Timeline History

Chhatrapati Rajaram

Shrimant Rajaram Shivaji Raje Bhonsle Chhatrapati Maharaj (1670-1700 AD) was the younger son of the first Chattrapati Shivaji, step-brother of the second Chattrapati Sambhaji, and took over the Maratha Empire as the third Chattrapati after his brother was tortured and killed by Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb in 1689. He had a very short reign during which he was furiously pursued by the Mughals
He was pampered by his mother and liked by all due to his docile nature.He was decalred chatrapati at the age of 10 by a faction of court after death of Shivaji.However Sambhaji prevailed and assumed the throne.Sambhaji put othere to death but brought up his brother as a prince.Future events proved this.He was vey cultured and accomodative. As Mughals started lying siege to the region around Raigad, the brave widow of Sambhaji, Rani Yesubai sent the young Rajaram to the stronghold of Pratapgad through Kavlya ghat. The Maratha army fought fiercely with Mughals and led the new Maratha King, Rajaram to escape through Kavlya ghat to the town of Jinji (sometimes anglicised to Ginjee) in present day state of Tamil Nadu and its fort via Pratapgad-Vishalgad forts
Aurangzeb deputed Gajiuddin Firoj Jung against Marathas in the Deccan, but specially sent Zulfikar Khan to capture Jinji which was captured in 1698. Rajaram tried to counter with a siege of the town of Berar, but was checked by Prince Bedarbakht and Zulfikar Khan and had to return.
However, his generals like Santaji Ghorpade and Dhanaji Jadhav continued to harass the Mughal army through guerrilla tactics.Kafi khan writes about them that whenever mughal horses used to refuse to go to water,it was feared that whether they had seen Santaji and Dhanaji. Santaji Ghorpade whose father senapti Ghorpade died in the battle of Sangmeshwar alongwith Sambhaji, was directed by Sambhaji to Raigarh to rescue the queen and Rajaram.The gallant true to the words given to his master secured release of Rajaram from the siege of Raigarh . WIth plight of Rajaram, the route of maratha was alomst complete.Aurangzeb was at his zenith of power.But then the brave Santaji on his own forded the river Bhima even though it was flooded , and attacked the vety centre of Mughal camp.Aurangzeb who was reading the holy Koran was saved due to magnamity of the maratha . Santaji is credited with defeat of at least three major chiefs of Mughals.One Mughal genral Kasim Khan was so badly defeated that he committed suicide.By brilliant tactis of cavalry ,Santaji played havoc right from Poona region to Tanjore region. Unfortunatley he fell out with Rajaram and Dhanaji Jadhav .He was killed when he was alone taking bath by one Nagoji Mane.The severed head of Santaji was presentd to Aurangzeb for reward.Such was the tragic end of the one of the most distingushed general of cavalry in the contemporay India or rather world.
Rajaram died of an unspecified illness in 1700 at the Sinhagad fort in present day Maharashtra, perhaps due to his weak constitution. Thereafter the Maratha empire suffered a power vacumn until the release of his nephew, Shahuji in 1707. In the interim, Rajaram's wife, Tarabai ruled the empire as regent for her young son. Eventually, Shahuji succeeded Rajaram as the fourth Chattrapati.


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