Shivaji was the son of Shahji & Jijabai & was born in the fort of Shiver.
Shivaji inherited the Jagir of Poona from his father in 1637.
His guru was Ramdas Samrath
After the death of his guardian, Dadaji Kondadev, in 1647, he assumed full charge of his Jagir.
He conquered many Forts viz.
Singh Garh/ Kondana (1643)
Rohind & Chakan (1644-45)
Rajgarh/ Raigarh (1656)
In 1657 Shivaji first confronted the Mughals, taking advantage of the Mughal invasion of Bijapur, he raided Ahamadnagar & plundered Junnar.
In 1659-60, Afzal Khan was deputed by Adil Shah of Bijapur to punish Shivaji; but the later Afzal Khan was murdered by Shivaji in 1659. The famous “Baghnakh” episode is related to the death of Afzal Khan.
In 1660, Shaista Khan, governor of Deccan, was deputed by Aurangzeb to check Marathas. Shivaji lost Poona, Kalyan & Chakan and also suffered several defeats till he made a bold attack on Shaista Khan(1663) & plundered Surat (1664) & later Ahmadnagar.
Raja Jai Singh of Amber & Diler Khan was then appointed by Aurangzeb to curb the rising power of Shivaji in 1665.
Jai Singh succeeded in besieging Shivaji in the fort of Purandhar. Consequently, the treaty of Purandhar (1665) was signed according to which Shivaji ceded some forts to the Mughals & paid a visit to the Mughal court at Agra.
In 1666, Shivaji visited Agra but there he was insulted
In 1670, Shivaji captured most of the forts lost by the treaty of Purandhar.
In 1674 Shivaji was coronated at the capital Raigarh & assumed the title of Haindava Dharmodharak (Protector of Hinduism).
After that Shivaji continued the struggle with the Mughals & Siddis (Janjira). He conquested Karnataka during 1677-80.
His last expedition was against Ginjee & Vellore.
Swarajya was directly under the control of Maratha.
Chauth & Sardeshmukhi were taxes collected by Marathas.
Chauth was paid to the Marathas so as not to be subjected to Maratha raids.
Sardeshmukhi was an additional levy of 10% on those lands of Maharashtra over which the Maratha claimed hereditary rights, but which formed part of the Mughal Empire.
Marathi became the official language.
Shivaji divided his territory under his rule (Swarajya) into three provinces, each under a viceroy. Provinces were divided into Prants which were subdivided into parganas or tarafs.
Shivaji was helped by the Ashtapradhan (Eight-minister) which was unlike a council of ministers, for there was no collective responsibility; each minister was directly responsible to Shivaji.
Peshwa (Mukhya Pradhan): Finance & general administration, later he became PM & assumed great importance.
Sar-i-Naubat (Senapati): Military commander. This is an honorary post with no real military powers. Later on, the ninth minister named Pratinidhi was added by Raja Ram a successor of Shivaji Most of the administrative reforms of Shivaji were based on Malik Ambar’s (Ahmadnagar) reforms.
Successors of Shivaji Shambhaji: 1680-1689
Sambhaji, the elder son of Shivaji, defeated Rajaram, the younger son of Shivaji, in the war of succession.
He provided protection & support to Akbar II, the rebellious son of Aurangzeb.
He was captured at Sangameswar by a Mughal noble & executed(killed).
He succeeded to the throne with the help of the ministers at Rajgarh.
He fled from Rajgarh to Jinji in 1689 due to a Mughal invasion in which Rajgarh was captured along with Sambhaji’s wife & son (Shahu) by the Mughals.
Rajaram died at Satara, which had become the capital after the fall of Jinji to Mughals in 1698.
Rajaram created the new post of Pratinidhi, thus taking the total number of ministers to nine (Pratinidhi + Ashtapradhan).
Rajaram was succeeded by his minor son Shivaji II under the guardianship of his mother Tarabai.
Tarabai continued the struggle with the Mughals
Shahu : 1707-1749
Shahu was released by the Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah.
Tarabai’s army was defeated by Shahu at the battle of Khed (1700) & Shahu occupied Satara.
Shahu’s reign saw the rise of Peshwas & the transformation of the Maratha kingdom into an empire based on the principle of the confederacy.