Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
Shivaji Maharaj is also known as Chhatrapati Sivaji and was born on February 19, 1630. He was born in Shivneri, a hill fort in Junnar in Poona, now Pune.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born into a family of bureaucrats. His father Shahji Bhonsale was a great Maratha general in the army of the Bijapur Sultanate and his mother Jijabai was a great devotee of religion. He was the founder of the great Maratha kingdom in India. He was one of the bravest and greatest rulers of the 17th century.
Childhood and Early life
He grew up studying the Ramayana and also the Mahabharata. He was very interested in religious teachings, especially Hindu and Sufi saints. He was educated by his mother Jijabai and also by his caretaker Dadoji Kond Deo. Dadoji taught him horse riding, archery, patta and also various other fighting techniques after his father left for Karnataka with his second wife Tukabai.
"Even if everyone had a sword
in his hand,
it is willpower that establishes government.
A famous incident of his valour:
To put Shivaji in his place, Adil Shah sent Afzal Khan, a seasoned, experienced general, with an army of 40,000 men to destroy Shivaji. After carefully weighing what to do, Shivaji decided to meet Afzal Khan at his home at the foot of the Pratapgarh fort, insisting that it was an informal meeting. He sent a letter to Afzal Khan stating that he was eager to do so. Afzal agreed.
During the meeting, Afzal Khan stabbed Shivaji in the back when the two embraced. Shivaji was well prepared for this and survived the attack, protected by the chain mail armour he wore, and countered by slaying Afzal Khan with the wagh nakh (tiger-clawed glove). Afzal's army, ready to attack, had no idea that their leader had been killed when Shivaji came out with the decapitated head of Afzal Khan on his sword. When the army saw this, they surrendered.