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Shivaji jijamata.JPG
A statue of Jijabai and young Shivaji Maharaj

(1598-01-12)12 January 1598
Jijau Mahal, Sindkhed Raja, Buldhana, Maharashtra, India
Died(1674-06-17)17 June 1674
Other namesJijamata, Rajmata, Jijau
Known forRajmata
Spouse(s)Shahaji Bhosale
ChildrenSambaji Shahaji Bhosale, Shivaji Maharaj
Parent(s)Lakhojirao Jadhav, Mahalasabai

Jijabai Shahaji Bhosale (12 January 1598 – 17 June 1674), referred to as Rajmata Jijabai, was the mother of Shivaji Maharaj, founder of Maratha Empire. She is daughter of Lakhuji Jadhavrao of Sindhkhed, a Mughal-aligned sardar claiming descent from a Yadav royal family of Devagiri.


Jijabai was born on 12 January 1598, as the daughter of Lakhojirao Jadhav of Deulgaon, near Sindkhed, in present-day Buldhana district of Maharastra. Her mother's name was Mhalsabai. Jijabai was married at an early age to Shahaji Bhosle, son of Maloji Bhosle of Verul village, a military commander serving under the Adil Shahi sultans .

Jijabai's father-in-law, Maloji Bhosle, had begun his career as a shilledar serving under the command of her father, Lakhojirao Jadhav. Her natal family the Jadhav family was of relatively high standing in the region, whereas her husband's family were just raising into importance newly and according to some accounts, they had risen from the ranks of the Kunbi caste of cultivators.

Jijabai had given birth to six children. Out of six, four children died in infancy[1] and only the two sons, sambhaji and Shivaji, reached adulthood.

Jijamata died on 17 June 1674.

On Mission[edit]

Shahaji Maharaj had tried to establish a Hindvi state on the ruins of the erstwhile Nizamshahi Sultanate. However, he was defeated by Mughals and Adilshashi. Later, Shahaji became a sardar in Adilshah's army, although he did not really want to, looking forward to the day when he would be able to fight against the Mughal invaders. He settled in Karnataka and got married again with Tukabai.

As per the treaty, when he was forced to move south. Jijau wholeheartedly supported her husband’s cause of establishing Marathi state. In order to continue the struggle and support Shahaji, her husband’s dream, Jijau moved to Pune with her younger son, Shivaji; as per Shahaji Raje's plan whereas he deputed her as queen regent.

When they arrived in Pune, it was full of jungles and wild beasts. Adilshahi sardar Murar Jgdev did that with Pune. She encouraged cultivators to settle. She renovated the Kasaba Ganapati temple. A red sandstone palace of moderate size known as Lal Mahal was also built. She gave a number of decisions in legal and administrative matter known as majhars.

Jijabai was a very pious and intelligent woman with great vision for independent kingdom. She inspired Shivaji by telling stories from Ramayana, Mahabharata and Balaraja. Inspired by her, Shivaji took the Oath of Independence(SWARAJYA) in the fort temple of Lord ghrushneshwar in 1645 when he was 15. In Shivaji's impeccable, spotless character and courage, Jijabai's contribution is enormous.

Jijabai's elder son Sambhaji was killed while on a military expedition in Karnataka by Afzal Khan. Shivaji Raje avenged Sambhaji Raje's death by killing Afzal Khan. When Shahaji Raje died, Jijabai wanted to commit sati – burning oneself in the husband's pyre, but Shivaji Raje stopped her from doing so by his request. Jijabai is widely credited with raising Shivaji in a manner that led to his future greatness.

Jijabai, was not only a mentor to Shivaji, but also one of the key decision makers. Soon after the escape from Agra, Shivaji remained away for several months. During Shivaji Raje's absence, Jijabai took a rein of the kingdom and ruled it deftly. Her role as a founder of Maratha Empire is vastly neglected by historians.

She died soon after coronation of Shivaji on 17 June 1674. Shivaji was heartbroken by her death.

Cultural legacy[edit]

Jijabai on a 1999 stamp of India
  • Today especially in Maharashtra, she is regarded as an ideal mother. Her upbringing of Shivaji is a subject of folklore.
  • The 2011 film Rajmata Jijau is a biography of Jijabai.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chintaman Vinayak Vaidya (1931). Shivaji the Founder of Maratha Swaraj. Poona : C.V. Vaidya. p. 39.