Is Shivaji Maharaj really the father of Indian Navy

The Mughals began to rule parts of India from 1526, since they arrived overland from the North and won all the land battles decisively, they overlooked the naval arm of their armed forces.

While the Portuguese arrived in India and started monopolizing and controlling trade on the western coast of the continent. Chhatrapati Shivaji, founder of the Maratha Empire realized the significance of a robust naval force which laid the foundations for the primary keel of a Maratha naval vessel in a creek near Kalyan circa 1654.

Shivaji Maharaj built a strong naval presence across the coast of Konkan and Goa to protect sea trade. The navy that was built by Shivaji was feared by the Dutch, Portuguese, and British as they failed to capture and attack the Maratha navy multiple times with allied forces yet ended up being brutally defeated

The Portuguese didn’t pose a colonial threat to India anymore with the amount of military left after the battle against the Maratha naval forces and allied with the British. Navy under Shivaji protected the western Konkan coastline against numerous attacks and fought many lengthy battles with Siddis of Janjira.

He worked majorly towards strengthening the navy which gave the basis for the origination of our own Indian naval forces.

Despite the fact that dynasties like The Mauryans, Guptas, and The Cholas, who had an established naval force that conducted successful naval expeditions along the Ganges as well as repeated embassies to China, he is considered the father of Indian naval forces because of his great efforts and work towards establishing a safe, secure and vast naval forces and bases across the Konkan coastline.

He established himself firmly along the coastlines by introducing a blue-water navy, developing coastal cities and places along the coastline by building seaforts, military bases, and watch posts on Andaman which eventually led to the islands being included in the Indian territory.

He also built ships in towns such as Kalyan, Bhivandi, and Goa for building fighting navy as well as trade. Shivaji’s admiral Kanhoji Angre is also often said to be the “Father of Indian Navy” for his exceptional strategies and service in strengthening the existing naval forces.

Quoting from the government.

‘India still fights its battles largely depending on the navy and thus practices the lessons we have learned from the great Maratha ruler. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, thus, still lives and will continue to live in the soul of India because he was not only a ruler but was also an idea. And ideas never die.’

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The October Sky

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