Saturday, 14 March 2009

23. Again Sack Of Surat & Other Maratha Raids…

From jan to june 1670 Mughal government was partially paralyzed. On top of it shocking news came that Shivaji has again struck a deadly blow to Surat. Marching with 10,000 cavalry & 10,000 infantry with his Peshwa Moropant Pingle, General Prataprao Gujar & others, Shivaji moved from kalyan & took the same route as followed during the 1st attack on Surat. He reached Surat on 3rd oct. 1670. The garrison fled under the shelter of the castle guns. Marathas found vast treasure of gold, silver, rich plates, furniture. Shivaji departed from Surat on 3rd day carrying with him an enormous booty estimated at more than 50 lakh rupees.

He also wrote a letter to Governer of Surat, "I demand for the 3rd time, which I declare to be the last, chauth part of revenue under your government. As your emperor has forced me to keep an army for the defense of my people & country, that army must be paid by his subjects.”

The sentence provides us a clear understanding of his aims & objectives.

The plunder of Surat was a great shock for Mughals. Prince Muazzam ordered Daud khan to intercept Shivaji. On his way back Shivaji plundered town of Mulher, head quarter of Baglan dist. then he moved to south for Poona. It was while he was crossing the range at Kanchan-Manchan, Mughals came over him. The battle of Vani- Dindori (should be known as battle of kanchan-manchan) is one of few battles in which Shivaji himself fought against Mughals. 16th oct. Duadkhan meet Bakikhan. They got the news that Shivaji has crossed Kanchan pass & moving towards Nashik. Advance troops were leaded by Ikhlas khan Miyana, who rashly attacked Marathas without waiting for Daudkhan’s contingent. The attack became disaster for him. He was badly wounded with all his men. Sooner Daudkhan reached the scene. Maratha army was more than 15,000 in total. In the fight Mughals suffered a heavy loss in men. It was Bundelas who stopped Maratha attacks from developing.

Marathas kept there technique of fighting called ‘Bergigiri’ (means a continuous attack) while surrounding the enemy from all sides. Marathas again attacked Mughals in the late evening & disengaged & moved away with Surat treasure. Shivaji’s aim was to brush aside the Mughals & convey the treasure safely & swiftly, in which he succeeded. Soon afterwords Peshwa Moropant Pingle attacked strong fort of Trimbak & captured it on 25th oct 1670. he also won fort Aundha, Patta, Ravlya & Jaylya in Nashik region. Same time Shivaji attacked Karanja town in Berar. The town was plundered for 3 day & literally dug out. The havoc continous for Mughals.

Simply saying Shivaji threw the Mughals off balance. He kept them on run. The best way to defend was to carry war into Mughal territory & kept the enemy occupied. Province of Aurangabad, Berar & Nanded were completely disturbed. Occupation of these territories was not his aim.

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