Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is a name synonymous with courage, bravery, guerilla tactics, justice and his fight against the Mughal and Adilshahi empire. Most of his legendary tales and activities have always been restricted to Maharashtra. But when he was young, he did spend some time of his childhood in today’s capital of Karnataka, Bengaluru.
Thevenot Mentions ‘King With Quick Eyes’ In His Memoir
It is an established fact that during the 17th century, India attracted visitors from all over the world. From the opulence of the Mughal court to Golconda’s diamond mines and Malabar’s spices, travelers from the Western countries and also from China came to India and wrote down their experiences in their memoirs. These serve as the evidence today revealing historical facts and interesting instances in the history of the country. One such Western traveler from France, a linguist, and explorer Jean de Thevenot has described the beauty and glory of India during Medieval times.
In his notes, Thevenot mentions meeting an Indian King during his visit to the Deccan region. While describing his experience of meeting this royal personage, Thevenot says, “The Rajah is small and tawny with quick eyes which indicate an abundance of spirit.” This King was none other than the head of Bhosale clan, the legendary Shivaji Maharaj.
Shivaji Married In Bengaluru As A 12-Year-Old
The legendary tales of Shivaji are quite popular across the country. But very few know about his childhood days that he spent as a 12-year-old-boy in Bengaluru with Jijabai, his mother when he visited his father Shahaji Raje who was a Jagirdar of the Bijapur king. Prior to this visit, Jijabai wrote a letter to her husband saying that since Shivaji is 12-year-old he is now past marriageable age. That is why Shahaji insisted Jijabai to bring Shivaji to Bengaluru where he lived with Tuka Bai, his second wife and their son Vyonkoji.
Soon after the arrival of Shivaji and Jijabai with their caretaker, Dadaji Konddeo (who headed the fort of Kondana and was the guardian of Shivaji) the young prince was married to Saibai Nimbalkar of Phaltan in the palace. Another version says that Shivaji and Saibai were already married in Lal Mahal, Pune but since Sambhaji was not present at the wedding, he repeated the ceremony in Bengaluru. Evidence suggests that the Gauri Mahal Palace currently in the Chickpet area of Bengaluru is the place where Shahaji lived with his family.
Shivaji Received Formal Training in Warfare and Statecraft In Bengaluru
During his stay in Bengaluru, young Shivaji observed and absorbed the unique socio-cultural essence of the city. It is during this stay that he received formal training in warfare and statecraft. Shivaji admired the administrative initiatives taken by the Kantirava Narasaraja, another local kingdom in between Hampi and Tanjavur and introduced these ideas when he established his “Swarajya.”
Three years after his coronation as the King in 1677, Shivaji once again traveled to Tanjavur, Hampi, Madras, Srisailam, and Bengaluru. During his visit to Srisailam, Raja Shivaji build a tall gopuram of 82-foot for a temple of Goddess Bhramaramba.
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