Thursday, February 25, 2016


Shivaji Bhonsle (c. 1627/1630 – 3 April 1680), also known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, was an Indian warrior king and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan. Shivaji carved out an enclave from the declining sultanate of Bijapur that formed the genesis of the Maratha Empire. In 1674, he was formally crowned as the Chhatrapati (Monarch) of his realm at Raigad.
Shivaji established a competent and progressive civil rule with the help of disciplined military and well-structured administrative organisations. He innovated military tactics, pioneering the guerrilla warfare methods (Shiva sutra or ganimi kava), which leveraged strategic factors like geography, speed, and surprise and focused pinpoint attacks to defeat his larger and more powerful enemies. From a small contingent of 2,000 soldiers inherited from his father, Shivaji created a force of 100,000 soldiers; he built and restored strategically located forts both inland and coastal to safeguard his territory. He revived ancient Hindu political traditions and court conventions and promoted the usage of Marathi and Sanskrit, rather than Persian, in court and administrative.
Shivaji's legacy was to vary by observer and time, but began to take on increased importance with the emergence of the Indian independence movement, as many elevated him as a proto-nationalist and hero of the Hindus. Particularly in Maharashtra, debates over his history and role have engendered great passion and sometimes even violence as disparate groups have sought to characterize him and his legacy.

Battle of Pratapgarh:
In the ensuing Battle of Pratapgarh fought on 10 November 1659, Shivaji's forces decisively defeated the Bijapur Sultanate's forces. The agile Maratha infantry and cavalry inflicted rapid strikes on Bijapuri units, attacked the Bijapuri cavalry before it was prepared for battle, and pursued retreating troops toward Wai. More than 3,000 soldiers of the Bijapur army were killed and two sons of Afzal Khan were taken as prisoners.
This unexpected and unlikely victory made Shivaji a hero of Maratha folklore and a legendary figure among his people. The large quantities of captured weapons, horses, armour and other materials helped to strengthen the nascent and emerging Maratha army. The Mughal emperor Aurangzeb now identified Shivaji as a major threat to the mighty Mughal Empire. Soon thereafter Shivaji, Shahaji and Netaji Palkar (the chief of the Maratha cavalry) decided to attack and defeat the Adilshahi kingdom at Bijapur. 
Battle of Kolhapur:

To counter the loss at Pratapgad and to defeat the newly emerging Maratha power, another army, this time numbering over 10,000, was sent against Shivaji, commanded by Bijapur's Abyssinian general Rustamjaman. With a cavalry force of 5,000 Marathas, Shivaji attacked them near Kolhapur on 28 December 1659. In a swift movement, Shivaji led a full frontal attack at the center of the enemy forces while two other portions of his cavalry attacked the flanks. This battle lasted for several hours and at the end Bijapuri forces were soundly defeated and Rustamjaman fled the battlefield. Adilshahi forces lost about 2,000 horses and 12 elephants to the Marathas. This victory alarmed Aurangazeb, who now derisively referred to Shivaji as the "Mountain Rat", and prepared to address this rising Maratha threat.

In late March 1680, Shivaji fell ill with fever and dysentery, dying around 3–5 April 1680 at the age of 52, on the eve of Hanuman Jayanti. Rumors followed his death, with Muslims opining he had died of a curse from Jan Muhammad of Jalna, and some Marathas whispering that his second wife, Soyarabai, had poisoned him so that his crown might pass to her 10-year-old son Raja ram.
Shivaji died in 1680, leaving behind a state always at odds with the Mughals. Soon after Shivaji's death, the Mughals attempted to invade it, but could not subdue the Marathas and it resulted in a war of 27 years from 1681 to 1707 ending in the defeat for the Mughals.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


Samudragupta, ruler of the Gupta Empire (c.335 – c.375 CE), and the successor to the Chandragupta I, is considered to be one of the greatest military geniuses in India history. He is generally considered the epitome of an “ideal King” of the “golden age of Hindu history” as the period of the imperial Guptas (320-510CE) has often been called. He was the third ruler of the Gupta Dynasty.
The son of the king Chandra Gupta I and the Licchavi princess Kumaradevi, he is pictured as the muscular warrior, the poet and the musician who displayed “marks of hundreds of wounds received in battle.”

