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Taanaji Malusare and the Battle of Singhagad

Topics Covered:

  1. Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.


Taanaji Malusare and the Battle of Singhagad


What to study?

For Prelims and mains: About Taanaji, the battle and it’s outcomes.


Context: A Bollywood movie is being made based on Subedar Taanaji Malusare.


Who was Tanaaji Malusare?

  • He was a Maratha military leader and a close aide of Chhatrapati Shivaji.
  • Hailing from the Malusare clan, Taanaji is popularly remembered for the Battle of Singhagad that took place in the year 1670.
  • In the battle, Taanaji fought against Udaybhan Rathore, a formidable Rajput warrior, who was put in charge of Fort Kandhana (later named Singhagad) by Jai Singh.


Battle of Singhagad, 1670:

In the year 1665, the Treaty of Purandar was signed between Jai Singh and Shivaji.

Amongst several demands, the treaty had required the Maratha ruler to give up Fort Kandhana to the Mughals.

After it was taken over by the Mughals, the fort was guarded by Rajput, Pathan and Arab troop guards and was said to be impenetrable.

This deeply disturbed and enraged Shivaji’s mother Rajmata Jijabai. Upon knowing this, Shivaji entrusted Taanaji, the only man he could think of capable of reconquering the fort Kondhana at any cost.


Outcomes of the battle:

  1. Even though the attack by Taanaji took the Mughals by surprise, the latter nonetheless outnumbered the Marathas.
  2. The two clashed for long. Malusare was gravely wounded in the fight and died.
  3. Enraged by the death of their general, the Marathas fought under the leadership of his brother, Suryaji Malusare, and eventually vanquished the enemy.
  4. The fort was renamed as Singhagad (lion’s fort) by Shivaji to honour Tanaji.


Sources: the Hindu.