Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (King) Wiki,Bio,Spouse,Empires and More

 1st Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire

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Chhatrapati Shivaji 

Coronation:6 June 1674 (first),24 September 1674 (second)
Successor: Sambhaji
Born:19 February 1630
Shivneri Fort, Shivneri, Ahmadnagar Sultanate (present-day Maharashtra, India)
Died:3 April 1680 (aged 50), Raigad Fort, Raigad, Maratha Empire (present-day Maharashtra, India)
  1. Saibai Nimbalkar
  2. Soyarabai Mohite
  3. Putalabai Palkar
  4. Sakvarbai Gaikwad
  5. Kashibai Jadhav
  1. Sakhubai Nimbalkar
  2. Ranubai Jadhav
  3. Ambikabai Mahadik
  4. Sambhaji
  5. Rajaram
  6. Rajkumaribai Shirke
House: Bhonsle
Father: Shahaji
Mother: Jijabai
Religion: Hinduism


  • Shivaji was born at the hill fort of Shivneri, and his mother named him after Shivai, a local goddess.
  • He was born on 1 March 1630, which corresponds to 19 February 1630 of the Julian calendar.
  •  The British records in India used the Julian calendar until 1752 CE when it was replaced by the Gregorian calendar; as a result, several historical records and books mention his birthdate as 16 February instead of 1 March. Historically, there was some debate about this date, because the Jedhe Chronology - records maintained by the Jedhe family, whose ancestors served as Deshmukhs of Kari - places Shivaji's birth in 1627. However, the 1630 date is corroborated by a copy of his birth horoscope found in Rajasthan, and a poem composed by his courtier Parmanand.


Shivaji was a son of Shahaji, a military leader, and Jijabai. His mother Jijabai came from the aristocratic Jadhav family, which traced its lineage to the Yadavas of Devagiri. Shivaji had an elder brother named Sambhaji, and his parents had lost several other children in infancy.

During Shivaji's childhood, the present-day Maharashtra region saw constant warfare between the Mughal Empire and the Deccan Sultanates and suffered from famine. When his parents married, both their families were vassals of Nizam Shah of the Ahmednagar Sultanate. By the time of Shivaji's birth, Jijabai's family had deserted Ahmednagar, transferring its allegiance to the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, thus becoming an opponent of Shahaji. A few years later, Shahaji also deserted Ahmednagar; he briefly served the Mughal Empire, but later rebelled against them, supported by the Bijapur Sultanate. Meanwhile, Jijabai's family remained loyal to the Mughals; her father was later assassinated by Nizam Shah's nobles.

Shahaji was pursued by a Mughal force, and therefore, Shivaji and his mother moved from fort to fort, and Shivaji rarely saw his father. In 1636, Shahaji formally entered the Bijapur service and got a land grant in the Pune region confirmed by the Bijapur government. Subsequently, he had Shivaji and Jijabai settle in the Pune region, placing the land under the administration of his subordinate Dadaji Kondev. Shahaji's land grant in the Pune region included the Patil (village chief) rights to three villages, the Deshmukh rights of Indapur, and the mokasa (revenue collection in exchange for military service) rights of Pune region. The mokasa land granted to Shahaji was a triangular region bounded by the Western Ghats in the west, the Bhima River in the north-east, and the Nira River in the south. According to the Sabhasad bakhar, after being made in-charge of this territory, Dadaji Kondev took possession of lands controlled by twelve Deshmukh of the Mawal region and had those who resisted killed.

The Bijapur government-appointed Shahaji as the governor of Bangalore. Shahaji married another woman, and never visited the Pune region again. Shivaji's elder brother Sambhaji moved to Bangalore, but Shivaji and Jijabai were called to Bangalore only in 1640. Meanwhile, Shivaji married Saibai, a member of the prominent Nimbalkar Maratha family. In 1642, Shivaji and his mother returned to Pune, after a formal presentation at the Bijapur court.

All historical accounts agree that Shivaji was extremely devoted to his mother Jijabai. His father Shahaji's affection and wealth were directed more towards his step-brother Vyankoji alias Ekoji. Shahaji spent most of his time in Bangalore, close to Tukabai and Vyankoji. Shivaji grew very close to his mother, Jijabai, and almost adored her like a deity. Jijabai led a deeply religious, almost ascetic, life amidst neglect and isolation. This religious environment had a profound influence on Shivaji.


Shivaji was trained at Bangalore, along with his brother, under the supervision of Shahaji, and later on, at Pune, under the supervision of his mother. Tarikh-i-Shivaji states that Dadoji Konddev trained Shivaji personally, and also appointed an excellent teacher for him. In a short time, Shivaji became a skilled fighter and a good horse-rider. The military commanders Kanhoji Jedhe and Baji Pasalkar were appointed to train Shivaji in martial arts. Gomaji Naik Pansambal taught him swordsmanship and later served as his military advisor.

