Raigad [From materials contributed by Mr. H. Kennedy.] or the Royal Fort (T. Mahad, 18° 14′ N, 73°30′ E) originally called Rairi, was known to the early Europeans as the Gibraltar of the East [ Grant Duff’s Marathas, 679.]. It stands 2,851 feet above the sea, sixteen miles north of Mahad, and about forty east of Janjira. Its sheer scarped sides and long top form a great wedge-shaped block, cut from the Sahyadris by a deep valley about a mile broad at the base and two miles across from crest to crest. As it is backed by the lofty line of the Sahyadris and surrounded by spurs and blocks of hills, Raigad seldom forms a striking feature in the Kolaba landscape. From the west, about six miles on each side of Manganv, though the lower slopes are hid, the Takmak and Hirkani points are noticeable, forming an irregular horse-shoe. From the south, two long spurs, Kalkai from which Raigad was shelled in 1818, and the prominent top of Guiri, mask its height and hide its scarps. And from Mahabalesvar, so encircled is it by higher and bolder hills, that Raigad is difficult to make out even when its position is known. According to Mr. Douglas the finest view of Raigad is from the peak of Torna, 1,000 feet higher and about twenty miles to the east [ Book of Bombay, 411.]. Much the same view can be had from the cone topped peak of Lingana on the western edge of the Sahyadris, about two miles east of Raigad, and the Lingana view has the advantage of including a sight of the ruins which give a special interest to the top of Raigad [ Gell in Chesson’s Miscellany, I. 11.].
To those who live in the district the most beautiful approach Approaches. to Raigad is, among, the finest hills in the district, from Nizampur about twelve miles to the north-west, across the rugged spur that runs, south-west from the Sahyadris. This route is passable for footmen and horsemen only. Another rough feet track leads from Manganv which is fifteen miles to the west. An easier approach is from the south-east, from Birvadi, about six miles east of Mahad. From Birvadi a country track, rough in places but practicable for carts, runs up the valley of the Kal, about sixteen miles, to Chatri Nizampur. About four miles north of Birvadi, the road crosses the Kal, and keeps along its left bank, about twelve miles, to within a quarter of a mile of Chatri Nizampur where it again crosses to the right bank. The track runs through rugged and lonely country, with the Sahyadris on the right and the Raigad and Guiri ranges on the left. Between nine and ten miles north of Birvadi, in a deep stony gorge below the village of Dapoli is a pool about 100 yards long by thirty feet broad, known as the Valan Kund, full of sacred fish, some of them of great size [ Details of this pond are given under Walan Kund.]. At Pane, about three miles from this pool, a fine clump of trees by the roadside shelters an old temple called Panekar. Four miles from Pane is Chatri Nizampur, so called, according to a local story, because one of Sivaji’s servants, carrying an umbrella over his master’s head, was swept off the top of Raigad by a gust of wind, and, clinging to his umbrella, alighted in safety in the small village of Nizampur. From Chatri Nizampur the path, which is passable only for footmen, rises about a mile and a half to Vadi on the east slope of a spur at the west foot of Raigad. It was at Vadi that on the 9th of May 1818, after a siege of fourteen days, terms of capitulation were arranged between Colonel Prother and the Pesva’s. Arab commandant Sheikh Abu of Raigad [ Pendhari and Maratha Wars, 288.].
Way to Raigad.
The nearest way to Raigad is from Mahad in Mahad taluka, Kolaba district. At about eleven miles from Mahad is situated the tiny village of Konzar and is connected with Mahad by a good road. From Konzar the visitor to Raigad has to begin his long track to the fort of which the first stage ends at Pacad. The village is situated on the top of a hill from which the limits of Raigad fort could be said to begin. The Road from Konzar to Pacad is a well made road and offers a very comfortable journey on foot. Private taxis and cars often ply on this road. The road actually traverses quite a few hills and is not straight running even in a short span of about 100 yards or so. A walk of about half a mile gives one the impression that Pacad is now in close proximity but barely one covers the distance than another half a mile brings in view hill feature over which the road winds and winds. This goes on till the foot of the fort of Raigad, viz., Pacad is reached. Both sides of the road are covered with green mango groves and other varieties of wild trees so that a continuous walk fails to dislodge the visitor from his intention to climb up the fort in one stretch. A glance in any direction parallel to the eye, as one walks the distance does not reveal any plains but the vision catches the beautiful and magnanimous sights of towering hill tops where the warriors of that great monarch must have leisured at will. Quite in contrast to the too-often barren hill landscapes found in Satara district, the hill features round about Raigad possess parts of evergreen forests, thick and dense at some places and providing natural colour of brownish green to the entire outlook, which so pleases the eye. On the surrounding hill feature and on the level ground visible from above as one winds his way to Pacad could be seen a few isolated huts from which emerge the snowy specks of smoke which seems to be in a hurry to meet the hanging clouds above. However, the beauty of the path-way up the Raigad is more tantalizing and slick to the eye in the months after monsoon than before when it appears as if a green carpet has been spread over the entire foreground with the fragrance of honey dew and still unborn wild flowers pervading and lulling the entire surroundings. In such an atmosphere, there is very little to hurry about and the visitor slowly lingers his way to Pacad at the foot of the fort all the while experiencing the magic warmth of the atmosphere.
To Pacad and a look above gives one a glimpse of the gigantic citadel which is awe inspiring in its entire set up and must have dispirited many a valient foes in the days of its glorious history. The eye fails to reach the magnanimous top of, the hill and imagination cannot measure the wide and wild expanse of the fort. There are dense green forests at places and wild descending scarps at others which when visited freeze the heart and set it at a faster palpitation. But Pacad and its surroundings bring to the mind the ghosts of the past, of those glorious days when the Maratha warriors in their thousands must have walked the paths of the hill with swords drawn and ever eager to take revenge. One often feels elated to tread on the same ground and the mind is overwhelmed with mixed feelings which are hard to put down or describe. Only the scattered and dilapidated remains of that once scintillating past are now visible. At a distance of about a mile from Pacad stands in an isolated place the mausoleum erected to commemorate the mortal remains of Jijabai. the mother of Chatrapati Sivaji. It is an edifice of stone pillars raised on a platform about three feet high. The structure is plain. The monument has a surrounding stone wall about three feet in height. Till 1943 the entire place was almost in ruins when Major Malojirav Naik Nimbalkar, the ex-chief of Phaltan, decided to rebuild the monument with the remnant of the material in such a fashion so as to be an exact replica of its past. Accordingly the construction was carried out. In 1948, the compound wall was similarly built. Now the monument is preserved and pro tected by the Archaeological Department of the Government of India.
Halfway back from the monument to Pacad are the remains of the palace of Jijabai. A look from a mound n
earby reveals to the eye the extent of devastation and damage which time could Wrought upon the elegance, however mighty it might be, of the past. The once gigantic surrounding walls built in stone, mud and mortar and enclosing the palace compound by a width of about 6′ are in utter ruins and from their present state it could well be said that a few more years of terrific onslaught by nature, which is a normal feature in those regions, would suffice to ground the visible standing walls of the palace. The compound wall seems to have been built to serve the purpose of protective enclosure as could be seen from the existing apertures from which gun muzzles could be inserted to fire at the approaching enemy. Inside the compound are the remains of the once exquisite residence of Jijabai. Only at a few places the walls are standing but they utterly fail to give-any idea of the magnitude and dimensions of the palace. But it was a lofty structure, with a big sitting hall, side rooms. God room, can well be deduced from the basic plinth of the foundation which is so compartmentalized as to give a general impression of what the palace might have been when it was built. There are two wells within the compound, one behind what could now be dimly regarded as the then used kitchen room. The other well is a few yards away from the palace, close to the compound wall. From the accounts given by Khafi Khan, a Persian historian of Aurangzeb’s times, itappears as if this well was a public well and the residents of the village nearby were allowed to carry water from this well [ Marathyanche Swatantrya Yuddha (Khafi Khan)-Setu Madhavarao Pagdi, p. 21.]. The well is rectangular in shape of the size of about 6′ x 10′. There are stone steps leading to the well water but on the other side could be seen two apertures probably meant to lift up the water from the well. The part of the well above the steps is covered with a well-built stone structure of the size of about 4′ x 10′. A stone seat is carved on the top of this structure and as Khafi Khan describes in his account, Sivaji used to sit on this seat and distribute to the children of the village-folk the fruits typical to the season of that region. From the details given by Khafi Khan it appears that he actually lived in this palace in the year 1691 or nearabout after the death of Sambhaji. A glance over the place and the remains of the palace spreads a sort of gloom and one experiences a rueful feeling that the palace in its ruins is telling its own tale of centuries of neglect.
The Way Up.
