Brother of Shivaji Maharaj – Sambhaji Bhosale

by Dec 14, 2022


Indian history is full of warriors and legends who contributed a lot to ensure we have the India we have today. We can only appreciate them today by learning, understanding, and preserving their history. That is why we are always on the run to do extensive research on Indian history to ensure we bring you nothing but raw information from the archives.

Today is yet another day that we are set to review the life and facts of one of the greatest warriors of the famous Maratha empire. In this article, we learn about the life of Sambhaji Bhosale.

His father, Shahaji Bhosale, was then the head and commander of the military in the 17th century. Sambhaji Maharaj is inscribed in the historical records until today because he was a fearless warrior who was determined and always went for nothing but victory.

Sambhaji Shahaji Bhosale

Brief Facts

1619 CE
Jayantirani, Gauri Rani and Parvatirani
1655 (36 years)

Birth and Early Life

Sambhaji Maharaj was born in the year 1619 in a place called Verul. His father, Shahaji, was a prominent man in the government. He headed the military and thus was a powerful man highly respected in the community.

He had a younger brother named Shivaji Maharaj, who later became the Maratha empire’s Chhatrapati. Shahaji Raje, their father, had taken over the control of Pune and Supe from his father, Maloji Bhosale.

Shahaji was smart and determined. He maneuvered through the military ranks and eventually earned the title of Sar Lashkar.

Shahaji had nice relations with other generals, including Lakhujirao Jadhav, Ranojirao Wable. Malik Amber got help from Shahaji Raje and other Maratha generals to capture the Ahmednagar fort. [1]​

Just like any other concerned father, Shahaji didn’t hesitate to train his sons, Sambhaji Maharaj and Shivaji Maharaj, the way of warriors. He groomed them into powerful and brave warriors. However, Shahaji always preferred getting him into warriors, while Shivaji, the young brother, stayed with his mother, Jijabai.

Shahaji gradually got from one rank to another and became his time’s prime minister or kingmaker.

Shahaji Raje had eight children in total. However, 5 of them died at birth and Sambhaji Bhosale get killed in battle of Kanakagiri by Afzal Khan. [2] Even during his birth, there were a lot of complications. His father, Shahaji, was not even around. At that time, Shahaji was general in court of Nizam Shah.


Considering his father’s occupation, Sambhaji Maharaj Bhosale was not from a poor background. He was brought up like any other kid. However, He had a special interest in poetry, writing, and singing. He was proficient in four languages. That is, Parsi, Marathi, Sanskrit, and Kannada.

His writing inscription is archived in Bangalore, and it is one of the tourist attractions we have in the region.

Marriage and Family Life

Sambhaji grew into a responsible man and settled down with a woman of his choice. He fell in love with Vijayraj Vishwas Rao’s daughter named, Jayantirani. They tied knots in the year 1629 November.

Note that He got married to more than one wife. The first marriage was the one with Jayantirani. The other two wives were named Gauri Rani and Parvatirani, respectively. Sambhaji and Jayantirani had two kids named Maloji and Umaji.

History shows that he was one of the bravest sons of the Bhosale clan. [3] He maintained a good physique and always ate good food that helped him gain perfect stamina to keep him standing during the battles.

Military Career

The Mughals have always been on the run to fight the Marathas. However, according to Indian history, both ancient and Medieval, the Marathas have always stood firm and won many battles. Among these won battles, Sambhaji Bhosale also won a couple of them.

The First battle that he fought is dated the 16th of February in 1635. This battle happened when Sambhaji was just 15 years old. Mughals began fight with intentions to completely destroy Nizamshahi.  To accomplish the mission, they commissioned Shahistekhan to the task. However, he was ready for them, and he fought so well that he emerged victorious against the Mughals.

At some point, the Mughals were getting powerful and managed to grab 18 regions. However, they lost terribly when they got to Junar. The reason why the Mughals lost at Junar was because of Sambhaji. This was when the Mughals realized that Shahaji’s son was a powerful warrior and a hard nut to crack.

Collaboration with his father & general Shahaji Bhosale

Shahaji Raje Bhosale Painting
Father of Shahaji Bhosale

History tells that son of Shahaji named Sambhaji, came in battlefield at very early age. Shahaji Raje used to take him in court and battlefield while he was serving Nizam Shah and Adil Shah.

When the Sultan of Bijapur heard about the efforts of his son, Shivray, towards establishing the Hindavi Swarajya, he got upset. He, in return, punished Shahaji for his son’s actions. Therefore, Sultan kept Shahaji Bhosale under house arrest.

But later Shahaji Raje intentionally kept a distance from the activities of his son. Then, Sultan of Bijapur gave back his rights and was released from house arrest. [5]

Shortly after this incident, another fight erupted between Sambhaji Maharaj and Barakah Khan. This fight lasted for a whole year (1648-1649). This fight was epic because he only had a few soldiers to fight against an army of 12000 soldiers. As usual, the Marathas won the battle despite the imbalance in the number of troops. However, the Marathas lost a few first in Bangalore to save their father.

Later on, they retrieved the forts back.


Sambhaji lived a true warrior’s life until Afzal Khan killed him in a fight at Kanakagiri in 1655.

Afzal Khan had always had a grudge against Sambhaji Maharaj following a fight at Bangalore, and Sambhaji had defeated him. So, he kept this in his heart and swore to get back at Sambhaji when a chance presented itself.

There came a time when Sambhaji was dealing with Abba Khan, A local Moslem. Afzal Khan saw this as his only chance to get revenge against him. So, he came up with a plan. He lied to him that he would offer aid in fighting against Abba Khan.

During the fight, he fought bravely, as usual. However, his supposed partners, Afzal Khans’ soldiers, betrayed him as planned. He tried to fight back, but the soldiers were too many for him. They overpowered him and shot him to death.



1. Sambhaji Bhosale Painting-

2. Shahaji Bhosale –

3. A painting of Adil Shah –


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