Soyarabai Bhonsle was the second wife of Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha dynasty. She was the mother of Shivaji's second son Chhatrapati Raja Ram. She was the young sister of Maratha army chief Hambirrao Mohite.
After Shivaji's death in 1680, Soyarabai wanted her own son Chhatrapati Raja Ram, and not Sambhaji, to have an upper hand in the political structure of the Maratha empire. Her only other child was a daughter, Balibai, who was older than Rajaram.
When Sambhaji became king, Soyarabai tried every means to dethrone him, but he overcame these attempts with the help of her brother Hambirrao Mohite, leader of their forces. He put Soyarabai and her son Rajaram into prison, and formally became the king on 20 July 1680.Soyarabai's henchmen tried to poison Sambhaji in August 1681, but he survived. When he learned about the plot, he had Soyarabai poisoned. Around two dozen suspects including Soyarabai's relatives of the Mohite family were also slaughtered or trampled by elephants.