The Epic 27 Year War That Saved Hinduism

Shivaji was the greatest Hindu king that India had produced within the last thousand years; one who was the very incarnation of lord Siva, about whom prophecies were given out long before he was born; and his advent was eagerly expected by all the great souls and saints of Maharashtra as the deliverer of the Hindus from the hands of the Mlecchas, and as one who succeeded in the reestablishment of Dharma which had been trampled underfoot by the depredations of the devastating hordes of the Moghals”   – Swami Vivekananda


Schoolchildren in India learn a very specific blend of Indian history. This school version of history is stripped of all the vigor and pride. The story of Indian civilization spans thousands of years. However for the most part the schoolbook version dwells on the freedom struggle against British and important role played in there by the Indian National Congress. We learn each and every movement of Gandhi and Nehru, but not even a passing reference is made to hundreds of other important people and events.

My objection is not to the persons Gandhi or Nehru. They were great men. However the attention they get and the exposure their political views and ideology gets is rather disproportionate.

And thus it comes no surprise to me that rarely we talk about an epic war that significantly altered the face of Indian subcontinent. The war that can be described the mother of all wars in India. Considering the average life expectancy that time was around 30 years, this war of 27 years lasted almost the lifespan of an entire generation. The total number of battles fought was in hundreds. It occurred over vast geographical expanse spanning four biggest states of modern India- Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. For time, expanse and human and material cost, this  war has no match in Indian history.


It started in 1681 with the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s invasion of Maratha empire. It ended in 1707 with Aurangzeb’s death. Aurangzeb threw everything he had in this war. He lost it all.

It’s tempting to jump into the stories of heroics, but what makes the study of war more interesting is the understanding of politics behind it. Every war is driven by politics. Rather war is just one of the means to do politics. This war was not an exception.

Shivaji’s tireless work for most of his life had shown fruits by the last quarter of seventeenth century. He had firmly established Marathas as power in Deccan. He built hundreds of forts in Konkan and Sahyadris and thus created a defense backbone. He also established strong naval presence and controlled most of the Western ports barring few on end of Indian peninsula. Thus tightening the grip on trade routes of Deccan sultanates, he strangled their  weapons import from Europe and horses import from Arabian traders.  These Sultanates launched several campaigns against Shivaji, but failed to stop him.

On the Northern front, several Rajput kings had accepted to be the vassals of Mughals. Aurangzeb had succeeded to the throne after brutal killing of his brothers and imprisonment of his father. With Rajput resistance mostly subsided and the southern sultanates weakened, it was only matter of time before Marathas were in his cross-hair.

[quote]‘The death of Shivaji was the mere beginning of Maratha history. He founded a Hindu principality-it had yet to grow into a Hindu Empire. This was all done after the death of Shivaji. The real epic opens as soon as Shivaji, after calling into being the great forces that had to act it up, disappears from the scene. ‘ ...Vināyak Dāmodar Sāvarkar[/quote]

Shivaji’s death

At the time of Shivaji’s death in 1680, Maratha empire spanned an area far more than the current state of Maharashtra and had taken firm roots. But it was surrounded by enemies from all sides.  Portuguese on northern Coast and Goa, British in Mumbai, Siddies in Konkan and remaining Deccan sultenates in Karnataka posed limited challenge each, but none of them was capable of taking down the Marathas alone. Mughal empire with Aurangzeb at its helm was the most formidable foe.

For the most part, Aurangzeb was a religious fanatic. He had distanced Sikhs and Rajputs because of his intolerant policies against Hindus. After his succession to the throne, he had made life living hell for Hindus in his kingdom. Taxes like Jizya tax were imposed on Hindus. No Hindu could ride in Palanquin. Hindu temples were destroyed and abundant forcible conversions took place. Auragzeb unsuccessfully tried to impose Sharia, the Islamic law. This disillusioned Rajputs and Sikhs resulting in their giving cold shoulder to Aurangzeb in his Deccan campaign.

Thus in September of  1681, after settling his dispute with the royal house of Mewar, Aurangzeb began his journey to Deccan to kill the Maratha confederacy that was not even 50 years old. On his side, the Mughal king had enormous army numbering half a million soldiers, a number more than three times that of the Maratha army. He had plentiful support of artillery, horses, elephants. He also brought huge wealth in royal treasuries. Teaming up with Portuguese, British ,Siddis, Golkonda and Bijapur Sultanates he planned to encapsulate Marathas from all sides and to form a deadly death trap. To an outsider, it would seem no-brainer to predict the outcome of such vastly one sided war. It seemed like the perfect storm headed towards Maratha confederacy.

Enormous death and destruction followed in Deccan for what seemed like eternity. But what happened at the end would defy all imaginations and prove every logic wrong. Despite lagging in resources on all fronts, it would be the Marathas who triumphed. And at the expense of all his treasure, army, power and life, it would be the invading emperor who learned a very costly lesson, that the will of people to fight for their freedom should never be underestimated.

Timeline – Marathas under King Sambhaji (1680 to 1689):

After the death of Shivaji in 1680, a brief power struggle ensued in the royal family. Finally Sambhaji became the king. By this time Aurangzeb had finished his North missions and was pondering a final push in Deccan to conquer all of the India.

In 1681 sambhaji attacked Janjira, but his first attempt failed. In the same time one of the Aurangzeb’s generals, Hussein Ali Khan , attacked Northern Konkan. Sambhaji left janjira and attacked Hussein Ali Khan and pushed him back to Ahmednagar. By this time mansoon of 1682 had started. Both sides halted their major military operations. But Aurangzeb was not sitting idle. He tried to sign a deal with Portughese to allow mughal ships to harbor in Goa. This would have allowed him to open another supply route to Deccan via sea. The news reached sambhaji. He attacked Portughese territories and pushed deep inside Goa. But Voiceroy Alvor was able to defend Portughese headquarters.

By this time massive Mughal army had started gathering on the borders of Deccan. It was clear that southern India was headed for one big conflict.Sambhaji had to leave Portuguese expedition and turn around. In late 1683, Aurangzeb moved to Ahmednagar. He divided his forces in two and put his two princes, Shah Alam and Azam Shah, in charge of each division. Shah alam was to attack South Konkan via Karnataka border while Azam Shah would attack Khandesh and northern Maratha territory. Using pincer strategy, these two divisions planned to circle Marathas from South and North and isolate them.

The beginning went quite well. Shah Alam crossed Krishna river and enterd Belgaum. From there he entered Goa and started marching north via Konkan. As he pushed further,he was continuously harassed by Marathas. They ransacked his supply chains and reduced his forces to starvation. Finally Aurangzeb sent Ruhulla Khan for his rescue and brought him back to Ahmednagar. The first pincer attempt failed.

After 1684 monsoon, Aurangzeb’s another general Sahabuddin Khan directly attacked the Maratha capital, fort Raygad. Maratha commanders successfully defended Raygad. Aurangzeb sent Khan Jehan for help, but Hambeerrao Mohite, Commander-in-Chief of Maratha army, defeated him in a fierce battle at Patadi. Second division of Maratha army attacked Sahabuddin Khan at Pachad, inflicting heavy losses on Mughal army.

In early 1685, Shah Alam attacked South again via Gokak- Dharwar route. But Sambhaji’s forces harassed him continuously on the way and finally he had to give up and thus failed to close the loop second time.

In april 1685 Aurangzeb rehashed his strategy. He planned to consolidate his power in the South by taking expeditions to Goalkonda and Bijapur. Both were Shia muslim rulers and Aurangzeb was no fond of them. He broke his treaties with both empires and attacked them. Taking this opportunity Marathas launched offensive on North coast and attacked Bharuch. They were able to evade the mughal army sent their way and came back with minimum damage.

On Aurangzeb’s new Southern front, things were proceeding rather smoothly. Bijapur fell in September 1686. King Sikandar Shah was captured and imprisoned. Goalkonda agreed to pay huge ransom. But after receiving the money, Aurangzeb attacked them in blatant treachery. Soon Goalkonda fell as well. King Abu Hussein of Goalkonda was captured and met the same fate as Sikandar Shah.

Marathas had tried to win mysore through diplomacy. Kesopant Pingle, (Moropant Pingle’s brother) was running negotiations, but the fall of Bijapur to mughals turned the tides and Mysore was reluctant to join Marathas. Still Sambhaji successfully courted several Bijapur sardars to join Maratha army.

After fall of Bijapur and Goalkonda, Aurangzeb turned his attention again to his main target – Marathas. First few attempts proved unsuccessful to make a major dent. But in Dec 1688 he had his biggest jackpot. Sambhaji was captured at Sangmeshwar. It was in part his own carelessness and in part because of treachery. Aurangzeb gave him option of converting to Islam, which he refused. Upon refusal, Aurangzeb, blinded by his victories, gave Sambhaji the worst treatment he could ever give to anyone.Sambhaji was paraded on donkey. His tongue was cut, eyes were gorged out. His body was cut into pieces and fed to dogs.