The Great King of the Gupta Empire, Samudra Gupta participated most in building the “The Golden Age of India”. When the king Samuddragupta ascended the throne the condition of the Northern India was still very turbulent.

Though his father Chandragupta I had to establish an empire yet there were enough of scattered independent kingdoms all over the Northern India who were independent and ready to shed blood for the maintenance of their independence. These independent kingdoms, mostly monarchical and some republican rose to power on the rivers of the Kushana Empire.

Early Life:

Chandragupta I, the Magadha king, and was the third ruler of the Gupta Dynasty married the Lichhavi princess, Kumardevi which enabled him to gain the hold over the Ganges river-basin, the main source of North Indian commerce. He ruled for about the ten years in the north – central India with his son as the apprentice in the capital of Pataliputra, near the modern day Patna in Bihar of India.

After his death his son, Samudragupta started to rule the kingdom and did not rest until he conquered almost the whole of India. His reigning period may be described as the vast military campaign. To begin with he attacked the neighbouring kingdoms of Ahichchhatra (Rohilkhand) and the Padmavati (in the Central India). He conquered the whole of Bengal, some kingdoms in Nepal and he made Assam pay him tribute. He absorbed some tribal states like Malvas, the Arjunayanas, the Abhiras and the maduras. The rulers of what is now Afghanistan and Kashmir were also added to the empire.


Samudragupta ruled for the 51 years and was succeeded by one of his sons who were selected as the most worthy of the crown. This ruler is known as Chandragupta II who had the title of the Vikramaditya.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Prithviraj Chauhan

Rai Pithora, popularly known as Prithviraj Chauhan (1149-1192 CE), was the Rajput king of the Chauhan dynasty, who ruled the kingdoms of Ajmer and Delhi in the northern India during the latter half of the 12th century.

Prithviraj Chauhan was the 2nd last Hindu king to sit upon the throne of Delhi before the Hemu. He succeeded to the throne in 1179 CE at the age of 13 and ruled from the twin capitals of Ajmer and Delhi which he received from his maternal grandfather, Arkpal or Anangpal III of the Tomara dynasty in Delhi. His elopement in the 1175 with the Samyukta (sanyogita), the daughter of the Jai Chandra Rathod.

1st Battle of Tarain, 1191

In 1191, Shahabuddin Muhammad Ghori captured the fortress of Bhatinda in the East Punjab, leaving the garrison of 1200 men, which was located on the frontier of his domain. He marched to Bhatinda and met his enemy at the place called as Tarain near the ancient town of Thanesar. The Ghurid army initiated battle by attacking with the cavalry who launched arrows at the Rajput center. The army of Prithviraj counter- attacked from three sides and dominated the battle, pressuring the Ghurid army into the withdrawal. Prithviraj succeeded in stopping the Ghurid advance towards the Hindusism in the 1st battle of Tarain. Prithviraj did not pursue Ghori’s army not wanting to invade hostile territory or misjudging Ghori’s ambition, instead electing to retake the fortress of Bhatinda.

2nd Battle of Tarain, 1192

In the 1192, Ghori reassembled the force of 120,000 men and returned to challenge the Chauhan at the Second Battle of Tarain. When he reached Lahore, he sent his surrogate to demand surrender but Chauhan refused to comply. Chauhan then appealed to his fellow Rajput rulers and the aristocracy to come to his aid against Ghori.

Prithvi raj assembled the very large army with the aid of approx 150 Rajputs rulers and aristocrats. According to the Persian historian Firishta, it consists of 3,000 elephants, 300,000 horsemen and considerable infantry.  The force was larger than that of Ghori, the armies met in Tarain where the Ghori delivered an ultimatum to Chauhan that he convert to Islam or be defeated. Chauhan countered with an offer that Ghori should consider a ceasefire and to retreat with his army. Ghori decided to attack.

