Chatrapati Shivaji was the famous Maratha king who had the utmost courage to stand against the vast ocean of Mughal rule, single-handedly. Although his original name was Shivaji Bhosle, his subjects lovingly gave him the title of 'Chatrapati' or the 'Chief of the Kshatriyas' for his undaunted ability to protect them all under the safe shelter of his leadership.
Born on 19th February 1680 at the Shivneri Fort to a valiant Maratha regent Shahaji Raje and a dedicated mother Jijabai, Shivaji was a descendent of the 96 Maratha Clans who were well known as brave fighters or 'Kshatriyas'.
A young boy of 16 is not known to win battles, but his mother's teachings, father's struggle and a pride in the motherland gave the young Shivaji his first achievement as an able warrior and leader with the seizure of the Torna Fort which was initially under the Bijapur Kingdom.
With this recognition, there was no looking back. His major breakthrough came with Battle of Pratapgarh against Afzal Khan, the general of the Sultanate of Bijapur, which made him a hero of the Marathas overnight. He won it through sheer planning, speed and excellent generalship. This was followed by many other battles against the Sultanate of Bijapur, in warfares such as Battle of Kolhapur, Battle of Pavan Khind, Battle of Vishaalgad and others.
Chatrapati Shivaji is most famous for his valor to challenge the mighty Mughal Empire, at the time ruled by Aurangzeb. Although Emperor Aurangzeb tried to capture all the forts and territories under Shivaji he could not achieve much success due to Shivaji's clever leadership qualities and guerrilla tactics.
But a temporary pause was put in Shivaji's successful ventures by the brave Hindu General Jai Singh, sent by the emperor. Upon this, Shivaji decided to negotiate with the Mughal Emperor and what followed is popularly known in history as Shivaji's trip to an astonishing escape from Agra, where he was kept a prisoner by Aurangzeb. Although after this incident, Shivaji remained dormant for some time; he rose yet again against the Mughals in the year 1670 with the Battle of Sinhagad. Soon after this victory he was coroneted on 6th June, 1674, as the King of the Marathas. Under his dedicated rule, the small independent land 'Hindavi Swaraj' went on to become a large kingdom ranging from the Northwest India to the East.
Though not much is known of his personal life except that he was married to Saibai, Soyarabai, Kashibai, Putalabai and Sagunabai and had two sons and three daughters, as a ruler, his name is compared to that of Napoleon, Julius Caesar and the Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus, who were all great rulers in their own respect.
He incorporated modern administrative concepts such as cabinet, foreign affairs, internal intelligence and others and commanded an extremely well trained army. This apart, he was a king who was just and kind and showed tolerance towards all religions and languages. He himself was proficient in Sanskrit and Marathi, and patronised art of all kinds.
Shivaji succumbed to fatal illness spanning many weeks in 1680 and his empire was taken over by his son Sambhaji.But this did not remove the imprint he left on the minds of all Indians. Chatrapati Shivaji's name will forever be remembered in folklore and history as the great king whose rule is considered as a golden era, which showed the light of freedom, paving the way for India's Independence later.
Department of Posts issued Commemorative postage stamps on Shri Chatrapati Shivaji.
Issued Date : 21. 04. 1980
Denomination : 0.30 Paise