Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (Part2)


Encounter with Shaista KhanShaista Khan (Mirza Abu Talib), the experienced mughal subhedar of Bengal, was deputed by Aurangzeb to bring Shivaji to book. He had earlier helped Aurangzeb against Dara Shaikoh. Shaista Khan for his services was made the Viceroy of Deccan and sent to subdue Shivaji.

Note: Shaista khan was the brother of Mumtaz Mahal (wife of Shah Jehan) and nephew of Nur Jehan (wife of Jehangir). He had also been a part of the Deccan mission sent by ShahJehan to subdue Shahajiraje Bhosale (father of Shivaji).
While Shivaji was resisting Siddi Jauhar of Bijapur, Shaista Khan was approaching Deccan, with his huge army. He reached Aurangabad in January 1660. He marched further to Ahmednagar, encamped at a deserted mudfort in Supa(25th February) , then left for another dilapidated fort at Baramati (5 th April), then Nira (all the while deputing officers to administer those areas) , and finally arrived at Shirwal (18 th April). His lieutenants wrecked havoc on the villages near Shirval. The Marathas tried to attack the mughal camp, but were repelled.
Shaista Khan then advanced to Puna or present day Pune (9th May). He lodged inside the ‘Lal Mahal’ , where Shivaji had spent his childhood. He further instructed his men to lay siege at Chakan near Puna.Large artillery was used in this siege. An large force of twenty thousand men were used by the mughals in this seige. Inspite of the odd numbers, this fort of Chakan was heroically defended by Firangoji Narsala with a small force of three hundred odd men for fifty six days, before it fell to the Mughal mines ( on15th August 1660). Shaistakhan had even offered mughal service to Firangoji Narsala, but the warrior of Shivaji refused and retained his loyalties with his master. Shaistakhan too was impressed not just by the bravery but also the integrity of Narsala and allowed him to leave the fort unharmed with his men.

Note: Firangoji Narsala was later awarded the killedari of Bhupatgad for his valour (by Ch.Shivaji). 

It has to be remembered that vide the treaty of August 1657, Bijapur had surendered Konkan to the mughals. But Shivaji had captured and held on to those domains from Kalyan, Bhiwandi and Chaul.Shaista khan wished those regions back from Shivaji. He despatched several of the mughal officers( to wrest Konkan. Kalyan, Bhiwandi and some regions in northern Konkan fell to the mughals.

Kartalab khan, at the end of 1660, equipped with a considerable (apprx 20,000) force (along with Rai Baagan a.k.a Savitribai a spirited woman warrior in mughal service), descended down the Ghats near Lonavala. Shivaji who was already waiting there with his thousand odd men, allowed him to enter the thick forest through the pass was known as 'Umber khind' (named after the near by village of Umber). Inspite of the disproportionate numbers, the Marathas led by Shivaji ambushed the Mughals at this strategic point.Kartalab Khan felt trapped with his twenty thousand men. Kartalab Khan begged Shivaji for a safe passage, which he was given , but only after securing a large ransom from him.

Now, Shivaji divided his forces into two. One force led by Netaji Palkar was to engage the Mughals. Other led by Shivaji marched south to the Konkan territory of Adilshah. Shivaji’s advance was spectacular. Dabhol, Pali, Sangameshwar, Chiplun, Rajapur + fell into his hands & yielded considerable wealth. Shirngarpur fell on 29th April 1661. Shivaji spent summer of 1661 on Wardhangad in Konkan.

Note+ The English factory in Rajapur was razed to the ground by the marathas in retaliation of the secret help provided by them (Henry Revington) to Siddi Jauhar during the Panhala seige.

In 1661,Maharaja Jaswant Singh of Jodhpur and Jaffar Khan of Malwa were also instructed to come down to Deccan to assist Shaista khan in his campaign against Shivaji.In 1662, the Mughals didn’t have much success in capturing any Maratha forts.The Marathas had avoided pitched battles with the Mughals, so Shaista khan followed a policy of scorching the villages below the forts. A mughal officer, Namdarkhan and others attacked villages between Lohagad, Visapur, and Tung and Tikona. They set alight seventy eighty villages,looting and destroying grain , property.He harassed the villagers to no end, killing several and taking many as prisoners. This took place for two long years. Shivaji relocated many of his villagers, often transferring families to the security of his forts.
Meanwhile, Shaista Khan, after three years of campaign had become a little complacent. He had retired with his harem to his base in Puna.There he celebrated his daughters wedding.
On 5 th April 1663, Shivaji did the unthinkable. Shivaji along with a band of selected men (Sarjerao a.k.a Baji and Chandji Jedhe-sons of Kanhoji Jedhe,Balaji and Chimnaji Deshpande-sons of Bapuji Mudgal Deshpande an old aide of Shivaji, Koyaji Bandal ,Netaji Palkar,Moropant Pinhgale, and 2000 mavale etc) personally launched an commando like operation right in the heart of the enemy camp.Shivaji and his men entered the city precincts in disguise.
He attacked the very residence in Poona where Shaista khan was put up with his family and men. Shaistakhan barely managed to escape with his life (the unconscious Shaista Khan was taken away to safety by his maids), losing in the process, his thumb and two fingers, which Shivaji himself severed from the flighty khan+. Shaista khans son Abul Fateh was killed and so were several people from his entourage (one of Shaista Khans daughters dissappeared-ref. Babasaheb Purandare-Shivcharitrakathan). The wounded Shaista Khan retreated to the mughal base of Aurangabad.

