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Politics & War

Politics & War

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
PART – 1
  • Shivaji was born on april 1627 or 19 february 1630 in the hill-fort of Shivneri, near the city of Junnar in what is now Pune district. Shivaji’s father Shahaji Bhonsle was a Maratha general who served the Deccan Sultanates. His mother was Jijabai.
  • At the time of Shivaji’s birth, power in Deccan was shared by three Islamic sultanates: Bijapur, Ahmednagar, and Golkonda.
  • Shivaji was devoted to his mother Jijabai, who was deeply religious. His studies of the Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, also influenced his lifelong defence of Hindu values. hivaji was deeply interested in religious teachings, and regularly sought the company of Hindu and Sufi saints.
  • He moved Shivaji and Jijabai from Shivneri to Pune and left them in the care of his jagir administrator, Dadoji Konddeo. Dadoji has been credited with overseeing the education and training of young Shivaji
  • Many of Shivaji’s comrades, and later a number of his soldiers, came from the Maval region, including Yesaji Kank, Suryaji Kakade, Baji Pasalkar, Baji Prabhu Deshpande and Tanaji Malusare.
  • Shivaji traveled the hills and forests of the Sahyadri range with his Maval friends, gaining skills and familiarity with the land that would prove useful in his military career.
  • He married Saibai from the prominent Nimbalkar family in 1640.Around 1645, the teenage Shivaji first expressed his concept for Hindavi Swarajya (Indian self-rule), in a letter.
  • In 1645, the 15-year-old Shivaji bribed or persuaded Inayat Khan, the Bijapuri commander of the Torna Fort, to hand over possession of the fort to him.
  • The Maratha Firangoji Narsala, who held the Chakan fort, professed his loyalty to Shivaji, and the fort of Kondana was acquired by bribing the Bijapuri governor.
  • On 25 July 1648, Shahaji was imprisoned by Baji Ghorpade under the orders of Bijapuri ruler Mohammed Adilshah, in a bid to contain Shivaji.
  • According to Sarkar, Shahaji was released in 1649.During these developments, from 1649–1655 Shivaji paused in his conquests and quietly consolidated his gains.
  • After his release, Shahaji retired from public life, and died around 1664–1665 in a hunting accident. Following his father’s release, Shivaji resumed raiding, and, a fellow Maratha in 1656, under controversial circumstances, killed Chandrarao More and seized from him the valley of Javali.
  • Adilshah was displeased at his losses to Shivaji’s forces, Having ended his conflict with the Mughals and having a greater ability to respond, in 1657 Adilshah sent Afzal Khan, a veteran general, to arrest Shivaji.
  • Pursued by Bijapuri forces, Shivaji retreated to Pratapgad fort, where many of his colleagues pressed him to surrender. After two months, Afzal Khan sent an envoy to Shivaji suggesting the two leaders meet in private outside the fort to parley.
  •  The two met in a hut at the foothills of Pratapgad fort on 10
    November 1659. The arrangements had dictated that each come armed
    only with a sword, and attended by one follower.
    Shivaji, either suspecting Afzal Khan would arrest or attack him wore
    armour beneath his clothes, concealed a bagh nakh (metal “tiger claw”)
    on his left arm, and had a dagger in his right hand.
    • In the fight, Afzal Khan’s dagger was stopped by Shivaji’s armour, and
    Shivaji’s weapons inflicted mortal wounds on the general; Shivaji then fired
    a cannon to signal his hidden troops to attack the Bijapuri army.
    In the ensuing Battle of Pratapgarh fought on 10 November 1659,
    Shivaji’s forces decisively defeated the Bijapur Sultanate’s forces. More
    than 3,000 soldiers of the Bijapur army were killed. The captured enemy,
    both officers and men, were set free and sent back to their homes with
    money, food and other gifts. Marathas were rewarded accordingly
  •  Having defeated the Bijapuri forces sent against him, Shivaji’s army
    marched towards the Konkan and Kolhapur, seizing Panhala fort, and
    defeating Bijapuri forces in 1659.
    • He also plundered the English factory at Rajapur and capturing four
    of the factors, imprisoning them until mid-1663.
    • In 1660, the Maratha aristocrat Shivaji was trapped in the fort of Panhala,
    under siege and vastly outnumbered by an Adilshahi army led by Siddi
    • In the ensuing Battle of Pavan Khind, the smaller Maratha force held
    back the larger enemy to buy time for Shivaji to escape. Baji Prabhu
    Deshpande was wounded but continued to fight until he heard the sound
    of cannon fire from Vishalgad, signalling Shivaji had safely reached
    the fort, on the evening of 13 July 1660
PART – 2
  •  Until 1657, Shivaji maintained peaceful relations with the Mughal
    Empire. Shivaji offered his assistance to Aurangzeb, the Mughal
    viceroy of the Deccan and son of the Mughal emperor, in conquering
    Bijapur in return for formal recognition of his right to the Bijapuri forts
    • Dissatisfied with the Mughal response, and receiving a better offer
    from Bijapur, he launched a raid into the Mughal Decccan.
    • Shivaji’s confrontations with the Mughals began in March 1657,
    when two of Shivaji’s officers raided the Mughal territory near
    Ahmednagar.This was followed by raids in Junnar
  •  Aurangzeb, now the Mughal emperor, sent his maternal uncle Shaista
    Khan, in January 1660 to attack Shivaji in conjunction with Bijapur’s
    army led by Siddi Jauhar.
