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Unveiling the Legendary Horse Army of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Unveiling the Legendary Horse Army of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the revered Maratha warrior king, established a formidable army that included the legendary Bargi Cavalry. This elite cavalry unit, also known as the Maratha Cavalry, played a pivotal role in Shivaji Maharaj’s military campaigns. In this blog, we delve into the captivating world of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Bargi Cavalry, exploring its significance, organization, and the indomitable spirit that made it a force to be reckoned with.

The Mighty Bargi Cavalry: Warriors on Horseback

The Bargi Cavalry, renowned as the Maratha Cavalry, was a highly esteemed horse-mounted force within Shivaji Maharaj’s army. These brave warriors were meticulously chosen for their exceptional equestrian skills, fierce combat abilities, and unwavering loyalty. Mounted on swift and sturdy horses, they formed an unstoppable force that struck fear into the hearts of their enemies.

Agile and Versatile Warriors

Chhatrapati Shivaji and his army

The Bargi Cavalry was known for its agility and versatility on the battlefield. These skilled horsemen possessed remarkable expertise in mounted archery, swordsmanship, and various other combat techniques. Their proficiency in horseback warfare allowed them to maneuver swiftly through the terrain, launch surprise attacks, and retreat with precision, leaving their adversaries stunned and outmatched.

Devastating Hit-and-Run Tactics

Chhatrapati Shivaji hit and run tactics

One of the hallmarks of the Bargi Cavalry was their mastery of hit-and-run tactics. They excelled at launching swift and deadly assaults on enemy forces, delivering powerful blows before swiftly disengaging from the battle. This guerrilla-style warfare strategy kept the enemy off balance, preventing them from mounting effective counterattacks. The Bargi Cavalry’s hit-and-run tactics proved instrumental in Shivaji Maharaj’s military successes.

Strategic Advantage and Mobility

Maratha cavalry

The Bargi Cavalry’s exceptional mobility was a significant asset in Shivaji Maharaj’s military campaigns. Their fleet-footed steeds granted them the ability to traverse vast distances with remarkable speed, allowing for superior maneuverability and the element of surprise when engaging enemy forces. This mobility gave Shivaji Maharaj a strategic advantage, allowing him to strike at the heart of his enemies’ defenses, disrupt supply lines, and gather crucial intelligence.

Fearless and Resilient Horses

Chhatrapati Shivaji

One breed of horse that prominently featured in his cavalry was the Bhimthadi. The Bhimthadi horses were renowned for their impressive strength and remarkable endurance. Their powerful build and stamina enabled them to cover long distances swiftly, making them invaluable for Shivaji Maharaj’s cavalry during military campaigns. These are also known as the Deccan breed or the Deccani horses and derived their name from the Indian Deccan Plateau.

These horses possessed a fearless and resilient temperament, traits that perfectly aligned with the bravery and determination demanded by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s horse army. These horses displayed unwavering loyalty, staying calm under pressure and remaining focused during intense battle situations. Their indomitable spirit and courageous nature added a formidable edge to the Maratha cavalry’s charges.

The Bhimthadi horses boasted impressive agility and quick reflexes, providing a tactical advantage on the battlefield. Their nimble footwork allowed them to swiftly change directions, make sharp turns, and maneuver through challenging terrain. This agility gave the Maratha cavalry the ability to outmaneuver opponents, launch surprise attacks, and encircle enemy forces effectively, contributing to their military successes.

However, the mighty horse breed that once served the army of the great Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji, is now on the verge of extinction.

In addition to the Deccani horses, the cavalry of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj also included a select few Arabian horses. These Arabian horses were valued for their exceptional qualities and were integrated into the Maratha army, contributing to the diversity and effectiveness of the cavalry forces.

7 horse were used by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj throughout his life in 50 years:

  • Moti
  • Vishwas
  • Ranbir
  • Gajra
  • Turangi
  • Indrayani
  • Krishna

Krishna was the last horse rode by Shivaji Maharaj.

Symbol of Honor and Prestige

Shivaji statue

The Bargi Cavalry served as a symbol of honor and prestige within Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s army. Dressed in striking attire and adorned with distinctive armor, they embodied the grandeur and power of the Maratha Empire. Their presence on the battlefield commanded respect and instilled fear in their foes. The Bargi Cavalry’s gallantry and unwavering dedication to Shivaji Maharaj’s cause left an indelible mark on the pages of history.


Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Bargi Cavalry stands as a testament to the valor, skill, and strategic brilliance of this revered warrior king. With their agility, versatility, and devastating hit-and-run tactics, they were an unstoppable force that shaped the course of history. The Bargi Cavalry not only symbolized Shivaji Maharaj’s military might but also represented the unwavering loyalty and bravery of his warriors.

As we immerse ourselves in the captivating world of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Bargi Cavalry, we are reminded of their extraordinary contributions and indomitable spirit. Their legacy continues to inspire awe and admiration, showcasing the power of a well-trained and fiercely dedicated cavalry force.

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