Note+: It is not absolutely clear if Shivaji himself was present during the attack on Shaista Khan. Though acc. to historian Purandare, there is mention of several details of the raid in some Persian -mughal writings.

This sent shock waves right upto Delhi. The fuming emperor Aurangzeb , asked the embarrassed Shaista khan, not to bother coming back to Delhi. He was asked to proceed directly back to Bengal.
Note: To his credit Shaista Khan did a good job in Bengal, building a formidable navy, wresting Sandwip island , Chittagong from the Arakanese(an Burmese kingdom) and later reasserting Mughal control over Kamarup (Assam) and Cooch Behar.He also added greatly to the development of Dhaka (in present day Bangladesh). It is also to be remembered that ShaistaKhan was a part of the army Shah Jehan had sent to subdue Shivajis father Shahaji raje, when he was acting as the regent of the Nizamshahi sultanate.
The ignominy suffered by Shaista Khan created a dampening of mood in the Mughal ranks. Maharaja Jaswant singh who was left in place of Shaista Khan ,tried to elevate the mood in the Mughal camp through an siege on fort Sinhagad (Kondana). But it too turned out to be an abortive attempt.
Shivaji further added salt to the mughal wounds, when he sacked Surat, a rich and prosperous Mughal port (5th January 1664), in order to compensate for his losses. Its governor, Inayat Khan, proved so incompetent, that he hid in his fort , while Shivaji and his men looted Surat in glee abandon for three whole weeks.

Note: The Surat loot was stored in fort Lohagad near Pune for sometime. The wealth was used by Shivaji to strenthen his forts, build his army n navy.

Shivaji captures Kudal of Adilshahi sultanate
In 1663, Shivaji had already embarked on his Konkan campaign. Bu May 1663, Shivaji had captured Kudal administered by the Desai, Lakham Sawant of Sawantwadi.

Note: Shahaji raje , the father of Shivaji raje, had died on 23 January 1664 in Karnatak, after a fall from his horse.

Adil Shah then sent Aziz Khan to counter Shivaji at Kudal. Shivajis resident, Raoji Pandit had to retreat to Rajapur (May 1664). But an unexpected death of Aziz Khan in July, made Adil Shah send a replacement in the form of Khawas Khan (son of the ex wazir Khan Muhammed, and also the son in law of Rustam e Zaman).
Shivajis kin Baji Ghorpade of Mudhol was also asked to assist Khawas Khan. But before he could join the Khan, Shivaji attacked him at Mudhol. Baji Ghorpade was fatally wounded in that battle and succumbed to his injuries.

Note: There is another story about the killing of Baji Ghorpade. It is said that Shivaji was closely keeping tabs on Baji Ghorpades movements. Then in the middle of the night Shivaji led an night operation in the camp of Baji, who was found sleeping , unaware of the danger hovering over him. Shivaji is said to have struck him down with one blow of his sword and later burnt his entire camp. This was done in revenge of Baji Ghorpades earlier treacherous capture of his father Shahaji raje at the behest of Adilshah of Bijapur, after Shahaji was suspected by Adilshah of acting against his interests on one occasion (probably during the Jinji campaign undertaken by Shahaji along with Baji and other Bijapur commanders).

Seeing all help cut off, Khawas Khan fled away in December. His other commanders like Lakhm Sawant, Desai Keshav Naik and Keshav Prabhu of Pedhne and Khalu Shenvi of Dicholi also fled into the Portuguese territory of Goa.

Construction of Sindhudurg Fort
On 5 th December 1664 , Shivaji laid the foundation of Fort Sindhudurg in the Malwan region along the Konkan coast. He also streangthened his other naval forts of Vijaydurg (Gheria) and Suvarnadurg.
Shivaji added to his navy several commanders like Darya Sarang,Daulat Khan, Ibrahim Khan (all of whom were incidently muslim.*) and Mainak Bhandari.
*Note: There were many muslims amongst Shivajis forces like Siddi Hillal(cavalry head),Siddi Wahawaha(cavalry),Noorkhan Baig(first sarnobat),Madari Mehtar(bodyguard, especially during Shivajis Agra visit),Kazi Haider(secretary),Shama khan(sardar),Siddi Ambar Wahad,Hussain Faan Miyana(officer), Darya sarang/Ibrahim khan/Siddi Sambal (who was previously a part of the Siddis of Janjira but later shifted loyalties to Shivaji/Siddi Misri (the nephew of Siddi Sambal)/Sultan Khan/Daud Khan(navy officer),Daulat khan(admiral),7 cavalry regiments,700 Pathans,besides many muslims in the maratha navy.This should prove that Shivaji wasn’t just a leader of Hindus only but had followers from all religions and regions (including Abyssinians like the Siddis, the Portuguese and the English).
While Shivajis troops were raiding the Bijapur towns of Hubli and Khanapur, Shivaji launched a naval expedition to the prosperous town of Basrur (Bidnur province of Kanara coast) in Feb 1665. He plundered the rich town and carried off a large booty.
Thus whatever losses Shivaji suffered during the Bijapur and Mughal onslaughts, he compensated for them from the booty he recovered from Surat and Basrur.

