The Battle of Sinhagad, also known as Battle of Kondhana, involved an attack by the forces of the Maratha Empire during the night of 4 February 1670 on the fort of Sinhagad (then Kondhana), near the city of Pune, Maharashtra, in the Mughal Empire (present-day India). The Marathas captured the fort.

Battle of Sinhagad (Kondhana)
Part of Imperial Maratha Conquests

The Fort of Sinhagad
Date4 February 1670
Fort Sinhagad, near Pune, India
Result Maratha victory
Fort Sinhagad captured by Marathas
Maratha Empire Mughal Empire
Commanders and leaders
Tanaji Malusare  
Suryaji Malusare
Shelar Mama
Udaybhan Rathore  

Background edit

A 20th century depiction of Tanaji Malusare's famous vow during Kondana campaign by painter M.V. Dhurandhar

In the 1650s, Aurangzeb sent Shaista Khan to subdue Shivaji. Khan captured Poona (now Pune) and took residence in Lal Mahal. Shivaji and his soldiers made a surprise attack on Khan, wherein they wounded him and killed one of his sons. However, Khan eventually escaped. Khan looted Pune for 2 years and devastated Deccan. So, Shivaji went on to loot and plunder the wealthy port city of Surat to restore the wealth as Surat at the time was a centre of great riches and wealthy merchants. This greatly increased Aurangzeb's anger against the Marathas. He sent his General Mirza Raja Jai Singh with a large army to subdue Shivaji. Jai Singh besieged Purandar fort. Meanwhile, Diler Khan defeated the armies at Vajragad, near Purandar. The Mughals plundered villages in the Maratha kingdom. For the welfare of his subjects, Shivaji decided to sign a treaty with Jai Singh. They met and signed the Treaty of Purandar. According to the treaty, Shivaji was to give 23 forts to the Mughals and agree to fight for them when needed. He would be allowed to retain control of 12 forts. Later, he agreed to meet Aurangzeb at Agra.[citation needed]

Upon reaching Agra, Aurangzeb put him under house arrest, but Shivaji managed to escape. Shivaji then kept a low profile for some years until Aurangzeb increased activities in the north. Later, Jai Singh died at Burhanpur, and a weaker prince, Muazzam, became governor of the Deccan. Shivaji then felt that this was a good opportunity to reclaim what had belonged to the Swarajya. He broke the treaty and started recapturing the forts that he had previously given the Mughals under the treaty.[citation needed]

Battle edit

Sinhagad was one of the first forts which Shivaji recaptured from the Mughals. The capture was made possible by scaling the walls at night with rope ladders. Tanaji Malusare was killed, but the fort was captured by the Marathas. The battle and Tanaji's exploits are the basis of a popular Marathi ballad.[1]

Aftermath edit

When Shivaji was informed about the victory and the loss of Tanaji's life during the battle, he exclaimed "Gad aala pan sinh gela" (Devnagari: गड आला पण सिंह गेला) (transl. "The fort has been captured but we lost the lion"). A bust of Tanaji Malusare was installed at the fort in memory of his contribution and sacrifice.[2] The fort was also renamed Sinhagad to honour his memory.[citation needed]

In popular culture edit

References edit

  1. ^ Gordon, Stewart (1993). The Marathas 1600-1818. Vol. 2. Cambridge University Press. p. 79. ISBN 9780521033169.
  2. ^ Verma, Amrit (2003). Forts of India. New Delhi: The Director, Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. pp. 83–86. ISBN 81-230-1002-8.