After his initial setbacks and successes, mainly
against Bijapur, Shivaji now faced the assembled forces of the
mighty Mughal empire, under the command of Shaista Khan, who were
already entering his territory and were no doubt causing chaos
along the way.
Encounter with Shaista Khan
Shaista Khan (Mirza Abu Talib), the experienced
Mughal subhedar of Bengal, was deputed by Aurangzeb to bring Shivaji
to book. He had earlier helped Aurangzeb against Dara Shaikoh, and
for his services he was made viceroy of the Deccan and sent to subdue
While Shivaji was resisting Siddi Jauhar of Bijapur,
Shaista Khan was approaching the Deccan with his huge army. He
reached Aurangabad in January 1660, before marching further to
Ahmednagar, so that he could encamp at a deserted mud fort in Supa
(on 25 February). Then he left for another dilapidated fort at
Baramati (arriving on 5 April), and another fort at Nira (all the
while deputing officers to administer those areas), and finally
arrived at Shirwal (18 April). His lieutenants wreaked havoc on the
villages near Shirval. The Marathas tried to attack the Mughal camp,
but were repelled.
Shaista Khan then advanced to Puna (present day Pune),
on 9 May. He lodged inside the 'Lal Mahal', where Shivaji had spent his
childhood. He further instructed his men to lay siege to Chakan, near
Puna. Large artillery pieces and a force of twenty thousand men were
used by the Mughals in this siege. In spite of the odd numbers, the
fort of Chakan was heroically defended by Firangoji Narsala with a
small force of three hundred odd men for fifty six days, before it
fell to Mughal cannon fire on 15 August 1660.
It has to be remembered that with the treaty of
August 1657, Bijapur had surrendered Konkan to the Mughals. But
Shivaji had captured and held on to those domains from Kalyan,
Bhiwandi and Chaul. Shaista Khan wished to have those regions
back, so he despatched several Mughal officers to wrest back
Konkan. Kalyan, Bhiwandi and some regions in northern Konkan fell
to the Mughals.
At the end of 1660, Kartalab Khan was equipped
with a considerable force of approximately 20,000, and he descended
the Ghats near Lonavala. Shivaji was already waiting there with
his thousand odd men, and he allowed his opponent to enter the
thick forest through the pass which was known as 'Umber Khind'
(named after the nearby village of Umber). In spite of the
disproportionate numbers, the Marathas led by Shivaji ambushed
the Mughals at this strategic point, making Kartalab Khan and his
twenty thousand men feel trapped. Kartalab Khan begged Shivaji for
safe passage, which he was given , but only after he also handed
over a large ransom.
Now, Shivaji divided his forces in two. One force,
led by Netaji Palkar, was to engage the Mughals. The other, led
by Shivaji, marched south to the Konkan territory of Adilshah.
Shivaji's advance was spectacular. Dabhol, Pali, Sangameshwar,
Chiplun, and Rajapur all fell into his hands and yielded
considerable wealth. Shirngarpur fell on 29 April 1661, and Shivaji
spent the summer of 1661 on Wardhangad in Konkan.
In 1661, Maharaja Jaswant Singh of Jodhpur and
Jaffar Khan of Malwa were also instructed to enter the Deccan to
assist Shaista Khan in his campaign against Shivaji. In 1662, the
Mughals didn't have much success in capturing any Maratha forts,
and the Marathas avoided pitched battles with the Mughals, so
Shaista Khan followed a policy of torching the villages below any
forts. A Mughal officer, Namdarkhan, and others attacked villages
between Lohagad, Visapur, and Tung and Tikona. They set alight
seventy eight villages, looting and destroying grain and property.
He harassed the villagers no end, killing several and taking many
as prisoners. This took place over the course of two long years,
and Shivaji relocated many of his villagers, often transferring
families to the security of his forts to keep them safe.
 Shaista Khan was the brother
of Mumtaz Mahal (wife of Shah Jehan) and nephew of Nur Jehan
(wife of Jehangir). He had also been a part of the Deccan
mission sent by Shah Jehan to subdue Shahaji raje Bhosale
(father of Shivaji).