Mirza Raje Jaisingh
This time Aurangzeb sent one of his most trusted generals, Mirza Raje Jaisingh, the Raja of Amber with a huge army to subdue the Deccan. Raje Jaisingh was an seasoned military commander. He didn’t underestimate Shivaji and devised a multi pronged approach to subdue him.he isolated Shivaji. He firstly consolidated the mughal bases in the plains, Kalyan, and Bhiwandi. Secondly he isolated Shivaji by engaging Adilshah and the Portuguese in treaties , whereby they would neither directly nor indirectly assist Shivaji or divert his attention by attacking the Mughals, nor allow safe passage for Shivaji through their territories (though Adilshah was Shivajis enemy, he could have grouped with Shivaji to ward of an mughal attack into Deccan). He bribed some of Shivajis men and induced them to switch sides. Jaisingh also invited the Siddis of Janjira to assist him in his endeavours against Shivaji.
Note:Also assisting Jaisingh was another stalwart from the Mughal camp, Diler Khan the Pathan, and seasoned warriors like Jaisinghs son Kirat Singh,Qabad Khan,Mitrasen,Indraman Bundela,Raja Raisingh Rathore, Badal Bakhtiyar,Udaibhan and Haribhan Gaur,Syed Munawarkhan Barha,Sharzakhan,Hassankhan,Jauharkhan,Jagatsingh,Ram singh,Muhammed Saleh Tarkhan,Raja Narsingh Gaur,Syed Maqbool Alam,Karan Rathore,Hussain Daudzai,Jagat singh Narwari,Rasul Beg Rozwani, Chaturbhuj Chauhan,Qutubbuddin Khan, Amarsingh Chandrawat,Syed Zainulabbuddin Bukhari,Achal singh Kachwaha,Qubadkhan,Abul Qasim,Abdullah,Ranadullah,Khwaja Abul Makrim , Raji Afzal Bijapuri,Bhai Afzal Bijapuri,Rasulbeg Rozbhani,Purdilkhan, Shubhkaran Bundela,Bhupat singh,Zabardastkhan,Atishkhan,Turkataz khan and Daud Khan (etc).
Mirzaraje then devasted the entire countryside, scorched farmlands, butchered people in order to pressurise Shivaji.
This massive mughal army swarmed down the Maratha territory capturing fort Rudramal (14th April 1665), and fort Kunwari (30th April), and simultaneously wrecking havoc on the villages below Shivajis various forts like Rajgad,Lohagad etc. Seige was also mounted at the twin forts of Vajragad-Purander (3 long distance cannons by the name of Abdullahkhan,Mehli,Fatehlashkar). Murarbaji Deshpande, the killedar of Purander (Yeshwantrao Buwaji Prabhu and Babaji Buwaji Prabhu were in charge at Vajragad.+) displayed exlemprary courage during this siege, thwarting the Mughal attempts to surmount the fort. He even spurned Mughal overtures * and sacrificed his life, gallantly defending the fort. But the numbers were on the side of the mughals and Vajragad  fell to the enemy.

Note+ Vajragad fell after the death of its killedars the gallant Prabhu brothers.
Note* Seeing that he couldnt defend the fort for long against the mughal cannon fire, Murarbaji himself collected 700 men , opened the fort gates and charged straight down at the enemy. He hacked down almost 500 mughal soldiers. Seeing his valour Dilerkhan promised him an honourable service in the mughal army. But Murarbaji spurned the offer and continued fighting till his last (an arrow struck him dead). However even as Murarbaji fell down, the  marathas continued to defend Purandar.

The mughal atrocities on the common folks continued much to the dismays of Shivaji.
By now, Shivaji had realised this was not an enemy he can wish away, and thought it prudent to announce a surrender rather than risk further destruction to his forts and his people. He handed over fort Purander along with twenty two other forts to the mughals on 11th June 1665 as per the agreement now known as the Treaty of Purandar (actually only 19 forts were handed over). Shivaji was also to become mughal vassal and assist them in conquering the south starting with Bijapur.
Note: The forts ceded by Shivaji were Purandar,Rudramal or Vajragad,Kondana,Rohida,Lohagad,Visapur,Tung,Tikona,Khandkala,Mahuli, Muranjan,Kohaj,Karnala,Songad,Palasgad,Bhandargad,Khirdurg,Nardurg,Vasantgad,Nangagad,Ankola or Khaigad,Margagad and Mangad.
Shivaji was allowed to retain twelve forts namely Rajgad,Torna,Hingangad,Bhorap,Talegad,Mahagad,Ghosala,Birwadi,Pali,Rairi,Kunwarigad and Udaid.

