Father of Indian Navy Study Notes: Check here the Biography of Father of Navy!

By Ritesh|Updated : October 5th, 2021

Father of Indian Navy Study Notes: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is called the father of the Indian Navy. The reason why the great Maratha Emperor is given this title is because of his contribution to the formation of the Naval Wing of the armed forces during the medieval period in India. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj not only realized the need for the naval wing but also constructed a number of naval bases along the coast. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj created a number of fleets that ran under the leadership of notable Maratha leaders which kept the Dutch and English away from the coast for a significant period until 1729.

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Biography of Father on Indian Navy

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Bhosale I was born on 19 February 1630 in Shivneri which is near the city Junnar (Pune district). His father was Shahaji Bhosle, a Maratha general who served the Deccan Sultanates. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was raised by his mother and was devoted to her. With his mother, he became deeply interested in religious teaching. While Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was a child, his father Shahaji married another woman and left Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and his mother in the care of Dadoji Konddeo who has been credited for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Education and Training. 

Forts won by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj 

The conquest of forts was started by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at the early age of 15 starting with the fort of Bijapur where he acquired the fort by bribing the commander and later got into conflict with Afzal Khan and killed him in a hand to hand combat. During a span of 35 years, Chhatrapati Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Maharaj had conquered more than 300 forts.

Conflicts: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj assisted Aurangzeb in conquering Bijapur in return for recognition for his right to the Bijapur forts and village under his possession. However, the response from the Mughals did not satisfy Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and he started raiding into Deccan. Aurangzeb’s measures against Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj were constantly interrupted by rainy seasons in the south and battle with his brothers for the Mughal throne. The conflict with Aurangzeb remained for a very long time following the Treaty of Purandar, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s arrest in Agra, and escape. The conflict ended with the peace proposals between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Aurangzeb where Aurangzeb conferred the title of Raja to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj granted him permission to attack Adil Ali Shah 

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was well known to have won the wars with minimum possibilities because of a lesser army and lack of resources. However, they were able to win Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Motivation and leadership. Other reasons why Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj has won some of the impossible battles were:

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s extensive knowledge about the battlefield, 
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s infiltration among the enemy empire and bribing of commander to provide useful information, Spirited army
  • Surprise Attacks
  • Guerrilla Warfare: Various out of the box ways to reach within the enemy empire and destroying it within the inside

Personal Life of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was married 8 times 

Building of Naval Fleet

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was known for his great military skills and realized the importance of the naval fleet after seeing the Portuguese arrival in India and starting and controlling trade on the western coast. The first keel of the Maratha naval base was built near Kalyan in the year 1654 after which multiple naval bases were constructed. 

It was a common practice in the Maratha army to hire mercenaries with the navy being no exception. The Maratha navy consisted of 20 warships which were commanded by mostly mercenaries including Portuguese and Siddi people. The first known event involving the Maratha navy was the battle of surat where Maratha defend their coast against English and Siddi and finally succeeded 

After Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the navy was strong under the leadership of Kanhoji Angre who fought and was successful to stop the English and dutch from invading the coast but following the death of Angre, there was a rapid decline in Naval capabilities from the year 1729. 

  • The Maratha navy was a green-water navy that was unable to operate in the blue water. Thus the Maratha navy is not involved in the high seas. 
  • The attack of Maratha was from the leeward or astern side and because of that the navy could find shelter or hide in bays or shallow creeks where larger enemies could not follow them. 
  • The enemy ships were captured only by hand-to-hand combat after invading the enemy ships. 
  • As the navy fought from the eastern side, this ensured that the enemy could not use their broadside guns.
  • Maratha do not have all their ships in one place and thus spread them into small squadrons

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RiteshRiteshMember since Jul 2021
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  • Chhatrapati Shivaji is called the father of the Indian Navy.

  • The first naval fleet was set up in the year 1654.

  • Battle of Surah was one of the recognized battles where Maratha used their Naval fleet to stop English and dutch from entering the Indian coast.

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