Forum Home Forum Home > Information Section > Medieval Battles
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Afzal Khan Campaign and Battle of Javali
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Afzal Khan Campaign and Battle of Javali

 Post Reply Post Reply
 Rating: Topic Rating: 1 Votes, Average 4.00  Topic Search Topic Search  Topic Options Topic Options
Shreekrishna View Drop Down

Joined: 05 Jul 2012
Status: Offline
Points: 12
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Shreekrishna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Afzal Khan Campaign and Battle of Javali
    Posted: 05 Jul 2012 at 11:37am



"By playing on the psychological weaknesses of the opponent, by maneuvering him into precarious positions, by inducing feelings of frustration and confusion, a strategist can get the other side to break down mentally before surrendering physically. In this way victory can be had at a much lower cost. And the state that wins wars with few lives lost and resources squandered is the state that can thrive over great periods of time".

                                  Sun- tzu, author of the ancient Chinese classic - the Art of War.


By the year 1657-58 Shivaji had successfully captured the Nizamshah's territory under the rule of Vijapur Henceforth referred as Adilshahi) and by taking advantage of the political uncertainty prevailing at that time. Due to internal chaos Mughal invasion, Adilshahi was not able to pay sufficient attention to Shivaji's revolt. However, by the end of the year 1658 Adilshahi had stabilized and Aurangzeb had left for Agra (February 5th, 1658) for the ultimate battle for Kingship against his brother Dara Shikoh .   It was then the Ali Adilshah II called upon Afzal Khan to crush the revolt of Shivaji. The following extract from Tariq – E – Ali – History of Ali Adilshah II does indicate that Afzal Khan was ordered to Kill Shivaji.

When Mohammed Adilshah was ill, the deceitful and Kafir Siva Bhosale looted the Tal Konkan region and captured the fort of Rairi. Further, after the death of Mohammed Adilshah, Shivaji went ahead and captured many other forts and harassed the Muslims. After hearing such news Ali Adilshah II ordered Afzal Khan to take an army of ten thousand and uproot Shivaji. He was also instructed not to fall prey to any of his deceitful letters and request but only to put end to his life.


Different Historical documents give different information on the total strength of Azfal Khan's army. However, the information given in Tariq-E-Ali is considered to be reliable and authentic as it was written in the era of Ali Adilshah II. According to Shivbharat, Muslim noblemen like Amber Khan, Yakut Khan, Musa Khan, Hasan Khan Pathan, Ankhush Khan, and Siddhi Hillal were part of this campaign along with Afzal Khan. Hindu noblemen; Ghorpade, Naikji Pandhre, Naikji Kharade, Kalyanji Yadav (Jadhav), Mumbaji Bhosale, Rajaji Ghatge, Kate also accompanied him. 


Afzal Khan left Vijapur in May 1659.As per Sabasad Bakhar, Shivkavya and Agnyadas Powada, Afzal Khan demolished the idol of Goddess Tulja Bhavani at Tuljapaur on his way to Wai from VijapurVijapur during the invasion against Shivaji. Shivbharat also records some nuisances committed by Azfal Khan to the Temple at Tuljapur. However, the document does not say that Afzal Khan had specifically committed the act of demolishing the idol of Goddess Tulja Bhavani. Shivbharat also does not record the nuisances to the temple was during the invasion against Shivaji. This account is also supported by Ekanavy kalmi Bakhar. Since, Historians consider Shivbharat to be an authentic document; thus the information given in Shivbharat is considered to be more reliable. In all possibilities Afzal Khan did some harm to the temple when he was Subhedar of Wai.

As per Sabhasad Bakhar, Shivkavya, and Aganydas Powada, Afzal Khan after July 01, 1659 had caused some inconvenience to Pandharpur. However, the document does not specify whether the inconvenience was to the temple or to the village.  


Other than Shivbharat no other historical document has given a reason as to why Afzal Khan chooses his base at Wai. The extract from Shivbharat suggests

Shivaji captured Javali on 15th January 1656 and couple of months later killed Chandrarao More and his son Krishnaji. Prataprao brother of Chandrarao went to Vijapur and offered his services to Adilshah. Adilshah, satisfied with services of Prataprao More promised him to give back Javali. Accordingly, Afzal Khan was instructed to capture Javali. Prataprao accompanied AfzalKhan and ushered him to Wai.  

Afzal Khan was also the Subhedar of Wai since 1649 and knew the area well. This also could be one of the reasons for him to choose Wai as his base camp against Shivaji. No historical documents give the exact date of Afzal Khan's arrival at Wai. As per Jedhe Shakavali Shivaji came to Javali on 12th July 1659. Thus in all probabilities Afzal Khan may have to Wai before Shivaji’s arrival.