What followed was Shivajis brief and reluctant flirtation with the Mughals. Shivaji had to spend almost three months in the mughal camp, fighting alongside them against Bijapur.
Shivajis general Netaji was sent to reduce Phaltan, which was under Shivajis brother in law Bajaji Nimbalkar. On 7th Dec 1665, Nimbalkar surrendered theAdilshahi fort to Netaji. Shivaji had meanwhile captured Tathawda near Phaltan.Netaji again added Mangalvedha in the mughal kitty on 19th Dec. Soon Khatav was captured.
Meanwhile a strong contingent from Bijapur was sent to repulse the Mughal attack(25th Dec 1665). It included the Wazir Abul Muhammed, Sharza Khan Mehdvi,Khawaskhan,Kalyanrao Jadhav,Yaqut Habshi,Ikhlas Khan,Bahlol Khan,Aziz,Siddi Masud (son in law of Siddi Jauhar),Abdul Aziz (son of Siddi Jauhar), Rustam Zaman (son of Ranadaullah Khan) and Vyankoji Bhosale (Shivajis step brother who was on the Adilshahi side).Also sent to assist the Bijapuris was an contingent from Golkunda . The Bijapur army was initially repulsed by Kirat singh(younger son of Jaisingh),Shivaji,Netaji Palkar,Sarfaraz khan,Salabat Khan and others leading the combined Mughal Maratha armies.
Netaji Palkar was awarded an mansab of 2 Hazari ( 2000 horsemen) for his bravery. But apparently Netaji Palkar wasn’t happy with this offer and when he was offered a better deal by the Bijapuris (4 lakh huns), he crossed over to their side.There is also a version wherein Netaji had failed to come to the assistance of Shivaji during his siege of Panhala (which was earlier handed over by Siddi Johar to the Adilshahi sultanate. On an earlier occasion too Netaji had delayed action during the Afzal Khan encounter), and for the same Shivaji had him replaced as his ‘sarlashkar’ by Prataprao Gujar (ref. J.Sarkar). Miffed Netaji apparently deserted Shivaji and joined Adilshah. Speculations were also made in the English and Mughal accounts that the defection of Netaji Palkar was just a ruse played by Shivaji.

Note1: Later, Jaisingh couldn’t afford to let a valuable asset like Netaji Palkar go to the other side, so he increased his offer to 5 Hazari and once again brought Netaji Palkar to the mughal side (March 1666). Netaji was converted to Islam (He was renamed Muhammed Quli Khan) and after that, Netaji was hastened off to an expedition to Afghanistan. He remained there for nine years. Only when Aurangzeb was convinced that Netaji had indeed turned into a new leaf and become a mughal loyalist, was he allowed to return to Deccan (ostensibly to counter Shivaji). But moment Netaji reached Burhanpur , he gave the mughal army a slip and returned to Shivaji's camp.

Note2:Netaji Palkar was later to be reconverted to the Hindu fold by Shivaji, after he returned back to the Maratha side in 1676.But Netaji Palkar never retained his original position in the maratha camp.

Meanwhile, Shivaji was feeling restless and also insecure in the mughal camp. He feared a attack on his life. It is to be noted that as per the memoirs of Niccoli Mannuci who then was acting as an envoy of Jaisingh, Dilerkhan wished to murder Shivaji, but Jaisingh had strictly prohibited it. So Shivaji requested Jaisingh that he should be allowed to be detached from the Mughal contingent and sent separately to attack fort Panhala. But as stated earlier Shivajis attempts to capture Panhala failed (apparently Shivajis stars werent bright during that period), and Shivaji sullenly retreated to his fort Vishalgad.
Meanwhile, the Bijapuris had realized they couldn’t take on the mughal might in pitched battles.What was followed later by the Bijapuris was the scorched earth policy supplemented by gureilla tactics.They cut the supply lines of the Mughals, and also indulged in daring hit and run attacks on the Mughal camps.They frustrated the mughal designs of victory and soon forced their army to flee. Shivajis attack on Panhala fort too was repulsed(16th Jan 1666). Jaisingh finally had to accept defeat against the Bijapuris and decided to withdraw his forces. Bijapuris under Rustam Zaman later captured Phonda,Kudal,Pedne,Bhatagram and Sattar (which had earlier been in Maratha control).The Bijapuris were helped secretly by the Portuguese in these endeavours.
Note: It is interesting to note Rustam Zaman left the fort of Rangna for Shivaji, much to the annoyance of Adilshah, which only goes to prove Shivajis secret understanding with this Adilshahi commander.
Thus inspite of a victory over the Marathas, Mirza Raje Jaisingh wasn’t very successful against the Bijapuris and had to return leaving his Deccan campaign incomplete.
Note: Mirza Raje Jaisingh continued as the governor of Deccan and was successful to the extent of extracting a treaty (which all believed was only temporary to bide time) from the Bijapur sultanate, whereby they agreed to pay an annual tribute to the mughals (Jaisingh never really managed to subdue the Bijapuris and had to content himself with stalemate). After Shivajis escape from Agra, Jaisingh and his son Ramsingh fell from the graces of Aurangzeb and were penalised for the losses. Jaisingh was soon recalled from Deccan and Aurangzeb sent his son Prince Muazzam as an replacement along with Raja Jaswant singh ( as his adviser ). But before Raja Jaisingh could return to Delhi, he fell ill and died in Burhanpur (some say he was poisened by Aurangzeb +).

Note+ It is possible that when Jaisinghs son Ramsingh was penalised by the emperor (whom he directly blamed for Shivajis escape from Agra), Jaisingh too felt disenchanted by the emperor and relaxed his pressure on the Bijapuris. It was later rumoured that Aurangzeb  poisoned Jaisingh to extract his revenge for the Bijapur debacle.

