This content aims to present a study of the Agra episode of Shivaji, with ample attention on the role of the Amber Kingdom. I’ll quickly introduce the highest-ranking personalities in context of our subject mater. Rest we’ll cover in-line with narration-
Chhatrapati Shivaji – the King who took Marathas to the next level. He was known in the north as Seva, Sevaji, Sevo, Sevoji etc. He was in Agra for most the timeline we’ll cover.
Aurangzeb – The reigning Mughal Emperor also known as Alamgir. He also was in Agra for most time.
Jai Singh– Amber Maharaja, a trusted General to Aurangzeb. Titled -Mirza Raja. In Deccan during the timeline we’ll cover.
Ram Singh– son of Jai Singh who was deputed in Agra.
Diler Khan– Ruhilla chief & a Mughal General of Pashtun origin; friendly to Jai Singh but anti-Shivaji.
Jaswant Singh (Rathore) – Maharaja of Marwar. Was in Agra for most of the timeline we’ll cover.
Muhammed Amin Khan – The grand vizier i.e. the head of bureaucracy in Mughal government (like Home Minister)
Sidi Faulad/Fauladi Khan - Kotwal of Agra (like SP or Commissioner).
After warding off efforts of Shaista Khan, prince Muazzam & Jaswant Singh. Shivaji had to enter a treaty with Aurangzeb’s then Commander, Maharaja Jai Singh. Latter had gradually gained upper hand by numerous strategic moves that we'll skip to prevent derailment.
Aurangzeb wanted no concessions & no negotiations with Shivaji. But Jai Singh who had prior battle experience with Shahaji Bhonsle too, saw sense in not destroying a hindu kingdom & instead have it adopted under Imperial government, use it to counter Deccani sultanates if needed.
So, the Raja concluded the treaty of Purandar & argued to Aurangzeb with benefits of the treaty.
Thereafter, as per terms of the treaty, Shivaji & his army had also been fighting alongside Jai Singh for Mughals; against the Bijapur Sultanate in Deccan.
Same muslim sultanate that conferred the title of 'Raja' to Shivaji’s ancestors who had been serving it till recent past. During the treaty & Bijapur campaign, Jai Singh saved Shivaji from Diler Khan multiple times. Latter wanted to arrest/kill Shivaji at one or the other excuse.
Only to be turned down by Jai Singh every time. Finally, he mitigated this danger to Shivaji by sending him to Panhala, because the frustrated Mughals were increasingly looking for a scapegoat for the reverses in Bijapur campaign.
Later, when Shivaji’s general Netuji switched camps to the Deccan Sultanate. Jai Singh who was invested in a much bigger challenge than Shivaji’s territory. Had to at all cost prevent further desertion & ruckus in the middle of a delicate stalemate with Deccani sultanates.
He convinced Shivaji to set out for Agra with assurance that he will be out of harm's way there. Shivaji was clear in the treaty conditions to avoid Agra. So, convincing him wouldn’t have been easy. It is possible that he was given hopes of much beyond a Mansabdari.
Though no sources other than a bakhar record any promise from Jai Singh after the treaty, except for Shivaji’s safety in Agra. Shivaji was likely smart enough to not go to Aurangzeb’s den with just verbally generated hopes. But it also an opportunity.
No risk, no gain wouldn't been the motto. His rage in Agra court on point of the row allotted for standing, ties with some unmet expectations at least. Anyway, brief official purpose of this visit was to have Shivaji report to the Emperor & join his service.
Deep down both sides were looking forward to openings to wresting further gains from each other, as we shall see soon.
We know that many historians have dwelt in the matter of Shivaji's escape from Agra. Some, including Sardesai have even theorised support from Ram Singh.
Lobbying for Shivaji & saving him from death is one thing. But helping him to escape from Agra is another level of hara-kiri, right under the nose of Aurangzeb. So, for clear understanding & delineation. We must see carefully whose contribution was in which capacity/nature.
Much was written on Shivaji by Marathi sources like bakhars which extoll him & have obvious bias. Then there’s Jadunath Sarkar who prefers to rely more on official northern correspondences or histories, & was often bit harsh on Shivaji. We’ll tangent a little from both extremes.
We'll still primarily make use of contemporary sources only. But mainly the following-
1) Rajasthani letters written between officers of Amber kingdom, mostly its bureaucracy. These men were scattered in places like Burhanpur, Amber & Agra.
2) Seva Di Var - means 'In glory of Shiva ( ji )'. Poem was written in Punjabi & its author Kulpati Misra was a visitor of Mughal court (courtesy Ram Singh) & an eyewitness to some historic events of his time. Kulpati knew many Mughal & other nobles, as well as the Sikh Guru.
3) Few bits & pieces from contemporary poetic literature in Braja Bhakha from Bhushan etc.
Many of us, scholars & commoners alike; for historiography we tend to discard literature that is in poetic vein.
Just as G S Sardesai cautions against that tendency while discussing the Persian letter from Shivaji to Maharaja Jai Singh. I'm humbly reminding the same, before anyone tries it against poetic Seva Di Var similarly. It was written by Kulpati Misra when Guru Teg Bahadur insisted.
It mainly praises two people- Shivaji & Ram Singh. One may think that the author would act like a bard of Kachwahas. But if it was written under influence of Kachwahas, with a fact moulding heavy bias favouring them. Then the author wouldn't be able to praise Shivaji so freely.
Even the work’s title has Shivaji’s name. Now that we've argued for reasonable neutrality of the poem from perspective of possible Rajput bias. Main thrust of Seva Di Var agrees to Rajasthani letters & many other recognized contemporary sources for what was happening in Agra.
With a pinch of exaggerating salt as is the case always with poetic prose. The text is reliable for study in conjunction with other sources. However, don’t just take my word for it. The poem isn't available online as far as I know, & it is tough to grab offline. #23
I will toward the end of this hopelessly long content, share the English translation of Seva Di Var. Bonus gift for history buffs from my end :P
The Rajasthani letters summary English translation by Jadunath Sarkar (with all due respect) leaves out few juicy data points & interpretations. One of which I had covered here, with full Hindi translation as well.
I'll share relevant original excerpts of Rajasthani letters with translation. I've only picked those data points that were relevant to the subject matter - interplay of Shivaji in Agra, Mughals & the house of Kachwahas. With special focus on Shivaji's escape of course.
At 10,000 feet overview, it behoves to touch upon the fateful turn of evil Mughal juggernaut's facing from out of India to inside, like a policy reversal. Mirza Raja Jai Singh's efforts to try weave a delicate peace between Marathas & Mughals weren’t in isolation or half-hearted.
