Chatrapati Shivaji Biography

Chatrapati Shivaji Biography

Chatrapati Shivaji was the famous Maratha king who had the utmost courage to stand against the vast ocean of Mughal rule, single-handedly. Although his original name was Shivaji Bhosle, his subjects lovingly gave him the title of 'Chatrapati' or the 'Chief of the Kshatriyas' for his undaunted ability to protect them all under the safe shelter of his leadership.
Born on 19th February 1680 at the Shivneri Fort to a valiant Maratha regent Shahaji Raje and a dedicated mother Jijabai, Shivaji was a descendent of the 96 Maratha Clans who were well known as brave fighters or 'Kshatriyas'.

A young boy of 16 is not known to win battles, but his mother's teachings, father's struggle and a pride in the motherland gave the young Shivaji his first achievement as an able warrior and leader with the seizure of the Torna Fort which was initially under the Bijapur Kingdom. With this recognition, there was no looking back. His major breakthrough came with Battle of Pratapgarh against Afzal Khan, the general of the Sultanate of Bijapur, which made him a hero of the Marathas overnight. He won it through sheer planning, speed and excellent generalship. This was followed by many other battles against the Sultanate of Bijapur, in warfares such as Battle of Kolhapur, Battle of Pavan Khind, Battle of Vishaalgad and others.

Chatrapati Shivaji is most famous for his valor to challenge the mighty Mughal Empire, at the time ruled by Aurangzeb. Although Emperor Aurangzeb tried to capture all the forts and territories under Shivaji he could not achieve much success due to Shivaji's clever leadership qualities and guerrilla tactics. But a temporary pause was put in Shivaji's successful ventures by the brave Hindu General Jai Singh, sent by the emperor. Upon this, Shivaji decided to negotiate with the Mughal Emperor and what followed is popularly known in history as Shivaji's trip to an astonishing escape from Agra, where he was kept a prisoner by Aurangzeb. Although after this incident, Shivaji remained dormant for some time; he rose yet again against the Mughals in the year 1670 with the Battle of Sinhagad. Soon after this victory he was coroneted on 6th June, 1674, as the King of the Marathas. Under his dedicated rule, the small independent land 'Hindavi Swaraj' went on to become a large kingdom ranging from the Northwest India to the East.

Though not much is known of his personal life except that he was married to Saibai, Soyarabai, Kashibai, Putalabai and Sagunabai and had two sons and three daughters, as a ruler, his name is compared to that of Napoleon, Julius Caesar and the Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus, who were all great rulers in their own respect. He incorporated modern administrative concepts such as cabinet, foreign affairs, internal intelligence and others and commanded an extremely well trained army. This apart, he was a king who was just and kind and showed tolerance towards all religions and languages. He himself was proficient in Sanskrit and Marathi, and patronized art of all kinds.

Shivaji succumbed to fatal illness spanning many weeks in 1680 and his empire was taken over by his son Sambhaji. But this did not remove the imprint he left on the minds of all Indians. Chatrapati Shivaji's name will forever be remembered in folklore and history as the great king whose rule is considered as a golden era, which showed the light of freedom, paving the way for India's Independence later.

Facts and Information about Shivaji

Full NameShivaji Bhosale
BornFebruary 19, 1630 (debated) at Shivneri Fort near Pune (India)
DiedApril 3, 1680 at Raigad Fort, Pune
Reign1674-1680 CE
CoronationJune 6, 1674
FatherShahaji Bhosale
Step-brotherEkoji I
SonsSambhaji Bhosale, Rajaram Bhosale
DaughtersSakhubai Nimbalkar, Ranubai Jadhav, Ambikabai Mahadik, Rajkumaribai Shirke.
ConsortSaibai (Nimbalkar)
WivesSoyarabai (Mohite), Putalabai (Palkar), Sakvarbai (Gaikwad), Kashibai (Jadhav)
AboutShivaji Bhosale was a 17th century warrior of India. He led to the development of an independent Maratha kingdom having Raigad as its capital.
EducationAs stated by Tarikh-i-Shivaji, Shivaji was personally trained by Dadoji Konddeo, a trusted friend. Shivaji soon became a good warrior as well as a skilled horse-rider. Shivaji was trained in martial arts by Kanhoji Jedhe and Baji Pasalkar, the military commanders. He learnt swordmanship by Gomaji Naik Pansambal.
SoldiersIn order to safeguard his kingdom, Shivaji formed a force of 100,000 soldiers, and built both inland and coastal forts.
Combat with Afzal KhanIn 1659, Afzal Khan, an experienced and veteran general, was sent to destroy Shivaji .

