Shahu I

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Shahu I
Copy of Shahu (3).jpg
Flag of the Maratha Empire.svg 5th Maratha Chhatrapati
Reign January 12, 1708–December 15, 1749[citation needed]
Coronation January 12, 1708, Satara[citation needed]
Predecessor Shivaji II
Successor Rajaram II of Satara
Born (1682-05-18)18 May 1682
Gangoli Fort, Mangaon[citation needed]
Died 15 December 1749(1749-12-15) (aged 67)
Rangmahal Palace, Satara[citation needed]
Spouse Savitribai[citation needed], Ambikabai[citation needed]
House Bhonsle
Father Sambhaji
Mother Yesubai[1]
Religion Hinduism

Shahu Bhonsle (1682–1749 CE) was the fifth Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire created by his grandfather, Shivaji. He was son of Sambhaji, Shivaji's eldest son and successor.Shahu,as a child, was taken prisoner along with his mother in 1689 by Mughal General,Nusrat Jang[2][better source needed] After the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, leading Mughal courtiers released Shahu with a force of fifty men, thinking that a friendly Maratha leader would be a useful ally.[3]At that time he fought a brief war with his aunt Tarabai in an internecine conflict to gain the Maratha throne in 1708.[4][5] Under Shahu's reign, Maratha power and influence extended to all corners of the Indian subcontinent. However after his death, power moved from the ruler chhatrapati's to his ministers (the Peshwas) and the generals who had carved out their own fiefdoms such as the Shindes, Holkars, Gaekwad and Bhonsle of Nagpur.

Expansion of the Empire[edit]

Early in his reign, Shahu appointed Balaji Vishwanath as his Peshwa. Over the next fifty years, Balaji followed by his son, Bajirao I and grandson Balaji Bajirao with help of capable military leaders such as Shinde, Holkar, Gaekwad, Pawar and Bhonsle of Nagpur expanded Maratha power in all directions of the Indian subcontinent. [6][7].


Shahu had four wives and fathered four daughters.He also adopted two sons, Fatehsinh I and Rajaram II of Satara (who succeeded him as the Raja of Satara). Rajaram II had been brought to him by Shahu's paternal aunt, Tarabai, who initially claimed that the young man was her grandson and a descendant of Shivaji, but later disowned him as an imposter.[8] After Shahu's death the powers were indirectly shifted to the Peshwa Balaji Bajirao.[citation needed]

Death and Succession[edit]

Shahu died in 1749. His adopted son Rajaram II of Satara claimed to be Tarabai's grandson and succeeded him. But the actual power was held by others: first by Tarabai and then by Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao.[8]

Preceded by
Shivaji II
Chhatrapati of the
Maratha Empire

Succeeded by
Rajaram II of Satara

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Rukaat-i-Alamgiri page 153
  3. ^ Manohar, Malgonkar (1959), The Sea Hawk: Life and Battles of Kanoji Angrey, p. 63 
  4. ^ A. Vijaya Kumari; Sepuri Bhaskar. "Social change among Balijas: majority community of Andhra Pradesh". MD. Retrieved 2011-06-24. 
  5. ^ Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. pp. 201–202. ISBN 978-93-80607-34-4. 
  6. ^ Stein, B. (2010). A history of India (Vol. 10). John Wiley & Sons page= 187
  7. ^ Gordon, S. (1993). The Marathas 1600–1818 (Vol. 4). Cambridge University Press, pages 121–130.
  8. ^ a b Biswamoy Pati, ed. (2000). Issues in Modern Indian History. Popular. p. 30. ISBN 978-81-7154-658-9.