There were many people who did not like Sambhaji and thus were sympathetic to Mughals. But this barbaric treatment made everyone angry. Maratha generals gathered on Raygad. The decision was unanimous. All peace offers were to be withdrawn. Mughals would be repelled at all costs. Rajaram succeeded as the next king. He began his reign by a valiant speech on Raygad. All Maratha generals and councilmen united under the flag of new king, and thus began the second phase of the epic war.

“Whenever Mughal horses used to refuse to go to the water to drink water, it was feared they had seen Santaji and Dhanaji”
Kafi Khan  Mughal court historian


27 Years War TimeLine – Marathas under King Rajaram (1689 to 1700)

To Aurangzeb, the Marathas seemed all but dead by end of 1689. But this would prove to be almost a fatal blunder. In March 1690, the Maratha commanders, under the leadership of Santaji Ghorpade launched the single most daring attack on mughal army. They not only attacked the army, but sacked the tent where the Aurangzeb himself slept. Luckily Aurangzeb was elsewhere but his private force and many of his bodyguards were killed.

This positive development was followed by a negative one for Marathas. Raigad fell to treachery of Suryaji Pisal. Sambhaji’s queen, Yesubai and their son, Shahu, were captured.

Mughal forces, led by Zulfikar Khan, continued this offensive further South. They attacked fort Panhala. The Maratha killedar of Panhala gallantly defended the fort and inflicted heavy losses on Mughal army. Finally Aurangzeb himself had to come. Panhala surrendered.

Maratha ministers had foreseen the next Mughal move on Vishalgad. They made Rajaram leave Vishalgad for Jinji, which would be his home for next seven years. Rajaram  travelled South under escort of Khando Ballal and his men. The queen of Bidnur,  gave them supplies and free passage.  Harji Mahadik’s division met them near Jinji and guarded them to the fort. Rajaram’s queen was escorted out of Maharashtra by Tungare brothers.  She was taken to Jinji by different route. Ballal and Mahadik tirelessly worked to gather the scattered diplomats and soldiers. Jinji became new capital of Marathas. This breathed new life in Maratha army.

Aurangzeb was frustrated with Rajaram’s successful escape. His next move was to keep most of his force in Maharashtra and dispatch a small force to keep Rajaram in check. But the two Maratha generals, Santaji ghorpade and Dhanaji Jadhav would prove more than match to him.

They first attacked and destroyed the force sent by Aurangzeb to keep check on Rajaram, thus relieving the immediate danger. Then they joined Ramchandra Bavadekar in Deccan. Bavdekar, Vithoji Bhosale and Raghuji Chavan had reorganized most of the Maratha army after defeats at Panhala and Vishalgad.

In late 1691, Bavdekar, Pralhad Niraji , Santaji ,Dhanaji and several Maratha sardars met in Maval region and reformed the strategy. Aurangzeb had taken four major forts in Sahyadrais and was sending Zulfikar khan to subdue the fort Jinji. So according to new Maratha plan, Santaji and Dhanaji would launch offensives in the East to keep rest of the Mughal forces scattered. Others would focus in Maharashtra and would attack a series of forts around Southern Maharashtra and Northern Karnataka to divide Mughal won territories in two, thereby posing significant challenge to enemy supply chains. Thanks to Shivaji’s vision of building a navy, Marathas could now extend this divide into the sea, checking any supply routes from Surat to South.

The execution began. In early 1692 Shankar Narayan and Parshuram Trimbak recaptured Rajgad and Panhala. In early 1693 Shankar Narayan and Bhosale captured Rohida. Sidhoji Gujar took Vijaydurg. Soon Parshuram Trimbak took Vishalgad. Kanhoji Angre, a young Maratha Naval officer that time, took fort Kolaba.

While this was in work, Santaji and Dhanaji were launching swift raids on Mughal armies on East front. This came as a bit of surprise to Aurangzeb. In spite of losing one King and having second king driven away, Marathas were undaunted and actually were on offensive. From Khandesh, Ahmednagar to Bijapur to Konkan and Southern Karnataka, Santaji and Dhanaji wrecked havoc. Encouraged by the success, Santaji and Dhanaji hatched new action plan to attack Mughal forces near Jinji. Dhanaji Jadhav attacked Ismail Khan and defeated him near Kokar. Santaji Ghorpade attacked Ali Mardan Khan at the base of Jinji and captured him. With flanks cleared, both joined hands and laid a second siege around the Mughal siege at Jinji.

Julfikar khan, who was orchestrating Jinji siege, left the siege on Aurangzeb’s orders and marched back. Santaji followed him to North, but was defeated by Julfikar Khan. Santaji then diverted his forces to Bijapur. Aurangzeb sent another general Kasim Khan to tackle Santaji. But Santaji attacked him with a brilliant military maneuver near Chitaldurg and forced him take refuge in Dunderi fort. The fort was quickly sieged by Santaji and the siege only ended when most of the Mughal soldiers starved and Kasim Khan committed suicide. Aurangzeb sent Himmat Khan to reinforce Kasim Khan. Himmat khan carried heavy artillery. So Santaji lured him in a trap in the forest near Dunderi. A sudden, ambush style attack on Mughals was followed by a fierce battle. The battle ended when when Himmat Khan was shot in head and died. All his forces routed and Santaji confiscated a big cache of weapons and ammunition.

By now, Aurangzeb had the grim realization that the war he began was much more serious than he thought. He consolidated his forces and rethought his strategy. He sent an ultimatum to Zulfikar khan to finish Jinji business or be stripped of the titles. Julfikar khan tightened the Siege. But Rajaram fled and was safely escorted to Deccan by Dhanaji Jadhav and  Shirke brothers. Haraji Mahadik’s son took the charge of Jinji and bravely defended Jinji against Julfikar khan and Daud khan till January of 1698. This gave Rajaram ample of time to reach Vishalgad.

Jinji: fortressJinji fell, but it did a big damage to the Mughal empire. The losses incurred in taking Jinji far outweighed the gains. The fort had done its work. For seven years the three hills of Jinji had kept a large contigent of mughal forces occupied. It had eaten a deep hole into Mughal resources. Not only at Jinji, but the royal treasury was bleeding everywhere and was already under strain.

Marathas would soon witness an unpleasant development, all of their own making. Dhanaji Jadhav and Santaji Ghorpade had a simmering rivalry, which was kept in check by the councilman Pralhad Niraji. But after Niraji’s death, Dhanaji grew bold and attacked Santaji. Nagoji Mane, one of Dhanaji’s men, killed Santaji. The news of Santaji’s death greatly encouraged Aurangzeb and Mughal army.

But by this time Mughals were no longer the army they were feared before. Aurangzeb, against advise of several of his experienced generals, kept the war on. It was much like Alexander on the borders of Taxila.

The Marathas again consolidated and the new Maratha counter offensive began. Rajaram made Dhanaji the next commander in chief. Maratha army was divided in three divisions. Dhanaji would himself lead the first division. Parshuram Timbak lead the second and Shankar Narayan lead the third. Dhanaji Jadhav defeated a large mughal force near Pandharpur. Shankar Narayan defeated Sarja Khan in Pune. Khanderao Dabhade, who lead a division under Dhanaji, took Baglan and Nashik. Nemaji Shinde, another commander with Shankar Narayan, scored a major victory at Nandurbar.

Enraged at this defeats, Aurangzeb himself took charge and launched another counter offensive. He laid siege to Panhala and attacked the fort of Satara. The seasoned commander, Prayagji Prabhu defended Satara for a good six months, but surrendered in April of 1700, just before onset of Monsoon. This foiled Aurangzeb’s strategy to clear as many forts before monsoon as possible.

In March of 1700, another bad news followed Marathas. Rajaram took his last breath. His queen Tarabai, who was also daughter of the gallant Maratha Commander-in-Chief Hambeerrao Mohite, took charge of Maratha army. Daughter of a braveheart, Tarabai proved her true mettle for the next seven years. She carried the struggle on with equal valor. Thus began the phase 3, the last phase of the prolonged war, with Marathas under the leadership of Tarabai.

The signs of strains were showing in Mughal camp in late 1701. Asad Khan, Julfikar Khan’s father, counselled Aurangzeb to end the war and turn around. This expedition had already taken a giant toll, much larger than originally planned, on Mughal empire. And serious signs were emerging that the 200 years old Mughal empire was crumbling and was in the middle of a war that was not winnable.

Mughals were bleeding heavily from treasuries. But  Aurangzeb kept pressing the war on.  When Tarabai took charge, Aurangzeb had laid siege to the fort of Parli (Sajjangad). Parshuram Trimbak defended the fort until monsoon and retreated quietly at the break of monsoon.The mughal army was dealt heavy loss by flash floods in the rivers around. These same tactics were followed by Marathas at the next stop of Aurangzeb, Panhala. Similar tactic was followed even for Vishalgad.

By 1704, Aurangzeb had Torana and Rajgad. He had won only a handful forts in this offensive, but he had spent several precious years. It was slowly dawning to him that after 24 years of constant war, he was no closer to defeating Marathas than he was the day he began.

