February 19 marks the birth anniversary of Maratha emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji, one of the most courageous and sensible rulers of India. As the nation celebrates Shivaji Jayanti today, here are five historic battle the warrior king won with his remarkable battle skills and clever tactics. 

Shivaji vs Shaista Khan

Shivaji had emerged as a powerful force against the Mughals. 

In January 1660, Mughal king Aurangzeb sent his maternal uncle Shaista Khan, along with 150,000 soldiers to attack Shivaji. Khan with the heavy-armed Mughal army was successful in creating inroads into some Maratha territories and seized the city of Pune and took over Shivaji’s palace Lal Mahal. 

In April 1663, Shivaji launched a surprise attack on Pune and massacred the Mughals there. However, Khan managed to escape.

Legends say that Shivaji and his men entered Pune dresses as wedding guests. To replenish his depleted treasury, Shivaji attacked the port city of Surat, a Mughal trading centre, in 1664. 

Shivaji vs Jai Singh I 

Khan’s defeat enraged Aurangzeb and he sent the Rajput Mirza Raja Jai Singh I and 15,000 soldiers to defeat Shivaji. 

Singh gave a tough fight to Shivaji and Maratha king was compelled to sign the Treaty of Purandar in 1665. 

The treaty bought peace between the Mughals and Shivaji for some time. 

Shivaji’s arrest in Agra

In 1666, Aurangzeb summoned Shivaji to Agra and insulted him. When the Maratha king protested he was placed under house arrest. While the Mughal court was deciding whether to kill him or not, Shivaji escaped from Agra. Legends say that he smuggled himself and his son in large baskets made to carry sweets. 

This forced the Mughals to treat Shivaji with respect. He was conferred with the title of raja and was restored as a Mughal mansabdar with 5,000 horses. 

Shivaji vs Venkoji

Shivaji and his stepbrother Venkoji fought the famous battle of Mysore plateau in 1677. Shivaji won the battle and took control of most of the Mysore plateau. Venkoji’s wife tried to stop the two brothers at war. Shivaji respected her and yielded. He gave away Mysore to Venkoji and in return ask him to distance himself from Adil Shah and his advisors.

Battle of Sangamner

This was the last battle that Shivaji fought. The Mughals attacked Shivaji while returning from Jalna in 1679. Both the parties engaged in the battle for three days. However, Sivaji was not prepared for the battle and was losing his men to the Mughals. His general, Sidhoji Nimbalkar was killed alongside 2,000 Maratha soldiers in the battle. Understanding that he cannot just let his men get killed by the Mughals, Shivaji escaped with 500 soldiers.