Meanwhile, after three years of campaigning,
Shaista Khan had become a little complacent. He had retired
with his harem to his base in Puna. On 5 April 1663, Shivaji
did the unthinkable. Along with a band of selected men, he
personally launched a commando-like operation right into the
heart of the enemy camp. He attacked the very residence in
Puna where Shaista Khan was residing with his family and men.
Shaista Khan barely managed to escape with his life (although
unconscious, he was taken to safety by his maids), losing in
the process his thumb and two fingers, which Shivaji himself
severed before Khan could take flight. Shaista Khan's son,
Abul Fateh, was killed and so were several people from his
entourage. The wounded Shaista Khan retreated to the Mughal
base of Aurangabad.
This sent shockwaves right up into Delhi.
Emperor Aurangzeb, fuming at the audacity and success of the
attack, told the embarrassed Shaista Khan not to bother coming
back to Delhi. He was asked to proceed directly back to Bengal
The ignominy suffered by Shaista Khan created
a dampening of spirits in the Mughal ranks. Maharaja Jaswant
Singh, who was left in place of Shaista Khan, tried to elevate
the mood in the Mughal camp through a siege of Fort Sinhagad
(Kondana), but this too turned out to be an abortive effort.
On 5 January 1664, Shivaji further added salt
to Mughal wounds when he sacked Surat, a rich and prosperous
Mughal port, in order to compensate himself for his losses.
Its governor, Inayat Khan, proved to be so incompetent that
he hid in his fort while Shivaji and his men looted the port
in glee abandon for three whole weeks.
Shivaji captures Kudal of the Adilshahi
In 1663, Shivaji had already embarked on his
Konkan campaign. By May 1663, he had captured Kudal, which was
administered by the Desai, Lakham Sawant of Sawantwadi. 
Adil Shah then sent Aziz Khan to counter Shivaji
at Kudal. Shivaji's resident, Raoji Pandit had to retreat to
Rajapur in May 1664, but the unexpected death of Aziz Khan in
July forced Adil Shah to send a replacement in the form of Khawas
Khan (son of the ex-wazir, Khan Muhammed, and also the son-in-law
of Rustam e Zaman).
Shivaji's kin, Baji Ghorpade of Mudhol, was
also asked to assist Khawas Khan. But before he could join the
khan, Shivaji attacked him at Mudhol. Baji Ghorpade was fatally
wounded in that battle and succumbed to his injuries.
Seeing all help cut off, Khawas Khan fled in
December. His other commanders, Lakhm Sawant, Desai Keshav Naik,
and Keshav Prabhu of Pedhne, along with Khalu Shenvi of Dicholi,
also fled into the Portuguese territory of Goa.
The narrow entrance to Fort Lohagad, protected by solid
fortifications which made the location a highly defendable
Rajmudra, Shivaji's royal seal
 To his credit Shaista Khan
did a good job in Bengal, building a formidable navy, wresting
Sandwip island, Chittagong, from the Arakanese (a Burmese
kingdom) and later reasserting Mughal control over Kamarup
(Assam) and Cooch Behar. He also added greatly to the
development of Dhaka (in present day Bangladesh). It is also to
be remembered that Shaista Khan was a part of the army that Shah
Jehan had sent to subdue Shivaji's father, Shahaji raje, when he
was acting as the regent of the Nizamshahi sultanate.
 Shahaji raje , the father of
Shivaji, died on 23 January 1664 in Karnatak, after a fall from
Building Fort Sindhudurg
On 5 December 1664, Shivaji laid the foundation of
Fort Sindhudurg in the Malwan region along the Konkan coast. He also
strengthened his other naval forts at Vijaydurg (Gheria) and
Shivaji added to his navy several commanders such
as Darya Sarang, Daulat Khan, Ibrahim Khan (all of whom were incidentally
Muslim), and Mainak Bhandari. 
While Shivaji's troops were raiding the Bijapur towns
of Hubli and Khanapur, Shivaji launched a naval expedition against the
prosperous town of Basrur (the Bidnur province of Kanara coast) in February
1665. He plundered the rich town and carried off a large amount of booty.
Whatever losses Shivaji suffered during the Bijapur
and Mughal onslaughts, he was able to compensate them with the booty
he recovered from Surat and Basrur.
