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|Born||March 18, 1594|
|Died||January 23, 1664|
Hodigere near Channagiri Davanagere Dist
|Issue||Sambhaji Raje Bhosale |
Shahaji (also known as Shahaji Raje Bhonsle) (March 18, 1594/1602 – January 23, 1664) was the son of Raja of Verul and a general in the court of Adilshah, sultan of Bijapur. The eldest son of Maloji Bhosle, Raja of Verul, Shahaji inherited the Pune and Supe jagirs, under the Ahmadnagar Sultanate. During the Mughal invasion of Deccan, he joined the Mughal forces and served Emperor Shah Jahan for a brief period. After being deprived of his jagirs, he defected to the Bijapur Sultanate in 1632 and regained control over Pune and Supe. In 1638, he also received the jagir of Bangalore, after Bijapur's invasion of Kempe Gowda III's territories. He eventually became the chief general of Bijapur and oversaw its expansion.
An early exponent of guerrilla warfare, he brought the house of Bhonsle into prominence. He was father of Chhatrapati Shivaji, the founder of Maratha Empire. The princely states of Tanjore, Kolhapur and Satara are also Bhonsle legacies.
Shahaji was the son of Maratha warrior Maloji Bhonsle. Maloji was a capable soldier and eventually became Sar Giroh and was awarded independent Jagir (Fief) of Pune & Supe districts in the court of Nizam Shah of Ahmednagar. Maloji was childless for a long time. After seeking blessings from a Sufi Muslim pir called Shah Sharif, two sons were born to him. Maloji named his sons Shahaji and Sharifji in honour of the pir. Shahaji married Jijabai,the daughter of Lakhuji Jadhav, another Maratha general in the service of Nizam Shah of Ahmednagar when both of them were children.
Alliance with Deccan Sultanates and Mughals
Jagirdar of Bangalore
In Bangalore, the second phase of Shahaji's life started. He sent his wife Jijabai and their younger son, Shivaji to Pune to manage his jagir of Pune. The couple's elder son, Shambuji (also called as Sambhaji) and another son Venkoji from his second wife stayed with him at Bangalore. Shahji was virtually the king of the territory under his control; the Sultan trusted him and called him the a son and pillar of the state. In Bangalore, Shahaji patronized men of learning.
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