Encounter with Shaista Khan
Shaista 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 cannon fire (15th August 1660).
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.
PIC: SHAISTA KHAN
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.
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.
On 5 th April 1663, Shivaji did the unthinkable. Shivaji along with a band of selected men, personally launched an commando like operation right in the heart of the enemy camp. He attacked the very residence in Puna 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. The wounded Shaista Khan retreated to the mughal base of Aurangabad.
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 spirits 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.
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.
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.
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).
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 fort Purander. Murarbaji Deshpande, an Maratha commander 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.
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. 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 affair with the Mughals. Shivaji had to spend almost three moths 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(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 (or his brother in law) had failed to come to the assistance of Shivaji during his siege of Panhala, and for the same Shivaji had him replaced as his ‘sarlashkar’ by Prataprao Gujar (ref. J.Sarkar).
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 converted to Islam (He was renamed Muhammed Quli Khan) and after that, Netaji was hastened off to an expedition to Afghanistan. It is alluded by many historians that Netaji Palkar switched sides as per a secret understanding with Shivaji, and this was a part of Shivajis bigger game plan.But there are many opposing this theory and have stated that Netaji deserted Shivaji after an personal fallout. Whatever maybe the fact, Netaji did cross over to the other side.
Note2:Netaji Palkar was later to be reconverted to the Hindu fold by Shivaji, after he returned back to the Maratha side in 1676.
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, 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 pledge from the Bijapur sultanate, whereby they agreed to pay an annual tribute to the mughals. 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.
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 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. 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. Apparently, Aurangzeb had decided to murder Shivaji for his insolence. 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. Shivajis daring escape from Agra made him an subject of folklore, to be balladised for centuries to come.
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. Shivaji wanted to regain his lost territory,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. 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. 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.
PIC: TANAJI MALUSARE SAMADHI
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 and his brother Suryaji Malusare to take back Kondana. Tanaji even postponed his sons 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. Udaybhan offered a stiff resistance, In the fight that ensued , both Tanaji and Udaybhan succumbed . But Suryaji 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 , “ Gadh aalaa pan Sinha gelaa.” (The fort was captured , but the lion died). In the memory of Tanaji Malusare, Kondana was renamed as Sinhagadh.
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.But, Prataprao out to reimpose the shaken faith of his master, 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.
* Shivajis Sarlashkar Prataprao Gujar dies in the Battle of Nesari on 24th Feb 1673. Prataprao is succeeded by Hambirao Mohite as the new Sarlashkar( commander in chief) on 8th April 1674.
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).
On May 1674, Shivaji began preparations for his coronation. As per the hindu rites, he remarried his wives (30th May), 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. Rajgadh 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.
PIC: RAJMUDRA, ROYAL SEAL OF SHIVAJI
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.But eventually both the brothers had an amicable settlement.
All in all, the southern expedition proved very fruitfull for Shivaji.
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 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).
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.
Shivajis Character and personal attributes
An AnalysisShivaji was a person of impeccable character. This probably was something to do with the upbringing of his mother, Jijabai. She had raised him to be a man of virtuosity and instilled the values of rectitude in Shivaji. He was always conscious of the honour of the womenfolk. Shivaji was very chivalrous in his behavior towards them. He never gave a free rein to his lust and also expected the same moral high standards from his men. He had issued orders to his army, that no womenfolk were to be touched during raids in the enemy territory. There are records of him having punished even his close relatives for moral misdemeanor against women. There are stories of him returning the captive daughter in law of the muslim governor of Kalyan (who was taken a prisoner during a raid), unharmed and with due honour.Shivaji was a great judge of human character. No wonder he was able to hand pick gems amongst the people that ably supported him in his goal of swarajya. He inspired people with his personal morality and loftiness of aim, and people willingly gave their lives for his cause.Shivajis bravery is also without doubt, after all he dared to challenge the supremacy of two great powers, when his contemporaries preffered meek submission to them. But at the same time Shivaji was never reckless.When times arose, he always thought it prudent to retreat, rather than to risk lives. But after waiting patiently for the right opportunity , he struck back at the enemy with an equal vigour.His military astuteness is also very evident. Shivaji was famous for the swift movements of his army, his shock and awe attacks on the enemy camp, and his gureilla tactics while taking on a powerfull enemy. He ensured that his army always travelled light, unlike the heavy entourage accompanying the Mughals. His armymen were never allowed to take their families along with them. This ensured rapid mobility for his army. Shivaji was also a master tactician, who took into consideration the geographical locations before launching attacks , the enemies weaknesses and streangths (estimated on basis of the information of his ever vigilant spy network).Shivaji was very austere in his tastes. He never spent lavishly constructing magnificent palaces, rather he spent his wealth constructing strong and practical forts which proved a security for his kingdom. Shivaji was devoid of vices. He never indulged himself in the worldly pleasures, rather he preferred spending his time and money on his people and their welfare. He lived his life like a puritan as per the code of morality set up by his mother Jijabai and his spiritual guru Ramdas Swami.Shivajis greatness is not gauged from the territory he added , nor by the treasure he left behind, but as J.Sarkar says, from the survey of the conditions amidst which he rose to sovegreignty. His other achievement was the feeling he gave his Ryot, that the kingdom he has formed is their own kingdom, created for their well being. Shivaji was a devoted son, very respectfull towards his elders and seers, a loving husband, a doting father. Shivaji had in him all the prerequisites of an ideal man (a Maryada Purushottam like Lord Ram)No wonder Shivaji is deified as a demi God (till date) in his state .ADDENDUM
Shivajis Religious policyShivaji though a devout Hindu, had a very liberal policy towards other religions. Shivajis spiritual teacher was Swami Ramdas, whom he had had seated in the Parali fort, later named Sajjangadh. But Shivaji had tremendous reverence towards seers of other faiths as well like Pir Baba Yakut a Sufi saint. Shivajis respect for the holy book Quran is even conceded by his critic the mughal historian Khafi Khan. Shivaji had given standing instructions to his men, that in any encounter, if they came across any holy book including the Quran, it was not to be defiled, but treated with utmost respect. Also religious places belonging to other faiths were not to be desecrated.At the same time Shivaji was a proud Hindu, and was always quick to take up the Hindu cause. When Aurangzeb levied the Jaziya Tax on his non muslim subjects, Shivaji sent him a bold letter castigating him for his intolerance and bigotry. But Shivaji himself never was fanatical about his religion. He never advocated forcefull conversions to Hinduism. He allowed people of other faiths to practice their religion without the fear of persecution. No wonder he had such a large number of Muslim officers in his army, even in the highest ranks.