Mirza Raje Jaisingh
This time Aurangzeb sent one of his most trusted
generals, Mirza Raje Jaisingh, the raja of Amber, with a huge army
to subdue the Deccan. Raje Jaisingh was a seasoned military commander.
He didn't underestimate Shivaji and devised a multi-pronged approach
to subdue him. He isolated Shivaji.
First, he consolidated the Mughal bases on the
plains; Kalyan, and Bhiwandi. Then he isolated Shivaji by engaging
Adilshah and the Portuguese in treaties, whereby they would
neither directly nor indirectly assist Shivaji or divert his
attention by attacking the Mughals, nor allow safe passage for
Shivaji through their territories (though Adilshah was Shivaji's
enemy, he could have teamed up with Shivaji to ward off a Mughal
attack into the Deccan). He bribed some of Shivaji's men and induced
them to switch sides. Jaisingh also invited the Siddis of Janjira to
assist him in his endeavours against Shivaji.
Also assisting Jaisingh was another stalwart from
the Mughal camp, Diler Khan the Pathan, and seasoned warriors who
included Jaisingh's son, Kirat Singh, plus Qabad Khan, Mitrasen,
Indraman Bundela, Raja Raisingh Rathore, Badal Bakhtiyar, Udaibhan
and Haribhan Gaur, Syed Munawarkhan Barha, Sharzakhan, Hassankhan,
Jauharkhan, Jagatsingh, Ram Singh, Muhammed Saleh Tarkhan, Raja
Narsingh Gaur, Syed Maqbool Alam, Karan Rathore, Hussain Daudzai,
Jagat Singh Narwari, Rasul Beg Rozwani, Chaturbhuj Chauhan,
Qutubbuddin Khan, Amarsingh Chandrawat, Syed Zainulabbuddin Bukhari,
Achal Singh Kachwaha, Qubadkhan, Abul Qasim, Abdullah, Ranadullah,
Khwaja Abul Makrim, Raji Afzal Bijapuri, Bhai Afzal Bijapuri,
Rasulbeg Rozbhani, Purdilkhan, Shubhkaran Bundela, Bhupat Singh,
Zabardastkhan, Atishkhan, Turkataz Khan and Daud Khan, and more.
 There were many Muslims
amongst Shivaji's forces: Siddi Hillal (chief of cavalry), Siddi
Wahawaha (cavalry), Noorkhan Baig (first sarnobat), Madari
Mehtar (bodyguard, especially during Shivaji's Agra visit), Kazi
Haider Kohari (secretary), Shama Khan (sardar), Siddi Ambar
Wahad, Hussain Faan Miyana (officer), Darya Sarang/Ibrahim
Khan/Siddi Sambal (who was previously part of the Siddis of
Janjira but later shifted loyalties to Shivaji/Siddi Misri
(nephew of Siddi Sambal)/Sultan Khan/Daud Khan (navy officer),
Daulat Khan (admiral), seven cavalry regiments, 700 Pathans,
besides many Muslims in the Maratha navy. This should prove
that Shivaji wasn't just a leader of Hindus only but had
followers from all religions and regions (including Abyssinians
like the Siddis, the Portuguese and the English).
This massive Mughal army swarmed down into
Maratha territory capturing Fort Rudramal (on 14 April 1665),
and Fort Kunwari (30 April), and simultaneously wreaking havoc
on the villages below Shivaji's various forts such as Rajgad,
Lohagad, etc. A siege was also mounted at Fort Purander. Murarbaji
Deshpande, a Maratha commander, displayed exemplary courage during
this siege, thwarting Mughal attempts to surmount the fort's
defences. He even spurned Mughal overtures and sacrificed his life,
gallantly defending the fort.
By now, Shivaji had realised this was not an
enemy he could simply wish away, and thought it prudent to
announce a surrender rather than risk further destruction to
his forts and his people. He handed over Fort Purander along
with twenty two other forts to the Mughals on 11 June 1665
as per the agreement now known as the Treaty of Purandar.
