Friday, August 26, 2011

Shivaji was born in the hill-fort of Shivneri near the city. While his mother Jijabai was pregnant, she had prayed to the local deity Shivai for blessings for her expected child. Shivaji was named after this local deity.[11] There are no contemporary records of Shivaji's exact birthdate and boyhood.[11] The birthdates of Shivaji given by various records include: the 3rd day of the dark half of Phalguna, 1551 of Shaka calendar (Friday, 19 February 1630).[2] This date is accepted by the Maharashtra state government as the official birthdate of Shivaji.[12] the second day of the light half of Vaisakha in the year 1549 of Saka calendar.[2] (Thursday, 6 April 1627), or other dates near this day.[11][13] Shivaji's father Shahaji Bhosale served alongside Malik Ambar,who defended the Deccan region against the Mughals. His mother Jijabai was the daughter of Lakhujirao Jadhav of Sindkhed. During the period of Shivaji's birth, the power in Deccan was shared by three Islamic sultanates – Bijapur, Ahmednagar, and Golconda. Shahaji kept changing his loyalty between the Nizamshahi of Ahmadnagar, Adil Shah of Bijapur and the Mughals, but always kept his ''jagir (fiefdom) at Pune and his small army with him. Gomaji Naik Pansambal, a trusted master of state-craft, was deputed by Lakhuji Jadhavrao to look after Jijabai. He remained with Jijabai and Shivaji throughout his life. He advised Shivaji in making certain crucial decisions which had far-reaching effects on the character of the Maratha empire.Gomaji also taught the art of swordsmanship to Shivaji , and especially the effective use of lance, the characteristic Maratha weapon.Further Shahaji placed his jagir in the poona region under Dadoji Konddev, who had shown good administrative skills as the kulkarni (land-steward) of Malthan. In a short time, Shivaji became a skilled swordsman, strategist and an accomplished horseman, trained rigorously by Maratha warriors like Baji Pasalkar.At the age of 12, Shivaji was taken to Banglore where he was formally trained further. At age of 14, he returned to Pune with a rajmudra (soveriegn seal) and council of minister.[citation needed] Shivaji with Jijamata Shivaji was extremely devoted to his mother Jijabai, who lead a deeply religious. This religious environment had a profound influence on Shivaji. He carefully studied the two great Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. The morality and spiritual messages of the epics made a great impression on him. Throughout his life he was deeply interested in religious teachings, and sought the company of Hindu and Sufi (an esoteric Muslim sect) saints throughout his life.[11] Shivaji drew his earliest trusted comrades and a large number of his soldiers from this region, including Yesaji Kank, Baji Pasalkar, Baajiprabhu Deshpande and Tanaji Malusare. In the company of his Maval comrades, a young Shivaji wandered over the hills and forests of the Sahyadri range, hardening himself and acquiring first-hand knowledge of the land. By 1639, he commanded a hardy and loyal band of officers and soldiers.[citation needed] [edit] Confrontation with the regional sultanates In 1645, at the age of 16, Shivaji carried out his first military action by attacking and capturing Torna Fort of the Bijapur kingdom. By 1647 he had captured Kondana and Rajgad forts and had control of much of the southern Pune region. By 1654 Shivaji had captured forts in the Western Ghats and along the Konkan coast. In a bid to contain Shivaji, Adilshah imprisoned Shivaji's father in 1648–49 and sent an army led by Farradkhan against Shahji's other son Sambhaji at Bangalore, and another army led by Fattekhan against Shivaji at Purandhar. Both Bhosle brothers defeated the invading armies. Shivaji petitioned Emperor Shahjahan's son, Dara Shikoh, who was governor of Deccan, pledging his loyalty to the Mughals to seek his support in securing the release of his father. The Mughals recognised Shivaji as a Mughal sardar and pressured Adilshah to release Shahaji. In return Shivaji had to cede a fort and Sambhaji had to cede Bangalore city and a fort to Adilshah. [edit] Battles [edit] Pratapgad Main article: Battle of Pratapgarh Goddess Bhavani giving 'Bhavani Talwar' to Shivaji, at Tuljapur [edit] Adilshah's attack and negotiations Adilshah sent Afzal Khan, an experienced and veteran general to destroy Shivaji in an effort to put down what he saw as a regional revolt. Afzal Khan desecrated Hindu temples at Tuljapur and Pandharpur hoping to draw Shivaji to the plains to retaliate with his limited military resources and thus lead him and his budding military power to easy destruction by the numerically bigger, better-armed and more professional Bijapur army. Afzal Khan may have expected Shivaji to meet his army in the plains, however Shivaji, upon carefully weighing his options, decided to meet Afzal Khan on his home turf on pretext of diplomatic negotiations. Shivaji sent a letter to Afzal Khan stating that he was eager for a meeting. The meeting was arranged between Afzal Khan and Shivaji at the foothills of Fort Pratapgad.[8] [edit] Afzal Khan and Shivaji conference This event is one of the most important in Shivaji's life. Shivaji got a pledge from ministers to never submit in case he fell. It is said that during this period, Shivaji had a vision of Goddess Bhavani promising full protection on the confrontation and victory.[14] Shivaji armed himself with a concealable weapons: bichhwa (dagger) and wagh nakh (tiger claws) and wore a chilkhat (chain-mail armour) under his clothing for the meeting. What transpired during the meeting was not recorded by scribes, but folklore has it that per then custom they embraced and Afzal Khan stabbed Shivaji in the back. Shivaji survived the attack, protected by the chain mail armour and his agility. He counterattacked and disembowled Afzal Khan with wagh nakh and bichwa which made Afzal Khan stumble on to his knees and then out the tent, collapsing into a waiting palanquin, where he was slain before he could raise the alarm. Meanwhile Krishna Bhasker Kulkarni - Afzal Khan's legal representative and Sayyed Banda - a body guard, attacked Shivaji. He responded by killing Bhasker Kulkarni while Jiva Mahal (Shivaji's bodyguard) severed Banda's arm with a slash of his sword.