Chhatrapati 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) which is considered as a symbolic representation of the protector of people. 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' since other titles were bestowed by other lieges and paramount rulers, like the Adilshahis or Mughals.
The following list provides details the Chhatrapati of the House of Bhosle. The title "Chhatrapati" was created by Shivaji upon his coronation which means a protector than merely using the term "Raja" or "Maharaja" meaning just a "king", and this was held by his immediate successors, namely Sambhaji, Rajaram, and Shahu. The term is a symbolic representation of what he meant to the Maratha Empire as he protected them from outside forces of Mughals and Britishers. After the death of Chhatrapati Shahu, however, the increasing power of the Peshwas and later Maratha generals reduced his successors to a nominal position. The rulers 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 Kolhapur, challenging the power of Shahu.
|Chhatrapati Shivaji||c.19 February 1630||1674 - 1680||3 April 1680|
|Chhatrapati Sambhaji||14 May 1657||20 July 1680 - 11 March 1689||11 March 1689|
|Chhatrapati Rajaram||24 February 1670||1689 - 1700||3 March 1700|
|Shivaji II||9 June 1696||1700 - 1708||14 March 1726|
|Chhatrapati Shahu||18 May 1682||1708 - 1748||15 December 1749|