Shivaji was also to become a Mughal vassal and assist them
in conquering the south, starting with Bijapur.
Shivaji was allowed to retain twelve forts,
namely Rajgad, Torna, Hingangad, Bhorap, Talegad, Mahagad,
Ghosala, Birwadi, Pali, Rairi, Kunwarigad and Udaid.
What followed was Shivaji's brief and reluctant
affair with the Mughals. Shivaji had to spend almost three months
in the Mughal camp, fighting alongside them against Bijapur.
Shivaji's general Netaji was sent to reduce Phaltan, which was
under Shivaji's brother-in-law, Bajaji Nimbalkar. On 7 December
1665, Nimbalkar surrendered the Adilshahi fort to Netaji. Shivaji
had meanwhile captured Tathawda near Phaltan. Netaji again added
Mangalvedha to the Mughal kitty on 19 December. Soon Khatav was
Meanwhile, a strong contingent from Bijapur was
sent to repulse the Mughal attack (25 December 1665). It included
the wazir, Abul Muhammed, plus Sharza Khan Mehdvi, Khawaskhan,
Kalyanrao Jadhav, Yaqut Habshi, Ikhlas Khan, Bahlol Khan, Aziz,
Siddi Masud (son-in-law of Siddi Jauhar), Abdul Aziz (son of Siddi
Jauhar), Rustam Zaman (son of Ranadaullah Khan), and Vyankoji
Bhosale (Shivaji's step-brother who was on the Adilshahi side).
Also sent to assist the Bijapuris was a contingent from Golkunda.
The Bijapur army was initially repulsed by Kirat Singh (son of
Jaisingh), Shivaji, Netaji Palkar, Sarfaraz Khan, Salabat Khan
and others who were leading the combined Mughal Maratha armies.
Shivaji meets Mirza Raja Jaisingh
 The forts ceded by Shivaji
were Purandar, Rudramal or Vajragad, Kondana, Rohida, Lohagad,
Visapur, Tung, Tikona, Khandkala, Mahuli, Muranjan, Kohaj,
Karnala, Songad, Palasgad, Bhandargad, Khirdurg, Nardurg,
Vasantgad, Nangagad, Ankola or Khaigad, Margagad, and Mangad.
Netaji Palkar was awarded a mansab of two hazari
(2,000 horsemen - one hazari equals a thousand) for his bravery.
But apparently Netaji Palkar wasn't happy with this offer and
when he was offered a better deal by the Bijapuris (400,000 huns),
he crossed over to their side. There is also a version wherein
Netaji (or his brother-in-law) had failed to come to the assistance
of Shivaji during his siege of Panhala, and for that reason Shivaji
had him replaced as his 'sarlashkar' by Prataprao Gujar (as related
by J Sarkar).  
Meanwhile, Shivaji was feeling restless and also
insecure in the Mughal camp. He feared an attack on his life. It
is to be noted that as per the memoirs of Niccoli Mannuci who then
was acting as an envoy of Jaisingh, Dilerkhan wished to murder
Shivaji, but Jaisingh had strictly prohibited it. So Shivaji
requested of Jaisingh that he should be allowed to be detached from
the Mughal contingent and sent separately to attack Fort Panhala.
Of course, Shivaji's attempts to capture Panhala failed (on 16 January
1666), and he sullenly retreated to his fort at Vishalgad.
The Bijapuris had realised they couldn't take on
the Mughal might in pitched battles. What followed was the Bijapuri's
scorched earth policy, supplemented by guerrilla tactics. They cut
the Mughal supply lines and also indulged in daring hit-and-run
attacks on the Mughal camps. They frustrated the Mughal designs
for victory and soon forced their army to flee. Jaisingh finally
had to accept defeat against the Bijapuris and decided to withdraw
his forces. The Bijapuris under Rustam Zaman later captured Phonda,
Kudal, Pedne, Bhatagram and Sattar (which had earlier been under
Maratha control). They were helped secretly by the Portuguese in
these endeavours. 
Therefore, in spite of a victory over the Marathas,
Mirza Raje Jaisingh wasn't very successful against the Bijapuris
and had to return leaving his Deccan campaign incomplete.