Ghori then divided his army into the five parts and attacked in early morning hours, sending waves of mounted archers. They retreated as the Chauhan elephant phalanx advanced Ghori deployed the 4 parts to attack the Rajput on four sides, keeping the fifth part of his army in reserve. The general Khande Rao of the Chauhan forces was killed. At the dusk, Ghori himself led the army of 12,000 heavily armoured horsemen to the centre of the Rajput line, which collapsed into the confusion. Chauhan attempted to escape but was captured. The Rajput army broke ranks and fled thereby conceding victory to Ghori. Chauhan was put to death.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Maharana Ranjit Singh

Maharaja Ranjit Singh (13 November 1780 – 27 June 1839) was the founder of the Sikh Empire, which came to power in the Indian subcontinent in the early half of the 19th century. The empire, based in the Punjab region, existed from 1799 to 1849. It was forged, on the foundations of the Dal Khalsa, under the leadership of Ranjit Singh from a collection of autonomous Sikh Misls Ranjit Singh was succeeded by his son, Kharak Singh.

Ranjit Singh was born to Maha Singh and Raj Kaur on 13 November 1780, in Gujranwala, Punjab. His grandfather Charat Singh was the founder of Sukerchakia Misl. At first he was named Buddh Singh, but Maha Singh received the news of his son's birth on his return from a victorious battle against the Chattha chief, Pir Muhammad, and renamed his son Ranjit (Victor in War). Historians have mixed views as to his family origins; while some assert he was born into a Jat Sikh family,  others claim that he was born into a Sansi Sikh family.

As a child, he suffered from smallpox which resulted in the loss of one eye. At the time, much of Punjab was ruled by the Sikhs under a Confederate Sarbat Khalsa system, who had divided the territory among factions known as misls. Ranjit Singh's father Maha Singh was the Commander of the Sukerchakia Misl and controlled a territory in the west Punjab based around his headquarters at Gujranwala. After his father's death, Ranjit Singh was raised under the protection of his mother Raj Kaur, and his mother-in-law Sada Kaur. He, at a very young age of 17 years failed Zaman Shah Durrani's invasion to India. He defeated Zaman Shah Durrani in the Battle of Amritsar (1797), Battle of Gujarat (1797) and Battle of Amritsar (1798).

In 1799, Ranjit Singh captured Lahore from the Bhangi Misl and later made it his capital. This was the first important step in his rise to power. In the following years he brought the whole of the central Punjab from the Sutlej to the Jhelum under his sway. After several campaigns, he conquered the other misls and created the Sikh Empire.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Maharana Pratap


Maharana Pratap or the Pratap Singh (9 May 1540 – 29 January 1597), was very famous Hindu Rajput ruler of Mewar, the region in north – western India in the present day of the state of Rajasthan.  Maharana Pratap belonged to the Sisodia clan of Rajputs. Maharana Pratap is considered to exemplify qualities like bravery and nobility to which Rajputs aspire, especially in context of his opposition to Mughal emperor Akbar.

Pratap Singh or Maharana Pratap became the ruler of Mewar against his father’s wish, who had appointed his favourite son Jagmal as his successor. However the senior nobles of Mewar decided that Pratap, the 1st son and rightful successor should be crowned king. Maharana Pratap was said to be the man of strong Rajput character, he was far more brave and noble. His kind heartedness and just decision making won the heart of his enemies.

After, famous battle of Haldighati, Maharana Pratap’s own brother Shakti Singh, who had joined the Mughals helped him escape the battlefield, as his beloved and trusted horse Chetak was wounded in his hind leg and jhala Man the noble was wearing the Maharana’s crown as decoy. Maharana Horse, Chetak, deliverd him to safe grounds before breathing his last. Pratap has to take refuge in Aravelli hills. The Bhil tribal also supported Maharana during the times of War and then helped him in living off the forests during the times of piece. 

Maharana Pratap died at the age of 57 after sustaining the injury while hunting. In life of Maharana Pratap, main goal was not to surrender in the front of Mughals. Even while lying in the lap of death Maharana Pratap made his son and successors swear to maintain the eternal conflict against the Mughal Emperor.

Maharana Pratap is the great model of freedom fighter, bravery and patriotism against the Mughal ruler in India. It is just because of this brave freedom fighter, Mewar got appreciation and honor to be the only kingdom to get merged with its state in the Independent India.

