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Trip To Agra and Escape

In 1666, Aurangzeb summoned Shivaji to Agra, along with his six year old son Sambhaji. In Agra, on 12 May 1666 Aurangzeb made Shivaji stand with the lowly commoners in his court, an intentional insult. Deeply offended, Shivaji stormed out of court and was promptly placed under house arrest.

From his spies, Shivaji came to know that Aurangzeb planned to shift him to a secure location from where escape would be impossible. So he feigned sickness and requested to be allowed to send sweets to temples in Agra as an offering. After several days of sending out boxes containing sweets, Shivaji disguised himself as a palanquin bearer and managed to sneak out without being seen. Sambhaji had sneaked out a couple of days earlier, disguised as the son of a brahmin who had come to pray for Shivaji's quick recovery.

The details and mechanism of Shivaji's escape are uncertain, with historians producing different reconstructions.

In the years 1667-69, Shivaji lay low. The Mughals had the impression that he was now a spent force and would not cause them any more trouble. In January 1670, Shivaji's forces launched a concerted attack on Mughal garrisons in Maharashtra. The force of the assault was overwhelming and within six months Shivaji had regained most of his old territory. His army was much larger now: about 40 thousand cavalry, backed by 60 thousand infantry. From 1670 to 1674 Shivaji continued to expand his territory at the expanse of the Adilshahi and the Mughals.



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