The final Maratha counter offensive gathered momentum in North. Tarabai proved to be a valiant leader once again. One after another Mughal provinces fell in north. They were not in position to defend as the royal treasuries had been sucked dry and no armies were left in tow. In 1705, two Maratha army factions crossed Narmada. One under leadership of Nemaji Shinde hit as deep North as Bhopal. Second under the leadership of Dabhade struck Bharoch and West. Dabhade with his eight thousand men,attacked and defeated Mahomed khan’s forces numbering almost fourteen thousand. This left entire Gujarat coast wide open for Marathas. They immediately tightened their grip on Mughal supply chains.

In Maharashtra, Aurangzeb grew despondent. He started negotiations with Marathas, but cut abruptly and marched on a small kingdom called Wakinara. Naiks at Wakinara traced their lineage to royal family of Vijaynagar empire. They were never fond of Mughals and had sided with Marathas. Dhanaji marched into Sahyadris and won almost all the major forts back in short time. Satara and Parali forts were taken by Parshuram Timbak. Shankar Narayan took Sinhgad. Dhanaji then turned around and took his forces to Wakinara. He helped the Naiks at Wakinara sustain the fight. Naiks fought very bravely. Finally Wakinara fell, but the royal family of Naiks successfully escaped with least damage.

Aurangzeb had now given up all hopes and was now planning retreat to Burhanpur. Dhanaji Jadhav again fell on him and in swift and ferocious attack and dismantled the rear guard of his imperial army. Zulfikar Khan rescued the emperor and they successfully reached Burhanpur.

Aurangzeb witnessed bitter fights among his sons in his last days. Alone, lost, depressed, bankrupt, far away from home, he died sad death on 3rd March 1707. “I hope god will forgive me one day for my disastrous sins”, were his last words.

Thus ended a prolonged and grueling period in history of India. The Mughal kingdom fragmented and disintegrated soon after. And Deccan saw rise of a new sun, the Maratha empire.

[quote]” What some call the Muslim period in Indian history, was in reality a continuous war of occupiers against resisters, in which the Muslim rulers were finally defeated in the 18th century”  Dr Koenraad Elst[/quote]

Reflection: Strategical Analysis:

Mughal ArmyIn this war, Aurangzeb’s army totaled more than 500,000 in number (compared to total Maratha army in the ballpark of 150,000). With him he carried huge artillery, cavalry, muskettes, ammunition and giant wealth from royal treasuries to support this quest. This war by no means a fair game when numbers are considered.

The main features of Aurangzeb’s strategy were :-

Use of overwhelming force to demoralize the enemy –

This tactic had proved successful in Aurangzeb’s other missions. Thus he used this even in Maharashtra. On several occasions giant Mughal contigents were used to lay siege to a fort or capture a town.

Meticulously planned sieges to the forts

Aurangzeb knew that the forts in Sahyadri formed backbone of Maratha defense. His calculation was to simply lay tight siege to the fort, demoralizing and starving the people inside and finally making them surrender the fort.

Fork or pincer movements using large columns of infantry and cavalry –

With large number of infantry and cavalry, pincer could have proved effective and almost fatal against Marathas

Marathas had one advantage on their side, geography. They milked this advantage to the last bit. Their military activities were planned considering the terrain and the weather.

The main features of Maratha strategy were :-

Combined offensive-defensive strategy –

Throughout the war, Marathas never stopped their offensive. This served two purposes. The facts that Maratha army was carrying out offensive attacks in Mughal land suddenly made them psychologically equals to Mughals launching attack in Maratha land, even though Mughals were a much bigger force. This took negative toll on Mughal morale and boosted morale of their own men. Secondly, these offensive attacks in terms of quick raids often heavily damaged enemy supply chains taking toll on Mughal army. The forts formed backbone of Maratha defense. Thanks to Shivaji, the every fort had provision of fresh water. The total forts numbered almost 300 and this large number proved major headache to Aurangzeb.

Strategic fort defense –

Marathas had one big advantage on their side. They were the expert in fort warfare. The game of defense using forts had two components.

First component was the right play of the strategic forts . In modern warfare, you have some strategic assets like aircraft carrier, presence of which needs a substantial change of plans on your enemy side.  And then there are tactical assets, like tanks and large guns, which matter from battle to battle, but can be effectively countered by your enemy without making big plan changes. Similarly there are strategic forts, like Raigad, Janjira, Panhala and Jinji. Then there are number of tactical forts like Vishalgad, Sinhgad, Rajgad, etc.

Raigad, by its very nature, is large daunting fort. Built in 11th century by decedents of Mauryan Empire, it served as anchor to various kingdoms. Its cliffs sore high more than 1200 feet from base. It has abundant fresh water supply. Raigad, like Jinji could be defended for years at a stretch. No one could claim Sahyadri and Konkan as theirs without winning Raigad.

Aurangzeb knew difficulties in winning Raigad by war. So he managed to win it by using insider traitor, Suryaji Pisal. Had Marathas kept Raigad, Aurangzeb’s task would have been much tougher. Marathas lost Raigad early and could not win in back till much later. But they played the remaining two forts, Panhala and Jinji very well. Panhala is strategic because of its location on the confluence of multiple supply chains.  Thus Marathas defended Panhala as long as they could and tried to win it back the earliest when they didn’t have it.

The second component of defensive fort warfare was matching the movements with weather.  Forts are an asset in rest of the year, but are a liability in monsoon as it costs a lot to carry food and supplies up. Also the monsoon in coasts and ghats is severe in nature and no major military movement is possible. Thus Marathas often fought till Monsoon and surrendered the fort just before Monsoon. Before surrendering they burned all the food inside. Thus making it a proposition of loss in every way. Often times Marathas surrendered the fort empty, but later soon won it back filled with food and water. These events demoralized the enemy.

Offensive attacks in terms of evasive raids –

Marathas mostly launched offensive attacks in the region when Mughal army was away. They rarely engaged Mughal army in open fields till later part of the war. If situation seemed dire, they would retreat and disperse and thus conserve most of their men and arms for another day. The rivers Bhima, Krishna , Godavari and the mountains of Sahyadri, divide entire Maharashtra region is in several North- South corridors. When Mughal army traveled South through one corridor, Marathas would travel North through another and launch attacks there. This went on changing gradually and in the end, Maratha forces started engaging Mughals head on.

A noted historian Jadunath Sarkar makes an interesting observation. In his own words, “Aurangzeb won battle after battles, but in the end he lost the war. As the war prolonged, it transformed from war of weapons to war of spirits, and Aurangzeb was never able to break Maratha spirit.”

What Marathas did was an classic example of asymmetric defensive warfare. The statement above by Mr. Sarkar hides one interesting fact about this asymmetric defense. Is it really possible to lose most of the battles and still win the war?

The answer is yes, and explanation is a statistical phenomena called “Simpson’s paradox.”. According to Simpsons paradox, several micro-trends can lead to one conclusion, however a mega-trend combining all the micro-trends can lead to an exact opposite conclusion. Explanation is as follows.

Say two forces go on war, force A with 100 soldiers and force B with 40 soldiers. Now say in every battle between A and B, the following happens.

If A loses, they lose 80% of the soldiers fighting.
If B loses, they only lose 10% of the soldiers fighting.
If A wins, they lose 50% of the solders fighting.
If B wins, they lose only 10% of the soldiers fighting.

In the case above, the ratio of (resource drain of A / resource drain of B ) is higher than (initial number of A soldiers / initial number of B soldiers). So even if A wins battle more than 50% of the time, they will lose their resources faster and, in the end, will lose the war. All B has to do is keep the morale and keep the consistency.

One of the most famous warrior in ancient Indian history seems to agree with the conclusion above. In “Bhishma- perva” of Mahabharata, pitamah Bhishma begins the war-advice to king Yudhisthira with a famous quote –

“The strength of an army is not in its numbers’

For centuries , the mountains and valleys, towns and villages of Deccan had gotten used to being a pawn in the game of power. They changed hands as kingdoms warred with each other. They paid taxes whoever was in a position to extract them. For the most part they remained in a sleepy slumber, just turning and twisting in their bed.
Once in a while they sent their sons to fight in battles without ever asking why exactly the war is being launched. Other times they fought amongst themselves. They were divided, confused and did not have high hopes about their future.
This was the condition of Deccan when Shivaji launched his first expedition of fort Torana in 1645. By the time of his death mere 35 years later, he had transformed Deccan from a sleepy terrain to a thundering volcano.

Finally, here was a man whose vision of future  was shared by a large general audience. An unmistakable characteristic of a modern concept of “nation-state”. Perhaps the most important factor that distinguishes Shivaji’s vision  is that it was “unifying”. His vision went beyond building an army of proud warriors from warrior castes. It included people from all rungs of society sharing a common political idea and ready to defend it at any cost.+++

His vision  went far beyond creating an empire for himself in Maharashtra. It included a building confederacy of states against what he thought were foreign invaders. He was trying to build an Alliance of Hindu kingdoms. He went out of his way to convince Mirza-Raje Jaisingh to leave Aurangzeb. He established relations with the dethroned royal family of Vijaynagar for whom he had tremendous respect. He attempted to unify the sparring Hindu power centers.

And  they responded. Rajputs in Rajasthan,  Nayaks in Karnataka, rulers of Mysore, the royal family of Vijaynagar were of valuable help to Shivaji and later to Marathas. It was certainly a step towards a nation getting its soul back.

