Tanaji Malusare

Tanaji Malusare was a close friend and heroic leader of the Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He, along with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, was the Subedar and commander of the Maratha Empire and the army that fought for Hindu self-rule (Swarajya).

The warrior Tanaji was born in 1600 AD in a small village Godoli, Taluka Jawali in Satara district of Maharashtra. Tanaji was very fond of sword wielding since childhood. Shivaji Maharaj later on seeing Tanaji's skill in his empire appointed the commander of his army and the chief subedar of the Maratha Empire.

Preparations were on, for the marriage of Tanaji's son Raiba, that is why when Tanaji reached the palace to invite Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, he came to know that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was planning to attack Kondana. Then Tanaji said "Raje, I will fulfill this operation, I will attack Kondana", not giving importance to the important work like the marriage of his son Raiba, as much as the Kondana Fort felt necessary.

The design of Kondhana Fort was such that it was not easy to attack the fort. It was decided that to reach inside the fort, many adverse situations will have to be faced. At that time, about five thousand Mughal soldiers were guarding the fort. The security of the fort was in the hands of Udaybhan Rathod.

In these circumstances only one part of Kondhana fort was such that Maratha army could easily enter the fort. And that part was the western part of the high hills of the fort. According to Tanaji's war policy, he decided that he would climb the cliffs of the western part with the help of Ghorpad (Large Lizard) to breach the security of the fort.

Finally, the day of invasion of Kondhana Fort was decided. It was the 4th February 1670. Tanaji Malusare, along with his brother Suryaji and his maternal uncle Shelar mama, went out to conquer Kondhana Fort with 342 Mawales (Maratha Soldiers).

Tanaji tied a thick rope at Ghorpad and with his help, Tanaji and his companions quietly climbed the fort. After opening the Kalyan door of Kondhana, he attacked the Mughals. The Kondhana fort was controlled by Udaybhan, Tanaji's fierce battle with five thousand Mughal soldiers took place under his leadership. During this war, his shield was broken, then Tanaji tied his turban on his hand and his sword with one hand, he kept moving with his lightning fast sword.

Tanaji fought like a brave lion and this fort was eventually conquered, but in the process, Tanaji was severely injured and he fell down in the battle. After releasing the Kondana Fort from the subjugation of the Mughals, Shivaji Maharaj changed the name of Kondhana Fort to Sinhgad in the memory of his friend.

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