Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Firangoji Narsala was a renowned Maratha warrior and military leader in the army of Shivaji Chhatrapati, a Maharaja of Maharashtra, in 17th century India. He is famous for his defence of Sangram Durga , a fort, against a Mughal army led by Shayeste Khan in 1660 .
Firangoji was a 'Killedar' (garrison commander?) of this fort in Chakan (Pune). When Shayeste Khan invaded Pune with an army of around 1 lakh soldiers, he selected Sangram Durga as the first target. He attacked the fort with 10,000 soldiers.
But Firangoji Narasala was a terrific commander. He was prepared for this attack, although he had only 200 soldiers. Just before this attack Shivaji had asked his commander to leave the fort. However, Firangoji decided not to abandon the fort and instead started a fierce guerilla war against the Mughals and defended the fort in this way for almost two months.
The Mughals tried another way of taking the fort. They dug a tunnel up to the fort; which was a challenge because of the water around the it. They filled this tunnel with explosives and blew up the wall of the fort. This was a major setback for Firangoji and his soldiers; 75 soldiers died in this attack. The Mughal army rushed into the fort; fierce fighting ensued and many Maratha soldiers were killed.
Shayeste Khan was astonished by Firangoji's bravery. He offered him Mughal Sardari . But Firangoji refused to accept it; instead Shayeste Khan gave him and his soldiers safe passage. Firangoji came to meet Shivaji and apologised for surendering the fort. But Shivaji was very happy with him as he had defended a small fort for almost 2 months. He said "if it took 60 days for Shayeste Khan to take a small fort, imagine how many days wlll be required to capture an entire swarajya (kingdom)". Shivaji rewarded Firangoji and made him Killedar of 'Bhopal Gad' (fort).
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