[citation needed] Soon after the slaying of Afzal Khan, Shivaji sped up the slope towards the Pratapgarh fort with his lieutenants and ordered cannons to be fired. This was a signal to his infantry, which had been strategically placed under the cover of the densely vegetated valley, to immediately attack Afzal Khan's forces.[8] [edit] Battle of Pratapgarh In the ensuing Battle of Pratapgarh fought in the dense forest of Javli on 10 November 1659, Shivaji's armies attacked Vijapur's (Afzal Khan's) forces and engaged them in swift flanking maneuvers. Maratha troops under Kanhoji Jedhe attacked Afzal Khan's 1,500 strong musketeers and routed them at the foothills of the fort. Then in a rapid march, a section of Adilshahi forces commanded by Musekhan was attacked. Musekhan was wounded and subsequently fled, abandoning his soldiers who were subsequently decimated by the Marathas. Commander Moropant Pingale led the infantry in a lighting attack on to the left flank of the Adilshahi troops. Adilshah's artillery was rendered ineffective by the suddenness of this attack at close quarters. At the same time commander Ragho Atre swiftly attacked Adilshahi cavalry before it was fully prepared for battle and almost completely wiped it out. Shivaji's cavalry headed by Netaji Palkar rushed towards Wai in hot pursuit of retreating Adilshahi forces who were attempting to join reserve forces stationed there. The retreating forces of Afzal Khan were engaged in battle and were routed.[8] [edit] Fall of Bijapur Army This unexpected and unlikely victory made Shivaji a hero of Maratha folklore and a legendary figure among his people. The large quantities of captured weapons, horses, armour and other materials helped to strengthen the nascent and emerging Maratha army. The Mughal emperor Aurangzeb now identified Shivaji as a major threat to the mighty Mughal Empire. Soon thereafter Shivaji, Shahaji Raje and Netaji Palkar (the chief of the Maratha cavalry) decided to attack and defeat the Adilshahi kingdom at Bijapur. But things did not go as planned as Shahaji's health deteriorated and they were forced to postpone the planned attack. However, Netaji Palkar undertook this mission mounting smaller scale attacks and military harassment of the Adilshahi kingdom. Subsequently, the Sultan of Bijapur sent an army composed mainly of Afghan mercenaries to subdue and defeat Shivaji before he could substantially expand his army. In the ensuing battle, Bijapur's army was defeated by the Maratha troops. This intense and bloody battle ended in the unconditional surrender of the Bijapuri forces to Shivaji. [edit] Battle of Kolhapur Main article: Battle of Kolhapur To counter the loss at Pratapgad and to defeat the newly emerging Maratha power, another army, this time numbering over 10,000, was sent against Shivaji, commanded by Bijapur's renowned Abyssinian general Rustamjaman.[citation needed] With a cavalry of 5,000 Marathas, Shivaji attacked them near Kolhapur on 28 December 1659. In a swift movement, Shivaji led a full frontal attack at the center of the enemy forces while other two portions of his cavalry attacked the flanks. This battle lasted for several hours and at the end Bijapuri forces were soundly defeated and Rustamjaman ignominiously fled the battlefield.[8] Adilshahi forces lost about 2,000 horses and 12 elephants to the Marathas.[citation needed] This victory alarmed the mighty Mughal empire who now derisively referred to Shivaji as the "Mountain Rat". Aurangzeb the Mughal emperor was now actively preparing to bring the full might and resources of the Mughal Empire to bear down on the potential Maratha threat. [edit] Siege of Panhala M.V. Dhurandhar's painting of Shivaji. Upon the request of Badi Begum of Bijapur, Aurangzeb sent his maternal uncle (brother of late Queen Mumtaz Mahal) Shaista Khan, with an army numbering over 100,000 along with a powerful artillery division in January 1660 to defeat Shivaji. Khan was accompanied by eminent commanders like Turktaj, Hussain, Haider, Naamdar Khan, Kartalab Khan, Uzbek Khan, Fateh Jung and Rajputs namely Bhau Singh, Shyam Singh, Rai Singh Sisodiya, Pradyuman and many more.[15] Khan was an experienced commander who had defeated Shahaji in the same region in 1636.[8] He was ordered to attack the Maratha kingdom in conjunction with Bijapur's army led by Siddi Jauhar. Aurangzeb ordered Shaista Khan to capture the Maratha kingdom to add to the empire (he intended to deceive the Adilshah), after Shivaji's expected defeat by Jauhar. Shivaji now prepared to face a combined attack of Mughals and Adilshahi forces.[15] Per the terms of the Mughal-Adilshahi plan, Adil Shah in 1660 sent Siddi Jauhar, an accomplished general to attack Shivaji on his southern borders, preceding the expected major Mughal attack from the north. He ordered his army of 40,000 north to Kolhapur to confront and defeat Shivaji as a part of their grand alliance with the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. He secured the support of local chieftains such as Jasvantrao Dalvi of Palavani and Suryarao Surve of Sringarpur to defeat Shivaji.[8] At that time, Shivaji was camped at the Panhala fort near present day Kolhapur with 8,000 Marathas. Siddi Jauhar's army besieged Panhala on 2 March 1660, cutting off supply routes to the fort.[15] Helping with siege were Baji Ghorpade and Siddi Masud from the west, Sadat khan and Bhai khan from the north, Rustam Zaman and Bade khan from the east, Siddi Jauhar and Fazal Khan from the south. Netaji Palkar, the Commander of the Maratha forces was on a mission away from Panhala harassing and attacking Adilshahi territory and was not able to come to the aid of Shivaji. At this point of time, Shaista Khan had moved from Baramati to Shirwal.[15] Panhala was a formidable fort and Adilshahi army was repulsed repeatedly by effective cannon fire and heavy rock-pelting.