Important incidents of Shivaji Maharaj’s life



Shivaji Maharaj was born on 19  February 1630 at Shivneri fort in Junnar to Jijamata and Shahaji Bhonsle, he was named after the deity of Shivneri fort Shivani hence the name Shivaji was given. Shahaji Bhonsle (father) was a military leader in the Bijapur Sultanate of Deccan who was given the Jagiri of Pune which held the grounds to begin the movement of Hindavi Swarajya. Shivaji Maharaj was trained well in weapons like daanpatta by Jagir administrator Dadoji Konddeo, Shivaji Maharaj was deeply devoted to his mother Jijamata who was deeply cultural who raised her child with the epics of Ramayana & Mahabharata which influenced his long life defences on Hindu values, he was deeply cultural and regularly sought the company of Hindu saints. Shivaji Maharaj was raised by jijamata to be always proud of being born to this great land of Bharatvarsha, by the age of 15 young Shivaji started calling himself Raja and after some time, he captured his first fort of Torna fort from Adilshahi sultanate to include into Pune jagirs and hence the movement of Hindavi Swarajya began.

His establishment as a king

By capturing strategic forts in Deccan like Torna, Kondhana, Pratapgad, Lohagad, Panhalgad, etc with his military leaders in the way declining Adilshahi Sultanate Shivaji Maharaj captured a vast area of Sahyadri. He built Raigad as his capital in Pune where he was coronated as King by Ganga Bhatt on 6 June 1674 on 13th day of tryodashi of the first fortnight of Jeystha, a gold vessel with the holy waters of Ganga, Yamuna, Sindhu, Godavari, Krishna, Kavari, Narmada were poured over the head of Shivaji for the thread ceremony according to Kshatriya rites and he was titled as Chhatrapati, Shakakarta, Hindavi Dharmodhhaaraka. At the time of the coronation ceremony, 5-6 thousand people were present.

Administration

Shivaji Maharaj brought Sanskrit & Marathi as the official language in his court instead of Parsi language, he insisted that the language of the Parsi invaders of deckhand should not be used when the people of their land have the own cultural language

Shivaji Maharaj had Astha Pradhan the council of eight misters as his advisory council and his military generals were called Sar-naubat.

Shivaji Maharaj is the father of the Indian Navy, he built the first Indian navy on the Konkan coast with its navy headquarters at Sindhudurg fort in the Arabian sea built on a sea bait in 1657 to 1659.

Shivaji Maharaj abolished the land grand (Jagiri) for military officers and instituted a system of salary in his army and navy.

Warfare

When compared to north India south India (Dacchin) was mountainous terrain with forts built on mountains rather than plains, the armies of Mughals and sultanates were large and consist of heavy infantry to counter this Shivaji Maharaj used his light infantry usually very small than Mughal and sultanate armies and fought guerrilla warfare (ganimy kava). this type of warfare usually costed the enemy loss of food water or weapon supply which caused them to surrender their large armies.

Important incidents

Battle of Pratapgad: this was the first significant military victory against a major regional power, the battle was fought between Adil Shahi general Afzal Khan & Shivaji Maharaj in which Shivaji Maharaj slashed Afzal Khan’s (6’7” tall) stomach when he tried to strangle Maharaj during their meeting at the foothills of the fort in a highly decorated tent. In hand-to-hand combat of the two forces, the Maratha light infantry of 13000 forces defeated the Adil Shahi force of 30000 cavalry,32000 infantry,1500 musketeers, 85 elephants,1200 camels, 80-90 cannons. the casualties and losses were 1734 Maratha force killed and 5000 Adil Shahi force killed,3000 imprisoned, loss of all artillery, 65 elephants,4000 horses,1200 camels, 3 lakh rupee jewels, 1 lakh rupee heaps of precious clothes, grains to Marathas.

Attack on Shaista khan

Aurangzeb sent Shaista Khan his maternal uncle with and the army of 150000 of which 80000 force of Shaista Khan seized Pune’s Kasba and established his residence at Lal Mahal with his wives, which was Shivaji Maharaj’s palace. in April 1663 Shivaji Maharaj launched a surprise attack during a wedding party with his 400 men. Shaista Khan unaware and unprepared lost his 3 fingers in a skirmish with Shivaji while his son was killed in an encounter with Marathas.

In 1661 Shivaji Maharaj raided Bardez to stop the forceful conversion of Hindus to Christianity by the Portuguese and killed few Christian missionaries and stopped the forceful conversion.

Treaty of Purandar

In this treaty with Mirza Raje Jai Singh who was sent by Aurangzeb Shivaji Maharaj got on terms to visit Mughal darbar at Agra where he was made to stand behind mansubedars due to this Shivaji Maharaj stormed out of the court by shouting also in the Mughal court nobody except the Alamgir can be seated and all the courtiers were made to stand. After this Shivaji Maharaj was made house arrest which his son from where he escaped back to his realm.

In southern expansion, Shivaji Maharaj captured Gingee fort (troy of the east) because of its fortification and made it one of the best-fortified forts in India which helped 12 years later the Marathas as their capital, during this period the Mughals seized Gingee for 7 years but could not subjugate the Marathas.

Shivaji Maharaj died at the age of 52 on 3-5 April 1680 with possession of 240-280 forts. Kavi Bhushan a poet in the court of King Chhatrasal of Bundelkhand stated 

“Had not been Shivaji, Kashi would have lost its culture, Mathura would be converted to mosque & all would have been circumcised”

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