Tag Archives: Sambhaji

The Marathas Part 21 The Creation, Evolution and Decline of the Maratha Army Section II; Feudalism to Final Decline

Canberra, 20 September 2022 In the annals of the history of the sub-continent, the Marathas came into prominence suddenly and swiftly and dissipated and collapsed as a ruling entity equally rapidly. While the rationale for their rise have been adequately chronicled, the causes for their downfall and the speed at which the collapse took place […]

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The Marathas Part 20 The Prominent Feudatories of the Empire Section I: The Rajas of Kolhapur

Canberra, 13 August 2022 On Chhatrapati Shivaji’s son and successor Sambhaji being killed by the Mughals, his younger half-brother Rajaram ascended the throne in 1689. He ruled for 11 years and died in 1700, whereupon his widow Tarabai declared her young son Shivaji II the king and started to rule the kingdom as the Regent. […]

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The Marathas Part 13 Peshwa Baji Rao Section II: The Maratha Expansion

Canberra, 5 December 2021 The 18th century witnessed a change of the first magnitude in the geo-political circumstances in the Indian sub-continent—the rise of Maratha power to eminence in the sub-continental political developments. The Mughal acceptance of the Maratha collection of Chauth and Sardeshmukhi, although made to look like concessions given to Raja Shahu on […]

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The Marathas Part 13 Peshwa Baji Rao I Section I: Taking Charge

Canberra, 24 November 2021 Two weeks after his father’s death, 22-year-old Baji Rao succeeded as the Peshwa, assuming office on 17th April 1720. There was opposition to his appointment because of his extreme youth and a demonstrated penchant for military adventures. He was also known for his characteristically open and direct manner of dealing with […]

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The Marathas Part 12 The Rise of the Peshwas: Balaji Viswanath Bhat

Canberra, 12 November 2021 Bringing Kanhoji Angre into Shahu’s fold without bloodshed was a great triumph of Balaji’s diplomacy. The most powerful chieftain from the rival camp was now a supporter of Shahu, which further strengthened the foundations of the Maratha kingdom that was being built. The new policy, enunciated by the Peshwa and fully […]

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The Marathas Part 11 Beginning of the Maratha Confederacy

Canberra, 30 October 2021 Aurangzeb’s death initiated the inevitable succession struggle. Shah Alam, the eldest surviving son based in Peshawar, reached Delhi first and claimed the throne after taking over the treasury. Azam Shah from Ahmednagar opposed him and started the march north, without concluding any formal agreement with the marauding Marathas. On the advice […]

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The Marathas Part 9 Triumph of the Marathas

Canberra, 16 October 2021 Sambhaji’s brutal execution and Rajaram’s hurried flight to Ginji were events that severely shocked the Maratha psyche. However, the Marathas are one of the most resilient of peoples, oriented towards action and therefore, the despondency did not linger for long. In May 1690 a combined Maratha army, commanded by many military […]

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The Marathas Part 8 The Regency of Rajaram: Taking on the Mughals

Canberra, 07 October 2021 Even though there was no denial of Sambhaji’s character flaws and grave faults in his behaviour pattern, the Maratha nobles fully resented the way he had been treated by the Mughal emperor—after all, he was the king of the Marathas. Sambhaji left behind his wife Yesubai and a six-year-old son Shahu, […]

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The Marathas Part 7 Sambhaji Bhonsle Section II: Capture and Execution

Canberra The decline of power under Sambhaji was such that the Marathas were in no position to offer any meaningful resistance to the Mughals when Aurangzeb arrived in the Deccan. At the end of the monsoon rains in 1684, the Mughal armies began to move. An army under Shahabuddin Khan advanced towards Raigarh with the […]

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The Marathas Part 7 Sambhaji Bhonsle Section I: Accession and Early Rule

Canberra, 28 September 2021 On hearing of his father’s illness, Sambhaji hurried from Panhala to Raigarh but could not reach the fort before Shivaji’s death. He carried out the last rites and then returned to Panhala. The mourning period was followed by a short, but vicious power struggle for succession. The 23-year-old Sambhaji, as the […]

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