Shahaji Raje Bhosale Biography – Great General

by Sep 28, 2019

Hello everybody, in this article, I am going to share information about the son of Maloji Raje of Verul who is Shahaji Raje Bhosale. He worked as a General in the court of Adil Shah of Bijapur & Nizam Shah of Ahmednagar.

Everyone knows the history of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, but very few people know about the past before and after Shivaji Raje.

Brief Information of Shahaji Bhosale

Shahaji Raje Bhosale was an influential Adilshahi, chieftain of the Bhosale family
March 18, 1594
Father: General Malojirao Bhosale, Mother: Uma Bai (Deepa Bai)
Military General
Jijabai Bhosale, Tukabai, Narsabai
1664 at Hodigere near Channagiri, Davanagere district


In today’s article, we explore the life of Shahaji Raje Bhosale, the Verul king’s son.

He worked as a General in the court of Adil Shah of Bijapur & Nizam Shah of Ahmednagar.

Many know Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s story, but few know about events before and after his reign.

Join us as we get into the fascinating journey of Shahaji Raje Bhosale.

This article will talk about events from history that are not well known. The events happened before and after Shivaji Raje’s rule.

Sequential Significant Events of Shahaji Bhosale

Event No.EventYear & Date
1.Birth of Shahaji Raje Bhosale1594 C.E.
2.General Lukhuji Jadhav was killed in court with the order of Nizam Shah1629 C.E.
3.Shahaji entered Bijapur of Adil Shah & regained Pune & Supe1632 C.E.
4.Ali Adil Shah captured Shahaji Maharaj1648 C.E.
5.Death of Shahaji Bhosale1664 (aged 69–70)

Birth and Early Life

Also called Shahaji Maharaj, Shahaji Raje Bhosale, had a very interesting childhood.

His early years influenced his later work and important role in Indian history.

He was born in 1594 in Verul, in what is now Maharashtra. He was a member of the powerful Bhosale family.

His family was very involved in the politics and military of the Deccan area when he was growing up.

Maloji Raje Bhosale, his father, was a well-known general at the court of the Nizam Shah of Ahmednagar.

Shahaji Raje learned about the government, war, and negotiation from his family at a young age.

His father taught Shahaji Raje to be skilled in both fighting and leading. He learned how to ride, use a sword, and use military strategies.

He used these skills in the military and important decision-making.

When Shahaji Raje was young, politics in the Deccan changed a lot.

The Vijayanagar Empire fell, and new powers like the Mughals and Adil Shahis rose, changing the history of the region.

In the years to come, these events would affect Shahaji Raje’s goals and tactics.

In his youth, he learned a lot about politics during the power struggles in Deccan.

Shahaji learned how to face problems and make choices that would decide his future as a leader.

He knew military tactics, politics, and understood the Deccan well.

These important events helped him become a famous military leader and lord. They also changed the course of his life and the history of the Maratha Empire.

Bhosale family Centers

The Bhosale family of the Marathas had centers in Pune, Satara, Kolhapur, and Thanjavur.

Like Maloji Raje, Shahaji Raje Bhosale served in the court of the Nizam Shah of Ahmednagar.

In the legacy of Maloji Raje, Shahaji Bhosale got Pune and Supe region. Hence, he sent his son Shivaji and his wife Jijabai to Pune to manage the territory.

Keeping The Jagir of Pune

Shahaji was afraid of losing Pune Jagir, which Maloji Raje had owned. He found it quite challenging to maintain the position. .

Vithoji Raje was worried the Sultan and Malik Ambar might try to reclaim the Jagir from the Bhosale family. Especially after the sudden death of Maloji Raje and the young age of his son Shahaji.

Both events occurred after Maloji Raje, the brother of Vithoji Raje.

Malik Ambar, who was clever, knew that Vithoji Bhosale was brave and talented. He knew the Bhosale clan had great foresight and courage. That would be really helpful during conflicts.

Malik Ambar kept the Jagir because Shahaji Raje was still a minor. The Bhosale family will still take care of the Jagir, even though Vithoji was put in charge.

The concerns of Vithoji Raje’s eased somewhat, despite the lingering risk. Sultan Nizam Shah invited them to a private court hearing. He wanted to address the loss of respect for the Royal Throne after Raje Maloji Bhosale’s death.

The Sultan expressed his admiration for exceptional prowess of Maloji Raje in battle. However, he knew mere words could not alter the trajectory of the situation on their own. .

After the ceremony, Sultan Nizam Shah gave the Jagir to Shahaji Maharaj and said goodbye to them.

Shahaji Raje, got the title of Jagirdar by the Nizam Shahi dynasty, was only five years old then.

This made sure that the Bhosale family would continue to keep the Jagir to the next generations.

Marrying Jijabai

However, Shahaji Raje Bhosale’s chances of getting married did not change.

