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The Marathas: Shivaji And His Successors

The Marathas: Shivaji And His Successors

Shivaji (1627-80):

  • Shivaji was born at Shivner to Shahji Bhosle and Jijabai. He inherited the Jagir of Poona from his father in 1637. After the death of his guardian, Dadaji Kondadeo, in 1647, he assumed full charge of his Jagir. Before that, at the age of 18, he conquered Raigarh, Kondana and Toma from Bijapur.
  • His real career of conquest began with his capture of Tavli in 1656 from a Maratha chief Chanda Rao More which made him the master of the high lands area of Mavala whose foot soldiers became a strong part of his army.
  • He attacked the Adil Shahi territories in 1657-58. Afzal Khan was deputed by the Adil Shah ruler to punish Shivaji, but the latter murdered Afzal in 1659.
  • Later Shaista Khan, the maternal uncle of Aurangzeb and governor of Deccan was deputed by Aurangzeb to put down the rising power of Shivaji. In 1660 Shivaji was attacked by Mughal forces from the north and Bijapur forces from the south.
  • Shivaji lost Poona and suffered several defeats between 1660 and 1663 till he made a bold attack on Shaista’s military camp and plundered Surat in 1664 and later Ahmednagar.
  • Raja Jai Singh of Amber was then appointed by Aurangzeb to put down Shivaji in 1665 and Jai Singh succeeded in besieging Shivaji in the fort of Purandhar. Consequently the treaty of Purandhar was signed in 1665 according to which,
  • Shivaji had to surrender 23 forts out of his 35 forts to the Mughals.
  • The Mughals recognized Shivaji’s right to certain parts of the Bijapur kingdom.
  • Grant of a mansab of 5000 was to be effected in favour of Shivaji’ son.
  • Shivaji visited Agra in 1666 where he was imprisoned. After he managed to escape from captivity he remained in relative silence for three yeas from 1666-69 and then renewed his conflict with the Mughals by his second plunder of Surat in 1670.
  • For four yeas he carried on military conquests recovering all his former forts and territories. In 1674 he was coronated at Rajgarh and assumed title of ‘Haindava Dharmodharak’ (Protector of Hindusim).
  • He formed an alliance with the Qutub Shahis of Golconda and led a campaign into Bijapuri Karnataka and conquered Gingee (Jinji) and Vellore. But he refused to share the newly conquered territories with Qutub Shah. Shivaji died in 1680.                                    The Marathas: Shivaji And His Successors

Sambhaji (1680-89):

  • The war of succession between Sambhaji, the elder son and  Rajaram, the younger son of Shivaji resulted in the victory of the former ac imprisonment of the later.
  • Sambhaji provided protection and support to Akbar, the rebellious son of Aurangzeb.
  • But Akbar failed against his father and departed to Persia. Sambhaji was also captured at Sangamesvar by a Mughal noble and executed.                          The Marathas: Shivaji And His Successors

Rajaram (1689-1700):

  • Rajaram succeeded to the throne at Raigarh. He fled from Rajgarh to Jinji in 1689 due to a Mughal invasion in which Raigarh was captured along with Sambhaji’s wife and son (Sahu) by the Mughals.
  • Jinji fell to the Mughals in 1698 and Rajaram escaped to Visalgarh in Maharashtra. Rajaram died at Satara which had become the capital after the fall of Jinji.
  • Rajaram’s administrative changes included the creation of the new post of Pratimdhi, thus taking the total number of ministers to nine.                    The Marathas: Shivaji And His Successors

Tarabai (1700-07):

  • Rajaram was succeeded by his minor son Shivaji II under the guardianship of his mother Tarabai.
  • Tarabai was a capable general who co-ordianted the Maratha forces and attacked Bera, Baroda and Aurangabad.

Shahu (1707-1749):

  • Shahu was released by the Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah and this was the beginning of civil war (1707-14) between him and Tarabai.
  • Tarabai’s army was defeated by Shahu at the battle of Khed in 1707 and Shahu occupied Satara. The final defeat and imprisonment of Tarabai by Shahu came in 1714.
  • But the southern part of the Maratha Kingdom with its capital at Kolhapur continued to be under the control of the descendants of Rajaram (Shivaji II and later Sambhaji II).
  • Shahu’s reign saw the rise of Peshwaship and transformation of the Maratha kingdom into an empire based on the principle of confederacy.          The Marathas: Shivaji And His Successors


Medieval History

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