Chhatrapati Shivaji is considered as one of the greatest Indian warrior King.The genesis of Maratha Empire was the result of his valiant efforts.Now,the concourse of Chhatrapati Shivaji and Afzalkhan is one of the most important events in Indian history.
Afzalkhan was a military general of Adilshahi Army.He was very potent and was strongly built physically.In Adilshah’s court,a question was asked,”Is there anyone in the court who has the courage to kill Shivaji?”After that,there was only one warrior getting up:Afzalkhan
Afzalkhan began the assault with a huge army.He destroyed various temples and kept enticing Shivaji to attack first and come to a province which was more familiar to him.This gave rise to Ganimi Kawa which is called Guerilla warfare in English.This strategic masterpiece was thought by Shivaji for the first time at this instance.It involves keeping your opponent in a frame of mind such that they become overconfident about their abilities.Now when the enemy is certainly not expecting an attack,one should conduct a full blooded pursuit.Hence inspite of being outnumbered,Shivaji was very successful against the Mughals.
As a part of Guerilla warfare,Shivaji told Afzalkhan that he is extremely frightened and was absolutely sure about his own defeat.So he convinced Afzalkhan for a peace meeting.They both agreed to meet without any weapons in Pratapgadh which was a region in Maratha Province so that Shivaji is backed up with commendable military support.It was a very well planned and well thought meeting by Shivaji and he ticked almost all the political boxes.
Shivaji was almost certain that Afzalkhan is going to betray him so he wore armour and Kevlar and carried tiger claws.Afzalkhan too carried a dagger with him.They both were going to meet in a decorated tent which is known as ‘Shamiyana’.It was also decided that there will be nine warriors from each side standing at a finite distance from the tent.Afzalkhan agreed to these stipulations just because of Guerilla warfare.So we can estimate Shivaji’s strategic brilliance at that time otherwise it was evident that Shivaji could not defeat Afzalkhan straightforwardly.Afzalkhan was also responsible for the exile of shivaji’s father Shahaji and for the demise of Shivaji’s elder brother Sambhaji.As a result,there was much more on the line other than politics.
Now it was time.A courageous and valiant Shivaji entered the tent.One bodyguard of each personnel was waiting outside.Afzalkhan stood up to embrace Shivaji.He was 6’7” and possessed a towering structure.It was absolutely intimidating.They hugged each other but Shivaji’s head was not even in line with Afzalkhan’s shoulders.Suddenly Afzalkhan strangled Shivaji and took a fatal grip with enormous strength.He then pierced his dagger but the armour of Shivaji saved him.Shivaji then counterattacked by using his tiger claws and lashed Afzalkhan’s stomach.Shivaji then escaped the tent with supreme authority and ordered his troops to attack.Suddenly,Saiyyed Banda;Afzalkhan’s bodyguard attacked Shivaji from behind but Jiva Mahala;Shivaji’s bodyguard slashed his sword carrying hand.After the battle,”Shiva is alive because of Jiva” echoed in everybody’s ears.
In a very short time,Shivaji’s army managed to defeat their enemies as their leader was down and out.Somehow Afzalkhan found a way to reach his palanquin and started to retreat.But soon Sambhaji Kondhalkar;Shivaji’s lieutenant chased and beheaded Afzalkhan.This was a humongous triumph for the Marathas and after this event,Shivaji took huge leaps in his quest of conquering the Mughal Empire.