While he was creating a political voice for Hindus, Muslims never faced persecution in his rule. Several Muslims served at high posts in his court and army. His personal body guard on his Agra visit was Muslim. His Naval officer, Siddi Hilal was Muslim. Thus Shivaji’s rule was not meant to challenge Islam as a personal religion, but it was a response to Political Islam.

Last but not the least, we must give due respect to one more thing. The seeds of every political revolution can be traced back to a spiritual one and this was no exception. The “Bhakti” movement in Maharashtra that began with 12th Century saint Dnyaneshwar and spearheaded by saint Tukaram (who was contemporary of Shivaji), played a role of social catalyst of immense effect. It created a forum, a pool in society where everyone was welcome.

It’s tempting for a Maharashtrian to claim the root of success of Marathas solely be in Maharashtra. But at the height of it’s peak, only 20% of Shivaji’s kingdom was part of Maharashtra. When Marathas launched northern campaigns in 18th century, it was even more less.

Soldiers in Maratha army came from diverse social and geographical backgrounds including from areas as far away as Kandahar to West and Bengal to East. Shivaji received a lot of support from various rulers and common people from all over India.

Thus limiting Marathas to Maharashtra is mostly a conclusion of a politician.  It must be noted that the roots of Maharashtra culture can be traced to both ancient Karnataka and Northern India. Shivaji himself traced his lineage to Shisodia family of Rajputs. Maharashtrians should not be ashamed to admit that their roots lie elsewhere. In fact they should feel proud that land of Maharashtra is truly a melting pot where Southern and Northern Indian cultures melted to give birth to a new vision of a nation. Shivaji was far more an Indian king than a Maratha king.

Dear readers, here ends the story of an epic war. I hope this saga gives you a sense of realistic hope and a sense of humble pride. All you might be doing today is sitting in a cubicle for the day ,typing on keyboard. But remember that the same blood runs in our fingers that long long time ago displayed unparalleled courage and bravery, the same spirit resides within us that can once soured sky high upon the call of freedom.

by Kedar Soman


“History of Mahrattas” by James Duff –

“Shivaji and His Times” by Jadunath Sarkar –

“A History Of Maratha People” by Charles Kincaid –

“Background of Maratha Renaissance” by N. K. Behere –

“Rise of The Maratha Power” by Mahadev Govind Ranade –

“Maratha History” by S R Sharma –

(visit the links to download the full books in PDF form free)


‘The fighting spirit of Maratha King Shivaji has always been a source of inspiration for armymen”ExIndian Army Chief General J J Singh

Wonderous mystic, adventurous and intrepid, fortunate, roving
prince, with lovely and magnetic eyes, pleasing countenance,
winsome and polite,magnanimous to fallen foe like Alexander,
keen and a sharp intellect, quick in decision, ambitious conqueror
like Julius Caesar, given to action, resolute and strict
disciplinarian, expert strategist, far-sighted and constructive
statesman, brilliant organizer, who sagaciously countered his
political rivals and antagonists like the Mughals, Turks of Bijapur,
the Portuguese, the English, the Dutch, and the French. Undaunted
by the mighty Mughals, then the greatest power in Asia, Shivaji
fought the Bijapuris and carved out a grand Empire.”

-A.B. de Braganca Pereira says in “Arquivo Portugues Oriental, Vol

In what far-off country, upon what obscure day I know not now, Seated in the gloom of some
Mahratta mountain-woodO King Shivaji, Lighting thy brow, like a lightning flash,This thought descended,”Into one virtuous rule, this divided broken distracted India,I shall bind.”
-Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore

Kasihki Kala Gayee, Mathura Masid Bhaee; Gar Shivaji Na Hoto,
To Sunati Hot Sabaki!(Kashi has lost its splendour, Mathura has become a mosque;

If Shivaji had not been, All would have been circumcised (converted)

– Kavi Bhushan (c. 1613-1712) was an Indian poet


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      • Learn to respect languages. Just like ur mother tongue, it is someone else’s mother tongue. And mother is a mother.

        Your comment shows lack of good humanity in you

        • We dont need to fight amongst ourselves on language, caste, religion, etc…We indians are not united and thats why we have been defeated and ruled by others in the past.

      • Dear Sunny,
        I am not Maratha, neither Telgu, for now lets stick to me being Indian. I do not understand the purpose of your comment here. We indians treat every platform accessible to us as our playground-that’s ok as don’t we shit all over. Please refrain from decreasing the quality of the content posted in the very few internet sites.
        God Bless.

        • He didn’t mention he is Marathi or telgue.
          There wasn’t any need to say I’m not a Maratha nor Telgu.
          He might be any speaker who has any problem with Telgu.
          Is it necessary that he is Maratha only. How did U know that.

      • shivaji is not just for maratha or marathi, shivaji has also ruled andhra. so he has equal rights in both states. And he is a hindu warrior which is more important for all of us to unite.

    • Excellent Naveen! When i click on your web link – it says i do not have access. Could you give me access?

  1. The example was just like the war between “KAKATIYAS” and “ALLAUDDIN KHILJI” (and Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq also) in between 1296 – 1303 AD

  2. At the end of the naration of this story, my eyes filled with tears & totally thrilled. I bow completely to the great king of India, Chatrapati Shivaji, who really protected our nation from the notorious Moghul empire. We Indians has to learn a lot from Shiavji Maharaj about the Patriotism, which has already loosing its meaning among the very well educated society of our country. Today I feel that I’m blessed to be born in this holy land & i’m proud to be a Bharatiya.

    • Dear Ram,
      Every one of Shivaji Maharaj’s people was a Prathi-Shivaji or another Shivaji…that is why they could give their everything to him and the cause of Swarajya. Each of us should be a Prathi-Shivaji.

      Raja Shiv Chhatrapati Marathi serial with English subtitles telecast by Star Pravah based on the book by the same name is uploaded by a fine gentleman Amol Bajpai…here is the link for the 1st episode…do spread the word around..

      Jai Bhavani Jai Shivaji!!!

    • He is already out there, in a different avatar. We need to go out and find him/her and give our full support

  3. Gr8 post!!!

    I liked one quote most “Shivaji was far more an Indian king than a Maratha king.” Like that i also thinks that, he is not the Hindu king or he just not fought for giving the Hindu sole back to the continent. He fought against the cruel and injustices kingdoms.

    He wanted to build the nation which will be free from all this narrow minded things of cast-ism, cruelty and give each common man a prideful life. Thats why all the men and all the other sultanats helped him a lot.

    So thats why far more further I would like to quote that

    “Shivaji was more a folk king(rayatecha raja) than a Maratha, Indian or Hindu king.”

  4. Shivaji built a foundation and on that his men went on to build a highest building of pride, glory and freedom for the nation.

  5. Thanks a lot for this lovely eye-opener. I feel proud to belong to such a culture. One of the last sentences which said that Shivaji was an Indian king brought tears to my eyes. I believe us non-Maharasthrians should adopt Shivaji as one of our greatest kings ever. I can’t thank you enough. I will make sure that I will teach this great chapter to my children and their friends in the future. I trust you completely for its veracity. We need such articles to strengthen our nationalism. A lot is at stake.

  6. do I really have to cry after watchin dis???? If nt, y I started so??? I alwayz wanted 2 read de history nd my god wat a piece u hv shared…

  7. Pingback: Interesting read---about Aurangzeb's war with Marathas

  8. I am a great fan of Shrimant Shri Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. I have read the book Shivaji the Great. The title “Shrimant Shri Chatrapati” aptly defines the great king in all fairness of the heavens. I have made it a point to read every bit of information I could lay my hands upon, because there is so much to learn from him. I can safely say that as much as he was a Hindu, he was tolerant to other religions, some of his body guards were Muslim if I correctly remember(Siddi Ibrahim). Apart from this his Naval and Artillery chiefs were Muslims too. Assuming that these facts are correct then in that case he was more than a “Hindu” king. He was a king of the people, something we will never get to see in the future. He won the hearts of Hindus and Muslims alike, under his rule. His standing orders for the great Maratha Army in any campaign were to not hurt Muslim women and children, or deface any religious place of worship. However I have found many articles giving him a title of Hindu King and not the title by which he is celebrated. He would have been just as good a ruler even if he belonged to any other religion. Its his values and principles that set him a class apart and not the fact that he was a Hindu. I believe that Hindu King sets a wrong impression of the king, inspite of him being secular and fair to his people. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    • truly said..actually foreigners (British) has given this title of “hindu king”. it should be discarded and put in garbage. he was great Indian king.

    • Brother…whats wrong if he was a hindu king. He was a HINDU king and thts why he respected other religions. But at the same time stood up to save hinduism from the onslaught of muslim mughals.


  9. Thanks for sharing,,,,, Its not that I have read this before but every time I read it rejuvenates me.

    • This is One of the best article not only best but the most “amazing” article of the superb person…..! It feels great to read such article that to in the morning undoubtedly my day is going to be amazing….!

      महाराजाना मानाचा मुजरा…..!!!!!

