Shivaji Maharaj – Father of Indian Navy

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Shivaji Father of Indian Navy – Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born on 19th February 1630 and ruled the Maratha empire. He was officially coronated in 1674 after winning various battles and campaigns. He was able to win those battles with his warfare skills and strategies. Among many of his strategies was developing the naval forces. Therefore, he is known as the ‘Father of Indian Navy.’ 

shivaji father of indian navy

Shivaji started building the Indian navy around 1657 – 1659. He realized the importance of protecting the Konkan coastline from British, Portuguese, and Dutch invasion and sea trade. He started building the Indian navy by acquiring twenty galivants from the Portuguese.

Shivaji Father of Indian Navy – indian navy founder name

He hired a Portuguese sailor, Rui Leitao Viegas, and made him the commander of his fleet. Portuguese were good at naval operations and therefore, he involved them to develop his fleet. He also involved people living near the sea in his operations as they were more aware of sea trade and conditions. Although there is a discrepancy in the records, it is estimated that his fleet grew up to 700 ships and vessels gradually.

Must Read:Chhatrapati Shivaji Biography

Shivaji started building his ships in various towns including Goa, Kalyan, and Bhivandi. He also built and acquired various sea ports along the Konkan coastline. With the help of Kanhoji Angre, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was able to lay the foundation of the Indian navy. He was able to build a strong naval presence and protect invasion through the sea. The first fort built at Sindhudurg became the headquarter of the naval force.

Shivaji Father of Indian Navy

Some of the naval strategies followed by the Maratha navy were:

  • The navy preferred fighting on coastal waters and not on the high seas.
  • The navy used to capture enemy ships through hand-to-hand combat after boarding the enemy ship.
  • Creeks and forts were used for retreating.
  • Ships were spread out in small squadrons rather than collectively stationed.
  • Attacks were preferred from the leeward or astern sides.
  • Forts were primarily used for defending the people and military assets from enemy attacks during a sea(coastal) battle.

Must Read:Why Indian Navy Day is celebrated on December 4

Shivaji Father of Indian Navy

Sindhudurg Fort: Interesting Facts

  • It took three years to build the fort from 1664 to 1667.
  • 200 people worked to build this fort.
  • Over 4,000 pounds of lead were used in the structure.
  • The fort is spread over an area of 48 acres.
  • It has a 3-km long rampart.
  • The walls are 30 feet high and 12 feet thick.

The Indian Navy regards Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as the ‘Father of Indian Navy’ for he was responsible for laying the stone for naval forces in the country.

Must Read:The glorious life of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

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