Historians have debated whether Shivaji was literate or not. A few authors, writing centuries after Shivaji's death, mention that he had mastered several arts and sciences at a young age. However, no contemporary records contain any information about his book-learning. Several letters, allegedly written by Shivaji or containing lines written by Shivaji, are available. However, the authenticity of these letters has not gained universal acceptance among historians. Jadunath Sarkar writes: "The weight of evidence is in favor of the view that Shivaji was unlettered, like three other heroes of medieval India — Akbar, Haidar Ali, and Ranjit Singh. The many Europeans who visited him never saw him write anything; when they presented any petition to him the Rajah always passed it on to his ministers to be read to him. No piece of writing in his own hand is known to exist." However, other historians state that Shivbharat, written by Shivaji's court poet Paramanand, indicates that he was literate. Shivaji's naming of forts in the Sanskrit language also indicates that he was literate.[citation needed]

Whether or not Shivaji was literate, it is well known that he had mastered the two great Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, by listening to recitations and story-tellings. The noble examples mentioned in the epics greatly impressed his young mind. He was deeply interested in religious teachings and sought the society of Hindu and Muslim saints wherever he went.

Conflict with Bijapur:

In 1645, the 15-year-old Shivaji bribed or persuaded Inayat Khan, the Bijapur commander of the Torna Fort, to hand over possession of the fort to him. The Maratha Firangoji Narsala, who held the Chakan fort, professed his loyalty to Shivaji, and the fort of Kondana was acquired by bribing the Bijapur governor. On 25 July 1648, Shahaji was imprisoned by Baji Ghorpade under the orders of Bijapur ruler Mohammed Adilshah, in a bid to contain Shivaji.

According to Sarkar, Shahaji was released in 1649 after the capture of Jinji secured Adilshah's position in Karnataka. During these developments, from 1649–1655 Shivaji paused in his conquests and quietly consolidated his gains. After his release, Shahaji retired from public life and died around 1664–1665 in a hunting accident. Following his father's release, Shivaji resumed raiding, and in 1656, under controversial circumstances, killed Chandrarao More, a fellow Maratha feudatory of Bijapur, and seized the valley of Javali, near present-day Mahabaleshwar, from him.

Conflict with the Mughals:

Until 1657, Shivaji maintained peaceful relations with the Mughal Empire. Shivaji offered his assistance to Aurangzeb, the Mughal viceroy of the Deccan and son of the Mughal emperor, in conquering Bijapur in return for formal recognition of his right to the Bijapuri forts and villages under his possession. Dissatisfied with the Mughal response, and receiving a better offer from Bijapur, he launched a raid into the Mughal Deccan. Shivaji's confrontations with the Mughals began in March 1657, when two of Shivaji's officers raided the Mughal territory near Ahmednagar. This was followed by raids in Junnar, with Shivaji carrying off 300,000 hun in cash and 200 horses. Aurangzeb responded to the raids by sending Nasiri Khan, who defeated the forces of Shivaji at Ahmednagar. However, Aurangzeb's countermeasures against Shivaji were interrupted by the rainy season and his battle of succession with his brothers for the Mughal throne following the illness of the emperor Shah Jahan.


An early-20th-century depiction of the coronation of Shivaji by the Chitrashala press, Pune
Shivaji had acquired extensive lands and wealth through his campaigns, but lacking a formal title he was still technically a Mughal zamindar or the son of a Bijapuri jagirdar, with no legal basis to rule his de facto domain. A kingly title could address this and also prevent any challenges by other Maratha leaders, to whom he was technically equal. it would also provide the Hindu Marathas with a fellow Hindu sovereign in a region otherwise ruled by Muslims.

Controversy erupted amongst the Brahmins of Shivaji's court: they refused to crown Shivaji as a king because that status was reserved for those of the kshatriya (warrior) varna in Hindu society. Shivaji was descended from a line of headmen of farming villages, and the Brahmins accordingly categorized him as being of the shudra (cultivator) varna. They noted that Shivaji had never had a sacred thread ceremony, and did not wear the thread, which a kshatriya would. Shivaji summoned Gaga Bhatt, a pandit of Varanasi, who stated that he had found a genealogy proving that Shivaji was descended from the Sisodia Rajputs and thus indeed a kshatriya, albeit one in need of the ceremonies befitting his rank. To enforce this status, Shivaji was given a sacred thread ceremony and remarried his spouses under the Vedic rites expected of a kshatriya. However, following historical evidence, Shivaji's claim to Rajput, and specifically Sisodia ancestry may be interpreted as being anything from tenuous at best, to inventive in a more extreme reading.