  10. Pingback: Are you an apologetic Hindu? | Hindu Human Rights Online News Magazine

  11. Fantastic Post. We have to put this in the history books. Why is NCERT still sticking to the words of the whiteman?? JAI HIND. Let us never forget whom we came from. This is the true indian spirit.

  12. Pingback: Shivaji Maharaj the great Hindu human rights activist | Hindu Human Rights Online News Magazine

  13. I have acquired my knowledge of Hinduism and her history from sources like,, the complete Idiots Guide to Hinduism and many other sources. It is interesting how we waste so much money on a private school education and still remain totally ignorant of the world.

  14. Pingback: 'Marxist' History in the Unmaking | Hindu History - Unfolding the Epic History of the Worlds Most Ancient and Spiritual Civilisation

  15. As an Indian from Bengal I feel so Proud of Shri Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
    Love and Respect to my Maratha and other Indian Brethrens.

    Jai Hind

  16. A proud piece of our glorious history. So sorry we have reduced the king to a small region. Was truly a Indian king. Thanks a lot for opening our eyes.

  17. Thanks a lot for posting such a wonderfull information about CHATRAPATI SHIVAJI MAHARAJ..i am feeling proud of being hindustani and then maharashtrian. He was a king of common man(raytecha raja).
    i never got so emotional but i can’t stop crying now…thank you once again for such a life changing information..

  18. wow.. dats one heck of an information i wld hav ever got about wat happened after shivaji maharaj and sambhajis death.. dis is only til wher we wer taught.. thnx very much..looking forward for more information from u regarding this and many more topic.. if possible can u ellaborate on the term ” 96 kul marathas ” .. dats one thng people talk a lot about.. bt dnt no d real bifercation and wat all castes r involved in it ..:)

  19. Good one. However, instead of “greatest Hindu King” it should have been “greatest king”. Since he was the greatest amongst all Indian kings.

  20. Woah that weblog is astounding i adore understanding your site content. Keep the terrific get the job done! You understand, a number of people tend to be looking round due to this data, you could possibly assist these individuals greatly.. film director

  21. You’ve written it so well that at ther end of the narration my chest was filled wid pride and my eyes were filled wid tear that came out of happiness that I’m a Maratha . Hats off Gr8 work , #Salute

  22. The interesting thing that this article highlights is that it was not Shivaji alone but his people who formed the resiliency that built the empire. He undoubtedly laid the vision for it. But the confederate nature of it gave the fledgling empire new leaders when one was lost.

    Great article!

  23. This is a wonderful piece of reading material. I have read a lot about my king in Babasaheb Purandare’s book…Raja Shiv Chatrapati…Shrimaan Yogi…Janta Raja…and Chava based on our Shambhu Raje’s life. Do read it. Jai Shivaji. Jai Bhavani.

  24. Dear friends ( i saw all the post given above ),
    My eyes filled with tears , as I read through the history of patriotism of Marathas that saved our country from slavery . Hope Shivaji was immortal physically .
    I have read history of shivaji deeply and was surprised about his sacrifices done in life,
    today we cannot stay away from our chidren , wife parents as we are in office whole day and evening we see our family. But this was not the case during those times.
    Shivaji was fighting relentlessly on all fronts at the same time ,imagine no family life nothing , just sword , military tactics, and warfare was his entire life. WHAT A GREAT SACRIFICE FOR US AND COUNTRY AT LARGE TO PROTECT HINDUISM. Many many crores of thanks would be less or words are short to explain his sacrifice.

    • Dear Ajay,

      Now it is our turn to be like Shivaji (at least 1% ). can we ?

      “Charity begins at home” If you ask me, from my end I am
      trying my level best.

      Because of Shivaji maharaj we are
      living as hindu other wise you can just imagine.

      So never expect that one day xyz will become like shivaji
      that you are already.

      “Jai Shivaji Jai Bhavani”

  25. I really appreciate your efforts for writing this blog administration. Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is my Idol and I worship him everyday. You touched my feelings and really made my eyes run in to tears…

  26. Pingback: The Importance of Kshatriya Dharma | Hindu History - Unfolding the Epic History of the Worlds Most Ancient and Spiritual Civilisation

  27. Nice article. Shivaji indeed was one of the greatest warrior. But writer conveniently missed Rajputs role in preventing islamisation of India. Maratha & Sikhs didnt even exist until 16th century, Rajputs were holding the fort against islamic invasion starting 7th century. The Marathas and then Sikhs helped finishing the work started by the Rajputs.

    Check this out .

    Some facts:
    – 90% of princely states in India belonged to Rajputs. They never let islam take over it.
    – 100s of Hindu temples through out India were prevented from being destroyed & were moved to Rajputana, the hindu safe haven, Present day Rajasthan still have them.

    • mr. sanjay singh
      just one comment for you is
      that little knowledge is always dangerous……

  28. Not a single comment on Sambhaji Maharaj. And he wasnt careless at all,In early 1689 CE, Sambhaji called his commanders for a strategic meeting at Sangameshwar in Konkan to decide on the final blow to oust Aurangzeb from Deccan. In order to execute the plans soon, Sambhaji sent ahead most of his comrades and stayed back with a few of his trustworthy men. Write mentioned Kafi Khan’s quote abt Santaji and Dhanaji but he forgot tp mentioned what Kafi Khan has written about Sambhaji Maharaj. Sambhaji Maharaj not only succeeded in tackling Aurangzeb but expanded Maratha empire geographically and made mote wealthy. He fought more than 2000 battles including small and big battles and didnt loose single one. During tht time Mughal soldiers were claiming that Ch. Sambhaji has super natural power and thts why his horse Chandravat can fly. The reason behind this story was as Ch. SAMBHAJI used reach at different places in a very short time and it was nothing but miracle to travel long distance in very short period with horses. But due to pre biased maharashtrian historians be hav been taught with all untrue stories. Hope his true and real history will come.up in light soon.

    • Friend, tell me one thing… he died at the age of 31.

      How come he faugt over 2000 battles… are slapping friends and yougers included snd coubted as battles.

      Killing insects when he was toddler are also included?

      Keeping myself anonymous, fearing someone doesnt come, kill me, and add into Shambhaji’s battles

  29. I have great affection for Indian history & majorly for king Shivaji Raje not just because being from a Maharashtrian background, but have read many incidents from history relating to same.
    I am deeply impressed by the way the history is narrated.
    It generates a sense of self belief & feeling of proudness of being a part of Indian culture that has experienced the rule of one of the greatest & unbiased kings in history of not only India but I must say the entire world in..

    Deep #respect for #King #Shivaji #Raje

    Would love to read more such posts…
    Great work…

  30. Dear Kedar,
    I am overwhelmed by your article.never felt such a pride of being maharastrian before. I really hope this information/ article will help us to realise that Shivaji Maharaj, his life and the history of maratha empire is one inspiring saga which need to shared and promoted on larger scale.
    At least i will do my small bit by sharing this article with others and congrats once again for writing such a nice article. Best of luck.

  31. Indian govt. need to re-structure history subject b’coz new generation shall be aware of the great Indian leader to whom whole world respect.


  32. Very informative I have send links to my friend.. Word Hindu is disputed as history says it came from mughals so I use Sanatan! Thanks

  33. Great ! Shivaji Mahraj was a great person. Being secular and righteous is the greatest virtue for any king. I am thankful to him to have protected the Hindu religion which is the soul of India.

  34. Tej tama ansa bhar
    kanda cimih kansa bhar
    domalich bansapar
    ssherr shiva raaj hay……….

    Poet : bhushan

    True words used by kavi BHUSHAN having a vision for coming years in our country who had lost its identity due to our own selfishness …….
    Same story is repeating now we should be on edge to behold our self respect or else we will not be proud to tell or next generation that we r from the same land same country where all saints and ruler s were born who are followed by world people for there ideology

  35. A good narrative about one of our valiant King but again it is aimed to divide Indians.The author failed to understand Mughal dynasty is just like any other Kingdoms and they were rulers at the cost of the people or for the people and why you bring Islam or say it as Muslim Rule.Is it not a political conspiracy.In your write you mentioned many names as a betryers from the same community and when you have the sagacity of dividing them ,why can’t we remove the Muslims tags in the Kings and Emperors fights for power.Even Shivaji was having Muslim officers and he tried to unite the various smaller Kings to fight against Mughals,a strong empire,used the tactics to unite them in his fight.At least the historians need to stop writing histroy by linking with religion or prayer system,a continued injustice being done hto umnaity ,a tool used to divide the Global Populations and make humans to fight like animlas

    • Hi Rahim,

      I totally agree that history should not be used to form prejudices or worse still hatred against communities.

      But if you see the historical course of events, the decline of Hinduism was restricted during the Maratha rule and the virtual decline or total extinction of Hinduism continued during other medieval regimes of India. Hence the tagging of Hinduism with the Maratha regime.

      Rest assured, we Hindus and Muslims should one day merge our cultures, societies, faiths and follow a global religion that has the best in not just Islam and Hinduism but all the religions.

      May peace be to all.



