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Shrimant Fatehsinhraje I Bhosle (Ranoji Lokhande), Rajasaheb, Akkalkot

Ruled: 1710-1760
Present -
Ascended the Gadi in 2018
Maharaj Fatehsinhraje I Bhosle was born as Ranoji Lokhande the Son of Sayaji Lokhande (Patil of Parud). Maharaj Chhatrapati 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 on 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 Chhatrapati 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.
Born: Not available
Adoption and ascension to the Gadi

He 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.

In 1714 he got married to two girls. One was Maharani Ahilyabai from the Kokate family and the other was Maharani Gojrabai from the Bawane Family. Having established peace and order, Maharaj Chatrapati Shahuraje Bhosle allotted the services of some of his army officers to Maharaj Fatehsinhraje I Bhosle.

Nillo Ballal, younger brother of Khandu Ballal was appointed as the first Chief Minister of Akkalkot State. Shortly afterwards Ramaji Damodar Gadgil was appointed as Chief Minister in his place. Members of this family remained on the post hereditarily till the merger of the State into free India. Maharaj Fatehsinhraje I Bhosle was told to conquer territory in Karnataka by the Peshwas. This was the First expedition to Karnataka jointly conducted by Baji Rao Peshwa and Maharaj Fatehsinhraje I Bhosle. They established control over all the forts and central places in the area. Meanwhile, Maharaj Chhatrapati Sambhajiraje Bhosle of Kolhapur began to think of acquiring half the share of Maharaj Chhatrapati Shivajiraje Bhosle’s empire. Maharaj Chhatrapati Sambhajiraje Bhosle made another attempt to create restlessness in Maharaj Chhatrapati Shahuraje Bhosle’s territory. For this purpose, he took the help of Udayji Chavan, the old enemy of Maharaj Chhatrapati Shahuraje Bhosle. Maharaj Chhatrapati Shahuraje Bhosle sent Pratinidhi to control the situation. The Pratinidhi defeated both the forces. Senapati Trimbakrao Dabhade rebelled against Maharaj Chhatrapati Shahuraje Bhosle. He was supported by the Nizam. However, they were defeated by Baji Rao, who killed Trimbakrao during the fight.

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. Shrimant Fatehsinhraje established his control over the Akkalkot State in 1751. Immediately after establishing order in the State he started building a Shri Ram temple, Fateh Bagh, and a lake known as ‘Mahadev Tala’.Shrimant Fatehsinhraje I had two wives but he did not have children from either of them. Subsequently, he adopted Baba Saheb from his biological brother Shri Babaji Lokhande in the year 1755 and named him as Shahaji l. Shahaji was born on 30th September 1736. He was about twenty when he came to Akkalkot. He was adopted to be the legal heir of Akkalkot. During the process of this adoption Shrimant Fatehsinhraje I, granted the town of Piliv in Solapur district, to his brother Shri Babaji Lokhande, bestowed upon him the rights of Jahagirdari and gave him the title Jahgirdar. This is how the Piliv family is a branch of the Akkalkot Royal Family.

In his last days, Maharaj Fatehsinhraje I Bhosle was worried about his indebtedness to the Peshwa and the Naik. He made arrangements for the repayments of the loan to the Peshwa by signing a bond and giving Trichanapalli and Mokasa rights of some villages from Khandesh and Berar. He lost his peace of mind and died on 20th November 1760. His two wives Ahilyabai and Gojrabai committed Sati. Maharaj Fatehsinhraje I Bhosle was known to be generous at heart and gave alms to the poor. It was Known as ‘Bhandarkhana’. He gave meals to the Brahmins on auspicious days.