Lord of the Royal Umbrella

BOOK TWO : 1661 – 1674.

Shivaji Raje Bhosale’s struggle against imperial powers continues, as massive Mughal armies repeatedly descend upon his tiny fiefdom. Having humiliated the much decorated ShaistaKhan in a daring night raid, Shivaji is finally subdued by Jai Singh. He faces the humiliation of receiving Aurangzeb’s firmaan to surrender a large part of his fiefdom and to serve in the Mughal army. As a final insult, Shivaji is forced to visit Agra and bow before Aurangzeb in his court. By royal order, he and his son are detained in Agra, under heavy guard. However, the ingenious Maratha foils all attempts to assassinate them and escapes, leaving the Emperor seething.

Safely home again, Shivaji embarks on the re-conquest of his lost forts and territories. Finally, in 1674, in defiance of imperial rule, he crowns himself King of the Marathas. After more than three and a half centuries of enslavement, the Marathi people have their own King.

Shivaji Raje Bhosale thus becomes Chhatrapati, Lord of the Royal Umbrella…

 The Legend

BOOK THREE : 1674 – 1680.

The Chhatrapati subdues the Qutubshah and leads a sucessful campaign into Adilshahi Karnatak. Maratha forces battle the Mughals as well as European and Abyssinian powers continually in the final years of the great man’s rule. The Chhatrapati has to deal with family issues which hinder him at a crucial juncture. He finally resolves differences with his son.

In April 1680, he breathes his last and departs from the mortal world. The Kingdom he has established is small in comparison to the Sultanates that still rule the sub-continent, but he has achieved that which cannot be measured in terms of land or riches. He has awakened the Marathi populace from a long slumber of enslavement and shown them what freedom tastes like. He has shown them that the Sultans can be defeated and taught them how to beat them. He has paved the way for a Maratha Empire which, in the years to come would spread across the far reaches of the sub-continent and seriously compromise the Mughal Empire. He has, in fact, changed the very course of the history of this great land.

He will, forever, be remembered as a Legend.