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Pratihaar Prabhus & Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshwe
Pathare Prabhus came from the regions of Kananj, Rajputana & Mount Abu. They were probably the descendants of the Pratihars. The word Pathare is supposed to come from the words 'Parihaar', 'Parihar', 'Pratihaar' which belong to the Pratihar dynasty.
In the first half of the ninth century, the descendants of Raja Harsha were defeated by the Pratihaar king Nagabhatta who took over Kananj. The Pratihaar's then ruled Kananj for three generations. During the reign of Raja Rajpal the great grandson of Nagabhatta, Mohammad of Gazni attacked and looted Kananj. He slaughtered the Hindus. Pratihaar Prabhus in order to save their lives fled in all directions. Those Pratihaar Prabhus who fled to the south took with them their Rajguru Rajshekhar & Yajurvedi Brahmins. Further migrations took place when Mohammad Ghori attacked and completely destroyed Kananj in the eleventh & twelfth century. The Prabhus who migrated came to Paithan in South India and settled under the rule of the Yadava's. They brought along with them their spiritual leaders Hemaadri & Krishna who were Yajurvedi Brahmins.  
The Muslim kingdom prospered in the 14th century. Under their rule, the Patihar Prabhus and their Rajguru families enjoyed a glorious time. The Yajurvedi Brahmins performed all the rituals of the Pratihaar Prabhus (Even today Yajurvedi brahmins perform most of our religious ceremonies). But the local Chakravarti Rigvedi Brahmins objected saying that it was only their right to perform the thread & religious ceremonies. Hence there was a ban on religious ceremonies of the Pratihaar Prabhus. The then Nawab Chand Khan took the side of Pratihaar Prabhus and ordered that all rituals of the Pratihaar Prabhus must be performed by Yajurvedi Brahmins. This proves that Pratihaar Prabhus are Kshatriyas since they performed thread ceremonies.
The  Seventeenth century was taxing for the Hindus. The Portuguese had started their oppressive rule in India. They stopped all religious rituals (Kirtans, Pravachans, etc). Each and every house was ransacked and idols of all Hindu Gods and Goddess were destroyed. Hindu property was taken away and they were given death sentences. The Jahagir in Malad of Antaji Raghunath who was the rajguru of Raja Bimbadev and also the spiritual  leader of  the locals in Vasai, was taken forcibly by the Portuguese. They also converted many Hindus. Hence these harassed  Pratihar Pathare Vasaikar's and other Hindus helped the Peshwas who were under the leadership of  Chimaji Appa attacked the Fort of Vasai in 1739-40. Pathare Prabhu Khanduji Mankar and their Yajurvedi Brahmin Antaji are the notable names in this war. The Peshwas promised Antaji the jahagir of Malad but after the deaths Bajirao Peshwe, Chimaji Appa and Antaji Raghunath, Balaji Bajirao Peshwe alias Nanasaheb Peshwe refused to do so. Nanasaheb Peshwe himself was a 'Konkanasta Brahmin' and had always followed the advice of his relatives. The Konkanasta Brahmin in his kingdom started harassing the Deshasta Brahmins. This also affected the Yajurvedi Brahmins who had arrived with the Pathare Prabhus. On the advice of his supporters Balaji Bajirao Peshwe destroyed the Yagnas of the Yajurvedi Brahmin and disallowed the chanting of the 'Brahma Gayatri Vedak Mantra' by them. He humiliated them as 'Palsi'. Fed up with the humiliations by the Peshwas, Yajurvedi Brahmins left the Peshwai. According to the advice of the Rajguru, all Yajurvedi Brahmins and Pratihaar Prabhus migrated and settled in Bombay and started working under the British regime. Over the years these Pratihaar Prabhus became Pathare Prabhus.
Another theory suggests that the word 'Pathare' evolved from the Sanskrit word 'Pratyenas'. 'Pratyenas' stands for security guards which suggests that Pathare Prabhus were security guards in the kingdom of the Yadavas. This theory has raised many questions. Hopefully we may answer them some day.

Courtesy:  Pathare Prabhuncha Itihaas (Pratap M. B. Velkar)

Translators : Sau Meghana P. Rane, Mr. Tejas P. Rane


                          & Mr. Amit P. Kotharé
Detailed History
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Pratihaar Prabhu & Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshwe

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