Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was under siege of Siddi Johar on Panhala fort from 2nd March 1660. The siege lasted long and all food stocks had finished and made things difficult for Shivaji Maharaj. It was impossible to defeat the 30000 soldiered troop of Siddi. Shivaji Maharaj with some 600 Mavalas decided to escape to Vishalgad, 65 km away. It was Ashadi Pournima, with heavy rains falling. Shivaji Maharaj informed Siddi that he would surrender hence Siddi troops were little careless. Taking advantage Shivaji Maharaj escaped from Panhala. He wasn’t safe till he reached Vishalgad. Somehow Siddi’s troops spotted Shivaji Maharaj escape, he immediately sent horsed troops behind him and they got hold of Shivaji Maharaj, who was later brought to Siddi’s camp. But it was Shivaji Maharaja’s game plan; the person whom they had caught was not Shivaji Maharaj, but Shiva Kashid Navi who was immediately killed. Siddi somehow came to know that Shivaji Maharaj was on his way to Vishalgad and so sent troops behind him.
Shivaji Maharaj knew that Siddi’s troops were following him. Baji Prabhu, Shivaji Maharaja’s loyal Sardar decided to stay in Ghod Khind with 300 Mavalas, a col where mountain ridges near Vishalgad unite and were the only way to Vishalgad then. Baji with his 300 Mavalas had guerrilla warfare at Ghodkhind and held the Siddis troops there. They fought bravely till their death. It was only after Baji heard the cannon fire indicating the safe reach of Shivaji Maharaj at Vishalgad, he gave his life. It was a 21-hour continuous journey from Panhala to Vishalgad.
The story didn’t end here; Shivaji Maharaj had to fight his way to Vishalgad.
Vishalgad is a fort difficult to conquer, difficult to lay siege. Also even if the siege was laid, one would have enough time to escape to Konkan. Siddi was building siege on Vishalgad, but Shivaji Maharaj with his diplomatic trick made Adil Shah bring back Siddi Johar.