Mughal court was the playground of domestic & foreign ultra-islamic lobbies. There was a domestic lobby of Muslim & Rajput nobles (Jai Singh, Diler Khan etc being the latest) that tried to take Aurangzeb's attention away from India & as one front take fight to NW enemies, Persia.
This lobby understood that if Aurangzeb isn’t kept busy outside India, he will end up burning the house here. Then there was another lobby of nobles of foreign origin &/or interests.
They tried every opportunity to vex Aurangzeb toward current & potential challenges within India only i.e. the lowly infidel hindus & the potential threat of their unity. They tried to dissuade emperors to not pit muslim empires on collision path.
The Mughal empire had the resources to thrust in one direction only, in or outward. Tied to that equation, is Rajput policy.
One objective of Rajputs to politically & militarily co-operate with Mughals over generations, was to keep peace at home by that alliance & turn the military minds of Mughals on habitual invaders & enemies from the north west.
From Bhagwant Das (1560s) to Ishwari Singh (1748), Kachwahas bore a lot of brunt of invasions from the northwest. All this was after Mewar was past it's prime.
This approach is acknowledged in vernacular literature consistently over time - like the Bhakha ones, Patsahi Kabitta, Seva Di Var etc.
But finally, Aurangzeb broke that pattern completely. He bit the very hand that was feeding him. Enter Shivaji. Aurangzeb was preparing to reopen the Persian front once again when Shivaji had arrived in Agra.
In the months between Shivaji’s travel to Agra & his return from there, Aurangzeb’s relations with Iran Safavid monarch went steadily downhill. Both sent horses to each other, ostensibly as gift, but really as power projection. Both killed each other’s horses as a dare.
Mughals had started logistical & repair activities toward the border infrastructure in Afghanistan. Alarming the Persians even more. Letter context: Kandahar was then in Persian control & Kabul in Mughal.
Aurangzeb had been nursing for 15 years the humiliating losses in Kandahar-Balkh campaign at hands of Persians-Uzbeks in early 1650s. It was Mirza Raja & his troops’ brilliance that Mughals prevented complete slaughter there.
Thus, Aurangzeb’s intention to pay back using Jai Singh again in north west is evident in his praising words about latter upon Pur&ar treaty. Kulpati Mishra quotes the emperor (after Purandar treaty) thus in a verse of Seva Di Var –
But the way Agra events unfolded after Shivaji’s arrival. It made Aurangzeb suspect Kachwahas & the Raja. Now, where does Shivaji fit in?
Shivaji was a variable force who could have eventually joined the domestic camp & gone with Imperials in campaign against Persia if all went well in Agra. This would shift the spikes of Mughal boot away from the chest of Indian population.
Not to mention the immense consequences in Indian politics, considering hostilities with Iran etc. But history would have it differently. The campaign was cancelled.
Agra episode with Shivaji in some ways became the excuse for Aurangzeb’s diabolical side to hiss inward in India, instead of outward to Iran etc.
**Shivaji's escape**: -
On May 10th 1666 A.D. Shivaji arrived in Agra, received by Ram Singh. I will skip the part of what happened on that fateful day (May 12th 1666 A.D.) in Mughal darbar when Shivaji stormed out of it. Because that is common knowledge.
So, immediately afterwards when Kunwar Ram Singh took Shivaji away with him per Aurangzeb’s instructions. Many Umraos including Jaswant Singh, Jafar Khan & the Begum etc escalated the seriousness of this defiance to Aurangzeb.
They said Shivaji had insulted the emperor, whose letting it pass sets a bad precedent for others to disobey the crown. One of them says- "He (Shivaji) is a monster. If he is not subdued today, he will be another day. He was befriended because of Mirza Raja, otherwise who cares".
They said Shivaji had insulted the emperor, whose letting it pass sets a bad precedent for others to disobey the crown. One of them says- "He (Shivaji) is a monster. If he is not subdued today, he will be another day. He was befriended because of Mirza Raja, otherwise who cares".
After leaving the court, Ram Singh camped Shivaji at one of his havelis. He sent a man with some eatables to Shivaji's place. Latter duly rewarded the courier per cultural protocol. Then in evening Ram Singh sent both his & Maharaja Jai Singh's vakils to Shivaji to pacify him.
Shivaji agreed & said - "I will send my son (Shambhuji) with my brother (Hirji Farzand? or Ram Singh) to emperor's presence. In a day or two I will report as well".
Later the same evening Sidi Faulad Khan & Prateet Rai Harkara came to Ram Singh’s place with the emperor’s message to – “pacify & reason with Shivaji”. Then they all met Shivaji. The duo then went back to Aurangzeb & reported “We have got Shivaji pacified”.
Next morning May 13th Ram Singh went to court. Aurangzeb asked – “Is Shiva coming?”
Ram Singh– “He has fever, so not today”. In evening Ram Singh took Shambhuji with him to the court. Aurangzeb gave Shambhuji a Shiropav (a head to toe dress), Katar (dagger) & a pearl necklace.
Mughal court was still pestering Aurangzeb on consequences of not teaching Shivaji a lesson. They chased the matter aggressively– “He is a low level Bhumihar. Later others will do the same. News will spread among hindus like wildfire. He looted Surat & did much worse.”
Considering the amount of bad publicity Shivaji was getting at the hands of this lobby. It was decided that Shivaji will not go to the emperor for few days, while the matter cools down & parallelly Ram Singh was lobbying for Shivaji’s mansab etc at various forums.
Decision of not going to Aurangzeb’s presence for few days till situation improved – wasn’t of Kunwar/Shivaji alone. Both were having one to one chats regularly, after which Ram Singh & his men lobbied for Shivaji. Insight so far suggests that Shivaji was ready for compromise.
But we don’t have enough data to prove it conclusively. And if it was the case, I wonder what changed his mind. He seems to keep changing his stand. Whether genuinely or just to throw enemies off balance by unpredictability- we don’t know.
Shivaji suddenly decided to surrender (interestingly to Jafar Khan & not Aurangzeb). Despite Ram Singh’s protest he went alone to Jafar Khan. Latter informed Aurangzeb who gave a cold balanced response. Shivaji said – I am ready to face death. Khan called Ram Singh & discussed.
Next morning Jafar Khan pleaded for Shivaji. Aurangzeb did mellow down a bit, as is evident here (supposedly sparing Shivaji’s life for time being).
