Tanaji Malusare

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Tanaji Kaloji Malusare [1]
Tanaji Malusare.jpg
Bronze bust of Malusare at Sinhagad
BornGodavli, Javali Taluka, Satara, Maharashtra[citation needed]
Died4 February 1670
Sinhagad, Maharashtra, India
AllegianceMaratha Empire
Service/branchMaratha Army
Years of servicec. 1640–1670
Known for
  • Battle of Kondhana
Spouse(s)Savitri[citation needed]

Tanaji Malusare[2] was a warrior and commander of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. A local poet Tulsidas,[a] wrote a powada describing Tanaji's heroics and sacrifice of life in the Battle of Sinhagad,[3] which has since made him a popular figure in Indian folklore.[4][5][6][b][8]


Tanaji came from a Hindu Koli family.[9][10][11] Tanaji's father's name was Kaloji Malusare. His family was from Godoli village, which is situated near Pachgani. He spent his childhood there.[citation needed] When Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj appointed him to curb robbers of Poladpur, Mahabaleshwar, he then migrated to Umrath village. Tanaji had a son, Rayba Malusare and a brother Suryaji Malusare. His uncle Shelar Mama (transl. Maternal uncle) was also in the service of Shivaji. He postponed his son Rayba's wedding to win the Kondana fort from Mughals. Legends say that he took the responsibility to win that fort and said, "Aadhi Lagan Kondhanyache aani mag majhya Raybache"(transl. Firstly marriage of Kondhana and then my Rayba) (lit.'First I'll win Kondhana and then I'll conduct marriage of my son Rayba'').[12]

Military career[edit]

Malusare was with Shivaji Bhosale around the time when he took his pledge at Rayareshwar's temple to establish a sovereign kingdom. He was part of Maratha troops in the battle of Paratpgad, where Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj killed Afzal Khan.[12]

Battle of Sinhagad[edit]

Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj attacked Shahista Khan in Pune. He plundered and looted wealthy port city, Surat of Mughal empire. In 1665 Aurangzeb sent Jai Singh and Diler Khan to defeat Shivaji and Adilshahi in Deccan. Jai Singh sieged Purandar fort, attacked by cannons. Murarbaji was the Kiledar (transl. Incharge of fort) of Purandar. Jai Singh had a large army which he used to plunder number of villages of the Maratha Kingdom. Murar Baji Prabhu with his Mavales killed five hundred Pathan besides many Bahlia infantrymen, he tried to break siege but could not do that, he lost his life while defending the fort. To avoid further loss of human life, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had truce talks with Jai Singh. Shivaji Maharaj and Jai Singh did the treaty of Purandar, by this treaty Shivaji Maharaj agreed to give his 23 forts including Kondhana to Mughals and joined them for attack on Adilshahi dynasty. As per one of the condition in the treaty, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj gone to Agra. There Aurangzeb house arrested him but Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj managed to escape. He returned home and when Jai Singh died at Burhanpur and Aurangzeb got busy in North. He began recapture his forts from Mughals.[8]

Kondhana, outside Pune, was one of the first forts that Shivaji wanted to re-capture from the Mughal Empire, after the truce between the two parties broke down in 1670. Tanaji was asked to lead the task. Legend says that Tanaji agreed to lead even though that meant postponing his son's wedding.[13]

Tanaji Malusare with his picked 300 Mavle infantry scaled less abrupt side near Kalyan gate by rope ladders and slain the sentinels. The garrison fought desperately but Mavales (Soldiers from Maval region) carried havoc in their ranks. Amid the fighting Tanaji's shield broke, he tied cloth of his turban to his hand and defensed the strikes by it. The two chiefs challenged each other and both fell down. Tanaji was accompanied by his brother Suryaji Malusare, and maternal uncle Shelar Mama in the campaign. Marathas butchered enemies, slain more than one thousand Rajputs and many more perished in attempt run from the garrison and scaled down the Mountain.[8] The campaign to recapture the fort ended with victory for the Marathas, but at the cost of Tanaji losing his life in the battle.[14][15]

The fort was renamed Sinhagad (English: Lion fort) by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in honor of Tanaji.[14]


  • Balbharati's fourth class's history textbook has a chapter about Tanaji Malusare and Battle of Kondhana.[16]

In popular culture[edit]

