Introduction to History of Sambhaji Maharaj:
Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj was second great Chhatrapati of Maratha Empire. He was also called with Sambhaji Raje, Shambhu Raje as these are some of his popular names in Marathi Language. Sambhaji Raje was glorified with Dharamveer because of his sacrifice till his last breath. He was considered as most powerful king after the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Short Intro of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje:
Born: 14th May 1657 at Purandar fort, Pune
Coronation: 20th July 1680 at Panhala fort
Father: Chhatrapati Shri Shivaji Maharaj
Elder Daughter: Bhavanibai
Younger Son: Chhatrapati Shri Shahu Maharaj
Reign: 20th July 1680 to 11th March 1689
Died: 11th March 1689
Childhood of Sambhaji Maharaj:
At the age of two and half years, mother of Sambhaji named Saibai died. The reason behind his mother death was not so clear due to lack of evidence. That time Jijabai (Sambhaji’s grandmother) was there and again she had the responsibility to develop second Shivaji. Will she able to do it? Of course, she has the ability to develop Shambhu Raje. She was appointed pandits (teachers) to teach him the Sanskrit language and other subjects.
Lessons of Jijamata to Shambhuraje:
Jijabai also taught him to respect women, how should behave in court, how to give justice to people. Sambhaji had learned leadership skills, military skills and war tactics in observation of his master. He was so intelligent that he called as “Mahapandit” as he mastered Sanskrit and famous for giving justice to people. He was politically targeted at small age and had to accept Manasabdari (name of post) in Mughal Court at age of 9 years.
Sambhaji Maharaj Personality:
Sambhaji maharaj had a good physique. His more physique details are as follows:
Height and Weight of Sambhaji Maharaj:
Chhatrapati Sambhaji raje was about 6’2” tall, but it is not exact height as, it is assumed by historians. His height was calculated referring different sources and books. When we came to his weight it is about 110 Kilograms. Off course his time no gym and all stuff, so he used to do exercise like pushups (Danda), squats (Baithaka), running (Daud), etc. Many books describes about his physical fitness and how strong he was. After all, his efforts plays crucial role behind his strength.
Books written by Sambhaji Maharaj:
Sambhaji Maharaj was proficient in 14 different languages at the age of 14 years. He was able to spoke Marathi, English, Urdu, Portuguese, Sanskrit, Mughal languages, all South Indian languages, all Deccan languages, etc. He wrote three books at this age – Buddha Bhushan, Nakhsheekhant or Nayikabhed, and Sat Shasak (Seven Rulers).
Treaty of Purandar: Connection with Sambhaji Maharaj History:
As this topic is about Shivaji Maharaj but Sambhaji Maharaj history was also associated with it. Jai Singh took one more promise from Shivaji Maharaj, he told Shivajiraje to go to Mughal court along with Sambhaji Raje. Sambhaji Raje also have to serve the Mughal durbar. Then, Shivaji Maharaj went to Delhi as promised to Mirza Jayasigh in the treaty. As a result, Sambhaji Raje get into politics at early age. But because of that he became able to understand the political strategies.
A Marriage of Sambhaji Maharaj:
Shivaji Maharaj was farsighted and well known about the importance of political union between two states. At that time, all have to marry at the very young age period of about 7 to 14 years’. Pilgir Rao Shirke was just entered as Military General in the court of Shivaji Maharaj and Jevubai was his daughter. Sambhaji Raje married to Jevubai, later she changed her name to “Yesubai” according to Maratha culture. The marriage of Shambhu Raje was also a political decision taken by Shivaji Maharaj.
Achievements in Sambhaji Maharaj History:
Sambhaji Maharaj History at Raigad and Panhala Fort:
After the death of Shivaji, Maharaj Shambhu Raje was at Panhala fort under eye surveillance of fort commander. Some influential ministers in court of Shivaji Maharaj planned the conspiracy against Sambhaji Raje. They tried to prevent Sambhaji to become next Chhatrapati of Maratha Empire. On getting the information about conspiracy Sambhaji Maharaj decided to taken Panhala fort under his influence. In that conflict, he killed the fort commander and captured the Panhala fort.
Capture of Traitors:
Hambirrao Mohite was army Chief of Shivaji Maharaj and elder brother of Soyarabai. After capturing Panhala fort, Sambhaji Raje needed to capture Raigad fort. As per plan, he took Raigad under his influence with help of Hambirrao Mohite.
