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This article is about the imperial title of Chhatrapati. For the Telugu film, see Chhatrapati (2005 film).

Chhatrapati (Devanagari: छत्रपती) is the Indian royal title equivalent to an Emperor.

In contrast, the Indian Maharaja or Raja, Yuvraj, Rajkumar or Kumar, Senapati, and Sardar most closely equate to the European titles King, Crown Prince, Prince, Duke, and Count, respectively.

The term is most commonly used in reference to Shivaji Raje Bhonsle, founder of the Maratha Empire, and his eldest son and heir Sambhaji. As described below, Shivaji's linear successors in the royal House of Bhonsle also held the title of Chhatrapati.


The term has various possible derivations:

  1. From Sanskrit (kshatra, also kshetra [empire/land]+pati [lord/husband]) meaning an emperor
  2. From Marathi (chatra [roof or umbrella] + Marathi pati [husband]) meaning a king or ruler — Chhatrapati indicates a person who gives shade to his followers and protects their success.
  3. Another possible derivation of Chhatrapati is "Kshatriya"+"Pati" i.e. Leader or Lord of the Kshatriyas or Warriors.

The Royal House of Chhatrapati Shivaji Raje Bhosale[edit]

Statue of Shivaji Maharaj at Raigad fort, Maharashtra

The following list details the Chhatrapatis of the House of Bhonsle, a royal family of Maratha Kshatriyas descending from the solar line of the Rajput Ranas of Mewar:[1][2]

  1. Shivaji (1630–1680)
  2. Sambhaji (1680–1689)
  3. Rajaram (1689–1700)
  4. Tarabai as a regent of Chhatrapati Shivaji II (1700–1708)
  5. Shahu (1708–1748)

The royal Bhonsle line then splits into two, the Chhatrapatis of Satara and the Chhatrapatis of Kolhapur:

The Chhatrapatis of Satara[edit]

The following is the list of the Chhatrapatis of Satara:[1]

  1. Shahu (1708–1748)
  2. Ramraja (1749–1777)
  3. Shahu II of Satara (1777–1808)
  4. Pratapsingh (1808–1839)
  5. Shahaji II of Satara (1839–1848)
  6. 1848 to Great Britain
  7. Pratapsinh I (adopted)
  8. Rajaram III
  9. Pratapsinh II
  10. Raja Shahu III (1918–1950)
  11. Pratapsinhraje (1950–1978)
  12. Chatrapati Udayanraje Bhonsle– Maharaja (1978 till present)

The Chhatrapatis of Kolhapur[edit]

The following is the list of the Chhatrapatis of Kolhapur:[1]

  1. Tarabai as a regent of Chhatrapati Shivaji II (1700–1708)
  2. Shivaji I (1700–1712)
  3. Sambhaji II (1712–1760)
  4. Shivaji II (1760–1812)
  5. Shambhu (1812–1821)
  6. Shahaji (1821–1838)
  7. Shivaji III (1838–1866)
  8. Rajaram I (1866–1870)
  9. Shivaji IV (1871–1883)
  10. Shahu I (1884–1922)
  11. Rajaram III (1922–1940)
  12. Shivaji V (1941–1946)
  13. Shahaji II (1874–1922)
  14. Shahu II as titular Maharaja (1983–present) (adopted from Bhosale family of Nagpur)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Maheshwari, K.K. & K.W. Wiggins (1989). Maratha Mints and Coinage, Nashik: Indian Institute of Research in Numismatic Studies, pp.205–6
  2. ^ H. S. Sardesai (2002). Shivaji, the great Maratha, Volume 2. Genesis Publishing Pvt Ltd. p. 428. ISBN 978-81-7755-284-3.


  • ^ 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.