Battle of Sinhagad

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Battle of Sinhagad or Kondhana
Part of Imperial Maratha Expansion
Singadh fort
Date4 February 1670
Result Maratha victory
Fort Kondhana captured by Marathas
Maratha Empire

Mughal Empire

Commanders and leaders
Tanaji Malusare  
Suryaji Malusare
Shelar Mama
Udaybhan Singh Rathore  
Siddi Hilal [citation needed]
300 led by Tanaji Malusare[citation needed]
200 led by Suryaji Malusare[citation needed]
500 Reserves[citation needed]
Total: 1,000 Mawalas[citation needed]
1,000–1,400[citation needed]
12 sons of Udaybhan Singh Rathore[citation needed]
Chandravali an elephant[citation needed]
Casualties and losses
300 killed or wounded[citation needed]

500 killed or wounded[citation needed]
Few surrendered[citation needed]

Hundreds killed or wounded while escaping over steep rocks[citation needed]

The Battle of Sinhagad took place during the night on 4 February 1670 on the fort of Sinhagad (then known as Kondhana after the sage Kaundinya[1]), near the city of Pune, Maharashtra, India.[2]

A 20th century depiction of Tanaji Malusare's famous vow during Kondana campaign by painter M.V. Dhurandhar

The battle was fought between Koli subedar Tanaji Malusare, commander of the Maratha Empire under Shivaji.[3] and Udaybhan Singh Rathore, a Rajput fortkeeper under Jai Singh I who worked for the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

Sinhagad was one of the first forts which Shivaji re-captured from the Mughals. The capture was made possible by scaling the walls at night with ladders made of rope. A fight followed in which Tanhaji was killed but the fort was won. The battle and Tanhaji's exploits are still a popular subject for Marathi ballad.[4]

During the siege, Malusare scaled a steep cliff that led to the fort through the assistance of a monitor lizard called Yashwanti (also referred to as ghorpad in marathi).[5][unreliable source?] This type of lizard was tamed since the 15th century and Yashwanti was trained to pull the rope up the cliffs for Malusare and wind it around the fort's bastion.[6] Climbing up the fort, the Marathas were intercepted by the garrison and combat ensued between the guards and the few infiltrators that had managed to climb up by this time. Both Tanhaji and Udaybhan were killed in the battle but the overwhelmed Maratha forces managed to capture the fort after the reinforcements penetrated the gateway of the fort from another route.


It is said that when Shivaji got the information about the victory but Tanaji lost his life during the battle he exclaimed "Gadh aala pan sinha gela" (The fort has been captured but we lost the lion). A bust of Tanaji Malusare was established on the fort in the memory of his contribution to the battle.[7] The fort was also renamed Sinhagad to honor his memory.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Meena, R. P. India Current Affairs Yearbook 2020: For UPSC, State PSC & Other Competitive exams. New Era Publication.
  2. ^ Sorokhaibam, Jeneet (1 January 2013). Shivaji Maharaj: The Maratha Warrior and His Campaign. New Delhi: Vij Books India Pvt Ltd. p. 185. ISBN 978-93-82573-49-4.
  3. ^ Hardiman, David (2007). Histories for the Subordinated. Seagull Books. ISBN 9781905422388.
  4. ^ Gordon, Stewart (1993). The Marathas 1600-1818. 2. Cambridge University Press. p. 79. ISBN 9780521033169.
  5. ^ Kale, Rohit (2018). Rajwata: Aavishkar Gad Killayacha. FSP Media Publications.
  6. ^ Sehgal, Supriya (2019). A Tigress Called Machhli and Other True Animal Stories from India. Hachette India. ISBN 978-93-88322-16-4.
  7. ^ Verma, Amrit. Forts of India. New Delhi: The Director, Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. pp. 83–86. ISBN 81-230-1002-8.