Pavankhind by Ranjeet Desai
Maharashtra, the state in Western India, had been under the rule of the Muslims since the thirteenth century. For about four hundred years it had tyrannical and intolerant kings from outside who never allowed the local population to live in peace. Loot, exploitation in the name of religion, rape and violence were rampant until Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj challenged the rulers and set up a Maratha empire in the seventeenth century. His mission was not a cakewalk: he had enemies from within, outside the state as well as those from other countries (the Portuguese and the British had made their present felt by then.) Loyalty of his followers was one major factor that helped Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj build an empire which was held in awe. Pavankhind is a historical novel that covers the events leading to the War of Pavankhind. (Pavankhind is a pass near Kolhapur.) The king successfully made his way through a siege of the pass; thanks to Baji Prabhu Deshpande who made the break through possible.
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