Shivaji: The Great Maratha leader
Shiavaji is considered by many the real founder of the Maratha kingdom. His capital was Raigarh.
Shivaji was born in 1630 AD in Shivneri. His father’s name was Shahaji and mother’s name was Jijabai. Her mother was an ardent worshipper of lord Shiva. Shahji was in service of Adil Shah of Bijapur. Shivaji was brought up in Poona (Pune) where his father had Jagir and small army at his command. Shivaji was both clever and courageous since his early childhood.
Shivaji mixed up freely with the local people and surrounding and learnt the Konkan area thoroughly. He also learnt the weaknesses of Bijapur kingdom and started attacking its forts. His first major attack was at the castle of Torna, located near Pune in 1645. Shivaji was barely 16 years old. After winning this fort he also attacked and won Raigarh and Kondana in the year 1647. Purandar and Sindugarh followed soon.
As a consequence, Bijapur Sultan Ibrahim Adil Shah imprisoned Shivaji’s father in 1647. Shivaji cleverly approached Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and successfully persuaded him to intervene into the matter. Soon, Shivaji’s father was released.
For some years Shivai remained quiet but started his military campaign again and this time captured Bhiwandi and Kalyan. Following this, Bijapur Sultan Adil Shah sent his army general Afzal Khan in 1656 AD to capture Shivaji dead and alive.
However, Shivaji killed Afzal Khan using his baghnakhas and routed the army of Bujapur. This battle was known as battle of Pratapgarh.
Shivaji died in 1680 at the age of 50 due to a sudden illness.