Another aspect of Shivaji's visit in north is his interface with wider audience & consequent publicity. He was profusely rewarding & socializing with poets. It eventually led to his projection as a national figure in the vernacular literature.
Many like Kavi Kalash, Parmanand (Bhushan), Jagidas Dasaundhi & Kulpati Mishra toiled toward this purpose of relentless narrative building even in the north. His behaviour, exhibition not only became the matter of poems & gossip in bazaars of the north.
But also, a thorn of jealousy in many courtesans at Agra who kept relaying the pinch to Aurangzeb, with exaggeration of course. To avoid derailing too far from our flow of events, lets revisit this later.
About Kunwar Ram Singh's role, Seva Di Var is a good contemporary source. Author Kulpati Mishra frequented Mughal court under Ram Singh. W/o going into its poetic hyperboles. Text's summary about Ram Singh is that the author puts Ram Singh responsible for saving Shivaji's life.
Not once but twice Ram Singh thwarted attempts to have Shivaji killed. Let us continue…
On May 14th 1666 A.D. when Aurangzeb had almost made his mind on killing Shivaji. To make matters smooth, he sent Muhammad Amin Khan to Ram Singh. Orders were to have Shivaji carried away from Ram Singh & to the house of Radandaz (Razandaz) Khan.
Ram Singh refused to hand over Shivaji & said – “Shivaji is all alone & has come here on promise of protection by my father. So, you'll have to kill me & my child before killing Shivaji.” This is from Rajasthani letters of Amber officials, Seva Di Var as well as Rasa Rahasya.
Ram Singh had basically stonewalled the Mughal Emperor in his own capital, almost saying - “No, you can’t kill Shivaji. Because we Kachwahas have promised to protect him”. Amin Khan reported to Emperor what happened.
Hearing this, Aurangzeb asked for Ram Singh to sign a bond- "If Shivaji runs away or does anything untoward, you will be held responsible". Ram Singh readily agrees to it. Letters of Amber officials in Agra touch upon this briefly only.
Seva Di Var however extolls Ram Singh further & shows in detail the heated argument between Ram Singh & Amin Khan. After agreeing to sign the bond, Ram Singh went to Shivaji in the night & spoke to him. Next morning on May 15th Shivaji came to Ram Singh’s place.
Shivaji worshipped lord Mahadev there. Then both men had a word. Ram Singh signed the bond & gave it to Muhammad Amin Khan at Aurangzeb’s residence early evening. When the signed bond was produced to Aurangzeb. He was miffed & bitter. Never anticipated Ram Singh going this far.
Aurangzeb immediately ordered for Ram Singh & Shivaji both to be sent to Kabul. This was for a campaign against Persia that we discussed earlier. See attached.
Ram Singh starts preparing for march. Aurangzeb then orders Radandaz Khan who went to Ram Singh & said “Kunwar ji I have been put at your army’s vanguard”. This was a plot to obtain proximity & kill Shivaji at an opportune moment during the campaign.
Interestingly, Radandaz Khan is the same person to whose house Shivaji was to be sent (& killed?) in earlier attempt. Obviously, Aurangzeb had moved to a plan B for silencing Shivaji now.
Till now Amber bureaucracy was optimistic of amicable solution. They thought they'll soon have Shivaji report to Aurangzeb, get his Mansab & all will end well with some compromise on both sides. But the Mughals & Kachwahas were dumbstruck when Shivaji refused to go to Kabul. :D
I personally believe that by this time Shivaji had concluded about what future possibilities existed in Agra & the ways of reaching back home safely. I think he had secretly started following a coherent plan with multiple options of his own. Hints are in his further actions too.
Meanwhile Aurangzeb was frustrated with Shivaji. Defiance mostly, but also on the matter of Shivaji not agreeing to demand of surrendering his remaining forts. May 20th, Emperor ordered Ram Singh to stay away from Shivaji & that- 'no further mistakes by Shivaji will be pardoned'.
Ram Singh responds by asking for Shivaji to be pardoned & says - 'My father had written to me to have Shivaji report in your court presence & then see him off back to his home. Just as you asked, I had then escorted him to my residence.'
This back & forth kept happening & eventually Aurangzeb said – “Lets write to Maharaja Jai Singh & ask what transpired between him & Shiva.”. Based on that only, the matter was to be closed.
This made sense from an emperor’s point of view, at least for the time being. Because showing haste in killing a man who had submitted himself to one's subordinate (Jai Singh), wouldn't look Emperor like.
From May to June 1666 the situation in Agra gradually turned tense with repeated refusal by Shivaji to neither yield to Aurangzeb's demands nor to go to Kabul campaign. Even Amber officials were beginning to have doubts of untoward incidents. Plenty of correspondence covers that.
The cunning but foresighted Amber bureaucracy mainly had two doubts, that Shivaji could a) escape or b) commit suicide. We shall see how they turned out to be right. Lets get into the groves.
May end 1666 A.D. Shivaji made a written proposal to Aurangzeb, sent via Muhammed Amin Khan. “If the Emperor may return all my forts & send me off. I will pay 2 crore rupees, leave my son in his service, take whatever oath he wants & will loyally fight to death whenever called.
Aurangzeb scorned – “He (Shivaji) has gone crazy. What is this haste for going to deccan? Ensure that he doesn’t leave the place for anywhere. Also, prohibit him from meeting the Kunwar (Ram Singh).” See attached
In first week of June Aurangzeb sent a new proposal to Shivaji - 'surrender all your forts. I will give you a mansab. I will give a mansab to your nephew as well’. This was a Mughal leap over & above the words of Purandar treaty, limited to 23 forts.
Shivaji refused to this bargain, saying - 'I have no desire for mansab & I have no control on the forts'.
The blunt response was enough to piss Aurangzeb off. The delicate truce that Jai Singh had woven between both sides via Purandar treaty, was shattered by events of May 12th.
Whatever was left of it, was killed by Aurangzeb’s demand for Shivaji’s remaining forts and Shivaji's blunt responses.
Angry Aurangzeb now ordered Sidi Faulad Khan to kill Shivaji.
Just then Badi Begum advised calm to the emperor - "He (Shivaji) has come here on assurance of Mirza Raja. If you harm him, who will have faith in appearing in your presence anymore?"
A surprising U turn as earlier the same lady was instigating Aurangzeb to kill or punish Shivaji. Same was the case with Jafar Khan. Obviously Mughal Prime Minister & Queen would not accept Shivaji’s bribes. No marks for guessing who campaigned for Shivaji in the Mughal nobility.
