Raja Shivaji II (Marathi: तंजावरचे शिवाजी II)(died 30 Oct 1855) of the Bhonsle dynasty, was the son of Raja Serfoji II and ruled the fortress of Thanjavur and its surroundings from 1832 to 1855. He was the last Raja of Thanjavur known to wield any authority.
Raja Shivaji II was the only surviving son of Serfoji II when the latter died in 1832. The missionary Heber describes the young Shivaji II as a 'pale and sickly child'. However, his health seemed to have got better as he grew up for he is known for his physical and mental attainments. He contributed to the expansion of the Saraswathi Mahal Library and gave many useful books. One Varahappaiyar prepared the catalogue for all the manuscripts in the library.
'Arrest' of the Kanchi Mutt
But Shivaji II is mostly known for the incident related to the 'arrest' of the Kanchi mutt. The earrings (tatankas) of the Goddess Akhilandeswari in the Jambukeshwarar Temple was replaced with new ones in 1843-44. So, the Kanchi mutt, then based in Kumbakonam, shifted to Trichy with all the retinue in order to conduct a Tatanka-Pratishta ceremony for consecration of the earrings. But a legal suit delayed the ceremonies and the court case along with the rituals that followed incurred great debts on the part of the Mutt that they were unable to shift the Mutt back to Kumbakonam. At this juncture, the administrator-in-charge of the ceremonies, a young Brahmin, went to court of Shivaji II and requested that the retinue should be allowed to stop at Thanjavur to receive donations from the people. But the Raja staunchly refused.
However, as the palanquin of the Shankaracharya and his retinue were making their way to Kumbakonam they were stopped on the banks of the Cauvery at Thiruvaiyaru by the sepoys of the Raja who surrounded them and respectfully escorted into the city of Thanjavur. At Thanjavur, they were accorded a royal reception by Shivaji II and the citizens of Thanjavur. It was later said that the Raja had had a dream a few nights before in which Lord Shiva had appeared and ordered him to render due honors to the Mutt. This incident is often referred to as the 'Arrest' of the Kanchi Mutt.
Raja Shivaji II died in 30 Oct 1855 after a reign of 22 years.
|Maratha Raja of Thanjavur
Vijaya Mohana Mutumbar Bai
Serfoji III (Pretender)