A Historian Finds 344-Year-Old Letter Written By Maratha Ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Historian Ghanshyam Dahane who is currently collecting data on the history of Satara visited the Swami Samartha Vagdevta temple to study the archival documents. However, to his surprise, it led him to discover a letter written by the Maratha Ruler Shivaji Bhonsle.

He spoke to Pune Mirror and expressed his excitement of finding the 344-year-old letter, he said,


“I remember that I was led to this room where all these documents are preserved, and the temperature was very high. The room was covered in dust, and I spent some time going through different documents, but the moment I laid my hand on his particular letter, I knew it was crucial.”

The 344-year-old letter is dated 2 February 1674 and surprisingly was in good condition. It also seems nobody was aware of its existence. He said,

“The letter is written in the Modi script (the script that was to write Marathi) and even has a Rajmudra (royal seal) at the top, making it genuine. Historians have only found 273 letters written by Shivaji Maharaj to date, and among them, only 103 are in good condition.”

Shivaji (1)
Courtesy: Deepak Thombre

Verification to be Done

The letter was addressed to Nagogi Patil Kalbhor who was the head of Pali village in Satara. The letter was a response by Shivaji to a complaint filed by Kalbhor against Kharadi Patil who was the then minister of the village. The letter was written 5 months before the coronation of Shivaji at the Raigad fort. Dahane further told that,

“In the letter, Shivaji Maharaj has assured Kalbhor that he had done his research and realized that Kalbhor is correct. He further said that Kharade Patil should be warned. Shivaji has also written that Kalbhor should not worry about this issue and that Subhedar Abbaji Moredev will ensure that Kharade Patil does not come in his way.”

Dahane also shared that he completed the translation of the entire letter in ten minutes. However, now, other historians will be roped in to verify the letter and once it is completed, the letter will be added to the archives of Shivaji’s letters. Another historian Padmakar Prabhune said,


“While the language in the letter is definitely of that period, we need to see if the same has been published in any book. If the paper, ink, content, and Rajmudra are found in the letter then surely it will be a valuable addition to the existing historical documents from that era.”


Source: The Better India