[15] Siddi Jauhar approached Henry Revington, the British chief at the Rajapur port to seek long-range and more powerful cannons. Henry decided to help him in return for future favours, and began pounding Panhala fort. In spite of this Marathas continued defending Panhala and persevered in keeping Siddi Jauhar at bay.[15] Marathas even raided the Adilshahi camp a few times but without much success. However, in one such raid, Tryambak Bhaskar and Kondaji Farzand presented themselves as allies of the British and Adlishahi forces. They came down to the Adilshahi camp and met Henry Revington and his associates. They managed to kill one British officer and injured Henry. Thereafter, they sabotaged the cannons and made them ineffective. Jauhar, livid at this, tightened the siege further.[15] Jauhar did not leave any stone unturned to ensure that the siege around Panhala was unyielding, he personally took utmost care that no one in his army was complacent. He even braved the tumultuous monsoon season and continued the siege even during heaviest downpours.[15] On hearing about the ever tightening siege of Panhala, Netaji Palkar returned from Bijapur and attacked the Adilshahi forces surrounding Panhala. He tried to break the siege but his smaller forces were pushed back by a much larger Adilshahi army.[15] Thereafter, Shivaji decided to escape to a nearby fort Vishalgad, where he could regroup his soldiers. He then sent misleading messages to Siddi Jauhar indicating that he was willing to negotiate and was looking for accommodation and mutual understanding. With this news, Adilshahi soldiers relaxed somewhat and Shivaji escaped under the cover of a stormy night on 12 July 1660.[15] Meanwhile Jauhar's soldiers captured a small group of Marathas apparently including Shivaji only to realize he was a look-alike named Shiva Kashid dressed like Shivaji and sent out to create a diversion and facilitate the real Shivaji's escape. Siddi Johar's soldiers realized that the imposter was Shivaji's barber and that Shivaji and his army were headed to Vishalgad, immediately thereafter a massive chase was undertaken to intercept Shivaji and deal with him and his army, once and for all.[8] [edit] Pavan Khind Main article: Battle of Vishalgarh Plaque to commemorate the entrance to Pavankhind Observing that enemy cavalry was fast closing in on them, Shivaji sought to avoid defeat and capture. Baji Prabhu Deshpande, a Maratha sardar of Bandal Deshmukh along with 300 soldiers, volunteered to fight to the death to hold back the enemy at Ghod Khind (a mountain pass in Gajapur which is 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Vishalgad) to give Shivaji and the rest of the army a chance to reach the safety of the Vishalgad fort.[8][15] In the ensuing Battle of Pavan Khind, Baji Prabhu Deshpande fought relentlessly. He was wounded but he held on and continued the fight until he heard the sound of cannon fire from Vishalgad, signalling Shivaji had safely reached the fort. The result of this intense and heroic battle was the death of 300 Marathas and 1,286 of Adilshah's troops who were engaged in an fierce combat,[8] allowing Shivaji to reach the fort safely on 13 July 1660. .[15] Thereafter a truce was made between Shivaji and Adilshah through Shahaji Raje. In addition, as the terms of this accord, Panhala Fort was awarded to Siddi Johar.[8] Ghod Khind (khind = " a narrow mountain pass") was renamed Pavan Khind (Sacred Pass) in honor of Bajiprabhu Deshpande, Shibosingh Jadhav, Fuloji, people from Bandal community and all other soldiers who fought in Ghod Khind (People from Bandal community were specially selected by Shivaji while escaping from Panhala for their knowledge of the region, rock climbing skills, martial qualities).[15] [edit] Clash with the Mughals [edit] Battle of Umberkhind An Uzbek general, Kartalab Khan, was sent by Shaista Khan on a mission to attack and reduce the number of forts under Shivaji's control in the Konkan region on 3 February 1661. He left his camp near Pune with 30,000 troops. This time the Mughals did not march openly and took circuitous back country routes, as they sought to surprise Shivaji.[15] But instead Shivaji surprised them at a pass known as Umber Khind (in a dense forest, near present-day Pen), and attacked them from all sides. Marathas hidden in the dense forest executed a well co-ordinated ambush attack on the Mughal army.[15] Shivaji himself took the forward position with an elite cavalry unit. The other three sides were flanked by Shivaji's light infantry. In a well co-ordinated movement of light infantry and cavalry, Shivaji prevailed over the attackers. A Maratha lady commander, Raibagan, who co-led the Mughal forces, analyzed the situation and realised that defeat was imminent and advised Kartalab Khan to accept defeat and initiate a compromise with Shivaji.[8][15] Within four hours into the attack the enemy accepted defeat and surrendered all the supplies, arms and assets. The Mughal army suffered high casualties. The defeated army was allowed a safe passage. Kartalab Khan and Raibagan were released with honour in accordance with Shivaji's terms and his long standing policy towards women and unarmed civilians.[8] [edit] Shaista Khan Shaista Khan was ordered by Aurangzeb to attack Shivaji per the Mughal-Adilshahi accord. Shaista Khan, with his better equipped and provisioned army of 150,000 that was many times the size of the Maratha forces, seized Pune and the nearby fort of Chakan. At the time, Firangoji Narsala was the killedar (commander) of fort Chakan, which was defended by 300–350 Maratha soldiers. They were able to withstand the Mughal attack on the fort for one and a half month. Then, a burj (outer wall) was blown up with explosives. This created an opening to the fort allowing hordes of Mughals to breach the exterior portion of the fort. Firangoji, himself led the Maratha counter attack against a larger Mughal army.