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‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’: Know the man on whom Ajay Devgn’s magnum opus is based
‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior‘ is an upcoming period drama starring Ajay Devgn and Saif Ali Khan in lead roles. Directed by Om Raut, the film is based on the life of legendary Tanaji Malusare. The posters and trailer of the film have been loved by the viewers. While most of us know Tanaji as the person who fought alongside Shivaji Maharaj, but there was more to him. Let’s take a look at the man who challenged the Mughal Empire.
Born in the 1600s in Godavli, Javali Taluka (Satara, Maharashtra, India) Tanaji was a brave and fierce warrior. He was a commander of Maratha ruler Shivaji Maharaj. The legendary warrior fought alongside the Maratha leader in various battles throughout the years. In 1670 when Shivaji Maharaj summoned him for a meeting, Tanaji put the wedding plan of his son Rayaba on hold and went to meet him. On hearing Shivaji’s plan to recapture Kondhana fort near Pune from the Mughals, Tanaji took the uphill charge of the campaign and started his preparations.
The then Kondana fort was controlled by Udaybhan Rathod, a Rajput officer appointed by Mughal general Jai Singh I. With the will to recapture the fort under any circumstance, Tanaji with an army of 800 people marched on to conquer Kondana fort. The ace strategist along with a troop of 300 were said to have scaled the fort from the western side on a dark night with the help of a domesticated Bengal monitor lizard (called ghorpad in Marathi) named Yashwanti to which they were said to have tied ropes and sent crawling up to the top of the fort. After two failed attempts, Tanaji and his men successfully scaled the steep hill fortress.
Once they were inside and after opening the Kalyan Darwaza, Tanaji, his men and another detachment of 500 troops headed by Suryaji (his younger brother) attacked the army holding down the fort. Fierce combat took place between the forces of Tanaji and Udaybhan. During the battle, Tanaji broke his shield but he continued fighting by tying his upper garment over his defending hand in order to ward off Udaybhan’s blows.
After a lengthy fight, Tanaji Malusare lost his life, Shelar Mama avenged Tanaji by killing Udaybhan. Suryaji defeated the remaining garrison and took over the Kondana fort, now known as Sinhagad. When Shivaji Maharaj heard about the valour and demise of his close friend and commander Tanaji, the Maratha’s chief said “Gadh alaa pan sinha gelaa” which translates to “the fort is captured but the lion (Tanaji) has died.” Shivaji Maharaj then renamed the fort from Kondhana fort to Sinhagad in the name of his former commander and as a testimony of his sacrifice, his statue stands tall at the fort.
‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’ will hit the marquee on January 10, 2020.
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