During this time, Jijabai came into the picture. She was a fantastic woman who played an essential part in Maratha’s history. Shahaji Raje Bhosale married Jijabai. She became the mother of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

The facts of how they met and got married vary. Their marriage set the stage for a future legend. Jijabai guided and influenced Shivaji Maharaj, shaping his character and achievements.

His Political Guidance

His wife, Jijabai, was learning about politics in the Bhosale home. Fortunately, she had wise mentors surrounded her.

She hung out with people who were very smart and had a lot of experience running things.

She learned about the four sultanates and their complexity with their help. This gave her a deep knowledge of the country’s situation and the needs of its people.

Jijabai studied Shahaji Bhosale’s political actions carefully and comprehended his plans and strategies. She also knew what her fellow citizens were thinking and feeling. She noticed how Sultanates oppressed them.

Common Maratha people wanted change but didn’t have the courage to start it. They wanted more than just their own benefit, unlike certain leaders.

She watched and knew that Maratha soldiers, with help, would reject being enslaved.

In Maharashtra, Sahyadri region has lots of forts and loyal people. It is a powerful and vast area that will remain resilient.

The people’s sincere loyalty to Tuljapur’s Bhavani gave them a brave spirit. They waited for a leader to lead them to freedom.

Jijabai got more and more impatient as she learned more about politics. She sincerely asked Jagadamba to help her get what she wanted. Jijabai longed to bring about the much-needed change.

Battles fought

Shahaji Raje helped shape the Maratha Empire in a big way through his military efforts.

He took part in multiple fights and military actions, displaying his leadership and tactical prowess. Shahaji Raje’s military successes helped the Marathas expand their territory.

As a result, they became the most influential people in the Deccan region. Shahaji Raje Bhosale fought important battles that altered the Maratha Empire’s history. Let’s examine some of these battles.

Battle for Nizam Prince Murtaza:

The Mughals captured a prince called Murtaza from Nizam. This put Shahaji Raje Bhosale, a skilled military leader, in a risky situation.

Shahaji Raje understood it was crucial to save the prince. He took prompt action and planned some fights and smart moves.

His primary goal was to get Prince Murtaza of the Nizam out of the hands of the Mughal troops. Shahaji Raje used his knowledge of tactics to outwit and fight the enemy.

He did this by launching surprise strikes and using guerilla warfare techniques.

Shahaji Raje saved Nizam Prince Murtaza from the Mughals using his military skills.

Shahaji Raje was a great army leader who worked hard to protect the Marathas and their allies. This win shows how dedicated he was.

Conflict with the Portuguese

Shahaji Raje asked the Portuguese for help to defeat the Mughals and Nizams by forming alliances. To his disappointment, the Portuguese turned him down. This was a significant setback for his war plans.

The Portuguese didn’t help and made things worse. This made Shahaji Raje reconsider his alliances and change his plans.

Shahaji Raje searched for new allies when he found out the Portuguese wouldn’t help him. He made deals with other powerful groups to navigate the tricky politics of the time.

The fight with the Portuguese was a turning point in Shahaji Raje’s plans for war and politics. It forced him to look for new ways to get help and make allies that would be important for his plans.

Battle of Mahuli:

During the Battle of Mahuli, Shahaji Raje Bhosale found himself in a tough fight. Shahaji Raje had a tough job to do – keep the Mughal army and forces of Adilshah away from the Mahuli fort.

The battle occurred during a larger war between the Mughals and the Nizams. At stake was control of key forts and territories.

Shahaji Raje had a firm determination. He rallied his men and made a defensive plan.

He realized the enemy was too strong to defeat altogether. Instead, he used his military knowledge and turn the terrain and Mahuli fortifications, which become an advantage. Shahaji Raje and his men showed a lot of bravery and strength in a fierce battle.

Shahaji Raje’s forces stopped the Mughal army and Adil Shah’s allies by planning their moves well.

Despite the odds, they fought hard against the enemy’s attacks.

The Battle of Mahuli showcased Shahaji Raje’s military tactics and brilliance. He used his military knowledge and strategic intelligence to beat back the invaders.

He won because he defended the Mahuli against both the Mughal and Adilshahi forces. The Marathas became stronger after their win. It also proved that Shahaji Raje was good at leading battles.

The Battle of Mahuli was a major turning point in his military career. He proved he can handle tough fights and win over powerful rivals.

His Alliance With The Mughals

When Shahaji Raje joined the Mughals, his political path took a big turn. The events that led to his agreement with the Mughals were complex and affected by many things.

After his first attempts failed, Shahaji Raje had to decide what to do next. He thought about what to do next and thought about being a military leader for the Mughals.

Even though he felt conflicted on the inside, Shahaji Raje chose this road. He sought a means to regain his strength and determination.