Ali Adilshah had sent letters (farmans) to Shivaji's noblemen ordering them to join Afzal Khan's army. After receiving these farmans few of Shivaji's noblemen like Khandoji Khopade and Kedarji Khopade joined Afzal Khan's army. Similar farman was sent to Kanhoji Jedhe. Kanohji Jedhe was one of the respected courtier and close ally of Shivaji. Kanhoji Jedhe without responding to farman meets Shivaji at Rajgad along with his five sons and swore for loyalty. He offered his unconditional services and baron to Shivaji. Kanhoji Jedhe also persuaded other noblemen and baronage to stay and support Shivaji. This is considered as one of the most significant contributions of Kanhoji Jedhe in the campaign against Afzal Khan.


In October 1659 Afzal Khan sent his representative, Krishnaji Bhaskar to Shivaji at Pratapgad. The representative was instructed to convince Shivaji for a meeting at Wai. Shivbharat gives the details of the message sent by Afzal Khan to Shivaji through his representative. The extract suggests

Afzal Khan strongly conveyed that Ali Adilshah II was upset with Shivaji on capturing Nizamshi territory. Shivaji without any inhibition opened a military campaign against Sidhi of Danda Rajapoure and trouble him. He also captured Kalyan and Bhiwandi, troubled the Muslims, and demolished mosques. Shivaji has become a self-proclaimed king who is not willing to obey Adilshah. Hence, Adilshah has sent him (Afzal Khan) to teach a lesson to Shivaji. Afzal Khan stated that though my noblemen and army is keen to fight and destroy you. I am willing to give you a chance to surrender handover you forts and baronage to Adilshah II.

To the above Shivaji replied

I am awed with prowess of Afzal Khan especially against Moughals and all the Kings in Karnataka. Afzal Khan should come to Javali and experience e the wonder of nature. His visit will also help him (Shivaji) to shed his fears he has against the mighty Afzal Khan. Further, Afzal Khan’s visit to Javali will enhance Shivaji’s reputation. Come safely. I am all set to hand you my forts and Javali. I will surrender to you. Let forces also experience the deep and dense forest of Javali.

Shivaji choose Pantaji Gopinath as his representative to carry this message to Afzal Khan. He was also entrusted with the responsibility of convincing Afzal Khan to come to Javali.

After series of discussions between both the representatives it was agreed upon that all the territory acquired so far by Shivaji would be given to him as baronage. Shivaji should come to Wai and meet Afzal Khan. This was turn down by Shivaji stating that he feared Afzal Khan. Afzal Khan was requested to come to Javali which he finally accepted. Noblemen in Afzal Khan's army tried persuading him from going  to Javali. They were of the opinion that ideally Shivaji should come to Wai. Since, Shivaji is asking him to come down to Javali, he may have a very bold and deceitful plot against Afzal Khan. Considering the overall difficulty and natural hurdles at Javali, Afzal khan should not go to Javali. However, Afzal Khan did not listen to any of his Noblemen and decided to go ahead with his plan.

In the meanwhile Shivaji ordered all his Noblemen and Chieftains to gather at Pratapgad. They were instructed that they should stop any such movements of their army which will arouse any suspicion in the mind of Afzal Khan. They were asked to stay alert in the dense Jungle of Javali. Shivaji also ordered his Commander –in –Chief Netoji Palkar to stay alert with his army and wait till the meeting with Afzal Khan. Shivbharat does not mention where Netoji Palkar was stationed.

According to Shivbharat Afzal Khan reached Javali with great difficulty and inconvenience. Few of the army men died on the way while some of them expressed the desire of going back to base at Wai. A camp was erected at Par village on the banks of Koyana river.  Shivaji expressed his desire to gift costly presents to courtiers, and noblemen accompanying Afzal Khan. Afzal Khan granted his request and allowed his traders to go to Pratpgad. Extract from Shivbharat is as below:

The traders showed all the precious pearls and diamonds they were carrying. Shivaji kept all those valuables with him and requested the traders to stay at Pratapgad and enjoy the hospitality. Those greedy and foolish traders accepted the invitation without realizing that they were actually trapped at Pratapgad.

In the meanwhile both the representative decided the terms conditions of the meeting between Shivaji and Afzal Khan. The extract of terms and conditions as per Shivbharat is as below:

AfzalKhan should be armed, and come in a palkhi along with his two personal assistants. He should wait for Shivaji in the Shamianya specifically constructed for the meeting at the base of Pratapgad. Shivaji will also come armed and welcome the guest. There were will be 10 loyal and brave bodyguards from both the sides standing one arrow shot distance away for security purpose. They will be standing at a distance from the Shamiyana. In the meeting they should talk on the confidential matters.

