LAND OF THE MARATHAS, WESTERN INDIA, 17TH CENTURY
For the first time in over three centuries, the Maratha homeland has seen one of its own sons crowned as a sovereign King. The coronation of Maharaj Shivaji Raje Bhosale as the first Maratha Chhatrapati, has added a new political power in the Deccan, and changed the course of Indian history.
Chhatrapati Shivaji expands his holdings, first along the west coast, and later along the east coast of the Indian peninsula, in systematically planned and brilliantly executed military campaigns that leave both the Adilshahi and the Mughal Empire dumbfounded. In a year-long campaign into the Adilshahi Karnatak, the Chhatrapati first befriends the Qutubshah, then annexes an entire district, as well as his father’s former estates, subduing his rebellious half-brother. He returns victorious, having changed the political, social and economic future of the South. The true impact of this phenomenal campaign will be felt years after his death, when Aurangzeb launches his final war against the Marathas, and these southern lands provide a safe haven for the Chhatrapati’s younger son.
Following his return from this whirlwind campaign, the Chhatrapati struggles to come to terms with his own health, and family strife. Troubled by the growing discord between his eldest son, Sambhaji, and his chief wife, Soyarabai, as also the widening chasm between Sambhaji and his ministers, he loses hope that his beloved Swarajya will hold its own after his demise.
Finally, with no solution to the domestic crisis in view, Chhatrapati Shivaji, the extraordinary man, who inspired millions to rebel against bigoted foreign rulers, and established a free state for his people, breathes his last and passes into Legend.