The loyal and brave commander was lying mortally wounded with around 200 of his men. It is said that only a handful of men made escaped with their lives, but for the 100's of Marathas lost, the enemy had lost well over a 1,000.
Baji Prabhu Deshpande - Maratha Rear Guard Commander
300 Total Forces
10,000 Total Forces