Shivaji Bhosle

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  • Topic: Shivaji, Maratha Empire, Maratha
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  • Published : February 22, 2011
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Shivaji Bhosle (Marathi: शिवाजी भोसले; 19 February 1630 – 3 April 1680), with the royal title Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (Marathi: छत्रपती शिवाजी महाराज) was a Maratha king [5] from the Bhosle dynasty who founded the Maratha empire.[6][7] Shivaji led a resistance to free the Marathas from Sultanate of Bijapur, and establish the rule of the Hindus ("Hindavi Swarajya"). He created an independent Maratha kingdom with Raigad as its capital,[7] and fought against the Mughals to defend his kingdom successfully.[6] He was crowned as Chhatrapati of the Maratha Kingdom in 1674.[6][7] He achieved the re-establishment of Maratha rule on their homeland after being ruled and dominated by various Muslim dynasties for few hundred years. He established a competent and progressive civil rule with the help of well regulated and disciplined military and well structured administrative organizations. The prevalent practices of treating women as spoils of war, destruction of religious monuments, slavery and forceful religious conversions were firmly opposed under his administration. Shivaji was a religious Hindu, and showed respect for all other religions.[8] He also innovated rules of military engagement of that era. He pioneered "Shiva sutra" or Ganimi Kava (guerrilla tactics), which leveraged strategic factors like demographics, speed, surprise and focused attack to defeat his bigger and more powerful enemies.[8] Shivaji constructed a chain of 300 or more forts running over a thousand kilometres across the rugged Western Ghats. Each were placed under three officers of equal status lest a single traitor be bribed/tempted to deliver it to the enemy. The officers (Sabnis, Havladar, Sarnobhat) acted jointly and provided mutual checks balance. Shivaji had control of 360 forts when he died.
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