1599-1629 CE
Political instability in Deccan

After the fall of Bahamani kingdom, Deccan became very unstable on the political front. Five major principalities that sprang up were constantly engaged in war against each other or the Mughals. This was a very tormenting period for local people. Mughals were trying to spread across the Deccan region through successive campaigns. These campaigns would destroy villages and farms, cattle was confiscated, men and women taken as slaves and the entire economy ended up in shambles. Whatever was left was being consumed up by natural calamities like famine.

1630-1646 CE
Pune region stabilized

The devastating famine of 1630 CE has been amply described in contemporary sources. Nizamshahi was at the end of it's life. While Shahji tried to revive Nizamshahi, he did not get enough support. After it's fall, Shahji sided with Adilshahi and had to move down south. He appointed his trusted aide Dadaji Konddev to manage the administrative affairs of his jahgir. Dadaji's firm but people oriented approach helped in stabilizing the region. As a child, Shivaji must have closely seen the administration and policies employed by Dadaji. This is reflected in his letters written after Dadaji's death.

1647-1656 CE
Shivaji begins administration

After the death of Dadaji Konddev around 1647 CE, Shivaji took up the administrative responsibilities of this region. His magnetic personality and charming manners immediately established a bond of love and respect between him and the local people. He also had support of stalwarts like Kanhoji Jedhe Naik, Baji Pasalkar and Neelkanthrao Purandare. Together, they started gaining control over key regions and forts around Pune. Javli was a dreaded region near Shivaji's western boundary which no one dared to attack. He employed all his skills to defeat Chandrarao More and annexed Javli.

1657-1658 CE
Chowl, Kalyan, Mahuli taken

After getting Javli, Shivaji planned to take the north-west region up to the sea shore. He was eyeing old Nizamshahi territories which lacked well established Mughal or Adilshahi control. Konkan region was geographically separated and was difficult to attack given the huge armies and cannons with Mughals or Adilshahi. Shivaji targeted this region and annexed most of the forts to the west of Pune. He managed to double the region under his control in this short span of two years. Then he turned his attention to maritime security by establishing the Maratha Navy, the first of it's kind on western coast.

1659 CE
Afzalkhan's Campaign

Shivaji had enraged Mughals and Adilshahi by gaining control over regions like Javli, Kalyan- Bhivandi and Konkan which were beyond his inherited jahgirs. At that time, Aurangzeb was busy establishing control over the newly acquired throne. Adilshahi then deployed a brave but cruel sardar called Afzalkhan to put an end to Shivaji's activities. He left Bijapur with an army of ten thousand with few thousand to join later. Shivaji persuaded him to come to Pratapgad for a meeting. Entire Adilshahi army, arms and ammunition, jewellery and all other precious items fell into Shivajis hands when Afzalkhan was killed.

1660 CE
Siddi, Shahistekhan campaign

Immediately after killing Afzalkhan, Shivaji launched a three fold attack on Adilshahi. In retaliation to this, Siddi Johar and Shahistekhan started from Adilshahi and Mughal camp respectively. It was very important for Shivaji to keep both enemies apart. He stayed at Panhalgad to prevent Siddi from moving into his territory. After a long seige, he escaped from Panhalgad with a band of 600 men. Shahistekhan was still camped in Pune and was badly hurting the region financially. But it was impossible for Shivaji to engage in a straight battle with the huge Mughal army.

1661 CE
Konkan won by Shivaji

While engaging with the Mughal offensive led by Shahistekhan, Shivaji continued to establish his supremacy in Konkan region. He foiled Mughal plan of capturing Konkan by defeating Kartalabkhan and confiscating everything his army was carrying. He then visited Parshuram temple at Chiplun, attacked Shringarpur and then imprisoned Britishers at Rajapur. His army continued to defeat Mughal offensive in the region. Inspite of having an army over one lakh soilders, the Mughals could gain very little from the campaign. But their presence was hurting more financially and something had to be done about it.

1662-1663 CE
Shahistekhan routed

Though he was defeating Mughal sardars like Namdarkhan and few others, Shivaji was unable to engage Mughals in a full fledged war. He had to do something drastic to drive out Shahistekhan from his region. He planned a direct raid on Shahistekhans camp with handful of people at his side. The meticulously planned attack was well implemented. Shahistekhan lost all his pride along with four fingers of his left hand. He fled back to Aurangabad in two days after the attack. After few months, Shivaji planned another daring attack, this time on Surat, the flourishing Mughal port.

1664 CE
Surat looted, Jaisingh's campaign

Three years of plundering by the Mughal army had devastated the economy in Shivaji's region. He had to rejuvenate it by getting funds from enemy camp. Surat was one such wealthy city with huge revenues and little protection. Shivaji attacked this city and redeemed the loss caused to his state. Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb was obviously not amused by this daring attack and his stalwart campaigner Mirza Raje Jaisingh was immediately summoned. Meanwhile Shivaji continued his work building Sindhudurg fort and also winning Hubli, Vengurla.