Mirza Raje Jaisingh continued in his role as
governor of the Deccan and was successful to the extent of
extracting a pledge from the Bijapur sultanate, whereby they
agreed to pay an annual tribute to the Mughals. After Shivaji's
escape from Agra, Jaisingh and his son, Ramsingh, fell from favour
with Aurangzeb and were penalised for the losses. Jaisingh was
soon recalled from the Deccan and Aurangzeb sent his son, Prince
Muazzam, as a replacement along with Raja Jaswant Singh (as his
adviser). But before Raja Jaisingh could return to Delhi, he fell
ill and died at Burhanpur.
Shivaji's trip to Agra, his house arrest
and subsequent escape
Jaisingh had requested that Shivaji meet Emperor
Aurangzeb at Agra to discuss the details of his treaty of Purander
and was also promised the viceroyalty of the Deccan. Jaisingh even
gave his personal word of honour that Shivaji will be protected
during his Delhi trip and that he or his men would not be harmed
in any way. For his Agra trip sanction was given for a huge payment
(100,000 rupees from the Aurangabad treasury) to pay for his military
contingents (eight elephants, 500 horsemen and 500 foot soldiers.
He was also accompanied by his eldest son, Sambhaji).
Shivaji set off for Agra from Fort Rajgadh on 5
He was received at Agra by Ramsingh, the son of
Mirza Raje Jaisingh, on 12 May 1666, and was soon granted an
audience in Aurangzeb's court. But the meeting with the emperor was
soon to go awfully wrong. Apparently, in the court Aurangzeb took
no notice of Shivaji and Shivaji was made to stand in a row which
was meant for the five thousand courtiers. This irked the
self-respecting Shivaji to no end. He angrily remarked to Ramsingh
that Aurangzeb has insulted him by making him stand behind people
whom he has made to flee from the battlefield. Saying this Shivaji
and his son walked away from the durbar in a huff.
Predictably Shivaji and his men were put under
house arrest by Aurangzeb. Ramsingh pleaded mercy on behalf of
Shivaji, but his pleas were not heeded. Apparently, Aurangzeb had
decided to murder Shivaji for his insolence. A heavily armed unit
guarded the house in which Shivaji was lodged, but Shivaji was not
a man who could be held in confinement for long. His sharp mind
soon devised a plan to escape. Initially he feigned illness. He
also spent his time in meditation, as if he had turned into a
recluse. He even spread rumours that he wanted to spend his last
days as a hermit. Shivaji then started sending huge baskets
filled with sweets and eatables for the poor and the holy men of
Agra. Initially the baskets were checked, but as the days passed
by, the patrols became negligent. After making sure that the men
outside had become complacent, Shivaji and his son, Sambhaji,
seated themselves in those wooden baskets and escaped from the
mansion. Then, entrusting the young Sambhaji to the safety of
the house of a confidante Brahmin, Shivaji escaped in disguise
from Agra. His daring escape from Agra made him the subject of
folklore, to be sung about for centuries to come.
 Later, Jaisingh couldn't
afford to let a valuable asset like Netaji Palkar go to the
other side, so he increased his offer to five hazari and once
again brought Netaji Palkar to the Mughal side (March 1666).
Netaji converted to Islam (and was renamed Muhammed Quli Khan),
and was hastened off to an expedition to Afghanistan. It is
alluded by many historians that Netaji Palkar switched sides
under a secret understanding with Shivaji, and that this was a
part of Shivaji's bigger game plan. But there are many opposing
this theory who have stated that Netaji deserted Shivaji after a
personal fallout. Whatever the truth, Netaji did cross over to
the other side.
 Netaji Palkar was later to
be reconverted back to the Hindu fold by Shivaji, after he
returned to the Maratha side in 1676.
 It is interesting to note
that Rustam Zaman left Fort Rangna for Shivaji, much to the
annoyance of Adilshah, which only goes to prove Shivaji's secret
understanding with this Adilshahi commander.
