Shahaji Maharaj Bhosle was the eldest son of Maloji Bhosle of Verul also known as Sisodiyakulavatans (The Head of the Sisodiya race) . He was an early exponent of guerilla warfare. He was father of Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Maratha Empire.
Maloji Bhosle was childless for a long time. Two sons were born to him after blessings from a famous "Sufi pir" of the time, named Shah Sharif. In honour of the pir, Maloji named his sons Shahaji and Sharifji. Malojiwas a capable soldier and eventually became an independent Jagirdar in the court of Adil Shah.
Maharaja Shahaji was an extremely ambitious and capable general. At a young age, Maharaja Shahaji had achieved a lot. He was well known not only for his military and leadership skills but also as a Man who kept his word. He had not lost a single battle in his entire life which made him the prominent Maratha legend who was treated even at par with Nizam and Adilshah.
Maharaja Shahaji had defeated quite a number of eminent commanders of Mughals, Adilshah and Nizamshah. He was prominent in the whole of Hindustan for he had not lost a single battle in his lifetime. Mughal, Adil, Nizam Sultanates were leaving no stone unturned to get Shahaji on their side. WhenShahaji was serving in the Adilshahi court, he was awarded the title of "Farzand" (someone placed much higher than a chief commandingan army of 10,000) which was equivalent to the designation of a Prince. Thus, Shahaji was highly revered in the Adilshahi court.
The battle of Bhataudi was fought in 1624 in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra between forces ofMaharaja Shahaji, Nizam and the combined forces of Mughalshahi and Adilshahi Sultanates.Shah Jahan had ordered his commander-in-chief Lashkar Khan to finish off Nizamshahi. Accordingly, Khan with an army of 120,000 marched on Ahmednagar. The Adilshahi Sultanate had also agreed to help the Mughals. Adilshahi army amounted to no less than 80,000 Men. Thus, a massive army of 200,000 walked on Ahmednagar. On the other hand,Shahaji had an army of 20,000 at his disposal. Shahaji had assigned 10,000 of these, the task of protecting and defending the Ahmednagar fort and town. The remaining 10,000 were with Shahaji Maharaj.
Such a huge army required huge amount of food and water. Thus, both Mughal and Adil forces were encamped on the bank of the Mehkari River. It flowed North-South. The river had a dam to conserve water, as Ahmednagar experienced water shortage. However, during this period, there had been good amount of rainfall. The river had abundant water and was filled to the brim.Maharaja Shahaji came up with a brilliant idea. With utmost care, cracks were developed in the dam. It was the time of night; the whole Mughaland Adil encampment was fast asleep. Suddenly, water started gushing out of the dam from each of the cracks. Mughals and Adilswere clueless about what was happening. It was, as if a huge wall of irate water was running over the Mughals and Adils.
Everyone started running helter-skelter to save their lives. There was chaos and confusion. The whole encampment was flooded with water. Clothes, rations, arms, ammunitions, cannonsand cattle everything drowned. Dead elephants were seen floating in the water. Many were taken as prisoners. As many as 25 renowned, Mughal and Adil chiefs were imprisoned by Shahaji. It was a huge win for Shahaji, after which Shahaji became well known.
At various points of time Maharaj Shahaji allied himself with the Adilshah of Bijapur, the Nizamshah of Ahmednagar and the Mughals. His ultimate ambition was to set up an independent Maratha kingdom. He tried on two occasions, first one after the brutal murder of his father-in-law Lakhuji Rao Jadhav (father of Jijabai) and second in 1636. The second attempt was a formidable challenge.
Shahaji Maharaj had two sons by Jijabai, Sambhaji and Shivaji. Sambhaji was killed while on a military expedition in Karnataka.He was cremated in town of channagiri taluk of Davanagere district of karnataka. Shahaji had one son Venkoji (Ekoji I) by his second wife, who came from the Mohite family. Venkoji later ruled over the independent Maratha kingdom of Thanjavur. Shahaji groomed all his sons as good administrators and men of culture and taste, Shivaji Maharaj in the Pune region, Sambhaji in Banglore, and Venkoji in Thanjavur region. Shivaji Maharaj encouraged farming and cultivation, similarly Venkoji also dug canals in Thanjavur and promoted farming activities. Both were good administrators. Like Shahaji they were scholars and warriors.
|Name||Shahaji Raje Bhosle|
|Father Name||Maloji Babaji Bhosle|
|Born On||18 March 1594|
|Died On||23 January 1664|
|Death Place||Hodigere near Channagiri|
|Childrens||Sambhaji, Shivaji, Ekoji, Koyaji, Santaji|
|Successor||Shivaji (son of Jijabai)
Founded Maratha Empire &
Venkoji (son of Tukabai)
Became Raja of Tanjore