Many of the people blamed Soyarabai for the conspiracy, but it’s not true. After that, Sambhu Raje imprisoned Annaji Datto, Peshwa Moropant Pingale and one brother-in-law from Shirke family. When it came to justice he never discriminated between peoples and his own relatives.
Coronation of Sambhaji Maharaj:
Three months after the death of Shivaji Raje, coronation ceremony of Sambhaji Raje held on Panhalagad. Crown Prince Sambhaji Raje was now become a Chhatrapati.
When he was became a Chhatrapati many conflicts happened between Maratha and Mughal. This post on Sambhaji Maharaj history will gives all information about their conflict.
Chhatrapati Shambhu Raje first attacked the capital of Khandesh Subha (province) of Aurangzeb named Burhanpur. Intent behind this attack was to reduce poverty, food shortage in the Maratha Empire.
Mysore Campaign in history of Sambhaji Maharaj:
In 1681 CE, Sambhaji Raje began Southern Mysore campaign against Wadiyar Dynasty. Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar-II was the king of Wadiyar Dynasty at that time. He was one of very aggressive king in that time. He not surrendered to Sambhaji Maharaj and attacked instead. In return, Sambaji Raje with his giant army fought like storming warriors and won the battle.
Shambhu Raje released Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar on the promise to contribute for Swarajya in the future campaigns. In between 1682 to 1686 Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar contributed in battles but, after some time he refused and made union with Mughals. As a result, Sambhaji Maharaj finally defeated him and captured Mysore in 1686.
Attack on Burhanpur:
Chhatrapati Shambhuraj first attacked the capital of Khandesh Subha (province) of Aurangzeb named Burhanpur in 1680 CE. Intent behind this attack was to reduce poverty, food shortage of the Maratha Empire. The Marathas received huge Mughal treasures in this attack.
In history of Sambhji Maharaj, this Attack of Burhanpur was famous as Sambhaji Raje defeated Mughal forces 20,000 troops. The Marathas received huge Mughal treasures in this attack. Akabar-II was the fourth son of Aurangazeb rebelled against Mughal Empire and went to Aurangabad for further planning. Aurangzeb also went there and defeated his son and his troop. Hence, Akabar-II had to go out from there. After the defeat of Akabar-II, he had to take shelter of Sambhaji Maharaj at Raigad.
Battle of Janjira :
Before Sambhaji Raje, Shivaji Maharaj already limited the influence of Siddhi to the island of Janjira. Shambhu Raje again attacked on Siddhis of Janjira in 1682. Marathas did heavy damage to fort of Janjira and campaign lasted for almost 30 days. Marathas not succeed in breaking defenses of fort completely. Then, Maratha army attacked with help of building a causeway from shore to island.
Unfortunately, before the attack of Marathas Siddhis made ally with Mughals. As a result, when Sambhaji Maharaj attacked Siddhis of Janjira, Mughal army attacked fort of Raigad to distract him from Siddhis. As Sambhaji Maharaj was very close to won the battle but, he needed to go back to Raigad fort for a counter-attack.
After that, remaining Maratha troops failed to succeed in that mission. This battle was only campaign in History of Sambhaji Maharaj in which he wasn’t completely succeeded. Because, he wasn’t win the battle, but wasn’t lose also. On the other hand, he made great damage to Siddhis.
Attack of Sambhaji Maharaj On Portuguese forts and colonies:
After an unsuccessful attack on Siddhi, Sambhaji Raje sent his military commander to capture Anjediva fort of Portuguese. Maratha thought to convert that fort into naval base to build new warships and garrisons. But Chief Commander General failed due to some reasons. So, he return back from Anjediva fort back to Raigad.
Sambhaji Maharaj at Portuguese campaign:
Then, Sambhaji Raje goes there and continued that mission. He captured all colonies and forts of Portuguese. He made situation for Portuguese was made so horrible that they had to run away from Anjediva fort to Cathedral. There in Cathedral they hide themselves in the underground vault of Church where they prayed for their liberation.
Portuguese was helping Mughals in trade and allow them to pass through their region. The main goal of Shambhu Raje in that mission was to break the union of Mughals and Portuguese. History of Sambhaji Maharaj is crucial to understand relationships between Mughals and Portuguese.
