Tuesday, 3 March 2009

13. Sack of Surat

Shastakhan was replaced by Prince Muazzam after Lalmahal attack. While the change of charge took place that Shivaji followed up his success by yet another daring achievement – the attack & sack of the rich & bursting port of Surat. Shivaji passed through Nardurg, Mahuli, Kohoj & through Ramnagar. The Mughal officials of the Kalyan – Bhiwandi were extremely negligence.

Surat, on Tapi river, a few metres inland from the sea, has a good ground fort. The city had practically no defences. On the approach of Maratha army the governor fled to the fort leaving the city to the Marathas. The British & Dutch defended their factories. Shivaji had a force 10,000 strong. He wanted to deal with cities richest merchants, but on getting no response, his troops entered the city & plundered it. The Mughal garrison kept up a fire from the fort, the only effect being that many fires were caused in the city reducing hundreds of houses to ashes.

From 6 to 9 jan 1664, Shivaji plundered the city at leisure. The booty he carried away from the city in cash & kind must have been to the tune of about 1 crore rupees. He left on 10th jan. The Mughal forces arrived 7 days later. It was only then that the governor emerged from the castle. Shivaji returned from Surat, it was at this time that he heard of his father’s death in the south. He went to Rajgad for immediately.

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