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Chhatrapati (Devanagari) is a royal title from the Indian subcontinent. It is often taken to be the equivalent of emperor, and was used by the Marathas. The word 'Chhatrapati' is a tatpurusha Sanskrit compound of chhatra (parasol or umbrella) and pati (master/lord/ruler). The parasol was considered a symbol of absolute, or even universal, sovereignty and consecrated kingship, and has been used by monarchies outside of India, as well. The title indicates a person who is a sovereign ruler over other princes, and not a vassal. In contrast, the Indian titles of Maharaja or Raja, Yuvraj, Rajkumar or Kumar, and Senapati, reflect a range of European equivalent meanings, from King, Crown Prince, and Prince, to Duke, Count, or Lord. Shivaji adopted 'Chhatrapati' it since other titles were bestowed by other lieges and paramount rulers, like the Adilshahis or Mughals.

House of Bhosle

Statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at Raigad fort, Maharashtra

The following list details the Chhatrapatis of the House of Bhosle. The title was held by his successors who were themselves very powerful like Sambhaji, Tarabai, Shahu. Although after the death of Chhatrapati Shahu, the increasing power of the Peshwas and later Maratha generals reduced it to a nominal position. The Grand Princes of Satara were generally considered the inheritors of the title, although the Rajas of Kohlapur did have a claim by descent, as their position began as a subsidiary title of Shivaji II due to location of his court. His mother, the Regent Tarabai, established a rival regime in Kohlapur, challenging both the power of Shahu.[1]

Portrait Chhatrapati Birth Reign Death
Shivaji British Museum.jpg Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj c.19 February 1630[2] 1674 - 1680 13 April 1680
Maharaja Sambhajiraje, late 17th century.png Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj 14 May 1657 20 July 1680 - 11 March 1689 11 March 1689
Chhatrapati Rajaram.jpg Chhatrapati Rajaram Maharaj 24 February 1670 1689 - 1700 3 March 1700
Shivaji II 9 June 1696 1700 - 1708 14 March 1726
Chhatrapati Shahu I.jpg Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj 18 May 1682 1708 - 1748 15 December 1749

Chhatrapatis of Satara

The following is the list of the Chhatrapatis of Satara.[3] After 1848 they became pensioners of the East India Company.

  1. Shahu (1708-1748)
  2. Ramraja (1749-1777) - Grandson of Rajaram and his wife, Tarabai.
  3. Shahu II of Satara (1777-1808)
  4. Pratapsingh (1808-1839)
  5. Shahaji of Satara (1839-1848)
  6. Pratapsinh Raje (1865-1874)
  7. Rajaram Maharaj-III (1874-1904)
  8. Pratapsinh Raje-II (1914-1925)
  9. Shahu III of Satara (1925-1960)
  10. Pratapsinhraje (1960-1978)
  11. Udayanraje (1978-present)

Rajas of Kolhapur

The following is the list of the claimants from Kolhapur:[3]

  1. Tarabai as a regent of Shivaji II (1700-1708)
  2. Shivaji II (1700-1712) - son of Rajaram and his senior wife, Tarabai.
  3. Sambhaji II (1712-1760) - son of Rajaram and his junior wife, Rajasbai.
  4. Shivaji III (1760-1812)
  5. Sambhaji III (1812-1821)
  6. Shivaji IV (1821-1822)
  7. Shahaji I (1822-1838)
  8. Shivaji V (1838-1866)
  9. Rajaram II (1866-1870)
  10. Shivaji VI (1871-1883)
  11. Shahu I, also known as Rajarshi Shahu (1874-1922) (adopted from the ruling Ghatge family of Kagal)
  12. Rajaram III (1922-1940)
  13. Shivaji VII (1941-1946)
  14. Shahaji II (1947-1949)
  15. Shahu II as titular Maharaja (1983-present) (adopted from Bhosale family of Nagpur)

See also


  1. ^ Sailendra., Sen, (2013-01-01). Textbook of medieval Indian history. Primus Books. ISBN 9789380607344. OCLC 822894456.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  2. ^ Indu Ramchandani, ed. (2000). Student's Britannica: India (Set of 7 Vols.) 39. Popular Prakashan. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-85229-760-5.
  3. ^ a b Maheshwari, K.K. & K.W. Wiggins (1989). Maratha Mints and Coinage, Nashik: Indian Institute of Research in Numismatic Studies, pp.205-6


  • ^ V.S. Kadam, 1993. Maratha Confederacy: A Study in its Origin and Development. Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, New Delhi.
  • D.B. Kasar, Rigveda to Rajgarh - Making of Shivaji the Great. Manudevi Prakashan, Mumbai.

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