Shivajis trip to Agra, his house arrest and subsequent escape
Jaisingh had requested Shivaji to meet Emperor Aurangzeb at Agra to discuss the modalities of his treaty of Purander (he also feared that Diler Khan might try and murder Shivaji and he desperately wanted Shivaji on his side as Shivaji was well acquainted with the Deccan terrain. He felt that Aurangzeb would win over Shivaji over to the mughal side and Shivaji would look after Mughal interests in the Deccan , indirectly earning some brownie points for Jaisingh in the Mughal court. Hence he desired a meeting between Shivaji and Aurangzeb) and was also promised the Viceroyality of Deccan. Jaisingh even gave his personal word of honour that Shivaji will be protected during his Delhi trip and that he or his men wont be harmed in anyway. For his Agra trip he was even sanctioned a huge amount(one lakh rupees from the Aurangabad treasury) to pay for his contingents (8 elephants,500 horsemen and 500 footsoldiers. He was also accompanied by his eldest son Sambhaji) trip to Agra. Shivaji thus set off for Agra from Fort Rajgadh on 5th March 1666.
Shivaji was received in Agra by Ramsingh the son of Mirza Raje Jaisingh on 12th May 1666. He was soon granted an audience in Aurangzebs court. But the meeting with the emperor was soon to go awfully wrong. Apparently in the court Aurangzeb took no notice of Shivaji and Shivaji was made to stand in a row which was meant for the 5 hazari courtiers. This irked the self respecting Shivaji to no end. He angrily remarked to Ramsingh that Aurangzeb has insulted him by making him stand behind people whom he has made to flee in the battlefield (referring to maharajah Jaswant singh of Jodhpur). Saying this Shivaji and his son walked away from the durbar in a huff.
Predictably Shivaji and his men were put under house arrest by Aurangzeb. Ramsingh pleaded mercy on behalf of Shivaji, but it wasn’t heeded to. By now, Aurangzeb had decided to murder Shivaji for his insolence (but later decided against it, so as not to anatagonise Mirzaraje Jaisingh beacause of whose solemn word Shivaji had agreed to visit Agra in the first place. Aurangzeb commuted the death sentence to house arrest). 
An heavily armed unit guarded the house where Shivaji was lodged. But Shivaji was not the man who could be held in confinement for long.His sharp mind soon devised a plan to escape. Shivaji initially first feigned illness. He also spent his time in meditation, as if he had turned into a recluse.He even spread rumours that he wanted to spend his last days as a hermit. Shivaji then started sending huge baskets filled with sweets and eatables for the poor and the holy men of Agra.  Initially the baskets were checked, but as days passed by, the patrols became negligent. After making sure that the men outside have become complacent, Shivaji and his son Sambhaji, seated themselves in those wooden baskets and escaped from the mansion.Then, entrusting the young Sambhaji in a house of a confidante Brahmin, Shivaji escaped in disguise from Agra. Earlier Shivaji had also intimated to the emperor that he wished to send back several of the people of his entourage back home. Assuming less men with Shivaji the better, the emperor gladly issued him several gatepasses (which Shivaji further forged and used to pass through check points on his way back home). Shivajis daring escape from Agra made him an subject of folklore, to be balladised for centuries to come. 

Note: Shivajis eldest son Sambhaji who had accompanied him to Agra continued to remain incognito/hidden in the north (with relatives of Moropant Pingale who had settled there) and arrived in the Deccan much later.

Shivaji returned back to Rajgadh on 20th November, 1666.
Shivaji maintained a low profile for the next three years. But these three years, Shivaji utilized for consolidating his position in Maharashtra. He reorganized his forces. He knew that it wasnt wise enough to take on the mughal might immediately +.

Note+: Shivaji wrote a letter to Aurangzeb that he had to escape as he feared fr his life, but he would continue to serve the emperors interests in the Deccan. Even Aurangzebs son Muazzam who was posted as the mughal viceroy of the Deccan appealed to his father for a royal pardon for Shivaji. But the shrewd (and suspicious Aurangzeb) actually feared that his son would take Shivajis help to rebel against him . Though for sometime he went along with his sons request (which included Shivajis son Sambhaji to be permanently posted in Aurangabad as a panch hazari sardar in mughal service), Aurangzebs paranoia eventually got the better of him. He sent orders to his son (as per Sabhasad bakhar) to arrest Shivaji as he cannot be trusted. But Muazzam had already alerted Shivaji and the marathas escaped from Aurangabad before the emperors order for the arrest reached his son (It is to be noted that Muazzam was not a man of action. He preffered peace with the marathas and a life of comfort rather than any tensions whatsoever. Moreover , he didnt get along with his sadar Diler Khan as well). Meanwhile  Shivaji also decided to lie low till he regained his old strength.

Shivaji then decided to regain his lost power,mainly at the expense of the Bijapuris especially around the Goa Konkan strip. He also wanted to attack the Siddi at Janjira, but the Mughals were proving to be the impediments. But what disturbed Shivaji was Aurangzebs Islamic zeal whereby he had started demolishing Hindu temples and indulging in forcible conversions (ref. Pagadi, letter of President Gary of Surat). The Kashi Vishwanath temple at Varanasi was sacked by the Mughals. This affected Shivajis religious sensibilities. Also the Mughal empire was facing disturbances from other quarters. Aurangzeb was facing disturbances in Afghanistan and Mathura. Aurangzeb was also paranoid about the activities of his son Prince Muazzam the governor of Deccan+.