From Pacad about a mile and a half east leads to Vadi, which is perhaps 600 feet above the sea. From Vadi to the top of Raigad is a rise of about 2,250 feet in a distance of about four miles. In the lower slopes the path is rough, and higher up, though there are traces of the old pavement, most of the steps are broken, only the highest tiers being nearly perfect. The part is easy for footmen and passable for a light palanquin or a chair. The real ascent begins about a quarter of a mile from Vadi, in the middle of a patch of forest said to have been Sivaji’s garden. Close to the patch almost hid by brushwood, are some plinths or platforms protected by a wall about four feet high, said to be the sites of Maratha granaries. Above the pathway, on the right or west, at the extreme north-west corner of the spur that runs to Raigad and separated from Raigad by a deep gorge, is a bastion called Khubladha, that is khub ladha or the hard fight. A narrow difficult pathway runs to this bastion, by the Nana Darvaza, along the north face of the spur about a quarter of a mile to the west. Above the granaries the path is rough and rises about 600 feet in about a mile to the Nana Darvaza, apparently the Little Gate to distinguish it from the Motha or Maha Darvaza, the Greate Gate, about 1,000 feet higher [ The local belief is that this gate took its name from Nana Phadnis, who, according to Grant Duff (Vol. II, 261-Marathas) overhauled the fort in 1796. The mention of two gates by Oxenden in ‘ 1674 makes it probable that this gate Was formerly called Nahan, the local form for Lahan or little, and that the Word has been changed to suit the belief that the gate Was built by Nana Phadnis,]. The Nana Gate is flanked on the lower or outer side by a bastion twenty feet high. The gateway consists of two arches, twelve and fourteen feet high and of ten feet span, with a flight of seventeen stone steps which begin below the lower archway and lead through the gateway. Inside of the gate, cut in the stone walls, are two sentry-boxes each seven feet square, and, on the inner side of the gateway are two large holes for fixing a bar across the gate. The gate has been removed.
Inside of the Nana Gate the path stretches about three-quarters of a mile to the left or east, almost on the level, passing an open space or point on which are the ruins of two buildings, one 39′ x 25½’, said to have been a guard-room, the other 75′ x 20′, said to have been a granary. At this point, which is about 300 feet above the Nana Gate, there seems to have been a battery, probably the Masjid battery mentioned in 1818 by Lieutenant Remon of the Engineers, and there is still the tomb of a Musalman saint called Madar Shah. About 400 yards further, still on the level, are three rock-cut caves which were used for storing grain. One is 20′ x 8′, another 18′ x 8′, and the third, which has two square stone pillars, is 33′ x 8′. The height varies from eight to ten feet. Beyond the caves or rock-cut granaries, the path takes a sudden and very steep turn to the right, and after a climb of about 300 feet in half a mile, the Great Gate comes in sight. It is about 400 feet higher, and half a mile distant, at the top of a very steep ascent, in a bend to the north-west of the end of Hirkani point. The gateway is approached by a flight of thirty-two steps which take a slight turn to the right after passing the right bastion [ The following account of the ascent is by Lieutenant Remon, who commanded the Engineers in the siege of 1818: “The road from Vadi to the Lower Gate and to the Masjid or one-gun battery higher up, is bad, rocky, and uneven. At the Masjid battery the ground is level for a short distance, and afterwards the road runs with very little unevenness along the foot of the precipice to a cavern below the gateway, probably 350 or 400 yards from the Masjid. The preciice on the left makes it necessary to go along this part with caution, the space beinpin places not more than five or six feet broad. Some part of it is much exposed as the upper cliff is so steep that stones thrown over fall immediately on the road, as was the case not many yards in rear of us when returning. Beyond the cave for twenty or thirty yards the road continues level. It then turns sharply to the right, and br ings the Upper Gate and other works in view at a height of about five or six hundred feet. It is then carried circuitously up the ascent, and is said to be tolerably broad over rugged steps. From the appearance of this part the ascent must unavoidably be rather steep. Pendhari and Maratha Wars, 288.]. It is flanked by two massive well-preserved bastions, seventy-five and sixty-five feet high, which face the northwest. The distance between the bastions increases from eight and a half to sixteen and a half feet immediately in front of the gate, and again narrows to eight and a half feet. The Great Gate is about 400 feet below the crest of the west or Hirkani Point of the hill top, and 600 feet below the citadel or highest point of the hill. At the same level as the gate, a high curtain wall, strengthened by a broad deep fosse, runs along the whole north-west side of the fort. About 200 feet higher, pieces of a second curtain wall protect the accessible parts of the hill, and 200 feet higher, 200 feet below the top of the citadel, is another broken line of fortifications.
On the inside of the gateway is a sentry-box six feet square, cut in the rock, and on the right a ruined guard-room of which the doors are modern.
This approach from the west is the only path up the hill. The gateway on the south, which is known as the Cor Darvaza or Secret Gate, was probably placed there to guard against a surprise. The name suggests this and the suggestion is supported by the absence of any trace of a path.
The view inside of the Great Gate includes the Takmak and Hirkani Points with all the intervening part of the hill. The citadel or Balekilla (Raj Mahal) shows behind the Hirkani Point and about 200 feet higher.
The hill top stretches about a mile and a half from east to west by a mile from north to south. It forms an irregular wedgeshaped block tapering to the east; with three main points, Hirkani in the west, Takmak in the north, and the blunt point of Bhavani in the east. There is a fourth smaller point Srigonda at the southeast. The hill top is roughened by mounds and hollows and is bare of vegetation, except some trees on the east slope of the citadel or Balekilla. Much of it is covered with ruins and there are a number of cisterns and rock-cut reservoirs though few of them hold water after the end of December. On the west, south, and east the hill sides are so sheer that except the gateways in the west and south faces there are no artificial defences. As already noticed the north-west face is protected by a main line of masonry and two upper walls or portions of wall where the natural scarp is imperfect.
A steep climb of about three-quarters of a mile east from the Great Gate, leads to a point on the northwest crest of the hill top, where there is the tomb of the Musalman saint Madar, with, in front of it, an upright iron bar called the Malkhamb or Gymnast’s pillar. Near Madar Shah’s tomb is an irregular oval-shaped reservoir, about 129 feet by 75. About 100 yards further south is the Gahga Sagar reservoir, about 120 yards by 100, rock-hewn on the south and east which requires repairs. The water is excellent, and formed the chief water-supply for the garrison, though Sivaji and his people used another reservoir near the citadel. About 100 yards south of the Ganga Sagar, facing north, are two ruined towers, which, when in repair are said to have been five storeyed high. They are ornamented with carved masonry which stands out about two feet from the wall. They are twelve-sided and in each side have a pointed window in Musalman style. The inside forms a room, fourteen feet in diameter, with a domed ceiling. West from the towers a flight of thirty-one steps, flanked by high walls of well preserved masonry, leads through the Palkhi Darvdzd, a gate six feet wide, into the Balekilla or citadel, which measures about 300 yards east and west by 150 north and south. Along the west side of the citadel from the Palki Gate, across to the Main Gate in the south wall, a distance of about 150 yards, a path leads between a double row of ruined buildings. Those on the right are the remains of seven large mansions which formed the women’s quarters of Sivaji’s palace, and those on the left are a row of rooms for the guards and servants. Through the Main Gate in the south wall of the citadel, a path leads to a point where the ladies of the palace used to take their evening walk. To the left, inside of the Palki Gate, a path leads east to the back of the King’s Court or Kaceri. There is no gate to the King’s Court, hut in the east or front wall a gap about thirty feet broad probably marks the place where the door formerly was. The walls are still standing and enclose a space about 120 feet by 50. The mound in the centre is the site of Sivaji’s throne. The platform round the throne is still held in honour. The buildings on each side of the throne were granaries, and the two walled-off rooms at the end of the court, about fifteen feet wide, were used as treasure-rooms. In front of the throne a passage five feet wide runs along the whole length of the building. In the front or east wall there are still twelve arched windows about 3½ x 1½ In front of the courthouse is an open space with the remains of a fountain, and in front of this space is the Nagar Khdnd or Drum Gate, the main entrance to the citadel. The upper part of the main entrance has come down. The large walled space on the south wall to the left of the Main Gate on a lower level than the rest of the citadel, is said to be the site of the Rang Mahal or Pleasure Palace. The ruins behind the Court near the north wall, opposite the Pleasure Palace, are said to have been Sivaji’s private quarters. The Nagar Khana or main entrance gate is in the east wall of the citadel opposite the King’s Court. It is a solid square structure with a pointed archway about thirty feet high and with a span of eight feet. The whole building is about fifty feet high, thirty wide, and twenty feet deep. On the top, reached by a flight of twenty-nine steps, is the drum-room, and ten steps more lead to an upper parapet, the highest point on the hill, commanding a wide view.
