Chhatrapati Shivaji was one of the bravest and most progressive rulers of India. The founder of the Maratha Kingdom, Shivaji was born to be a natural leader and fighter on 19th February, 1630 in the prestigious Shivneri Fort. The day is celebrated as Shiv Jayanti with great enthusiasm and traditional style by Maharashtrians.
- Father of Indian Navy
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the brave and powerful king of India, was the first one to create a naval force, which was meant to guard the coastline of the Konkan region of ancient Maharashtra. Times when no one thought of any other mode of defence other than land, such a far-sighted strategy and vision can be expected only from a true warrior like Shivaji Maharaj.
- He was extremely secular
Shivaji was a fierce Hindu ruler. He never discriminated against or tortured citizens of his empire on the basis of their religious beliefs. He also had Muslim soldiers in his army, who fought against the Mughal empire.
- Greatest Maratha ruler
Chhatrapati Shivaji was also called the ‘Mountain Rat’ because of his exceptional awareness of geography and familiarity of his land. He knew the importance of a great army, and with his skills, expanded his father’s 2000 soldier army to 10,000 soldiers.
- Myths around his name
It is often said that his name was derived from Lord Shiva but the fact is that Shivaji’s mother was a great devotee of a local goddess Shivai and she named her son after the goddess.
- A Great Administrator
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Maratha kingdom saw many reforms and a well-planned civil administration under his kingdom, something which was a rarity in those days. Popularly known as the ‘Father of the Maratha Nation’, Shivaji was a great administrator besides being a great conqueror. Some of the salient features of his administration were- having a council of ministers (Asht Pradhari) who advised him on the matter of his state, employing people into his administration from all castes and class, the iconic Ryotwari system in revenue, and more.
- A Fearless warrior who is known for his Guerilla Warfare Tactics
It is no hidden fact that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was an exceptional combatant, and his stories of valour where he’s been denoted as ‘Veer Shivaji’ are very popular in India, even today. In fact, there was a great difference in the ways and means through which the Maratha warriors, led by Shivaji, fought wars in those times, the key to which was innovation and brilliance of skilful combatants of the Maratha army. One such technique which is still popular in the historical domain is the art of Guerilla Warfare pioneered by Great Shivaji. This brilliant technique, helped the Marathas to conquer the hilly regions of Maharashtra and defeat the enemy kingdom with ease. The key elements of this technique of warfare were the element of surprise which included planned sudden raids with minimum loss and maximum yield or maximum possible damage to the enemy. These war techniques combined with the able leadership of a king like Shivaji Maharaj were the only reasons why the Maratha Empire grew to such an extent and was a prosperous and self-reliant state in those times, and also the reason why Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj- probably the greatest King ever lived in India, is preached as a God, even today.