Sunday, November 13, 2011

शिवछत्रपतींचे आरमार Book Review [ShivChhatrapatinche Aarmar]

शिवछत्रपतींचे आरमार
Book Name : शिवछत्रपतींचे आरमार [Armada of Chhatrapati Shivaji]
Author : Gajanan Mahendale; Santosh Shintre
Subject : Maratha Naval History
Publishers : Parammitra Publication
Language : Marathi
Pages : 218
Price : Rs 225 (From
Overall Rating : 
Writing & Research : 
Illustrations & Maps : 

Detailed Review

I have been researching about Maratha Navy since '07, and I have read a fair amount of books. However, I must say, very few books have earned my respect when it goes to painstaking research. Few authors respect the concept of cross references, footnotes, appendices and bibliography.

But this book is different. And I am not surprised, as it is written by one of Maharashtra's most respected Historian and Scholar - Gajanan Mahendale and his personal friend and fellow scholar Santosh Shintre. Who else will give you a nearly 40-page bibliography and references for a 218page book? That's genuine "Scholarship" my friends.

The book covers the Maratha Naval period from circa 1650s to 1680 i.e. the demise of Shivaji Maharaj. The book itself is divided into 4 sections, viz :

  1. Beginnings of Shivaji's Armada
  2. Shivaji & Siddi
  3. Khanderi Campaign of 1679
  4. Afterthoughts
Afterthoughts is the shortest of the four [barely 3 pages]. really well written, and throws light upon not only the beginning of Maratha Navy, but also the organisation of the Portuguese Navy in Indian Ocean. Shivaji & Siddi has some great action in it, more than the remaining three sections combined. Lastly, the Khanderi Campaign is wonderfully explained, both politically and militarily. Also the only section to have a well-printed map.

Appendices have a bad habit of leaving you unsatisfied. The same is true here. Appendices here are organised thus :
  1. Shivaji Maharaj's Sea-Forts
  2. Shivaji Maharaj's Naval Officers
  3. Shivaji Maharaj's Battleships
Battleships is the shortest one. It has two illustrations of Maratha Ships, poorly reproduced. Naval Officers is fairly decent, although painfully short. Sea-Forts is accompanied by two photographs. There are five more photographs also in earlier sections.

History buffs will love this book.
As I said earlier, the book is a scholar's dream come true. If you are seriously studying Naval History of India and/or Marathas, you should seriously consider buying this one.

  • Well written AND researched sections.
  • Great References & Bibliography
  • Worth its Money
  • Bad Maps. Except the one in Khanderi Campaign, I loved that one.
  • Poorly printed illustration of the two ships.
  • If only the appendices were chapter-length...this book would have been 5star.
Final Word : Should you buy it? & Is it worth your Money? YES & YES.