With the release of the movie Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior people are revisiting history to find out more about the lead characters in the movie. Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior claims that it is retelling the story of the brave Maratha warrior Tanaji Malusare who fought the Rajput fort keeper of the then named Kondana fort Udaybhan Rathore and wrested the fort from the Mughals. While the movie is not without a dose of fiction people’s curiosity about the Mughal ally Udaybhan Rathore is huge as it’s always the villains who are a bit more interesting than the traditional heroes. So we bring for you some facts from Udaybhan Rathore’s wiki.
Who Was Udaybhan Rathore?
It was the year 1670 and the Kondana fort was under the control of the Mughals who were waging war on the Marathas led by their inspiring and charismatic leader Shivaji Maharaj. Udaybhan Rathore was on the Mughal’s side even though he was a Rajput by birth. He was defending the Kondana fort with an army of about 1,500 Rajputs and Mughals. Udaybhan Rathore was brave and intelligent and he kept a tight vigil on the fort so that nobody especially the Marathas could never gain entry and win the citadel.
An Outrageous & Innovative Plan
However Shivaji had other plans and he entrusted the task of fighting and winning the fort to his trusted general Tanaji Malusare. Tanaji observed the fort for a few days to find out any vulnerability that he could exploit. He saw that one side of the hill was a sheer cliff and he correctly assumed that that part of the fort would be least guarded as the Mughals would think that nobody would be able to climb from that side. Tanaji was clever and he used a tamed monitor lizard named “Yashwanti” to make his ingenious plan.
The Marathas tied a rope around Yashwanti and sent it up to scale the cliff and the fort walls. A few men climbed up the cliff with this rope and later let others into the fort. The Mughals were unprepared and taken by surprise at this midnight attack on a moonless night on February 4, 1670. There was a fierce battle between the Marathas and the Mughals and inevitably Tanaji and Udaybhan Rathore went face-to-face in a swordfight.
Who Killed Udaybhan Rathore?
Early into the fight Udaybhan Rathore broke Tanaji’s shield and rained blows on him. Tanaji used his turban as a shield but could not escape the deadly cuts from Udaybhan Rathore. However, before falling down due to his wounds he managed to seriously wound Udaybhan Rathore. Udaybhan Rathore was reeling from his wounds and it was then that another Maratha warrior Shelar Mama killed him. So while many believe that Udaybhan Rathore died at the hands of Tanaji the history books say that Tanaji wounded him seriously and then Shelar Mama killed Rathore.
Movie Has Stretched Reality
Even though the movie Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior depicts Rathore as an over-the-top character in real life he was not like that. He was considered brave and intelligent by his soldiers and Aurangzeb and was thus entrusted to secure and protect the fort of Kondana. Even though Tanaji was able to win the fort he died due to his numerous wounds. Shivaji on hearing of Tanaji’s death later remarked that while the fort had been won the lion was no more. Since then the Kondana fort was renamed Sinhagad [Lion’s Fort] to honor the life and memory of Tanaji Malusare.
Don’t Believe All You See!
Udaybhan Rathore’s name was lost in the pages of history but now is getting attention due to the Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior movie. Not much is known about his early life and childhood but history has recorded his loyalty to Aurangzeb and his own personal bravery. So when you see him portrayed as a demented man in the movie you should take it with a pinch of salt!