Outside of the Nagar Khana
a little to the east, is a dry reservoir called Kusavarta. Close to the pond is the point of Srigonda, where are several ruins said to be the sites of the Potnis’ and other ministers’ houses. To the east of the Srigonda Point, on a lower level, are the ruins of the powder magazines ninety feet long by twenty feet broad and with walls 3½ feet thick. These were destroyed during the English siege by shells fired from the ridge of Kalkai. Near the powder magazines are twelve rock-cut cisterns, some with water. ‘About 200 paces to the north of the citadel are the ruins of the market place with the sites of two rows of twenty-two shops in each row separated by a space forty feet wide. ‘ Further to the north-west are the ruins of the elephant stables. Below the market place, on the east slopes of the upper hill top, are the remains of the tower and of the Brahman quarters and Brahman pond. About half a mile to the north-east of the citadel is a temple of Mahadev Jagadisvar in a walled enclosure. Outside the west entrance is a well-carved image of Maruti about three feet high and one and a half feet broad. The temple at present is locally known as the Jagadisvar temple and bears a Sanskrt inscription with the same date as the coronation. The inscription says that the temple was built by one Hiroji Etalkar as ordered by Sivaji. Round Mahadev’s temple are the dancing girls’ quarters, and below is the dancing girls’ pond which still holds water. Below, and in front of the east entrance to the temple, is a large eight-sided stone plinth on which Sivaji’s body was cremated. At present, there is a bust of Sivaji on the spot. A tomb is raised to commemorate Sivaji’s faithful pet dog Vaghya that died on the same pyre. It consists of an image of a dog fixed on a pillar 12 feet high erected in front of Sivaji’s bust. Half a mile further are some more ruins in a long line evidently quarters for the garrison. The distance of these ruins, one mile from the citadel, suggests that one of them was the house set apart for the English ambassadors who visited Raigad in 1674. To the east of these ruins, on the extreme edge of the plateau, is the Kala Kund
or black pool. The extreme eastern edge of the fortress, facing Lingana, is called Bhavani Point. Passing to the north-west the most prominent point is Takmak, a sheer precipice, down which prisoners are said to have been hurled. Hirkani, the extreme west point, which is some 200 feet below the citadel, is guarded by a walled bastion. They say that a Gavli woman named Hirkani went up from Vadi to sell milk. She was delayed on the top and evening fell and the gates were closed. She had to get home to feed her infant, so sh
e scrambled down the point. Next morning Sivaji sent for her and asked how she had left the fort. She told him, and a bastion was built and the point called after her. The temple of Sirkai has been recently rebuilt.
The best way to see the hill is to send a small tent to Pacad or Chatri Nizampur, dine there, and move to Vadi to sleep. Next morning an early start should be made as the ascent takes three hours if done leisurely. Now a road has been built up to Pacad and S: T. buses ply on it. The citadel, the Hirkani Point, and the ruins near the points can be seen before breakfast, and the rest of the hill top in the afternoon. The descent to Vadi does not take more than an hour or an hour and a half, and cither Pacad or Chatri Nizampur can be easily reached before dark. On the hill top was a Dharmasala. The Dharmasala is completely damaged and is not in use.
Its size, its strength, and its easy communication with the Deccan and with the sea, must from early times have made Raigad or Rain an important fortress. But its time of magnificence as the capital of a great sovereign lasted for only sixteen years, from 1664 to 1680, the last sixteen years of Sivaji’s reign [From the Saracenic style of their architecture Mr. Kennedy thinks that the towers and the great Nagar Khana gateway are older than the time of Shivaji. It seems more probable that they were built by a Musalman employed by Shivaji.].
In the twelfth century Rain (Sk. Raygiri or the royal hill) was the seat of a family of petty Maratha chiefs (Raje Sirke) or Palegars, who in the fourteenth century are said, though this is doubtful, to have acknowledged as their overlords the Anagundi or Vijaynagar princes (1350-1565 [.Tervis’ Konkan, 89, and Elphinstone’s History of India, 756. Anagundi or Vijaynagar, one of the finest ruined cities in India, is about thirty-six miles northwest of Belari.]). About the middle of the fifteenth century (1436) Ala-ud-din Shah Bahamani II (1434-1457) made Rain his chief tributary [.Briggs’ Ferishta, II. 424, and Nairne’s Konkan, 25. The Bahamani conquest of the Konkan was not completed till 1469, after about forty years of fighting Elphinstone’s History of India, 756.]. In 1479 Rairi passed to the Nizamshahi rulers of Ahmadnagar and was held by them till, in 1636, on the final conquest of Ahmadnagar, the Moghals made it over to the Adilshahi kings of Bijapur. Under Bijapur, with the name of Islamgad [Jervis’ Konkan, 92.]’ it was, entrusted to the Sidi of Janjira and garrisoned by a body of Marathas [Elliot and Dowson, VII. 287; Grant Duff’s Marathas, Vol. I, 111.]. For some time Mores of Javli who were under the suzerainty of Bijapur laid claim to it. Bur in the course of struggle between the Mores and Sivaji, the latter captured it from then in 1656, and thus not only challenged the supremacy of Bijapur but opened up Konkan routes for the extension of his power. In 1662, finding himself cramped on the craggy loft of Raigad, which for fifteen years had been his home, Sivaji, after a diligent search, chose for his capital the hill of Rairi [Khafi Khan in Elliot and Dowson, VII. 288. According to one account Shivaji acted on his father’s advice. Rajgad his former capital, is a few miles from Torna hill about twenty miles east of Raigad. According to another authority the choice of Raigad for his capital was made by Shivaji in 1672 and not in 1662; (S. V. Avalaskar: Raigadaci Jeevan Katha p. 26).]. The natural strength of the hilla, in a most difficult country and almost surrounded by sheer walls of rock, and its position close to a highway of trader [The road to Surat passed near the place. Khafi Khan in Elliot and Dowson, VII. 288.], with easy access to the Deccan, and with a safe retreat to the island forts of the Ratnagiri coast, influenced Sivaji in his choice of Rairi [So thoroughly did Shivaji understand that at any time he might be overwhelmed by the Moghals. that he prepared a retreat in the is land fort of Malvan in South Ratnagiri. Bombay Gazetteer, X. 380 and note 5.]. But perhaps the chief reason which made him prefer Rain to his thirty other hill forts, equally strong and nearly as well placed, was the size of its flat top, a mile by a mile and a half, not too large to guard against surprise, and with room for suitable buildings and retinue of a king. In 1662 he changed the name of the hull from Rairi to Raigad, or the Royal Fort and ordered Abaji Sondev, the governor of Kalyan. to furnish the fort with a complete set of royal and public buildings. These, which, are said to have numbered 300 stone houses, included palaces, mansions, offices, a mint, granaries, magazines, quarters for a garrison of 2,000 men, a market nearly a mile in length, and a number of rock-cut and masonry cisterns. While the hill-top was being covered with these buildings, care was taken to complete its defences, to prepare an approach which should be easy for friends and impossible for foes, and to close every entrance except this one approach. According to Khafi Khan (1680-1755), when Sivaji thought that all ways up the hill, except one, were closed, he called an assembly, and, placing a bag of gold and a gold bracelet worth 100 pagodas before the people, ordered proclamation to be made, that the bag of gold and the gold bracelet should be given to any one who, without ladder or rope, would climb, by any other than the regular road, and plant a flag on the top of the hill. A Mahar came forward, and, being allowed to try, climbed the hill, fixed the flag, and bowed before Sivaji. Sivaji ordered that the purse of money and the gold bracelet should be given to him, and gave directions for closing the path up which the Mahar had climbed [Khafi Khan’s Muntakhab-ul-Lubab in Elliot and Dowson, VII. 288. As Khafi Khan visited Raigad during SivaJi’s life,, or soon after his death, this story of the Mahar is probably true. The Mahar’s path was blocked by the Chor Darvaza or Secret Gate.].
In 1664 Sivaji enriched raygad with the plunder of Surat, and made it the seat of his government. [According to Khafi Khan (Elliot and Dowson, VII. 287) Shivaji took from Surat an immense booty in gold and silver coined and uncoined, and in the stuffs of Kashmir, Ahmedabad, and other places. He made prisoners some thousand Hindus- men and women of name and station, and Musalmans of honourable position. Millions in money and in goods came into the hands of that evil infidel. The sacking of Surat, Shivaji’s treasure-house, was repeated seven years later. Details are given in the Surat Statistical Account, Bombay Gazetteer, II 89. The store-houses of Raigad were filled from the spoils of many other cities and countries. However different Shivaji’s raids, they had one termination when he sat on Raigad top and counted his gains. Mr. Douglas, Book of Bombay, 405.]. In the same year, after the death of his father Sahaji, Sivaji came to Raigad, assumed the title of Raja, struck coins in his name, and spent some months arranging the affairs of his government. [Shivaji’s military regulations were simple. His infantry which consisted chiefly of hill people called Mavlas, seldom accompanied him; they served as garrisons to his forts and guarded his conquests in the Deccan. His artillery was poor and it seems to have been seldom used except against the island of Janjira. His main support lay in his cavalry which was of two sorts; men who kept their own horses called Shiledars.
and others called Bargirs
who were mounted by Shivaji. He constantly kept 40,000 horses in his stables. Over every ten horses was a havildar
who had the care of feeding them, a water carrier, and a torch-bearer; each hundred horses had an officer, and every thousand horses an officer who commanded the other ten. A division of five or six thousand had a superior, chieftain, and, on the most important expedition, Shivaji commanded in person. The Bargirs
were armed and clothed at t
he state expenses and were paid out of the plunder. Numerous spies watched their conduct and his troops were seldom caught in secreting plunder or contributions. Operations in the, Deccan in Waring’s Marathas, 102. Details are given in Grant Duff, Vol. I, 175-178.]
