Sambhaji Maharaj (Sambhaji Raje Bhosale)

Chatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj, also known as Sambhaji Raje Bhosale, was the son Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

In the famous Treaty of Purandar (11 June, 1665), Shivaji agreed that his son, Sambhaji would serve the Mughal Army. As a result, Sambhaji fought for the Mughal Army of Aurangzed against the Bijapur government. Shivaji and Sambhaji presented themselves at the court of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb where they were ordered house arrest. But somehow they managed to escape.

Sambhaji Maharaj was ascended to the throne on 30th July, 1680 and rewarded his other followers. The formal ceremony of coronation took place on 20th January, 1681.

There was the alienation of his nobles and officers against whom Sambhaji had to take strict measures. He grew distrustful of his father’s faithful servants and therefore appointed Kavi Kalash, a Brahman of Kanauj, who was a good Sanskrit and Hindi scholar and poet, as his adviser, and placed him above the Peshwa. As he was an outsider, Maratha nobles and officers did not liked him. Owing to these circumstances, Sambhaji’s reign did not proved to be very successful.

Chatrapati Sambhaji gave shelter to  Prince Akbar, fourth son of Aurangzeb,  who was seeking Sambhaji’s cooperation to wrest the throne of Hindustan from his father. On crossing the Narmada, Prince Akbar informed Sambhaji of his resolution to depose Aurangzeb in alliance with the Maratha king and seeking his cooperation in the enterprise. Sambhaji met him on 23rd November, but no alliance was entered into between them.

The Maratha king on account of his character and domestic difficulties could not spare time and money to undertake an expedition against Delhi. The lofty project of leading an expedition and deposing Aurangzeb remained only a paper scheme.

Later on Sambhaji and several others were captured by the Mughal army of Aurangzeb and imprisoned and killed in 1689.

By his death, Sambhaji Maharaj achieved what he failed to do in his life. His imprisonment and death united the Marathas and made them determined to fight against the Mughal Empire. The Maratha people continued their struggle for Independence.