English मराठी

Maharaj Chhatrapati Shahu Raje Bhosle, Satara

Ruled: 1682-1749
Present -
Ascended the Gadi in 2018
Chattrapati Shahu Maharaj, born in 1682, emerged as a pivotal figure in Maratha history, navigating through the tumultuous aftermath of his father Chatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj's execution by the Mughals. As the grandson of the legendary Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Shahuraje’s life unfolded against the backdrop of Mughal captivity, political maneuvering, and a relentless struggle for the Maratha throne.
Born:  1682
Adoption and ascension to the Gadi

Following the fall of Fort Raigad, Shahuraje and his mother found themselves prisoners of the Mughals, marking the beginning of Shahuraje's upbringing in the confines of Mughal captivity. During their imprisonment, the then Mughal emperor gave Akkalkot Pargana as a jahagir to Shahuraje for carrying out his expenses incurred on milk and food. This was done when he was only ten years old. Akkalkot state initially belonged to the Mughals however as it was given to Shahuraje, it came under the Maratha empire.

Shahuraje was released in 1707, was arraigned by Prince Azam on the advice of Zulfikar Khan.

Maharaj Chattrapati Shahuraje carried out his first expedition to a place called as Parud. During this Maratha civil war against the Mughals, Shri Sayaji Lokhande Patil the sardar of Mughal army attacked Chhatrapati Maharaj Shahuraje. Maharaj Shahuraje killed Sayaji lokhande and most of the male members of the Lokhande Patil family. Ranoji Lokhande the Son of Sayaji Lokhande was thrown in the feet of Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj by his mother. Maharaj Chattrapati Shahuraje could easily wipe out the Lokhande Patil clan by killing the widow and son of Shri Sayaji Lokhande. However, He incorporated Ranoji into his own family. Named him as Fatehsinhraje (victorious) because Maharaj Shahuraje had won this expedition. He later adopted him formally. Fatehsinhraje lived in Satara and pursued his education in Satara. He assisted Maharaj Chhatrapati Shahuraje in all of his expeditions for the Deccan plateau region. He reconquered the Raigad fort from the Mughals and restored it back to Maratha empire.

During the years 1707 and 1708 Maharaj Shahuraje established the princely states of Akkalkot and Sawantwadi. He wanted a trustworthy person to rule over Akkalkot state, Fatehsinhraje being his first adopted and eldest Son, he coronated Fatehsinhraje and made him the Rajasaheb of Akkalkot. This was the beginning of the Akkalkot lineage.

Meanwhile Maharaj Chhatrapati Shahuraje adopted a second Son for the throne of Satara and named him as Rajaram II he was also called as Ramaraja. After the death of Maharaj Chhatrapati Shahuraje, Maharaj Rajaram II was coronated as the Maharaj of Satara. He was younger in age than Shrimant Fatehsinhraje and so Maharaj Fatehsinhraje was uncomfortable in coexisting with him in Satara. He also believed that his interest will be better safeguarded in Akkalkot than in Satara. So he decided to leave Satara permanently and spend the last days of his life at Akkalkot.

Shahuraje's mother, Rajmata Yesubai, remained imprisoned as leverage against any potential deviation from Shahuraje's loyalty. The release of Rajmata Yesubai in 1719 marked a significant shift in the power dynamics between the Marathas and the Mughals.

Maharaj Shahuraje's legacy also encompasses his personal life. He had four wives and fathered two sons and four daughters. Adopting Fatehsinh I Bhonsle and later Rajaram II in 1745 as his successors, Shahuraje ensured the continuity of the Bhonsle lineage.

Maharaj Chhatrapati Shahuraje's reign came to an end in 1749, marking the conclusion of a chapter that reshaped the course of Maratha history. His strategic alliances, diplomatic finesse, and benevolent rule left an indelible mark, setting the stage for the era of Peshwas who wielded power in the post Maharaj Chhatrapati Shahuraje rule.