Monday, February 5, 2007
Ansestors :Bhonsle clan.
Father: Shahji Bhonsle
Shivaji was born at Shivner near Junar.
Shahji having married another woman neglected Jijabai and Shivaji .
That was why Shivaji was drawn closer towards his mother.Shivaji treated her as Goddess incarnate.As a boy Shivaji learnt the heroic stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata from his mother.Dadaji Kond Dev took Shivaji under his tutelage.Shivaji learnt martial arts from him.According to some historians Shivaji was illiterate.Still through his memory yhe learnt all teh intricacies of 'Hindu Dharma Shastra'.It was at this time Shahji was playing a key role in the politics of Ahmednagar and Bijapur.
Shivaji spent his boyhood and early youth in MAVALA.This region is a hilly region.The geography contributed the chiselling Marathas into adventurers.Shivaji,early in life displayed qualities of a hero and was also imbided with patriotism in large measure.He was always surrounded by Mavala youth,and no wonder he became their hero.The decline of Ahmednagar and Bijapur kingdoms raised in Shivaji territorial ambitions.He dreamt of carving a kingdom of his own.He started occupying hill forts near Poona.Teacher Dadaji Kond Dev did not apprciate this aggressive policy of Shivaji,but Kond Dev passed away in 1647.This freed Shivaji from the teacher's reservations and gave him an opportunity to translate his dreams into actions.
In 1646 Shivaji liberated the fort of Torana from the Bijapur commander.A huge treasure came into his possesion.This enabled Shivaji to build a new fort at Raighad and raise a good army.Later Shivaji occupied Chakan and Kondana fortresses.Shivaji also occupied fort of Kalyan in Thana district.Shivaji's military succss brought fear in the Bijapur courtiers,so to control Shivaji they arrested Shahji Bhonsle.Shivaji secured the freedom of his father by suspending all his military activities and surrendering the fort of Kondana to Asil Shah.For next six years Shivaji spent his time in fortifying his possesions.
In 1654 Shivaji resumed his military exploits.In January 1656 Jawali which was a strategic fort came under his occupation.This enabled him to take military actions in south and west.It was at this time that Shivaji built the strategic fort of Pratapghad.With this his strength increased in Konkan.The army of Shivaji raided the portugeese settlement of Daman near Kalyan and seized a large treasure.
The victories of Shivaji in Konkan created further fear in the Sultan of Bijapur.He started devising ways of putting an end to Shivaji.He chose Afzal Khan for this purpose.Afzal Khan boasted that he would bring Shivaji to the Sultan in irons without dismounting his horse.Afzal Kahan reached Pandharpur and descreted the temple of Vitobha there.From there he reached Pratapghad and summoned Shivaji to his presence.Shivaji agreed to come down the fort of Pratapghad accompanied by two guards,and Khan should do the same.Khan agreed to this demand and left his camp for the designated place with only two guards.Khan tried to show a lot of affetion on Shivaji,and tried to stab him while embracing him.But Shivaji sensing the danger tore the stomach of Afzal Khan with tiger claws he wore on his hands and beheaded him.This incident happened on November 2, 1659.The Maratha soldiers hiding in the forests suddenly fell on the camping Bijapur soldiers.There was utter confusion in the Bijapur army and the Bijapur army fled the scene leaving their elephants,horses and camels.To commemorate the victory Shivaji distributed gifts generously among his soldiers.He even gave a decent burial for the fallen Khan.Continuing his exploits Shivaji occupied Panhala,Vasanthaghad,Khelna and other forts.The Maratha army returned to Raighad in 1660 with weight of huge treasures.In 1660 the rise of Marathas alarmed even the Mughal emperor.He selected his Uncle Shaistah Khan, who reached Poona on May 19th.Shaistah Khan decided to spend the rainy season there.Having heard about the arrival of Shaistah Khan Shivaji entered Poona disguising his band as a marraige proccession and fell on the camp of Shaistah Khan that very night.Shaistah kahan having lost his son Abdul Fatah fled the scene.The fame of Shivaji spread far and wide with this success.
Sfter this military victory,Shivaji entered the port city of Surat,which was then the richest in India on January 10,1664.A secret plan was chalked before the raid.He created an impression that he would be entering the city through south.When it was too late he was found coming from east.The city's Mughal Governor hid himself in the fort and sent an ambasdor to Shivaji for negotiations,but Shivaji arrested the envoy and looted Surat for four consecutive days.The governor now sent a mercenary to kill Shivaji but he was hacked into pieces by Shivaji's bodyguards.In Surat Shivaji captured One Crore rupees.
Aurangzeb now selected his ablest general Raja Jai Singh to humble Shivaji.Jai Singh arrived with a cavalry of 40,000 in the Deccan.Shivaji having realised that defeat was inevitable signed the 'Treaty of Purandhar' in June 1665.As per the terms of the treaty he surrendered 23 forts to the Mughals.He agreed to accept the sovereignty of the Emperor and sent his son to the Mughal court with a cavalry of 500.He also agreed to visit Mughal court in person.
