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6 Strategies Planned By Shivaji Maharaj To Win The Battle At Lal Mahal In Fatteshikast

Kedar Koli

August 14, 2020

6 min


Here are six amazing warfare strategies that were implemented by Shivaji Maharaj to defeat the Mughal army.

Fatteshikast is a period drama set during the reign of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the ruler of Maratha kingdom. The film revolves around the infamous incident that took place at Lal Mahal. The period drama presents accurate historical references to delve on the battle between Shivaji Maharaj and Shaista Khan which went down in history as the first-ever surgical strike by the Marathas. Shivaji Maharaj was known for his tactics of guerilla warfare which he had put in action in many battles including the one fought in this film. Let’s check out the six strategies used by Shivaji Maharaj to win the battle against the Mughal army.

Watch the film here.

1. Gathering His Best Men To Fight The Battle

Source: ZEE5

The Mughal army had planned to gain control over the Maratha kingdom and had sent Shaista Khan to march to Pune. The centre of Shivaji’s realm was Pune and the Mughal army managed to tear it apart. Shivaji knew that he had been overpowered as the Mughal forces were far more in number than his handful Maratha soldiers. He couldn’t risk his kingdom and decided to gather some of his best men for the task. Shivaji appointed the most trusted men in his army like Yesaji Kank, Tanaji Malusare, Bahirji Naik, Koyaji Bandal, and Baaji Jedhe who could increase his chances of winning the war against the Mughals.

2. Trapping Kartalab Khan in Umberkhind

Source: ZEE5

The Mughal general Kartalab Khan was ordered by Aurangzeb to seize Rajgad, the capital of the Maratha kingdom. Shivaji decisively let Kartalab Khan and thousands of Mughal soldiers pass through his land and enter Umberkhind. As soon as Kartalab Khan’s army entered the narrow pass, they were easy targets for the Marathas who attacked them from all directions. Kartalab Khan was stunned during the battle as he could not even think of retaliating. He was forced to surrender before Shivaji Maharaj and pay a huge amount of ransom. This stealth attack by the Marathas is considered to be a textbook example of guerilla warfare.

3. Breaking Down Shaista Khan Bit By Bit

Source: ZEE5

The Mughal army suffered a heavy loss following Kartalab Khan’s defeat at Umberkhind. The Maratha king later took down several such Mughal generals and managed to break down Shaista Khan bit by bit. Every defeat of his army meant extreme humiliation for Shaista Khan and his frustration increased as he could do nothing about it. He could literally see his power slipping away from his control and started having nightmares about Shivaji Maharaj. This was the first lethal blow struck by Shivaji Maharaj on the Mughals.

4. Making A Blueprint Of Lal Mahal

Source: ZEE5

Shaista Khan had set up camp at Lal Mahal where Shivaji had spent most of his childhood. Shaista Khan had amped up the defences so that no enemy could even think of penetrating the palace. Shivaji Maharaj wanted to kill Shaista Khan by entering the palace somehow. He decided to take help from his childhood friends Chinmaji and Balaji, and asked them to make a blueprint of Lal Mahal. Since Chinmaji and Balaji knew every nook and corner of the palace, Shivaji found a secret passageway to enter the seemingly impenetrable palace.

5. Sending Bahirji Naik To Conduct Reconnaisance

Source: ZEE5

Bahirji Naik was the chief informant of Shivaji Maharaj who spied on the enemy forces. Bahirji could put up disguises and make his way into the enemy camp to convey secret information back to Shivaji. Before Shivaji entered the battlefield, he sent Bahirji to do a recce at Lal Mahal and gain first-hand experience of the enemy’s position. Shivaji then build strategies around the information which allowed him to emerge victorious in the battle.

6. Misguiding The Enemy Forces

Source: ZEE5

Shivaji Maharaj knew that the Mughal soldiers outnumbered his army. The stakes were high and Shivaji couldn’t afford to go wrong with his plans. Shivaji decided to tie torches to the horns of stray cattle to misguide the enemy if they were to follow him after the battle. Truly a masterstroke, don’t you think?

Starring Chinmay Mandlekar and Mrinal Kulkarni, Fatteshikast is now available on ZEE5. Make sure that you don’t miss it!

For more entertainment, check out the collection of the latest Marathi films on ZEE5 here.

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