It was a battle hidden within the history of india. It was the primary battle for self-respect and self rights, only 500 troopers fought twelve hours without food, water and rest against 20,000 horsemen with weapons and 8000 army unit. These five hundred brave Mahar soldiers created a history, they won the battle by killing 28000 troopers of Peshwa. The koregaon pillar featured on the Mahar regiment’s crest till Indian Independence. The names of those 22 brave Mahar soldiers killed there inscribed on koregaon pillar. A medal issued in 1851, as well, pays homage to the undying spirit. Today, the monument “serves as a focal point of Mahar heroism”
This battle happened on Jan 1st, 1818, close to the banks of Bhima river in Koregaon (north-west of Pune) between small forces of ‘500 Mahars’ soldiers of 2d Battalion, first regiment of ‘Bombay Native lightweight Infantry’ and Peshwa troopers. ‘Bombay Native lightweight Infantry’ headed by ‘Caption Francis Staunton’. Compared to the ‘500 untouchables soldiers’ Brahmin Peshwa Rao’s force was giant in numbers, they were quite twenty,000 horsemen and 8,000 army unit soldiers. After walking down quite twenty-seven Miles distance from Shirur to Bhima Koregaon without rest or reprieve, without food or water ‘500 untouchables’ fought so courageously for twelve hours and won the battle. Battle over not solely with ‘victory’ over Peshwa however it becomes accountable for the end of ‘Peshwai’ in Maharashtra.
This battle had uncommon significance for several reasons. First, British army fought this battle with a minuscule army expecting the worst, particularly after their experience of the Pune Regency. Secondly, the battle of Koregaon was one in all the most important events that helped destroy the Peshwa Empire and later on the Peshwa had to abdicate. third and most definitely, it had been an attempt by the untouchables of Maharashtra to interrupt the shackles of the old caste order.
Siddhanak mahar , was a head of the battalion , he requested to peshwas we might to fight against british and wish to assist you, because british are foreigner, however peshwas denied their request and insult them and said you’ll not get any single right , the place stay same whether you fight against us or british. it was the beginning of battle of self-respect and rights.
The Peshwa’s troops inexplicably withdrew that evening, despite their overwhelming numbers, giving the british a crucial success. the men of the 2/1st Regiment Bombay Native infantry, who fought during this battle, honored for their bravery. The official report to the british Residents at Poona remembers the “heroic bravery and enduring fortitude” of the soldiers, the “disciplined intrepidity” and “devoted bravery and admirable consistency” of their actions.
Much praise showred on the Mahar soldiers of the Bombay Army who endured the rigours of adverse marches when rations were low and illness was high among men and animals. Whether they were charging ahead or besieged or taken prisoner-of-war, whether they were storming fortresses or creating plan of action withdrawals, they always stood steadfast by their officers and comrades, never letting down the honour of their Regiments. Similar anecdotes recorded within the written histories of the Mahar Regiment and Bombay Army. All demonstrate that most Mahar soldiers dedicated and resolute.
This Battle commemorated by an obelisk, referred to as the Koregaon Pillar (Vijay Stambh), that featured on the ‘Mahar Regiment’ crest till Indian Independence. The ‘Vijay Stambh’ reminds us ‘together we are able to succeed anything’. The monument has names inscribed of twenty two untouchables (Mahars) killed there, erected at the site of the battle and by a laurels issued in 1851. Today, the monument still “serves as focal point of Untouchable (Mahar) heroism”. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar used to visit Bhima Koregaon (Shaurya Bhumi) each year on 1st January to pay homage to great Mahar soldiers of The Bhima Koregaon Battle.