Note+: The paranoid Aurangzeb apparently sent a letter to Muazzam asking him to imprison Shivaji and detain the marathas at Aurangabad. Thus Aurangzeb himself initiated what Shivaji wanted to do all the time. That was to break the truce between Mughals and the Marathas.

 Also things weren’t well in the mughal camp. Muazzam and Jaswant singh had antipathy towards another mughal commander Diler khan. The mughals were in a disarray. This was an opportune time to strike at the Mughals. In January 1670, Shivaji launched his attacks on the mughal garrisons.Kondana was captured on 4th Feb 1670, Purandar on 8th March,Mahuli fell to the Marathas on16th June.Rohida, Lohagadh,Prabalgad,Karnala were also captured. Within six months Shivaji had wrested back majority of the territory that he had ceded to Mirza Jaisingh.On third October ,Shivajis men plundered Surat for the second time. The Mughal army was also badly mauled in the battle of Dindori (17th Oct 1670). About a week later Shivajis Peshwa,Moropant Pingale had captured fort Trimbak at Nasik.In Dec 1670, Shivaji himself conducted raids in the Khandesh province. He plundered Bahadurpura near Burhanpur,followed by Berar, then Karinja. Moropant Trimbak Pingale had already looted western Khandesh and Baglana.Salher had also fallen to the Marathas. Surat was plundered for the second time around. The mughal power in Maharashtra was now shaken.

Note: Prince Muazzam was recalled afterwards from Deccan and Bahadurkhan was sent as his replacement.

Skirmish with the Portuguese
Shivaji had captured almost all territories near Goa and South Konkan barring Phonda and Jambavali Panchamahal. All the local chieftains (Desais) from these areas fled to Portuguese territories and were harboured by the Portuguese. This created tensions between Shivaji and the Portuguese.In retaliation, Shivaji plundered the Portuguese territory of Bardesh (22 Nov 1667). Finally the Portuguese had to enter into a treaty with Shivaji.

Battle of Kondana
Kondana was a fort that lay on the outskirts of Pune.It was one of the forts ceded to the mughals as per the Purandar treaty.In February 1670, Shivaji sent his trusted commander Tanaji Malusare (who had earlier captured Prachitgad) and his brother Suryaji Malusare to take back Kondana (Tanaji was well acquainted with Kondana , hence entrusted with the responsibility). Tanaji even postponed his sons (Raibas) wedding and gave precedence to duty towards his king. The fort was guarded by a fifteen hundred strong contingent of Rajputs under Udaybhan Rathod. Tanaji and his men climbed the steep mountain slope by hand and fell upon the mughal guards (legend goes that Tanaji used a pet mountain monitor to carry the rope up the steep cliff).But Sabhasad bakhar a treatise on Shivaji contradicts the ghorphad folklore and mentions Tanaji and his mavalas of having climbed Kondana like vanars (monkeys)in the dead of the night. Udaybhan offered a stiff resistance, In the fierce fight that ensued , both Tanaji and Udaybhan succumbed (Tanaji died fighting with Udaybhan and Udaybhan was killed by Shelar mama). But Suryaji and Shelar mama , Tanajis maternal uncle and an old war veteran, carried on the fight and ultimately led the Marathas to a victory. Shivaji on hearing the news of Tanajis death, is said to have exclaimed (as per Sabhasad bakhar) , “ Ek gadh aalaa pan ek gadh gelaa.” (One fort was captured , but the other was lost). A popular novel by Shri H.N.Apte was titled ,’Gadh ala pun sinha gela’ (on similar sounding words) meaning ,’the fort was captured but the lion died.’This has led people to believe that kondhana was named as Sinhagad in the memory of Tanaji Malusare who died a lions death. But some documents uncovered have proved the Kondana was named Sinhagad years before Tanajis death.

Shivaji meets Raja Chatrasal
Sometime in 1671-72 , Shivaji received an unexpected visitor. He was Raja Chatrasal, the young son of Champatrai Bundela, the late chieftain of Mahewa (eastern Bundelkhand). Chatrasal was greatly inspired by Shivajis exploits , and had offered Shivaji his services. Shivaji received him warmly, but told him to return back to his lands and lead his people to independence from the Mughal yoke. Shivaji also promised him all the help in his endeavour. Raja Chatrasal was later to accomplish what Shivaji had directed him to do, and would also become an prominent ally of the Marathas in the years to come.

