Historical Figures

11. Battle of Salher-Mulher

In the beginning of AD 1672, Diler Khan's general Ikhlas Khan laid siege on the Salher fort and Diler Khan and Bahadur Khan attacked Poona. He ordered the massacre in Poona. Shivaji played a trick to get them out of Poona. He sent his general Prataprao Gujar to attack Salher. Prataprao started beating Ikhlas Khan tightly. It seemed that Ikhlas Khan would be defeated. So Diler Khan and Bahadur Khan left Poona and fled towards Salher. They besieged the fort of Mulher along with Salher. Now Shivaji adopted the policy of attacking the armies of Diler Khan and Bahadur Khan from outside and Peshwa Moropant and Prataprao Gujar put their lives against both of them. Due to this the struggle became terrible and rivers of blood flowed out. In the end the Marathas badly destroyed the forces of the Mughals. Killed several thousand Mughals and took several thousand Mughals captive. Thousands of soldiers left the field injured. Camels, elephants, horses, donkeys, mules were also killed in large numbers at the battle site. The great treasure of the Mughals, war material and thousands of elephants, horses, donkeys, mules were in the hands of Shivaji.

Shivaji also suffered a lot in this war. His childhood friend Surya Rao Kankade came in handy. His army was also destroyed. In this war, about 10 thousand people from both sides died and about 10 thousand people were injured. This was the first war that Shivaji won in the battle of Aarpar. The Mughals were driven out from both Sulher and Mulher forts. Diler Khan went far away from the battlefield. In the joy of this victory by Shivaji, sweets were distributed among the people and prizes were distributed among the soldiers. Shivaji got the soldiers from both sides injured in the battlefield bandaged and allowed them to go home. Many Mughal soldiers, seeing this behavior of Shivaji, left the job of Mughals and joined Shivaji's army.

Shock to Aurangzeb

When the news of the defeat of Salher and Mulher was narrated to Aurangzeb, he did not go to the court for three days and kept saying that it seems that the Supreme Lord wanted to snatch his kingdom from the Muslims and give it to an infidel. Why didn't I die before hearing this news! Aurangzeb's Dhaibhai Bahadur Khan Koka while consoling Aurangzeb said that I am always ready to establish Mughal honor. I will go to the Deccan and attack Shivaji and do his honor. Aurangzeb made Dhaibhai Bahadur Khan Koka the Subedar of the South.

Death of Mahout Khan

Aurangzeb wrote a letter reprimanding Sulher to Mahavat Khan, holding him responsible for the terrible defeat and instructed him to go to Afghanistan immediately. Mahavat Khan had been serving the Mughals since the time of Jahangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb. His children were married to the princes of the royal family. He was a very clever and evil minded person. He did not even dream that he would be so badly defeated at the hands of Shivaji, who is called the mountain rat. He could not even imagine that Aurangzeb would insult him so much. Mahawat Khan was heartbroken and died before reaching Afghanistan.

A befitting reply to Aurangzeb by Diler Khan and Bahadur Khan

Aurangzeb also wrote strong letters to Diler Khan and Bahadur Khan that you should have died on the battlefield before putting the soot of defeat on your face, but you people saved your life by running away from the battlefield like cowards. Don't ever show me your face again. You should have taken the British, French, Abyssinians and also the armies of Golconda and Bijapur with you and surrounded and killed Shivaji. On this Diler Khan and Bahadur Khan wrote a letter to Aurangzeb that if the emperor remembers that this is the same Shivaji who has cleverly escaped from the harsh royal captivity of Agra, then you will not find this crime of ours so reprehensible. Aurangzeb was further irritated by this answer.