On 28 May Shivaji performed penance for not observing Kshatriya rites by his ancestors' and himself for so long. Then he was invested by Gaga Bhatta with the sacred thread. On the insistence of other Brahmins, Gaga Bhatta dropped the Vedic chant and initiated Shivaji in a modified form of the life of the twice-born, instead of putting him on a par with the Brahmans. The next day, Shivaji made atonement for the sins which he committed in his own lifetime. Two learned Brahmans pointed out that Shivaji, while conducting his raids, had burnt cities that resulted in the death of Brahmans, cows, women, and children, and now could be cleansed of this sin for a price of only Rs. 8,000, and Shivaji paid this amount. Total expenditure made for feeding the assemblage, general almsgiving, throne, and ornaments approached 5 million Rupees.

Shivaji was crowned king of Maratha Swaraj in a lavish ceremony on 6 June 1674 at Raigad fort. In the Hindu calendar, it was on the 13th day (trayodashi) of the first fortnight of the month of Jyeshtha in the year 1596. Gaga Bhatt officiated, holding a gold vessel filled with the seven sacred water of the rivers Yamuna, Indus, Ganges, Godavari, Narmada, Krishna and Kaveri over Shivaji's head, and chanted the Vedic coronation mantras. After the ablution, Shivaji bowed before Jijabai and touched her feet. Nearly fifty thousand people gathered at Raigad for the ceremonies. Shivaji was entitled Shakakarta ("founder of an era") and Chhatrapati ("paramount sovereign"). He also took the title of Haindava Dharmodhhaarak (protector of the Hindu faith).

Shivaji's mother Jijabai died on 18 June 1674. The Marathas summoned Bengali Tantrik Goswami Nischal Puri, who declared that the original coronation had been held under inauspicious stars, and a second coronation was needed. This second coronation on 24 September 1674 had a dual-use, mollifying those who still believed that Shivaji was not qualified for the Vedic rites of his first coronation, by performing a less-contestable additional ceremony.

Conquest in Southern India:

Beginning in 1674, the Marathas undertook an aggressive campaign, raiding Khandesh (October), capturing Bijapuri Ponda (April 1675), Karwar (mid-year), and Kolhapur (July). In November the Maratha navy skirmished with the Siddis of Janjira but failed to dislodge them. Having recovered from an illness, and taking advantage of a conflict between the Afghans and Bijapur, Shivaji raided Athani in April 1676.

In the run-up to his expedition, Shivaji appealed to a sense of Deccani patriotism, that Southern India was a homeland that should be protected from outsiders. His appeal was somewhat successful, and in 1677 Shivaji visited Hyderabad for a month and entered into a treaty with the Qutubshah of the Golkonda sultanate, agreeing to reject his alliance with Bijapur and jointly oppose the Mughals. In 1677 Shivaji invaded Karnataka with 30,000 cavalries and 40,000 infantry, backed by Golkonda artillery and funding. Proceeding south, Shivaji seized the forts of Vellore and Gingee; the latter would later serve as the capital of the Marathas during the reign of his son Rajaram I.

Shivaji intended to reconcile with his half-brother Venkoji (Ekoji I), Shahaji's son by his second wife, Tukabai (née Mohite), who ruled Thanjavur (Tanjore) after Shahaji. The initially promising negotiations were unsuccessful, so whilst returning to Raigad Shivaji defeated his half-brother's army on 26 November 1677 and seized most of his possessions in the Mysore plateau. Venkoji's wife Dipa Bai, whom Shivaji deeply respected, took up new negotiations with Shivaji and also convinced her husband to distance himself from Muslim advisors. In the end, Shivaji consented to turn over to her and her female descendants many of the properties he had seized, with Venkoji consenting to a number of conditions for the proper administration of the territories and maintenance of Shivaji's future memorial (samadhi).

Death and succession

Sambhaji, Shivaji's elder son who succeeded him
The question of Shivaji's heir-apparent was complicated by the misbehavior of his eldest son, Sambhaji, who was irresponsible. Unable to curb this, Shivaji confined his son to Panhala in 1678, only to have the prince escape with his wife and defect to the Mughals for a year. Sambhaji then returned home, unrepentant, and was again confined to Panhala.

In late March 1680, Shivaji fell ill with fever and dysentery, dying around 3–5 April 1680 at the age of 52, on the eve of Hanuman Jayanti. Putalabai, the childless eldest of the surviving wives of Shivaji committed sati by jumping into his funeral pyre. Another surviving spouse, Sakwarbai, was not allowed to follow suit because she had a young daughter. There were also allegations, though doubted by later scholars, that his second wife Soyarabai had poisoned him in order to put her 10-year-old son Rajaram on the throne.

After Shivaji's death, Soyarabai made plans with various ministers of the administration to crown her son Rajaram rather than her stepson Sambhaji. On 21 April 1680, ten-year-old Rajaram was installed on the throne. However, Sambhaji took possession of Raigad Fort after killing the commander, and on 18 June acquired control of Raigad, and formally ascended the throne on 20 July. Rajaram, his wife Janki Bai, and mother Soyrabai were imprisoned, and Soyrabai executed on charges of the conspiracy that October.

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