In 1665, awed by the skill of Aurangzeb’s general Jaysing Raja of Jaypur, and apparently unwilling from political and religious motives to fight a Hindu, Sivaji sued for peace, and agreed to hold his territory as a feudatory of the Moghal empire. Under the Convention of Purandhar, Sivaji’s territory included twelve forts of which Raigad was the chief and the most central. In 1666, before paying his famous visit to Agra, Sivaji called his leading officers to Raigad, and invested Moro Trimal Pingle, Abaji Sondev, and Annaji Datto with full authority during his absence. He left Raigad in March 1666, and after about six months returned in September [Dr. Kale, Shivaji Maharaj, p. 145.] a fugitive and in disguise. On reaching Rajgad with his beard shaved and in the dress of an ascetic, he fell at his mother’s feet. She did not know him, but when he pulled off his turban she recognised her lost son and sank into his arms. Soon after in November, the Brahman in whose charge he had left his son Sambhaji at Mathura, came with the boy. Sivaji celebrated this escape with great rejoicing, distributed large sums in charity and presented the faithful Brahman with Rs. 4,00,000 [Waring’s Marathas, 79-80.]. In 1667, the Portuguese sent an envoy Martin to Raigad, to conclude a treaty with Sivaji [.S. V. Avalaskar, Raigadachi Jeevan Katha, 25.]. Sivaji passed the greater part of 1668 and 1669 at Raigad, completing his wise arrangements for the foreign policy of the Marathas and the internal management of his kingdom. In 1672 several of the prisoners of rank, who had been captured in the course of his conquest of Cakan near Poona, were sent to Raigad, where they were treated with distinction till their wounds were healed, and then allowed to leave, or to remain in Sivaji’s service.
In June 1674, Sivaji was crowned with much splendour at Raigad. For ten years Sivaji had struck coins and styled himself Raja or Maharaja, but he was anxious to declare his independence, to assume the state of a king, and to found an era. Brahmans were consulted, and a learned priest from Benares (Varanasi) named Gagabhatt, fixed the sixth of Tune for the installation. Some account of the installation ceremony has been preserved by an English embassy from Bombay who seem to have spent the three months of May, June, and July on the top of Raigad. The embassy was sent by the great Gerald Aungier, the founder of the prosperity of Bombay. The English had lately suffered severely at the hands of Sivaji. In 1664 their courage had saved themselves and their neighbours during the sack of Surat. But their factory at Karwar was plundered in 1665, and their factory at Rajapur in Ratnagiri in 1670. Maratha exactions also threw grievous difficulties in the way of developing trade between Bombay and the Deccan. Sivaji, though in the course of his raids might rob their factories, was not unfriendly to the English. Early in 1672 the English had sent Mr. Ustick to Raigad to negotiate terms of compensation for their losses caused on account of the raids of Sivaji. Ustick went to Raigad via
Ceul but his embassy did not lead to much fruitful result as Sivaji on his part made a counter-proposal to the English that they should assist him in his war with the Sidis which the English were unwilling to accept. Subsequently, in July the Dutch also sent their envoy to Raigad. In the following year the English sent Nichols on a commercial mission. He reached Raigad via
Nagothana-Kolad route and first met Prince Sambhaji on May 24, 1673 as Sivaji had not been on the fort at that time. Subsequently, he could meet Sivaji on June 3, 1673 who agreed to allow fuel to be taken to Bombay without payment of customs duties. Nichols urged upon the Bombay Government the need of sending an embassy of the English to Raigad to be present on the occasion of Sivaji’s coronation [ S. V. Avalaskar, Raigadachi Jeevan Katha, 29.]; for it was thought that the compliment of an embassy to be present at the coronation might bring him to grant compensation for their losses at Karwar and Rajapur, and lead him to lower transit dues or otherwise help the trade between Bombay and the Deccan. The embassy consisted of Henry Oxenden, who was afterwards (1676) Deputy Governor of Bombay, and two factors [ Henry Oxenden was the brother of Sir George and of Christopher Oxenden among the ablest and most respected of the early servants of the Company, perhaps best known by their great tombs in the Surat graveyard. Henry Oxenden had been chief of Karwar. He became Deputy Governor of Bombay in 1676 and a baronet in 1679. He was’ 56 years old when he climbed Raigad. Mr. Douglas’ Book of Bombay, 416.]. But the embassy did not start immediately; for the Bombay Council had resolved in March 1674 to send Narayan Senvi to Raigad to negotiate and complete the details of a commercial treaty. Narayan’s meeting with Sivaji was delayed for some time on account of Sivaji being in mourning due to the death of one of his queens. Narayan stayed at Pacad near the foot of the fort and took the opportunity of meeting Niraji Pandit, an influential man at the court of Sivaji. The mission of Narayan was eminently successful for when he had the opportunity of meeting Sivaji on the 3rd of April, Niraji pleaded the case of Narayan with such vigour that the Raja was persuaded to agree not only to the principle of giving compensation but also laid down the manner in which it was to be granted for the loss that the English had suffered at Rajapur. Successful Narayan returned to Bombay and urged on Bombay Council to send the embassy with rich presents to wait on Sivaji at the time of his coronation. Accord ingly the embassy started from Bombay in May [S.
V. Avalaskar, Raigadachi Jeevan Katha, p. 35.] in a small sailing boat, stayed the night in a Portuguese church outside the walls of the then Portuguese Ceul, and, in the afternoon, went on to old upper or Maratha Ceul. The day following they took boat to Esthemy, that is Roha Astami, where they stayed the night. Leaving Astami in palanquins at day break, they pitched their tent, about sunset in a plain six miles short of Nizampur. Here they stayed about an hour to refresh their bearers and. then set forward, passing Nizampur at nine, and next morning reaching Gangouli (Gahgavli) ‘a little village on a pleasant rivulet from which on a fair day can be seen the castle of Rairi’. Next day they resumed their journey to Rairi, and about nine in the evening came to Puncharra (Pacad), a town at the foot of the hill. Here they learned that Sivaji had left for Pratapgad to offer forty-two pounds of gold to the goddess Bhavani. As the embassy could not go up the hill till Sivaji returned, they pitched their tent in the plain. There they made their business known to Niraji Pandit to whom they gave their letters and the draft of their treaty. The ambassador also asked Niraji what hopes there were of mediating a peace between Sivaji and the Sid! of Janjira. because their quarrels did much damage to trade. He also asked if there was any chance of making arrangements to help the inland trade with the Deccan. Niraji advised him not to urge Sivaji to make peace with the Sidi. Sivaji was resolved to take Janjira at any cost; it was hopeless to move him. The improvement of the Deccan trade was more feasible. The Bijapur king would soon come to terms with Aurangzeb and, after his coronation. Sivaji would act more like prince; he would take care of his subjects and endeavour to advance commerce in his dominions. Niraji was a man of prudence and power who suggested that it was well to be content to win Raja’s goodwill at that time. Thereupon the ambassador took his leave, and later, when on 20th’ of May Oxenden again met him on the f
ort, he presented him with a ring and his son Pralhad Niraji with a pair of pamerins.
After some very hot and incommodious days in their tent, the embassy were pleased to hear that Sivaji had returned and that they might pass up the hill to Rain castle. They left Pacad about three in the afternoon, and about sunset, ‘forsaking the humble clouds, after a difficult and hazardous passage’, reached the top of the hill. The mountain was fortified by nature more than by art, of very difficult access, with but one avenue guarded by two narrow gates [This makes it probable that the lower or Nana Gate is the small or Nahan (Marathi-lahan) gate, not Nana’s Gate.], strengthened by a massive wall exceedingly high and with bastions thereto. The rest of the mountain was direct precipice, impregnable unless betrayed by treachery. The hill-top was in length about two miles and a half, without pleasant trees or any sort of grain, but with many strong buildings, the Raja’s Court and houses of Ministers to the number of about 300. One of the 300 houses, about a mile from the Raja’s palace, had been set apart for the embassy, and to this they retired with no little content. Four days after arrival, by the help of Niraji Pandit, Sivaji, though busy with his coronation and marriage, gave them an audience on 26th of May when Oxenden respectfully placed the rich presents he had brought before the Raja, which he accepted in a courteous manner. Shivaji was pleased with the proposals of the treaty; assured the ambassador that the English might trade freely through the whole of his country; referred him for details to his Pesva Moro Pandit; and with his son Sambhaji, withdrew to their private apartments to consult Brahmans and purify themselves, fast, and attend to no business till the installation was over. After a day or two the ambassador went to Niraji Pandit to consult him as to how the conclusion of the treaty could be expedited and asked him how he should deliver the presents he had brought. Naraji advised him to take his present to Moro Pandit, the Pesva, and to send the rest through Narayan Senvi. At the same time he advised that more officers should receive presents, for every officer expected something according to his degree and charge, and if he was disappointed would raise objections. The ambassador, anxious that the Honourable Company should not be at the expense of keeping him a whole monsoon on Raigad, agreed to give Moro Pandit, the Pesva four cloths or pamerins instead of two; to give Dattaji Pandit Vaknis (that is the Vakanavis or keeper of private journal) a diamond ring worth Rs. 125; to give the Dabir four pamerins or cloths; to give Samji Naik, the keeper of the seal four; and to give four more to Annaji Pandit. About this time, according to Hindu custom, the Raja was weighed in gold and poised about 16,000 Hons. All of this with 1,600 Hons more were distributed among Brahmans who had flocked in numbers from all parts of Maharastra. The ambassador, anxious to press his errand, asked Niraji how the treaty was getting on. He was told that Sivaji embraced the friendship of the English with satisfaction and looked for profit to himself and his people from English settlements and English trade. Two points he would not enter in the treaty, the currency of English coins in his realm and the surrender of English wrecks. No special mention need be made about the currency. If the Bombay coins were good, they would circulate of themselves and he would do nothing to prevent them. As to the wrecks he could do nothing. It was against the laws of the Kohkan to restore ships or goods driven ashore by storm, and if he granted the privilege to the English he would have to grant it to the French and the Dutch [Fryer does not mention that part of the negotiation was asking payment for losses caused to the Rajapur factory. He is right, because the question of compensation for Rajapur loss had already been decided, and was not connected with Oxenden’s mission. Grant Duff (Marathas, Vol. I. P. 206) notices that Shivaji agreed to pay a compensation of 10,000 Hons., Rs. 35,000. This sum was not to be paid in cash. Rs. 8,750 of it were to be granted on remissions of custom and the rest taken in cloth. Grant Duff doubts whether this Rajapur compensation was ever recovered by the English.].
