Shivaji Bhosale was an Indian warrior king. An aristocrat of the Bhosle Maratha clan, Shivaji, in 1674, carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that formed the genesis of an independent Maratha kingdom with Raigad as its capital. Shivaji established a competent and progressive civil rule with the help of a disciplined military and well-structured administrative organisations. He innovated military tactics, pioneering the guerilla warfare methods (Shiva sutra or ganimi kava), which leveraged strategic factors like geography, speed, and surprise and focused pinpoint attacks to defeat his larger and more powerful enemies.
- A standing army belonging to the state, called paga.
- All war horses belonged to the state; responsibility for their upkeep rested on the Sovereign.
- Creation of part-time soldiers from peasants who worked for eight months in their fields and supported four months in war for which they were paid.
- Highly mobile and light infantry and cavalry excelling in commando tactics.
- The introduction of a centralized intelligence department; Bahirjee Naik was the foremost spy who provided Shivaji with enemy information in all of Shivaji's campaigns.
- Introduction of field craft, such as guerrilla warfare, commando actions, and swift flanking attacks. Field-Marshal Montgomery, in his "History of Warfare", while generally dismissive of the quality of generalship in the military history of the Indian subcontinent, makes an exception for Shivaji and Baji Rao I. Summarizing Shivaji's mastery of guerilla tactics, Montgomery describes him as a military genius.
- Innovation of weapons and firepower, innovative use of traditional weapons like thetiger claw (vaghnakh) and vita.
- Militarisation of large swathes of society, across all classes, with the entire peasant population of settlements and villages near forts actively involved in their defence.