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Chhatrapati Shivaji - Tollybeats

Chhatrapati Shivaji

Updated | June 18, 2017 18:57 IST

the city of Junnar in Pune. There were two different birthdates of Shivaji in circulation as on 6th April 1627 and 19th February 1630. His mother who prayed to the deity Shivai for the healthy child had named after him as Shivaji. At the time of Shivaji birth, three sultanates of Bijapur, Ahmednagar, and Golconda, where his father changed the loyalty among these sultanates, Nizamshahi of Ahmadnagar, the Adilshah of Bijapur and the Mughals.

The Shivaji who was always devoted to his mother Jijabai had a greatly religious impact on him. Post his father’ second marriage with Tuka bai moved to Karnataka for the military campaign on behalf of Adilshahi. Young Shivaji along with his mother stayed in Pune and he was put in the care of Jagir administrator, Dadoji Konddeo, who was credited for Shivaji’ training and education.

Shivaji who was taken to Bangalore at the age of twelve was formally trained along with his elder brother Sambhaji and half brother, Ekoji I. He was married to Saibai in 1640. He first expressed his concept for Hindavi Swarajya in a letter to Dadaji Naras Prabhu, around 1645-46. 

Conflict with Adil Shahi Sultanate : The 15-year-old Shivaji bribed or persuaded the Bijapuri commander of Torna Fort, Inayat Khan, to hand over the possession of the fort to him in 1645. Post bribing Adilshahi governor, Firangoji Narsala held the forts Chakan and Kondana to profess his loyalty to Shivaji.  In a bid of containing Shivaji, Shahaji was arrested on 25th July 1648 by the orders of Mohammed Adil Shah. Later different stories were is circulation that Shahaji was released after Shivaji and Sambhaji  surrendered the forts of Kondana, Bangalore, and Kandarpi. This incident said to be the genesis of Maratha Empire.  He was crowned as the King in 1674.

He established a competent and progressive civil rule with the help of well-disciplined military and structured organizations. Shivaji was the pioneer in non-conventional methods which leveraged strategic factors like geography, surprise and speed and more accurate or focussed on pinpoint attacks to defeat larger and powerful enemies. Because of religious impact, he revived ancient Hindu political traditions and court conventions. He promoted Marathi and Sanskrit rather than Persian in court and administration.

Battles : Shivaji had fought many battles including Pratapgarh, Kolhapur, Pavan Khind and Nesari etc. Among them, Battle of Pratapgarh and his combat with Afzal Khan depicted his valor and wiseness which brought him heroic status among the Marathas. With this,  Aurangazeb not only recognized Shivaji’ skill as a great warrior king but also a threat to the Mighty Mughal Empire.

Combat with Afzal Khan : Before defeating Adil Shahi kingdom at Bijapur after the battle of Pratapgarh, the combat of Afzal Khan and Shivaji narrated as the great story. Both Shivaji and Afzal Khan met at the foothills of Pratapgarh fort on 10th November 1659 in a hut, with some conditions of attending with a follower and armed with only a sword.

But this condition was failed. On this also, different stories widely in speculation as ‘Afzal Khan attacked Shivaji’,  'Shivaji attacked Afzal Khan’. Whatever might be the stories in circulation, Afzal escaped from the tiger claw of Shivaji with cut fingers and some injuries. Later Shivaji signaled his hidden troops to launch the assault on Bijapuris.

Battle of Kolhapur : After the loss in Pratapgarh battle,  another battle was launched to counter the newly emerging Maratha power under Bijapur’ Abyssinian General, Rustam Zaman on 28th December 1659 with an army of more than 10,000. With a cavalry force of 5,000 Marathas, Shivaji attacked swiftly and defeated the Rustam Zaman lead army. As Rustam fled, the Adil Shahi forces lost 2,000 horses and twelve elephants to Marathas. This battle which alarmed Aurangazeb and identified the threat of Maratha’ uprising. He said Shivaji as ‘Mountain Rat’.

Clash with Mughals : Shivaji who maintained peaceful relations with Mughal Empire and offered his assistance to Aurangazeb in conquering Bijapur and in return assured to give formal recognition of the right to Bijapur forts and villages to Shivaji under his possession.  From 1657, Shivaji confrontations with Mughals had started when two of his officers raided the Mughal territory near Ahmednagar. 

Followed by raids in Junnar, with Shivaji carrying off 300,000 hun in cash and 200 horses.Mughal viceroy for Deccan at that time, Aurangzeb responded to the raids by sending Nasiri Khan, who defeated the forces of Shivaji at Ahmednagar. However, Aurangzeb's countermeasures against Shivaji were interrupted by the rainy season and his battle of succession with his brothers for the Mughal throne following the illness of the Emperor Shah Jahan. 

