Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chatrapati Rajaram




Chatrapati Rajaram Bhosale was the youngest son of Shivaji. He was born on 1670 at fort Raigad.
When his elder (half) brother, Sambhaji was executed by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, Rajaram was under house arrest (at the orders of his brother, after his mother Soyrabai had tried an unsuccessfull coup against Sambhaji). However, after Sambhajis execution, the Marathas felt a need for unifying ranks against the mughals.
After the coronation of her infant son Shahuji as the next king, Sambhajis widow Yesubai asked for the immediate release of Rajaram (from an house arrest ordered by his elder brother). She also magnanimously requested Rajaram to be made the Regent.
In 1689, a traitor by the name of Suryaji Pisal, who was the killedar of fort Raigad, surrendered the fort (along with Queen Yesubai and infant king Shahu) to the Mughals. Rajaram was then at fort Vishalgadh.
With both the Queen mother and the young king being taken away captive by the mughals , the Maratha ministers (like Ramchandrapant Bavdekar,Prahlad Niraji,Khando Ballal Chitnis,Hanmante, etc) felt the need for an immediate succession in order to fill up the leadership vacuum. Rajaram was soon declared as the next King in waiting in 1681.
Rajaram has been described as a person with a congenial demeanour , flexible in his approach and accomadative towards one and all. He wasn’t a warrior in the real sense like his predecessors, but was nevertheless able to evoke the loyalty in his men. 

Rajaram departed from his fathers policy of not granting 'chauth and sardeshmukhi' rights to his nobles. It can be said that he was compelled to do the same to match up with the wealthy Mughals who were buying away the loyalties of the various Maratha nobles by granting them lands and feifs.

Rajarams wives
Rajaram was married to Jankibai the daughter of Prataprao Gujar, secondly to Tarabai the daughter of Hambirao Mohite and thirdly to Rajasbai ,from the family of Ghatges of Kagal.

Victorious battles during Rajarams rule
Rajarams resistance to the mughals was carried forward by his two commandants , Santaji Ghorpade (son of Sarsenapati Mhaloji Ghorpade who was killed in the skirmish at Sangamehwar which led to the capture of Ch.Sambhaji) and Dhanaji Jadhav (the cousin of Ch.Sambhaji and Ch.Rajaram, hailing from the Jadhav family of Sindhkhed from where their grandmother Jijabai also hailed. Note, Dhanaji was brought up by Jijabai herself after his father Sambhaji was killed in the battle of Pavankhind. Earlier Sambhajis father Santaji Jadhav was also brought up by Jijabai after Achloji Jadhav, Jijabais brother was assasinated in the Ahmednagar court along with her father). 

Santaji had on one occasion(1689) even conducted a daring raid into the mughal camp at Tulapur, where Aurangzeb himself was staying. Aurangzeb had then managed to escape with his life.
Sept 1689.Mughal commander,Sheikh Nizam routed by Santaji Dhanaji at fort Panhala.
25th May 1690. Sarzakhan aka Rustamkhan defeated and captured by Ramchandrapant,Santaji,Dhanaji at Satara.
1692, Rajgad (led by Shankar Narayan Gandekar), Panhala(led by Parshuram Trimbak) recaptured by Marathas.
8th Oct 1692, Dharwad in Karnataka was captured by Santaji Dhanaji.
14th Dec 1692, Santaji defeated Alimardan Khan and took him captive to Jinji.
9th Jan 1693, Santaji defeats and captures Ismailkhan Makha, Janisaar Khan for ransom.
5th Jan 1693, Mughal camp at Desur looted by Santaji Dhanaji.
21 Nov 1693 Santaji defeats Himmat Khan.
1693, Sidhoji Gujar , the Sarkhel or Admiral, captured the naval forts of Suvarnadurg and Vijaydurg.
Note:after Sidhoji Gujar, the mantle of Sarkhel was passed on to the famous Kanhoji Angre.1693, Vishalgad was retaken by Parshuram Trimbak.
July 1695, Santaji traps mughal army at Khatav.
20th Nov 1695, Qasim khan is killed by Santaji at Doderi.
1699, Parsoji Bhosale of Nagpur,Haibatrao Nimbalkar,Nemaji Shinde,Atole along with Rajaram overwhelmed the Mughal force at Godavari valley.
Dhanaji Jadhav defeated a mughal contingent at Pandharpur.
Shankar Narayan cleared another contingent led by one Sarzekhan near Pune.
But later Santaji fell out with Rajaram. Dhanaji Jadhav attacked Santajis force. Many of Santajis men deserted him and Santaji was isolated and managed to flee. He would have escaped if not pursued (July 1697), by one Nagoji Mane, who bore a grudge against Santaji for having killed his relative on an earlier occasion.When Santaji (having felt that he had shaken of Dhanajis men) dismounted from his horse to cleanse himself in the river, Nagoji beheaded him.


