The Battle of Sinhagad has lately been in the news, as the 350th anniversary of the battle was commemorated in 2021. Furthermore, the renowned Maratha Commander Tanaji Malusare's valour and courage have inspired a slew of creative works, including studies in the form of cinematic representations but with twists.
The epic Battle of Sinhagad took place in 1670. Tanaji Malusare, a Maratha captain, and Udaybhan Rathore, a castle warden under Jai Singh I, fought in this battle.
Events That Led to the Battle of Sinhagad
The Mughals aspired to conquer Bijapur and Golconda while also acknowledging the Marathas as a power to be reckoned with. The Treaty of Purandar, 1665 was not Shivaji's submission to Mughal imperial strength but the product of extensive negotiations that reflected Maharashtra's power reality and Jai Singh's wider strategy for the invasion of Bijapur and Golconda.
The most significant of all the forts Jai Singh took over was undoubtedly Sinhagad, which was regarded as the capital of the western provinces. Hence, Jai Singh insisted that Shivaji personally hand up Sinhagad first.
Shivaji committed to travel to Agra to see the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb as part of the pact, which he accomplished in 1666. Shivaji was held under house imprisonment but managed to flee to Maharashtra in a daring escape. He began recapturing the city upon his return.
In the fall of 1669, the peace was broken. The Mughal demand for reimbursement of the costs of Sivaji's travel to Agra was the immediate provocation. Shivaji launched a series of quick attacks to reclaim the forts that had been lost throughout his claimed territory. The Battle of Sinhagad was the first and most spectacular success.
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Details of the Battle of Sinhagad
The Marathas dispatched Tanaji Malusare, Shivaji's trusted general, and his brother Suryaji to retake Kondana (Sinhagad).
A big group led by Suryaji hid behind the main gate, while Tanaji and his chosen comrades scaled the walls and unlocked the gates by putting the few sentinels who came out to confront him to the sword.
Tanaji, with roughly 300 soldiers, successfully seized the fort in the wee morning of February 4, 1670, but died in the process. Both sides, including their leaders Tanaji and Uday Bhan, suffered heavy losses in the bloodbath that ensued in the Battle of Sinhagad. The fort was taken, and Shivaji was informed of the victory at Rajgad by a massive bonfire.
Effects of the Battle of Sinhagad
As the Mughals attempted to exert control over Bijapur and Golconda, they were unable to achieve victory, and, as a result, their interests were thwarted.
Within six months of the Battle of Sinhagad, Maratha soldiers had captured four additional vital forts: Purandar, Rohida, Lohagad, and Mahuli. The Battle of Sinhagad is significant not just in Maratha history but also in Indian history, as it relates to the consolidation of Mughal control.
Shivaji renamed the fort 'Sinhagad' in honour of Tanaji Malusare. Tulsidas, a bard, was tasked with writing a 'powada' (ballad) for Tanaji, and his literary work is still popular in Maharashtra today.
FAQs on the Battle of Sinhagad
Q1. Who was victorious at the Battle of Sinhagad?
The Battle of Sinhagad was won by the Marathas.
Q2. What occurred during the Battle of Sinhagad?
During the Battle of Sinhagad in 1670, Shivaji recaptured the Singhagad fort for the 3rd time via his Subedar, Tanaji Malusare, and the fort came under Maratha dominion until 1689 A.D.
Q3. Why was the Kondana renamed Sinhagad after the Battle of Sinhagad?
Originally known as Kondana, the Lion Fort (Sinhagad) was renamed in honour of Shivaji's loyal aide Tanaji Malusare, who was killed during a raid on the fort prior to the Battle of Sinhagad.
Q4. Which year did India commemorate the Battle of Sinhagad?
In 2021, India commemorated the 350th anniversary of the Battle of Sinhagad.