Soyarabai Bhonsle (née Mohite) (died 1681) was one of the wives of Shivaji, the founder of Maratha Kingdom in western India. She was mother of Shivaji's second son, Rajaram Chhatrapati. She was the younger sister of Maratha army chief Hambirrao Mohite.
Early life[change | change source]
Born Soyarabai Mohite, she was married to Shivaji at a very young age in 1659. The marriage took place when Shivaji visited his father Shahaji at Bangalore with his mother Jijabai. Tukabai(Née Mohite), the stepmother of Shivaji and paternal aunt of Soyarabai insisted on the marriage.
After the death of Jijabai in (1674), Soyarabai gained prominence in Shivaji's family and by extension, in the Maratha court politics. Soyrabai bore two children to Shivaji, a daughter Balibai and son Rajaram.
After Shivaji's death[change | change source]
After Shivaji's death in 1680, with the help of some of the courtiers, Soyarabai got her ten-year-old son, Rajaram, on the vacant throne. Her stepson and heir presumptive Sambhaji, was able to thwart this with the help of Soyrabai's own brother,and army chief Hambirrao Mohite. He imprisoned Soyarabai and Rajaram and formally assumed power as the Chhatrapati on July 20, 1680. After Sambhaji seized power from Soyrabai, she tried every means to dethrone him. Soyarabai's henchmen tried to poison Sambhaji in August 1681, but he survived. When he learnt about the plot, he had Soyarabai poisoned to death. Many plotters including Soyarabai's relatives of the Mohite family were also slaughtered or trampled by the elephants.
References[change | change source]
- Sushila Vaidya (1 January 2000). Role of women in Maratha politics, 1620-1752 A.D. Sharada Pub. House. ISBN 978-81-85616-67-4. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
- Jaswant Lal Mehta (1 January 2005). Advanced study in the history of modern India 1707-1813. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p. 48. ISBN 978-1-932705-54-6. Retrieved 6 March 2012.