Indian Ocean Naval History
Importance of Indian Ocean - Key Factors
Navy as Secure Trade base of prosperity
While the Cholas were first Naval power
Malay kingdoms and IndoChina
Malay kingdoms obviously reached out all across Indochina, it was the Marathas that really used Naval power for domestic.
Maratha Naval Power
One of the less known bases of Maratha power was that a large portion of the Maratha empire was coastline, which had been secured by the potent Maratha Navy.
Shivaji was known as the Father of Indian Navy as he was among the first to realise the importance of having a naval force, and therefore he strategically established a navy and forts at the coastline to defend the Konkan side of Maharashtra. The Jaigad, Vijaydurg, Sindhudurg and other such forts still stand to testify his efforts and ideas.
Admiral Kanhoji Angre
Effective commanders such as Kanhoji Angre. He was very successful at keeping foreign naval ships at bay, particularly those of the Portuguese and British nations. Securing the coastal areas and building land-based fortifications were crucial aspects of the Maratha's defensive strategy and regional military history.
So many historians have credited Maratha Navy for laying the foundation of Indian Navy and bringing significant changes in naval warfare. A series of sea forts and battleships were built in 17th century during the reign of Shivaji.
Maratha Konkan shipyards
It has been noted that vessels built in the dockyards of Konkan were mostly indigenous, constructed without foreign aid.
1700s Expansion of Dockyards
In 18th centuries, during the reign of Admiral Kanhoji Angre, a host of dockyard facilities were built along the entire western coastline of present-day Maharashtra. The Marathas fortified the entire coastline with sea fortresses with navigational facilities
Ship cannons used effectively
The Maratha navy was also successful in fending off European navies with cannons for half a century.