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Kolhapur State (1707-1947) was a princely State of British India, under the Deccan Division of the Bombay Presidency, and later the Deccan States Agency. It was considered the fourth most important of the Maratha principalities, the other three being Baroda State, Gwalior State and Indore State. Its rulers, of the Bhonsle dynasty, were entitled to a 19-gun salute - thus Kolhapur was also known as a 19-gun State. The state flag was a swallow-tailed orange pennant.
Kolhapur State, together with its jagirs or feudatories, covered an area of 3,165 square miles (8,200 km²). According to the 1901 census, the state population was 910,011, of which 54,373 resided in Kolhapur Town. In 1901, the state enjoyed an estimated revenue of £300,000.
The Maharajas of Kolhapur have a common ancestry with the Bhonsle dynasties of Tanjore and Satara, claiming descent from the Maratha royal clan Bhonslà. The states of Satara and Kolhapur came into being in 1707, because of the succession dispute over the Maratha kingship. Shahu Sambhaji, Heir Apparent to the Maratha kingdom, captured by the Mughals at the age of nine, remained their prisoner at the death of his father Sambhaji, the elder son of Shivaji Maharaj the founder of the Maratha Empire in 1689. The Dowager Maharani Tara Bai (a widow of Chatrapati Rajaram, younger son of Shivaji Maharaj) proclaimed her son Shivaji I, as Chhatrapati Maharaj under her regency. The Mughals released Shahu under certain conditions in 1707, and he returned to claim his inheritance. He defeated the regent at the Battle of Khed and established himself at Satara, forcing her to retire with her son to Kolhapur. By 1710 two separate principalities had become an established fact, eventually confirmed by the Treaty of Warana in 1731. The British sent expeditions against Kolhapur in 1765 and 1792; Kolhapur entered into treaty relations with the British, after the collapse of the Maratha confederacy in 1812. In the early years of the 19th century the British invaded again, and appointed a political officer to temporarily manage the state.
The last ruler of Kolhapur was HH Maharaja Chhatrapati Shahaji II Puar. After India's independence in 1947, the Maharaja of Kolhapur acceded to the Dominion of India on 14 August 1947 and merged with Bombay State on 1 March 1949. In 1960 Bombay state was divided into the linguistic states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. The boundaries of former Kolhapur state correspond very closely with those of modern-day Kolhapur district. 
Rulers of Kolhapur 
- 1710 - 2 Aug 1714 Shivaji I (b. 1696 - d. 1726)
- 2 Aug 1714 - 20 Dec 1760 Shambhuji II (b. 1698 - d. 1760)
- 20 Dec 1760 - 17 Feb 1773 Rani Jiji Bai (f) -Regent(b. 1716 - d. 1773)
- 22 Sep 1762 - 24 Apr 1813 Shivaji II(b. 1756 - d. 1813)
- 24 Apr 1813 - 2 Jul 1821 Shambhuji III (b. 1801 - d. 1821)
- 2 Jul 1821 - 3 Jan 1822 Shivaji III (b. 1816 - d. 1822)
- 2 Jul 1821 - 3 Jan 1822 Shahaji -Regent(b. 1802 - d. 1838)
- 3 Jan 1822 - 29 Nov 1838 Shahaji I
- 29 Nov 1838 - 4 Aug 1866 Shivaji IV (b. 1830 - d. 1866)
- 29 Nov 1838 - 1845 Rani Sai Bai (f) -Regent (d. 1861)
- 4 Aug 1866 - 30 Nov 1870 Rajaram I Nagaji Rao (b. 1850 - d. 1870)
- 30 Nov 1870 - 12 Oct 1871 Rani Tara Bai (f) -Regent (b. 1855 - d. 1874)
- 12 Oct 1871 - 25 Dec 1883 Shivaji V Chhatrapati Narayana Rao (b. 1863 - d. 1883)
- 25 Dec 1883 - 17 Mar 1884 Rani Anand Bai (f) -Regent
- 17 Mar 1884 - 6 May 1922 Shahaji II Chhatrapati Jashwant (b. 1874 - d. 1922)
- 17 Mar 1884 - 20 Mar 1885 Jaisinhrao Ghatge -Regent
- 6 May 1922 - 26 Nov 1940 Rajaram II Chhatrapati (b. 1897 - d. 1940)
- 26 Nov 1940 - 18 Nov 1942 Tara Bai (f) -Regent (1st time) (b. 1904 - d. ....)
- 18 Nov 1942 - 28 Sep 1946 Shivaji VI Chhatrapati (b. 1941 - d. 1946)
- 22 Nov 1942 - 31 Mar 1947 Tara Bai (f) -Regent (2nd time) (s.a.)
- 31 Mar 1947 - 15 Aug 1947 Shahaji III Chhatrapati (b. 1910 - d. 1983)
- 1983 - Present Shahu II Chhatrapati (b. 1948 – present)
See also 
- Maratha Empire
- List of Maratha dynasties and states
- List of Indian princely states
- Maharajas of Kolhapur
- Panhala Fort
- "Kolhapur State". The Imperial Gazetteer of India, Vol. 15. Oxford at Clarendon Press. 1909. pp. 380–87.
- Chhatrapatis of Kolhapur, by Manohar Malgonkar. Pub. Popular Prakashan, 1971.
- Kolhapur History and Genealogy royalark