The name “Shivaji” sparks a great sense of pride in every patriotic Indian. Shivaji, the man, the legend was a Maratha brave-heart who established the great Maratha Kingdom in the seventeenth century, when Mughals were at their prime. Shivaji was born to Shahaji Bhonsle and Jija bai. Shahaji was a General in Deccan Sultanates. Shivaji learned the ways of the war from his father. He learned the significance of religion and spirituality from his mother, Jija bai. The Beginning of Revolts:Shivaji rose to prominence after his father’s death. Adil Shah was wary of Shivaji’s growing stature as a Maratha Commander. He sent his trusted General Afzal Khan to crush Shivaji. But Shivaji’s battle prowess and agile tactics led to a comprehensive Maratha victory. Shivaji defeated the forces of Adil Shah and Afzal Khan. From that day Shivaji emerged as a heroic figure in all the Maratha folklore.Conflicts with the Mughals : In 1663, Shivaji launched a surprise attack on Mughal General Shaista Khan who had captured Pune from the Marathas. Shivaji and his 200 soldiers infiltrated in the castle where Shaista was staying. The breached the walls and killed every guard inside it, though Shaista escaped but Shivaji killed all Mughal chiefs inside the castle, this capturing Pune back.In the next year in 1664, Shivaji attacked the rich Mughal trade city of Surat and captured it. Aurangzeb got fed up with Shivaji’s constant aggression against his forces. He called Shivaji for a peace treaty at Agra. When Shivaji reached there, Aurangzeb tricked him and arrested him. Though, Shivaji escaped from Aurangzeb’s prison. Shivaji was anguished after Aurangzeb’s treachery, he vowed to avenge him. As a result, he launched various attacks on Mughal forts and cities, capturing both wealth and area. Mughal empire was constantly getting defeated in every battle against the Marathas and consequently weakened after each defeat.
Shivaji is one of the Greatest Hindu Kings. Shivaji won large parts of area in Central and Northern India as well. Thus, he was entitled as the Chattrapati (the great emperor) and as a King of the Marathas on June 1674. Not only, the Mughals but many Kings and Sultans were also defeated by the Maratha army under Shivaji, including – Athani, Janjira, Ramnagar, Belgaum, Vayem Rayim and parts of Northern Karnataka. No other Emperor ever had the courage to challenge the might of Mughal Empire at its prime. Shivaji openly crushed large armies of Mughals at various battles and established a strong Hindu rule in Central India.
Samudragupta, is on of the best Hindu Kings born in the India history, ruled India from 335 to 375 AD. He is also known as the “Napoleon of India“. He was an extraordinary Military commander who conquered the entire Indian subcontinent after Ashoka. Though, Ashoka had gone into the path of peace and non-violence but Samudragupta believed in total control and one India. Even the Southern kingdoms of modern-day Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh which maintained independent sovereignty from many ages, came under direct rule of Samudragupta. Military Campaigns: The name Samudragupta means the ‘Conqueror of Oceans’ and he did conquer huge areas of land comparable to the great oceans of the world. He maintained the policy of Digvijayawhich means direct control over each and every territory in the North India. Contrarily he followed the policy of Dharamvijaya in the South India, conquering/defeating Kings and making their territories as his tributary kingdoms.
Ashoka Maurya popularly known as Ashoka the Great and Emperor Ashoka, and most famous in count of Hindu Kings was one of the three Indian rulers, who ruled over the entire Indian subcontinent (Other two beingSamudragupta and Akbar). Ashoka, was the third ruler of Mauryan Dynasty and ruled from 269-232 B.C. Prior to Ashoka, Chandragupta Maurya and Bindusara had won tremendous areas and kingdoms, which Ashoka further extended. Ashoka’s kingdom spanned across almost half of the Asian continent, From Kashmir to Deccan Plateau , From Burma to Iraq and Iran, Ashoka controlled thousands of square kilometers. That is why in some historical scriptures, King Ashoka is also referred as Samrat Chakarvarti, which means Emperor of the Emperors. The great king had his capital atPatliputra (modern-day Patna). Two great Universities at Takshila and Nalanda, were world famous at the time under Mauryan rule and students from Europe and Asia studied there.
4. Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya was the founder of Mauryan dynasty. He was the first emperor to rule over almost entire India. His rule spanned from 322 to 298 B.C. India, before the time of Chandragupta Maurya was divided into many small kingdoms and states. The kings of these states were very self-centered and cruel to the people.Chandragupta was from a Kshatriya family but due to the death of his father when Chandragupta was still young, he was left in destitute. But Chanakya, one of the greatest teachers in the Indian history and a professor at University of Takshila saw Chandragupta a young boy with great aptitude and perseverance for learning. Chanakya trained Chandragupta in various subjects including economics, history, diplomacy, management and war strategies.
Krishnadevaraya was the greatest king from South India. In his empire at peak, from 1509-1529, Mughals and other Muslim rulers never dared to touch his territory. Contrarily, Krishnadevaraya led many successful campaigns against them.He holds a very respectable position among the lovers of Telugu history. He was a genius personality, able ruler and a great patron of art and literature. His reign is denoted as the golden age of Telugu literature. Many literary experts adorned the court of the great king. The great mathematician Nilakantha Somayajilived in the time of Krishnadevaraya.