The Wars and Campaigns of Chattrapati Shivaji 1657-1680

v.1.2 February 22, 2006


Started by Ravi Rikhye




Torangarh and the Start of Shivaji's Career



1646-47  Seizes Tornagarh, Kondana, and Raigarh Forts from Bijapur. He is 19 years of age. [Some sources say he took Torangarh in 1643.]


 Shivaji & the Adil Shahi Dynasty of Bijapur


1656 After lying low for 10 years, on account of his fatherís imprisonment, in this year he captured Javali, a small state that became the foundation of his kingdom. Shivaji's use of treachery to kill its ruler, Chandra Rao More, after promising to marry his daughter, should be considered in the context of the times, when treachery was a standard weapon of warfare and diplomacy.


He then captured Raigarh, his future capital. Facing the overwhelming power of the Mughals, represented by Aurangzeb acting as his father Shah Jehanís Viceroy for the Deccan, Shivaji decides to make peace with the Mughuls; Aurangzeb, however, leaves for the North before a treaty is signed, due to the outbreak of the war for succession after Shah Jehanís death.


1657 With Aurangzeb occupied elsewhere, Shivaji seizes the opportunity to loot the territories of the Emperor. He raids Ahmednagar, and thus for the first time comes into conflict with the Empire; adds to his holdings and invades the Konkan. The King of Bijapur asks Shivajiís father to control his son; the latter says he cannot do anything.


1659 Bijapur sends its general Afzal Khan against Shivaji. Afzal Khan is killed in a scuffle during negotiations and Shivaji defeats Bijapur.


Afzal Khan


Shivaji captures the fort at Panhala from Bijapur, only to lose it to a counteroffensive by the Bijapur Army in 1660.


1663 Now Shivaji again resorts to raiding Mughul territory. Aurangzeb sends his motherís uncle, Shaysta Khan, against Shivaji. Shaysta Khan overruns the area and sets up his HQ at Poona [Anglicized pronunciation for Pune Ė said as Poonay.] Shivaji counterattacks during the rainy season when no one campaigns; Shaysta Khan barely escapes with his life.


From this campaign arises one of the best known romantic stories about Shivaji. Shyasta Khan was with his harem women when Shivaji struck and wounded the Mughul general. While the general got away, his son was killed.


1664 In this year Shivaji sacks Surat, leaving with booty worth Rupees 10 million. [At the time, Rupees 5 purchased a milch cow and was a decent cash wage for a year.]


He begins construction of Sindhudurg, one of the three major coastal forts of his reign.




1665 A worried Aurangzeb sends his son, and one of his greatest generals, the Rajput Jai Singh, against Shivaji. Facing defeat while under siege at Purandhar Fort, Shivaji agrees to terms by the Treaty of Purandhar.


King Jai Singh attempts to win Shivaji over by diplomacy, and persuades the latter to visit the Imperial Court.


1666 Shivaji reaches the court at Agra. Instead of the honors he hoped for, however, Shivaji is made to stand among the Panjhazari Mansabdars. These are leaders of 5,000 men, and approximately similar in rank to English barons. As a king is his own right, Shivaji is enraged and accuses the Emperor of bad faith.


Shivaji and his son Shambhuji are arrested and jailed, but they trick their way to escape and return to the Deccan.


Now it is Aurangzeb who proposes peace, acting at the behest of his son and the Rajput king Jaswant Singh, another famous general. Shivajiís title as king is made official. Shambhuji is made Mansabdar of 5,000.


1670 Nonetheless, Aurangzeb remain distrusting of Shivaji, a situation not helped when demobilized Imperial soldiers join the Marattha king. To meet the financial exigencies arising from the Emperorís constant warfare, Aurangzeb seizes Berar, a jagir (land holding) he had given Shivaji.


This leads Shivaji to again war on the Mughals, and to sack Surat for a second time. Shivaji is aided by quarrels between the Mughul commanders. He raids Khandesh, and annexes Baglana.


1674 Shivaji crowns himself Chattrapati, loosely translated as King of Kings. The celebrations bankrupt him and he raids Baglana and Khandesh. [At this point we are unclear why he should raid his own territory, as he had annexed the former four years earlier.]


Shivaji makes peace with Bijapur, which he has used many times in the past to replenish his treasury.


1675 The truce is broken when Shivaji captures Phonda, a fort of Bijapurís, and annexes the Kanara coast.


1676 Shivaji attacks Bijapurís holdings in the Karanatic. He also makes an alliance with the King of Golkunda. The fort of Jinji is captured; Vellore falls a few days later.


1678 Aurangzeb sends his general Diler Khan against Shivaji. The Marattha kingís son Shambhuji deserts to the Mughals. Shivaji raids Mughal territories without much success.


1680 With war against the Empire underway, Shivaji dies. He is 53 years of age.