Did You Know?? The Story of Shivaji’s Childhood Days in Bengaluru

The great Maratha King is well known for Glory, Pride and, Bravery. On the birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, here’s a story of young Shivaji’s Bengaluru Days that many of us are not aware of.

Let’s get straight into the story.

Shivaji lived in Bengaluru for some time between 1640 – 1642

According to historians, there are two versions of why Shivaji was in Bengaluru. The first version states that Shivaji came to Bengaluru as a 12-year-old along with his mother Jijabai. Shahaji Raje, a Jagirdar of Bijapur rules summoned to bring their son along with his wife to his palace in Bengaluru.

“Shivaji and His Times” this book published in the year 1973 records of a letter written by Shivaji’s mother Jijabai to her husband Shahaji Raje stating that Shivaji at the age 12 had gone long past of marriageable age for a Maratha nobleman.

The other version states that Shivaji’s first wedding had taken place in the absence of his father Shahaji Raje at Lal Mahal, Pune. Thus, to meet his son Shivaji and daughter-in-law Saibai summoned the newly wedded couple along with mother Jijabai to his palace in Bengaluru to repeat the wedding ceremony.

The exact location of this palace remains a mystery and disputed. In addition to this, the historical records provide very little information on this.

According to the Karnataka State Gazetteer of Bangalore District (Urban) — edited by the late Karnataka historian Suryanath U Kamath — The Gauri Mahal Palace in the present-day Bengaluru’s Chickpet area (near Majestic) is where Shahaji and his own family are believed to have lived.

Source: Wikimedia commons

Further, according to historian M Fazlul Hasan tells that Shahaji’s Palace is Gowri Vilasa Hall in the city. In fact, he also speculates Gowri Vilasa Hall was inside the old palace built by Kempe Gowda.

Furthermore, In his famous book, ‘Bangalore Through The Centuries‘, he quotes a Sanskrit champu kavya (prose-poetry passage) called Radha Madhava Vilasa, which the poet, Jayarama Pandye, is believed to have read to Shivaji and Shahaji at the Gowri Vilasa Hall.

As a young Shivaji, he spent his days in the Bengaluru observing and absorbing its specific socio-cultural ethos. Also, received further formal training in statecraft and warfare.

Shivaji also developed an admiration for the administrative initiatives of Kantirava Narasaraja of Mysore.

In the year 1642, Shivaji was sent back to Pune.

Later in the following years, Shivaji visited South India traveling to Bengaluru, Hampi, Thanjavur and Srisailam and Madras. At Srisailam, he built an 82-foot tall gopuram for a temple dedicated to Goddess Bhramaramba and restored the festivals of the temple under the protection of his officers.

The city has “SHIVAJI MEMORIAL IN SADASHIV NAGAR” and had “SIVAJI THEATRE ON JC ROAD”, a prominent theatre during the early 80s as an honor to the Chhatrapati Shivaji.

This was it. The Bengaluru days of young Shivaji.

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