Friday, 6 March 2009

16. War with Jaisingh – Treaty of Purandar

The veteran general, Jaisingh was not Shashta khan. He did not underestimated Shivaji. His plan was to carry out swift & short campaign against Shivaji. His campaign was brilliantly conceived & equally brilliantly executed. His efforts at isolating Shivaji proved successful. The small chiefs, like Ramnagar & Jawhar, survice hungry officers of Vijapur, flocked to the standard of Vijapur. Siddis of Janjira prompty joined Mughals.

Arriving in Poona, Jaisingh marched towards the fort of Purandar. Ihtishan khan & later Qutub khan were posted at Poona with a force of 4000 horses. Jaisingh left Poona on 14th march 1665. on 29th he reached Saswad. Diler khan, next in command, had already gone ahead with the troops & strong artillery. Siege of Purandar began on 30th march 1665. Inspite of strong Maratha attacks Mughals succeeded in establishing themselves between the forts of Purandar & Rudramal / Vajragad. The Marathas put up a tough fight.

Same time Netaji Palkar raided Paranda region. “They made sudden raids & carried out night attacks. They used to block roads & hold inaccessible passes. They also use to set fires to the jungles. Owing to these activities the condition of army of Islam was rendered difficult. A considerable number of animals belonging to the army perished.” In reply Daudkhan was appointed as governer of Khandesh by Jaisingh with 7000 cavalry force. They soon started attacking villages. Setting up fires, capturing men, women & cattle became the set practice of Mughal raiding – parties.

The siege of Purandar is one of the memorable sieges in history of India. Time & again the Marathas emerged from the fort to fall upon Mughal trenches. Hand to hand fights were orders of the day. In such one of the fights, Murar Baji, the gallant Maratha commandant of Purandar, laid down his life. He has become immortal in the Maratha history. Sooner Mughals captured Rudramal on 14th apl. Mughal trenches were moved to the north-east of the fort. They took possession of 5 towers of the forts. Marathas with drew to the inner walls of the fort. At end of may 1665, Shivaji thought of ending war which was proving ruinous to the country. He approached Jaisingh through more than one latter, offering his cooperation in case of a future Mughal – Vijapur conflict. But the offer was summarily rejected. Jaisingh wanted nothing short of total surrender. Shivaji tried to influence Jaisingh to turn towards Vijapur, so that he could get liberal terms. But Jaisingh refused. Vijapur did make offer to Shivaji to join in hands, but it came to late.

The terms finally agreed to were –

1. 23 of Shivaji’s fort, large & small, out of which the revenue was 4 lakh hons(about 16 lakh rupees) should be annexed to the empire.

2. 12 forts including Rajgad should be held by Shivaji with revenue of 4 lakh hons(about 4 lakh rupees) on condition of service & loyalty to the empire.

3. his son Sambhaji, would be made Mansabdar of 5,000

4. Shivaji was exempted by request from Mansab but on condition that he should serve Mughals in their Deccan wars against Vijapur.

5. Shivaji said, if Talkonkan, a territory of Vijapur, some mahals of Balaghat yielding 5 lakh hons revenue were kept in my command I agree to pay 40 lakh hons to emperor with installment of 3 lakh every year.

The forts taken away by Mughals were included strong forts like Lohagad, Visapur, Purandar, Kondana, Rohida, Mahuli. Only Rajgad & Torna of deemed importance were left with Shivaji. The plains of Poona & coastal belt of Kalyan-Bhiwandi were occupied by Mughals. The Mughals extended their sway by taking Siddis in their service. It speaks for the greatness of Shivaji that he bore this humiliation with tremendous forbearance & fortitude. he survived to fight, & fight successfully.

Shivaji took leave Jaisingh in jan 1666. He was to attack the kingdom of Vijapur from the west & capture Panhala. This was assignment given to him by Jaisingh. On other hand Diler khan wished to kill Shivaji several times & hence rajah Jaisingh leaved Shivaji for a separate assignment of Panhala. He never listened to the words of Dilerkhan. On 16th june Shivaji reached Panhala base & led assault. His general Netaji Palkar, did not made it in time. The assault failed with loss of 1000 men. Shivaji got angry on Netaji & withdrew him from post of general. Netaji Palkar sooner left Maratha forces & joined Vijapur & finally joined hands with Mughals with offer of bigger Mansab. Netaji’s defection illustrates how even officers nearest to Shivaji failed to understand the significance of the struggle which he was waging.

Vijapur campaign ended disastrously for Jaisingh without sufficient artillery. Sooner Jaisingh feared that Shivaji might join in hands with Vijapur to recapture his forts & territory. It was Jaisingh who suggested Aurangzeb that Shivaji should be called to the court. His letter to Aurangzeb illustrates this simply,” Now that Adilshah & Qutub shah have united in mischiefs, it is necessary to win Shivaji’s heart by all means & send him to northern India to have audience of your majesty.” Jaisingh must have used all his skills in persuading Shivaji to go to Agra he could not hold out any prospects of territorial benefits. Shivaji could not avoid going to the court.

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