Who was Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj?

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Who was Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj? Blog Image


Celebrations marking the 350th anniversary of the coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj recently began at the Raigad fort in Maharashtra.

About Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj:

  • He was the founder of the Maratha Empire in western India.
  • He was born on February 19, 1630 to Shahaji Bhosle and Jijabai in the fort of Shivneri, near the city of Junnar of the Pune district. 
  • With his valor and great administrative skills, Shivaji carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur. It eventually became the genesis of the Maratha Empire.
  • He was known as the Father of Indian Navy, Shivaji was the first to realise the importance of having a naval force, and therefore he strategically established a navy and forts at the coastline to defend the Konkan side of Maharashtra.
  • He was a secular ruler who was very accommodating of all religions. He had numerous Muslim soldiers in his army.
  • Shivaji was a dependable supporter of women and their honour. Anyone under his rule caught violating woman's rights was severely punished.
  • He had a council of ministers (Asht Pradhan) to advise him on the matters of the state but he was not bound by it.
  • He was called as the 'Mountain Rat' and was widely known for his guerrilla warfare tactics. He was called so because of his awareness in geography of his land, and guerrilla tactics like raiding, ambushing and surprise attacks on his enemies.

Key facts about Raigad fort:

  • Location:
    • It is a hill fort situated in Raigad district, Maharashtra.
    • It is situated in the Sahyadri mountain ranges or the western ghats.
  • It is one of the strongest-ever fortresses of the Deccan Plateau and is known as the ‘Gibraltar of the East’ across the world.
  • It was seized by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1656 from Chandraraoji More, the King of Jawali. 
  • Several structures and other constructions in Raigad were developed by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
  • He made this his capital in 1674, after being crowned as the king of the entire Maratha Kingdom and later on, the Maratha Empire.
  • The fort was the location for an armed campaign executed by the British East India Company in 1765. On May 9, 1818, the fort was looted and subsequently destroyed by British forces.
  • The fort also overlooks an artificial lake known as the ‘Ganga Sagar Lake’.


Q1) Who was Ashta Pradhan?

The Ashta Pradhan (also termed Asta Pradhan or the Council of 8) was a council of eight ministers that administered the Maratha empire. The council was formed in 1674 by their king, Shivaji. The body discharged the functions of a modern council of ministers; this is regarded as one of the first successful instances of ministerial delegation in India. 

Source: 350th anniversary celebrations of Shivaji Maharaj’s coronation begin in Maha; CM, DyCM take part in state event