Author - GAUTAM PRADHAN
Shivaji Bhosale’s struggle against imperial powers continues as massive Mughal armies repeatedly descend upon his tiny fiefdom. Emperor Aurangzeb recognizes the dangerous threat of the Mountain Rat and resolves to finish him off, once and for all. He sends Shaista Khan, his maternal uncle, with a large army, but Shivaji, in a daring night raid, attacks the much decorated Mughal General, cutting off his fingers. Turning his attention once again to Sultan Adilshah, Shivji systematically expands his holdings in the Konkan. Along the coast, the British, Portuguese and Abyssinian also find him a serious obstacle to their coastal interests.
Infuriated, the Mughal Emperor sends Jai Singh and Diler Khan to the Deccan with another large army. Jai Singh proves to be the toughest challenge Shivaji has faced. After winning almost every battle for two decades, Shivaji is finally subdued by Jai Singh and faces the humiliation of receiving Aurangzeb’s firmaan to surrender a large part of his fiefdom and serve in the Mughal army. In a final insult, Shivaji is compelled to visit Agra and bow before Aurangzeb at court. By royal order, he and his son are detained in Agra, under heavy guard. The ingenious Maratha, however, foiling all attempts to assassinate them, escapes, leaving the Emperor seething in impotent fury.
Safely home again, Shivaji embarks on the re-conquest of his lost forts and territories. Finally, in 1674, in defiance of imperial rule, he crowns himself King of the Marathas. After more than three and a half centuries of enslavement, the Marathi people have their own King. Shivaji Raje Bhosale thus becomes Chhatrapati, Lord of the Royal Umbrella…