Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti: Basics Explained

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Bhonsle clan, the founder of the Maratha Kingdom was born, to Shahaji Bhonsle, mother was Jijabai, on 19 February 1630 at Shivneri Fort in District Pune in the present-day state of Maharashtra. The Maratha Empire, also known as the Maratha Confederacy, dominated a large portion of India during the 17th and 18th century.

The Marathas, under the leadership of Shivaji Maharaj, consolidated their territories during the Mughal-Maratha Wars pioneering the guerrilla warfare methods and later controlled a large part of the Indian subcontinent.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj displayed his military zeal for the first time in 1645 when as a teenager, he successfully got control of the Torna Fort which was under Bijapur. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj defeated a large force of Shaista Khan (Aurangzeb’s maternal uncle) and the Bijapur army in Pune. In 1664, the wealthy Mughal trading port of Surat was sacked by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. In June 1665, the Treaty of Purandar was signed between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Raja Jai Singh I (representing Aurangzeb). He defeated Mughals in Battle of Salher (1672). He was crowned & assumed the title Maharaja Chhatrapati in 1674 at Raigad fort.

He died in 1680 at the age of 52. He took on the title of Chhatrapati, Shakakarta, Kshatriya Kulavantas and Haindava Dharmodhhaarak.

Chauth (1/4th of land revenue) paid to Marathas to avoid Maratha raid.

Sardeshmukhi was additional levy of ten percent, that is.1/10 of standard land revenue on those lands on which the Marathas claimed hereditary rights.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj laid the foundations of a great empire which played significant parts in modern Indian history. He established a strong army and a navy across the Konkan coast. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was also considered a master of the guerrilla warfare.

        After Shivaji’s demise, the Maratha Empire continued to flourish under his son Sambhaji. However, in 1689 Sambhaji was captured and executed by the Mughals. The Maratha Empire was then ruled by various rulers like Sambhaji’s half-brother Rajaram, Rajaram’s widow Tarabai, and then by Sambhaji’s son Shahu. Under Shahu’s rule, Balaji Vishwanath was appointed as the Prime Minister (Peshwa) of the Maratha Empire in 1713. This would later go down in history as one of the prominent events as the empire would later be ruled by the Peshwa clan.

In 1720, Baji Rao I was appointed as the new Peshwa of the empire, after his father Balaji Vishwanath’s demise in April. Baji Rao went on to become a prominent Peshwa of the Maratha Empire as he was responsible for the empire’s great expansion from 1720 to 1740. Initiated the system of confederacy. Thus, many families became prominent and established their authority.

Scindia                            Gwalior

Holkar                  Indore

Pawar                  Dhar

Gaekwad         Baroda

Bhosale                    Nagpur

Peshwa                         Poona

After Baji Rao’s demise in April 1740, Shahu appointed Baji Rao’s 19 year old son Balaji Baji Rao as the new Peshwa. During Balaji Baji Rao’s reign, the Maratha Empire extended further, before reaching its peak.

The expansion of Maratha power in the northern territory of the Indian subcontinent caused a great concern in the court of Ahmad Shah Durrani. In an attempt to drive the Marathas out of North India, Durrani joined forces with Nawab of Oudh and the Rohillas, before challenging the Marathas for a battle. The ensuing battle that took place on January 14, 1761 would later be called as the ‘Third Battle of Panipat.’

At the ‘Battle of Delhi’ in 1803, the Marathas were defeated by the English forces, which were led by General Lake. During the ‘Second Anglo-Maratha War,’ which took place from 1803 to 1805, the British forces led by Arthur Wellesley defeated the Marathas, which gave rise to a number of treaties in favor of the British. Finally, during the ‘Third Anglo-Maratha War,’ Peshwa Baji Rao II was defeated by the British, which marked the end of the Maratha rule.


Leave a Comment


Welcome! Login in to your account

Remember me Lost your password?

Lost Password