He wrote a letter to Shahjahan using a Mughal Sardar called Azam Khan, asking to join their troops. Shortly after, Shahaji Raje took a high-ranking job called Panch Hazari Mansab. This job made him in charge of 5000 Mughal soldiers.

Emperor Shah Jahan led the Mughal Empire and had a big impact on India long ago. Shahaji Maharaj realized the power of the Mughals and thought it might be useful to cooperate with them.

The changing nature of politics in the area was a key reason he joined the Mughals. Power struggles and wars happened in the Deccan area ruled by Shahaji Raje.

Shahaji Raje believed making a deal with the Mughals was smart. It would help him secure his lands and improve his situation.

The Mughals had a good army that he thought could help him reach his military goals. He hoped to improve his army and increase his power in the area by joining hands with the Mughals.

Diplomacy was important when Shahaji Raje joined the Mughals. .

It was important for him to maintain a positive relationship with the government. This helped protect his interests and get help when needed.

Shahaji Raje allied with the Mughals to achieve political, military, and diplomatic goals. The alliance wanted to protect his lands and achieve his Deccan aims with the help of Mughal.

The victory of Shahaji Raje Bhosale over Adilshahi Generals

Like Maloji Raje, Shahaji Bhosale was also very gallant. He had fought many battles in favour of the Nizam Shah.

Mughal emperor Shah Jahan gained the Deccan to conquer the southern region.

When the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan invaded Deccan to conquer the south.

Shahaji helped the Mughals defeat Adil Shah in 1632. Mughals awarded the region won in this war to Shahaji Raje Bhosale.

He used guerilla warfare like Maharana Pratap of Mewar in his battles. He was good at guerrilla fighting like Shahaji Bhosale’s generation.

After this, Shahaji had reasonable control over Pune and Supe.

Southern Campaigns of Shahaji Maharaj

After coming to Adilshahi court, Shahjahan and Ranadulla Khan marched from Bijapur. They intended to win the Southern Parganas (regions) in 1638.

They defeated many southern kings to have a peaceful relationship with them. Then, they gave back their kingdoms.

So, when Shahaji Raje Bhosale needed help, the Southern kings provided support.

Karnataka Campaigns of Shahaji Raje Bhosale

Kempegowda I was a great ruler of Karnataka. He founded the famous city of Bangalore.

Kempe Gowda-III was the next ruler after him. He ruled at the same time as Shahaji Bhosale.

Kempe Gowda-III ruled Karnataka too. He did this while being influenced by the Vijayanagar kingdom.

In 1638 AD, Bijapur’s army beat Kempe Gowda-III. Shahaji Raje Bhosale and Ranadulla Khan commanded the army.

Given the Royal Seal to Shivaji Maharaj

Shivaji Maharaj needed a Royal Seal to begin self-rule and exercise authority.

Shahaji Raje Bhosale made a new Royal Seal for Swarajya in Sanskrit.

He handed it over to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Words and their meanings inscribed on the royal seal were like below.

Original Royal Seal of Maratha Empire at Raigad

Rajmudra at Fort Raigad.jpgImage Credits: Jaywardhan

It means that,

Shivaji, the son of Shahaji, uses a Royal Seal called Raja mudra to govern for the good of the people.

Politics of Shahaji Raje Bhosale

Shahaji Raje was in the Adilshahi court. Meanwhile, Shivaji Maharaj captured the forts one by one.

He consequently won Torna, Rajgad, Pratapgad, Kondhana, Purandar, Rohida, and Panhala. Then, Adil Shah inquired about Shivaji Maharaj to Shahaji Raje.

Shahaji took control and said, “Shivaji could capture the fort to rule Pune and Supe area.”

Shivaji Maharaj said to a reporter, “I only took forts to protect Pune and Supe.”

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj cleverly kept up Swarajya by using this motto. It didn’t have any other meaning.

Visiting Shivneri

When Shahaji Raje came to Shivneri, it was a joyful event that filled the fort with a warm feeling. The Visit festivities were huge and exciting. Even the people at Jijabai’s place were happy.

His son, Shivba, stood ready, waiting for his father to come. When Shahajiraje finally got there, Jijabai gave Shivba to him. It was the first time Shahajiraje saw his son’s face, and he did so with a soft look.

He had just come from a campaign, which was a chaotic and fiery place. With a happy heart, he gave awards, gifts, and money to everyone around him.

He was extremely kind and generous. He gave away everything, even things as precious as pearls and elephants. People inside the fort felt like they were celebrating the birth of a prince, not Sardar’s son.

He spent many happy days in the fort, taking in all the surrounding happiness. But duty called, and on March 1, 1630, Emperor Shahjahan and his royal army arrived in the Deccan.

They went to Burhanpur. Shahaji Maharaj said bye to Shivba and his mom. After that, he quickly left the fort to go to work.

