Coordinates: 18°45’24″N 73°51’44″E
Firangoji Narsala was a renowned Maratha warrior and military leader in the army of Shivaji Chhatrapati, a Maharaja of Maharashtra, in 17th century India. He is famous for his defence of Sangram Durga, a fort, against a Mughal army led by Shayeste Khan in 1660 .
Firangoji was a ‘Killedar’ (fortress commander) of this fort in Chakan (Pune). When Shayeste Khan invaded Pune with a lakh of soldiers, he selected Sangram Durga as the first target. He attacked the fort with 10,000 soldiers.
Firangoji Narasala was prepared for this attack, however, even though he had only 200 soldiers. Just before this attack Shivaji had asked his commander to leave the fort. However, Firangoji decided not to abandon the fort and instead started a fierce guerrilla war against the Mughals and defended the fort in this way for almost two months.
The Mughals tried another way of taking the fort. They dug a tunnel up to the fort; which was a challenge because of the water around it. They filled this tunnel with explosives and blew up the wall of the fort. This was a major setback for Firangoji and his soldiers; 75 soldiers died in this attack. The Mughal army rushed into the fort; fierce fighting ensued and many Maratha soldiers were killed.
Shayeste Khan was astonished by Firangoji’s bravery, and offered him Mughal Sardari. But Firangoji refused to accept it; instead Shayeste Khan gave him and his soldiers safe passage. Firangoji came to meet Shivaji and apologised for surrendering the fort. But Shivaji was very happy with him as he had defended a small fort for almost 2 months. He said “if it took 60 days for Shayeste Khan to take a small fort, imagine how many days will be required to capture an entire swarajya (kingdom). Shaista Khan will be here for few days, he is not going to take Sangram Durg with him. Whatever you have done is praiseworthy”. Shivaji rewarded Firangoji and made him Killedar of ‘Bhopal Gad’ (fort).
Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sangram_Durg
Chakan village and its landfort is 29kms north of Pune. Nearly square, the fort was protected by a strong wall with bastions and corner towers surrounded by a moat. There was also an inner wall. The fort is now in ruins.
The Chakan for is quite old and was occupied by several powers. An Abyssinian chief is said to have made the first fortification in 1295 AD. In 1595 AD. It was given in jagirto Shivaji’s grandfather, Maloji Bhosale. An important event occurred here when the fort was captured by Shaista Khan in 1660 AD. Being on the shortest route from Ahmadnagar to Konkan, Chakan was a place of great strategic importance. The fort was captured from the Marathas by the British in 1818 AD.