    • Shaista Khan, with his better–equipped and –provisioned army of 80,000
    seized Pune. He also took the nearby fort of Chakan, besieging it for a
    month and a half before breaching the walls. Shaista Khan pressed his
    advantage of having a larger, better provisioned and heavily armed
    Mughal army and made inroads into some of the Maratha territory,
    seizing the city of Pune and establishing his residence at Shivaji’s
    palace of Lal Mahal.
    • In April 1663, Shivaji launched a surprise attack on Shaista Khan in Pune;
    band of some 200 followers infiltrated Pune, using a wedding procession as
    cover. Shaista Khan escaped, losing his thumb but one of his sons and
    other members of his household were killed. The Khan took refuge with the
    Mughal forces outside of Pune.
  •  In 1664 Shivaji sacked the port city of Surat, a wealthy Mughal trading
    centre. he attacks on Shaista Khan and Surat enraged Aurangzeb. In
    response he sent the Rajput Mirza Raja Jai Singh I with an army
    numbering around 15,000 to defeat Shivaji.
    • The Mughal commander succeeded in luring away several of Shivaji’s key
    commanders, and many of his cavalrymen, into Mughal service. By
    mid-1665, with the fortress at Purandar besieged and near capture, Shivaji
    was forced to come to terms with Jai Singh.
    • In the Treaty of Purandar, signed between Shivaji and Jai Singh on 11
    June 1665, Shivaji agreed to give up 23 of his forts, keeping 12 for
    himself, and pay compensation of 400,000 gold to the Mughals. Shivaji
    agreed to become a vassal of the Mughal empire, and to send his son
    Sambhaji, along with 5,000 horsemen, to fight for the Mughals in the
    Deccan as a mansabdar.
  • In 1666, Aurangzeb summoned Shivaji to Agra 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 mansabdārs (military commanders) of his court. Shivaji took offence
    and stormed out of court, and was promptly placed under house arrest under
    the watch of Faulad Khan, Kotwal of Agra.
    • Shivaji’s position under house arrest was perilous,Shivaji managed to escape
    from Agra, likely by bribing the guards, though the emperor was never able to
    ascertain how he escaped despite an investigation.Popular legend says that
    Shivaji smuggled himself and his son out of the house in large baskets,
    claimed to be sweets to be gifted to religious figures in the city
  • The peace between Shivaji and the Mughals lasted until 1670.
    Shivaji sacked Surat for second time in 1670; the British and
    Dutch factories were able to repel his attack, but he managed to
    sack the city itself.
    • Angered by the renewed attacks, the Mughals resumed hostilities with
    the Marathas, sending a force under Daud Khan to intercept Shivaji
    on his return home from Surat, but were defeated in the Battle of
    Vani-Dindori near present-day Nashik.
    • October 1670, Shivaji sent his forces to harass the English at
    Bombay; as they had refused to sell him war materiel
  •  Shivaji had acquired extensive lands and wealth through his campaigns, but
    lacking a formal title he was still technically a Mughal zamindar.Controversy
    erupted amongst the Brahmins of Shivaji’s court: they refused to crown
    Shivaji as a king because that status was reserved for those of the kshatriya.
    • Shivaji was crowned king of the Marathas in a lavish ceremony at
    Raigad on 6 June 1674. Gaga Bhatt officiated, holding a gold vessel filled
    with the seven sacred waters of the rivers Yamuna, Indus, Ganges, Godavari,
    Krishna and Kaveri over Shivaji’s head, and chanted the Vedic coronation
    • Nearly fifty thousand people gathered at Raigad for the ceremonies. Shivaji
    was entitled Shakakarta (“founder of an era”) and Chhatrapati
    (“paramount sovereign”). He also took the title of Haindava
    Dharmodhhaarak (protector of the Hindu faith).Shivaji’s mother Jijabai
    died on 18 June 1674.
  •  In the run-up to his expedition Shivaji appealed to a sense of Deccani
    patriotism, that Southern India was a homeland that should be protected from
    outsiders. His appeal was somewhat successful.
    • In 1677 Shivaji visited Hyderabad for a month and entered into a treaty with
    the Qutubshah of the Golkonda sultanate, agreeing to reject his alliance with
    Bijapur and jointly oppose the Mughals.
    • In 1677 Shivaji invaded Karnataka Proceeding south, Shivaji seized the
    forts of Vellore and Gingee; the latter would later serve as a capital of the
    Marathas during the reign of his son Rajaram I.
    • The initially promising negotiations were unsuccessful, so whilst returning to
    Raigad Shivaji defeated his half-brother’s army on 26 November 1677
    and seized most of his possessions in the Mysore plateau.
  • The question of Shivaji’s heir-apparent was complicated by the misbehaviour
    of his eldest son, Sambhaji, who was irresponsible.
    In late March 1680, Shivaji fell ill with fever and dysentery, dying around
    3–5 April 1680 at the age of 52, on the eve of Hanuman Jayanti.
    Putalabai, the childless eldest of the surviving wives of Shivaji
    committed sati by jumping into his funeral pyre.
    • On 21 April 1680, ten-year-old Rajaram was installed on the throne. However,
    Sambhaji took possession of Raigad Fort after killing the commander, and on
    18 June acquired control of Raigad, and formally ascended the throne on 20
    July.Rajaram, his wife Janki Bai, and mother Soyrabai were imprisoned, and
    Soyrabai executed on charges of conspiracy that October