Maloji Bhosale

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Maloji Bhosale
Born 1552
Died 17th century
Children Shahaji, Sharifji
Parent(s) Babaji Raje Bhonsle (father)

Maloji Raje Bhonsle was a Maratha sardar (general) who served the Ahmadnagar Sultanate in Malik Ambar's army. He was the father of Shahaji and the grandfather of Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha Empire.

Early life[edit]

Maloji was born in 1552 to Babaji Bhonsle (d. 1597), a patil (chief) of the Hingni Berdi and Devalgaon villages around Pune.[1] The family belonged to the Bhonsle Maratha clan, and claimed descent from the Suryavanshi Sisodia Rajput royal family of Udaipur.[2] Maloji had a younger brother, Vithoji.

Military career under the Jadhavs of Sindkhed[edit]

Maloji and his brother Vithoji migrated away from Pune, and initially served as petty horsemen under the Jadhavs of Sindkhed.[3] The Jadhavs provided military service to the Ahmednagar Sultanate.

Maloji married Uma Bai (also known as Dipa Bai), the sister of Jagpalrao Nimbalkar, who was the deshmukh of Phaltan. He had two sons: Shahaji and Sharifji. Maloji believed that he was blessed with these two sons after praying at the dargah of the Sufi saint Shah Sharif in Ahmednagar, and therefore, he named his two sons after the saint.[4]

According to one account, during a Holi function, the Jadhav chief Lakhuji remarked, in a lighter vein, that his daughter Jijabai and Shahaji would make a fine couple. Maloji took Lakhuji's remark seriously, and announced publicly that his son was engaged to Lakhuji's daughter. This irked Lakhuji, who considered Maloji to be a non-noble Shiledar.[5] He dismissed Maloji from his services. Later, Nimbalkar's influence and the rising status of the Bhosale family helped Shahaji marry Jijabai.

Ahmednagar Sultanate service[edit]

According to one account, Maloji and Vithoji once found a treasure while tilling a field and became rich.[6] They raised a small troop, and briefly harassed Lakhuji.

In 1577, like the Nimbalkars, the two brothers joined the service of the Ahmednagar Sultanate, under Murtaza Nizam Shah I. Maloji became a trusted aide of Malik Amber, who rose to the Prime Ministership of the Ahmadnagar Sultanate.[7] Maloji's cousins, the Ghorpades of Mudhol, also became successful noblemen, serving the rival Sultanate of Bijapur.[8]

Maloji rose rapidly in the service of Malik Ambar, fighting against the rival Deccan Sultanates and the Mughals. He and his brother were granted the control of three parganas (administrative units): Elur (Verul), Derhadi and Kannarad (including Jategau and Vakadi), beside several small towns and villages.[5] In 1595 or 1599, Maloji was given the title of raja by Bahadur Nizam Shah II, the ruler of the Ahmednagar Sultanate.[9] On the recommendation of Malik Ambar, he was given the jagir of Pune and Supe parganas, along with the control of the Shivneri and Chakan forts. Maloji carried out the restoration of the Grishneshwar temple near Verul, and also constructed a large tank at the Shambhu Mahadev temple in Shingnapur.[10]


Maloji died during a battle against the Bijapur Sultanate, at Indapur. One account puts his year of death as 1606, and mentions that his son Shahaji, five-years old at the time, was raised by his brother Vithoji.[5] Other accounts put the year of his death as 1620[11] or 1622.[8] After his death, his jagir was transferred to his son Shahaji.


  1. ^ Salma Ahmed Farooqui (2011). A Comprehensive History of Medieval India: From Twelfth to the Mid-Eighteenth Century. Dorling Kindersley India. pp. 314–. ISBN 978-81-317-3202-1. 
  2. ^ V. B. Kulkarni (1963). Shivaji: The Portrait of a Patriot. Orient Longman. p. 27. 
  3. ^ Satish Chandra (2005). Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals. Har-Anand Publications. p. 316. ISBN 978-81-241-1066-9. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  4. ^ Asgharali Engineer (1989). Communalism and communal violence in India: an analytical approach to Hindu-Muslim conflict. Ajanta Publications (India). p. 182. ISBN 978-81-202-0220-7. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c Chintaman Vinayak Vaidya (1931). Shivaji: the founder of Maratha Swaraj. C. V. Vaidya. pp. 10–15. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  6. ^ Charles Augustus Kincaid; Dattatraya Balavanta Pārasanisa (1968). A History of the Maratha People: From the earliest times to the death of Shivaji. S. Chand. p. 114. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  7. ^ Farooqui Salma Ahmed; Salma Ahmed Farooqui. A Comprehensive History of Medieval India: From Twelfth to the Mid-Eighteenth Century. Pearson Education India. p. 314. ISBN 978-81-317-3202-1. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Stewart Gordon (16 September 1993). The Marathas 1600-1818. Cambridge University Press. pp. 41–44. ISBN 978-0-521-26883-7. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  9. ^ Joseph G. Da Cunha (1900). Origin of Bombay. 
  10. ^ Govind Sakharam Sardesai (1957). New History of the Marathas: Shivaji and his line (1600-1707). Phoenix Publications. p. 58. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  11. ^ Richard M. Eaton (17 November 2005). A Social History of the Deccan, 1300-1761: Eight Indian Lives. Cambridge University Press. pp. 178–. ISBN 978-0-521-25484-7. Retrieved 8 October 2012.