[8][15] Eventually, the fort was lost with the capture of Firangoji, who then was brought before Shaista Khan, who, appreciating his bravery, offered him a jahagir (military commission) on the condition that he join the Mughal forces, which Firangoji declined. Admiring his loyalty, Shaista Khan pardoned Firangoji and set him free. Firangoji returned home and Shivaji awarded him a fort named Bhupalgad.[15] Shaista Khan pressed his advantage of larger, better provisioned and heavily armed Mughal army and made inroads into some of the Maratha territory. Although he held Pune for almost a year, he had little further success. He had set up his residence at Lal Mahal, Shivaji's palace, in the city of Pune.[8] Shaista Khan kept a tight security in Pune. However, Shivaji planned an attack on Shaista Khan amidst tight security. In April 1663, a wedding party had obtained special permission for a procession; Shivaji planned an attack using the wedding party as cover. The Marathas disguised themselves as the bridegroom's procession and entered Pune. Shivaji, having spent much of his youth in Pune, knew his way around the city and his own palace of Lal Mahal.[8] Chimanaji Deshpande- one of the childhood friends of Shivaji aided him in this attack offering his services as a personal bodyguard. According to Babasaheb Purandare, since Mughal army also consisted of Maratha soldiers, it was difficult for someone to distinguish between Shivaji's Maratha soldiers and the Maratha soldiers of the Mughal army. Thus, taking advantage of this situation, Shivaji, along with a few of his trusted men, infiltrated the Mughal camp.[citation needed] After overpowering and slaying of the palace guards, the Marathas broke into the mansion by breaching an outer wall. Chimnaji and Netaji Palkar entered first along with Babaji Deshpande, another of Shivaji's long time loyal associates, they approached Shaista Khan's quarters. Shivaji then personally confronted Shaista Khan in a face to face attack. Meanwhile, perceiving danger, one of Shaista's wives turned off the lights. Shivaji pursued Shaista Khan and severed three of his fingers with his sword (in the darkness) as he fled through an open window. Shaista Khan narrowly escaped death and lost his son and many of his guards and soldiers in the raid.[8] Within twenty-four hours of this attack, Shaista Khan left Pune and headed North towards Agra. An angered Aurangzeb transferred him to distant Bengal as a punishment for bringing embarrassment to the Mughals with his ignoble defeat in Pune.[citation needed] Main article: Battle of Surat Main article: Treaty of Purandar (1665) In 1664 Shivaji invaded Surat, an important and wealthy Mughal trading city, and looted it to replenish his now depleted treasury and also as a revenge for the capture and looting of Maratha territory by Shaista Khan. (Surat was again sacked by Shivaji in 1670.)[8] Aurangzeb was enraged and sent Mirza Raja Jai Singh I with an army numbering well over 150,000 to defeat Shivaji. Mirza planned and executed his battle stratergies so well with his vast army that the Mughal forces under him made significant gains and captured many Maratha forts. Shivaji came to terms with Aurangzeb rather than lose more forts and men.[citation needed] In the ensuing treaty of Purander, signed between Shivaji and Jai Singh on 11 June 1665, Shivaji agreed to give up 23 of his forts and pay compensation of 400,000 rupees to the Mughals. He also agreed to let his son Sambhaji become a Mughal Sardar, serve the Mughal court of Aurangzeb and fight with Mughals against Bijapur. He actually fought along side Raja Jai Singh's Mughal forces against Bijapur's forces for a few months. His commander, Netaji Palkar, joined Mughals, was rewarded very well for his bravery, converted to Islam, changed his name to Quli Mohammed Khan in 1666 and was sent to the Afghan frontier to fight the restive tribes. He returned to Shivaji's service after ten years in 1676 and was accepted back as a Hindu on Shivaji's order.[citation needed] [edit] Trip to Agra and escape In 1666, Aurangzeb invited Shivaji to Agra, along with his nine-year-old son Sambhaji. Aurangzeb's plan was to send Shivaji to Kandahar, modern day Afghanistan to consolidate the Mughal Empire's north-western frontier. However in the court, on 12 May 1666, Aurangzeb made Shivaji stand behind mansabdārs (military commanders) of his court.[8] Shivaji took offense at this seeming insult and stormed out of court and was promptly placed under house arrest, under the watch of Faulad Khan, Kotwal of Agra. From his spies, Shivaji learned that Aurangzeb planned to move his residence to Raja Vitthaldas's Haveli and then to possibly kill him or send him to fight in the Afghan frontier. As a result Shivaji planned his escape. He feigned almost fatal sickness 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 getting well.[8] After several days and weeks of sending out boxes containing sweets, Shivaji and his nine year old son Sambhaji hid themselves in two of the boxes and managed to escape. Shivaji and his son fled to the Deccan disguised as sadhus (holy men). After the escape, rumours of Sambhaji's death were intentionally spread by Shivaji himself in order to deceive the Mughals and to protect Sambhaji.[8] Dr. Ajit Joshi in the Marathi book Agryahun Sutka, after evaluating all available evidence on the event and reconstructing it, concluded that Shivaji most likely disguised himself as a Brahmin priest after performance of religious rites at the haveli grounds and escaped by mingling in within the departing priestly entourage of Pandit Kavindra Paramananda.[16] The thesis also discusses inadequacies of all other theories and stories of Shivaji's escape. [edit] Battle of Nesari This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (June 2011) In 1674, Prataprao Gujar, the then Commander-in chief of the Maratha forces, was sent to push back the invading force led by the Adil Shahi general, Bahlol Khan. Shivaji had directed Prataprao to finish off Bahlol Khan, who had proved to be treacherous in the past. The Maratha army surrounded the camp of Bahlol Khan at the village of Nesari. Prataprao's forces defeated and captured the opposing general in the battle after cutting-off their water supply by encircling a strategically located lake, which prompted Bahlol khan to sue for peace. In spite of Shivaji's specific warnings against doing so Prataprao released Bahlol Khan. Days after his release Bahlol Khan started preparing for a fresh invasion.