Under the flag of Nana Saheb, the Maratha Empire was at its Zenith. Many might point out fingers at him for opting Sadashiv Rao Bhau over Raghoba Dada which some believe led to the defeat of Marathas in the Panipat battle. But the allegation is baseless, the demands of Raghoba Dada to fight Abdali was way too high given the financial condition Maratha Empire was at. Abdali had a huge army accompanied by heavy a rtillery therefore defeat of Panipat was inevitable. But Marathas needed someone who had the caliber to take down the Abdali forces with limited manpower and light artillery and the one who had the caliber of no other than Sadashiv Rao Bhau. Also, he lost his son Vishwasrao in the battle. After he got the news of the defeat of Marathas in Panipat, Nana Saheb broke down and after a few days attained Sadgati.
It must be kept in mind that under Nana Saheb Marathas expanded their territory across the Indian Subcontinent, and became the most powerful empire. Yes, the defeat of Panipat took a heavy toll on Marathas but within 10 years of the Panipat, Marathas succeeded to repair the damage with Madhavrao as the Peshwa and Marathas successfully crushed the Malecchas under their feet once again.
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