SHIVAJI The Legend

Posted by The Open Page | 23rd February 2018

SHIVAJI – The Legend
Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaja was the founder of the Maratha Empire in western India. He is considered to be one of the greatest warriors of his time and even today, stories of his exploits are narrated as a part of the folklore.
Born on 19 February 1630 to Jijabai and Shahaji Bonsle, Shivaji reigned only for a short term of six years i.e., from 1674-1680.
Shivaji turned out to be a born leader. An active outdoorsman, he explored the Sahayadri Mountains (those surrounding the Shivneri forts) and came to know the area like the back of his hands. By the time he was 15, he was able to accumulate a band of faithful soldiers from the Maval region who played a great in Shivaji’s early conquests.
Shahaji (Shivaji’s father) was in service of the Bijapuri Sultanate - a tripartite association between Bijapur, Ahmednagar, and Golconda, as a general. He also owned a Jaigirdari near Pune. Due to his busy job he had to travel a lot and hence Jijabai took care of his education. The sense to choose between right and wrong was instilled in Shivaji by his mother.
By 1645, Shivaji acquired mastership over Torna from Inayat Khan, Chakan from FirangojiNarsala, Kondana from Adil Shahi Governor, along with Singhagarh and Purandar.
Due to his great military skills Shivaji became the biggest threat to Mohammad Adil Shah, who made Shahaji his prisoner. He released Shahaji on the  condition that Shivaji kept a low profile and kept from further conquests. Shivaji resumed his conquest from 1665 after Shahaji’s death.
Mohammed Adil Shah sent Afzal Khan, a powerful general in his employ to subdue Shivaji. The two met privately on November 10, 1659 to discuss terms of negotiation. Shivaji had an idea that the secret meeting could be a plan to kill him and thus he decided to carry with a metal tiger claw and armor.  When Afzal Khan attacked Shivaji with a dagger, he was saved by his armor and Shivaji retaliated by attacking Afzal Khan with the tiger’s claw, mortally injuring him. He ordered his forces to launch an assault on the leaderless Bijapuri contingents. Victory was easy for Shivaji in the Battle of Pratapgarh, where around 3000 Bijapuri soldiers were killed by the Maratha forces. Mohammad Adil Shah next sent a larger army under the command of General Rustam Zaman who faced Shivaji in the Battle of Kolhapur. Shivaji secured victory in a strategic battle causing the general to flee for his life. Mohammed Adil Shah finally saw victory when his general Siddi Jauhar successfully sieged the fort of Panhala on September 22, 1660. Shivaji recaptured the Fort of Panhal later in 1673.
In 1674 Shivaji was crowned as an independent king he was glorified as Chatrapati and Deva Raja, taking vows to protect Brahmins and cows to uphold dharma. By the time of his death in 1680, he carved out a large kingdom which included substantial territory in peninsular India. He was not only a successful military leader, but an able administrator as well.
Shivaji died at the age of 52 on April 3, 1680, at the Raigad Fort, after suffering from a bout of dysentery.

Hardi Patel 
9 A
LML School

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