Saturday, March 26, 2016

Shivaji - The Builder of Indian Nationalist State

Shivaji is the first or second Hindu Emperor after Muhammedan rule started in India. Vijayanagar kings may be taken as the first. The Marathas became a leading force in India subsequent to Shivaji till their defeat in Third Battle of Panipat.


The Family

Shivaji's grandfather  Maloji Bhonsle, was a soldier. He was in the service of the Bahamani king of Ahmednagar. In 1594, Maloji's son Shahaji, was born. Shahaji married Jijabai, the daughter of a Hindu landowner and a  court noble Lakhoji. Shahaji also served the king of Ahmednagar. In 1636, the kingdom collapsed and Shahahi entered armies of Bijapur. Emperor at Delhi, Shah Jahan had taken Ahmednagar and pressed southward to attack Bijapur. Shahaji's lands were in the path of advancing Mughal army. Shahaji retreated to Bijapur with a baby son with name Sambhaji, but Jijabai was left behind and she was pregnant.

Birth and Childhood of Shivaji

Jijabai took refuge in Shivner, a fort on hills. It was in a wild place and some faithful followers were with her in the fort. At this fort, on February 19, 1630 at 6.10 pm (Krishna Paksha Tritiya of Phalguna, third day of new moon fortnight), Jijabai gave birth to her second son. The boy was named Shivaji. Mughals were searching for Jijabai. Shivaji's childhood was full of alarm. When Shivaji was six years old, Mughals found out their place and came to capture them. Shivaji escaped but Mughals captured Jijabai.

Devoted servants carried him away and took care of him. When Shivaji was ten years old his mother escaped from the Mughal captivity and joined her son in the hills. The war between Bijapur and Mughals was in the last phases and Mughals did not pursue her. Both mother and son lived in the hills. Jijabai told Shivaji stories from Ramayan and Mahabharat and Shivaji learned the glory of ancient kings of India and of Hindu Religion through her stories.

The war came to an end with truce between Mughals and Bijapur king. In 1637, a treaty was signed. The border between Bijapur and the Mughal empire was drawn and Shahaji's lands were at the borders of Bijapur. Once peace returned, Shahaji could bring back his wife and son to Bijapur.

The ways and actions  of Shivaji troubled Shahaji, and Shahaji sent him back to his lands at the borders of Bijapur. Shivaji came to the lands of his father and stayed in its villages. Pune is an important village in these lands. Dadaji Kondadev was appointed as his tutor by his father, Shahaji. Under Dadaji's administration, Pune prospered as a village.

Shivaji - Acquisition of Forts

Shivaji attained 19 years of age and spent most of his time in moving about in the hilly areas of his father's lands. To the south-west of Pune was a small fort of Torna in mountain passes. It was a difficult place to stay in the rainy season. The commander of the fort left the fort in the rainy season of 1646 with his force and Shivaji occupied this fort. The commander was stunned and reported the matter to Bijapur authorities but Shivaji claimed himself to be a loyal person to king and said he was holding the fort for serving the king only. Shivaji built a fort on a hill called Raigad, which was six miles from Torna. He also occupied another fort, Kondana, which was at eleven miles south-west of Pune. One more fortress around Pune, Purandar was also occupied by Shivaji. But Shivaji was declaring his loyalty to the king of Bijapur all the time and was also promising extra taxes. Dadaji was not in agreement with Shivaji in these activities, but he fell ill in 1647 and breathed his last. During his last day, he blessed Shivaji and asked him to bring back Hinduism to its earlier glory.

Subsequent Important Events

Capture of Kalyan

To the east of Shivaji's occupied forts lies the coastal land. The capital of this province of Bijapur kingdom ws Kalyan. In the 1648, the governor of the province dispatched a special caravan to containing the year's revenue to the Bijapur King. Shivaji seized it and followed it with capture of Kalyan. He appointed a Maratha called Abaji as governor.

