(Last Updated on : 29/03/2013)
Battle of Konkan is one of the most important conquests of Shivaji
. Konkan was much desired by Shivaji in his drive towards consolidating his position against the Muslim rulers. He had seen new hill forts on the Western Ghats Mountain Range
. These he decided should quickly be annexed to his growing empire. They were in the possessions of the Sultan of Bijapur
The Sultan was now more aware of Shivaji's aggressive intentions, and more inclined to be on the alert to anticipate the moves of the ambitious Maratha Empire
. He had also been informed that Shivaji had concluded a friendly alliance with the Mughals, and even though there was no active co-operation between the two, to clash with Shivaji might bring the Mughals more openly to his side, a situation the Sultan did not wish to provoke. Intrigue had to be resorted to and for this, the Sultan handpicked two Marathas to lay a trap for Shivaji in the hope of capturing him.
Baji Shamraj and Chandrarao More of Javali
volunteered to work on the Sultan's idea and an ambush was planned at the narrow mountain pass of Parghat, which Shivaji was expected to cross. The plan failed. It resulted in making Shivaji aware that yet another Maratha family, the Mores, was hindering his domination of the Western Ghats. The Ghats were important to him. Before he could launch any offensive against Bijapur, he had first to be safely entrenched in these hills. If Maratha traitors stood in his way, he must wipe them out. Javli, the hometown of Mores, fell but the chroniclers differ so much on the manner in which this town was captured that it is difficult, after the passage of three hundred years, to say with any element of certainty what actually took place at that time.
A group of Maratha chroniclers appears to resent the insinuation made by other historians that Shivaji's emissaries pretended to negotiate for the hand of Ghandrarao More's daughter in marriage for Shivaji, as his third wife. On this pretext, it is said, they moved close to more who was eventually murdered. Quite a few members of the More family also lost their lives, some say fighting heroically, others indicate they were just slaughtered. Thereafter, the Mores disappeared from the map of Maharashtra
, Javli was annexed to Shivaji's unrecognised kingdom and the mighty Maratha's hold over this area was firmly established.