Shivaji had given specific instructions to his courtiers, Bandal and Silimkar. The extract from Jedhe Shakavali indicates:

Shivaji and Kanohji Jedhe planned that Bandal's along with their army should be in the Jungle of Javali and near the Par village. Irrespective of who succeeds the Bandals to attack Afzal Khan's army at Par village. Incase Shivaji succeeds then the Cannons will be fired from Pratapgad.  Haiybatrao and Balaji naik Silimkar who will be stationed at BocheGholi Ghat should attack the enemy in that area.

From the above it appears that the Bandals were given the specific responsibility of blocking the area between Par village and Pratapgad. It was for them to ensure that Afzal Khan does not get any help from his army once he reaches the base at Pratapgad. Once the Bandals gets the signal from Pratapgad they were also to attack the Afzal khan's army at Par village. Similarly silimkar were instructed to block the entire BochecGholi Ghat.

Afzal Khan Vadh  (Thursday, 10 November 1659)

Different historical documents have given different views on Afzal Khan's assassination. However, Shivbharat,Jedhe Shakavali, are the most contemporary documents. Out of which the information in Jedhe Shakavali is very concise. Detailed information is given in Shivbharat. The extract of the same is as follows:

Shivaji with sword in hand entered the Shamiyana. Seeing Shivaji Afzal Khan handed his sword to one of his assistant and said "Shivaji you do not accept the authority of Adilshah, kutubshah as well as the Mughals. I have come here to punish you. Give me all your forts. I will personally take you to Vijapur, will make you bow your head in front of Ali Adilshah II. I will request Ali Adilshah II to forgive you and give lot wealth and baronage. Come son of Shahji, leave your ego and embrace me".

When Shivaji embraced Afzal Khan, he drew his dagger and stabbed him. Shivaji was very agile; he immediately backed off, attacked Afzal Khan by sword and disembowels him. Afzal Khan lost control on himself and screamed "he has killed me, kill him". Listening to this one of his Bramhin representative attacked Shivaji. Shivaji warned him saying that he did not wish to kill a bramhin. In the meanwhile Afzal khan's army men entered the Shamiyana and attacked Shivaji. He defended himself by using Patta by one hand and beheaded Afzal Khan by using the sword by another hand.

Abdul Sayeed, Bada Sayed , Rahim Khan, Pahilwan Khan, Pillaji Mohite and Shankarji  Mohite, and four other Muslim Courtier attacked Shivaji. Shivaji defended himself by using Patta. In the meanwhile Shivaji's courtiers ; Sambhaji Kavji, Kataji Ingle, Kondaji Kank, Yesaji Kank, Krishnaji Gaikwad, Suryaji Kakde, Jiva Mahal, Visaji Murambak, and Siddhi Ibrahim protected Shivaji. Jiva Mahal Killed Bada Sayed when he attacked Shivaji.

Battle of Javali (November 10, 1659)

Once Afzal Khan was killed, the cannons were fired from Pratapgad. Hearing the Signal , with an army of one thousand each, Kamloji Salunkhe, Yesaji Kank, Tanaji Malusare, Kondaji Vadkhal, and Ramji Pangore attacked Adilshahi army.  The news of Afzal Khan's death spread across his army. The army got confused and started deserting. Musa Khan tried to control the situation. Hasan Khan, Yakut Khan, Ankush Khan, and other courtiers followed Musa Khan. However, Shivaji's army defeated them.  

Chandrarao More brother of Prataprao More helped few of Afzal Khan Courtiers to come out Javali. Shahaji's cousin Mambaji Bhosale got killed. Randula Khan,Amber Khan, Rajaji Ghatge, two younger sons of Afzal Khan and other courtiers were arrested by Shivaji's men. Shivaji got lot of enemy's wealth which helped him for future expansion.


Shree Raja Shiv Chatrapati (Vol 1&2) – Gajanan Bhaskar Mehendale, Second Edition, 15.09.2008, Diamond Publications, Pune.

Shivbharat – Kavi Parmanad, Edited by Sadashiv Divekar, Second Edition, November 1998, Shabdvedh Publication, Pune.

Raja Shiv Chatrapati (Vol 1) – Babasheb Purandare, Sixteen Edition, April 02, 2008, Purandare Publications, Pune

Vedh Mahanavcha –Dr.Shrinivas Samant, Fourth Edition, 2009, Deshmukh and Company Pvt. Ltd. Pune

The 33 Strategies of War – Robert Greene, 2009, Viva Books.


Shreekrishna Joshi
Back to Top
Sponsored Links

Back to Top
chaitanya View Drop Down

Joined: 12 Jul 2012
Location: Dombivli
Status: Offline
Points: 92
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chaitanya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jul 2012 at 7:11am
Nice post... Thnx for sharing... Keep it up..
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.03
Copyright ©2001-2015 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.375 seconds.