At his wife’s request, Nizam Shah made Fateh Khan, the son of Malik Ambar, Chief Vazir in Daulatabad. After taking office, Fateh Khan put the Shah in jail, where he died sadly. Fateh Khan put Prince Hussain Shah on the throne after that.

His Imprisonment

A vigorous leader of the Mughal empire captured and held Shahaji Raje Bhosale for some time. This happened after years of service to the Mughals.

Aurangzeb, the Mughal ruler, caught Shahaji Raje in 1649 and imprisoned him. He detained him because of the prevailing political circumstances.

According to some stories, Shahaji Raje became too powerful and had strong connections with other local leaders. It made tough for the Mughals to control the Deccan region.

They detained him up in the fortress of Daulatabad for many years while in jail. This time of being locked up was hard for him and his family. His imprisonment affected the future of the Bhosale dynasty..

It’s important to remember that Shahaji Raje’s influence lived on, despite his predicaments.

His son, Shivaji Maharaj, became famous and fulfilled his father’s mission and goals. Shivaji Maharaj worked hard and was skilled at strategy. He created the Maratha Empire, which is an important part of India’s history.

The power struggles and politics caused Shahaji Raje Bhosale to be put in jail. Medieval India was always changing, and important people faced a lot of problems. This sentence shows that.

Death of Shahaji Raje Bhosale

Shahaji Maharaj TombImage Credits:

Once, while Shahaji Maharaj was in Karnataka, he desired to hunt. He was in Hodigere village. For hunting, he heads towards the deep forest.

It was the day of January 3 when Shahaji Raje was hunting in the Jungle. When an accident happened, they fell from the horse straight to the ground.

He died because his head hit the ground. This news of the death of Shahaji Raje spread like a breeze throughout India.

Jijabai received a letter at Raigad Fort. Her family was sad and so was the Sahyadri.

Shahaji Bhosale was the most influential chieftain of India in his time. During the reign of Shahaji Raje Bhosale, the Bhosale family rose in India.

His son, Ekoji I or Vyankoji, founded the Maratha Empire in Thanjavur.

Vyankoji built a tomb for his father at Hodigere village in Karnataka. It’s called the tomb of Shahaji Bhosale and is near Channagiri taluka.

Chhatrapati Shivray launched the Swarajya campaign. Shahaji Raje Bhosale provided a lot of support to achieve their goals.

Leadership of Chhatrapati Shivray brought freedom fighters together.

For molding the child into an extraordinary king, family support was really necessary.

When Chhatrapati Shivray started the campaign of Swarajya, Shahaji Raje Bhosale supported a lot to achieve new goals.

Also, the strong leadership of Chhatrapati Shivray helped pull together Indian freedom fighters like Baji Prabhu Deshpande, Tanaji Malusare, etc.


Why did Shahaji Raje leave Nizam Shahi?

One day, while in Nizam durbar, significant events happen. During the quarrel, Lakhujirao Jadhav gets killed and beheaded by the duke.

In an angry mood, Shahaji Raje left the durbar. Then, he resigned from the Nizam court and never went again to the Nizam court.

How did Shahaji Raje Bhosale die?

Shahaji Raje Bhosale died uncertainly. During he was in Karnataka one day he went for hunting near Hodigere village.

Accidentally, he falls from his horse and gets injured to death. So Vyankoji built his Tomb in Hodigere village.

Which was the most important battle in the life of Shahaji Raje?

I think battle at Karnataka with Kempegowda III was the significant battle in the life of Shahaji Raje. After the battle of Talikota fought in 1565, the generals of Vijayanagar became independent. Hence, the Bangalore and its territory were independent.

So there was no chance to get direct help from Vijayanagar, which was really rich in resources. Still, conquering was quite challenging, and hence, in my point of view, its major achievement.

After, the Karnataka victory Mughal Badshah Shah Jahan gifted the newly won territory to Shahaji Raje. It really gave a new curve to the life of Shahaji Raje. Because, before that Deccan was the workspace of Shahaji Bhosale. But after capturing Karnataka, he made that region as his primary workspace.

At first, Shahaji Raje is in charge of Pune Jahangiri, then in which year it was given to Shivaji Raje?

Actually, I researched a lot but did not find an answer anywhere. So, I am not sure, but I will still try to answer the question.

Shivaji Raje pledged on April 27, 1645, at Raireshwar temple. According to Wikipedia, Shivaji Raje started capturing forts after he took the oath of Swarajya. Therefore, in 1648, Adil Shah captured Shahaji Bhosale.

But according to IndiaTheDestiny, Shahaji Maharaj was captured because he supported Nayakas. The Nayakas were generals separated from Vijayanagar, who stood against Sri Ranga III, which was prince of Vijayanagar.

Featured Image Credits: Wikimedia

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