    • hi Rahim,
      Your thinking is truly neutral which is really good for the current age.
      But there are some fields which i should bring to your notice.
      1st of all they were not Indians, They attacked our country. 2ndly the fight was not just between emperors for territory. If that was the case there would have been no force in changing religion or the massive destruction of temples. There is no such history of shivaji forcing people to come to Hinduism but there are enough facts of mughals doing the same.
      My intentions was just to put my mind on the subject, not to hurt any one.

  36. This is good info. Why is this not being taught in great detail in our schools. A PROTEST NEEDS TO BE LAUNCHED. All of us should contribute towards what we have learnt from history – btw that is why history is taught in schools. How can we contribute? By being one and by supporting all citizens of India and by NOT discriminating based on caste, creed, religion, sex, etc. we should not be corrupt and we should be proud and willing to sacrifice and help. Just wondering how many people went to Nepal to help.

  37. Feel proud to be Maratha .. this is only the example in world history when civilians fought for freedom .. just not believeable .. how Sambhaji faced too many enemies at same time .. how Maratha fought after his cruel death .. aurangajebh had to die in this soil after destroying his empire … awesome fight by Marthas … really feel proud ..

  38. We have learned this in school

    but nowhere Mr writer is proving maratha lineage out of maharashtra…

    where marathi language is having proofs over 2500 years back.


  40. I agree with earlier reader that this great history should be tought in schools. Every parent should tell 1 story to his child every night before bed of Shivaji Maharaj and his team. I pray and hope this land gets back its glory and we free this land from politicians and others alike

  41. Good treatise. Worth saving and forwarding to anyone who wants to know about Shivaji maharaj & marathas.

  42. We must follow his our King Shivaji’s footprints every time when we do something. Think For India and Indians.

  43. Please update soon when the Maratha valour of the Peshawar, Holkar And Shinde family

  44. Great blog ,
    There should be more research on Dhanaji and Santaji , those are the two who literally disinterested mug has.

  45. Tonnes of Salutations to you Kedar ji. Your information was vital and important as well.

    Shrimant Chatrapati Shivaji Raje Bhonsle Maharaj was a noble and great king during his times.

    1. He did his best to unite Rajputs of Rajasthan for war against Mughals. When Mughals were forcefully trying to attack Hindu religion from all the sides.

    2. He protected Gujratis during his Surat campaign against Mughals while giving back the whole property with respect to a Gujrati family named Parekh. Which was snatched by Mughals from Parekhs.

    3. He protected The whole Shetty community. When Afzal Khan came to Fort Purandar to Capture Shivaji Maharaj. Afzal Khan said to a person with Shetty surname that he will destroy the whole Shetty community after returning from Deccan, capturing Shivaji and Afzal Khan was killed by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Deccan and The Shetty community was safe.

    4.Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj motivated Maharaja Chatrasaal of Bundelkhand ( MP ) to fight fearlessly against the Mughals or else they will destroy our Hind. After motivated from Shivaji Maharaj, Maharaja Chatrasaal went back to Bundelkhand and fought against Mughals with courage.

    5. Kavi Bhushan from Kashi was highly inspired from the life of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. You can read in the blog what he has wrote during 16th Century, if Shivaji Maharaj wasn’t there.

    6. Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj always respected all religions just as he respected Hindu relegion and also respected women of all religions. He always respected Islam and never demolished any Mosques in his entire life. Even now if you visit any fort of Shivaji Maharaj you can see a Mosque as well as a Temple there.

    If Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj wasn’t been there. Hell, what would’ve been the condition of our Country, Our Religion, Our Culture, Our Traditions, Our Literature’s and Our Identification.

    Tonnes of Salutations to the True King of India Shrimant Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
    Tonnes of Salutations to all the Brave Maratha Warriors who fought for Hind.

    • I read “bharat ek khoj” written by the gr8(?) nehru. he has not mentioned any good thing about shivjai. The afjal khan episode is wrongly portrayed as “Shivaji invited afjzal khan for friendhship meeting by takng oath and then cruelly killed him.” everyone knows if shivaji wouldnt have killed him; he would have killed him.

      Mr. Nehru — very bad… i really ashamed of u and feel pity of your IQ.

      • Nehru is by mistaken Hindu as he often told in his speeches.
        He was real Muslim in India.

        • Nehru is by mistaken Hindu as he often told in his speeches.
          He was real Muslim in India.

    • Paresh I agree with your statement
      sirf Maharashtra ke he nahi pure Hindustan ke RAJA the !

  46. Most inspired piece of writing Mr Kedar… Eloquently narrated with underlying passion and clarity of thought! There is something in this piece of history that all Indians in all walks of life can and should imbibe and we can still rise to become a great and admired nation. Looking forward to your next piece!

  47. “Aurangzeb won battle after battles, but in the end he lost the war. As the war prolonged, it transformed from war of weapons to war of spirits, and Aurangzeb was never able to break Maratha spirit.”

    Summarizes it…..

    Mark Twain Quoted: It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.

    Salute to Great Indian King..Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj & Maratha soldiers who fought for greater cause…

    Jai Bhavani ……………………

  48. U described everything without even mentioning the Peshwes???!!!! Have u too come under the influence of politics and have now restircted the word maratha to caste only? Pls note maratha word in history was not limited to caste in historical contexts ever, it was to describe deccans valour. The whole struggle was done by the faithful primeministers Peshwe- right from enabling release of chatrapati Shahu maharaj to creating akhand Bharat beyond India…till the surrenser to British when the last Chatrapati decided to annex the empire. And all this without any greed….
    pls learn to give respect to our warriors where its due…dont fall in the trap of any politics.

    • This blog is only upto aurangzebs death, and peshwas played vital role in shahu’s rule. There is no dought that peshwa contributed lot to make shivajis dream come true.

  49. I salute sambhaji Raje for his commitment towards Hinduism
    असे विर हजारो वर्षात एकदाच निर्माण होतात

  50. I agree with mr. Waghurde. Yes its true chatrapati shivaji was great king as Raytecha raja rather than a hindu king.

  51. Good article. Yes it is all present in Maharashtra primary and highschool history. But that was the age when history is not of ones interest.

  52. Excellent article!!..Feeling really great. Had goosebumps while reading the fight Marathas gave . Had they not been at that time, I fear today India would have been a very different country,both politically and by religion.

    We all should all follow the ideologies of Shivaji Maharaj’s “Swaraj” and make India the best country in all aspects.

  53. Whoever has wrote this, in endure your love towards Shivaji Maharaj. But FYKI, Raje never covered Punjab which was led by Sikh Gurus, Rajasthan led by Rajputana, UP and Bihar led by Nizams and Mughals. He and his force never covered Bangla territory. Infact you missed that Shivaji Raje Covered till Tamil Nadu including some part of Andra and Karnataka. In Tamil Nadu there is a place called Thanjavur (Tanjore) is still having marks of Maratha palace.

    Yes it is true that he unified every Hindustani where ever his kingdom was irrespective of the religion and implemented Swaraj.

    Mi Marathi ahe, pan chuki chi goshth chuki ahe…
    Jai Bhavani Jai Shivaji!!!

    • you are not totally right , during shivaji maharaj time the maratha territory was small but during shahu maharaj time (peshwas time), maratha has won the fort of lahore and went till peshawar to kill afghani king ahmed shah abdali woh later defeated maratha in 3 rd war of panipat.rajuts has surrender and till 1761 the sikh power was not generated in that region , the punjab was ruled by rohilla afghans.

  54. this article makes me feel proud about history….. good thing is that the article cover brave heart king and soldiers after shivaji like shambhu raje, santaji, dhanaji, rajaram and tarabai… but still i feel there was less info about sambhu raje…. Had goosebumps while reading. good job

  55. मराठा इतिहासावर सर्व घटनांची सांगड घालून एक पुस्तक लिहा.

  56. It is very true that if Chatrapathy Shivaji was not there, we, Hindus would have had to be the slaves to the barbaric foreign rulers and would be lost our great culture, the nation would have been changed under forcible conversion by the stupid fanatics. Our Dharma will be on this holy land forever, there will be 1000s of Shivaji Maharaja s will born again and again to defeat the Adharma on this land. Today people easily (falsely) say the Muslim rule was something good.
    In fact, the Muslim rulers were irresistibles, they wanted to change forcefully this land into islam. They were fanatics, levied Jasya tax on Hindus, even the Muslim kings were not having any Yudhdha dharma. Right from Babar to Tipu sultan- nobody exempted in this kind of mentality to covert Hindus and thus they wanted change the nation into their ideas, but they have failed, because the true Divine is watching on the earth always.

  57. truly we are all living in our INDIA, bcz of SHIVAJIs sacrifice and the valour of his descendants. I feel elated to have been born & brought up in this Aamchi Mumbai. One more thing in MAHARASHTRA today we feel pride & proud to u all for giving a correct info.

  58. Interesting from Strategic a Analysis point of view…
    A QUESTION comes to my mind though 🙂 “Can INDIA win the war of GLOBALISATION with some elements of this STRATEGY??”… HISTORY will repeat itself

  59. The name Chatrapati Shivaji and Chatrapati Sambhaji itself lightens spirit in people.
    All they where not fighting for Hindusiom but for rights for a common man , which where not given by before and present kingdoms.The war was between common man and a cruel king at that time.To know Shivaji king and his view all of us should search proper real history in past.

