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Rajaram Chhatrapati

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Rajaram Chhatrapati

Rajaram I
3rd Maratha Chhatrapati
Reign 1689–1700
Coronation 20 February 1689
Predecessor Sambhaji
Successor Shivaji II
Born 24 February 1670
Rajgad fort
Died 3 March 1700
Sinhagad fort, Maharastra
Spouse Jankibai (Gujar)
Tarabai (Mohite)
Rajasbai (Ghatge)
House Bhonsle dynasty
Father Shivaji Bhonsle
Mother Soyrabai
Religion Hinduism

Rajaram Raje Bhonsle (24 February 1670 – 3 March 1700 Sinhagad[1]) was the younger son of the first Maratha Chhatrapati Shivaji, half-brother of the second Chhatrapati Sambhaji, and took over the Maratha Empire as its third Chhatrapati after his brother's death at the hands of the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb in 1689. He had a very short reign, during which he was engaged in a struggle with the Mughals.

Contents

  • Early life 1
  • Coronation and escape to Jinji 2
  • Siege of Jinji 3
  • Santaji and Dhanaji 4
  • Death 5
  • See also 6
  • Notes 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early life

He was brought up by his mother Soyarabai. He was declared Chhatrapati at the age of 10 (on 21 April 1680) by a faction of the court after Shivaji's death. However, Sambhaji prevailed and assumed the throne.

Coronation and escape to Jinji

After the death of Sambhaji, Rajaram was crowned at Raigad on 12 March 1689. As the Mughals started laying siege to the region around Raigad on 25 March 1689, the widow of Sambhaji, Maharani Yesubai and her minister Ramchandra Pant Amatya sent young Rajaram to the stronghold of Pratapgad through Kavlya ghat. The Maratha army fought with the Mughals and led the new Maratha king, Rajaram to escape through Kavlya ghat to the fort of Jinji in present day state of Tamil Nadu via Pratapgad and Vishalgad forts, Rajaram reached Keladi in disguise and sought refuge from Keladi Chennamma - The brave queen fought the Mughals and ensured safe passage and escape of Rajaram to Jinji, Keladi Chennamma fought the jungle warfare which frustrated the Mughals and the Mughals proposed peace accord for the first time with an Indian ruler, Keladi Chennamma ensured safe travel of Rajaram to jingi by fighting the mughals where he reached after a month and a half long journey on 1 November 1689.[2] Details of this escape are known from the incomplete poetical biography of Rajaram, the Rajaramacharita written by his Rajpurohit, Keshav Pandit, in Sanskrit.[3]

Siege of Jinji

Aurangzeb deputed Ghazi-ud-din Firoze Jung against the Marathas in the Deccan, and specially sent Zulfiqar Khan Nusrat Jung to capture the Jingi Fort. He laid siege to it in September, 1690. After three failed attempts, it was finally captured after seven years on 8 January 1698. Rajaram, however, escaped and fled first to Vellore and later to Vishalgarh.[4] Rajaram tried to counter with a siege of the town of Berar, but was checked by Prince Bedarbakht and Zulfiqar Khan had to return.

Santaji and Dhanaji

Rajaram occupied the fort at Jinji from 11 Nov. 1689, but left before it fell in 1698, setting up his court at fort Satara. During that period when Jinji remained unconquered, "the intrepid Maratha commanders, Santaji Ghorpade and Dhanaji Jadhav, wrought havoc in the Karnataka and Maharashtra by defeating the Mighal generals and cutting off their lines of communication."[5]

Santaji Ghorpade whose father Senapati Maloji Ghorpade died in the battle of Sangameshwar along with Sambhaji, was directed by Sambhaji to Raigad to rescue the queen and Rajaram. He secured the release of Rajaram from the siege of Raigad. At this stage, the Marathas were nearly defeated. But Santaji managed to ford the River Bhima despite floods, and attacked the Mughal camp. Aurangzeb, however, survived.

Santaji is credited with the defeat of at least three major Mughal chiefs. One Mughal general Kasim Khan was driven to suicide . Later, however, he fell out with Rajaram and Dhanaji Jadhav. He was killed while taking a bath by Nagoji Mane. The severed head of Santaji was presented to Aurangzeb for reward.

Death

A memorial marking the place of death of Shreemant Chhatrapati Rajaram Raje Bhosle. The memorial is atop Sinhgad Fort, Pune, India

Rajaram died of an unspecified illness in 1700 at Sinhagad near Pune in Maharashtra. Thereafter the Maratha empire suffered a power vacuum until the release of his nephew, Shahuji in 1707. In the interim, Rajaram's wife, Tarabai ruled the empire as regent for her young son, Shivaji II. Eventually, Shahuji succeeded Rajaram as the fourth Chattrapati in 1708.

See also

Preceded by
Sambhaji
Chhatrapati of the
Maratha Empire

1689–1700
Succeeded by
Shivaji II

Notes

  1. ^ Majumdar, R.C. (ed.) (2007). The Mughul Empire, Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, , p.296
  2. ^ Majumdar, R.C. (ed.) (2007). The Mughul Empire, Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, , pp.289,365-70
  3. ^ Majumdar, R.C. (ed.) (2007). The Mughul Empire, Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, , p.609
  4. ^ Majumdar, R.C. (ed.) (2007). The Mughul Empire, Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, , pp.294-5
  5. ^ Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. pp. 200–201.  

References

  • Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 2, p. 440.

External links

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