Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is an eminent name when it comes to remembering the valiant warriors of India.
Chhatrapati Shivaji was born on 19th February 1680 to Shahaji Bhosle and mother Jijabai at Shivneri Fort near the city of Junnar of the Pune district. Shivaji was an ancestor of the 96 Maratha Clans who were well-known as brave fighters or ‘Kshatriyas’. He was a famous Maratha king who had the uttermost courage to stand against the Mughal rule, single-handedly.
Some facts you should know about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj:
Shivaji was known to follow his mother’s teachings, learn from his father’s struggle and for his immense pride in the motherland that helped young Shivaji gain his first achievement as a warrior with the seizure of the Torna Fort which was initially under the Bijapur Kingdom.
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- His original name was Shivaji Bhosle, but his beloved gave him the title of ‘Chatrapati’ or the ‘Chief of the Kshatriyas’ for his fearless ability to protect them all under the safe shelter. In the year 1674, he was crowned as the Chhatrapati (monarch) of his kingdom at Raigad.
- His major breakthrough came with the Battle of Pratapgarh against Afzal Khan, the general of the Sultanate of Bijapur, where his sheer planning, speed and excellent generalship made him a hero of the Marathas overnight.
- Chhatrapati Shivaji is famous for his courage to challenge the Mughal Empire, during the rule of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb tried to capture the forts and territories which were under Shivaji but could not achieve much success due to Shivaji’s clever planning and tactics.
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- Shivaji was known as the Father of Indian Navy. He was the first to realize the importance of naval force, and therefore he strategically established a navy and forts at the coastline to defend the Konkan side of Maharashtra.
- Shivaji was named after a regional Goddess Shivai. His mother prayed to the goddess for a son and she was blessed with one.
- The secular ruler was very accommodating of all religions. He had numerous Muslim soldiers in his army. His only aim was to destroy Mughal rule and establish the Maratha Empire.
- Shivaji was a dependable supporter of women and he opposed all kinds of violence, harassment, and dishonor against women. Anyone under his rule who was caught violating woman’s rights was severely punished.
- Because of his awareness of the geography of his land, and guerrilla tactics like raiding, ambushing and surprise attacks on his enemies he was known as ‘Mountain Rat’.
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- Shivaji succumbed to fatal illness spanning many weeks in 1680 and his empire was taken over by his son Sambhaji.
Chhatrapati Shivaji’s name will forever be remembered by Hindus and in Indian history as the great king whose kingship is considered as a golden era, which showed the light of freedom, courage and paved the way for India’s Independence later.