Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj life full history.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Shivaji Bhonsle was an Indian warrior king and a member of the BhonsleMaratha clan. Shivaji carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that formed the genesis of the Maratha Empire.

Birth

Shivaji was born in the hill-fort of Shivneri, near the city of Junnar in what is now Pune district. Scholars disagree on his date of birth. The government of Maharashtra lists 19 February as a holiday commemorating Shivaji's birth. Shivaji was named after a local deity, the goddess Shivai. Shivaji's father Shahaji Bhonsle was a Maratha general who served the Deccan Sultanates. His mother was Jijabai, the daughter of Lakhuji Jadhavrao of Sindhkhed, a Mughal-aligned sardar claiming descent from a Yadav royal family of Devagiri. At the time of Shivaji's birth, power in Deccan was shared by three Islamic sultanates: Bijapur, Ahmadnagar, and Golkonda. Shahaji often changed his loyalty between the Nizamshahi of Ahmadnagar, the Adilshah of Bijapur and the Mughals, but always kept his jagir at Pune and his small army with him

Childhood

Shivaji was devoted to his mother Jijabai, who was deeply religious. His studies of the Hindu epics, the "Ramayana" and the "Mahabharata", also influenced his lifelong defence of Hindu values. Shivaji was deeply interested in religious teachings, and regularly sought the company of Hindu and Sufi saints. Shahaji, meanwhile had married a second wife, Tuka Bai from the Mohite family. Having made peace with the Mughals, ceding them six forts, he went to serve the Sultanate of Bijapur. He moved Shivaji and Jijabai from Shivneri to Pune and left them in the care of his jagir administrator, Dadoji Konddeo.

Younger Shivaji

Dadoji has been credited with overseeing the education and training of young Shivaji. In 1639, Shahaji was stationed at Bangalore, which was conquered from the Vijayanagara nayaks, and asked to hold and settle the area. Shivaji was taken to Bangalore where he, his elder brother Sambhaji and his half brother Ekoji I were further formally trained. He married Saibai from the prominent Nimbalkar family in 1640.

Combat with Afzal Khan

Adilshah was displeased at his losses to Shivaji's forces, which his vassal Shahaji disavowed. Having ended his conflict with the Mughals and having a greater ability to respond, in 1657 Adilshah sent Afzal Khan, a veteran general, to arrest Shivaji.

Before engaging him, the Bijapuri forces desecrated the Tulja Bhavani Temple, holy to Shivaji's family, and the Vithoba temple at Pandharpur, a major pilgrimage site for the Hindus.

The two forces found themselves at a stalemate, with Shivaji unable to break the siege, while Afzal Khan, having a powerful cavalry but lacking siege equipment, was unable to take the fort. The two met in a hut at the foothills of Pratapgad fort on 10 November 1659. The arrangements had dictated that each come armed only with a sword, and attended by one follower.

Panhala

Having defeated the Bijapuri forces sent against him, Shivaji's army marched towards the Konkan and Kolhapur, seizing Panhala fort, and defeating Bijapuri forces sent against them under Rustam Zaman and Fazl Khan in 1659. In 1660, Adilshah sent his general Siddi Jauhar to attack Shivaji's southern border, in alliance with the Mughals who planned to attack from the north. At that time, Shivaji was encamped at Panhala fort with his forces. Siddi Jauhar's army besieged Panhala in mid-1660, cutting off supply routes to the fort. During the bombardment of Panhala, Siddi Jahuar purchased grenades from the British at Rajapur to increase his efficacy, and also hired some English artillerymen to bombard the fort, conspicuously flying a flag used by the English.

This perceived betrayal angered Shivaji, who in December would exact revenge by plundering the English factory at Rajapur and capturing four of the factors, imprisoning them until mid-1663.

After months of siege, Shivaji negotiated with Siddi Jahuar and handed over the fort on 22 September 1660, withdrawing to Vishalgad. Shivaji retook Panhala in 1673.

Battle of Pavan Khind

There is some dispute over the circumstances of Shivaji's withdrawal and his destination, but the popular story details his night movement to Vishalgad and a sacrificial rear-guard action to allow him to escape. Per these accounts, Shivaji withdrew from Panhala by cover of night, and as he was pursued by the enemy cavalry, his Maratha sardar Baji Prabhu Deshpande of Bandal Deshmukh, along with 300 soldiers, volunteered to fight to the death to hold back the enemy at Ghod Khind to give Shivaji and the rest of the army a chance to reach the safety of the Vishalgad fort.

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