    Jai Shivray.

  60. Pingback: Shivaji : The Warrior King of Dharma | Hindu History - Unfolding the Epic History of the Worlds Most Ancient and Spiritual Civilisation

  61. This is really a great article. Glad to see such gallance was shown by Indian rulers long after Hemachandra Vikramaditya (Hemu) who fought bravely with Akbar but lost just being on the Verge of defeat. Had these real heroes and heroines (I really loved the deeds of Tarabai – the great warrior queen) then Hinduism would have been extinct. We all would have been Muslims then for sure. But the saddest part is the Indian curriculum written by these Jihadi academicians – the great 27 year war was never taught in schools (at least by NCERT). And finally all the Gallant folks mentioned here in this article are first Indians and then Marathas. All Indians should be proud of all the people who were a part of the 27 year war.

  62. Yes, We Always Respect King Shivaji, who as ours Relatives as We are from Mahikavati as Mahims Kings as same family of Devgiri’s Kings , We fight against Muslims Attackers 2000 years from Europe to India but Never seen King like King Shivaji as Vedic Sanatani Hindu King who saved Ours Religion.

    We as Origin of Mumbai as Hindu –Agri’s were Not Fools who had given Own Assets for Nation because Ultimately It will Transfer to Ours Hindus in Coming Years ! We have Seen 400 years & 2000 years as Kings & knows Where to Achieve Success !
    From Russia as in Azove Sea Region to Rome , Greece , Sindh , Gujarat & then Mumbai as Always as Kings ! But If Immortal Activities arising we move to Another Country as Vedic Sanatani Hindus , Its Simple Logic but Ours Origin as Russia is Powerful Now.
    If We see Hindus will be weak here in India then We will settle in Russia in Future ! which is ours Origin & Yes Indians -Russians were from same Origin and so they behave similarly .

  63. सुंदर माहीती

  64. Actually it was removed by the british. The most successful way to capture and country and break it. is to make the people that country forget their roots, their culture and thus break there moral. this will surpress any revolt that can come after. the british found a very easy way to break us. they changed out education system. no more acharya and shishya. no more traditional education system. no more ancient vedas in school. what happens is simple everyone is thinks there own culture was not good. becoz they have forgotten it. Indian culture and education system one of the best in the world. even it mention in scripts that indian doctors once travelled the world and spread indian medicine. till last decade no one was fond of YOGA. now everyone want to do YOGA. why ? Becoz WEST is doin YOGA. WEST is also following vedas now and indian medicine.

    Teach WEST about out ancient culture and education. Our successors will Again gain the knowledge of out roots and pride will restore.

  65. Wow ,one of the finest write ups about the Shivaji Maharaj ,it re enforced my beliefs read from various sources ,hats off .shivaji achieved in small life time ,whose impact will be seen till the civilisation lives .long live Shivaji’s thoughts and may his actions inspire million others .

  66. Proud to be a maratha and thnx to our great samrat raja shiv chatrapatI for creation of marath empire that allowed all religion caste creed and full of humanity kindness.

  67. This was a truly great article. Wonderful to read. Truly King Shivaji has been more politicised than being studied.

  68. As Indian contemporary history we all are taught about Mughal, British and Congress only, forgetting the great Maratha empire which was founded by the greatest leader India produced in the time creating a Hindu union before the British. Achievement of Martha empire was not only giving us the great Maratha leaders Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj but from his vision arose the whole generation to become a great marshal race of the time. There is no other example in Indian history or world history where the sons of the soil carried on their struggle against the enemy for such a long time(27 years) after demise of their leaders Chatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj. I second the comment that the Maratha struggle created lots of prati SHivaji, a class of warrior willingly fighting for their culture and land, creating an empire before the british rule which was described covering ” Delhi to Jinji (Tamilnadu) and Attock (North frontiers) to Cuttack” of the Indian sub continent.

  69. Thanx a ton for this deep insight of the long lost Indian history.. Superb compilation of the facts and events chronologically so as to understand it in easy manner. It seems that this was the war between spirits more than war between people or kingdoms

  70. shivaji is great aspiration for whole india. but unfortunately we facing so called secular govt. till 2014. now hope as a country as large we will marching toward true spirit of hinduism/ nationalism.

  71. Kedar, The strategy what the great king have done was incredible, though there was a spelling mistake but it can b ingored as u have poured your heart in it… In today’s day we still c ppl r getting converted left and right, the only thing missing was unity, which we lagged from day one and today also we lagging in a big ways… One religion teach tolerance level is our and we should not forget the blood which shed to protect us and our belief, by this great warrior…

  72. Shivaji maharaj is the great warrior who gate his contribution for india & hindu religion

    • Real history should be included in our indian syllabus,so that it will truly boost the national spirit within our young guns……also i request all of u to share/read the 3rd battle of panipat……where brave marathas who were hungry for 3 days faught it till there last breath(kyon patil aur ladoge kya like when asked by an afgan…Dattaji said”Bachenge To Aur Bhi Ladenge”……)…..all of u pls read 3rd battle of panipat atleast on wikipedia….u will reveal a truth….and also cost of being not unitedly fighting foreign invension…..sachin v.k.

    • Real history should be included in our indian syllabus,so that it will truly boost the national spirit within our young guns……also i request all of u to share/read the 3rd battle of panipat……where brave marathas who were hungry for 3 days faught it till there last breath(kyon patil aur ladoge kya like when asked by an afgan…Dattaji said”Bachenge To Aur Bhi Ladenge”……)…..all of u pls read 3rd battle of panipat atleast on wikipedia….u will reveal a truth….and also cost of being not unitedly fighting foreign invension…..Sachin V Khadake

  73. Marathas not only saved Sanatan Dharma and laid foundation of swarajya but they also fought the first epic war of Panipat freedom of our motherland…….

  74. Pingback: The Epic 27 Year War That Saved Hinduism | Hindu History – Unfolding the Epic History of the Worlds Most Ancient and Spiritual Civilisation | NUOVA RESISTENZA

  75. Excellent blog except one thing. Bhosale clan of Chhtrapti Shivaray does not share any lineage with rajput.My king was pure Maratha (Shudra).This fact was known to Marathi bramhanas hence they refused to do the raajyabhiahek.
    Great efforts and salute to writer.

  76. is the map verfied? as far as i know most part if tamilnadu were under strong hindu kingdoms which later was madras presidency and they were not part of nizam.

  77. The single biggest dead of ShivajiRaje [yess show respect. don’t call just Shivaji for he truly was a Raja=King] was that he built up the people & the Maratha Spirit which fought the Mughal Vampire Empire & defeated it & went on to become the only All-Indian Empire in modern History to rule a major portion of India as the map shows & was the last Indian significant empire that fought the british.
    Unfortunately Marathas lost that time due to poor leadership but signs of those battles can still be found on any of the maratha forts which may seem ugly but are still way better than any other show-pieces found in other states. [No disrespect but it is true.]

  78. Confirms my pride in being a maratha.Carrying on, in the service of the nation.
    And yes people are right in saying, must give importance to Shivaji’s vision of building a nationalist state.Its the need of the day,national pride.
    Har har mahadev.

  79. Pingback: The Epic 27 Year War That Saved Hinduism | Hindu History – Unfolding the Epic History of the Worlds Most Ancient and Spiritual Civilisation | NUOVA RESISTENZA antifa'

  80. When other hindu bhai (other than Marathi) praise Shivaji maharaj and Sambhaji maharaj we feel very glad about it


    • The problem is that history is taught only with emperors in perspective and not empire founders.

      But being in Maharashtra and seeing and hearing about Shivaji Maharaj feels as though he is still alive.

  81. Just Solute to The Great Chatrapati Shiwaji Maharaj….and The Great Sambhaji Raje….

  82. ?|| हर हर महादेव, जय श्रीराम |||| जय भवानी, जय शिवाजी….||?

  83. Truly Shivaji and Sambhaji were few of the great warriors who worked upon one cause.

    But the writer is mistaken by the term hindutva.
    This term is nowhere mentioned in those times nor till recently till late 1890’s the how come they fight for hindutva ?

    I kindly request writer to revisit the history books and the several likers who commented gain.

  84. Excellent and in depth analysis of Maratha warfare. We wish this document is spread to the new generation to make them aware of the military skills of Indians and the marathas and the greatness of the visionary king Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. I salute the author and request him to present this war history in person to us.

  85. Batsa tabe ei laho. Mor asirvad saho. amar gerua gatra bas. Bairagir uttariya. Pataka koria niyo. Kohilen Guru Ramdas. . Rabindranath Tagore.

  86. How to make india great again.








  87. नमस्कार . मी शिवाजीराजे भोसले बोलतोय . सर्वात प्रथम खूप सारे धन्यवाद birthday wishes बद्दल .

    हाहा !! अहो दचकू नका . मी सुद्धा आता modern झालोय . तुम्हीच सारखे म्हणता शिवाजी महाराज जन्माला यावे यावे….

