Shahaji Raje Bhonsle as he was known as the father of the great Shivaji Maharaj.
He was born to Maloji Bhonsle as the eldest son, to the general of the Maratha rule who hailed from Verul. Shahaji was given the jagir of the independent states such as Pune etc.
Shahaji was working under Shah Jahan, the Mughal army captured the Deccan region of India. He soon gained control over Bijapur and inevitably became the administrator of the region.
He was appointed as the chief general. He also captured Bangalore.
Early Life of Shahaji Bhosle
Shahaji Bhosle or widely known as father of the great Maratha Emperor Shivaji was previously known as Shahaji Raje Bhonsle was the general of the Maratha Empire.
He was the shinning knight of the Bhonsle lineage and was the one who brought laurel to the family.
Shahaji was born on the March 18th in the 1594 after a long wait to Maloji Bhonsle. His father Maloji Bhonsle was himself a great warrior of the Maratha rule.
His father had to undergo many difficulties as he did not have any heir from his own bloodline to carry forward the name of his family, Bhosle and so after a long wait he met a Muslim pir who blessed him with two brave sons.
One of them was the Maratha general Shahaji Bhonsle. Shahaji married when he was very young, to Jijabai who was also the daughter of another general who used to serve Nizam.
She was the daughter of the Maratha general Lakhuji Jadhav. He served Nizam of Ahmednagar.
Shahaji turned out to be one of the bravest warriors and he was also gifted with the regions such as districts from Pune and Supe. He was given the title of Sar Giroh, a solider rank of his time.
Although Bhonsle were not Rajput but they claimed themselves to be one of them and hence referred to them as the Sisodia Rajput. He declared himself as Rajput in one of his letter to Adil Shah.
When considering the military skills of Shahaji, he was not ordinary. He learned the battle skills under the guidance of his father, Maloji Bhonsle.
He learned and soon became the reason who took forward the name and destiny of the Bhonsle.
It is also not wrong to say that the destiny of the Maratha also changed as he was the father of the great Shivaji Maharaj, who eventually transformed the course of the Maratha and built the Maratha Empire.
Shahaji learnt new tactics of war and how to win wars, he was fascinated by, how a small group can destroy a large territory. Under the leadership of Malik Amber Shahaji learnt new ways of fighting wars.
This strategy that he used is called Guerilla war, and this was one of the prominent way of fighting which, in turn is evident from history that even Shivaji was a practitioner of the guerilla tactics.
Shahaji was loyal to the Deccan states and so he fought against the Mughals helping Malik Amber.
Shahaji was given much fame after gaining the Maharati Brahmin and he was not only known as a good solider but he was also a lover of Arts. He was given the jagir of major places in the independent states.
Shahaji’s Political Alliance
When it came to maintain a good political relationship with other territories, Shahaji knew what was best. One part of his life where he was left with no alliance.
Saha Jahan attacked with an army over 45,000 and thus every other territories were afraid of attacking the Mughals.
Some called truce in order to prevent bloodshed, some were brutally defeated. Shahaji had a troupe of Nizam and Adil Shah.
However Adil Shah chose to surrender and chose to join hands with the Mughals. Adil Shah was forced to withdraw.
And thus leaving Shahaji alone to encounter the Mughals, which he obviously could not because he had no strong alliance.
Shahaji was transferred to a post far away by the orders of Shahajahan, and so after a while Adil Shah appointed him as one of the prominent officials in his army, and gave him Bengaluru as one of his jagir.
Another incident, would be when Shahaji along with Ranadulla Khan, encountered Kempe Gowda III and took over Bijapur.
However, instead of destroying the acquired territory, Shahaji would maintain a healthy relation with the Rajas of the surrendered regions. This assured him the future political support along with the arm force as when necessary.
Shahaji was married twice and so he had two sons from his first marriage, Jijabai. They were Shivaji and Sambhaiji. Unfortunately, one of his sons dies soon.
Sambhaiji was killed. His last rituals according to the Hindu system were done in a town name Channagiri Taluka which was situated in the districts of Davangere in the present day Karnataka.
From his second marriage, Shahaji had another son named Venkoji.
His second wife belonged to the family named Mohite. He became a ruler of the free Maratha region. He ruled over Thanjavur. Shahaji proved to be an efficient father.
He taught all of his children with all kinds of skills. He taught them to be an efficient warrior, an able administrator and he also gave them teachings on art and culture.
Both his sons, Shivaji and Thanjavur proved to be efficient rulers as they prospered in their specific areas of kingdom. Shivaji promoted activities such as farming and agriculture.
While on the other side, that is at Thanjavur, Venkoji even encouraged farming by digging canals.
Shahaji had a dream. Shahaji was also credited with encouraging the art and culture in the state. And so Maratha reign saw many literary works which were remarkable.
A dream to expand the name of the Maratha rule and evidently both his sons were his hope who not only made his dream to be a reality but made a mark in the pages of history, for the world now reads the name of Marathas with respect.