Shivaji readied for fight. He rose with a special mantra suggested by Sahyadri. Which one? Guerrilla strategy. Fateh Khan camped towards northeast of fort Purandar near Belsar town. He made a stormy attack on Shirval's fort Subhanmangal to the south of the fort and won. Saffron flag took flight. A tremendous blow on a most sensitive spot! One fort gone!
Shivaji reached Purandar. He left Kavji Malhar with a posse of Mavalas on fort Subhnmangal. He heavily battered the fort and Badshah's fort commander Balaji Haibatrao got killed. Others scattered helter and skelter. Fort was won. Once again saffron flag flew. Win, Win! This victory encouraged Marathas. Now it was Fateh Khan's turn. Decision was taken to attack and take on. Suddenly, secretively.
Raje made a terrible guerrilla attack on Khan's camp itself. Many were massacred and before Khan could recover and get his bearings, everyone ran towards Purandar. Khan was livid because of this attack and the defeat at fort Subhnmangal. The very next day he attacked Purandar. But Raje's troops hurled huge rocks from the fort. These rocks flustered Khan's soldiers so much that they started running. Immediately Raje descended on Shah's troops. Khan was badly crushed. He scurried away to Vijapur. Fantastic victory. (Mid august 1648)
Then Shivaji extended friendship to Delhi durbar to bring pressure on Vijapur's Badshah. This too was a guerrilla tactic. Now if Shahaji were not released, Delhi's military rage would result. Difficult proposition. Realising this Adil Shah released Shahjiraje. (16th May 1648) This was a full moon day. The threat to Swarajya and Shahji's life was averted by Shivaji's intelligent and strong guerrilla strategy. Jijau learnt of this happy information on Rajgad. She was delighted.
To be continue......