An early 20th century depiction by M.V. Dhurandhar of Tanaji's vow to Shivaji and Jijabai in the presence of his son and uncle before the campaign for Kondana fort.
  • Freedom Fighter and visioniry of Bharath Vinayak Damodar Savarkar had written a ballad on him, which was banned by the colonial British government.[17]
  • Gad aala pan sinh gela (Marathi: गड आला पण सिंह गेला) (transl. We won the fort but we lost the lion) a Marathi novel by Hari Narayan Apte was written in 1903, based on his life.[18][19]
  • Sinhagad, a 1933 Marathi film was produced by Baburao Painter, based on the 1903 novel.[20][21]
  • Bengali writer Saradindu Bandyopadhyay wrote the Sadashib series where the younger version of Tanaji was mentioned as a close associate of Shivaji.
  • In 1971 Amar Chitra Katha released a comic book called Tanaji, written by Meena Talim and illustrated by Vasant B. Halbe.[22]
  • Tanaji's character is portrayed by an actor in Raja Shivchatrapati serial of Star Pravah.
  • In the 2018 Marathi-language epic Farzand, Tanaji Malusare is portrayed by Ganesh Yadav.
  • In the 2019 Marathi-language epic Fatteshikast, Tanaji Malusare is portrayed by Ajay Purkar.
  • Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn produced and played the role of Tanaji Malusare in Tanhaji. It was based on the Battle of Kondhana, Tanaji film theatrically released on 10 January 2020. It was a box-office hit.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ not to be confused with Goswami Tulsidas
  2. ^ The text has not been dated conclusively. It is popularly accepted to be written not long after the Battle; however, some scholars have claimed the text to have been written in the eighteenth century.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Video:नरवीर तानाजी मालुसरे यांचे वंशज सध्या कोठे आहेत?".
  2. ^ "Ajay Devgn's Taanaji: The Unsung Warrior will now be called Tanhaji due to numerological reasons". India Today. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  3. ^ Sardesai, Sakharam Govind (1946). "New History of the Marathas (Vol I)". Internet Archive. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  4. ^ Kantak, M. R. (1978). "The Political Role of Different Hindu Castes and Communities in Maharashtra in the Foundation of Shivaji's Swarajya". Bulletin of the Deccan College Research Institute. 38 (1/4): 51. ISSN 0045-9801. JSTOR 42931051.
  5. ^ K. Ayyappa Paniker, ed. (1997). Medieval Indian Literature: Surveys and selections, An Anthology, Volume One. p. 375. ISBN 9788126003655.
  6. ^ Rao, Vasanta Dinanath (1939). "SIDE-LIGHT ON THE MARATHA LIFE FROM THE BARDIC (शाहिरी) LITERATURE OF THE 18th CENTURY". Proceedings of the Indian History Congress. 3: 1194–1212. ISSN 2249-1937. JSTOR 44252466.
  7. ^ Raeside, Ian (July 1978). "A Note on the 'Twelve Mavals' of Poona District". Modern Asian Studies. 12 (3): 394. doi:10.1017/S0026749X00006211. ISSN 1469-8099. S2CID 145438073.
  8. ^ a b c Sarkar, Jadunath (1920). Shivaji And His Times.
  9. ^ Hardiman, David (2007). Histories for the Subordinated. Seagull Books. p. 103. ISBN 9781905422388. When Shivaji began his revolt in the following decade, the Kolis were amongst the first to join him under the leadership of the Sirnayak Khemi and they played a leading role in helping Shivaji to consolidate his power. The Koli Tanaji Malusare, is remembered in Maharashtra to this day for his courage in capturing the almost impregnable fort of Singhad for Shivaji.
  10. ^ Hardiman, David (1996). Feeding the Baniya: Peasants and Usurers in Western India. Oxford University Press. p. 221. ISBN 978-0-19-563956-8.
  11. ^ Roy, Shibani (1983). Koli culture: a profile of the culture of Talpad vistar. Cosmo. p. 25. OCLC 11970517.
  12. ^ a b "Video:नरवीर तानाजी मालुसरे यांचे वंशज सध्या कोठे आहेत?". eSakal - Marathi Newspaper (in Marathi). Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  13. ^ M. Jankiraman Ph.D. (2020). Perspectives in Indian History: From the Origins to AD 1857. ISBN 9781649839954.
  14. ^ a b M. Jankiraman Ph.D. (2020). Perspectives in Indian History: From the Origins to AD 1857. ISBN 9781649839954.
  15. ^ "तानाजी: गोष्ट कोंढाण्याची, जेव्हा 'गड आला पण सिंह गेला' होता..." BBC News मराठी (in Marathi). Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  16. ^ "गड आला पण सिंह गेला". इतिहास - इयत्ता ४ थी [History, class - 4th] (in Marathi). Balbharati, Maharashtra.
  17. ^ Derek Jones, ed. (2001). Censorship: A World Encyclopedia. Routledge. ISBN 9781136798634.
  18. ^ Sisir Kumar Das (1991). History of Indian Literature, Volume 1. Sahitya Akademi. p. 532. ISBN 9788172010065.
  19. ^ Apte, Hari Narayan (1903). Gaḍa ālā, paṇa sīha gelā (in Marathi). Pune: Ramyakathā Prakāśana.
  20. ^ Ashish Rajadhyaksha; Paul Willemen (2014). Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema. Taylor & Francis. p. 239. ISBN 978-1-135-94325-7. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  21. ^ Nowell-Smith, Geoffrey (1996). The Oxford History of World Cinema. Oxford University Press. pp. 403. ISBN 978-0-19-874242-5. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  22. ^ Talim, Meena; Halbe, Vasant B.; Pai, Anant (1973). Tanaji: The Maratha Lion. Amar Chitra Katha. ISBN 978-81-8482-159-8. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  23. ^ "Taanaji The Unsung Warrior movie on Movie Alles". Movie Alles. 22 June 2018. Archived from the original on 5 September 2018. Retrieved 5 September 2018.