Shivaji returned to Rajgadh, reaching there on
20 November 1666.
He maintained a low profile for the next three
years. But these three years Shivaji utilised for consolidating
his position in Maharashtra. He reorganised his forces, intending
to regain his lost territory, mainly at the expense of the Bijapuris,
especially around the Goa Konkan strip. He also wanted to attack
the Siddi at Janjira, but the Mughals were proving to be the
impediment to both operations. But what disturbed Shivaji more was
Aurangzeb's Islamic zeal which had showed itself when he started
demolishing Hindu temples and indulging in forcible conversions
(as related by Pagadi, letter of President Gary of Surat). The
Kashi Vishwanath temple at Varanasi was sacked by the Mughals.
This offended Shivaji's religious sensibilities.
Also, the Mughal empire was facing disturbances
from other quarters, especially in Afghanistan and Mathura. Moreover,
Aurangzeb was also paranoid about the activities of his son, Prince
Muazzam, governor of the Deccan. What's more, things weren't
going well in the Mughal camp. Muazzam and Jaswant Singh bore some
antipathy towards another Mughal commander, Diler Khan. The Mughals
were in disarray.
One side of a Shivaji-era gold coin
This was an opportune time to strike at them.
In January 1670, Shivaji launched his first attacks on Mughal
garrisons. Kondana was captured on 4 February 1670, Purandar on
8 March, and Mahuli fell to the Marathas on 16 June. Rohida,
Lohagadh, Prabalgad, and Karnala were also captured. Within six
months Shivaji had wrested back a majority of the territory that
he had ceded to Mirza Jaisingh. On 3 October, Shivaji's men
plundered Surat for the second time. The Mughal army was also
badly mauled at the Battle of Dindori (17 October 1670). About
a week later Shivaji's Peshwa, Moropant Pingale, had captured
Fort Trimbak at Nasik. In December 1670, Shivaji himself conducted
raids in the Khandesh province. He plundered Bahadurpura near
Burhanpur, followed by Berar, then Karinja. Moropant Trimbak
Pingale had already looted western Khandesh and Baglana. Salher
had also fallen to the Marathas. Mughal power in Maharashtra was
now shaken to its core. 
Skirmish with the Portuguese
Shivaji had captured almost all the territories
near Goa and South Konkan barring Phonda and Jambavali Panchamahal.
All the local chieftains (desais) from these areas fled to Portuguese
territories and were harboured by the Portuguese. This created
tensions between Shivaji and the Portuguese. In retaliation,
Shivaji plundered the Portuguese territory of Bardesh (on 22
November 1667). Finally the Portuguese had to enter into a treaty
Battle of Kondana
Kondana was a fort that lay on the outskirts of Pune.
It was one of the forts that had been ceded to the Mughals as per
the Purandar treaty. In February 1670, Shivaji sent his trusted
commander, Tanaji Malusare, and his brother Suryaji Malusare to
take back Kondana. Tanaji even postponed his son's wedding and
gave precedence to his duty towards his king.
The fort was guarded by a fifteen hundred strong
contingent of Rajputs under Udaybhan Rathod. Tanaji and his men
climbed the steep mountain slope by hand and fell upon the Mughal
guards (legend says that Tanaji used a pet mountain monitor to
carry the rope up the steep cliff). But Sabhasad Bakhar,
a treatise on Shivaji, contradicts the ghorphad folklore and
mentions Tanaji and his mavalas having climbed Kondana like
vanars (monkeys) in the dead of night.
Udaybhan offered stiff resistance, in the fight
that ensued, and both he and Tanaji were killed in the hard
fighting. But Suryaji and Shelar Mama, Tanaji's maternal uncle and
an old war veteran, carried on the fight and ultimately led the
Marathas to victory. On hearing the news of Tanaji's death, Shivaji
is said to have exclaimed (as per Sabhasad Bakhar), "Ek gadh aalaa
pan ek gadh gelaa." ("One fort was captured, but the other was
lost."). A popular novel by Shri H N Apte was entitled Gadh ala
pun sinha gela (on similar sounding words) meaning, 'the fort
was captured but the lion died'. This has led people to believe that
Kondhana was named Sinhagad in memory of Tanaji Malusare who died a
lion's death. But some documents uncovered have proved that the
Kondana was named Sinhagad years before Tanaji's death.
