Raverkhedi – Resting Place of Bajirao Peshwa I

I know that History is something not everyone is curious about. Even my history about Maratha Empire was limited to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Sambhaji Maharaj, till I came across this name – “Bajirao Peshwa I”. I had read that he was probably the only commander in Indian history who never lost a battle. But it was his death which always intrigued me the most. So I Googled and found out about this place Raverkhedi situated on the banks of Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh, where Bajirao Peshwa I’s cenotaph is located. So here’s a detailed account of my solo trip to “The Resting Place of Bajirao Peshwa I”.

BAJIRAO PESHWA HISTORY

Bajirao I (18th August 1700 – 28th April 1740) was born into the Bhat family of Kokanastha Chitpavan Brahmin lineage. He was a son of Balaji Vishwanath (the first Peshwa of Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj) and Radhabai. Also known by the name Bajirao Ballal, Bajirao I served as Peshwa (Prime Minister) to the fourth Maratha Chhatrapati (Emperor) Shahu from 1720 until his death. He was a noted Indian general who never lost a battle in his military career spanning 20 years. According to the British Army officer Bernard Montgomery, Bajirao was possibly the finest cavalry general ever produced by India.

  • Bajirao Peshwa 1 Picture
    An artist's impression of Bajirao Peshwa-I. Image Credit: Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, Pune

The most influential of the nine Peshwas from the Bhat family, Bajirao I played a pivotal role in expanding the Maratha Empire, especially in the North. He conquered Malwa, Gujarat, Southern states including that of Nizam’s and Portuguese and also Army of Emperor at Delhi. He also constituted a Maratha Association taking over Gaikwad of Gujarat, Shinde (Scindia) of Gwalior, Bhonsle of Nagpur, Panwar of Dhar and Holkar of Indore.

During an expedition in North India with 100,000 troops under his command, he was camping at West Nimar. He died on 28th April 1740, at the age of 39, of a sudden fever, possibly heat stroke. Bajirao’s remains were consigned to flames at Raverkhedi on the banks of Narmada River. His loyal lieutenant,  Scindia (of Gwalior) got his Samadhi (Cenotaph) built at Raverkhedi.

REACHING RAVERKHEDI

My visit to Raverkhedi was in continuation to my excursion to Burhanpur the previous day. I boarded the 11057 CSMT – Amritsar (Pathankot) Express at Burhanpur on 2nd December 2017 morning. Travellers from Mumbai can board the same train at Dadar at 11:40 pm previous night. The train arrived at Burhanpur at 9:05 am (typical average delay of 70-80 minutes). Khandwa is 74 kms away from Burhanpur. The train reached Khandwa Junction at 10:30 am (delay of 1 hour).

  • Raverkhedi on Google Maps
    Raverkhedi on Google Maps

Once you get out of railway station, move towards left to reach the bus stand which is hardly a 2 minute walk. The closest any bus could drop you for the Samadhi is the “Bhogaon Nipani” stop also called as “Raver Phata”. The Google map screenshot will give you an idea about the milestones in your bus journey from Khandwa Bus Stand to Bhogaon Nipani.

To reach Bhogaon Nipani, you could take any of the following routes:

For travelers coming from Khandwa:

  • Khandwa – Sanawad – Bediya – Bhogaon Nipani
  • Khandwa – Bediya – Bhogaon Nipani
  • Khandwa – Katora – Bhogaon Nipani

For travelers coming from North West:

  • Maheshwar – Kasrawad – Katora – Bhogaon Nipani
  • Maheshwar – Kasrawad -Bediya – Bhogaon Nipani

For travelers coming from North:

  • Indore – Barwaha – Sanawad – Bediya – Bhogaon Nipani

Though my journey was according to the very first option (from Khandwa), I would recommend the second option since you wouldn’t need to switch buses. Even in my case, I had to change the bus only at Sanawad. The bus took a 10 minute halt at Bediya and then left for further journey. I left from Khandwa bus stand at around 11 am and reached Bhogaon Nipani exactly at 1:30 pm. All the buses are semi-luxury and pretty comfortable. 

