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Chhatrapati is a royal title from the Indian subcontinent that was mainly used by the Marathas. It is often taken to be the equivalent of emperor.[citation needed] The word ‘Chhatrapati’ is a Sanskrit language compound word (tatpurusha in Sanskrit) of chhatra (parasol or umbrella) and pati (master/lord/ruler)[1] which is considered as a symbolic representation of the protector of people. The parasol was considered a symbol of absolute, or even universal, sovereignty and consecrated kingship, and has been used by monarchies outside of the Indian subcontinent, as well.[citation needed] The title indicates a person who is a sovereign ruler over other princes, and not a vassal. In contrast, the Indian titles of Maharaja or Raja, Yuvraj, Rajkumar or Kumar, and Senapati, reflect a range of European equivalent meanings, from King, Crown Prince, and Prince, to Duke, Count, or Lord. Shivaji adopted 'Chhatrapati' since other titles were bestowed by other lieges and paramount rulers, like the Adilshahis or Mughals.[citation needed]

House of Bhosle

Shivaji's equestrian statue at Pune.

The following list provides details the Chhatrapati of the House of Bhosle. The title "Chhatrapati" was created by Shivaji upon his coronation which means a protector than merely using the term "Raja" or "Maharaja" meaning just a "king", and this was held by his immediate successors, namely Sambhaji, Rajaram, and Shahu.[citation needed] The term is a symbolic representation of what he meant to the Maratha Empire as he protected them from outside forces of Mughals and British. After the death of Chhatrapati Shahu, however, the increasing power of the Peshwas and later Maratha generals reduced his successors to a nominal position. The rulers of Satara were generally considered the inheritors of the title, although the Rajas of Kohlapur did have a claim by descent, as their position began as a subsidiary title of Shivaji II due to location of his court. His mother, the Regent Tarabai, established a rival regime in Kolhapur, challenging the power of Shahu.[2]

Portrait Chhatrapati Birth Reign Death
Shivaji British Museum.jpg Shivaji c.19 February 1630[3] 1674 - 1680 3 April 1680
Maharaja Sambhajiraje, late 17th century.png Sambhaji 14 May 1657 20 July 1680 - 11 March 1689 11 March 1689
Chhatrapati Rajaram.jpg Rajaram I 24 February 1670 1689 – 1700 3 March 1700
Shivaji II 9 June 1696 1700 – 1708 14 March 1726
Copy of Shahu (3).jpg Shahu I 18 May 1682 1708 – 1748 15 December 1749

Chhatrapatis of Satara

The following is the list of the Chhatrapatis of Satara.[4] After 1848 they became pensioners of the East India Company.

  1. Shahu (1708–1748)
  2. Rajaram II of Satara (1749–1777) - Grandson of Rajaram I and his wife, Tarabai.
  3. Shahu II of Satara (1777–1808)
  4. Pratapsingh (1808–1839)
  5. Shahaji of Satara (1839–1848)
  6. Pratapsinh Raje (1865-1874)
  7. Rajaram III (1874-1904)
  8. Pratapsinh Raje-II (1914-1925)
  9. Shahu III of Satara (1925-1960)
  10. Pratapsinhraje (1960-1971)

Rajas of Kolhapur

Genealogy of Kolhapur Chhatrapatis

The following is the list of the claimants from Kolhapur:[4]

  1. Tarabai as a regent of Shivaji II (1700–1708)
  2. Shivaji II (1700–1712) - son of Rajaram I and his senior wife, Tarabai.
  3. Sambhaji II (1712–1760) - son of Rajaram I and his junior wife, Rajasbai.
  4. Shivaji III (1760–1812)
  5. Sambhaji III (1812–1821)
  6. Shivaji IV (1821-1822)
  7. Shahaji I (1822–1838)
  8. Shivaji V (1838–1866)
  9. Rajaram II (1866–1870)
  10. Shivaji VI (1871–1883)
  11. Shahu I, also known as Rajarshi Shahu (1874–1922) (adopted from the ruling Ghatge family of Kagal)
  12. Rajaram III (1922–1940)
  13. Shivaji VII (1941–1946)
  14. Shahaji II (1947-1949)

See also


  1. Fairey, Jack; Farrell, Brian P. (2018-06-28). Empire in Asia: A New Global History: From Chinggisid to Qing. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4725-9123-4.
  2. Sailendra., Sen (2013-01-01). Textbook of medieval Indian history. Primus Books. ISBN 9789380607344. OCLC 822894456.
  3. Indu Ramchandani, ed. (2000). Student's Britannica: India (Set of 7 Vols.) 39. Popular Prakashan. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-85229-760-5.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Maheshwari, K.K. & K.W. Wiggins (1989). Maratha Mints and Coinage, Nashik: Indian Institute of Research in Numismatic Studies, pp.205–6


  • ^ V.S. Kadam, 1993. Maratha Confederacy: A Study in its Origin and Development. Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, New Delhi.
  • D.B. Kasar, Rigveda to Rajgarh – Making of Shivaji the Great. Manudevi Prakashan, Mumbai.