One day, when the ambassadors had been nearly a month on Raigad, Niraji sent them word that about seven in the morning of the next day Sivaji intended to ascend the throne; that he would take it kindly if they came to congratulate him; and that they should bring some small present, as it was not the custom of the eastern parts to appear before a prince empty-handed. Accordingly the next morning (June 6th) the ambassador and his retinue went to Court. They found the Raja seated on a magnificent throne and all his nobles waiting on him in rich attire. On an ascent under the throne were prince Sambhaji, Moro Pandit, the Pesva, and a Brahman of great eminence. At a distance were the officers of the army and others standing with great respect. On each side of the throne, after the fashion of the Moors, many emblems of dominion and government were hung on the heads of gilded lances. On the right were two great golden fish heads with very large teeth and on the left were several horses’ tails and a pair of gold scales equally poised on a high lance’s head, an emblem of justice. On entering the Court, the English made their obeisance at a distance, and Narayan held up the diamond ring that was to be presented to the Raja. The attention of the Raja was attracted on account of its refracted light and he ordered the English to come nearer, even to the foot of the throne, where they were vested and desired to retire. Sivaji was forty-seven years [This is as per information got by Oxenden.] of age, of a handsome and intelligent countenance, and for a Maratha fair in skin. His eye was keen, his nose-long, aquiline and somewhat drooping, his beard trim and peaked, and his moustache slight; his expression was rapid and resolute, hard and feline [Mr. Douglas from the Vignette in Orme’s Historical Fragments.]. As the ambassadors returned they saw at the palace gate two small elephants on each side, and two fair horses with gold trappings, bridles, and rich furniture, an admirable sight on the top of so hazardous a hill. Every day he went on bestowing alms on Brahmans. Some days later Niraji Pandit sent word that the Raja had signed all the articles, except the article about money. Then the rest of the ministers signed the articles and the ambassador went to receive them from Niraji Pandit, who delivered them with expressions of great kindness and offered on all occasions to be serviceable to the English. The ambassadors seem to have remained on the hill sometime longer, as they did not reach Bombay till after coconut day, the full-moon of August [The account of the embassy is from Fryer, who was then in Bombay, New Account, 77-81. There is almost no complaint of the heat of the Mahad valleys in May, and no grumbling over the discomforts of the journey back in the rains probably by way of Nagothana. But, according to Fryer, one thing on Raigad the embassy could not stand; the diet of the people, their delightfulest food being only cutcery (Khicadi
) pulse and rice mixed together and boiled in butter, with which they grew fat. This, he continues, was signified to the Raja, who ordered a butcher, who supplied the few Moors who were able to go to the charge of meat, to give them goat. The embassy consumed the meat at the rate of half a goat a day. So profitable was the demand that, though a very old man, the butcher climbed the hill to have a sight of his masters who had taken off his hands more flesh than he had sold for years (Ditto 81). Seeing that almost all Marathas eat sheep and goats, it seems hard to believe that this is not one of ‘the tales of good fellowship’ which F
ryer found the only means of passing time during the Bombay monsoon. It is curious that, in spite of Oxenden’s detailed account of his journey to Raigad, the position of the hill was for more than a hundred years doubted. Orme (1770) places it about fifty miles north-west of Poona, Major Rennell (1783 Memoir 180) places it in Baglan, Its true position was established by Colonel Close (1802) Waring’s Marathas, 199. According to Waring (Ditto) during the reign of Sambhaji (1680-1689) an English ambassador, one of the Council of Bombay, visited Raigad and went by Nagothana. It seems probable that this is a confusion with Oxenden’s embassy.].
Meanwhile at Raigad the coronation festival was going on with full vigour. Sivaji started a new era which dates from the day of his coronation the 13th day of the moon’s increase in Jayestha (June 6th) His weighing himself against gold and his lavish gifts to Brahmans raised Sivaji to a high rank among Rajputs, from whom the Brahmans now proved his descent [Grunt Duff, Vol. I., p. 207. As regards the controversy regarding his Kshatriya descent it should be noted that there were two schools of thought one led by Shesh and the other by Bhatt, the former asserting that there were no Kshatriyas in Kaliyugn, while the latter remaining convinced of their existence. Gaga Bhatt the high priest of the coronation belonged to latter school. It is not therefore the lavish gifts that t persuaded the Brahmins to prove Shivaji’s Kshatriya origin. Earlier Shivaji had sent responsible men to Udepur and elsewhere in Rajpurana to make inquiries about the traditions prevailing amongst the ruling Rajput families of his times.]. Sivaji took the title of Ksatriya Kulavtansa. Sri Raja Siva, Chatrapati, that is ‘The chief ornament of the Ksatriya race, his majesty the Raja Siv, lord of the Royal umbrella.’ At the same time Sivaji added to the titles of some of the officers of State and changed other titles from Persian to Sanskrt. But except those of the eight ministers or Asta Pradhans, none of the new names remained in use after Sivaji’s death [The following were the names of the eight ministers and their old and new titles.
The duties of these Ministers are explained in Grant Duff’s Marathas, Vol. I, 184-85; and Waring’s Marathas, 101.]
The following details are from a Marathi account of the crowning of Sivaji [This account or bakhar
was written in 1811. The details are interesting, but two points raise the suspicion that they are imaginary or copied from some state procession at Poona. ‘A hundred lances of the city police’ is an impossible contingent for Raigad top, and the drive in the state carriage from the main gate of the palace courtyard seems unlikely. Oxenden would have noticed a carriage. As more wonderful than an elephant, and the distance driven is only a few yards.]. When all difficulties had been overcome and Gaga-bhatta had declared Sivaji a Rajput and invested him with the sacred thread, three skilful astrologers were called to fix the day and the hour for the coronation. The three astrologers chose the thirteenth day of the bright half of the month of Jyestha
of the Anand year [ For a coronation, except Kartik
all the dakshinayan
or southing half of the year, the extra month, Chaitra
in the uttarayan
or northing half of the year, and the rainy months, are unlucky. The stars most favourable for a coronation are’ the polar stars, the lunar mansion of Vishnu, and Yogkaran.