    अहो कित्येक जन्म घेतले मी पण तुम्ही मला ओळखलेच नाही . डॉ. नरेंद्र दाभोळकरांच्या
    रुपाने मीच जन्म घेतला होता . अंधश्रद्धा निर्मूलन करायला गेलो पण तुम्हीच मला मारून टाकले . आमटे कुटुंब हे माझेच अवतार . दचकू नका , कारण शिवाजी म्हणजे केवळ युद्ध करणारा राजा नाही . प्रजेच्या कल्याणासाठी जो झगडतो तो शिवाजी .

    नीरजा भानोत च्या रुपाने जन्म घेऊन अनेक लोकांचे प्राण वाचविले . कर्तव्यदक्ष पोलीस आणि भारतीय सेना हे माझेच अवतार .

    तुम्ही मला किल्ल्यांवर शोधत बसलात म्हणून कदाचित मी तुम्हाला सापडलो नसेन . परवा सहज म्हणून किल्ल्यांवर फिरायला गेलो तर तिथे मला गौरवशाली इतिहासापेक्षा तिथल्या भिंतीवर , दगडांवर रमेश , प्रिया , रोहन , शीला , करण , पूजा वगैरे मंडळीच जास्त दिसली . गौरवशाली इतिहासाची साक्ष देणारे दगड खूप तक्रार करत होते तुमच्याबद्दल . वाईट वाटले फार .

    राजा म्हणून जर मी तुमची सेवा करतोय तर प्रजा म्हणून तुमचे काही कर्तव्य आहे की नाही ? नका माझ्या नावाचा जयजयकार करू , नका माझे पुतळे उभारू पण किमान माझा एक तरी गुण तरी अंगी बाळगा . आणि नसेल बाळगायचा तर please मला तुमचा राजा , तुमचा देव नका म्हणवून घेऊ . तुमच्या Facebook आणि whats app ने तर माझ्या नावाचा बाजार उठवलाय .

    मी आयुष्यात कधीच मुसलमानांशी नाही लढलो , कायम शत्रूशी लढलो मग त्याची जात , धर्म काही का असेना . इथे सरळ सरळ हिंदू -मुसलमान भेदभाव चालतो . मग ते मलाच शिव्या घालणे नाही का झाले कारण डॉ.अब्दुल कलाम हे देखील माझाच अवतार .

    माझ्या काळात स्त्रियांकडे कोणीच वाकड्या नजरेने पाहिले नाही असे नाही पण ज्यांनी पाहिले त्यांना आम्ही तोफेच्या तोंडी दिले होते . आज बलात्कार करून उजळ माथ्याने फिरणारे अनेक पाहिलेत .

    बघा तिकडे motorcycle rally चालली आहे जय भवानी , जय शिवानी करत . दिखाऊ प्रेम आहे अहो हे . विचार करा जरा आणि कृती करा .

    मला निघायला पाहिजे आता . जाता जाता अजून एक खंत व्यक्त करतो की मला तुम्ही देव मानता , पण मला अजून ओळखलेच नाहीत तुम्ही , माझ्या विचारांवर विचार करा , किल्ल्यांवर मला शोधू नका , मी आज अनेक रूपांनी वावरतोय , माणसातला शिवाजी शोधून त्याची मदत करा किंवा स्वतः शिवाजी बनून लोकांची सेवा करा .

    ??शुभेच्छांबद्दल धन्यवाद??

  88. Excellent article ….! Every indian should known this history. Vitanese people witness chatrapati shivaji maharaj despite many minor parts of india dont known detail history so there should be an atempt to make people aware of the golden history. When every indian will understand shivrayas economic,social,political,strategical views india would arise like a fearless lion and would become a true superpower. Really proud to take birth in indian soil …….! Long live shivchatrapatis thoughts..!

  89. dear all
    i am happy

    i am happy that many people have recognised that shivaji doesnot belong to maharastra alone -he belongs to whole of india

    he was a king who never differentiated between hindu and muslims. he treated every muslim woman like his mother. once one of his sardar has gifted him a beautiful muslim woman- who was captured during some war. shivaji apologised to her saying ‘ you r equal to my mother, pl forgive me and my people . he also said ‘ had my mother was so beautiful i would have been more handsome’

    i also welcome some body comenting about modi.

    i want to speak frankly about this person by name modi
    why people consider him untouchable
    why sangh pariwar is considered untouchable-just bcos they r nationalists

    the way we have to grow above considerations like caste,creed,religion,region etc etc we
    need to grow beyond the boundaries of our affiliations to political party. we need to think on the lines of character,integrity,commitment,strong will,hard working nature etc etc

    i feel helpless and sorry that i dont see a person better than modi to govern this country. i only hope that god gives modi a power to create hundreds of modies to change the fate of this great nation

    bharat mata ki jai

    jai hind

    vande mataram

  90. This story needs to be shared on other sites also. Many people know the epic in short story only. People just day that marathas defended their empire for 27 years. But this kind of explanation no where to be found. Great work.

    PS. I am Maratha by birth but know nothing of it in detail. How to share this on Facebook ??

  91. Mr.Soman A nice article.
    But a fact i have to mention here is Shivaji Maharaj does not trace their roots in Rajsthan.
    The real fact is that Bhosle clan of Shivaji Maharaj and Several clans of Rajputs trace their roots originally in Rashtrakuta clan,Kings who were the part of Maharashtra and Karnataka,so rajputa actually are evolved from Rashtrakutas and shifted to Rajsthan.
    Shivaji Maharaj trace their roots only in Maharashtra itself.
    An important fact i think everyone needs to know.

    • Please give an evidence for your comments if possible. I want to know in depth.

  92. Superb eyeopennig post. We just know that shivaji,sambhaji,santaji,dhanaji,RAJARAM and tarabai were fight with mughals. But this post give an idea in which critical situation they were fought for 27 years…

    Our education is teaching us about Nehru.. One who ruined the country…

  93. Great article!! but knew many of the facts mentioned in the article already, never-the-less beautiful peace of work…
    At present many people hate Maharashtra and Maharashtrians all over the country. That is only because of dirty politics being played by present generation of leaders in Maharashtra.
    Please understand this that the Hero, Chatrapati Shivajii was a just and noble warrior king who never differentiated with any one on the basis of cast, religion and creed.
    It is a well known fact through out the history that great names are many times misused by people for their own greed. Same thing happened with Shivajii Maharaja.

    But in reality he was a real king…

  94. Superb, we should introduce this part of history to the new generation… great compilation if information….

  95. fantastic information, though I know every bit of it but thanks for highlighting the great
    i salute you sir

  96. but unfortunately very few knows that has to keep alive so that today’s world environment should know ,that not over till we clear all mighal mentality around the world which is facing new threats .but remember shivaji & they never can break us .

  97. Pranams to Maharaj Sri Chhatrapathi Shivaji and his glorious successors! The mughals seem to be antisocial elements in their native country in Samarqand for which they might have been expelled from there. They came as refugees to India. However the dirty mughals had hardly any time to practise their faith in the peace and calm of Bharat varsha as they were unlikely of any spiritual bent. They should be grateful to the people of Bharat varsha for giving them shelter when they were kicked and thrown out of their home country in central Asia. However they bit the hand that fed them. The mughals from central Asia are a gang of goondas, rowdies, terrorists. They don’t understand the responsibilities and duties of refugees.
    All the time the terrorist mughals were killing the native people of this country and destroying the indigenous culture and traditions. They were also fighting amongst each other all the time blood thirsty for power and arrogance. They were fighting against their own close blood relations. This is the history and culture of a band of terrorists and anti social elements called mughals who descended on Bharat like locusts from central Asia. The chapter of the mughals should be deleted from Indian history. Terrorists of foreign origin should find no place in this country including history. They should be consigned to garbage after the glorious Maratha warriors dismantled the illegitimate and terrorist establishment of the mughal rowdies and goons.
    Hari Om!

    • Not exactly.

      Mughals were not all vagabonds like Lord Clive is allegedly.

      But yes they played their part in undermining the local culture to some extent which was already initiated by other immigrants from Central Asia before them. It is said that nothing pre-Mughal in architecture survives today in Mughal ruled Northern India (UP region especially).

      Thanks to Marathas, today Maharashtra has its own culture intact instead of the composite culture, though to a large extent Marathi language was itself influenced directly by Persian.

      Jai Maharashtra,
      Jai Shivaji,
      Jai Bhim,
      Jai Hind.

  98. Jagadamb jagadamb….
    Jai Hindu rashtra
    Jai hind
    Jai bhavani
    Jai shivaji
    Jai shivputra sambhaji
    Shivaji raje not a god but,due to raje god is there in temples….

    • I’ m proud of my cast .
      I’m proud to called Mard Maratha….
      It is not casteism
      I respect all cast’s…..

  99. Pingback: The Epic 27 Year War That Saved Hinduism In Indian Subcontinent – Internet HINDU

  100. Folkks, be very careful about comments like ‘Ghanta Telgu’
    Anti-Hindu, anti-India trolls from Pakistan and from within India play this game on various sites.
    They love watching Hindus fight amongst themselves.

  101. Yes he was Real Maratha king of India.. We Salute to Chhatrapati SHIVAJI MAHARAJ & Chhatrapati SAMBHAJI MAHARAJ