Chhathrapati Sivaji - Taken at Ooty.(Wax museum)
Shivaji Bhosle (19 February 1630 – 3 April 1680), with the royal title Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was a Maratha king from the Bhosle dynasty who founded the Maratha empire. Shivaji led a resistance to free the Marathas from Sultanate of Bijapur, and establish the rule of the natives ("Hindavi Swarajya"). He created an independent Maratha kingdom with Raigad as its capital,and fought with the Mughals to defend his kingdom successfully. He was crowned as Chhatrapati of the Maratha Kingdom in 1674.
He achieved the re-establishment of Maratha rule on their homeland after being ruled and dominated by various Muslim dynasties for few hundred years. He established a competent and progressive civil rule with the help of well regulated and disciplined military and well structured administrative organizations. The prevalent practices of treating women as war booty, destruction of religious monuments, slavery and forceful religious conversions were firmly opposed under his administration. Shivaji was a religious Hindu, and showed respect toward other religions. He also innovated rules of military engagement of that era. He pioneered "Shiva sutra" or Ganimi Kava (guerrilla tactics), which leveraged strategic factors like demographics, speed, surprise and focused attack to defeat his bigger and more powerful enemies.