Raghoji II Bhonsle
|Raghuji Bhonsle II|
|Maharaja of Nagpur|
|Reign||19 May 1788 – 22 March 1816|
|Died||22 March 1816|
Raghuji Bohonsle III (adoptive son)
|House||Bhonsle of Nagpur|
Raghuji was adopted as an infant by his uncle Janoji Bhonsle to be his chosen heir. Janoji died in 1772, and his brothers fought for succession, until Madhoji shot the other in the Battle of Panchgaon, six miles south of Nagpur, and succeeded to the regency on behalf of Raghuji.
The Nagpur Kingdom reached its greatest extent in the first half of Raghuji's reign.
In 1785 Mudhoji added Mandla and the upper Narmada valley to the Nagpur Kingdom through a deal with the Peshwa, the prime minister of Maratha Confederacy. Raghoji II also acquired Hoshangabad and the lower Narmada valley between 1796 and 1798.
Mudhoji had courted the favor of the British, and this policy was continued for some time by Raghuji II
In 1803 Ragoji united with Daulat Rao Sindhia of Gwalior against the British East India Company in the Second Anglo-Maratha War. The two Maratha rulers were decisively defeated at Assaye and Battle of Argaon, and by the Treaty of Deogaon of that year Raghuji ceded Cuttack, southern Berar, and Sambalpur to the British, although Sambalpur and Patna was not relinquished until 1806.
To the close of the 18th century the Maratha administration had been on the whole good, and the country had prospered. The first four of the Bhonsales were military chiefs with the habits of rough soldiers, connected by blood and by constant familiar interaction with all their principal officers. Descended from a class of cultivators, they favored and fostered that order.
Up to 1792 their territories were seldom the theater of hostilities, and the area of cultivation and revenue continued to increase under a fairly equitable and extremely simple system of government.
After the Treaty of Deogaon, however, all this had changed. Raghuji II was deprived of a third of his territories, and he attempted to make up the loss of revenue from the remainder. The villages were mercilessly rack-rented, and many new taxes imposed.
During the Bhonsle-English wars the Navab of Bhopal had taken Husangabad and Sivani from the Bhonsles. In 1807 Raghuji sent his army and captured Cainpurvadi and Cankigad of the Bhopal territory. Later he entered into an agreement with the Sindes for a concerted attack on Bhopal. The two armies besieged Bhopal fort in 1814. But Raghuji withdrew his forces when the Nawab of Bhopal asked for British help.
The pay of the troops was in arrears, and they maintained themselves by plundering the cultivators, while at the same time commenced the raids of the Pindaris, who became so bold that in 1811 they advanced to Nagpur and burnt the suburbs. It was at this time that most of the numerous village forts were built, to which on the approach of these marauders the peasant retired and fought for bare life, all he possessed outside the walls being already lost to him.
Raghuji died on 22 March 1816 and succeeded by his son Parsoji.
| King of Nagpur
- Hunter, William Wilson, Sir, et al. (1908). Imperial Gazetteer of India, Volume 17. 1908-1931; Clarendon Press, Oxford.