]. The coronation was to take place at Raigad as Raigad fulfilled the, conditions required of a royal seat in the sacred books. It was in the centre of several sacred places, an impregnable fortress in a rich well watered country. Invitations were sent to all chiefs and subjects and to every teacher and priest. Reception and dining-rooms were built and a coronation hal
l with room for thousands of seats. It was decorated with silks and brocade and was carpeted and lined with velvet. The ceiling was rich satin with gold lace. The throne platform was covered with a rich cloth of gold, and a gilt post was fixed in each corner. The other halls were beautifully painted. Rich and tastefully decorated canopies were raised in the hall for tributary princes and chiefs. The best singers, musicians, and dancers were engaged. Officers were set apart to receive guests, to entertain princes, and to give out stores and provisions. Cooks and attendants were engaged. Dining sheds large enough to hold a thousand people were raised both inside and outside of the fort. Programmes were written out and every officer was carefully instructed in his duties. Deerskins and tiger-skins were collected, and water was brought from the sea and from every sacred stream. The thread ceremony was begun on the 4th and finished on the 6th [.Considering how many Marathas and Kunbis wear the sacred thread, it seems surprising that Shivaji should not have been invested with it as a boy. The statement in the text is supported by Waring (Marathas. 83) who says, Shivaji was invested with the sacred thread as it is supposed to impart a virtue even to those who are not born to the distinction]. Each day 50,000 Brahmans were fed and were each paid a rupee, while special presents were given to every teacher and priest. On the sixth day, after the worship of Ganapati and other preliminary ceremonies, the crowning or palta bandha ceremony was performed and the sacred fire kindled. From the kindling of the sacred fire to the day of the coronation, Sivaji and the officiating priests ate nothing but fruit and butter. During these seven days the movements of the sacred fire were carefully watched, and no movement of the flame foreshadowed evil. Thousands of Brahmans were fed every day and the wants of all were satisfied. Music played night and morning singers sang all day long, and dancing girls danced the whole night. On the coronation day, the eight chief officers bathed, and, wearing ornaments and pure white robes, kept themselves ready for the grand cremony. Sivaji was bather four times, first in muddy water, then in the five products of the cow, then in the sacred waters of holy streams, and lastly in honey, sugar, curds, butter, and milk. He wore ornaments and flowers, scented himself with the choicest perfumes, and clad himself in white. He was then seated on a low stool of ksir (khair) wood, nine inches square and nine inches high. The queen, dressed and adorned and wearing a crown or patta, sat on a similar stool by Sivaji’s side, and Sambhaji sat close by. To the east of Sivaji stood the chief Brahman minister, Moro Pandit Pingle, holding a golden vessel filled with clarified butter; to the south stood the Rajput minister of war, Hansaji Hambirrav Mohite, with a silver vessel filled with milk; to the west stood the finance minister, Ramcandra Bavdekar, son of Nilo Pandit, with a copper vessel filled with curds; and to the north stood the chief Law Adviser, Raghunath Pant with a golden vessel filled with honey in one hand and earthen vessel with Ganga water in the other. To the south-east stood Annaji Pandit, the Record Keeper-General, carrying the state umbrella; to the south-west Janardan Pant Hanmante, the Foreign Minister, with a fan; to the north-west Dattaji Pandit, the chamberlain, with a fly-whisk; and to the north-east, with another fly-whisk, Balaji Pandit, the. Chief Justice. Facing Sivaji, with writing materials, stood Balaji Avji, the chief writer, and, to his left, Cimnaji Avji, the chief accountant. The heads of all other departments stood around forming the first row; the priests and pandits formed a second row; and all other noted guests formed a third row. Then, amid great rejoicing, music, and cries of “Victory to Sivaji”, the vessels carried by the eight ministers one after another, were pierced with a hundred holes and their con-tents allowed to fall on Sivaji’s head. Brahman ladies waved lights round Sivaji’s head, and he looked at his face in a glass and in liquid butter. Every Brahman priest was paid Rs. two. Then Sivaji changed his clothes and amid the cheers and praises of all ascended the throne. The throne exactly corresponded with the details given in the sacred books. The platform was of khair wood and the throne of umbar, Ficus glomerata. It was covered with cloth of gold and was decorated with thirty-two rows of pictures of animals, eight rows on each side. The lowest row was of oxen, the second of cats, the third of. hyenas, the fourth of lions, and the fifth of tigers. On the throne was laid a deer-skin, over it coins were heaped, over the coins a tiger-skin a velvet cushion, and over the cushion a very rich cloth of gold. There were also cushions for the back, the legs, and the hands. Over the throne was a golden arch set with precious stones. Over the arch was a gold canopy with hanging bunches of pearls; over the canopy was the state umbrella, and, above the umbrella, a great gold sheet. Holding on his right palm a golden image of Visnu, Sivaji drew near the throne from the left, and prostrating himself before it, ascend-ed it, as is laid down in the holy books, by resting on it his right knee and thigh without touching it with his feet. The moment Sivaji was seated, guns were fired, and, as arranged every fort in his kingdom joined in salute, passing it from one to the other. Fireworks blazed, music sounded, and all was joy. After ascending the throne Sivaji put on scarlet clothes and ornaments, and drew a cloth of gold over his shoulder. Gold and silver flowers were showered on him, and sixteen Brahman ladies waved lights round his face and were presented with ornaments and robes. Then the priests blessed Sivaji. Gagabhatta with many other presents received Rs. 1,00,000, the family priest Rs. 24,000, other officiating priests Rs. 5,000 each and all other priests from Rs. 1,000 to Rs, 10 according to their merit. Both within and outside of the fort, religious beggars were paid Rs. 2-Rs. 5. In the coronation hall, the chief minister and the Commander-in-chief or Senapati were each given fixe cloths, a turban ornament, and other precious stones, a dagger, a shield and sword banners, musical instruments, horses. and elephants, and fly-whisks with gold handles. The controller of finance Amatya was given a gold cloth, a dagger, a sword and shield, ornaments, a silver writing-box. a fly-whisk and fan. and a horse and an elephant. The record-keeper and foreign minister and other officers were given cloth of gold, ornaments, daggers and swords, and horses and elephants. When all had made their obeisance. Sivaji started to pay his homage to the goddess of the fort. A handsome horse in rich trappings was brought to the throne, and Sivaji rode from the hall to the royal yard where an elephant was ready for his use. Sivaji sat in the elephant carriage, and the head of the army with a dagger and trident rode on the elephant’s neck. On either side of Sivaji marched the most trust-ed of his Mavalas in their richest dress. The state officials followed, some on horseback and some on elephants, and, behind the officers, the state banner and the golden streamer were carried on elephants. Then followed the other ensigns and flags, the war elephants, the cavalry, horse-archers, stores, arms, ammunition and treasure under a strong guard. Next came the horse artillery and after the artillery the leading officers of the army. Then came infantry, swordsmen, spearsmen, archers and gunners followed by camels loaded with arrows and weapons. Behind the camels came musicians and drummers. After them came a hundred horses of the city police, then more musicians on horseback, then bards singing praises, then attendants and retainers, and last of all wrestlers and athletes. This procession moved slowly amid the cheers of the people. The hou
ses through which they passed were freshly painted and whitewashed and at intervals were adorned with triumphal arches and festoons of flags. At the chief temple Sivaji worshipped, offering ornaments and clothes, and money and fruit. On his return at the main gate of the palace Sivaji alighted, and drove in the state carriage to the palace court-yard. He was then carried in a palanquin to the entrance of the council hall, where a water vessel and butter and a twig of the nimb tree were waved round his face and he entered the palace. In the palace he returned thanks to the family god and distributed presents to the household priests. When this was over he went to the women’s quarters to meet his mother and his wives. He paid his respects to his mother and received offerings of betelnut and leaves. The queens waved lights round his face and in return received clothes and ornaments. Then he again seated himself on the throne, and, after receiving presents from his subjects and officials, and after distributing betelnut and leaves, dismissed the assembly. Next day, the 14th of Jyestha Suddha, Sivaji exchanged presents with the princes and chiefs, and paid the musicians, singers, and dancing girls.
Thus ended the grand coronation ceremony. It very aptly symbolised the mute feelings of the populace of the time. According to Sabhasad, the seventeenth century author of a chronicle, Gagabhatt and men of his school felt that while Muslims did not hesitate to sit on the throne and crown them-selves as kings and hold canopy on their head, why should Sivaji Raja who had defeated four muslim sultanates and was the master of several forts and 75,000 cavalry be without a throne. Let a Maratha king, so they thought, be the bearer of a canopy; and then he proposed to Sivaji that he be coronated. Fortunately Gagabhatt was able to trace the descent of Sivaji from Sisodias, a Rajput family which had for many generations established itself in the South. Sivaji then was made to pass through such processes of religious purifications as were required for restoring him to his so long forgotten Rajput descent and traditions.
But the whole ceremony did not pass off quite smoothly. A section of the people believing in ghosts, magic and such influences of the underground world, headed by Niscalpuri Gosavi were of opinion that the rites and rituals at the time of coronation had not been properly performed. They said to Sivaji that it was the Vedokta (as laid down by Vedas) form rather than the Puranokta (as laid down by Puranas) that had been followed in the performance of those rites, which had resulted in many inauspicious events, one of which had been the sad death of Jijabai the mother of Sivaji that had taken place within a fortnight of the coronation. Thereupon Sivaji, adopting a policy of accommodation and tolerance agreed to hold another coronation under the guidance of Niscalpuri. It was celebrated on a modest scale on Lalita Pancami (Asvin Suddha Pancami), i.e., 24th of September 1674. The incident has been described in a manuscript known as Rajyabhisek kalpataru (translated by Dr. V. D. Rao and printed in Potdar Commemoration Volume, pp. 353-368).
Subsequent to the coronation, Raigad witnessed two more festivities during the lifetime of Sivaji. The thread ceremony of Sambhaji is said to have been performed on 4th February 1675, although according to one source it must have been celebrated at the time of Sivaji’s coronation itself. The thread ceremony of Rajaram, the younger son of Sivaji (born in 1670) was performed on 7th of March 1680 and a week later on the 15th he was married in the same place to the daughter of Prataprav Gujar.