Shivaji meets Raja Chatrasal
 Prince Muazzam was
recalled afterwards from the Deccan, and Bahadurkhan was
sent as his replacement.
Sometime in 1671-1672, Shivaji received an
unexpected visitor. He was Raja Chatrasal, the young son of
Champatrai Bundela, the late chieftain of Mahewa (eastern
Bundelkhand). Chatrasal was greatly inspired by Shivaji's exploits,
and offered Shivaji his services. Shivaji received him warmly,
but told him to return to his lands and lead his people to
independence from the Mughal yoke. Shivaji also promised him all
the help he could supply in his endeavour. Raja Chatrasal was
later to accomplish what Shivaji had directed him to do, and
would also become an prominent ally of the Marathas in the years
to come.  
Notable Activities of the Marathas in 1672-1674:
Shivaji carries out naval operations
against the Siddis of Janjira and the Mughals in 1672.
Due to Rustamzaman's friendly overtures
to Shivaji, in the middle of 1672 Bijapur takes away Rustamzaman's
viceroyalty of the Kanara region and his areas of Raibag and
Hukkeri. Rustamzaman rebels against the sultan, but his rebellion
Shivaji attacks Bijapur territories again.
Panhala is taken by Shivaji from Bijapur on 6 March 1673. Maratha
Sarlashkar Prataprao Gujar engages Bahlol Khan, the Pathan commander
of Bijapur, at the Battle of Umrani in March 1673, but the latter is
let off. Shivaji is furious with his sarlaskar (commander in chief),
but Prataprao is out to restore the shaken faith of his master, and
attacks Bijapur territories in Karnatak. Hubli is also attacked.
For his failure, Muzzafarkhan, governor of Kanara, is sacked. He
rebels against Bijapur. Miansaheb, the fauzdar of Karwar, also rebels
Shivaji captures Parli in April 1673, and
Satara on 27 July 1673.
Shivaji plunders Bankapur in Dharwar on 10
Shivaji beats the forces of Diler Khan, the
Shivaji's Sarlashkar Prataprao Gujar dies
at the Battle of Nesari on 24 February 1673. Prataprao is succeeded
by Hambirao Mohite as the new sarlashkar on 8 April 1674.
Until the death of his father Shahaji, Shivaji had
always considered Shahaji to be the Raja. Since Shahaji was always a
noble at the courts of the sultans, Shivaji was always viewed as a
rebel, an upstart, by his enemies and contemporaries. He was never
considered a king in the true sense (in spite of the huge territory
he had conquered by over-awing three kings). It had become imperative
now that Shivaji should be crowned as a chatrapati ('chatra' here means
the royal umbrella and 'pati' is the owner. Hence, chatrapati means
the owner of the royal umbrella, ie. the king). The idea of Shivaji
being declared a king was first mooted by Gaga Bhat, a learned
Brahmin from Benares (whose family had earlier migrated from Paithan).
Shown here is a scene from the coronation of Shivaji, clearly a
highly important and colourful affair for the Marathas
 Abdullah Qutubshah of
Golkunda died on 21 April 1672. He was succeeded by his
son-in-law, Abul Hasan (Tana Shah).
 Ali Adil Shah of Bijapur
died on 24 November 1672. He was succeeded by Sikandar Adil Shah,
a boy of four. Khawaskhan, the son of the old prime minister, Khan
Muhammed Khankhanan, became the regent.
In May 1674, Shivaji began preparations for his coronation. As per
the Hindu rites, he remarried his wives (on 30 May), performed the
sacred thread ceremony (29 May), officially appointed his own
council of ministers, the Ashta Pradhans (eight ministers), distributed
gifts to his men, the poor and the Brahmins (14 June). Thus Shivaji
was officially crowned king by the Vedic rites. Rajgadh was declared
to be the capital of his kingdom.
Incidentally, he was crowned king for a second time
by Tantrik rites (by a Tantrik priest named Nischalpuri Gosavi),
apparently due to some incidents and tragedies that happened just
before and after his coronation.
