Tarabai (1675–1761 CE) was a queen of the Maratha Empire in India. Her husband was Chhatrapati Rajaram, son of Shivaji. Tarabai was the daughter of the famed Maratha general Hambirao Mohite. She was the niece of Soyarabai, the second wife Chatrapati Shivaji.
Tarabai was skilled in cavalry movement, and made strategic movements herself during wars. She personally led the war and continued the insurgency against the Mughals. A truce was offered to the Mughals in such way that it was promptly rejected by the Mughal emperor, and Tarabai continued the Maratha resistance.
By 1705, Marathas had crossed the Narmada and made small incursions in Malwa, retreating immediately. The Maratha country was relieved at the news of the death of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb who died at Khuldabad in Aurangabad.
In order to divide the Maratha onslaught, the Mughals released Shahu on certain conditions. He immediately challenged Tarabai and Shivaji II for leadership of the Maratha polity. Shahu eventually prevailed thanks to his legal position and in part to the Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath' diplomacy, and Tarabai was sidelined for some time. She established a rival court in Kolhapur in 1709 but was deposed by Rajaram's second queen Rajasabai, who put her son Sambhaji II on the throne. Tarabai was without any political power till 1730 after which she went and resided with Chhattrapati Shahu at Satara, again without any political power. Rani Tarabai or the (dowager) Queen Tarabai (b.1675-d.1761) was the wife of Chatrapati Rajaram Maharaj, and the daughter in law of the great Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj . Incidentally she was also the niece of Shivaji’s wife Soyrabai (Rajarams mother and her mother in law) and the daughter of Hambirao Mohite the famed Sarsenapati (commander in chief) of the Maratha army.
After Shahu's death in 1749, Tarabai helped conduct Ramaraja to the kingship. Afterward, however, she denounced Ramaraja on the grounds that he was not her grandson as he claimed. During this period of weakened royal power, Tarabai exercised great influence in the Maratha state. She headed one of several factions vying for control within the increasingly fractious confederacy.
Hailed as Bhadrakali, her name is still celebrated in the countryside in parts of Maharashtra. Noted historian Jadunath Sarkar has written about her, "In that awful crisis her character and strength saved the nation". Rani Tarabai, or the (dowager) Queen Tarabai (b.1675-d.1761) was the wife of Chatrapati Rajaram Maharaj, and the daughter in law of the great Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj . Incidentally she was also the niece of Shivaji’s wife Soyrabai (Rajaram's mother and her mother in law) and the daughter of Hambirao Mohite, the famed Sarsenapati (commander in chief) of the Maratha army.
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- Ranjit Desai. Chava. "He married his second son, Rajaram, to the daughter of Hambirrao Mohite, who was later to be the Queen of the Maratha Empire,Maharani Tarabai"