1665 CE
Naval campaign, Jaisingh pact

In the initial months, Shivaji undertook his first naval campaign to Basnur. He was the only King in his time to have understood the importance of a maritime force. Meanwhile Jaisingh was preparing for his Deccan campaign. He was a master campaigner and knew all the tricks of the trade. After arriving at Purandar, he immediately sent troops to plunder villages and confiscate valuables. Purandar was being pounded by heavy fire from Mughals. Shivaji did not have the option of open battle due to the hugely disproportionate forces. He finally agreed to have a pact and visited Jaisingh's camp. It was a very difficult treaty for Shivaji.

1666 CE
Visit to Agra and escape

On the behest of Jaisingh, Shivaji decided to visit the Mughal Emperor at Agra. But his first encounter with the Emperor turned into a confrontation of sorts. He was hardly welcomed at the court and was made to stand behind officers who used to run away from the battlefield. He made no attempt to hide his displeasure at the inhospitality and stormed out of the court. Placed under house arrest, he quickly realized that escape was inevitable and planned it very secretly. His escape was such a huge blow to Aurangzeb that even forty years later, he could not forgive himself and has mentioned it in his final words.

1667-1670 CE
Retakes lost regions and forts

After returning from Agra, Shivaji did not launch any offensive but offered truce to Mughals and used this time to stabilize the region. He tried to secure things on the Adilshahi front and won Rangna fort. Then he moved to Goa and attacked Bardesh. He ordered to rebuild Saptakoteshwar temple, while in north, Aurangzeb had ordered to demolish temples. Aurangzeb also tried to imprison Niraji and Prataprao at the Aurangabad camp. Shivaji then trashed his treaty with Mughals and started retaking the forts lost earlier. He raided Surat for the second time, won an epic battle at Dindori and raided Karanje.

1671-1673 CE
Mughals, Adilshah defeated

After 1670 CE, Shivaji turned the tables on both, Mughals and Adilshahi. He went on to win not just the lost regions, but also brought key areas like Baglan, Jawhar, Ramnagar under his control. Huge forts like Salher and Mulher were won during this campaign. Aurangzeb was left red faced due to the sheer bravery displayed by Shivaji and his troops. Adilshahi armies were also defeated on all fronts and they did not have anyone to counter Shivajis threat. Ramdas Swami praised Shivaji for his unrelenting effort in establishing Swarajya. Raigad was busy preparing for an epic event, Shivaji's coronation ceremony.

1674 CE
Shivaji's coronation

After securing his region from Mughal and Adilshahi attacks, Shivaji planned for his coronation. An independant Hindu king was coronated for the first time after the fall of Vijaynagar empire in 16th century. It was an event that defied Muslim supremacy in that period. The importance of this event is such that the Muslim courts chose not to mention it, except for some in passing. Mughal and Adilshahi chronicles do not contain any note of this remarkable event. Few days after this, Jijabai passed away leaving everyone full of grief. Shivaji then continued his offensive and attacked Khandesh.

1675-1676 CE
Secures North, heads South

After Shivaji's coronation, there was some internal discontent in the family and it alienated Sambhaji. Shivaji was fighting the Mughals on the northern front and at the same time establishing control over Ankola, Shiveshwar, Kadra, Karwar etc. Marathas were also attempting to win Janjira, but in vain. Meanwhile, Netaji Palkar, who was forcibly converted to Islam, returned to Raigad. Shivaji re-converted him back to Hinduism. It was nothing short of a revolutionary step at that time. While Shivaji prepared for his southern campaign, he deputed Sambhaji away from Raigad, to administer Prabhavali region.

1677-1678 CE
Southern campaign successful

Shivaji's southern campaign was a huge success. He not only managed to double the region under his control but also won some important forts like Jinjee, Koppal, Tordal and many others. Meanwhile, Mughals made inroads into Adilshahi by winning Naldurg and Gulbarga. Shivaji's interaction with his step-brother Vyankoji, during southern campaign, brings out his qualities as a true statesman. During this campaign and approximately 150 years before slave trade was abolished in England, Shivaji instructed Dutch envoys that it was illegal in his region. One very unfortunate event in this period was that Sambhaji defected to Mughals.

1679-1680 CE
Khanderi built, Shivaji dies

Maritime security was very important for Shivaji and he appointed Maynak Bhandari for this job. Maynak ensured that Khanderi was built and retained amidst cannon fire from Siddi and the British. It was an exemplary fight by the Maratha navy. Meanwhile, Sambhaji realized his folly and returned from the Mughal camp. Temples were being destroyed in Jodhpur and Aurangzeb had imposed Jaziya on non-muslims. Shivaji completed his final family responsibility by marrying off his younger son Rajaram. He passed away leaving a strong state in the hands of his sons and ministers. It was the end of a golden era in Indian history.