Note 1: Abdullah Qutubshah of Golkunda died on 21 st April 1672. He was succeeded by his son in law Abul Hasan (Tana Shah).
Note 2 : Ali Adil Shah of Bijapur died on 24th Nov 1672. He was succeeded by Sikandar Adil Shah a boy of four. Khawaskhan the son of the old prime minister, Khan Muhammed Khankhanan become the regent

Note 3: Notable Activities of Marathas in 1672-74 : *Shivaji carried forward naval operations against the Siddis of Janjira and the Mughals in 1672.
* Due to Rustamzamans friendly overtures to Shivaji, Bijapur in middle of 1672 took away Rustamzamans viceroyalty of Kanara region and his areas of Raibag and Hukkeri. Rustam zaman rebelled against the sultan, but his rebellion was crushed.
* Shivaji attackes Bijapur territories again. Panhala was taken over by Shivaji from Bijapur on 6th March 1673. Maratha Sarlashkar Prataprao Gujar engages Bahlol Khan the Pathan commander of Bijapur at the Battle of Umrani in March 1673, but lets off Bahlol Khan. Shivaji is furious with his sarlaskar and orders him not to show his face till he undoes his mistake. Then Prataprao sets out to reimpose the shaken faith of his master. He attacks Bijapur territories in Karnatak. Hubli is attacked.For his failure Muzzafarkhan the Governor of Kanara is sacked. He rebels against Bijapur. Miansaheb, the fauzdar of Karwar too rebels against Bijapur.
* Shivaji captures Parli inApril 1673, and Satara on 27th July 1673.
* Shivaji plunders Bankapur in Dharwar on 10th Oct 1673.
* Shivaji beats the forces of Diler Khan the mughal commander.                                                                   
* Kondaji Farzand recaptures Panhala with just sixty men.
* Shivajis Sarlashkar Prataprao Gujar dies in the Battle of Nesari on 24th Feb 1673. He is said to have charged at the forces of Bahlol Khan with just six valorous men and all the seven martyred themselves displaying exlemprary courage in combat +. Prataprao is succeeded by Hambirao Mohite as the new Sarlashkar( commander in chief) on 8th April 1674.

Note + : It seems unlikely that a seasoned commander like Prataprao Gujar could have recklessly charged on the enemy. Gujar at the most may have led a reconnaisance mission which could have been ambushed leading to his death. The references we get in the bakhars are not very detailed and merely mention Gujar being killed in the battle of Nesari. An letter written by one Shenvi to the English official mentions six men being killed along with Sarsenapati Gujar by the men of Bahlol Khan. ref. Mahesh Tendulkar.

Coronation of Shivaji
Untill the death of his father Shahaji, Shivaji had always considered Shahaji as the Raja. Since Shahaji was always a noble in the courts of the sultans, Shivaji was always viewed as a rebel , an upstart, by his enemies and contemporaries. He was never considered a king in the true sense (inspite of the huge territory he had conquered by overaweing three kings). It had become imperative now, that Shivaji should be crowned as a Chatrapati (‘Chatra’, here means the royal umbrella and ‘Pati’ is the owner. Hence Chatrapati means the owner of the royal umbrella i.e the King). The idea of Shivaji being declared an king was first mooted by Gaga Bhat an learned Brahmin from Benares (whose family had earlier migrated from Paithan).*

Note*: A popular story that does the rounds is that (esp. as per Sir J Sarkars book) the brahmins refused to acknowledge Shivaji as a Kshatriya, hence couldnt be declared a king, so Gaga Bhat was specially brought over from Benares to declare Shivaji as a Kshatriya. However this story is quite laughable, because, no subject (especially the brahmins who lived on the dakshinas donated by their king) could have mustered guts to oppose Shivaji's coronation. Moreover the Vedas themselves mention that being a Brahmin or a Kshtriya is determined by ones actions and not by birth.

On May 1674, Shivaji began preparations for his coronation. As per the hindu rites, he remarried his wives (30th May) after he performed the sacred thread ceremony (29th May), officialy appointed his own council of ministers, the Ashta Pradhans ( 8 ministers), distributed gifts to his men , the poor and the Brahmins(14th June). Thus Shivaji was officially coronated the King by the Vedic rites. Raigadh was declared as the capital of his kingdom.
Incidently he was coronated the king for a second time by Tantrik rites (by an Tantrik priest Nischalpuri Gosavi), apparently due to some incidents and tragedies that happened just before and after his coronation.
It is to be noted that, Shivajis mother Jijabai passed away on 18th June 1674. Earlier one of Shivajis Queens , Kashibai too had expired, sometime on 16th March 1674, and also had his sarlashkar Prataprao Gujar ( 24th Feb 1674). During the performance of the rites Gaga Bhat, the Vedic priest, too had met with an minor accident. All these incidents were cited as inauspicious and hence Shivaji was advised a second coronation as per a Tantrik ceremony( ostensibly to pacify the bad omens and the spirits), which took place some time on 24th Sept 1674. Its to be remembered that these were the medieval ages.
Note 1:Notable Activities of Marathas in 1674-76 : In Oct,1674, the Marathas raided Khandesh. On 17th April 1675 Shivaji captured Phonda from Bijapuris. By mid 1675 marathas had occupied Karwar. Kolhapur fell to the Marathas in July 1675. The Marathas also have naval skirmishes with the Siddis of Janjira in Nov 1675. Early 1676, Peshwa Pingale engages Raja of Ramnagar in battle en route to Surat.Shivaji looted Athni in March 1676. By the end of 1676, Shivaji besieges Belgaum and Vayem Rayim.
Note 2: Politics in the Bijapur court intensifies between rival factions, the Deccan faction led by Khawaskhan the regent and the Pathan faction by the Bahlol Khan, leading to open battles between them. Khawaskhan is put to death by the Pathans on 18th January 1676. Now the rival faction of the pathans is led by Siddi Masud.
Note 3: Mughals led by Bahadur Khan siding the Deccan faction, clash with the Pathans in the battle of Indi,13th june 1676. The Pathans have to retreat.