It is to be noted that Shivaji's mother Jijabai
passed away on 18 June 1674. Earlier, one of Shivaji's queens,
Kashibai had also passed away, sometime on 16 March 1674, as had
his sarlashkar, Prataprao Gujar (on 24 February 1674). During the
performance of the rites, Gaga Bhat, the Vedic priest, also met
with a minor accident. All these incidents were cited as inauspicious
and hence Shivaji was advised to have a second coronation as per
a Tantrik ceremony (ostensibly to pacify the bad omens and the
spirits), which took place some time on 24 September 1674.  
Notable Activities of the Marathas in 1674-1676:
In October 1674, the Marathas raid Khandesh.
On 17 April 1675 Shivaji captures Phonda
from the Bijapuris.
By mid-1675 the Marathas occupy Karwar.
Kolhapur falls to them in July 1675. The Marathas also have naval
skirmishes with the Siddis of Janjira in November 1675.
Early 1676, Peshwa Pingale engages Raja
of Ramnagar in battle en route to Surat. Shivaji loots Athni in
By the end of 1676, Shivaji besieges
Belgaum and Vayem Rayim.
Shivaji's southern campaign
Shivaji embarked on his southern expedition
sometime in January 1677. Shivaji knew that the days of Bijapur
were numbered, and he wanted to strike the final nail in their
coffin with his southern expedition. The idea was to become the
immediate successor to the Bijapur sultanate in the south,
before the Mughals caught up.
Shivaji concluded a treaty with the Golkunda
sultan, Abul Hasan (after being received with great pomp in the
city of Hyderabad). Shivaji then proceeded to conquer Jinji (in
Tamil Nadu) which he did in May 1677. Jinji was to serve as the
southern capital of the Marathas for the next twenty-seven years.
Lakshmishwar, Belvadi, the central and eastern regions of Mysore,
Kopal, Bellary, Chitaldurg and Vellore, also fell to Shivaji.
Shivaji had a brief altercation with his step-brother,
Vyankoji (who had by now established his rule in Thanjavur in Tamil
Nadu). It was a dispute over Shahaji's legacy and estate in Karnatak,
but eventually both brothers were able to reach an amicable settlement.
All in all, the southern expedition proved very
fruitful for Shivaji.
Shivaji's son joins the Mughals
 Politics in the Bijapur
court intensified between rival factions - the Deccan faction led
by the regent, Khawaskhan, and the Pathan faction led by the Bahlol
Khan - leading to open battles between them. Khawaskhan was put to
death by the Pathans on 18 January 1676, and leadership of the
Deccan faction was taken over by Siddi Masud.
 Mughals led by Bahadur Khan
sided with the Deccan faction, and clashed with the Pathans in
the Battle of Indi on 13 June 1676. The Pathans had to retreat.
Sambhaji, the eldest son of Shivaji, was developing
a serious level of friction with his step-mother, Soyarabai, who wanted
to install her own son, Rajaram, on the Maratha throne. Also, adding
fuel to the fire were certain incidents that took place due to
Sambhaji's amorous leanings (according to some historians), something
of which Shivaji strongly disapproved. The differences between father
and son reached a point at which Sambhaji took off to join the Mughals
(during Shivaji's southern expedition), sometime in December 1678. But
within a year the impetuous prince realised his folly and returned back
to the Maratha camp.
Altercation with the English
Shivaji had an brief altercation with the English
over the island of Khanderi sometime towards the end of 1679 and the
start of 1680. Shivaji's admiral, Daulat Khan, successfully defeated
the English in a few naval battles, forcing the English to accept
defeat and hasten to agree a treaty with Shivaji.
The death of Shivaji
Shivaji's last two years were spent engaging the
Mughals, the Siddis of Janjira and the English. (During his last
years, fearing a Mughal invasion of Bijapur, its regent Siddi
Masud made a treaty with Shivaji, whereby Shivaji delivered help
to the kingdom). 
Shivaji was also to start an expedition against
the Portuguese to sort out pending disputes, if not for what was
an anti-climax to this great king's life.
The fatigues of constant wars had taken their
toll on Shivaji. He fell ill due to heat strokes and an ailment
described as fever and blood dysentery. Shivaji passed away on
3 April 1680. An eventful life was cut short at the age of