Attack on Shaista Khan : To attack Shivaji, Aurangzeb sent his maternal uncle Shaista Khan with the army of more than 150,000 in January 1660. Shaista Khan who seized Pune and established his residence at Shivaji’ palace of Lal Mahal. Later Shivaji launched a surprise attack on Shaista Khan in Pune. Based on circulated story, Shivaji attacked with a band of 200 followers infiltrated Pune using wedding procession as cover entered into Shaista Khan quarters. Shaista Khan escaped from the palace with lost thumb. With this, embarrassed Aurangazeb punished him by transferring to Bengal.

On 3rd February 1661, Shaista Khan sent Uzbek general, Kartalab Khan to avenge and reduce the number of forts under Shivaji. But Mughals got surprised by Shivaji’s forces with infantry and light cavalry in the dense forests of Umberkhind pass near present-day Pen.

In 1664, Shivaji sacked the wealthy trading center of Mughal, the port city of Surat in retaliation for Shaista Khan's attacks.

Treaty of Purandar : The Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb who enraged with the attack of Shaista Khan and Surat, he sent Mirza Raja Jai Singh I with the huge army to defeat Shivaji. Later Shivaji agreed to give up his 23 forts and pay compensation of 400,000 rupees to Mughals after Jai Singh forces captured significant forts of him.

He also agreed to let his son, Sambhaji, a Mughal Sardar under the treaty of Purandar.

Arrest and Escape from Agra : Aurangzeb invited Shivaji to Agra in 1666, along with his nine-year-old son Sambhaji. Aurangzeb's plan was to send Shivaji to Kandahar, now in Afghanistan, to consolidate the Mughal empire's northwestern frontier. However, in the court, on 12 May 1666, Aurangzeb made Shivaji stand behind mansabdars(military commanders) of his court. Shivaji took offense and stormed out of court, and was promptly placed under house arrest under the watch of Faulad Khan, Kotwal of Agra.

Shivaji feigned severe illness and requested to send most of his contingent back to the Deccan, thereby ensuring the safety of his army and deceiving Aurangzeb. Thereafter, on his request, he was allowed to send daily shipments of sweets and gifts to saints, fakirs, and temples in Agra as offerings for his health]After several days and weeks of sending out boxes containing sweets, Sambhaji, being a child had no restrictions and was sent out of the prison camp and Shivaji, disguised as labourer carrying sweet basket escaped on 17 August 1666, according to the Mughal documents. Shivaji and his son fled to the Deccan disguised as sadhus (holy men). After the escape, rumors of Sambhaji's death were intentionally spread by Shivaji himself in order to deceive the Mughals and to protect Sambhaji. Recent research has proposed that Shivaji simply disguised himself as a Brahmin priest after performance of religious rites at the haveli grounds on 22 July 1666, and escaped by mingling within the departing priestly entourage of Pandit Kavindra Paramananda Sambhaji was removed from Agra and taken to Mathura later by Shivaji's trusted men.

Peace with Mughals : After Shivaji's escape, hostilities with the Mughals ebbed with Mughal Sardar Jaswant Singh acting as the intermediary between Shivaji and Aurangzeb for new peace proposals.During the period between 1668 and 1670, Aurangzeb conferred the title of Raja on Shivaji. Sambhaji Sambhaji surrendered as a Mughal mansabdar with 5000 horses. The Peace between Mughals and Shivaji lasted until the end of  1670.

Reconquest : After Aurangzeb who suspicious about the close ties with Shivaji and Prince Muazzam was slowly reduced his army in the Deccan. Later he soon conquered some major portions of Mughal territories.

Post English denied to sell war material, Shivaji sent his forces to harass them to Bombay. Later the negotiations between Shivaji and English failed in supplying war material over the issue of Rajapur indemnity. Shivaji never to pay the Rajpur indemnity before his death and the factory dissolved there at the end of 1682.

Shivaji met English at Madraspatnam(Madras) on 3rd October when he went to Tanjore to fight his half-brother, Ekoji I(Venkoji). Shivaji conquered Southern part of India too.

Death : Shivaji who fell ill with fever and dysentery in late March 1680 was died on the eve of Hanuman Jayanthi 3-5 April 1680 at the age of 52. There were some stories on his death as Shivaji was died because of the curse of Jan Muhammad of Jalna and some said his third wife, Soyarabai poisoned him so that the crown was passed to her son, Rajaram.

Whatever the speculations on his death, Chhatrapati Shivaji remained in the hearts of Indians, especially Marthas forever. 

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