Pune: A rare letter written by 17th century warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was found by history scholar Ghanshyam Dhane
The letter which dates back to 1674, was addressed to Kalbhar Patil of Pali village in Satara district.
In a press conference here on Friday, Dhane said, “I found the letter at Samarth Wagdevatha temple trust belonging to Shankar Dev of Dhule. The trust has many historical documents and while going through it, I found it. Since it was written in Modi language, the members of the trust could not read it. I saw the letter on May 26 and translated it in Marathi,” he said.
“After the translation, I could make out that the letter was written to Kalbhar Patil as he was thwarted by Kharade Patil who had invaded the village. According to the letter, Shivaji Maharaj has assured Kalbhar Patil that he will be given full justice since his family members had been the head of that village for generations. However, Shivaji Maharaj did not take the decision arbitrarily but set up an expert committee and a court of justice in the village itself before delivering the verdict,” he further added.
“According to the facts known from history, Kharade Patil had invaded the village and wanted to establish his rule in the village. Hence, he started dominating the village scene and threatening Kalbhar Patil,” he said while speaking about the letter.
“Nagoji Kalbhar sent a written complaint to Shivaji Maharaj against Kharade Patil. Shivaji Maharaj later set up an inquiry panel into the matter and found that Kalbhar has been the original ruler of the village. Maharaj also sent a letter to Satara prant (region) Subedar (ruler) to send a notice to Kharade Patil,” he said.
“Despite several interventions between the two, the conflict was not getting resolved. Thus, Maharaj set up a seven-member committee and conducted trials in the village itself,” he said.
The letter is important as the conflict between Kalbhar and Kharade as it was written just five months before the coronation of Shivaji Maharaj.
The letter was written on February 2, 1674, and is one feet, three inches long and has a width of 6.5 inches. The paper too shows that it was from Shivaji era. The ink used on the letter is still in good condition,” he further added.
“I could find this letter and study it because of Vasant Charitable Foundation President Rajni Indulkar as she was instrumental in making it possible. Apparently, 273 letters of the Shivaji era are available of which 103 letters can be read or touched but the rest are in fragile condition,” he said.