Around the same time Shivaji asked Ram Singh - "I thought your word was the last in this government. You have tried your best, but Emperor doesn’t listen. Now tell the Emperor that – ‘Shivaji is not in my control/accountability, do you as you please with him'."
Shivaji hadn’t forgotten that Ram Singh was tied to the bond. But Ram Singh replied - "I will not leave you".
Amber Diwan Kalyandas, a bureaucrat, had in these months tried to control Ram Singh & maintain status-quo. He writes in a letter - 'tell Kunwar to mellow down'.
How masses in Agra & north beyond were seeing these events, is in the market & court gossip. Court was full of rumours of Shivaji’s supposed extraordinary powers. Letters report public rumours - when Aurangzeb goes to mosque, he keeps security everywhere in fear of Shivaji :D
Aurangzeb was getting pressure from all around. Latest was the famous victim of Shivaji - Shaista Khan :) . He from Bengal sent a challenging request to Emperor – “If Shivaji wasn’t killed by your highness, I will denounce my mansab & become a fakir”. See Attached
In second week of June, Shivaji again asked Ram Singh to withdraw his bond. Ram Singh tried to assure him – “Maharaja has been asked by emperor via a letter regarding your matter. So, keep patience. See how he reverts & what follows”.
Shivaji even requested the Emperor to be dissociated from Ram Singh. But Aurangzeb insisted – “He is the best person for you right now & you should stay with him.” May I remind you of the hypothesis we put forth earlier, that Shivaji was working coherently on some private plan.
Shivaji asked Ram Singh to withdraw the bond, but he never did. Ram Singh’s officers would certainly record the withdrawal if it happened. We see the signing of bond & all further references to the bond duly recorded in the letters. But not the withdrawal. More on this later.
Azeb wanted answer from Jai Singh on Shivaji because-
1)It was Jai Singh who negotiated with Shivaji.
2)Shivaji had submitted to Jai Singh, his subordinate.
3)Reason for Shivaji's visit was to keep him away in north, as in deccan per Jai Singh the situation was volatile.
Aurangzeb was a sarcastic & cynical person. To have Jai Singh divulge what really transpired between him and Shivaji in deccan. He gently coaxed the Maharaja. Amber officials quote that he had written to Jai Singh - 'I will do with Shiva as you suggest'.
By June 8th Shivaji had sent virtually all his people back from Agra. From Maharashtra only one Vakil, two Brahmins & one more servant was there with him now.
In the same week of June, Amber Diwan Kalyandas was meticulously busy in his own pre-emptive schemes. He as if almost knew that something was up, kept writing to his officers to be alert & catch Shivaji in case he escaped & passed through their area.
It is highly intriguing that while Mughals seem to have less clue of it till the bird flew from cage. Amber’s bureaucrats got a whiff of what was coming, weeks in advance.
Now Shivaji was making one weird demand after the other. Once he said I want to become a fakir in Benares. Aurangzeb said – “very well, he should stay in the Prayag fort there. My men will take good care of him”.
Ram Singh kept taking Shambhuji along with him to the court regularly. This helped maintain a precarious balance in an otherwise fuse blowing situation. In July Shivaji started again some diplomatic efforts with various nobles for support in court. This included gifts or bribes.
He proposed to Aurangzeb- 'I have no control on forts. If I'm allowed to go there, I’ll win them by fight & give to the emperor.' Aurangzeb retorts- 'If they will give forts in his presence, why can't they give on his letter instead?' Lack of mutual trust was insurmountable now.
Once Ram Singh tried to nudge Shivaji to hand over more forts to settle Aurangzeb. Shivaji made a cutting remark to silence him- “Your father obtained Tonk pargana by having me to surrender 23 forts. Now you ask for more. So which pargana do you hope of getting as reward, Toda?”
One day Ram Singh came to Shivaji & said – “The Emperor is going for a hunt, so I’ll be out of town in the fields”. Shivaji suggested – “Tell him that you’re keeping an eye on me & so can’t leave”. Ram Singh offers: “If you want, I can take you along”.
But Shivaji stressed – “Just request the Emperor to conclude my matter. If I died like this in vain, he won’t get any forts”. To which Kunwar said – “I will request”.
Amber officers were waiting with all hopes on Jai Singh's letter now, for a solution in this deadlock.
There was a clear conflict of interest between the status-quo loving senior bureaucracy of Amber & their military officers on ground in Agra. While the bureaucrats wanted Shivaji confined & no bad blood between Amber & Agra.
The lower level officers responsible for Shivaji’s cordon like - Tej Singh Rajawat & Arjun Singh Nathawat etc were pro-Shivaji. One exception in bureaucrats was Ballu Shah who was Ram Singh’s vakil.
These bureaucrats like Diwan Kalyandas (Amber), Parkaldas (Agra) etc were a well-knit & scheming gang of their own. Like Rajasthani letters also reveal how the controversial Munshi Udairaj (later Talayar Khan) was trying to get Maharaja’s vakil Giridhar Lal promoted as a Diwan.
Moving on, July 18th Parkaldas writes to Amber diwan Kalyandas Sighvi. He quoted what a military officer Maha Singh Shekhawat narrated about a conversation between officers like Ballushah, Tej Singh Rajawat & Rin Singh etc.
Maha Singh (like Parkaldas) was pro-status-quo & cold toward Shivaji for self-preservation. While the others are pro-Shivaji, fully impressed by him. As you will see in the lines of letter, they even called Shivaji a genuine Rajput.
When one of them complained to Tej Singh - "When you were with Maharaja ji, why did you not try to reason with him in favour of Shivaji?". Tej Singh lamented back "Maharaja ji doesn't listen to anybody except Munshi Udairaj (later Talayar Khan).
Soor Singh then adds to it - "Even when Bhojraj ji & Dalel (Diler) Khan had requested Maharaja ji to not start Bijapur campaign immediately after subduing Shivaji. He didn't listen to anyone". See letter excerpt attached.
In my view, perhaps Jai Singh knew that age was fast catching up on him & he had to be in north asap in flying colours to smoothly settle the transition to his son. Mughal court's slimy politics wasn't forgotten by him for a moment.
Hence the haste to be done with the assigned campaign & satisfy Aurangzeb. After all we also know in hindsight, what happens when Aurangzeb sends old generals in far off campaigns. They die, like Jaswant Singh.
That Shivaji's escape & disappointment in Bijapur campaign may have led Aurangzeb to doubt his loyalty & later get him poisoned to death is another matter. Believing that Munshi Udairaj had conspired in poisoning Jai Singh (Aug 1667 A.D.), the Kachwahas tried to kill him.
