A long but a must read thread about Shrinathji, Nathdwara (Mewar) and Maratha looting of the temple. People know about marathas' atrocities in bengal and their looting at sringeri temple in south. Most people are aware of Maratha breaking temples under Golconda sultan in (1/25)
Andhra country. But most people don't know about their acts in Mewar. If someone doesn't want to read background story then he can directly go to tweet number-12. But I will highly recommend that you read the whole. (2/n)
So here is a background story about Shrinathji Temple, during 1670s, Aurangzeb issued orders to demolish several temples and to break idols of the temples. Shrinathji was worshipped at Govardhan hills. The priest (Gosain) of the temple sensed that danger (3/n)
and to save the idol from being demolished, Bhagwan Shrinathji was shifted first to mathura and then it was shifted here and there but no one was willing to give it shelter fearing the wrath of Aurangzeb. (4/n)
When Maharana Raj Singh came to know about this he invited the Gosain priest to come to Mewar and install the diety there, he not only gave the shelter against Aurangzeb's will, he also assured the Gosain that as long as a single soldier of mewar remains alive (5/n)
No one can touch the Shrinathji idol. Maharana provided the place for temple which became a little town later and came to be known as Nathdwara. The temple was also fortified as Haveli. Aurangzeb did attack mewar some time later and according to promise of Maharana, (6/n)
No harm came to the diety. Mughals were defeated many a times by Maharana, in this war both mewar and marwar fought together. Aurangzeb's son Akbar was defeated too and he was turned against his father. At one point of time Aurangzeb was on verge of being captured but his (7/n)
son Akbar delayed the march and Aurangzeb called his other two sons for his help and it was too late. Aurangzeb's Rajputana invasion consumed his whole resources and almost whole of his army was called to Rajputana, from deccan to bengal every part of army was called to (8/n)
fight in rajputana, later Maharana Raj Singh died and aurangzeb signed peace treaty with the next Maharana. Nonetheless the Shrinathji temple couldnt be harmed by Aurangzeb thanks to sheer will of Rajputs. Since then long time passed and later maratha inroads started (9/n)
Mewar was weakened by some combination of factors, mostly due to maratha interfering in mewar, weak ruler like Bhim singh remained on mewar throne and he couldnt do much against marathas. Marathas made mewar a desolate places by regularly looting the villages (10/n)
Due to their interferences many nobles started to undermine the authority of Rana. But worse was yet to come. Marathas like Ambaji ingle, Lakwa dada, Holkar and Scindhia made mewar bleed. Anarchy and chaos followed due to pindari raids supported by marathas. (11/n)
Now come to the main point in 1802 Scindhia and Holkar were fighting each other and pursued by Scindhia, holkar fled towards mewar. In the way he looted Ratlam (now in MP). He came to Nathdwara and camped a little away from the temple. (12/n)
He attacked the temple and looted 3 lakhs rupees of temple property (amount varies according to different sources), but he was not satisfied with this little amount and asked for further payment from Gosain Damodarji (Main priest). (13/n)
Holkar had his eyes on immovable properties of Shrinathji. When further payment was not made he made several priests prisoners for guarantee against future payment. Gosain knew that Shrinathji was not safe here because of future actions of maratha chief. (14/n)
Col Tod, who was contemporary said this about marathas act, " The portal (Gate) of God proving no bar either to Toork (Turk) or to equally impious Mahratta (Marathas)." Priest Damodarji sent message to Maharana, regarding securing the idol of shrinathji to a safe place (15/n)
Maharana was very weakened at that time but still he asked some of his nobles to safely bring Shrinathji to Udaipur saving it from Maratha eyes. Nobles like Thakur Ajit singhji Bhati, Rathore Jagat Singhji, Thakur Kalyan singhji Jhala and Thakur Vijay singhji Sangawat (16/n)
took the duty for securing the diety to Udaipur. They were joined by Kotharia Chief Vijay Singhji Chohan. Damodarji removed the God of Braj from its pedestal, (It surely reminded them about history when same diety was removed during Aurangzeb's time.) (17/n)
These nobles with their men guarding Shrinathji from marathas proceeded towards Udaipur. In midway, their approach was stopped by a detachment of Maratha party. Kotharia chief asked others to proceed towards Udaipur and he alongwith his men faced Marathas. (18/n)
Marathas asked them to surrender their horses and arms, although highly outnumbered, Mewari chief had no choice but to face Marathas. He cut down his horse and asked his men to do the same and stood there for the last stand against Maratha horde. Chouhans fought valiantly, (19/n)
but due to sheer numbers of marathas, they were all cut down to the last man. Nonetheless their supreme sacrifice saved the idol of Shrinathji. Shrinathji was safely escorted to Udaipur. Disappointed marathas attacked another temple town of Vaishnavite site, Kankroli. (20/n)
They collected good amount of money from Dwarakadheesh temple of Kankroli too. There shrinathji for better security was escorted to Gassyar, in hilly areas of mewar there shrinathji remained for 5 years before they were later brought back to Nathdwara in a celebration. (21/n)
Marathas from kankroli proceeded towards Ajmer and some sources say Holkar distributed part of his loot from shrinathji at Khwaja Pir Dargah. There are records of Marathas looting Rishabhdeo temple in south mewar too, this temple is revered (22/n)
by Jains and Local bhils eqaully. This is how marathas behaved in Rajputana. Apart from their looting of temples, there were all kind of atrocities too, but that is a separate topic for another thread. Also Amir Khan Pindari, employed by Holkar in his later times, and (23/n)
Holkar's trusted lieutant and at that time, regent of holkar rule also came to mewar to demand 11 lac or he will demolish highly reverred Eklingji Temple, Maratha-Pindari activity in mewar will be dealt separately in another thread. This was the sad state of affairs of (24/n)
Marathas in Mewar. Had there been some strong ruler like Maharana Raj Singh, he would have thrown these looters south of Narbada. But sadly at that time Mewar didn't have a strong ruler. Sources with snapshots in following thread bcz of limitation of number of tweets. (25/25)
Linked the thread on sources and snapshots https://twitter.com/Engr_Who/status/1308730844018700288?s=19
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