Capture of Puri

To occupy Puri they adopted the following steps:

Diplomacy of Wellesley on Lord Jagannatha

Lord Wellesley wanted to capture Puri and Cuttack by sheer display of his diplomacy. Letters were dispatched to the feudatories of Odisha, conveying them that it was the desire of Lord Jagannath to oust the Marathas from the land by the Britishers who would rule there. The desire of the Governor-General was conveyed to the people that it was the time to free the land from the oppression and tyranny of the Marathas. The priests of the Puri Jagannath temple were also assured that they would be respected by the Britishers and the British authorities would follow the policy of non-intervention so far as the temple administration was concerned.

Bribe to the Marathas

When the people of Odisha were psychologically won over, it was not a great task for the British authorities to occupy the land. In the next turn, Wellesley resorted to a filthy practice like bribing the Maratha officers handsomely. Letters of commitment regarding the payment of high amountas bribe were sent to Bhanuji Pandit, the Naib of Cuttack, Haribansa Ray, the Dewan, Balaji Kuanr, the Commander-in-Chief and Moro Pandit, the Faujdar for their help to the British force. Being confident of their support, Wellesley entrusted the task of conquering Puri and Cuttack to Lt. Colonel Campbell of 74 Regiment of the Northern division of the army under the Madras Government.

Strategy of Campbell

As per the strategy, Campbell had to proceed to Puri from Ganjam. After the occupation of Puri, the fort of Barabati, a stronghold of the Marathas in Odisha was to be brought under the British control. Suddenly, after the conquest of the Barabati fort, a detachment was to be sent to Baramul Pass (near Baud) to remain alert for checking the advancement of the Maratha troops from Nagpur. The serious illness of Campbell, before the strategic operation, led Colonel Harcourt of the 12th Regiment to command the army ~uri and Cuttack.

Operation of Harcourt

After assuming the responsibility on 11 September, 1803, Harcourt started his operation. He was accompanied by a civil officer named John Melville for organising cIvil administration, immediately after the occupation of the province. When the British troops left Ganjam, it was very difficult on their part to cross a narrow and hazardous path near the mouth of Chilka lake for reaching the Maratha territory in Odisha. It was only because Fateh Muhammad, the Maratha Faujdar was keeping his vigilant eyes over this strategic position. However, he was won over to the side of the British by heavy bribe. Now, the British troop crossed the narrow passage by the help of Fateh Muhammad and occupied Manikpatna. From Manikpatna, Harcourt sent message to the priests of Puri for full protection of the temple of Lord Jagannath and not to infringe the facilities of the priests. The king of Khurda was also pursuaded for renderihg his help to Harcourt on payment of rupees one lakh. The Raja of Khurda and the priests of the temple of God Jagannath were wanting to get rid of the Maratha rule. Unhesitatingly, they welcomed the British troops. Without any resistance, Puri was captured on 18 September, 1803. This encouraged Harcourt to a great extent