But Udairaj ran with his life straight to Aurangzeb & accepted Islam as his life insurance (name changed to Talayar Khan). The swift convenience by which it all happened, corroborates the charges in other sources like Mannuci that Aurangzeb had got Mirza Raja poisoned via Udairaj
Let us revert to Agra events. Kachwahas knew that Shivaji was also lobbying for himself. And in those efforts when he fell short of money, he borrowed money from Ram Singh, to be repaid to Jai Singh in Deccan by Marathas officials.
This money was being used by Shivaji in 1) bribing/gifting the corridors of power in Mughal capital. 2) rewarding poets very generously, which made him favourite of the poets, who in turn made him famous by their literary works.
In his Persian letter Shivaji proclaims “We have seized some letters from the personal possession of Shaista Khan (at Poona) & they disclose the horrifying designs of the emperor.” Consider in this backdrop, what a Rajasthani letter from the Bikaner Archives quote Shivaji saying:
These words from Shivaji a month before his escape, give a peek into his parlay with Kachwaha officers. Tej Singh Rajawat recommends to Shivaji that poet Jogidas Dasaundhi (Bhat) be rewarded, before he leaves for his native. Shivaji rewarded the poet appropriately.
According to the letters of Amber officials, till now Jai Singh was satisfied with the situation handling by Ram Singh, who on one hand kept Shivaji in control, & simultaneously prevented Mughals from harming Shivaji.
But overall the Amber camp was in disarray.
The alarmed bureaucracy including Diwan & Vakil wanting one thing, Kachwaha royals had their own approach & the lower officers on ground were on a very different page.
According to Gopinath Sharma, Jai Singh had meanwhile in private letters to his son, expressed his worry of the possibility of Agra situation spilling out of control. He stressed on keeping Shivaji safe & favourable to the empire.
Few weeks later on Aug 15th 1666 A.D. the Kotwal of Agra, Sidi Faulad Khan tells Aurangzeb - Shivaji is alone & option less. So, either he will become a monk or kill himself.
Another high voltage drama followed, where Kachwahas again rallied to protect Shivaji: -
This crucial informer Lala Brindaban Das was the Diwan of Jafar Khan. Alarmed by the plan, Kunwar Ram Singh rushed reinforcements to his haveli for Shivaji. Mughal court wasn't a brute place. Much had to be understood with less said. Continued, see attached...
This was the last attempt of Aurangzeb & it was foiled. Maha Singh Shekhawat is another person of interest at this juncture. He was one of the people whom Ram Singh had asked to be on guard duty of Shivaji on that day.
But he refused thus- "I will obey all your orders but not guard Shiva". He smartly wanted either full control on Shivaji or nothing to do with him." See attached. But what does Maha Singh tell Parkaldas further about the days right before the grand escape? Follows in next tweets.
This information about the conversation was actually pieced together from among Amber bureaucracy during an investigation, weeks after Shivaji had escaped.
D day - Aug 18th, Shivaji was found to have escaped from the cordon. I’ll not go into details of the well-known flower basket theory. But contrary to popular belief, Shivaji’s escape wasn’t in broad daylight. It was only found out in the afternoon. He had escaped early in morning
The guards had last checked on him about an hour before dawn break. This is the sandhyA time when staff people either switch duties or are busy with nitya-charyA from loo to bath & worship. I wouldn’t be surprised if Shivaji chose this time to make the first move.
A bewildered Parkaldas starts investigating with Kachwaha troops on how it happened– “with such multi layered cordon around him, how could he escape!”. Here’s what happened that day from perspective of the on-ground Kachwaha party, as consolidated from data of 2 letters:
"We weren’t alone, he deceived 1000 men. We last checked on him sleeping till about an hour before dawn. He had even ordered breakfast. Nobody used to be beside Shivaji's bed. Closest watch was to periodically look at his bed from outside his room in the night.
He had a blanket & used to sleep with his turban on. With the blanket kept as usual & turban at its place as decoy, he left undetected, giving an impression that he was still sleeping there".
Meanwhile, all hell broke loose in Agra with this news. Some brahmins & a kayastha Saxena in service of Shivaji were caught hiding & brought for interrogation to Muhammad Amin Khan on orders of Aurangzeb.
Ram Singh went to meet Aurangzeb.
Azeb didn’t meet in person & just sent a message - "Shivaji was his responsibility. He must produce Shivaji back”. So, Ram Singh set out in search of Shivaji. This would be our last evidence that Ram Singh had not pulled back that bond of his, though Shivaji asked him to.
Aurangzeb was a suspicious yet ruthless man, observant like a chess player. None in Mughal court had the gumption to help Shivaji plot the escape. Shivaji couldn’t rely on a Mughal noble high in Agra food chain, for anything beyond putting sweet words for him in Aurangzeb's ears.
There were 7 columns of totally 1000 soldiers in a multi-tiered cordon around Shivaji. Three of those columns were Amber troops. Ram Singh’s trusted men (many were Rajputs) were concentrated in the innermost rings of this cordon, thus closest to Shivaji.
Then there were Meena troops (known for eye and vigilance) in the middle ring. Outermost cordon was manned by Mughal soldiers.
So, escaping from such a cordon would certainly require help - a) on ground & b) from reliable people available there.
A peek into Aurangzeb's psychotic suspicions. After ordering Ram Singh to march toward Kabul. Days later he asked Ram Singh- "why are your armies arriving here in Agra". Ram Singh had to clarify- "you only asked me to march to Kabul, So I had called for my forces to assemble".
This happened in June when Shivaji was still in the house arrest.
So, in such an environment. Shivaji escaping without help is impossible & it can't be a high-ranking Mughal. That leaves us with only one candidate party - hindus who were posited in Agra & knew the city well.
Kachwaha Tej Singh was the son of Kanh Singh Rajawat - village Bhakhari. He was in Deccan with Jai Singh for considerable time. Requested transfer back in north as his daughter’s wedding was due. So, Maharaja Jai Singh put him to escort Shivaji throughout his journey north.
Thus, a good acquaintance between Tej Singh & Shivaji is obvious. Following is some crucial information from Maha Singh’s communication with Parkaldas. See attached...
Now that we’ve indicated who helped Shivaji’s escape from the 1000 men cordon. Let’s dwell on his escape route further. The theory I subscribe to is as follows:
- As a kahar Shivaji was accompanied by a Mewa. Based on the region’s demography, that Mewa could either be a muslim from Mewat or a Hindu from Etawa near Panchanada. We can guess who would be more inclined to help Shivaji & who fits better to Shivaji’s plan.
