Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, born on 19th February 1630 was the founder of the great Maratha Empire. He united the Marathas at the young age of 16 and went on to become one of the greatest kings in India.
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is named after ‘Shivai’ – Contrary to popular belief, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s name is not derived from Lord Shiva, but in fact a regional deity Shivai. Shivaji Maharaj was revered for his god-like deeds and not his name.
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was extremely secular – Shivaji Maharaj shared peaceful relations with Muslims at a time when kingdoms were stringently sticking to their own religious beliefs and excluding others. In fact, 66,000 men in his cavalry of 1,50,000 were Muslims.
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj converted his army of 2,000 men into a military of 10,000 soldiers –His father Shahaji Maharaj left him with 2,000 soldiers, but Shivaji Maharaj was able to expand his army to 10,000 men within a short span. He had an exceptionally strong army and intelligent deputies who helped him devise incredible tactics like guerilla warfare.
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was extremely forgiving and merciful to those who surrendered – Shivaji Maharaj granted mercy to opponent soldiers and welcomed them into his own army on the basis of their abilities. Due to his benevolence he was known as ‘Jaanta Raja’ or the Knowing King.
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is considered to be the father of the Indian Navy – Shivaji Maharaj was the first Indian king who realized that it was imperative to build a naval fleet to protect India from foreign invaders. He established a strong naval force and built forts at coastlines to defend the Konkan side of Maharashtra.
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj respected women and stood for their honour – Shivaji Maharaj made sure that no women were taken as prisoners under his rule. Wives of captured enemies were sent back with honour. His respect for women stemmed from his love and reverence towards his mother Jijamata. Any cruelty towards women was severely punished during Shivaji Maharaj’s rule.
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s son built a temple dedicated to him – Shivaji Maharaj’s younger son Rajaram Bhonsle built a temple in honour of his illustrious father. The one-of-its-kind temple solely dedicated to Shivaji Maharaj is located in the town of Sindhudurg in Maharashtra.