Pic: Shivaji coin, courtesy Atul Kajale
Shivajis Army Organisation
* Achalgiri* Ahivantgad* Ankole-Koat* Kurudu or Mandargad* Kushtarga Koat* Kechar Koat* Kopalgad* Kondhana or Shingad* Khelna or Vishalgad* Dhangad* Chandan* Chaud or Prasanngad* Jaygad* Javalegad* Jivdhan* Mahulegad* Mangalur Koat* Yelbargigad* Rasalgad* Rangana or Parshidhagad* Rohidagad* Thakarigad* Tanvada* Trimbak or Shrigad* Noobadgad* Panalgad* Paraligad or Sajjangad* Pali or Sarasgad* Pandavgad* Purandhar* Phonda Koat* Bahadurgad* Bhorap or Sudhagad* Madgirigad* Manohargad* Masitwade or Mangad* Vandangad* Shiveshavar Koat* Satargad* Salerigad* Salobhagad* Lavadkoat* Linganagad* Lohagad* Valabhagad* Hadpsar or Parvatgad* Harushgad* HaliyalForts Shivahi built / reconstructed* Anjanveli* Kthorgad* Kankandrigad* Kapalgad* Kamargad* Kamalgad* Kalanidhigad* Kambalgad* Kangori or Mangalgad* Kanchangad* Kangorigad* Kunjargad* Kelanja* Kothalagad* Kohajgad* Kholgad* Gagangad* Gajendragad* Gadagad* Gahangad* Gandharvagad* Gambhirgad* Janjire Kulaba* Janjire Khanderi* Janjire Ratanagiri* Bhaskargad* Bhivgad* Janjire Vijayduraga* Janjire Shindhuduraga* Janjire Suvarnadurga* Dholagad* Tikona or Vitandgad* Tunggad or Kathingad* Torana or Prachandgad* Dahigad* Nargundgad or Mahadgad* Nanchanagad* Nakgad* Patgad* Patakagad* Padmagad* Pavitragad* Pargad* Pavangad* Prachitgad* Pratapgad* Prondagad* Balvantgad* Bahiravgad or saranga* Bahulgad* Baleraja* Botgiri Koat* Ramsejgad* Rudramalgad* Bhudargad* Bhushangad* Machaindragad* Madangad* Mardangad* Manranjangad* Mahindragad* Mayorgad or Navalgund* Mahipatgad* Mahipalgad* Mahimangad* Mangalgad* Mandangad* Mandargad* Manikgad* Murgod* Mohangad* Yelurkoat* Rajegad* Ravalagad* Rajkot* Rajgad* Ramdurga* Sundargad* Sevanagad* Sevakgad* Lokalgad* Loanjagad* Vardhangad* Vangad* Vasantgad* Valabhagad* Varugad* Vasota or Vyagragad* Virgad or Ghosala* Vairatgad* Venktgad* Shrigaldavagad* Shrimantgad* Shrivardangad* Sabalgad* Sargad* Sahangad* Samangad* Sarangagad* Sindhichangad* Sidhagad* Subakargad* Sumangad* Surgad* Songad*HarishachandragadOther Gadkot forts in Kingdom of Shivaji* Arkotgad* Karnatakagad* Kasturigad* Kevalgad* Krishnagiri chandi* Krushnagiri gad* Kujargad* Gagangad* Gavargad chandi* Chavi kot* chelgadchandi* Chintahar kot* Jagadevgad* Trichandikot* Trikalur* Trimalkot* Devgad* Prabalgad* Prangad* Bahiravgad* Birge Valugugad* Madgad* Mangad* Malakarajungad* Malharrajgad* Martandgad* Yeshvantgad* Ratangad* Ranjangad* Ramgad* Lavvad chandi* Vishalgad* Vetaval or kemal* Vrudhacalkot* Devanapati kot* Sarangadchandi* Sidhagad* Sudarshangad* Subhakot* NilsajitgadForts in Karanataka Region* Shrivardhangad* Ahinijadurga* Akatigad* Arajungad* Bramagad* Bhanjangad* Banturgad* Bhaskargad* Kattargad* Kailasgad* Kolar Kadim* Kolhar* Ganeshgad* Chandangad* Thamakurkoat* Durgamgad* Nandigad* Padavirgad* Palegad* Pimpala or Prakashgad* Balapur Bhor* Bindanur* Bhuravdgad* Bundikot* Bhimagad Near Kapsheri* Bhumandangad* Makarandgad* Mardangad* Mandonmattgad chandi* Mahipalgad* Mahimandangad* Mukhanegad Kotvel* Mej Kolhargad* Yelur Kot* Rajgad Chandi* Vajragad* Saragad* Soamshankargad* Hatmalgad