The Mewa from Etawa would obviously be well versed with the contours of the region to which Shivaji was heading & specially its big & small rivers up to Bundelkhand.
- A man of own Navy, Shivaji was expert in water navigation. He rafted on Yamuna on a wooden raft, from Agra to Panchanada near Bhareh. Parkaldas says it rained heavily that day in East Raj, putting the rivers in spate in the area up to where Chabil/Chambal & Yamuna meet.
Lal Kavi of Bundelkhand mentions in Chhatra Prakash that rafting was a mode of transport often used in the region. The part of river thus traversed is proven to have provided required speed of navigation, fitting to Shivaji's escape route timeline.
- Now we’ve come to Bhareh with Shivaji. This area was dotted with tiny forts, thikanas of Kachwaha & Sengar Rajputs. Guess who lived in Bhareh? Descendants of Gaga Bhatta. Who else knew Gaga Bhatta very well? Kavi Kalash who was earlier in Shivaji's company.
Kavi Kalash & the Sengar Chief knew each other due to liking of Sanskrit poetry. Now it should be easy to join the dots.
Shivaji moved into Bundelkhand. This region is known for its terrain of hills, ravines & rivers. All the mighty powers (Islamic to British) found it very tough to conquer or even traverse here, as every village was like a fort. Nightmare for supply & logistics of any alien force.
Bhushan & Jogidas Dasaundhi whom Shivaji rewarded weeks back on advice of Tej Singh, both had their native in Bundelkhand. Both have written account of Shivaji’s escape. Further from Panchnada & Bhareh was Ratangarh in Bundelkhand on bank of Sindh (not Indus) river.
Samarth Guru Ramdas had already reached Ratangarh. Shivaji who had escaped on Aug 18th, reached Ratangarh on the 3rd day of his escape i.e. Monday Shukla Paksha Dwiteeya Aug 20th 1666 A.D.
Anecdote- 2 months later, on same tithi that year on Deepawali, with the legend of Samarth Ramdas acquiring sarpa dansha sidhi, started the famous lakkhi mela of Ratangarh. By the way, same water transport tactic was used later by Chhatrasal Bundela when he fled Mughals.
<End of Escape Theory>.
In Agra, Faulad Khan blamed Ram Singh for the fiasco. Emperor banned Ram Singh from the court. He cut latter’s rank down by 1000 troops & reduced or suspended his Mansab. Infuriated emperor also despatched letter to inform Jai Singh in Deccan, in some not so decent words.
For next few months the frenzy caused a flurry of letters to flow between various deputations of military & bureaucratic officers all around the north & Deccan. Soon news reached Amber that on Aug 23rd Shivaji had crossed Narwar.
He showed documents authorizing his travel & hence was allowed to pass. Aurangzeb asked Narwar’s Mughal Fauzdar in his signature ridiculing style – “You must follow him?” Ram Singh was now starting toward Narwar in chase.
On further investigation, Shivaji's passing Narwar was said to be false. Or that is what is stated in at least these letters shooting among Amber officers. Ram Singh still out of Mughal court, was now being guided by the old Jaswant Singh in navigating the politics of tough times
This was initiated by Ballushah, the former’s vakil meeting Maharaja Jaswant Singh for help. The Jodhpur Maharaja was said – “my & Kachwaha royals’ prestige is one & the same. I will speak for Ram Singh at the right time. As of now, the Emperor is in a different mind”.
Badi Begum had tried to persuade Aurangzeb– ‘Ram Singh didn’t do this on purpose, remember Jai Singh's contribution & forgive Kunwar’s mistake’. Aurangzeb said – “Kunwar’s fault is big enough to warrant a punishment. It is only because of Mirza Raja that I have spared his life”.
On Aug 27th Aurangzeb was informed of Ram Singh's encampment at Chabil i.e. Chambal (before Narwar). Emperor commented - "He searched a bit in vain before the river. And he will search a bit in vain beyond the river. Inform his Vakil to tell him to come back".
Nervous Amber bureaucracy was hankering in desperation. On advice of Jaswant Singh, they wrote to Ram Singh- “Maharaj Kumar ji (Ram Singh) should not disobey the emperor & return to his residence in Agra.”
Ram Singh insisted on seeing a decree from emperor which clearly pardons him. Or to go on whichever campaign emperor sends him to. It was an effort to pre-empt danger to own safety & position in Agra. And stay the hell out so long as it wasn’t appropriate to return.
Muhammad Amin Khan meets Jai Singh's vakil Giridhar Lal. Before giving the emperor's orders Amin Khan, taunts a rhetorical query to the vakil - "Has Kunwar Ram Singh produced Shivaji yet"? Vakil responded - "He will be found, don’t get agitated".
Meanwhile Sidi Faulad Khan had caught the remaining 4-5 of Shivaji’s men from hiding. He tortured them with lashes, filling salt in the nostrils etc & got them to accept that Kunwar Ram Singh conspired in Shivaji's escape.
Faulad Khan then sent them as evidence to Nawab Jafar Khan via his men & conveyed that the suspects also admit Ram Singh's staff helping in the escape. This staff (Tej Singh, Rin Singh, BalluShah etc) swiftly went to Nawab Jafar Khan where these suspects were already produced.
They first requested Nawab to have Faulad Khan's men step back & then asked the suspects directly, in front of Jafar Khan. The suspects spilled the beans - "We were beaten & tortured to give these statements. You better kill us. We are God fearing brahmins.”
“Neither we nor Ram Singh ji have anything to do with Shivaji’s escape" they said. Jafar Khan then said to Faulad Khan’s men – “This is a coerced & false confession. I have investigated. Take these men away & do not beat them anymore.”
Despatches flying among Amber officials all around, warned each other to be watchful about Shivaji’s matter & also about own work, friends & enemies in the precarious times. It was a golden opportunity for anti-Kachwaha camp in Mughal administration to further muddy the waters.
After Aurangzeb’s decree, Ram Singh returned to Agra on Sept 02, 1666 still in officially banished status. Paranoid Aurangzeb wouldn't let any important Rajput Umraos gather in Agra for long in such delicate situation. asked Maharaja Jaswant Singh to start for Kabul campaign.
Full 15 days later, Kachwaha agents in Agra were still brain storming on details of how Shivaji escaped. But the theory of baskets was getting traction in the various circles now.
