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Died1681 CE
SpouseShivaji Bhonsle

Soyarabai Bhonsle (née Mohite) (died 1681) was one of the wives of Shivaji, the founder of Maratha Kingdom in western India. She was the younger sister of Maratha army chief Hambirrao Mohite.[1]

Early life[change | change source]

She was married to Shivaji at a very young age in 1642. The marriage took place when Shivaji visited his father Shahaji at Bangalore with his mother Jijabai.[2]

After the death of Jijabai in 1674, Soyarabai became more important in Shivaji's family.[3] This was also true for Maratha court politics.[4] Soyarabai had two children with Shivaji, daughter Balibai and son Rajaram.[5][6]

Imprisonment[change | change source]

Shivaji died in 1680 at his capital without naming any successor.[7] In order to continue the empire, Soyarabai got her ten-year-old son, Rajaram as the only legal successor to the throne.[8] But her stepson and heir presumptive Sambhaji, was able to stop this.[9] They took help from Soyrabai's own brother, army chief Hambirrao Mohite and put Soyarabai and Rajaram in prison. They took the full power and Sambhaji became the Chhatrapati on 20 July 1680.

Death[change | change source]

After that, she tried all ways to de-throne him.[10] Soyarabai's followers tried to poison Sambhaji in August 1681, but he survived. When he learnt about the plot, he had no other choice but to kill Soyarabai with poison. Many plotters including Soyarabai's relatives of the Mohite family were also slaughtered or trampled by the elephants.[10]

References[change | change source]

  1. Bhaskar, Sita; Roy, Sabarna. The Legend: Shivaji Trilogy Book III. Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd. ISBN 978-93-5559-242-2.
  2. NANDAKUMAR, PREMA (1968). "English Writing by Indians: Another Rich Year". Indian Literature. 11 (4): 19–32. ISSN 0019-5804. JSTOR 24157102.
  3. Darwatkar, Anant V. (2005). Shivaji Maharaja: Maratha Chhatrapati In Bharat-varsha : Shivaji : Hindu King in Islamic India" by J.W. Laine/2003 : False and Fluid One. Shree Shambhu Prerana Pakashan. pp. 95, 97, 180.
  4. 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.
  5. Rana, Bhawan Singh (5 October 2016). Chhatrapati Shivaji. Diamond Pocket Books Pvt Ltd. ISBN 978-93-5083-007-9.
  6. Sardesai, H. S. (2002). Shivaji, the Great Maratha. Cosmo Publications. p. 1011. ISBN 978-81-7755-288-1.
  7. Kulkarni, Shripad Dattatraya (1992). The Struggle for Hindu Supremacy. Shri Bhagavan Vedavyasa Itihasa Samshodhana Mandira (Bhishma). pp. 125, 139. ISBN 978-81-900113-5-8.
  8. Pāṭīla, Śālinī (1987). Maharani Tarabai of Kolhapur, C. 1675-1761 A.D. S. Chand & Company. pp. 14, 22, 32. ISBN 978-81-219-0269-4.
  9. Gokhale, Kamal Shrikrishna (1978). Chhatrapati Sambhaji. Navakamal Publications. pp. 22, 34, 35.
  10. 10.0 10.1 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.