Ghanyshyam Dahane, a Pune-based historian, has found a 344-year-old letter, written by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Dhule. The letter, which mentions a decision taken for a dispute between two families in Satara, reveals the king’s administrative side. According to Dahane, the letter was written five months before Shivaji Maharaj’s coronation ceremony. “The date mentioned in the letter is written according to the Muslim calendar. As per the Gregorian calendar, the letter was written on February 2, 1674. The handwriting of the letter matches that of Shivaji Maharaj and it also has his stamp printed on it. Even after 344 years, the paper and the ink is still in good condition and we have been able to translate the content of the letter,” he said. The letter is addressed to Nagoji Patil Kalbhar from Pali village, Satara. The Kalbhar family had a dispute over the village chief (patil) post with the Kharade family. The matter due to its various complications, was personally looked into by Shivaji Maharaj. He decided that Kalbhar holds the rights to become the village chief. In the letter, Shivaji assures Kalbhar that he does not have to fear the Kharade family, and that he has written a separate letter to Abaji Mordev, his local in-charge (subhedar), to take action against the Kharade family. RAVINDRA JOSHI/HT PHOTOThe letter of King Shivaji was found in Dhule district in Maharashtra .“Shivaji had brought Satara area under his command in 1673 and this letter proves that he implemented his own administrative system in the region. This is why the letter is significant,” said Dahane. Shankar Dev of Samarth Vagdevta Mandir, Dhule, had collected several historical documents while visiting the Satara region and Sajjangad. He had kept these documents secured in Dhule. Dahane discovered this letter while studying some other documents and letters that Shankar Dev had securely kept. The Letter The letter is 1.3 feet long and 6.5 inches wide. The paper and ink is still in good condition. The letter is in modi transcript and posses Shivaji Maharaj’s stamp. At the back of the letter, the date has been mentioned and holds the stamp of Moropant Pingale, his minister.