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Maratha Clan
Surname Bhonsale, Ghorpade etc.
Caste Maratha
Lineage Claimed Suryavansha[1]
Religion: Hinduism
Original kingdom Mewar (Udaipur)
Other kingdoms Maratha Empire, Satara, Kolhapur, Thanjavur, Nagpur, Akkalkot[2][3] and Sawantwadi[4][5]


Colour Ochre
Nishan Rudra on flagpole
Clan God Mahadev (Khanderao)
Clan goddess Tulja Bhavani
Devak Panch Pallava, Rui tree (Giant Milkweed tree)
Guru Shankkayan
Gotra Kaushik
Veda Rigveda
Mantra Gayatri Mantra
Locations Maharashtra, Karnataka and Thanjavur.
Languages Marathi

The Bhonsle (or Bhonsale, Bhonslà, Bhosale, Bhosle) [7]are a prominent warrior clan within the Maratha clan system who served as rulers of several states in India. .[1]

The most prominent member of the royal clan was Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha Empire. His successors ruled as Chhatrapatis (Emperors/Maharajas) from their capital at Satara, although de facto rule of the empire passed to the Peshwas, the Maratha hereditary chief ministers, during the reign of Shahu I. In addition to the Bhonsle Maharajas of Satara, rulers of the Bhonsle clan established themselves at Nagpur and Kolhapur in modern-day Maharashtra in the 18th century. The Bhonsle of Thanjavur were descendants of Shivaji's stepbrother Venkoji, while the Bhonsle of Satara and Kolhapur were descended from Shivaji's sons, Sambhaji and Rajaram.

After the British defeat of the Marathas in the Third Anglo-Maratha War in 1818, the Marathas were forced to accept British rule. The four Bhonsle dynasties continued as rulers of their princely states, acknowledging British sovereignty while retaining local autonomy. The states of Nagpur, Thanjavur, and Satara came under direct British rule in the mid-nineteenth century when their rulers died without male heirs. Kolhapur state remained autonomous until India's independence in 1947, when the rulers acceded to the Indian government.

Akkalkot State and Sawantwadi were amongst other prominent states ruled by the Bhonsles.[citation needed]


Early texts which represent the Bhonsle to be Sisodia Rajputs is the most agreed upon argument regarding the origins of the Bhonsle[8][full citation needed]

Some of the historical accounts stating that Shahaji and Shivaji were of Rajput descent include:

Scholars such as Jadunath Sarkar have contested Shivaji's Rajput origin, saying that it was a fabrication required during his coronation.[citation needed] Others, such as C. V. Vaidya, do not accept this and point to works authored before his rise that refer to the connection. For example. the Radhav Vilas Champu, written by the poet Jayaram, mentions Shahji Bhosle, the father of Shivaji, as being a Sisodia Rajput and Shahji's letter to Sultan Adil Shah in 1641 refers to the Bhosle as Rajputs.[11] The discovery of Persian Farmans in the 1920s also dented the claim of those such as Sarkar. The documents bear seals and tughra of Bahmani and Adil Shahi sultans and establish the direct descent of Shivaji and Ghorpade with that of Sisodia of Chittod.[12]

Sardars and monarchs[edit]

Chhatrapati Shivaji Raje Bhonsle

Other Maharajas of the Dynasty include:

House of Satara[edit]

House of Kolhapur[edit]

Shahaji II of Kolhapur (r. 1894 -1922)
  • Shivaji II of Kolhapur (1700–1714) - Imbecile Son of Rajaram and Tarabai
  • Sambhaji II (1714-1760)- His mother, Rajasbai, the second wife of Rajaram deposed, Tarabai's son, Shivaji II and put her son on the Kolhapur throne.
  • Shivaji III (1760–1812) (adopted from the family of Khanwilkar)
  • Shahaji I (1822-1838)
  • Shivaji III (1830–1866)
  • Rajaram I (1866–1870) (adopted from the family of Patankar)
  • Shivaji IV (1870–1883)
  • Shahaji II (1883–1922) (adopted from the family of Ghatge)
  • Rajaram II (1922–1940)
  • Shivaji V (1940–1946)
  • Shahaji II (1946–1947)


Raghoji Raje Bhosle of Nagpur



H.H. Choladesadhipati Srimant Rajasri Maharaja Kshatrapati Sri Shivaji Raje Sahib Bhonsle Chhatrapati Maharaj, Raja of Tanjore

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b H. S. Sardesai (2002). Shivaji, the great Maratha, Volume 2. Genesis Publishing Pvt Ltd. p. 428. ISBN 9788177552843. 
  2. ^ Sumitra Kulkarni, The Satara Raj, 1818-1848: A Study in History, Administration, and Culture, p. 44
  3. ^ N. S. Karandikar, Sri Swami Samarth, Maharaj of Akkalkot, p. 66
  4. ^ Mário Cabral e Sá, Lourdes Bravo da Costa Rodrigues Great Goans: Francisco Luis Gomes; Raulu Chatim; Monsignor S. Rodolfo Dalgado; Frank Moraes; Angelo Fonseca; Vassudeva Madeva Salgaocar, p. 114
  5. ^ Rajarshi Shahu Chhatrapati Papers: 1900-1905 A.D.: new government policies, p. 123
  6. ^ S. K. Mhamai Sawants of Wadi: Coastal Politics in 18th and 19th Centuries
  7. ^
  8. ^ Studies in Indian History: Historical Records at Goa - Surendranath Sen, Surendra Nath Sen - Google Books. Retrieved 2012-08-31. 
  9. ^ Allison Busch (2011). Poetry of Kings: The Classical Hindi Literature of Mughal India. Oxford University Press. p. 191. ISBN 978-0-19-976592-8. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  10. ^ Gordon, Stewart (1993). The Marathas 1600-1818. 2 (Volume 4 of New Cambridge history of India: Indian states and the transition to colonialism). Cambridge University Press. p. 88. ISBN 9780521268837. 
  11. ^ Shiri Ram Bakshi (1998). Sharad Pawar, the Maratha legacy. APH Publishing. pp. 25–. ISBN 978-81-7648-007-9. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  12. ^ Bhatia, H. S. (2001). Mahrattas, Sikhs and Southern Sultans of India: Their Fight Against Foreign Power (2nd ed.). Deep & Deep. ISBN 9788171003693. Retrieved 2012-08-31. 
  13. ^ Gadre, Prabhakar. Bhosle of Nagpur and East India Company. Retrieved 2012-12-27.