Aurangzeb was still angry at Ram Singh. For a man like him, suspicion on inner circle in such a blunder is the first thing comes to mind. He remarked - "What kind of a man Kunwar is, to have let Shivaji escape in his knowledge".
The accusation “in his knowledge” suggests that Aurangzeb considered it (at least for time being) a deliberate conspiracy & not just criminal lack of due diligence. But Aurangzeb had a cryptic manner with hard hitting sarcasm & cynicism. So, difficult to conclude from this much.
On Sept 15th Aurangzeb was informed that Shivaji's men in some of the deccan forts are preparing to attack the Imperial lands. Aurangzeb asked for Jai Singh to be informed of his responsibility in tackling it permanently.
We know that the Rajasthani letters written by Amber officers from Agra record Jodhpur Maharaja Jaswant Singh being visibly against any leeway to be given to Shivaji in court discussions. But Jaswant Singh’s career & actions deserve a separate analysis out of our scope here.
While these Rajasthani letters are more authentic on court events. Word on street as recorded by Burnier is as follows. Surat loot, Puna attack & Shivaji skipping via Simhagarh when Jaswant Singh was camped on same route; followed by recall from Deccan.
All this made the contemporary Islamic sources also, to blame some Jaswant-Shivaji secret pact, like they blamed Jai Singh as well. That a man who countered two Mughal princes alone despite desertion in ranks, would let Shivaji win?
Regardless of the true cause for disconnect appearing between court words & field action of Jaswant Singh. There had been a tacit understanding between mid/low level Rathore officers & Kachwahas to co-operate should things take a serious turn in Agra.
This is indicated not only circumstantially, but also in Seva Di Var by Kulpati Misra. As part of that understanding, Jaswant Singh later lobbied with Muhammad Amin Khan for Kunwar Ram Singh to be pardoned before the former left for Kabul campaign.
Amin Khan made the request. Aurangzeb struck it down again- "His (Kunwar's) deed is fit for death. He is alive only because of my regard for Mirza Raja". Aurangzeb’s remarks on multiple such occasions hint of him being convinced that Ram Singh had deliberately let Shivaji flee.
Oct 5th Jai Singh's letter pacifies Aurangzeb with news - Netuji Palkar had been arrested in Deccan. An official asked on disposing Shivaji's belongings, supplies. Aurangzeb called it– ‘haram ka maal’ i.e. inappropriately acquired. Should be sold & the money be donated in fakirs.
Parkaldas to Amber Diwan: I’ve heard Maharaja Jai Singh had written to Kunwar - "You have failed me & yourself by letting Shivaji escape. I’ve been shunned by the emperor, disrobed of the army’s command. Speak to members of royal family to pacify the Emperor about your affairs".
On one side Jai Singh's Deccan campaign didn't end up as expected. Then the events of Shivaji in Agra added to his troubles. Aurangzeb eventually had his wings clipped. To redeem, Jai Singh now tried to come clean & convince Mughals he is doing all in his power against Shivaji.
He wrote to Jafar Khan- “Shiva has not come to this area. If & where I find him, I will attack him”.
Confusing reports flew all around on Shivaji– ‘He was found here’. ‘No, he was seen there’. ‘Has reached Rajgarh’. ‘No, not yet’. Mughal intel in Deccan wasn’t up to the mark.
Later in October during a hunt with Emperor, Hasan Ali Khan argued for Ram Singh to be pardoned. 180 Aurangzeb hadn’t cooled down or so he showed. He said - "He pleased Shiva & displeased me. This is a big betrayal. What he did has never happened from side of his family.”
By Nov 8th more & more unconfirmed reports were coming in that Shivaji had reached Rajgarh & that his son had died (false report).
Sometime in October end or November start, Shivaji wrote his first letter to Jai Singh since the escape.
According to Amber officials he is quoted to have written - "If Maharaja ji has two sons then I am the second one. I was ill-treated there. When the situation became unbearable & life threatening, I escaped to save my life & returned here.
Last line by Shivaji above has 2 possible meanings – 1) same as what Ram Singh told him once, when Shivaji had asked Ram Singh to dissociate & surrender the bond i.e. “Your son would not leave me alone". Or - 2) “I saw that your son was unable to secure my release”.
It is apt to note here that the value of solemn assurance by Jai Singh, Ram Singh & the trust of Shivaji in this duo were both high. Shivaji had set out to a never chartered enemy territory of Agra with literally 200 men, most of whom were non-combatants.
This explains why the Kachwaha royals tried so hard to save Shivaji from harm & protect own word from dishonour.
Later Amber officials relayed from Agra in November that in a spy report, Aurangzeb has been told the following - "Shivaji had finally been sighted in Rajgarh.
He had escaped Agra in the thick of the night. He completed his travel in 25 days. His son travelling with him died on way (false, rumour). He has had one more son recently. Shivaji was quite unwell for few days upon arrival. Then he had recovered but now has a new disease".
But the bureaucracy finally believed on Shivaji’s arrival in Rajgarh, only when Maharaja’s letter reached Aurangzeb at the start of January 1667 A.D.
Ram Singh was later pardoned on March 23rd 1667 A.D. after efforts of Jaswant Singh right, before leaving for Kabul again.
Was Shivaji forced to go to Agra? Was it a mutually agreed decision? Court documents would give you one angle of the story. The official one that is always defending some official or curating facts in a monochrome. But vernacular literature presents another aspect of the picture.
Kulpati Mishra conveys in following words at Rasa Rahasya, that it was equally Shivaji’s wish to visit Agra. The sub surface co-operation between Ram Singh & Marathas continued after Jai Singh’s death.
It has been indicated by Sanskrit correspondence between Ram Singh & Kavi Kalash, Shambhuji around 1682-83 A.D. Discussions included also the matter of Durgadas Rathore & prince Akbar. G Sardesai has also acknowledged the existence of these letters.
Just as there are reasons for why Rajput states failed to unite among themselves or later with Marathas against Mughals. I’m sure there would be reasons for why Shambhuji failed to raise a rebellion via prince Akbar. There are two sides to every coin.
I will ask the readers to now recall what we said in the start. Differentiate as to who helped Shivaji in what manner. Please read the content once again, so you can clearly segregate them yourself.
One man with young son escapes from a cordon of 1000 men undetected.
Tell me if that can happen without local help. However, whose help? Jai Singh & Ram Singh's? Unlikely, in my opinion. Yes, Kachwaha family's efforts weren't only in keeping Shivaji confined. But in keeping him safely alive with dignity just as they had promised him.