It would be convenient at this stage to take note of all the English embassies that visited Raigad after the coronation of Sivaji. In 1675 Samuel Austin called upon Sivaji on 7th of September to plead for the compensation for the loss that the English factory at Dharangahv had sustained in the course of Sivaji’s campaign against the Moghals in Khandes. His mission was successful. Another embassy was sent in the autumn of 1676 to discuss the problem of the custom dues at Kalyan, which Sivaji had insisted on collecting. The mission apparently proved abortive. In 1678 the attention of the Marathas was directed towards Mazganv, near Bombay, as the Sidi quietly stayed there bringing his ships under the protection of the English. Fearing that the hostile relations between the Sidi and the Marathas would create unsettlement in the region the English wanted to negotiate with the Marathas for the preservation of peace in the area. No mission, however, was sent until after the death of Sivaji. When in June 1680 the English ambassador reached Raigad to congratulate Sambhaji on his accession to the throne, Sambhaji frankly pointed out that the British in giving protection to the Sidi in their harbour when he was at war with the Marathas, did a hostile act and that there could be no talk of friendship, until the Sidi was made to quit Mazganv [S. V. Avalaskar: Raigadachi Jeevan Katha, p. 69.]. There were only one or two minor occasions after this, when the English embassies had been sent to Raigad during the lifetime of Sambhaji. In 1683 English gallivat ‘President’ was badly damaged off Sangamesvar in the course of a naval clash between the English and the Marathas, whereupon Bombay Governor Mr. Keghwin sent his envoy to Raigad to discuss the question of compensation as also to secure commercial facilities for the company in the Maratha territory. This time the negotiations were fruitful and the Maratha-English relations appear to have heen so carefully denned that they were not seriously disturbed later for over a number of years’. [Ibid 70.] In the next year another envoy came to Sambhaji to settle once for all the Rajapur affair, which had remained unsettled during the lifetime of Sivaji. On the whole Sambhaji used to be polite and firm towards western traders
In 1680 Sivaji, who was then in his fifty-third year, made a rapid raid on Jlna, about thirty-five miles east of Daulatabaad. On his return to Raigad he fell seriously ill. According to one account inflamation of the knee brought on fever; according to another, over-exertion burst a blood vessel in his lungs; and according to a third, the curses of Musalman saints whom he pillaged at Jalna paralysed his strength. Whatever the cause, his last illness was short and ended fatally after six days on Saturday 3rd April 1680.[Grant Duff, Vol. 227 and Khan Khan in Elliot and Dowson, VII. 305. Khaft Khan consoled himself for the lasting injury the ‘hell’-dog’ Shivaji hail done to the Musalmans by finding the day of his death in the words ‘Kafir be-jahannam raft,
the infidel went to hell’. (Ditto). At the same time he was fair enough to admit, besides his genius for taking forts, that Shivaji abstained from disgraceful acts, and was careful to maintain the honour of the women and children of Mohammedans when they fell into his hands, Ditto, 305; Scott’s Fetishia, I. 54: Waring’s Marathas, 205-206.] Sivaji had not yet completed the 53rd year of his age. The funeral rites of the Raja were performed by Rajaram. The Marathi Samrajyaci Choti Bakhar mentions one Sabaji Bhosle as being present on the occasion. Taking advantage of Samhhaji’s absence who was at the fort of Panhala near Kolhapur, Soyarabai, hoping to secure the succession for her son, then a boy ten years old made an effort to keep Sivaji’s death secret. She had addressed enough to persuade several of the principal ministers especially Annaji Datto. the Saciv and Moro Trimal, the Pesva that Sivaji had intended Rajaram to be his successor. Though Annaji Datto had always been his rival Moro Trimal Pesva was drawn into a Plan of administering the Government under a regency in the name of Rajaram and the other minister acquiesced in the arrangement. [The ground for setting up Rajaram is sai
d to have been a deathbed remark of Shivaji’s that Sambhaji was passionate and revengeful and Rajaram mild and placable. Maratha MS. in Waring’s Marathas, 110.] The captain of the messengers, Khandoji was sent to Panhala and the officers at Panhala, viz., Sambhaji Naik Kondvalkar, Bahirji Naik, Ingle Havaldar, Bahirji Fariand and Janardanpant Hanamante were ordered to put Sambhaji who was then at Panhala under arrest. A force was also directed to march to Panhala, the garrison of Raigad was strengthened and 10,000 horses were stationed at Pacad at the foot of Raigad. The main army under the command of Senapati Hambirrav Mohite was ordered with a large force to take a position at Karad in Satara. Accompanying the Senapati were Rupaji Bhosle, Anandrav Nimbalkar and Mahadu Maholkar Gujar. In the meanwhile Khandoji who had reached Panhala acquainted Sambhaji with the real state of affairs and disclosed the news of the death of Sivaji. Sambhaji dismissed Samaji Naik the Havildar of the fort of Panhala and imprisoned him. He also gained a part of Janardan’s troops, made him a prisoner and confined him in Panhala. When this was happening, Rajaram was placed on the throne at Raigad in April and the ministers began to conduct affairs in his name. When the news of the disaster that fell upon Janardanpant reach-ed Raigad, the ministers set out to meet Sambhaji. Hambirrav executed the arrest of Ministers and also joined his forces with Sambhaji’s. Whereupon Sambhaji quitted Panhala and marched towards Raigad. Before he reached Raigad the garrison rose in his favour, put under arrest those who were opposed to his authority. Sambhaji despatched Pilajirav Sirke with 10,000 troops ordering him to station at Pacad. The army at Pacad came over to him in a body. Sambhaji got possession of Raigad on 18th June 1680. He performed the obsequies of Sivaji on his arrival at Raigad. Putalabai became a Sati on 27th June 1680. Soyarabai the mother of Rajaram survived for a considerable period after the death of Sivaji and died some time after the discovery of the second plot of the conspirators against Sambhaji in 1681, though according to current reports she was administered poison. Sambhajl kept his younger brother Rajaram at Raigad only. After this he ascended the throne on 20th July 1680. In gratitude for this success he immediately made a formal grant to his family goddess Bhavani of ten thousand gold hons a year. Matters appeared to move smoothly. Moropant Pingle died in October and Sambhaji appointed his son Nilopant to Pesvaship. [Sardesai: New History of the Marathas, Vol. I, 294.] The formal ceremony of coronation was performed on 16th of February 1681. In the new ministry formed by Sambhaji, Annaji Datto who was arrested as a suspect in the first plot against Sambhaji was released and made a minister.
Unfortunately, the men sympathising with Rajaram were not satisfied with the new arrangements and entered into a league with Akbar, the Moghal Prince who had sought the protection of the Marathas in 1681 and had been staying at Pali in Konkan. But Akbar unwilling to get himself entangled in the dissension at Raigad quickly apprised Sambhaji of the activities of the conspirators. On one occasion a plot to poison Sambhaji’s food was discovered in time and he was narrowly saved. Sambhaji naturally felt very much enraged and he took his full revenge upon all those suspected to have complicity in the plot. Annaji Datto, Balaji Avaji, Hiroji Farzand were seized and put to death. Many other suspects met a similar fate. Sambhaji now made Kavi Kalusa, a Kanoja Brahman, his confident. Sambhaji had to feel his way in an atmosphere of distrust within and opposition without. He had to face the Sidis, and the Portuguese, no less than the Moghals whose grand army under Aurangzeb had descended to the south to pursue Akbar. A study of his activities during these years shows, him to be a worthy son of his father; for such was the vigour with which Sambhaji acted that up to the end of 1684 Aurangzeb failing to subdue him turned his attention towards the subjugation of Bijapur early in 1685. It is, however, very sad but only too true that this same Sambhaji fell under evil influences during this period and became fond of performing tantric rites, including certain magical processes advocated by the Sakta sect of which Kalusa was a follower. Having secured the throne for himself Sambhaji became anxious because he had no son and a successor to the gadi, [ S. V. Avalaskar: Raigadchi Jeevan Katha, p. 85.] and resorted to those rites to secure the favour of the deity for the purpose. As the sequence of events would have it a son was born to him soon after (May 1682) which only confirmed Sambhaji’s belief in the methods of worship he had been pursuing. Seeing that Aurangzeb had directed an attack against Bljaptir, Sambhaji turned towards Panhala, probably to harass the Moghals from that centre. In 1688 Sambhaji rushed to help his. trusted minister Kalusa who had been attacked by the Sirke and forced to retreat towards Khelna or Visalgad. Sambhaji defeated the Sirkes, joined Kalusa at Khelna and the two started towards Raigad. They halted at Sangamesvar on their way. Aurangzeb, having finished up the work of destroying Bijapur and Govalkonda, was now expected to direct his full attack against the only enemy hitherto ‘left unconquered- Sambhaji. The Moghal general Sheikh Nizam who was watchful got news of Sambhaji’s whereabouts and suddenly came down upon him before Sambhaji could at all have any idea of the enemy being in the neighbourhood. The Maratha king was quickly brought before Aurangzeb. On the news of Sambhaji’s arrest the leading Maratha chiefs met at Raigad, where since Sivaji’s death Rajaram had been confined. In confining Rajaram to Raigad Sambhaji seems to have treated him, with nomoie severity than was required for his own security. Rajaram had the free use of the fort and lived on terms of friendship with Yesubai, the wife of Sambhaji, who with her son Sivaji also lived in Raigad. In consultation with Yesubai the ministers determined that Rajaram should be declared regent during the minority of Sivaji, who was then entering his seventh year. At this council the leading officers planned their measures with wisdom, unanimity and firmness. It was agreed that Rajaram should move from place to place between Raigad and Visalgad near Kolhapur having no fixed residence, and being ready, if necessary, to retire to Jinji on the Coromandal coast. Yesubai and her son remained in Raigad and the family of Rajaram to Visalad. The Maratha chiefs were to act according to circumstances, but to keep most of their horse at no great distance from the person of Rajaram.
