A sacred, God gifted man, born with grit and a mid-sized stature, Tanaji was born in Godoli and hailed from Umrat in Konkan. He was a person who in his younger days tried mimicking Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and became a dear friend of Maharaj. Tanaji held the post of Killedar in Maharaj's regime only due to his valour, sacrifice, power and immense dedication to Hindavi Swarajya. He was a staunch Maratha, a brave, ruthless fighter, an idol to some and God to many.
Battle Of Kondana Fort
On February 4th,1670 AD in the Battle of Kondana Fort, the blitzkrieg by a Maratha General was on its way. A man of words, the shining Knight in his Golden armour, a dedicated Bhakt to Shivaji Maharaj and Tulja Bhavani and also the Bhavani Talwar, the Valiant Fighter Killedar Tanaji Malusare, Suryaji Malusare & their uncle Shelar Mama led the Maratha warriors. The night of Feb 4th was planned n decided consulting the Mawalas as the day to recapture Kondana by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Tanaji being a family man had his son Rayba's wedding planned. He was summoned by Maharaj for the discussion on Kondana. Tanaji agreed to join the meeting keeping all the necessary requirements done by a Dad in his son's wedding on hold.
Where was Kondana Fort?
Kondana was a fort on a steep mountain and there were challenges to reach. In order to reach there a steep cliff was chosen to climb in the night by Tanaji and his men who were led by Suryaji and guided by Shelar Mama. The reason for choosing the steep cliff was that no one could notice them at the time of climb.
The cliff was decided to be climbed with the help of a Ghorpad, a tamed Monitor Lizard. It was named Yashwanti. Yashwanti means the “The Commander of Success”. Yashwanti was tied with a rope and was allowed to climb the cliff along with the warriors.
Once the General of the climb Shelar Mama reached the top, along with his men, it was Tanaji who asked the Mughal troops to surrender, many of the Mughal troops surprised by the attack fled the scene. It was Tanaji Malusare who in the deep darkness of the night attacked the Fort keeper straight.
Tanaji in the fierce fight lost his shield, used a backup shield which lasted only for a few blows. Then he wrapped his left hand with the Turban and using it as shield. However, hand can never be a shield, Tanaji lost his left hand and that's when, the warrior in the Malusare kicked in and he went straight for the Fort keeper Uday Bhan Singh Rathore. Tanaji using only his sword and left forearm as the shield lost his life. However, he made sure Uday Bhan Singh got brutally harmed too.
The brutally injured Uday Bhan Singh was killed by Shelar Mama and Suryaji defeated the remaining Mughal forces. Hearing the news Shivaji Maharaj said "Gad ala pan Sinh gela." In Tanaji's memory for the valiant sacrifice, Maharaj renamed Kondana to Sinhgad as its known today.
By Akshay Umakant Naidu @TheTremor1991