[17] When Shivaji heard of Prataprao's decision he was greatly displeased and sent a letter to Prataprao refusing him audience until Bahlol Khan was re-captured. Prataprao realised the full extent of his strategic error and was so upset about it, that he now desperately wanted to redeem himself. In the ensuing days, he learnt of Bahlol Khan having camped nearby. Prataprao decided to confront Bahlol Khan at Nesari near Kolhapur. The potential battle would have had Gujar with 1,200 troops facings Khan with 15,000. Given the uneven match Prataprao reasoned that there was no point in leading his 1,200 cavalrymen into a suicide charge. So in a fit of desperation and anguish and in an over-reaction to Shivaji's letter, he left by himself, without asking his cavalry to accompany him. It was his personal honor at stake, not his army's. On seeing their leader head to certain death six other Maratha sardars joined him in the charge, they attacked the enemy camp and were cut down before they could reach Bahlol Khan. Anandrao Mohite, though, stayed back. The seven Maratha officers were Prataprao Gujar, Visaji Ballal, Dipoji Rautrao, Vithal Pilaji Atre, Krishnaji Bhaskar, Siddi Hilal and Vithoji. It was an impulsive and seeemingly irrational decision, and the loss of Prataprao Gujar was a big loss to the Marathas. Anandrao Mohite managed to withdraw the army to safer areas.[18] This event was retold in the Marathi poem "Saat" (Seven). The poem was written by a well known poet, Kusumagraj and was also sung by the great Indian songtress Lata Mangeshkar. Shivaji's army then avenged the death of their general, by defeating Bahlol Khan and capturing his jagir (fiefdom) under the leadership of Anaji and Hambirao Mohite. Shivaji was deeply grieved on hearing of Pratprao's death. He arranged for the marriage of his second son, Rajaram, to the daughter of Prataprao Gujar, who was later to be the Queen of the Maratha Empire, Maharani Tarabai. Anandrao Mohite became Hambirrao Mohite, the new sarnaubat (Commander-in-chief of the Maratha forces). [edit] Coronation and Southern Expedition Chhattrapati Shivaji, founder of the Maratha Confederacy Shivaji was formally crowned Chhatrapati (chief, or king of the Kshatriyas), on 6 June 1674 at Raigad fort, and given the title Kshatriya Kulavantas Sinhasanadheeshwar Chhatrapati Shivaji Mahārāj. Shivaji's grandfather Maloji Bhonsle claimed descent from the Sisodia clan of Rajputs.[19] According to this theory, Shivaji's original ancestors had migrated from Mewar to Deccan.Those Historians and scholars who doubt the Rajput origin writes that the local Brahmins doubted his Kshatriya Rajput ancestry, but the prominent Pandit Gaga Bhatt of Varanasi presented a genealogy declaring that Shivaji's ancestors were Kshatriyas descended from the solar line of the Rajput Ranas of Mewar.[20].But on the other hand a large number of Scholars and evidences dating back to Shivaji time and some before the coronation of Shivaji clearly states the Rajput origin of Shivaji and his ancestors these traditions testify to the possible mixed Birth of Shivaji . Some of the historical accounts stating that Shahaji and Shivaji were of Rajput descent include: Radha Madhava Vilasa Champu of poet Jayarama (written in the court of Shahaji at Banglur, 1654) describes the Bhonsles as the descendants from the Sisodias of Chittor. Jayaramas poetry was composed much before Shivajis coronation. In a poem on Shahaji, Jayarama mentions that Shahaji was descended from Dalip (or Dilip Singh) born in the family of the Rana who was the foremost among all kings of the earth. This Dalip was a grandson of Lakshmanasen, Rana of Chittor, who came to the throne in 1303 CE.[21] Shivabharata of Paramananda mentions that Shivaji and Shahji are of the Ikshvaku lineage like the Sisodiyas.[22] Parnalaparvata Grahanakhyana states that Shivaji is a Sisodia Bhushan the Hindi poet speaks of the Bhosales being Rajput Shahji in his letter to the Sultan Adilshah states he is a Rajput.[23] The Mughal historian Khafi Khan describes Shivaji as a descendent of the Ranas of Chittor. Khafi Khan was a very harsh critic of Shivaji, and wrote accounts condemming Shivaji to hell. He claimed that though Shivaji's ancestors did come from the family of Ranas of Chittor, they descended through an illegitimate offspring Dilip Singh.[24] An intelligence dispatch of the East India Company dated 28 November 1659 reports: "Sevagy (Shivaji), a great rashpoote (Rajput) issues forth from his fort Rayguhr (Raigad) to strike blows on the Emperor, Duccan, Golconda and the Portuguese.”[25] Persian Sanads in the possession of Mudhol State(Ghorpade Royal House) Confirms the Relation between Ghorpade and Bhonsle with the Sisodia of Mewar, Ghorpade name was assigned to the Rajput Sisodia because of their valour to Scale an impregnable fort. Ghorpade in marathi means for scaling an enemy's impregnable fort. The Persian Sanads possessed by Ghorpade House confirms the stand of Bhonsle and Ghorpade of being Sisodia rajputs.