Friday, January 29, 2016


Kanishka I, or Kanishka the Great, was the emperor of the Kushan dynasty in 127–151 famous for his military, political, and spiritual achievements. A descendant of Kushan empire founder Kujula Kadphises, Kanishka came to rule an empire in Bactria extending from Turfan in the Tarim Basin to Pataliputra on the Gangetic plain during the Golden Age of the Kushanas. The main capital of his empire was located at Puruṣapura in Gandhara (Peshawar in present Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan), with two other major capitals at ancient Kapisa (present Bagram, Afghanistan) and Mathura, India. His conquests and patronage of Buddhism played an important role in the development of the Silk Road and the transmission of Mahayana Buddhism from Gandhara across the Karakoram Range to China.

Kanishka's era was used as a calendar reference by the Kushans and later by the Guptas in Mathura for about three centuries. Kanishka's era is now believed by many to have begun in 127 AD on the basis of Harry Falk's ground-breaking research. The actual source, however, gives 227 AD as Year One of a Kuṣâṇa century without mentioning Kanishka's name.

Kanishka's reputation in Buddhist tradition is based mainly that he convened the 4th Buddhist Council in Kashmir. Images of the Buddha based on 32 physical signs were made during his time.
He provided encouragement to both the Gandhara school of Greco-Buddhist Art and the Mathura school of Hindu art (An inescapable religious syncretism pervades Kushana rule). Kanishka personally seems to have embraced both Buddhism and the Persian cult of Mithra. His greatest contribution to Buddhist architecture was the Kanishka stupa at Peshawar, Pakistan.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Chandragupta Maurya

The Maurya Empire, the ancient Indian dynasty, c.325-c.183 B.C by the Chandragupta Maurya, who had overthrown the Nanda Dynastyand rapidly expanded his power westwards across the central and western India, taking  the advantage of disruptions of the local powers in the wake of withdrawal westwards the Alexander the Great’s Hellenic armies.

The Maurya Empire was one of the largest empires of the world in its time. It was also the largest empire ever in the Indian subcontinent. 

Conquest of Magadha:

Chanakya encouraged Chandragupta Maurya and his army to take over the throne of Magadha. Using his intelligence network, Chandragupta gathered many young men from across Magadha and other provinces, men upset over the corrupt and oppressive rule of king Dhana, and took all the necessary resources for his army to fight a long serious of battle. 

The preparation to invade the Pataliputra, Maurya came up with the strategy. The battle was announced and Magadhan army was drawn from the city to the distant battlefield to engage Maurya’s forces. Maurya’s   general and spies meanwhile bribed the corrupt general of Nanda. He managed to create an atmosphere of civil war in the kingdom, which culminated in the death of heir to the throne. Chanakya managed to win over popular sentiment. Ultimately, Nanda resigned, handing the power to Chandragupta, and went into the exile and was never heard of again.

Chanakya also reiterated that choosing to resists would start the war that would severely affect the Magadha and destroy the city. Rakshasa accepted the Chanakya’s reasoning and Chandragupta Maurya was legitimately made the new king of the Magadha.

Bindusara was the son of the first Mauryan emperor Chandragupta Maurya and his queen Durdhara. During his reign, the empire expanded southwards. Bindusara, just 22 years old inherited the large empire that considered of what is now, Northern, central and Eastern parts of India along with parts of Afghanistan and Baluchistan. Bindusara extended this empire to the southern part of India as far as what is now known as Karnataka.  He bought sixteen states under the Mauryan Empire and thus conquered almost the entire Indian peninsula. Bindusara didn’t conquer the friendly Dravidian Kingdoms of the Cholas, ruled by the king llamcetcenni, the Pandyas and Cheras. Apart from these southern states, Kalinga (modern Odisha) was the only kingdom in the Indian didn’t form the part of the Bindusara’s empire. It was later conquered by his son Ashoka, who was served as the Viceroy of Ujjaini during his father’s reign.

Chandragupta’s grandson Ashoka Vardhana Maurya, son of Bindusara was also known as the Asoka, Ashoka or the Ashoka the Great (reign 272-232 BCE).

Ashoka was followed for 50 years by the succession of weaker kings. Brihadrata, the last ruler of the Mauryan dynasty, held territories that had shrunk considerably from the time of the emperor Ashoka.