However, that is where their involvement gets capped. It was the relatively lower rank officers like Tej Singh Rajawat, Arjun Singh Nathawat who likely co-plotted in Shivaji's plan.
The poets whom Shivaji liaised with, were also well connected everywhere to quietly keep pawns in the right place at the right time, without being in Mughals’ scrutiny. My broad understanding about Kachwaha camp or its three dimensions is as follows: -
•The nobility/royals wanted Shivaji in safety & dignity, but in Agra. Until a compromise is reached.
•The stability advocate bureaucracy just wanted Amber's interests secured at any cost, by avoiding any deterioration in Agra-Amber relations whatsoever.
•The middle or low-level military officers on ground (Agra) were not only well-wishers of the Kachwaha nobility, but deeply aspired for Shivaji's triumph.

I hope we can segregate clearly now, who helped in saving Shivaji’s life & who helped in his escape.
If you throw the pan of history wide open. It wasn’t the Kachwaha camp alone to have helped Marathas in the hour of need.
An isolated Netuji Palkar not only survives Afghanistan deputation. But also performs well & convinces a man like Aurangzeb of his loyalty & returns to Deccan. All this wouldn’t be possible without help. Rathores in this case. Netuji was posted with them in that abyss.
How did Netuji pay back for this favour? Going against most Maratha chiefs, he robustly argued at Shambhuji’s Maratha court in favour of prince Akbar & Durgadas Rathore.
Next is Bikaner, years later. Sabhasad Bakhar pg130 states that despite being vassal of Aurangzeb. Bikaner's Maharaja Anup Singh & his brothers Padam Singh, Kesar Singh had helped Shivaji (via timely secret message) to escape even after being surrounded by Mughals near Jalna.
The many times larger Mughal reinforcement they led, had crept up close to Shivaji. It could have proven fatal if the narrow escape based on timely intel didn’t happen.
Anup Singh's sympathy for Hindu cause is amply clear from his other acts of:
a) buying precious, threatened manuscripts from Deccani Brahmins &
b) taking temple idols away pre-emptively. Both were sent & preserved per his orders in the Bikaner fort.
His efforts are credited with acquiring a large part of the wealth of manuscripts that lie today at State Bikaner Archives.
Another case is of Madhoji Bhonsle II aka Appaji the Maratha king of Nagpur who fought against British.
In 1820s Appaji had already lost the throne & was looking for friends against the British who were chasing him. Pressure of the British was so high that even Maharaja Ranjit Singh (his first host) had to ask him to look elsewhere.
In that situation Jodhpur Maharaja Man Singh gave sanctuary to Appaji against the British. Appaji died after 16 years exile in Jodhpur kingdom’s territory only.
For those who repeatedly scream about the Kachwaha marriages from rooftops day in & out, as if the sky has fallen. Few points to assert that Kachwahas did their best to protect hindu interests despite being caught up with Mughals. Only few of them: -
1) Kachwahas standing between Mughals & hindu praja of their Kingdom, prevented the same Sunnat in north, which Shivaji is said to have prevented down south. This is an often-forgotten aspect.
2) The same Kachwaha Kings are credited with demolishing mosques, rebuilding temples & getting Jizya removed. All these are recorded facts.
3) Kachwaha royals had to pay the steepest price (life), yet they honoured a Rajput's word in defending the life & honour of Shivaji.
4) Religious freedom of Amber Kingdom's hindus in the overall timeline wasn’t bad. Attached are just few of the examples: -
Few months after Shivaji’s escape. The famous poet named Paramanand Kavishwar (Bhushan) who had liaised plenty with Shivaji & later wrote on him, was intercepted & detained while en-route to Benares in Jan 1667 A.D.
Maharaja Jai Singh had his vakil in Agra request Aurangzeb to let him off, saying he had nothing to do with Shivaji’s escape. Aurangzeb relented.
Revisiting Shivaji’s outlook, poets, public interface etc. These had to do with his quest for a spot of glory on the political platform of India. Was it an end or a means, is a matter of interpretation & debate? Rajasthani letters show 2 sides of Shivaji's persona as a statesman.
At times he appears ready to reconcile, compromise. & then on other occasions he displays an acute sense of self-esteem, ready to die than give even an inch. Whether it was part of his personality or a deliberate tactic, we leave it to the learned readers to decode.
That Shivaji was very particular about his fame, image projection & self-esteem, is obvious from the many cues that he left: -
-His cavalcade in Agra moved with such pomp & show. That it invoked a projection that he was no less than the very highest-ranking Imperial nobles. It became a gossip subject among commoners & officials alike.
-His daringly storming out of the Mughal court on May 12th. It was because of being placed in the mansabdari row which he deemed lower than appropriate & hence insulting. This rupture catalysed the formation & direction of a large part of our medieval history.
-His rewarding poets etc extremely generously. Back then having a poet in your support was like (in modern terms) getting the vernacular media & papers operate in your favour.
-While entering Agra on May 11th when Kunwar Ram Singh came to receive Shivaji. Shivaji delayed in stepping forward to meet him, & waited for Ram Singh to step forward instead, which the latter eventually did.
It is a bit like when some people are nuanced enough to stress on who brings their hand out first for a hand-shake & what it implies regarding both parties in the hand shake.
Why was Aurangzeb so keen on sending Shivaji to Kabul campaign: -
Best case - Aurangzeb was pissed off with Shivaji's growing popularity, market gossip & pressure from nobles to act tough. He wanted to throw Shivaji away from popularity of Agra, but still under his watch.
Worst case - he never stopped wanting to kill Shivaji.
I believe it was the latter. His trying repeatedly to put Radandaz Khan in proximity to Shivaji gives it out.
Regardless of which it was, Aurangzeb had this strategy of keeping all Hindu commanders busy pillar to post from one far off campaign to another. It was to prevent these rulers spend long durations on neither their home turf nor Agra.
As a parting message to fellow history buffs & even trolls. Let me just say that history isn’t as simple as some of you make it to be. Nor is it a pretty story of neatly separated heroes & villains. Its complexity runs contrary to our subjective bias & imagination.
Try not to trivialize it in your desperate attempts of over-simplifying the myriad aspects. Don’t be a victim of presentism. Don’t be that man who is watching match on TV and teaching Tendulkar – Oh he should have hooked that one in off.
As promised at the start, following tweets have the translated Seva Di Var. I hope the ridiculously long thread had some value. This is actually a blog post whose URL also I will soon share across. Thanks.
# 1 -17
# 18 - 32
# 33 - 43
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