MARATHA SWARAJYA, 1665
The Fort of Purandar is under siege by a huge Mughal army, led by the ruthless Afghan leader Dilerkhan, and the much feted Rajput Commander, Mirza Raje Jaysingh. All seems lost for the fledgling Maratha nation. Surrounded on all sides, Raje Shivaji debates with his advisors the wisest course of action.
But history is wont to repeat itself. The Mughal and Adilshahi forces, under the slave-general Siddi Jauhar, had earlier surrounded the Swarajya, trapping Raje himself on Panhalgad Fort. Desperate times call for desperate measures and a dangerous plan had been concocted for his escape under cover of night, right under the noses of the enemy. The thrilling tale of that famous escape to Vishalgad, and the ensuing Battle of Umberkhind, which destroyed the Mughal army, unfolds through the eyes of Shivaji Raje’s famous Guptachars or intelligence team – Bahirji-Naik. What transpired remains one of the greatest examples of guerilla warfare the world has ever witnessed. And once again, the Guptachars prepare to outmaneuver the Mughal Army against impossible odds.
But not all battles are fought on the battlefield. A temporary peace is achieved through shrewd diplomacy in the Treaty of Purandar. But every peace has its price. The Badshah Alamgir Aurangzeb commands Shivaji Raje to appear before him at his durbar in Agra. The Guptachars are thus faced with the daunting task of safeguarding the Maratha Chhatrapati on his visit to the Mughal capital and his safe passage out of the lion’s den.
Book Two of The Legend of Bahirji-Naik picks up the story of how these famed Guptachars came into Swarajya’s fold, while relating two of the greatest achievements of their eventful career; that saved both their King and the Maratha nation from mortal danger.