Rajarams ministers
Following were Rajarams ministers: Nilo Pant Pingale (son of Moropant Pingale) the Peshwa or Finance Minister,Janardhan Hanmante (son of Raghunath Hanmante ex governor Jinji) the Amatya or Finance minister ,Ramchandra Bavdekar the viceroy of Maharashtra,Shankar Malhar Nargundkar was the Pant Sachiv or Accountant General,Shamji Pinde was the Mantri or Home minister,Shrikaracharya Kalgavkar was the Panditrao or chief priest,Mahadji Gadadhar was the Sumant or Foreign minister,Niraji Ravji was Sarnyayadhish or Chief Justice, Santaji Ghorpade(later Dhanaji Jadhav) was the Sarsenapati or army commander in chief, Parsoji Bhosale became governor of Berar, Nemaji Shinde the governor of Khandesh,Khanderao Dabhade the governor of Nasik.


Rajarams escape to and from Jinji (Gingee),Tamil Nadu
Aurangzeb was determined to crush the Maratha resistance. For the same, he had himself encamped in the Deccan with a huge force. Due to continuous Mughal onslaughts, Rajaram escaped in 1689, to Jinji in Tamil Nadu (a fort captured early by Shivaji). From there he continued with the Maratha struggle until the fall of Jinji in 1698 (nine year seige- marathas continued to harass mughals during the seige). Rajaram managed to escape the clutches of the mughals led by Zulfikar Khan.Some say that the Jinji seige was a stalemate and Rajaram had reached a secret understanding with the Mughal commander Zulfikar Khan to escape Jinji. Afterwards the fort was captured by the mughals.


Death
But his life was cut short because of fatigue and illness in 1700. He died at fort Sinhagadh near Pune.
Rajaram left behind two sons and one daughter, Shivaji by Tarabai, Sambhaji by Rajasbai, daughter Soyrabai by Jankibai. His youngest wife Ambikabai whose only daughter had died attained Sati. There was also said to be an illegitimate son Raja Karna (from a mistress Sagunabai).


War carried forward by Rajarams widow, Queen Tarabai
Rajarams feisty wife Tarabai took over the reins of the Maratha army and continued the resistance against Aurangzeb, until the release of Shahu (son of Sambhaji and Rajarams nephew) from the mughal prison. What followed was a brief power struggle for Maratha leadership between Tarabai and Shahu, which was eventually won by Shahu.
Shahu was declared king with Satara as his capital.

14 comments:

  1. It is unfortunate that there were traitors among followers of Shivaji Maharaj and Marathas. Ganoji Sherke betrayed Sambhaji Maharaj to Mughals.He joined Mughals and he was bought by Maratha commanders to facilitate escape of Rajaram Chatrapathi from jinjee.He was granted his feifdom. Then Suryaji Pisal betrayed Queen Yesubai and prince Sahu to Mughals in 1689 at Rajgad. Why such betrayals took place? Probably this was due to abolition of Feifdoms by Sambhaji Maharaj. Mughals could bUy betrayers that caused great suffering to Maratha race.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dr Rao, there are many reasons as to why people acted treacherously. Yes money, land was one of the main reasons. As also family feuds, hurt egoes, revenge. Ganoji Shirke was in fact Sambhaji's brother in law, yet he acted the way he did. Some say, Sambhaji ordered the genocide of some of his relatives (Shirkan as mentioned in Parasnis-Kincaids book). Later it is said that this very Shirke used his good offices to help Sambhajis younger brother Rajaram escape from the Gingee seige. Human psycology is sometimes very difficult to understand.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Mr Ace for your commnets. True betrayals took place in our history many times. It is happening even now a days too.One of the greatest betrayal was dislodging of Atal bihari Bajpai as PM by Indira Gandhi by one vote some time ago. She also betrayed Chaudhry Charan singhji again. Gilani brothers betrayed Aliya Rama raya in tallikota battle. there is no end.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sambhaji Maharaj created enemies for himself during his reign. He got into the bad company of Kavi kulash. Ganoji Shirke was deprived of his feifdom earlier as Maratha policy. This helped Mughals to buy Marathas and Shirke was bought by them. There were some Brahmin Maharashtrians in the service of Bijapur kings. A section of Brahmins did not apprive Shivajis coronation as they did not accept him as Kashatriya. Some Brahins were aos very aggressive against Sambhaji as they claimed that a Brahmin girl was undone by him. History has strong evidence to come to conclusion that Sambhaji Mharaj in his youth was pleasure seeking and got into bad company. However as a Chatrapathi he fought Mughals tooth and nail. On the intellectual front he was a sanscrit scolor and wrote poetry that was not accepted by a section of Brahmins. The courage shown by Samvbhaji Maharaj in the face of death after his capture was very great and he faced death willingly and becamea Dhrma veer. Thus he became an immortal. Wahtever sins he committed earlier ( If ) were washed off with this sacrifice. It is a tragedy that Marathas with so many great warriors and stalwarts could not get Sambhaji released after capture at sangameswar.. More research may be required to know why he could not be got released by using all the forces avaialble to Marathas. A doubt no doubt exists that there was no unity among Maratha ranks when he was captured and taken away by Mughals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please get your facts right. Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj was NOT a pleasure seeker, NOR did he harass any brahmin girl.
      All these FAKE stories were spread by the Brahmins because Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj was a scholor or Sanskrit and the vedas which were only supoyto be studied by Bhramins at that time, thus the Bhramins became furious as how can a Kshatriya maratha can overpower them. This, they started spreading hatred towards Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj.

