Indian war of Independence has always had me awestruck. I, Saurabh Khillare, have been active in such events taking place in my city of Mumbai. Mother India has produced some of the greatest warriors and freedom fighters. One among them was Kanhoji Angre, the brave fighter who fought against British and Portuguese on the coast of India. The fighter who was nicknamed as ‘Pirate’ by his enemies was undefeated until he died.
Talking about his early life, he was born in Anganwadi in the year 1669 and his original name was ‘Kadu’. Although not much information can be gathered regarding his early life, it is known that he spent most of his childhood in exploits at sea. Later, he was appointed as the admiral of the area of Satara in the year 1698. It was during this period that he began his heroic feats of taking over British ships and was feared by most of the British authorities.
He then negotiated deals with the king of Maratha and was appointed as the head of Maratha Navy. During this period, Maratha kingdom became weak, and forces were sent to control Angre, but Angre won the war and captured the Maratha throne. Slowly, his power began to rise, and he was the master of the Indian coast who was feared by most of the colonial powers.
Before his death in the year 1729, he was the master of the Arabian sea and Konkan. He left behind two sons named Sekhoji and Sambhaji, who ruled the sea till 1733 and then the kingdom was split into two parts and later was captured by the British.
Kanhoji Angre was one of the most notable admirals of the Maratha Navy. At the peak of his power, he was the commander of more than hundred ships, some of which were even European. He, in the following years during the Battle of Swalley, established a small naval force that is now being regarded as the Indian Navy. Today, this great leader stands as a proud symbol of bravery and has a statue established at the Indian Naval Dockyard Mumbai. His original Fort, although has vanished, but the boundaries remain where the headquarters of Indian Western Naval Command exist. There is a feeling of pride that develops as soon as we remember that we are the descendants of such a great leader.