Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born as Shivaji Bhonsle in the year 1630 on the 19th of February in the Shivneri Fort of Pune in the Indian state of Maharashtra. His father Shahaji Bhonsle was working in as a Jagirdar in the service of the crown of the princely state of Bijapur. His mother Jijabai was a god-fearing and a very intelligent lady. Shivaji learned the rights and wrongs from her and was pretty close to his mother. He studied Mahabharata and Ramayana with great enthusiasm and these two great epics put a strong impact on his moral and spiritual development. Dadoji Kondeo was his mentor who happened to be a friend of his father Shahaji. He taught him military skills. He was fond of riding and learned the tactics of fighting and warfare. He is considered as one of the finest warriors of Indian History and even today his adventures are narrated as legends. He was known for his exemplary administrative skills and he laid down the stone for establishing the Maratha Empire.
He began his career of conquests at an age of mere 15 years. He captured the fort of Torna initially and then eventually Fort Chakan, Fort Singhagarh and Fort Purandar. These were located within the boundaries of Bijapur. The King of Bijapur couldn’t resist the rise of Shivaji’s power so to put a halt to it he arrested his father, Shahaji. After which Shivaji kept quiet for some time but as soon as his father he again started conquests and won over Fort Kondana and Fort Rajgad. These conquests again provoked the king and he sent his army under the general Afzal Khan who eventually died after the clash with Shivaji.
It was when Shivaji’s force was in full swing and he became a hero for the Maratha Empire. He won the battle of Pratapgarh, battle of Kohlapur and then defeated the Mughal General Shaista Khan and Kartalab Khan in the battle of Umberkhind. He fought and defeated the Mughal army with a very less number of Maratha army.
Shivaji was born as a great leader and administrator. He created a disciplined and an organized army which included cavalry, infantry and navy. He maintained a huge army very easily due to his skills. He trained his army in the guerilla warfare and were extremely quick to action. He had a strong fleet of 200 warfare ships as he recognized the importance of naval army. His forts were well maintained and three officers with equal ranks were kept who not only stayed together but also kept a check on each other. He paid his officers well and most importantly his spies and espionage system was the most resourceful group of his army.
He was following the administrative policies of the Deccan states but he was greatly influenced and impressed with the Dharmasastras and Arthasastra. There was an assembly of ministers to assist him in all the matters. He kept able and competent people in his army as well as his administration.
He died in the year 1680 as he was suffering from fever.