[26] Sabhasad Bhaskar written in 1697 in the Shivaji court by Krishnaji Anand Sabhasad mentions one incident when Shivaji call himself Sisodia from Chittod "Amhi Chitodche Sisodia Rajput (We are Sisodia Rajputs from Rajasthan)." According to James Mill in 1817 [27] "Malojee was the son of Bauga Bonsla, a son of the Rana of Odipoor, by a woman of an inferior caste. The degradation of Bauga Bonsla, from the impurity and baseness of his birth, drove him to seek, among strangers, that respect which he was denied at home. He served during a part of his life a Rajah, possessing a Zemindaree in the province of Candesh; and afterwards purchased for himself a Zemindaree in the neighbourhood of Poonah, where he resided till his death. His son Malojee entered the service of a Mah- ratta chief, in which he acquired so much distinction as to obtain the daughter of his master in marriage for his son. This son was Shajee, and Sevagee was the fruit of the marriage. But Shajee, having quarrelled with his father-in-law, re- paired to the King of Beejapore, and received an establishment in Carnatic. He here joined the Polygar of Mudkul in a war upon the Rajah of Tanjore; and having defeated the Rajah, the victors quarrelled about the division of the territory. Shajee defeated the Polygar, took possession of both Mudkul and Tanjore; and, having married another wife, by whom he had a son named Ekojee, he left him and his posterity Rajahs of Tanjore, till they sunk into dependants of the East India Company." James Grant Duff and James Rennell also agree with the Notion of Shivaji being Rajput from his father side. James Rennell wrote that Malojee Mother was an obscure person of a tribe name Bonsla which later on became the Surnames of her son Malojee and his descendants as well, this also leads to the division of Bhonsle house of Satara and Nagpur.[28] he claimed Rajput origin of the Bhonsle has been contested by academics such as Sir Jadunath Sarkar, and the controversy noted to date back to at least the coronation of Shivaji, taken as a de facto recognition of Shivaji's kshatriya-hood by the Brahmins who invested him. Gaga Bhatt officially presided over the ceremony, and had a gold vessel filled with the seven sacred waters of the rivers Yamuna, Sindhu, Ganga, Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri. He held the vessel over Shivaji's head and chanted the coronation mantras, as the water kept dripping from the several tiny holes in the vessel. After the abulation, Shivaji bowed before Jijamata and touched her feet. Nearly fifty thousand people gathered at Raigad for the ceremonies.[8] Shivaji was bestowed with the sacred thread jaanva, with the Vedas and was bathed in an abhisheka. He had insisted on an Indrabhishek ritual, which had fallen into disuse since the 9th century. Shivaji then had the title of "shakakarta" conferred upon him.[citation needed] His mother Jijabai died on 18 June 1674 within a few days of the coronation. This was considered a bad omen. Therefore a second coronation was carried out in September 1674, this time according to the Bengal school of Tantricism and presided over by Nischal Puri.[citation needed] In October 1674, the Marathas raided Khandesh. On 17 April 1675 Shivaji captured Phonda from Bijapuris. Karwar was occupied by mid 1675 and Kolhapur in July 1675. There were naval skirmishes with the Siddis of Janjira in November 1675. In early 1676, Peshwa Pingale engaged Raja of Ramnagar in battle en route to Surat. Shivaji raided Athni in March 1676. By the end of 1676, Shivaji besieged Belgaum and Vayem Rayim in current day northern Karnataka.[citation needed] At the end of 1676, Shivaji Maharaj launched a wave of conquests in southern India with a massive force of 50,000 (30,000 cavalry and 20,000 infantry).[8] He captured the forts at Vellore and Jinji that belonged to the sultanate of Bijapur and are in modern-day Tamilnadu. In the run-up to this expedition Shivaji appealed to a sense of Deccani patriotsm, that the "Deccan" or Southern India was a homeland that should be protected from outsiders.[29] His appeal was somewhat successful and he entered into a treaty with the Qutubshah of the Golconda sultanate that covered the eastern Deccan. Shivají's conquests in the south proved quite crucial during future wars.[citation needed] Jinjee served as Maratha capital for nine years during the War of 27 years. However, his main intention was to reconcile with his stepbrother Vyankoji (his father Shahaji's son from his second wife, who came from the Mohite family) who ruled Thanjavur after Shahaji. They had talks, Venkoji (Ekoji I) showed signs of uniting with Shivaji but then no concrete result was obtained.[8] On return to Raigad, Shivaji seized most of Ekoji's possessions in the Mysore plateau. Ekoji's wife brought reconciliation between the two brothers so they were not enemies and maintained the status quo of co-existing independently.[citation needed] [edit] Rule and Administration [edit] Rule Shivaji statue at Raigad, the capital of Maratha Empire Shivaji was an able administrator who established a government that included modern concepts such as cabinet (Ashtapradhan mandal), foreign affairs (Dabir) and internal intelligence.[30] Shivaji established an effective civil and military administration. He also built a powerful navy. Maynak Bhandari was one of the first chiefs of the Maratha Navy under Shivaji, and helped in both building the Maratha Navy and safeguarding the coastline of the emerging Maratha Empire. He built new forts like Sindhudurg and strengthened old ones like Vijaydurg on the west coast.[8] The Maratha navy held its own against the British, Portuguese and Dutch.[31] Shivaji is well known for his benevolent attitude towards his subjects. He believed that there was a close bond between the state and the citizens. He encouraged all accomplished and competent individuals to participate in the ongoing political/military struggle. He is remembered as a just and welfare-minded king. He brought revolutionary changes in military organisation, fort architecture, society and politics.[8] [edit] Administration See also: Ashtapradhan The organization of Shivaji's administration was composed of eight ministers of pradhaanas, as:[32] Peshwa : Mukhya (main) Pradhan, next to the King, for supervising and governing under King's orders in his absence. King's all orders had Peshwa's seal. Mazumdar : As an uditor, to take care of income and expenditure checks, keep the King informed of finances and sign districts-level accounts. Navis or Waqia Mantri : To record daily activities of the royal family and to master of ceremony. Shru Navis or Sachiv : As King's correspondence to ensure letter and style adherence to wishes of the King and check accounts of palace and Parganas. Sumant or Dabir : For foreign affairs and to receive ambassadors. Senapati or Sir-nobut : To keep troops on their toes and King fully informed. Panditrao : To promote learning, spirituality and settle religious disputes. Nyayadhish : As the highest judicial authority. [edit] Character During his long military career and various campaigns he was influenced by religion and a warrior code of ethics. He would offer protection to houses of worship, non-combatants, women and children. He risked his life challenging his enemies to defend and liberate his country. He overcame difficulties and challenges[8] whilst not spending resources on projects designed for self-aggrandizement. He was propelled by his deeply held sense of Dharma (sacred duty) to his people and country.