Saturday, February 2, 2013


                                         VALIANT TANAJI MALUSARE
                                              Dr K Prabhakar Rao  

                     Tanaji Malusare belonged to a small village named Godoli in Javali taluka of Satara district of the State of Maharashtra.He was the    a childhood companion of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He was the most trusted commander of Shivaji Mharaj   and a party to all of Shivaji’s important political movements, right from the establishment of Swarajya. Shivaji Maharaj had assigned a force of a thousand Mavale to a few trusted chieftains during the campaign against Afzal Khan. Tanaji and his army fought bravely in that battle and defeated the enemy.Tanaji was exceptionally focused when in battle – such was his nature. He never accepted defeat against any odds. After capturing Sangameshwar in the Konkan campaign, Shivaji had appointed Tanaji and another chieftain Pilaji to protect Sangameshwar. One night, Surve led a surprise attack on Sangameshwar. Pilaji retreated in fear but Tanaji put up a brave fight and demonstrated true heroism.
                  He was given the responsibility of controlling the delinquent tribes in the Konkan area adjoining Raigad fort in the kingdom. He settled at Umarthe village in the region for this purpose. He transformed them through his friendship and motivated them instead to participate in the building of Swarajya. They contributed in capturing Kondhana (known by the name of Sinhagarh today) fort. Tanaji’s contribution in capturing the Kondhana fort will never be forgotten by the people of Maharashtra.
The Kondhana fort was a strongly fortified, heavily guarded fort, commanded by the valiant warrior, Udaybhan a Rajput and  killedar of Mughals. For the sake of Swarajya and to fulfil the wishes of Queen mother  Jijabai, Tanaji vowed to capture the Kondhana fort. Only a man with such immense  commitment and bravery  could undertake such a courageous mission. Lest the opportunity - to be part of this campaign - slip away from his hands, he decided solely to put Swarajya before family matters. Not a word of his son’s marriage, scheduled during the campaign, reached Chhatrapati Shivaji. His courage, valour and leadership challenged the enemy and inspired his army. To reach Kondhana, he chose Dronagiri cliff, the sheerest cliff, which the enemy left least guarded considering it impregnable. With a small army of 500 soldiers he attacked on 04 Feb 1670, the fort at night and caught the enemy unawares. For this purpose he used mountain monitor Lizard Ghorpad and he tied rope  ladder to its torso and  it was left over the cliff. It soon claimed the cliff and entrenched itself. Tanaji and his men climbed the ladder and all members could not reach the top  as the sword of a  soldier slipped and fell down making sound. The guards of the fort immediately alerted others and soon there was bitter fight among them. Tanaji and Uday bhan were engaged in a bitter duel. In a sword fight with Udaybhan, he lost his shield. But completely disregarding the fatal wounds that Udaybhan’s sword caused him, and using his left hand as a shield with turban wrapped around, he continued his battle with Udaybhan. Udaybhan struck tired Tanaji on his shoulder and his left arm from shoulder was severed. Like a wounded tiger he pounced on Udabhan and gave such a mighty blow on his head that  Udaybhan’s head was cut into two and he died instantaneously.
                 Tanaji too  soon collapsed under shock due to loss of blood  and soon reached heavens. In the mean times the fort gates were opened by Maratha s and Suryaji brother of Tanaji along with reinforcements rushed in and what happened was a massacre of Mughals in the fort. The victorious Maraths  made a huge bonfire to send a signal to Raigad and fired a cannon as a signal of victory. Next day in the morning Chatrapathi Shivaji Mharaj arrived tocongratulate Tanaji.Though it was a joyous occasion as the fort was captured,  the king was sad in losing his friend. He remarked “Gadh aala pan Sinha gela" (We have gained the fort, but lost a lion). The Kondana fort was subsequently renamed after him and came to be called Sinhagarh. (Sinha = lion, garh=fort)

                     In remembrance of his conquest, Tanaji Malusare has a memorial in the form of his bust installed atop Sinhagarh. The village of Umarthe also has a statue and a memorial installed in his name.
           How many of  our leaders keep nations interests first to everything? Probably there are very few like Swami Vivekananda, Guru Swami Ramdas, Balgangadhar Tilak, Guruji Golwalkar , Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Raja Kunwar singh, Bhagat singh, Chadrasekhar Azad, Shivaji Maharaj and few more. During 1962 war with China Gen Kaul got himself admitted in hospital during war with Chinese.  How shameful act it was while  our soldiers fought bitterly against the enemy poorly equipped. Of course there is no requirement to    discuss about our present nad some of the past leaders for whom personal interests came first .These characters are no match to Tanaji Malusare. 

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