The governor went to Bijapur and complained. Shivaji's father Shahaji was put in prison and a letter was sent to Shivaji informing him that unless he surrendered at Bijapur, his father would be killed. Shivaji came out with a plan. He sent a messenger to Mughal viceroy of Central Province, Murad Baksh agreeing to become their subject and also offered all forts under his command to Mughals. Prince Murad Baksh liked the offer and wrote gracious letters to Shivaji and Shahaji and instructed Bijapur king to take care of Shahaji. Shivaji sent number of letters to Mughal emperor flattering him and expressing his devotion and loyalty.

Aurangzeb and Shivaji

Aurangzeb replaced Murad Baksh as viceroy of Central Province. In February 1657, Aurangzeb marched towards Bijapur to attack it. Shivaji allowed them to pass through his territory as he declared loyalty to Mughal emperor.  But after Mughal army went ahead, Shivaji went and attacked Ahmednagar and captured its treasury and military resources. He still pleaded loyalty with Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb was angry but he had to even call off seize of Bijapur and rush to Delhi as Shah Jehan had fallen ill.

Killing of Afzal Khan, sent  by Bijapur to capture Shivaji

In 1659, Bijapur king sent Afzul Khan to capture Shivaji. Afzul Khan agreed to meet Shivaji in private and in the scuffle Shivaji killed Afzul Khan and defeated the army that came with him.

Shivaji Maharaj - Full Animated Hindi Film
__________________ __________________
Kids Plant

Bijapur sent a much bigger army nder Sidi Johar, but Shivaji could not be defeated. In 1662, there were peace talks and Shivaji was recognized as an independent ruler. Shivaji's father Shahaji represented Bijpaur during these talks and father and son met again after a long time. Shahahi went back to Bijapur. Shivaji was recognized as a ruler.

Fighting with Shayista Khan, sent by Aurangzeb

In 1663, Auranzeb sent Shayista Khan with an army to attack Shivaji to revenge Shivaji's attack on Ahmednagar. Shayista Khan attacked Pune and Shivaji vacated Pune. Pune was occupied and due to onset of monsoon, there were no fights. But Shivaji made a surprise attack in night on Shayista Khan when he was sleeping and in that fight Khan lost his thumb. Shayista Khan returned back as an unsuccesful general and he was demoted in rank. On January 5th 1664 Shivaji reached Surat to revenge the attack of Shayista Khan. Marathas plundered Surat and went back to their place with the booty before the Moghul army could come to Surat.

Chhatrapati Shivaji - Veer Maratha - Marathi Film
____________________ ____________________
Cinecurry Classics 

Escape from the house arrest by Auranzeb from Agra

Aurangzeb was outraged with the attack on Surat. He appointed Raja Jai Singh as the commander of moghul military of the  south.  Jaisingh assembled 14000 horsemen, a strong infantry under an Afghan called Dilir Khan. In 1665 Jai Singh reached Poona or Pune. He attacked the fort at Purandar and captured number of Maratha soldiers. He kept Dilir Khan there to complete the conquest and proceeded to Raigad fort where Shivaji's family was there and surrounded it. Shivaji wanted peace and total surrender was put as a condition before him. Shivaji agreed and then he was summoned to durbar of Auranzeb. Jai Singh offered to send his son Ram Singh as a support to Shivaji at durbar and Shivaji went to Agra with his son.

In May 1666, Shivaji reached Agra. In the court, Shivaji was asked sit among the lower nobles. Shivaji protested. Emperor looked angrily at him, but Shivaji went on protesting. When they came back to Ram Singh's residence, soldiers surrounded their building. Aurangzeb told Ram Singh that he was the jailor of Shivaji and he would be punished if there was an untoward incident. After somedays, Shivaji thought of a plan and started showing pleasant and cheerful behaviour. Shivaji asked the permission of emperor to bring his mother and wife to Agra. Shivaji also wrote a letter to emperor stating that he had no need of soldiers who cam with him to Agra and with the permission of Aurangzeb, he sent his soldiers home. He was following the customs of court officials and sending and receiving gifts. Once he complained of stomach problems and took all the medicines suggested by court doctors. He asked permission to buy two horses and send them as a gift to Lord Krishna at Mathura to appease the God to make him well. Some servants went out on that mission.