[8] [edit] Military Sindhudurg fortress from mainland, a sea fort constructed by Shivaji Shivaji's genius is most evident in his military organisation, which lasted till the demise of the Maratha empire. He was one of the pioneers of commando actions, Ganimi Kava a term used for such a warfare, (though the term "commando" is modern).[33] His Mavala army's war cry was 'Har Har Mahadev' (Hail Lord Our God, Har and Mahadev being common names of Shiva).[8] Shivaji was responsible for many significant changes in military organization. These include – A standing army belonging to the state called paga; All war horses belonged to the state; responsibility for their upkeep rested on the Sovereign. Creation of part time soldiers from peasants who worked for eight months in their fields and supported four months in war for which they were paid. Highly mobile and light infantry and cavalry were his innovations and they excelled in commando tactics; The introduction of a centralized intelligence department, (Bahirjee Naik was the foremost spy who provided Shivaji with enemy information in all of Shivaji's campaigns) A potent and effective navy. Introduction of field craft viz. Guerrilla warfare, commando actions, swift flanking attacks; Innovation of weapons and firepower, innovative use of traditional weapons like tiger claw or 'Vaghnakh'. 'Vita' was a weapon invented by Shivaji ; Militarisation of almost the entire society, including all classes, with the entire peasant population of settlements and villages near forts actively involved in their defence.[8] Shivaji realized the importance of having a secure coastline and protecting the western Konkan coastline from the attacks of Siddi's fleet.[8][34][35] His strategy was to build a strong navy to protect and bolster his kingdom, he was also concerned about the growing dominance of foreign British India naval forces in Indian waters and actively sought to resist it. For this very reason he is also referred to as the "Father of Indian Navy".[36] [edit] Forts Main article: Shivaji's Forts Suvela Machi, view of southern sub-plateaux, as seen from Ballekilla, Rajgad Shivaji captured strategically important forts at Murumbdev (Rajgad), Torana, Kondana (Sinhagad) and Purandar and laid the foundation of swaraj - self rule. Toward the end of his career, he had a control of 360 forts to secure his growing kingdom. Shivaji himself constructed about 15-20 totally new forts (including key sea forts like Sindhudurg), but he also rebuilt or repaired many strategically placed forts to create a chain of 300 or more, stretched over a thousand kilometres across the rugged crest of the Western Ghats. Each were placed under three officers of equal status lest a single traitor be bribed or tempted to deliver it to the enemy. The officers (sabnis, havladar, sarnobhat) acted jointly and provided mutual checks and balance. [edit] Navy Shivaji built a strong Naval presence across long coast of Konkan and Goa to protect sea trade, to protect the lands from sack of prosperity of subjects from coastal raids, plunder and destruction by Arabs, Portuguese, British, Abyssinians and pirates. Shivaji built ships in towns such as Kalyan, Bhivandi, Goa, etc. for building fighting navy as well as trade. He also built a number of sea forts and bases for repair, storage and shelter. The Maratha fighting vessels lacked gunpowder & strong artillery, as the kingdom lacked factories to make these, and avoided pitched battles on sea in preference to diplomacy. Shivaji fought many weary battles with Siddis of Janjira on coastline. The fleet grew to reportedly 160 to 700 merchant, support and fighting vessels. He started trading to foreigners on his own after possession of 8 or 9 ports in the Deccan.[37][38][39] [edit] Promotion of Sanskrit The house of Shivaji was one of the Indian royal families who were well acquainted with Sanskrit and promoted it. The root can be traced from Shahaji who supported Jayram Pindye and many like him. Shivaji Maharaj's seal was prepared by him. Shivaji continued this trait and developed it further. He named his forts as Sindhudurg, Prachandgarh, Suvarndurg etc. He named the Ashta Pradhan (council of ministers) as per Sanskrit nomenclature viz. Nyayadhish, Senapati etc. He got Rajya Vyavahar Kosh (a political treatise) prepared. His Rajpurohit Keshav Pandit was himself a Sanskrit scholar and poet.[40] A significant aspect of Shivaji's rule was his attempt to revive ancient Hindu political tradition and court conventions. He introduced Marathi in the place of Persian as the court language, revived Sanskrit administrative nomenclature and compiled a dictionary of official terms, 'The Rajyavyavahar Kosh', to facilitate change over. - The great Moguls(1997), Arli Abraham" [edit] Religion Shivaji was a devout Hindu and he respected all religions within the region. Shivaji had great respect for other contemporary saints, most notably Tukaram and also holy men of other faiths, such as Sufis. He is said to have met Samarth Ramdas in 1672 and accepted him as his mentor. Later on he even requested Ramdas to shift his residence to Sajjangadh. .[41] Shivaji allowed his subjects freedom of religion and opposed forced conversion.[8][42] The first thing Shivaji did after a conquest was to promulgate protection of mosques and Muslim tombs. He commanded the respect and fealty of the Muslims under his command by his fair treatment of his friends as well as enemies.