Capture of Shambhuraje: Worst Event in The Maratha History:
In 1689, Sambhaji Maharaj planned to completely throw out Mughals from Hindustan. Therefore, he arranged meeting at Sangmeshwar. There he called all his commanders. Brother-in-law of Sambhaji Maharaj named Ganoji Shirke made union with Mughals.
Ganoji was so greedy and wanted Watandari (Maratha Land) from his Kingdom. But, Sambhaji Raje straightly rejected his demands to give Watandari. Ganoji Shirke has exposed all hidden routes of Sangameshwar to Mughal commander Mukkarabkhan.
At that time Sambhaji Raje was with his Brahmin friend and advisor “Kavi Kalash” and with some trustworthy peoples because, that meeting was so confidential. When Sambhaji Maharaj was about to leave the village, suddenly, all Mughal troops surrounded him and along with other commanders.
Last Battle of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj at Sangameshwar:
All Maratha Chieftains fought with huge Mughal army. Literally they spill bloodshed till their last breath. Due to number difference in troops, Shambhu Raje and his close friend Kavi Kalash get captured on 1st February 1689. At that time Sangameshwar was under the Maratha Empire, so there were Maratha posts (checkouts to charge tax from traders).
Ganoji Shirke handled that checkpoints saying, both are diamond smugglers arrested by him. After crossing all check posts, Zulfikar Khan was ready with 20,000 Mughal troop. Zulfikar Khan along with troops took Sambhaji Maharaj and Kavi Kalash far away to Bahadurgad via Karad- Baramati route.
Sambhaji Maharaj history was inspiring as he teaches us we should love our religion and should not change like the clothes. According to Sambhaji Maharaj, Religion means faith and by changing it we became unfaithful with our previous religion.
Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj at Bahadurgad:
Aurangzeb behaved very much inhumanely with both of them. Aurangzeb humiliated Sambhaji Raje and Kavi Kalash by binding them to Camels, with head down position. Then, Mughal troops threw stones, mud, etc. to feel ashamed, both tolerated all with chanting “Jagadamb, Jagadamb” (name of their family god).
Conditions of Aurangzeb:
Aurangzeb actually wanted to mortify both of them. After that, Sambhaji Raje took to the court of Aurangzeb. There he kept 3 conditions in front of Sambhaji Maharaj to be live:
a) He had to give all Maratha forts and secrete treasures of Maratha Empire
b) He had to disclose names of Mughal traitors which was officers in Mughal court
c) He had to accept Islam religion
Sambhaji Raje rejected all of those conditions. Then, Aurangzeb offered many attractive greedy things to break the pride of Sambhaji Raje but, he refused all times. Because, Sambhaji Maharaj refusing all conditions. As a result, Aurangzeb started torturing him to break his patience and forced to accept the Islam religion.
According to records, his torture was so frightful and was described as:
Mughals used to pluck his nails with tongs, cutting his fingers, cutted the tongue, peeled out his skin, plucking out his eyes with hot red rods, cutting his both hands one by one. Finally, tearing down back to front by weapon and beheaded.
After every torture, Aurangzeb asked him for accepting Islam, but he refused every time. Aurangzeb used to go into the prison in hope he would agree once. But, that time never came and torture carried on for several days. At the end, Mughals threw their pieces of the body at the confluence of Bhima River, Tulapur.
In Sambhaji Maharaj history it was mentioned that, Some Intellectual Vadhu peoples of nearby village collected that pieces of his body. They sewed them and gave final rites to body of Sambhaji Maharaj. These peoples later called as “Shivale” which means sewing in the Marathi language. In Sambhaji Maharaj History there are so many misconceptions in Society. Due to lack of reading real authorized history and untruth viral due to some wrong people.
Sambhaji Raje showed unconditional love for Hindu religion. So, he called as the Dharamveer meaning legend of Hindu religion as, he not ready to convert into other religion till his last breath. His Sacrifice played a vital role in converting the Maratha Kingdom to Empire. Sambhaji Maharaj history is important in Maratha History as after his sacrifice Maratha troops took stand against Mughals.
Here is list of other Historical Kings and Freedom Fighters in Indian History:
Featured Image Credits: Apricus