With the intention to drag Shivaji to the battleground where Shivaji could be attacked by the Bijapuri army, Afzal Khan deconsecrated Hindu temples at Tuljapur and Pandharpur. However, Shivaji requested Afzal Khan in a letter to meet for negotiation.

In the battle, Afzal Khan was severely injured by Shivaji's army, followed by an attack on the Bijapuris by the hidden army of Shivaji.
Battle of PratapgarhOn November 10, 1659, forces of Shivaji defeated the forces of the Bijapur Sultanate in the Battle of Pratapgarh.

The Bijapur army lost more than 3,000 soldiers. Also, two sons of Afzal Khan were imprisioned.
Battle of KolhapurOn December 28, 1659, Shivaji attacked the Bijapuri forces near Kolhapur and defeated them.
Clash with the MughalsAfter the officers of Shivaji raided the Mughal territory in March 1657 near Ahmednagar, the conflict between Shivaji and the Mughals started. Followed by raids in Junnar, during which Shivaji gathered 300,000 hun in cash and 200 horses. In response, Aurangzeb sent Nasiri Khan, who successively defeated the forces of Shivaji at Ahmednagar.
Battle of ChakanThe Battle of Chakan, fought between the Mughal Empire and the Maratha Empire, took place in 1660. Aurangzeb ordered Shaista Khan to attack Shivaji with his army of 150,000. At the end, Pune and the Fort of Chakan were captured by the Mughals.

However, later the Marathas were able to re-capture the fort, and Shaista Khan returned to Agra.
Treaty of Purandar (1665)On June 11, 1665, the Treaty of Purandar was signed between the Rajput ruler Jai Singh I, the commander of the Mughal Empire, and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Jai Singh circumvented the Purandar fort and Shivaji had to sign an agreement.
Arrest in Agra and EscapeIn 1666, Shivaji was invited to Agra by Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb wanted Shivaji to go to Kandahar to consolidate the northwestern frontier of Mughal empire.

However, Shivaji felt humiliated and left the court. As a result Shivaji was arrested. Shivaji planned his escape as he came to know that Aurangzeb had planned to get him killed.
Battle of NesariIn 1674, Prataprao Gujar, the then commander-in-chief of the Marathas, defeated the Adilshahi general Bahlol Khan and his forces in the battle. Prataprao's forces had cut off their water supply, because of which Bahlol Khan decided to take action for peace. Later, Prataprao released Bahlol Khan despite Shivaji's warnings.
Conquest in Southern IndiaIn 1674, the Marathas raided Khandesh in October, captured Bijapuri Phonda in April 1675, Karwar in mid-year, and Kolhapur in July. In November, a fight took place between the Maratha navy and the Siddis of Janjira. In early 1676, Peshwa Pingale battled against the Raja of Ramnagar. In March 1676, Athani was raided by Shivaji and later in the year Belgaum and Vayem Rayim were also besieged by him. At the end of 1676, the Adilshahi forts at Vellore and Gingee were captured by Shivaji.
Death and successionShivaji died around April 5, 1680 at the age of 52 due to fever and dysentery. Soon after his death, several rumours followed about the cause of his death. On the one hand, the Muslims held the opinoin that Shivaji had died of a curse from Jan Muhammad of Jalna, whereas some Marathas believed that that Soyarabai, his second wife, had killed him by giving him poison as she wanted Rajaram, her 10-year-old son, to be enthroned.
FortsBy the time his career was about to descend, Shivaji had captured 360 forts, including the important forts at Kondana (Sinhagad), Torana, Murambdev, and Purandar. Some new forts were also built by Shivaji.
NavyIn order to protect the lands and sea trade from the British, Abyssinians, pirates, Arabs and Portuguese and Shivaji uilt a strong naval force. He also built a number of sea forts and bases for the purpose of storage and shelter.
FilmsMe Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy
LiteratureSadhan Chikitsa, Vasudeo Sitaram Bendrey

Shivaji, a biography by Setu Madhavrao Pagdi

Shriman Yogi, Ranjit Desai

Raja Shivchhatrapati, Babasaheb Purandare
Poetry and musicShivraj Bhushan by Kavi Bhushan

Raigadala Jevha Jaag Yete, Vasant Kanetkar

Jaanta Raja, Babasaheb Purandare
TelevisionVeer Shivaji, a TV series

Raja Shiv Chhatrapati, a TV serial

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Last Updated on : February 1, 2014



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