      Delete
  5. Mr. Rao can you please explain how Kavi Kalash company was bad for Chatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj ?. He was the saver of Shambhuraje in agra escape. He was brought in Swarajya by Shivaji Maharaj. He was philosopher, writer, and fighter too.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Good blog, You missed on a very important aspect of Rajaram's escape to Jigni,It was Keladi Chennama who gave refuge to Rajaram and Aurangazeb waged war on Keladi,she fought the Mughal and defeated him which ended in a treaty between Keladi and Mughal for the first time in the history of Mughals where they kneeled down to an Indian ruler.If Keladi Chennamma had not given refuge to Rajaram the fate of Rajaram would have been ended before reaching Jigni.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good blog, You missed on a very important aspect of Rajaram's escape to Jigni,It was Keladi Chennama who gave refuge to Rajaram and Aurangazeb waged war on Keladi,she fought the Mughal and defeated him which ended in a treaty between Keladi and Mughal for the first time in the history of Mughals where they kneeled down to an Indian ruler.If Keladi Chennamma had not given refuge to Rajaram the fate of Rajaram would have been ended before reaching Jigni.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Mr. Rao please explain your views on Mr. Roshan's comment.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj was born in Purandar fort on 14th May 1657. Saibai was mother of Sambhaji. Grandmother Jijamata took care of Sambhaji because of death of Saibai when he was just 2 years old. Sambhaji Maharaj in Marathi is also known as Chhava, which means Cub of a Lion. He was a scholar of Sanskrit and eight other languages.

    The remarkable things that Sambhaji Maharaj achieved in his short life had far-reaching effects on the whole of India. Every Hindu should be grateful to him for that. He valiantly faced the 8 lakh strong army of Aurangzeb and defeated several Mughal chieftains in the battlefield forcing them to retreat. Because of this, Aurangzeb remained engaged in battles in Maharashtra, thus keeping the rest of India free from Aurangzeb’s tyranny for a long time. This can be considered as the greatest achievement of Sambhaji Maharaj. If Sambhaji Maharaj would have arrived at a settlement with Aurangzeb and accepted his proposal of being a tributary prince, then within the next 2 or 3 years Aurangzeb would have captured North India again. However, because of Sambhaji Maharaj and other Maratha ruler’s (later on Rajaram and Mahraani Tarabai) struggle, Aurangzeb was stuck in battles in South India for 27 years. This helped in the establishment of new Hindu kingdoms in the provinces of Bundelkhand, Punjab and Rajasthan in North India; thus providing safety to the Hindu society there.

    Sambhaji got the title of Dharamveer, the warrior of Dharma due his unending love and pride for Hinduism.

    ReplyDelete
  11. All lies are spread about Chatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj. He grew under the leadership, care, value, and love of Jija mata. Just imagine a mother jija matawho can enrich his son to become one of the greatest man in history is incapable to make Sambhaji a good human being. All lies are spread against Sambhaji Mahraj. He was as better as his father and even more great. He was a warrior, poet, Sanskrit scholar, king, and a father. Where will he have a time to do all these nonsense stuff for which he is blamed for. A debauch person will never poses qualities such as chatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj.

    Please just do not read history try to understand it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Rohan I totally agree with you

    ReplyDelete
  13. Does anyone know how dhanaji jadhav died?

    ReplyDelete