Friday, 27 March 2009

32. Dakshin Digvijay … Relentless March Back… War With Mughals Continued…

Marathas broke camp from the banks of the Coladun river on 27th july 1677. on Sept. 22, Shivaji reached Vanikamwadi, 64km south of Vellore. Finally he left Tamilnadu in Oct 1677. He crossed the Ghats & passed through Carnataca, reducing Vyankoji’s possession on the way. He was now in a hurry to return home. Diler khan & Bahlolkhan got in touch with each other & decided to destroy Golkonda. They reached Gulbarga & battles were fought for about 2 months. Shivaji was watching every movement of Mughals & Vijapur. He could not tarry long in south now. Within effective span of only 6 months he eliminated Vijapur from the south & established a solid base for Marathas. It took 20 years for Mughals to oust the Marathas from south. Succinctly describing shivaji’s achievements in the south.

Martin writes,“It could be said that so sudden a revolution had never been witnessed, if we had not seen instances of greater revolutions in Europe.” On his way back, Shivaji touched Koppal, Lakshmeshwar & Belvadi in Feb 1678. He arrived on Panhala in his state in Apl 1688 to continue his war with Mughals.

Bahadur khan was no more in Deccan. Diler khan was now in charge of operations in Deccan against Marathas & Golkonda, his greatest triumph was when he seduced Sambhaji into joining Mughals. The defection of his son came as a severe shock to Shivaji. Shivaji did not take Sambhaji with him in his Dakshin Digvijay Mohim. He posted Sambhaji outside Raigad during his absence. Sambhaji probably attributed this step of Shivaji as indicative of a lack of confidence in him. His step which he took of joining Mughals on 13dec 1678 was fraught with danger. Dilerkhan hailed Sambhaji’s arrival with great joy. Aurangzeb made him Mansabdar of 7000. Also the title of Rajah. Sambhaji’s desertion must have been a severe blow to Shivaji. But that great leader did not lose his nerve. He kept up his efforts to persuade his son to return home.

He drove a wedge between Mughals & Vijapur, by offering help to Vijapur. Mean while Dilerkhan & Sambhaji attacked Maratha fort called Bhupalgad. The fort fell on 2nd Apl. 1679, mainly b’coz Commander of fort, Firangoji Narsala, was unnerved at seeing Sambhaji leading the attack. Shivaji took stern disciplinary measures & suitably punished the commandant. The lesson was duly conveyed to all the garrisons & military posts in the state. In the north, Aurangzeb was in a desperate position now. He was facing problems in south from Marathas & Golkonda, inspired Rajputs of Udaipur & Jodhpur were putting a stiff fight against Mughals now. He ordered Dilerkhan to destroy Vijapur & Golkonda. Shivaji send force of 10,000 cavalry to Vijapur in protecting the city. Also 10,000 oxen laden with grain were send to Vijapur. He himself arrived to Vijapur with more force of 10,000 & decided that Siddi Masood would defend Vijapur while Shivaji should carry devastations in Mughal provinces & force them to raise the siege of Vijapur.

Diler khan was failed completely to save his province against Marathas. He stung to the quick by his failure, ravaged the country-side, plundering towns & taking the inhabitants as prisoners. Sambhaji protested against these senseless acts. After all he was a son of iron – disciplined Shivaji. Sambhaji was now repenting the rash step of joining Mughals. At shivaji’s persuasion he escaped from the Mughal camp at Athani on 20th Nov 1679. He arrived to Panhala on 5th Dec 1679. At this time Shivaji was carrying out lighting raids in Mughals provinces all over in Berar & Khandesh. His spectacular feat was the plunder of Jalna, in last week of Nov. 1679. While he was resting on fort of Patta on his way back from Jalna, he learnt escape of Sambhaji. He hurried to the fort of Panhala to meet his son. It was a touching reunion with a repentant son falling at the feet of his father.

Marathas made all attempt of Dilerkhan failed to invade Vijapur. Dilerkhan was ordered to return back to Mughal territory. But he chooses to attack Bedar chief of Vijapur. He failed badly. Mughals lost 1700 men, dead & wounded. Finally both prince Muazzam & Dilerkhan were called back to the court by Aurangzeb. Ironically enough, once again a Mughal general had to retire in disgrace to add to the long list. Shahiste khan, Jaisingh, Daud khan, Mahabat khan, Bahadur khan, Diler khan & Prince Muazzam.

In his later life, Aurangzeb, in one of his letter, complains of the negligence & incompetence of his generals in the Deccan as a result of which he himself had to arrive in the Deccan to lay the campaign. The blame for the failure of his policy lies squarely on Aurangzeb’s shoulders only.

1 comment:

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