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Shivaji paid personal attention to building, training and disciplining his forces

Updated on March 1, 2016

Maharaja Chattrapati Shivaji

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Shivaji Maharaj Forts Photo Maharajoct

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King Shivaji

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The great Maratha King Shivaji

Shivaji was born in Pune in the year 1627. inspired by the heroic stories narrated by his mother, Jija Bai and assimilating the military and State crafts taught by his teacher Dadoji Kondadev, Shivaji grew up into a warlike youth, dreaming of founding an empire of his own. Soon after, he built a military force by training the hill tribes and had it skilled in Guerrilla warface.

Between 1670 and 1674, Shivaji re- established himself. He recovered most of the forts he had surrendered earlier to the Mughals. In 1674 he crowned himself as the king and assumed the title of Chatrapati. Soon after this, raided the territory of the Mughals and the Deccan Sultans, tried to captured the Konkan coast. Before his death, he became the lord of Maharashtra, Konkan and parts of Karnataka.

Shivaji paid personal attention to building, training and disciplining his forces. He maintained one lakh cavalry force, one lakh foot soldiers, three hundred elephants, four hundred strong navy and two hundred and fifty forts. He admitted into his army able men of all castes and classes. About 300 Muslims soldiers, dismissed by the Sultan of Bijapur, were taken into his army. His cavalry and infantry were divided into sub- units and each of these units was strictly regulated. Between a roman soldier (paik) and the commander – in – chief (sar – i- naubat), his forces had several sub – units which were headed by officers such as nayak, havaldar, havaldar and hazari.

Shivaji is as much remembered in history for his military adventures as for his efficient administration. He divided the kingdom into three provinces and placed each under a Governor. He ruled, holding all power with himself. He was assisted by Eight Chief Administrators (ashtapradhan). The chief of these was the Peshwa or the Chief Minister. The ministers of Shivaji did not serve as a Council of Minister. They advised or gave their suggestions whenever they were consulted by the Chatrapati. However, each of them took care of the administrative responsibility assigned to him. Shivaji created eight main divisions administration in his kingdom.

Shivaj - Afzal Khan meeting at Pratap

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Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Mumbai

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Afzal Khan tried to thrust his dagger into Shivaji's body

Shivaji was born in Pune in the year 1627.

Shivaji grew up into a warlike youth, dreaming of founding an empire of his own. Soon after, he built a military force by training the hill tribes and bad it skilled in guerrilla warfare.

Shivaji first tried his strength against the armies of the Sultan of Bijapur. The Sultan got tired of Shivaji's frequent inroads and sent Afzal Khan with an army either to negotiate terms or to terminate Shivaji's life. When Shivaji and Afzal Khan met and greeted each other by embracing, Afzal Khan tried to thrust his dagger into Shivaji's body, but Shivaji out – witted him and plunged his steel claws into his rival's body and tore off his body.

After his success against the Bijapur Sultans, Shivaji's fame began to spread. He strengthened his forces and attacked the Mughals. After defeating Shaista Khan and killing his son, Shivaji captured the Mughal port Surat. The growing menace of the Marathas alarmed Aurangzeb. To deal with them, the Sultan of Delhi Aurangzeb sent a large force under Raja Jaisingh. Raja Jaisingh succeeded in his mission. In 1665, The king Maratha Shivaji concluded a treaty with Jaisingh. This is known as the Treaty of Purandar. Shivaji surrendered his 23 forts and a territory which affect the revenue of 4 lakhs. He sent his son Sambhaji with 5,000 horses to attend on Aurangzeb.

On the suggestion of Raja Jai Singh that the might get the Governorship of the Deccan if he called on Aurangzeb in his court at Agra, Shivaji visited Agra. But the treatment given to him at the court made him feel humiliated. When he was presented to the Mughal King Aurangzeb, it is stated that he was casually dismissed by the Sultan and asked to stand among the mansabdars of lower rank. When in Agra, Shivaji was also kept as a virtual prisoner in Jaipur Bhawan. But he escaped from there, hiding in a sweet and fruit basket, and reached Maharashtra. Though the peace moves continued till 1670, the rift between Aurangzeb and Shivaji began to widen as the days went by.


Shivaji was a great disciple of Guru Ramdas, but he made no discrimination between faiths. He respected Islam, the Quran and Mosques. He opened up opportunities of service to all selection of society, without making caste or class distinctions.

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