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State Government Releases Film on Shivaji Maharaja to Rebuild the Forts and Temples

On the 6th of June 2021(Sunday) the state government of Goa released a short film on Chhatrapati Shivaji to mark the anniversary of the auspicious crowning day of the greatest Maratha king. A Konkani and Hindi version of the film was released on social media by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. It was titled Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shivrajyabhishek Divas. It covered the history of Goa and the great Maratha king’s role in fighting against the Portuguese to save the heritage of Goa.

According to what I read in the news articles and magazines; the movie is inclusive of “hundreds of true stories” that the great Maratha warrior wanted the upcoming future generations to know about. The cultural heritage of Goa was saved from the Portuguese rulers through the influence of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,” says Sawant in the film, which was produced by Goa’s Information and Publicity Department, according to my understanding the film throws light upon the fact about the royal tax levied to oppress the local people of Goa by “traitor” landlords in Maneri, Bicholim, Pernem, and Sattari in North Goa

The film shows that in 1677, the Portuguese governor, Conde de San Vincent, gave an “open threat to the regional Hindus”, stating that if they wanted to live in Northern Goa provinces, they must either give up on their religion or they would have to leave Bardez (north goa). According to my observation, the film was unacceptable to Shivaji Maharaj, who attacked the Colvale fort with almost 5,000 Marathi soldiers, after which the Portuguese had to surrender within three days. As mentioned in the film, Chhatrapati “Shivaji Maharaj was the first Indian king to defeat the Portuguese in a battle; attacked the Colvale Fort with 5000 soldiers, after which the Portuguese surrendered in three days.”

The film mentions the Portuguese destroying the famous Saptkoteshwar temple in Goa, this temple was a symbol of the glory of the Kadamba dynasty of Goa, which was rebuilt in 1668. The temple in Bicholim was a legacy of Goa’s past. The film talks about the role of Shivaji’s son Sam bhaji and, after him, his brother Rajaram and Sam bhaji’s Shahu, in carrying forward Shivaji’s legacy. It speaks of the Goons occupying high positions in the Maratha court. The state administration "attempted to immortalize" Shivaji in the 60th year of Goa's independence from Portuguese domination, Sawant adds at the end of the movie. It worked towards rebuilding the forts and temples built by the king and the good news is it is going to start within a year.

Maratha Invasion in goa which occurred in the year of 1683 or Sam bhaji’s Invasion of Goa

Maratha's invasion of Portuguese controlled Goa and the Konkan region The conflicts between the two powers were ongoing in the region of Northern Konkan coast in 1682-1683. The Portuguese viceroy, Francisco de Távora attacked the Ponda Fort in 1683. The Maratha King Sambhaji arrived with his reinforcements and tried to press on the advantage of the victory at Ponda. He stormed into the Portuguese colony of Goa. Many forts that of the Goan colony were captured by the Marathas. The Maratha army was pre-emptively mobilized for this event. The Portuguese situation became dire. Sambhaji stayed in the region for more than a month, his forces also pillaged Salcete and Bardez region. Sambhaji Maharaj came close to capturing the old city of Goa but retreated to avoid the great Mughal army.

The Portuguese viceroy marched towards the Fortress of Ponda with his army of 3,700 soldiers. Viceroy camped at the border village of Agaçaim on 27 October 1683. They crossed the river and reached the villages which were situated in the west of Ponda on 7th November. With an army of 600 troops, veteran Maratha commander Yesaji Kank and his son Krishnaji were stationed in Ponda. The Marathas fought off the Portuguese infantry attacks at first. In one of these skirmishes Krishnaji Kank was injured heavily, he died a few days later. However, the Portuguese heavy bombardment managed to break through the walls of the fort, severely damaging the fort.

By the 9th of November, Maratha reinforcements from Rajapur, including Sambhaji himself, had arrived to save the fort from the Portuguese troops. He brought 800 cavalry and 2,000 infantries with him. Viceroy thought that Sambhaji will attack him from behind and prevent him from communicating with Goa. On 10 November, the then viceroy called for a general retreat towards the Durbhat port of goa. The Marathas rerouted the retreating Portuguese by attacking them from a hill. The viceroy was severely wounded during this encounter. On 12th November, most of the Portuguese army reached Goa. This victory of Sambhaji was heavily praised by the Portuguese and they described Sambhaji as “a warlike prince.”

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