[8] Kafi Khan, the Mughal historian and Bernier, a French traveler, spoke highly of his religious policy. He also brought converts like Netaji Palkar and Bajaji back into Hinduism. He prohibited slavery in his kingdom.[8] Shivaji Maharaj applied a humane and liberal policy to the women of his state.[43] There are many instances in folklore which describe Shivaji's respect for women, irrespective of their religion, nationality, or creed. Shivaji's sentiments of inclusivity and tolerance of other religions can be seen in an admonishing letter to Aurangzeb, in which he wrote:'[43][44][45] Verily, Islam and Hinduism are terms of contrast. They are used by the true Divine Painter for blending the colours and filling in the outlines. If it is a mosque, the call to prayer is chanted in remembrance of Him. If it is a temple, the bells are rung in yearning for Him alone. [edit] Death and legacy See also: Maratha War of Independence Statue of Shivaji mounted on a horse at the Gateway of India Because of his struggle against an imperial power, Shivaji became an icon of freedom fighters in the Indian independence struggle that followed two centuries later. He is remembered as a just and wise warrior-king. School texts in India describe Shivaji Maharaj's rule as heroic, exemplary and inspiring and he is considered the founder of the modern Hindu nation; his policies were instrumental in building a distinct Hinduism identity and infusing it with strong martial and moral traditions. Shivaji died in April 1680, and his eldest son Sambhaji took power after being challenged by his stepmother Soyarabai. Meanwhile, emperor Aurangzeb's son had a falling out with his father and joined forces with Sambhaji, thereafter Aurangzeb personally lead his imperial army to attack and to completely destroy the Maratha threat once and for all. He threw the full might of the Mughal empire toward this goal and for a while it seemed that he would achieve his objective. Especially after the capture, torture and the murder of Sambhaji for his refusal to bow down before him and convert to Islam. At this point turmoil and uncertainty gripped the Maratha Confederacy and they were on the run and were forced to move their capital from Raigad near Pune to Jingee in the south in current day state of Tamil Nadu. At his death, Shivaji's army consisted of thousands of cavalry, infantry, horses and camels and hundreds of elephants, fighting vessels in his naval fleet and artillery pieces., about a hundred forts built by him(including naval) and a number of commanders and senior generals of all castes including Muslims.[10] Marathas, now stabilised and better organised began to undertake fast raids on the slow moving Mughal columns. Able generals such as Dhanaji Jadhav and Santaji Ghorpade were able to take the initiative and effectively bogged down the powerful Mughal army in to an protracted 27 year war. In the last few years of this war both the Maratha generals delivered severe body blows to the Mughals on the shifting battlefieds in Maharashtra. And in 1697 Aurangzeb withdrew from the Deccan for the last time in sickness and thereafter recalled his full army a few years later. After this time the Mughals never again posed a great danger to the Marathas. In fact the Mughals had depleted their vast treasuries in trying to subjugate the Marathas but had instead weakened their empire and were then only a shadow of their former glory. And within sixty years of Auragzeb's death the Marathas under the Peshwa's leadership soundly defeated the Mughals and forced them to sign the Ahmedia treaty whereby they relinquished their vast empire in the sub-continent to the Marathas. They were allowed to keep nominal control of Delhi while the Marathas were able to collect taxes from vast swaths of present day India and Pakistan, down all the way to the Southern tip of the sub continent. A regional sectarian political party, the Shiv Sena, claims to draw inspiration from Shivaji Maharaj. The World Heritage site of Victoria Terminus and Sahar International Airport in Mumbai were renamed Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport respectively in Shivaji Maharaj's honour, as have many public buildings and spaces in recent years. The School of Naval Engineering of the Indian Navy is named as INS Shivaji. Shivaji was the greatest Hindu king that India had produced within the last thousand years; one who was the very incarnation of lord Siva, about whom prophecies were given out long before he was born; and his advent was eagerly expected by all the great souls and saints of Maharashtra as the deliverer of the Hindus from the hands of the Mlecchas, and as one who succeeded in the reestablishment of Dharma which had been trampled underfoot by the depredations of the devastating hordes of the Moghals. —Swami Vivekananda Shivaji was one of the greatest national saviors who emancipated our society and our Dharma when they were faced with the threat of total destruction. He was a peerless hero, a pious and God-fearing king and verily a manifestation of all the virtues of a born leader of men described in our ancient scriptures. He also embodied the deathless spirit of our land and stood as the light of hope for our future. -Swami Vivekananda Such was the good treatment Shivaji accorded to people and such was the honesty with which he observed the capitulations that none looked upon him without a feeling of love and confidence. By his people he was exceedingly loved; both in matters of reward and punishment he was so impartial that while he lived he made no exception, for any person no merit was left unrewarded, no offence went unpunished, and this he did with so much care and attention that he specially charged his Governors to inform him in writing of the conduct of his soldiers, mentioning in particular those who had distinguished themselves, and he would at once order their promotion, either in rank or in pay according to their merit. He was naturally loved by all men of velour and good conduct. - Garda (Portugeese Traveller)

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