- Town:Kolhapur, Maharashtra
- Rider(s):Shivaji Bhonsle
(c. 1627–1680), warrior king and aristocrat, carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur in 1674, thus forming the genesis of an independent Maratha kingdom with Raigad as its capital. He established a competent and progressive civil rule, with the help of a disciplined military and well-structured administrative organization. He innovated military tactics, pioneering the guerrilla warfare methods that took maximum advantage of strategic factors such as geography, speed and surprise, and focused pinpoint attacks to defeat his greater and more powerful enemies.
From a small contingent of 2,000 soldiers inherited from his father, Shivaji created a force of 100,000 soldiers. He built and restored strategically-located forts, both inland and on the coast, in order to safeguard his territory. Shivaji revived ancient Hindu political traditions and court conventions, and promoted the use of Marathi and Sanskrit, rather than Persian, in the courts and the administration. Shivaji’s legacy gained increased importance with the emergence of the Indian independence movement, as many elevated him as a proto-nationalist and hero of the Hindus.
- Sculptor(s):Khedkar, B R
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