In May 1666 Shivaji visited the Mughal court,but he felt that he was not treated properly there.He lost his patience and openly abised Aurangzeb.But,Shivaji was captured and thrown into prison.However Shivaji escaped the prison in a basket of sweatmeats and returned to his capital Raighad.For next two years he remained quiet and did not any military campaigns.Shivaji abided by the terms of 'Treaty of Purandhar'.As per the advice of Jaswanth Singh Aurangzeb recognised Shivaji as a 'Rajah'.But this peace settlement did not last long.The Mughal generals Mahabat Khan,Bahadur Khan and Diler Khantook a concerted action against Shivaji;but their eforts did not meet with success.The Mughal generals sustainsed defeat at the hands of Marathas in February 1672.
After the coronation, Shivaji did not stop his miitary exploits.He made an attack on Karnataka and occupied Kurnool,Jinji and Vellore.The Maratha army advanced as far as Cuddalore.Shivaji named his Kingdom 'Swaraj'.The Swaraj extended from Purandhar in the north to River Gangavati in the south.Many areas in District of Poona, the whole of Satara,a large area in Kolhapur,Northern, Central and Eastern parts of Mysore,the Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh,Arcot District in present Tamil Nadu were also included in the Swaraj.The last years of Shivaji were not happy due to misdemeanours of his son Sambhuji.He passed away on April 13, 1680.
A small boy is seated on the throne, of curse, on a small throne bound hand and the village Patel. He had dishonoured a helpless widow; it was he is duty to protect such persons. Indeed he was a wicked Patel. In his limitless pride he did not even think that a small boy would have the courage to hold an inquiry. Yet the young prince subjected this Patel, who proudly sported a thick moustache, to a proper judicial trial. It was clear that the Patel had done wrong.
In a stern and majestic tone the young prince announced the judgement: both the hands and the feet of the Patel were to be cut off. All present were stunned at the firm devotion of the prince to justice. Not only were they wondering struck but also pleased beyond measure. The townsfolk began to say to one another: Ah! Look! How devoted to justice our young prince is He is not in the least afraid of the wicked people. He metes out fit punishment to all that do wrong. He is kind and loving towards the poor, the downfallen and the wretched. He is ever determined to help them and to protect them. What is more, he regards all women as mothers. Surely when he grows up into manhood, not only
will he save our land but also will uphold our Dharma. Therefor let us all stand by him.
Don’t you wish to know who this young prince was? He was none other than Shivaji. At the time of this incident he was just fourteen. His small kingdomcomprised the few small villages that skirted the township of Poona. His father was Shivaji who served as general under the Sultan of Bijapur. The father knew only too well the nature of his son. He felt joyous when he thought of the fearless lion-like disposition of his son, which would never let him, bow down to any foreigner. How the father became aware of this fearless nature of his son is itself and interesting story.
On a certain occasion Shahaji took his son to the court of the Sultan of Bijapur. Shivaji
was then not even twelve years of age. Shahaji touched the ground thrice and saluted the Sultan. He asked his son to do the same thing. But…Shivaji only retreated a few steps. He stood erect with his head unbent. His dazzling eyes seemed to carry with them his determination that he would not bow down to a foreign ruler. He walked back from the court with a lion-like gait and bearing.
Till then no one had dared to behave in that manner at the court of the Sultan of Bijapur. All were wonder-struck at the boldness of the young boy.
Did such acts of the son enrage Shahaji? They did i not. On the contrary he was mightily pleased at heart. He had not been fortunate enough to be an independent ruler. He sent his son to Poona, blessing him that at least he might become an independent ruler.
Date of Birth: April 1627/1630
Birth Date:April 6, 1630
1627 - Shivaji born in the hill fort of Shivner.
Good source of birth information:
Maps and other info
About 90 kms away from Pune is Shivneri fort where Shivaji Maharaj was born, it was in 1627. The fort is very difficult to climb hence safe from enemies, so Shahaji kept Jijabai in this fort during her pregnancy. Shivaji was named after the name of a goddess 'Devi Shivai'. Shivaji spent his childhood around this fort. He acquired all the skills and training on this fort which he used while establishing Swaraj. He learnt the early lessons of Swaraj on this fort. Near to the fort is Nane ghat to give a great view of Konkan Plateau and natural scenery. Close from here there is another fort named Jivdhan which is famous for trekking. If one goes by the road to the fort he has to go through 7 doors to reach the actual fort. 'Devi Shivai' temple is also on the road to this fort. At the centre of the fort is a water pond which is called 'Badami Talav'. To the South of 'Badami Talav' are the statues Jijabai and child Shivaji. Other places to see on this fort are Dongarmatha, Kaman Take and Kadeloot Tok
Shivneri Fort, where Maharaj was born. The block on the right is the exact place of birth.