Shivaji facts for kids

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Emperor of Maratha India
Statue of Shivaji opposite Gateway of India in South Mumbai

Shivaji Bhonsle is the founder of Maratha dynasty and a warrior king of the Maratha or Maharashtra people. He is also known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Shivaji was born in the Shivneri Fort in Maharashtra on 19 February 1630. At 15 years, he conquered the Torna Fort. The Chakan fort and the Kondana Fort were taken by bribing the Adil shahi governor. He saved his father from prison. When Afsal Khan came to kill Shivaji, Shivaji killed him with Tiger claws. He became the biggest enemy of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. He was arrested in Agra Fort by Aurangzeb. In 1674 he made himself king.

In late March 1680, Shivaji fell ill with fever and dysentery, dying around 3–5 April 1680 at the age of 52, on the eve of Hanuman Jayanti. Rumours followed his death, with Muslims believing he had died because of a curse from Jan Muhammad of Jalna. Some Marathas whispering that his second wife, Soyarabai, poisoned him so that his crown might pass to her 10-year-old son Rajaram.

After Shivaji's death, the widowed Soyarabai made plans with various ministers of the administration to crown her son Rajaram rather than her prodigal stepson Sambhaji. On 21 April 1680, ten-year-old Rajaram was installed on the throne. However, Sambhaji took possession of the Raigad Fort after killing the commander. On 18 June acquired control of Raigad, and formally ascended the throne on 20 July.

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