Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj: 8 interesting facts about the greatest Maratha King
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is regarded as one of the greatest rulers as well as fiercest warriors ever in India.
We all have literally grown up reading innumerable stories regarding the Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s merciful characteristics, leadership skills, warfare strategies and valor in the battlefield. Belonging to the Bhonsle-Maratha clan, Shivaji was a born leader who founded the Maratha kingdom and went on to fight against the Mughals. He was a progressive king in the truest sense who envisioned of an integral nation filled with tolerance, secularism, female independence and more.
Here are some interesting yet lesser-known facts about the eminent as well as revered king Shivaji:
Unlike what most people believe, Shivaji’s name was not derived from that of the Hindu God Shiva. Instead, he was named after a regional deity, Goddess Shivai.
Shivaji was a follower of Hinduism and tried reviving all its positive ideas as well as practices. But also, Shivaji was a true secular as he always remained very respectful to all the other religions. He never attacked any religious site and even recruited many Muslim warriors in his army.
Shivaji became a trained warrior during his teenage days. He conquered the Turna fort at the age of 16. Then, he captured other forts like Jawali, Rajgarh etc. very soon.
He understood the importance of a strong army. With his intelligence, Shivaji converted his father’s 2000 soldier army into 10,000 soldiers. He developed numerous warfare strategies and even mastered the guerilla tactics of warfare. Also, Shivaji is called as the “Father of Indian Navy” as he built the first-ever navy to protect Maharashtra’s coast from the outside forces like British, Dutch and Portuguese.
Shivaji never encouraged his soldiers to get martyred in the battlefield. Rather, he came up with severalstrategies to attack the enemies even with limited sources. His large army was split into numerous units, each with 25 soldiers. He was referred to as the “Mountain Rat” by Aurangzeb for all these warfare tactics.
The Maratha King was extremely respectful to women, which was quite unlike several other kings in India. In fact, dishonoring women was strictly not allowed during his reign. Shivaji never imprisoned women of the captured territories and even used to punish those who would harm those women.
Shivaji was once arrested in the Panhala fort by the army of Siddi Johar. He took help of a barber and successfully escaped from the fort diddling over 600 soldiers.
Shivaji was kind in the truest sense of the term. He never dishonored the captured kings and always accepted those who surrendered. Also, he never raided common people’s home during wars.