Sinhagad: The Astonishing Escalade of Tanhaji and his 300 Marathas

Sculpture of Tanhaji Malusare

Gautam Guha, agami kalarab: Last 19th November ‘Tanhaji: The unsung Warrior’ trailor has been released. It is mainly based on bravery battle of Sinhagad. Lets take a look who was Tanhaji Malusare.

On February 4, 1670 in a stunning act of daredevilry, 300 Maharashtrian soldiers led by Tanhaji Malusare, one of the ablest commanders of Maratha king Shivaji, climbed the almost vertical rock face of the fort of Sinhagad and then overcame a strong Mughal garrison there. In the late 17th century, the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb declares strategic hill fortress Kondhana as the capital of Southern India from which he planned to expand Mughal empire into South India. However, The Maratha Emperor Shivaji Maharaj orders his General Tanhaji Malusare to capture Kondhana at any cost to protect Southern India from Mughal invasion, while the Mughal emperor sends his trusted commander Udaybhan to defend the fortress, thus leading to a battle between the two armies for control of the fortress. The Battle is known as the Battle of Sinhagad which decided the fate of South India.

The battle was fought between Tanhaji Malusare, a Koli commander of Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji and Udaybhan Rathod, fortkeeper under Jai Singh I who was a Mughal Army Chief. A steep cliff leading to the fort was scaled at night with the help of a tamed monitor lizard named “Yashwanti“, to whom the Marathas attached a rope and sent to scale the wall with its claws. A fierce battle ensued between Tanhaji and his men versus the Mughal army headed by Udaybhan Singh Rathore, a Rajput Prince of Jodhpur who had control of the fort. The sudden attack of Marathas took the Mughals troops by surprise, some of whom retreated while remaining were killed by Tanhaji and his soldiers. Thereafter, Tanhaji and Udaybhan had a duel in which Tanhaji’s shield broke apart so he wrapped his one hand in his turban cloth and used it to ward attacks from Udaybhan, after a lengthy fight Tanhaji Malusare lost his life due to loss of his shield but before dying he fatally wounded Udaybhan. Tanhaji’s brother Suryaji then defeated the remaining Mughal forces and took over the Kondana fort, and renamed as Sinhagad as a tribute to Tanhaji.
A bust of Tanhaji Malusare was established on the fort in the memory of his contribution to the battle.

cover picture of upcoming movie based on Tanhaji

Narvir Tanhaji’s Chattri Monument has been erected at Sinhagad by Shivaji Maharaj in memory of a brave soldier who laid down his life for Swaraj.
On this event Shivaji Maharaj is said to have said on this occasion “Gad aala, paan Simha gela”.
(We have won the fort but have lost the Lion – Tanhaji).
The fort of Kondana was renamed as “Sinhagad” in honour of Tanhaji’s brave deed.

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