Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj
Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj

Sambhaji who was born on 14 May, 1657, was the second Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire who ruled from 1681 to 1689. He was the eldest son of Shivaji the founder of the Marathas.

Sambhaji's rule was largely shaped by the ongoing wars between the Maratha Kingdom and Mughal Empire as well as other neighbouring powers such as the Siddis, Mysore and the Portuguese in Goa.

In 1689, Sambhaji was captured, tortured and executed by the Mughals. He was succeeded by his brother Rajaram l.

Here are some interesting facts about Sambhaji:

1. Sambhaji was born at Purandar fort to Saibai, Shivaji's first wife. His mother died when he was two years old and he was raised by his paternal grandmother Jijabai.

2. Sambhaji was sent to live with Raja Jai Singh I of Aamer at the age of 9, as a political hostage to ensure the compliance of the Treaty of Purandar that Shivaji had signed with the Mughals.

As a result of the treaty, Sambhaji became a Mughal mansabdar.

3. Sambhaji was married to Jivubhai in a marriage of political alliance and per Maratha custom, she took the name Yesubai.

4. Sambhaji's behaviour allegedly needed improvement.

5. Shivaji took it upon himself to help his son improve upon his behaviour and so he imprisoned Sambhaji at Panhala fort in 1678.

However, Sambhaji escaped from the fort with his wife and defected to the Mughals in December 1678 for a year. He later returned home and was unrepentant and put under surveillance at Panhala.

6. Sambhaji had a lot of difficulties getting to the throne after Shivaji passed away as many conspired against him. Sambhaji was still held captive at Panhala fort when Shivaji died and so Sambhaji's stepmother Soyrabai installed a 10 year old Rajaram on the throne.

Sambhaji plotted his escape and took possession of the Panhala fort after killing the fort commander. He acquired control of Raigad fort and formally ascended the throne.

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