  • Road to Raverkhedi from Bhogaon Nipani
    Road to Raverkhedi from Bhogaon Nipani

The Samadhi of Bajirao Peshwa I is 8 kms away from Bhogaon Nipani stop and there is no public transport available for last mile connectivity. You have to either walk or get a lift (hitch-hike). I started walking but due to heat, after 1 km my enthusiasm faded away and I started looking for a lift. A local resident dropped me till Khedi village on his bike. From there, another local guy gave me lift till the Raver village which is 2 kms away from Khedi village.

From the Raver village, the Samadhi is about 100 meters away which is a narrow road and only one car can pass through at a time. Maximum 3-4 cars can be parked outside the Samadhi gate. Road from Bhogaon Nipani to the Samadhi is in good condition. I reached the place in about 30 minutes after starting from Bhogaon Nipani i.e. around 2 pm.

  • Bajirao Peshwa I Samadhi
    Bajirao Peshwa I Samadhi

The place is well maintained by the authorities. Although Madhya Pradesh Tourism department has put up a board outside describing the achievements of this great Maratha Warrior, the place is maintained by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The place was in news few years ago for the demand of saving it from submergence due to Narmada dam water.

I spent an hour at the place to explore it. The view of Narmada river next to the Samadhi is astounding. You can go up to the terrace using the stairs and get a full view of the river and the Samadhi. I managed to get a lift in a car from samadhi to Bediya and reached Khandwa bus stand at 6:30 pm. The long journey was due to the bus operators making people wait until the bus gets full. I followed the same route to reach Khandwa i.e. Bediya – Sanawad – Khandwa.

Public transport expenses from Khandwa to Raverkhedi:

  • Khandwa to Sanawad bus: Rs. 60
  • Sanawad to Bhogaon Nipani/ Raver Phata bus: Rs. 25
  • Bediya to Sanawad bus: Rs. 20
  • Sanawad to Khandwa bus: Rs. 60

After having my dinner at Hotel Kanishka near Khandwa railway station, I reached the station at around 8 pm. The train 12138 Punjab Mail – Firozpur Cantt Jn to Mumbai CSMT which was supposed to arrive at 9:45 pm at Khandwa Junction actually arrived at 12:15 am (delay of 2 and half hours).

  • Arches of the corridor
    When light plays with the arches

It is important to remember that no matter how early you start your trip to Raverkhedi, you cannot club it with anything else. And in fact you shouldn’t. You should keep a buffer for unavoidable situations.

A visit to the Samadhi of Bajirao Peshwa I at Raverkhedi is for those who want to know more about this great warrior beyond the Mastani chapter. There are many who are still unaware of any such place in Madhya Pradesh. Maybe it’s a good thing as the serenity of the place is still intact.

Best time to visit Raverkhedi

October to February

HOW TO REACH RAVERKHEDI

Already covered above

Accommodation in Raverkhedi

It is better to find an accommodation in Maheshwar or Khandwa. There are no room facilities available at Raverkhedi.

Restaurants in Raverkhedi

It is better to have a breakfast at Khandwa or Sanawad , visit the place and get back to Sanawad for lunch. Bediya or Raverkhedi don’t seem to have good restaurants.

Things to remember

  • Raverkhedi should be kept a one day affair only. There’s nothing much to see in the region except the Bajirao I Cenotaph.
  • Wear full sleeves tops/ tshirts, buff, cap/ hat for protection from afternoon heat.
  • Check at the Khandwa bus stand itself about whether there’s any direct bus to Bediya/ Bhogaon Nipani. It is better to avoid changing the buses at Sanawad.
  • It is better to ask for a lift from locals at Bhogaon Nipani rightaway instead of walking the distance of 8 kms under the scorching heat.

Here’s a short video that I have made on Raverkhedi:

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Till then…Happy Travelizing!!!