The Reason Why Shivaji Embarked a Campaign to Southern India
After doing this, after getting coronated, Chhatrapati Shivaji, embarked on a campaign to South India and he built almost an empire stretching all the way to Gingee, you can see this is the core kingdom built by Chhatrapati Shivaji. It is Swarajya, can stretch all the way from Karwar to this north of Nasik, almost the Gujarat border. But in 1676 he embarked on campaign to South India, for various reasons. One reason was that, there was lot of wealth in the Adil Shahi Kingdom. Adil Shahi kingdom was around here, this part. There was Qutb Shahi, around this part. There were somewhat semi-independent Hindu kings to the deep South, so one was wealth.
Secondly, he wanted to have an option, or a fallback option to the south of Swarajya, in case there is an attack from the north, where does this go? They are encircled here, they need to have a place to go back to and that’s how he got hold of few places Kopbal and also Vellore and Gingee. The Tanjore Marathas, he also had a small conflict unfortunately with Tanjore Marathas, who were his step brothers, but eventually ended up controlling this large area. It is interesting to see that the fort of Gingee, which is in Tamil Nadu, he was able to get without firing a single shot or killing a single soldier.
There was Habshi or Ethiopian officer of the Adil Shahi Bijapur, at Gingee, named Abdul Muhammad Syed and (there was) he was inside the Fort, Chhatrapati Shivaji laid siege to it. In the meantime, one person started from here, from Bijapur, named Sher Khan Lodi and Shivaji able to invite, I mean instigate a conflict between them and because of that he was able to get the Fort of Gingee. This Fort becomes very important in later years, when comes the time of Chhatrapati Rajaram. So, this was a situation that Shivaji had built by the time, he died in 1680. He had all these policies in place, he had conquered all these different areas and this at a time, when the war about to start, he died 1680.