Bollywood and period dramas go way back. The first strike came with the mega blockbuster Mughal-E-Azam starring Bollywood bigwigs like Dilip Kumar, Madhubala and Prithviraj Kapoor in pivotal roles.
The massive success of the film led to the creation of numerous other period dramas in Bollywood including some highly popular biographical dramas such as Asoka, The Legend of Bhagat Singh, Jodha Akbar, Bajirao Mastani, and Padmaavat to name a few.
However, the latest addition to this list is Ajay Devgn and Saif Ali Khan starrer biographical drama titled Tanhaji. It is based on the life and times of Tanaji Malusare, the celebrated military leader of the Maratha empire very few people besides the Marathis know of.
While the first looks for Ajay Devgn as Tanaji and Saif Ali Khan as Udaybhan Rathore were released hours ago, and has caused quite a hullabaloo on social media, here's everything you need to know about Tanaji Malusare.
1. Subedar Tanaji Malusare was the General of Chhatrapati Shivaji's army and is best remembered for the Battle of Sinhagad in 1670.
2. Malusare laid down his life to follow Shivaji's order to recapture the Kondhana fort annexed by the Mughals. However, his sacrifice fueled the Maratha army to go all out and reclaim what was rightfully theirs.
3. During the battle, Tanaji had faced Udaybhan, the formidable fort keeper assigned by Mughal General Jai Singh I to overlook the Kondhana fort, upfront and fought him off single handedly before getting fatally hurt.
4. The legend goes that when Tanaji was assigned the task to reclaim the fort by Shivaji, he had been busy making preparations for his son's wedding. However, upon being called by Shivaji he left everything to serve his duty as a warrior.
5. It is said that Tanaji used his wisdom and iron will to scale the steep hill fort using his pet monitor lizard (called ghopad in Marathi), and launched a surprise attack that led to the ultimate defeat of the Mughal army and ensured that the Kondhana fort returned to the Marathas.
6. History has it that Tanaji and Udaybhan had the ultimate faceoff during the battle, and their ultimate sword fight has since gone down in history as one of the best sights the warriors got to behold.
7. Tanaji was not only the general in Shivaji's army, but also happened to be a great friend of the Maratha king. Upon losing his friend in this battle, a grieving Shivaji had reportedly said, "Gad ala, pan sinha gela" (Got the fort but lost the lion).
8. The Kondhana fort was later renamed as the Sinhagad (Lion's) Fort by Shivaji as a tribute to his general and friend Tanaji.
Reportedly, Ajay Devgn-Saif Ali Khan starrer Tanhaji will bring all of that onscreen along with Tanaji's relationship with his wife Savitri, the role all set to be essayed by Kajol.