Yesaji Kank was a childhood comrade of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who was the founder of the Maratha Empire. Kank was born in the foothills of Rajgad. His father, Dadoji Kank, had served in the army of Shahaji.
Role in Chhatrapati Shivaji's army
Kank was the head of the foot soldiers in the army of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, specializing in guerilla warfare techniques. From childhood until the death of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, he remained loyal to the crown, and played a major role in the Battle of Pratapgad. Kank was also part of a council meeting known as Sadar, and even fought a elephant for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Yesaji was one of the most trusted partners that Maharaj had. There are claims that he was seven feet tall.
Yesaji Kank originated from Bhutonde, a village situated at the extreme foothold of Rajgad. Letters written by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and sent to his bhutonde address clearly indicate that he was from Bhutonde. Known as the "Sardar Sarnobat"of an army of more than 1.35 million men (mavale), his bravery has been proved in front of all the four Kingdoms of India during 1600 CE. He had fought a drunk elephant in front of Qutubshahi, planned the journey of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to and from Agra Darbar, fought at Fonda fort, and lost his son, Krushnaji Kank. His descendants still live in the ancient wada in his village. The late Mr. Rambhau Kank was a known personality in Maharashtra for all his updoings and progress he has given to the region. His descendant include Mr. Bhagwanrao Kank, fondly known as Kaka Kank, Late Mr. Rambhau Kank's sons, Mr. Shashikant Rambhau Kank, Mr. Sanjay Rambhau Kank, Mr. Rajendra Rambhau Kank, the sson of Mr. Bhagwan Rao Kank, and Mr. Shivaji Bhagwanrao Kank.