Shivajis Southern campaign (1677-78)
Shivaji embarked on his southern expedition sometime in January 1677. Shivaji knew that the days of Bijapur were numbered, and he wanted to hit the final nail in their coffin , with his southern expedition. The idea was to become the immediate successor to the Bijapur sultanate in the south, before the Mughals caught up.
Shivaji concluded a treaty with the Golkunda Sultan, Abul Hasan (after being received with great pomp in the city of Hyderabad) Shivaji then proceeded to conquer Jinji ( in Tamil Nadu) which he did in May 1677. Jinji was to serve as the southern capital of the Marathas for the next twenty seven years. Lakshmishwar, Belvadi,the central and eastern regions of Mysore,Kopal,Bellary,Chitaldurg and Vellore also fell to Shivaji.
Shivaji had a brief altercation with his step brother Vyankoji (who had by now established his rule in Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu). It was an dispute over Shahajis legacy and estate in Karnatak. Shivaji laid seige at Thanjavur (captured the surrounding areas).But eventually both the brothers reached an amicable settlement.
All in all, the southern expedition proved very fruitfull for Shivaji.

Note: Shivaji had virtually captured Vyankojis entire region and even laid seige to his capital. But later generously gave away most of the land captured as a gift to Vyankojis wife and made peace with his step brother. Vyankoji did not take the outcome graciously and desired to retire from active life. But Shivaji sent him a letter castigating him for his defeatist attitude and rather encoraged him to once gain resume his dutities as the king.

Shivajis son Sambhaji joins the Mughals
Sambhaji, the eldest son of Shivaji was developing serious frictions with his step mother, Soyarabai, who wanted to install her own son Rajaram on the Maratha throne. Also to add fuel to the fire were certain incidents that took place due to Sambhajis alleged amorous leanings and vices (this is as per some historians, but this is something that has been strongly contested by another section of historians), something which Shivaji strongly disapproved of. The differences between father and son reached a point , where Sambhaji, took off to join the Mughals (during Shivajis southern expedition), sometime in Dec,1678. But within a year the impetuous prince realized his folly and returned back to the Maratha camp.

Shivajis altercation with the English
Shivaji had an brief altercation with the English over the island of Khanderi sometime towards the end of 1679 and the start of 1680. Shivajis admiral Daulat Khan , successfully defeated the English in a few naval battles, forcing the English to accept defeat and hasten a treaty with Shivaji.

Death of Shivaji
Shivajis last two years were spent engaging the Mughals, the Siddis of Janjira and the English. (During his last years fearing an mughal invasion of Bijapur , its regent Siddi Masud made a treaty with Shivaji, whereby Shivaji delivered help to the kingdom).

Note: Diler Khan the mughal commander had laid seige on Bijapur, but was recalled by Aurangzeb after differences between him and Prince Muazzam (and Raja Jaswant singh) arose.

Shivaji was also to start an expedition against the Portuguese to sort out pending disputes, if not for an anti climax to this great Kings life.
The fatigues of constant wars had taken their toll on Shivaji. He fell ill due to heat strokes and ailment described as fever and blood dysentery. Shivaji breathed his last on 3 rd April 1680. An eventfull life was cut short at the age of fifty three.

To be concluded

Part 3 will be an analysis of Shivaji life, his men, his family , his character and his rule.


  1. some other people are not mentioned

  2. I am sure. But its very difficult fitting in everybody in one article.

  3. Dear Sir. I am Abhay..I am a true worshiper of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Idolise his zest and love for Maharashtra and its people.I wanted to ask whether I could Share the above Beautiful picture of Maharaj with ofcourse the Blog address,on Social networking site!. It would only increase the visibility of Your blog and make people read it. which i want to. awaiting permission..Thanx, Regards

  4. Dear Abhay,
    I suppose you can share the above picture as I hold no copyright for it either. Let the netspace be source of free and generous information (etc) exchange.

  5. KIndly see mu blog where I posted certain water color paintings from Chatrapathi's life.These are
    1. Shivaji maharaj's portrait
    2.Tanaji climbing the Kondana fort
    3. Tanji fights Udaybhan the killedar of Kondana
    4. Shivaji Maharj mourns Tanaji
    5.Shivaji Maharaj attacks shaista khan at pune
    6. Shivaji maharaj kills Afzal khan
    7.Tanaji takes oath that he would capture Kondana
    8.Baji prabhu Deshapande fights Bijapur army
    9. Shivaji maharj's coronation

    1. Thanks for your link. But I have been unable to locate the said paintings. Nevertheless, let me congragulate you on yr other articles. They made an interesting reading.

    2. I shall post the links. Thanks for your interest.Shivaji Maharaj saved us from Islamization. How a nation can forget him? From Childhood I was much inspired by his life. While I stayed at pune for some time I scaled Sinhgad fort. Of course I drove my Royal en field bike to the top.I saw the deep precipe over which Tanaji climbed the fort. Compared to them we are nothing in physical strength.Long live memories of Maharaj

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  9. we read that Shivaji protected the Himdu Religion. But it is very surprise information that" Shivaji looted Himdu kingdoms also, and the word attached with Shivaji is that "Looting of villages". Then how can we call him as "HIMDU PROTECTOR" ?