Jaisingh's Victory In 1665, Mirzaraja Jaisinh, a senior mansabdar of Aurangzeb was sent to the Deccan to conquer Shivaji.He forced Shivaji to make peace and demanded 23 forts. After a tough battle at Purandar fort, located south of Pune, Shivaji met Jaisingh and negotiated a peace treaty. This treaty was as follows - 1. Shivaji will give 23 forts and their adjoining lands from his kingdom to Mughals. 2. However, the revenue collection from these lands will be under the control of Shivaji and his civil servants. 3. Shivaji will assist the Moghuls in conquering the southern kingdoms of Vijapur and Govalkonda (Hyderabad Kingdom) 4. Shivaji will be given lands with total revenue of nine lakh Hons from these conquered territories. 5. Shivaji's elder son, Sambhaji(eight years of age at that time!), will be made a mansabdar of five thousand army at the Moghul court.
It should be noted here that this treaty does not mention the requirement of Shivaji's visit to Aurangzeb! Also, in the list of 23 forts to be given to Mughals, there seems to be some deception! For example, the fort Purandar and its adjoining peak, called Vajragad (traditionally considered a part of Purandar) has been listed as a separate fort! It seems Shivaji signed this treaty as a strategy to save his kingdom and the lives of his precious men from the Mughal attack. After signing the treaty, Shivaji joined Jaisingh along with his nine thousand strong army, to attack Vijapur. Later, when their combined effort to conqeur Vijapur failed, Jaisingh asked Shivaji to visit Aurangzeb at Delhi to chart out future strategy. Shivaji accepted this.
It will be interesting to delve into the reasons of Shivaji to go to Delhi / Agra to meet the Moghul emperor Aurangzeb. Considering the fact that Shivaji was a very cautious person who did not take any unnecessary risks, it is reasonable to assume that Shivaji had something big in his mind when he accepted to go to the North. After taking into consideration the contemporary style of politics and tactics, Shivaji's aim of establishing a Hindu kingdom, some secret strategy seemed to be in Shivaji's mind. The following reasons seem to have played an important part in the decision.
1. As a newly-appointed Panch-hazari mansabdar, Sambhaji had to visit Aurangzeb to accept the traditional robes of the post. 2. According to the available British, French sources and other original letters, it seems that Shivaji was to get the post of Saptahazari (Seven thousand army commander) mansabdar. 3. Shivaji was to be made Subhedar of the Deccan, i.e., incharge of the southern part of the Moghul empire. He would have replaced Jaisingh. 4. As the office bearer of the Moghul empire, Shivaji could have officially attacked Vijapur and Govalkonda kingdoms using the mighty Moghul army and the substantial monetary resources of the empire! 5. This action on the part of Shivaji would have shortened the time required to establish the Hindu Swarajya! Shivaji could have overthown Moghul supremacy more easily in that case!! He could have carried out his own Rajyabhishek earlier than 1674 AD!
Journey To Agra
Aurangzeb had called Shivaji and his son Sambhaji, who already had been made Mughal Mansabdar of five thousand army. Shivaji and his party started from Rajgad on 5 March 1666 and first went to Aurangabad, the southern capital of Mughal empire, to collect Rupees 100,000 as expenses for the journey. Shivaji stayed at Aurangabad for a week. Then he started the northward journey. At this time Shivaji did not know that Aurangzeb had shifted to Agra. Therefore, almost all the Marathi sources - Bakhars - state that Shivaji met Aurangzeb at Delhi and not at Agra!
Aurangzeb's father and former emperor Shahjahan died in the Agra fort on 22 January 1666. Aurangzeb reached Agra in mid-February 1666. Thus, Shivaji knew of this change of venue only after he left Aurangabad, somewhere during the journey to Agra. Only when Aurangzeb and his darbar shifted to Agra and decided to celebrate another corronation (ceremony for ascending the throne), it became clear that the fateful meeting of Shivaji and Aurangzeb would take place at Agra.
SHIVAJI's ROUTE TO AGRA It will be interesting to know which route Shivaji took to reach Agra, since there is some dispute about the route taken by him while coming back from Agra! From Aurangabad, Shivaji and his men travelled to Ajantha (famous for its carved caves), and then to Burhanpur, a Moghul center and stronghold. From this important town, Shivaji went straight to the north through Shivakashi, Narvar and Gwalher to Agra.
Since Shivaji had with him eight elephants, and palakhis (palanquins), his progress was slow. He had started from Rajgad on 5 March 1666 and he reached Agra on 11th May 1666 evening. The journey was completed in about two months, excluding a week's stay at Aurangabad. This matches well with the notings in the Marathi Bakhars that - travel to Delhi takes about two months!
SHIVAJI's MEN Who were the people accompnaying Shivaji? They were important office bearers of Shivaji's kingdom. Many of them became part of the Ashtapradhan mandal eight years later at the time of Shivaji's Rajyabhishek (corronation) in 1674. They were intelligent as well as daring warriors. Different historical sources list many names of people who accompanied Shivaji. The important ones are -
Niraji Raoji - who later became Nyayadhish (Chief Justice) Raghunathpant Korde - Vakil in Moghul darbar Tryambakpant Dabir Hiroji Farzand Ragho Mitra Maratha Prataprao Gujar - Senapati (Cavalary commander) Dattaji Tryambak (Dabir?)
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