The maratha lion
Shivaji is one of the most inspirational historical figures in contemporary India. This is especially true for the Marathi speaking region to which he belonged. He was born in the 17th century in Western India at a time when the area was under the oppressive rule of the neighboring states of Bijapur, Golconda and Ahmadnagar. Shivaji collected a loyal band of followers and gave them oaths of loyalty to the cause of freedom and steadily proceeded to wrest control of more and more forts from the alien rulers.
One of his loyal mates was Tanaji, who accompanied Shivaji in the raid in Pune, when Shivaji's home town was occupied by a Mughal General. On another occasion, Shivaji's mother wished for the take-over of an important fort near Pune. Though his son's wedding day was close by, Tanaji followed orders and made a plan to storm the extremely well-guarded fort in the middle of the night. Faced with a steep, almost insurmountable cliff Tanaji deployed a giant rock-climbing lizard (the iguana) to send the first soldier up. Up into the fort, Tanaji and troops engaged in close combat and eventually won. However, in a one-to-one combat with the Fort's chief, Tanaji was fatally wounded. Shivaji expressed his grief saying, "Won the Fort, lost the Lion". Ever since the fort is known as The Lion Fort (Sinhagadh).