The Bhonsle dynasty claims descent from the Sisodia clan of Rajputs, the same descent as the ancient rulers of Chittor and later of Udaipur. Shahaji Raje Bhonsle, common ancestor to the Rajas of Satara, Kolhapur and Tanjore, entered the service of the Muslim Kings of Bijapur. He rose to high rank in their service, eventually serving as Regent of the kingdom, receiving substantial grants of land and the title of Raja. His second son, Shivaji the Great, rose to prominence and substantially added to his father's domains through sheer military genius. After a lifetime of war, he succeeded established an independent kingdom in Central India I 1674. His successors continued in a state of almost permanent warfare, until a succession dispute sapped their authority in 1707. Shahu Shivaji, Heir Apparent to the Mahratta kingdom, captured by the Mughals at the age of nine, remained their prisoner at the death of his father in 1700. The Dowager Maharani Tara Bai proclaimed his younger half-brother, and her son, Shahu Sambhaji as Chhatrapati Maharaj under her regency. The Mughals released Shahu Shivaji under certain conditions in 1707, and he returned to claim his inheritance. Defeating the regent at the battle of Khed, he established himself at Satara and forced her to retire with her son to Kholapur. By 1710 two separate principalities had become an established fact, and this was eventually confirmed by the Treaty of Warna in 1731. After the death of Shahu Shivaji in 1749, his successors fell under the control of the hereditary Peishwas, or Chief Ministers. The latter came to exercise power, maintaining the Rajas as figureheads in virtual confinement. The centre of power shifted from Satara to Poona, the stronghold of the Peishwas. The Mahrattas were defeated by the British at the battle of Ashti in 1818, after which, Satara came under the protection of the HEIC. The state was annexed to the Presidency of Bombay on the failure of natural heirs in 1849, under the terms of the doctrine of lapse, then in force. Although the state ceased as a separate entity, the adoptive heirs and successors continued to enjoy certain styles and titles, together with direct control over their substantial private properties until independence in 1947.

The head of the family: Shrimant Chhatrapati (personal name) (father's name) Maharaj Bhonsle, Raja of Satara
The consort of the head of the family: Shrimant Akhand Soubhagyavati (personal name) Raje Sahib Bhonsle, Rani of Satara.
The Heir Apparent: Shrimant Yuvaraj (personal name) (father's name) Raje Bhonsle.
The younger sons of the head of the family: Shrimant (personal name) (father's name) Raje Bhonsle.
The daughters of the head of the family: Shrimant (personal name) Raje Sahib Bhonsle.
The grandsons of the head of the family, in the male line: Shrimant (personal name) (father's name) Bhonsle.
The granddaughters of the head of the family, in the male line: Shrimant (personal name) Bhonsle.

Male primogeniture, the head of the family, or his widow, having the right to adopt a son an heir in the absence of natural heirs.


Amatya: Sanskrit version of Majmudar.
Amir ul-Umrao: Prince of Nobles, or Commander of Commanders.
Ashta Pradhan: "the council of eight", the ministry at the head of affairs of state.
Chhatrapati: Lord of the Parasol.
Dabir: the sixth minister.
Himmat Bahadur: Brave Warrior.
Kshatriya Kulawatasana: The Head of the Kshatriya race.
Majmudar: the second minister.
Mamalakat Madar: Pillar of the State.
Mantri: Sanskrit version of Waqnis.
Mukhya Pradhan: Sanskrit version of Peshwa.
Nyayadhish: the seventh minister.
Nyaya Shastri: the eighth minister.
Peshwa: the first minister.
Sachiv: Sanskrit version of Surnis.
Sarnaubat: the fifth minister.
Senapati: Sanskrit version of Sarnaubat.
Sinhasanadhishwar: the enthroned King.
Sumanta: Sanskrit version of Dabir.
Surnis: the third minister.
Waqnis: the fourth minister.

Manohar Malgonkar, Chhatrapatis of Kolhapur. Popular Prakashan, Bombay, 1971.
Shalini V. Patil, Maharani Tarabai of Kolhapur (c. 1675-1761 AD). S. Chand & Company (Pvt) Ltd, New Delhi, 1987.
Govind Sakharam Sardesai, New History of the Mahrathas. Volumes I, II and III. K.B. Dhawale, Girgaon, Bombay, 1948.

Damayanti Raje Bhonsle
Abhijit Malwade, Mumbai, India.
Copyrightę Christopher Buyers
Copyrightę Christopher Buyers
I would be grateful to hear from anyone who may have changes, corrections or additions to contribute. If you do, please be kind enough to send me an e-mail using the contact details at: Copyrightę Christopher Buyers
Copyrightę Christopher Buyers

CopyrightęChristopher Buyers, January 2001 - August 2008