On August 19, Shivaji declared that he felt better and wanted to distribute fruits to his friends in the court. So the baskets of fruits were bought and brought into the place where Shivaji was staying. Then the baskets went outside for giving the various portions to various nobles. After sometime, the guards found Shivaji lying on his bed and resumed their routine activities. But the person lying in the bed was not Shivaji but one of his officers. After sometime, the officer came out in his normal dress out of the building and went outside.
Shivaji and his son escaped in the fruit baskets. They met their servants who bought the horses and kept ready for them to go forward. They travelled first towards Bengal and from there they reached their fort finally after some months.

Jai Singh was called back and Jaswant Singh was sent in his place. A treaty was signed between Shivaji and the Mughal empire under which Shivaji got all his forts back except Kondana and Purandar. Bijapur also signed a peace treaty with Shivaji.

Shivaji Maharaj - Full Animated Movie - English
Fountain World

Coronation as Emperor on 6th June 1674

Shivaji's mother one day saw and Kondana and expressed the desire that it has to be brought back into the fold of Marathas. Tanaji Malusure, attacked the fort and captured it but he lost his life in that attempt. The fort was renamed Sinhgad by Shivaji in honour of Tanaji Malusure.

Suryaji, brother of Tanaji attacked Purandar and got it back. Shivaji attacked Surat once again. The mughal army was not able to engage Shivaji any more. Shivaji went toward Golconda in the south. Sultan of Golconda agreed to make peace and make a payment. With a large area around Poona under his control, Shivaji expressed his desire to become coronated as an emperor in the way Hindu emperors were crowned earlier. On 6th June, 1674 Shivaji was crowned as the Emperor.
He was called Chatrapathi Shivaji.

Victories over Carnatic and Mysore

In 1674, Shivaji's mother Jijabai died. Shivaji fell serious ill in 1676. At the beginning, 1677, Shivaji went southwards. After signing the treaty with Golconda, Shivaji crossed Krishna river and captured many forts including Jinji. He captured Mysore and Tanjore and returned to his capital

Death of Sivaji: 3rd April, 1680.

In March 1680, a painful swelling on his knee made walking difficult for Shivaji. On April 3rd, he breathed his last and became a person who lived in the hearts of millions of Indians and Marathi people.

Issues Under Discussion Regarding Shivaji's Life Events

Date of birth: Research is still going on to establsh Shivaji's birth date as alternative dates were proposed.

Day of fight between Shivaji and Afzal Khan: One source says it was 10th November 1659. There were other dates in other sources.

Web Sites

Places Connected with Shivaji


Shivaji, Jaicos' Great Indian Lives Series, Jaico Publishing House,  Mumbai,1997
The Marathas 1600-1818, Part 2, Volume 4 By Stewart Gordon

Related Knols

Interesing Web Pages Related to Muslim Rule in India


original Knol Post Knol Number 1964


Comments on Knol

Visit to Sinhgad 17-1-2010
Visited Sinhgad in 17th January 2010 as a part of visit of Pune (BEL Visit). Took some pictures.
(By Narayana Rao K.V.S.S.)

Founders of Vijaya Nagar Empire, Shivaji and Mahatma Gandhi

India suffered foreign attacks and foreign rule for considerable period. Every country suffered such fate at one time or other in history. In the nationalist revival the kings of Vijaya Nagar, Shivaji and Mahatma Gandhi were successful and were given the status of national heroes. Shivaji is like a deity to Marathi people or people of the present state of Maharashtra as well as for many other people living in various other states. Every year,his birth day is celebrated with great enthusiasm and his exploits are recounted.
(by Narayana Rao K.V.S.S.  22 November 2009)

Updated  26 Mar 2016, 19 Feb 2015, 10 March 2012


  1. Remembering Shivaji on his birthday 19 Feb

  2. Shiv Jayanti in Maharashtra on 26 March 2016, Phalguna Krishna Tritiya