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5 facts you should know about Chhatrapati Shivaji, the bravest Maratha ever

By Deepika
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    Shivaji Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, a ruler who carved a niche for himself with his guerrilla tactics is being celebrated today.

    Chhatrapati Shivaji statue

    Born in the hill-fort of Shivneri, near the city of Junnar in Pune district, he carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that formed the genesis of the Maratha Empire. He was crowned as the Chhatrapati (Monarch) of his realm at Raigad in 1674 and subsequently, established a progressive civil rule with the help of a disciplined military and well-structured administrative organisations.

    Shivaji is well-known for his innovative military tactics that centred around non-conventional methods leveraging strategic factors like geography, speed, and surprise to defeat his more powerful enemies.

    Chhatrapati Shivaji is known as a torchbearer of good governance and as an accomplished administrator.

    Remembering the greatest Maratha ruler on his birthday, here are some interesting facts about Shivaji.

    A secular leader

    At a time when all kingdoms were strictly sticking to their religious beliefs and doing away with others', Shivaji was surprisingly very accommodating of all religions. He helped people who wanted to convert to Hinduism, one such instance was when his daughter Sakhubai was married to her first-cousin Mahadji, who had been converted to Islam by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

    Shivaji helped Aurangzeb conquer Bijapur

    Born in the hill-fort of Shivneri, near the city of Junnar in Pune district, he carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that formed the genesis of the Maratha Empire. He was crowned as the Chhatrapati (Monarch) of his realm at Raigad in 1674 and subsequently, established a progressive civil rule with the help of a disciplined military and well-structured administrative organisations.

    Known as a mountain rat

    Chhatrapati Shivaji was called as the 'Mountain Rat' and was widely known for his guerrilla warfare tactics. He was called so because of his awareness in geography of his land, and guerrilla tactics like raiding, ambushing and surprise attacks on his enemies. He knew the importance of a good army, and with his skills, expanded his father's 2000 soldier army to 10,000 soldiers.

    First to realise importance of having a naval force

    Known as the Father of Indian Navy, Shivaji was the first to realise the importance of having a naval force, and therefore he strategically established a navy and forts at the coastline to defend the Konkan side of Maharashtra. The Jaigad, Vijaydurg, Sindhudurg and other such forts still stand to testify his efforts and ideas.

    Stood for the honour of women

    Shivaji was a dependable supporter of women and their honour. He opposed all kinds of violence, harassment and dishonour against women. Anyone under his rule caught violating woman's rights was severely punished. In fact, women of captured territories were also released unharmed, and with integrity.

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