Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Shivaji Maharaj History

Chhatrapati Shivaji was one of the famous kings of India. He influences many Hindu Kings their rule in their kingdoms. The Shivaji Maharaj fought vigorously against the Mughals to form the Maratha Kingdom. Shivaji was born in 1627 A.D or 1630 A.D. His father, Shahaji Raje Bhosale, worked as an officer in the court of Bijapur Sultan, and his Mother, Jijabai, was a religious woman. Jijabai brought him up with great care, indicated patriotic themes, and infused him to grow his love for the motherland. Even Guru Ramdas and guardian Kondadev played a crucial role in architect the character of Shivaji Maharaj as a great king in Indian History.

The Life History of Shivaji’s Father Shahaji Raje Bhosale

At an early age, he learned military training and how to fight in the guerrilla war. He also organized many hilly area people into a fighting force, making the army very powerful. His dream of forming the Marathi Kingdom forced him to begin conquering neighbouring territories. At nineteen, he captured the forts of Torna, Chakan, Singhagarh, and Purandar.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Attacks on Bijapur Sultan

shivaji maharaj

The conquered forts were situated near Bijapur Sultanate, and the feared Sultan imprisoned Shahaji Raje Bhosale to control the expansion of Shivaji Maharaj. Shivaji kept quiet until his father’s release and occupied Konkon and Javali forts. This made angry to Sultan of Bijapur sent a massive army against Chhatrapati Shivaji in 1659 under the famous general Afzal Khan. The Sultan ordered Afzal Khan to bring Shivaji to Bijapur dead or alive. However, Afzal Khan was killed at the hands of Shivaji Maharaj. In the same year, at the Pratapgarh battle, Chhatrapati defeated the Bijapur Sultan and collected weapons and war materials to strengthen the Maratha Kingdom. Due to the war’s success, Shivaji’s History widely spread among the Marathas. Again in December 1659, he defeated the Bijapur army at Kolhapur and gained horses, elephants, and warfare materials.

Disputes With Aurangzeb:

In 1666, Shivaji Maharaj went to Agra at the invitation of Aurangzeb. There he was insulted and placed under house arrest. After a few days, he fell ill, requesting Emperor Aurangzeb to send sweets and gifts to fakirs and saints in Agra as offerings for health recovery. These offerings continued for several days; on 17 August 1666, Shivaji hid under the sweets of the basket and escaped to Deccan disguised as Sadhus. Later Mughal Sardar Jaswant Singh tried to bring peace proposals between Shivaji and Aurangzeb. Hence, the peace proposals succeeded, Aurangzeb, gave the title of Raja to Shivaji, and Sambhaji was restored as a Mughal mansabdar, giving rights to collect revenue in Berar territory.

Coronation of Shivaji Maharaj

As the Mughal Zamindar, he campaigned for the nearest territories and acquired extensive lands and wealth. However, he was not famous as an individual king, and which made to form a Hindu Sovereign Kingdom, Maratha. The Maratha leaders also supported his thoughts and extended support to make the Emperor of the Maratha Dynasty. So on 6 June 1674, Raigad Pandit Gaga Bhatta conducted the coronation rituals and announced him as the Emperor of the Maratha Kingdom. Nearly Fifty thousand people attended the ceremony; before them, Chhatrapati Shivaji, entitled Kshatriya Kulavantas, Chhatrapati, and Haindava Dharmodhhaarak. But after a few days, on 18 June 1674, his mother Jijabai died, which made a bad omen, so a second coronation was held on 24 September 1674.

Shivaji Maharaj Death

In the later years, he fell ill in March 1680 A.D. He suffered severely from fever and dysentery and died on the eve of Hanuman Jayanti, around 3 April 1680 A.D at 52. His death also caused rumours that his youngest wife, Soyarabai poisoned him to make his son Rajaram the crown. Soyarabai’s plans with some ministers were to make her son Rajaram the king of the Maratha Kingdom. However, Sambhaji killed the commander of Raigad Fort and ascended the throne on 20 July of the same year. He imprisoned Soyrabai, Rajaram, and his wife, Janki Bai.

Military System

Chhatrapati Shivaji was famous for leading the army in guerrilla warfare and hill campaign. He recruited suitable persons in the military. However, they created good discipline among the army soldiers and maintained light infantry and cavalry. He was the father of the farming Navy in India. His Navy had 200 warships and kept guards over the sea. He had tremendous skills to lead a vast army and was quick in decision-making.

Art and Culture

Due to the great devotion of Chhatrapati Shivaji, he welcomed the saints Ramdas, Tukaram and Mauni Baba to his court and admired and showed utmost respect to them. He encouraged the artists of art and culture. He played a patronage role in evaluating Sanskrit and Hindi literature. The famous Sanskrit poets Jairam and Paramananda also lived during his reign.

Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj administration 

He installed a Ministers’ group to give suggestions. He was greatly influenced by the principles of Chanakya’s Arthasastra and Deccan states administrative systems. Even the council of ministers gives tips during complicated situations. He divided his kingdom into several provinces. The Panchayat, the head of the village, played a crucial role in collecting taxes.