On 25th March 1689, a Moghal force under Etikad Khan (Zulpikarkhan) settled down before Rayagaol. For several months, though helped by the Sidi, the siege made little progress, till the fort surrendered on 18th October 1689. The widow of Sambhaji and her son sivaji fell into the hands of Etikad Khan. They were conveyed to Aurangzeb’s camp and were well treated. Aurangzeb’s daughter befriended Yesubai and Aurangzeb became partial to the boy, called him Sahu, a name which he ever after bore. Raigad was renamed Islamgad and was given in charge of Sidi with strict orders to defend it against any attempt of the Marathas. [Marathyanche Swatantrya Yudha, Setu Madhavarao Pagdi, pp. 20-21.]
In 1734, on the death of Sidi Surul Khan, a quarrel arose between his sons, which gave an opportunity to the Marathas to recapture the capital of the Chatrapati. Fatesing Bhosle and the Pratinidhi, with the aid of one Yakuh Khan who possessed the confidence of the late Sidi and who corrupted the commander of the place, succeeded in recovering Raigad. In the same year it was formally ceded by treaty and remained in the hands of the Marathas, till its capture by the British in 181.[Marathas MS. in Grant Duff’s Marathas, Vol. II, 520.] Ever since 1732 Raigad was administered by Sahu and he had a
ppointed Yesvant Mahadev Potnis as the Chief Killedar there on his behalf. With the waning of the influence of the Chatrapatis the commandant of the fort Vitthal Yesvant, the successor of Ye’svant Mahadev showed disinclination to obey the Pesvas. In 1772 some months before Madhavarav Pesva’s death Vitthal Yesvant revolted and refused to hand over the charge of Raigad to the Pesvas, and it was feared that the Commandant of Raigad intended to give the fort to the Sidi. In 1773, the first object of Narayanrav’s administration was the reduction of Raigad. When required to surrender, the commandant replied that he held the fort for the Raja of Siitara and would maintain it against the Pesva until the Raja was released. But, on producing an order from Ram Raja and on paying the commandant Rs. 40,000, Narayanrav gained possession of Raigad in March 1773. During the subsequent period, although the Pesvas arranged to allot a fixed grant for the maintenance of the royal throne and the Samadhi of Sivaji, Raigad never revived its past splendour. The place was chiefly used for holding under arrest important state prisoners, as also to guard the activities of the Sidi in Bankot creek. Sakharambapu, the great rival of Nana Phadnis, and a shrewd partisan of Raghoba, was kept in imprisonment at Raigad till his death in 1781. In 1796 Nana Phadnis put the fort into efficient repair. In 1802, after Holkar had made himself master of Poona, Bajirav fled from Sinhgad to Raigad, where he released Madhavrav Raste, who had been confined there for about a year, and gave him a commission to raise men for his service. In October of the same year, Yesvantrav Holkar, pursuing the Pesva with 5,000 men, took the fort with little resistance. It was restored to the Pesva in the following year. In 1817, the British demanded Raigad, Sinhgad and Purandhar, as a pledge that Bajirav would carry out the provisions of the treaty of Poona. After much dis-cussion Raigad was handed over and was restored” to the Pesva in the month of August of the same year.
In November 1817, when Bajirav determined to break with the English, he sent his wife Varanasibai with much property to Raigad. As has been mentioned in the History Chapter, after the fall of Visapur and Lohagad near the top of the Bor pass, and of Koari fort near the top of the Sava pass in Poona, Lieutenant-Colonel Prother, on the 17th March 1818, made arrangements, for the capture of all places of strength in Kolaba. Tala, Ghosala, and Mangad fell almost without opposition, and on the 23rd of April the troops marched from Indapur to Mahad. Major Hall of His Majesty’s 89th Regiment, with a detachment of two hundred Europeans and as many sepoys, was sent to the foot of Raigad hill. At daybreak on the 24th he drove in the enemy’s first post, and near the petta, apparently the village of Pacad, found a body of about 300 men drawn up to oppose him. These he charged and routed, with a loss to himself of three men wounded and to the enemy of twenty men killed. A party was placed in possession of Pacad, and the rest retired three miles for want of water. On the 25th the camp was established as near Raigad as the ground admitted, and the force was split up and the whole foot of the hill invested. A small post on the ridge of the hill was driven in, and a battery for mortars constructed, though the ground was so narrow that the mortars had to be placed on the line of each other’s fire. As the season was late and the smallness of the besieging force was likely to prolong operations, the Bombay Government sent a reinforcement of six companies of His Majesty’s 67th Foot. These troops reached Raigad on the 4th of May, and the strength of the force was soon further increased by the arrival from Malvan of a detachment of his Majesty’s 89th Regiment. An additional mortar battery was established on the opposite side of the mountain. The mortars in the camp were with great exertion got into suitable positions, and the bombardment was maintained with unremitting spirit, and, as the ruin of almost every building in the fort afterwards showed, with extreme accuracy. During the siege a body of the enemy’s troops from the forts of Kangori and Pratapgad gathered in the rear of the besieging force but were attacked and dispersed by the detachment under Lieutenant Crossby, who was stationed in Mahad. A pass-port was offered to Varanasibai, Bajirav’s wife, but she refused to leave the fort. At four on the afternoon of the sixth, after eleven days’ siege, a great fire, caused by an eight-inch shell from the right battery broke out in the fort. At sunset the commandant, on the persuasion, it was said, of the Pesva’s wife, sent word that he wished to surrender. Negotiations were opened at eight o’clock next morning at Vadi near Pacad, and the garrison were allowed five hours to consider the terms. In the afternoon as the terms were not accepted, the batteries re_opened and continued to play till ten o’clock on the eighth, when Saikh Abud, the Arab commandant himself came down. Horrible evasions and misinterpretations on the part of the Commandant continued till three o’clock of the ninth. It was at last agreed that the garrison of one hundred Arabs and eight, hundred Sindhians, Marathas, Pathans, and Gosavis, should march down with their arms, families, and property; that the commandant with five of his followers might live in Poona; that no one of the garrison should accompany the wife of the Pesva to Poona; that the com-mandant should remain with the English as a hostage; and that the garrison took away nothing but their own property. Next after-noon (10th May) Colonel Prother went up the hill. The garrison filed past him, and a hundred of the Company’s troops took possession of the great gateway. Colonel Prother found the fort empty except the servants of the Pesva’s wife and of the commandant. In the fort only one house, a granary, was untouched. The garrison lived in huts. Sivaji’s palace was entirely consumed. All was in ruins, long streets, beautiful and regular buildings, temples, and Sivaji’s tomb could be traced. Although this damage was largely caused by the siege it must be noted that for a number of years past the place had been neglected and allowed to fall into decay.
Colonel Prother went with some of his officers to pay his respects to the Pesva’s wife. She was a woman of interesting appearance, seated in her robes and state jewels, in the old palace, among burning beams, ashes, and all the horrors of a fire. She was allowed to proceed to Poona with her private property, and was escorted by elephants and camels and by a force of hundred men. On taking possession of the fort five lakhs of money in coin were discovered. [Pendhari and Maratha War Papers, 287-292; Blacker’s Maratha War, 310-313 also compare Hamilton’s Gazetteer, II, 483; Grant Duff’s Marathas, Vol. 520. Duffs description differs in a few details, e.g., as regards Peshva’s wife Varanashibai, ho, he states, was allowed to retire to Wai near Satara.]
Under British rule, Raigad faded out of the memory of the people for some years and nobody seemed to take note of it. According to an unpublished manuscript a mild tremour of earthquake affected the region in 1862. It was only in 1885 when Sir Richard Temple, the Governor of Bombay visited Raigad and saw the decaying condition of the samadhi of sivaji that this historic capital of the Maratha Chatrapati emerged out of oblivion. The royal families of Satara and Kolhapur came in for some criticism at his hands for their indifference and the same was subsequently echoed by the public.
In 1895 Lokmanya Tilak led the movement of the celebration of Sivaji festival and the people of Maharastra, awakened to the consciousness of their proud historic heritage fully supported the movement. In the following year the people gathered at Raigad in large numbers to observe and celebrate in a fitting manner the day of Sivaji’s passing. Although the Government w
as in sympathy with the preservation of the historic monument of Sivaji at Raigad, the political differences between Tilak and Government left the latter somewhat cold over the affair and whenever the question of Sivaji memorial used to be raised by the people they could insist upon keeping a strict control over the memorial. In later years Government withdrew themselves from the affairs and the celebration at Raigad became a popular movement. In 1926 Laxmanrav Raje Bhosle of Nagpur took’ the lead in reviving the movement and in the same year a bust of Sivaji was raised on his samadhi. Raigad is somewhat out of the way from the modern routes of communication and, in spite of the popular respect for the maker of Maharastra, the revival of the activities at Raigad largely has been limited to local enthusiasm and to those others that are keenly conscious of their historic heritage.