Saturday, March 26, 2011

Chatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj

Sambhaji Raje Bhosale was the eldest son and successor of Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Maratha Empire. He was born on 14 May 1657 at Purandhar fort and died on 11 March 1689. He was brave heart warrior. His character was maligned by people who were plotting against him for their own advantage. Even some historians portrayed him ineffective ruler and alcoholic. Whatever may be the case, Sambhji Maharaj will never be forgotten by Marathi people for the way he accepted the inhuman death given to him by Auranghajeb. He accepted it fearlessly and proudly.
Sambhaji Maharaj was married to Jivubai, renamed Yesubai who was a daughter of Pillajirao Shirke. She herself is very important personality in history of Maratha Empire.
Sambhaji Raje had to go through very ugly internal political battle when Shivaji Maharaj was alive and even after his death. People in Shivaji Maharaj’s court like Annaji Datto, Somaji Datto and some others wanted to oust Sambhaji to enhance their own positions. They planned many conspiracies against him and been successful to large extent. They managed to malign Sambhaji Maharj’s reputation and also able to distant the son from his own father. These evil conspirators even tried to poison Sambhaji Maharaj; but failed. When Shivaji Maharaj died on Raigad, these guys plotted again to arrest Sambhaji Maharaj at the Panhala Fort, where he was staying at the time. They wanted to crown Sambhaji Maharaj’s underage stepbrother, Rajaram Maharaj as Maratha king, so that they can rule on his pretext. Unfortunately Sambhaji Maharaj’s stepmother and Rajaram’s mother, Soyarabai was also involved in this plan. However the Supreme Commander of Maratha forces, Hambirrao Mohite, who was Soyarbai's brother, supported Sambhaji Maharaj as the rightful heir to the throne. And because of his support Sambhaji Maharaj was able to ascend to the throne in 1681. After the death of Shivaji Maharaj all the enemies of Maratha Empire found it a good opportunity; but Sambhaji Maharaj successfully kept them away during his rule.
Sambhaji Maharaj was captured due to treachery of his wife's brother. Aurangzeb had him tortured for 40 days, hoping to break Maratha morale but reluctant Chhatrapati did not give up. Sambhaji Maharaj was tortured for 40 days and finally was ripped apart and killed on 11 March 1689 at Tulapur on the banks of Bhima River near Pune.
Sambhaji Maharaj's Samadhi has been built at the place where he was cremated, Vadhu.

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