A 1927 depiction of Tarabai in battle by noted Marathi painter M. V. Dhurandhar
Equestrian statue of Tarabai in Kolhapur

At that time his aunt Tarabai, the widow of Rajaram who governed the Maratha realm in the name of her son Shivaji, denounced Shahu as an impostor substituted by the Mughals for the son of Sambhaji.He fought a brief war with Tarabai to gain the Maratha throne in 1708.

- Shahu I

In order to divide the Maratha onslaught, the Mughals released Shahu I, Sambhaji's son and Tarabai's nephew, on certain conditions.

- Tarabai

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Maratha Empire

Confederacy that came to dominate a large portion of early modern India in the 18th century.

Confederacy that came to dominate a large portion of early modern India in the 18th century.

The Maratha Empire in 1758 with the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Mughal Empire as its vassals
Maratha kingdom in 1680 (yellow)
A portrait of Shivaji Maharaj
Sambhaji, eldest son of Shivaji
Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath
Peshwa Baji Rao I
Peshwa Balaji Bajirao
Peshwa Madhavrao I
Mahadaji Shinde restored the Maratha domination of northern India
A mural depicting the British surrender during the First Anglo-Maratha War. The mural is a part of the Victory Memorial (Vijay Stambh) located at Vadgaon Maval, Pune.
Peshwa Madhavrao II in his court in 1790, concluding a treaty with the British
Battle of Assaye during the Second Anglo-Maratha War
Peshwa Baji Rao II signing of the Treaty of Bassein with the British
Maratha king of Gwalior at his palace
Pratapgad fort, one of the earliest forts administered by Shivaji.
Maratha darbar or court.
Gold coins minted during Shivaji's era, 17th century.
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Maratha Gurabs ships attacking a British East India Company ship
Arms of Maratha
Ramchandra Pant Amatya
Thanjavur Maratha palace
Maratha Empire at its peak in 1759 (orange)
Maratha Empire in 1760 (yellow)
Maratha Empire in 1765 (yellow)
Maratha Empire in 1795 (yellow)
Maratha Empire in 1805
Maratha Princely States in 1823

Upon his release from Mughal captivity, Shahu became the Maratha ruler after a brief struggle with his aunt Tarabai, with the help of Balaji Vishwanath.

The empire had its head in the Chhatrapati as de jure, but the de facto governance was in the hands of the Peshwas after Chhatrapati Shahu I's reign.

Shivaji's portrait (1680s) from the collection of British Museum

Shivaji

Indian ruler and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan.

Indian ruler and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan.

Shivaji's portrait (1680s) from the collection of British Museum
Shivneri Fort
South India at the turn of the 17th century
An early-20th-century painting by Sawlaram Haldankar of Shivaji fighting the Bijapuri general Afzal Khan
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A 20th century depiction of Shivaji's surprise attack on Mughal general Shaista Khan in Pune by M.V. Dhurandhar
Raja Jai Singh of Amber receiving Shivaji a day before concluding the Treaty of Purandar
20th century depiction by M.V. Dhurandhar of Raja Shivaji at the court of Mughal Badshah, Aurangzeb.
Statue of Shivaji opposite Gateway of India in South Mumbai
20th century depiction of the Coronation Durbar with over 100 characters depicted in attendance by M.V. Dhurandhar
Sambhaji, Shivaji's elder son who succeeded him
Sajjangad, where Samarth Ramdas was invited by Shivaji to reside, is now a place of pilgrimage.
Royal seal of Shivaji
Suvela Machi, view of southern sub-plateaux, as seen from Ballekilla, Rajgad
Sindudurg Fort provided anchorages for Shivaji's Navy
Maratha Empire at its peak in 1758
An early-20th-century painting by M. V. Dhurandhar of Shivaji and Baji Prabhu at Pawan Khind
A miniature Bronze statue of Shivaji Maharaj in the collection of the Shri Bhavani Museum of Aundh
Statue of Shivaji at Raigad Fort
A replica of Raigad Fort built by children on occasion of Diwali as a tribute to Shivaji.

The period saw the capture, torture, and execution of Sambhaji in 1689, and the Marathas offering strong resistance under the leadership of Sambhaji's successor, Rajaram and then Rajaram's widow Tarabai.

Shahu, a grandson of Shivaji and son of Sambhaji, was kept prisoner by Aurangzeb during the 27-year period conflict.

A painting of Sambhaji, late 17th century

Sambhaji

The second Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire, ruling from 1681 to 1689.

The second Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire, ruling from 1681 to 1689.

A painting of Sambhaji, late 17th century
Watan Patra (grant document), by Chh. Sambhaji
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Sambhaji was married to Jivubai in a marriage of political alliance; per Maratha custom she took the name Yesubai.

After his release Shahu had to fight a brief succession war with his aunt Tarabai, Rajaram's widow who claimed the throne for her own son, Shivaji II.

Balaji Baji Rao

The 8th Peshwa of the Maratha Empire in India.

The 8th Peshwa of the Maratha Empire in India.

A 20th century of depiction of Tarabai by artist Baburao Painter. She unsuccessfully rebelled against the Peshwa in 1751.
Flag of the Maratha Empire.svg Maratha Confederacy at its zenith in 1760 (yellow areas)
A c. 1770 drawing of the Third battle of Panipat

After Baji Rao's death in April 1740, Chhatrapati Shahu appointed 19-year old Balaji as the Peshwa in August 1740, despite opposition from other chiefs such as Raghoji I Bhonsle.

Tarabai, the senior widow of Rajaram Chhatrapati after being released by her stepson Sambhaji II of Kolhapur was given asylum by Chhatrapati Shahu, her nephew.

Balaji Vishwanath

The first of a series of hereditary Peshwas hailing from the Bhat family who gained effective control of the Maratha Empire during the 18th century.

The first of a series of hereditary Peshwas hailing from the Bhat family who gained effective control of the Maratha Empire during the 18th century.

A painting of Balaji Vishwanath Peshwa in the Peshwa Memorial at the Parvati Hill temple complex, Pune
An information plaque describing Balaji Vishwanath Peshwa, a part of the Peshwa Memorial at Shrivardhan, Konkan

Balaji fell out with Dhanaji's son and successor, Chandrasen Jadhav and went over to the newly released Maratha ruler Shahu who took note of his abilities and appointed Balaji as his assistant (c.1708).

Since the death of Shivaji, his two sons Sambhaji and Rajaram continued the Maratha war against the Mughal Empire. Emperor Aurangzeb entered the Deccan in 1686, hoping to put an end to the fledgling Maratha state. Aurangzeb spent the next 27 years in the Deccan in ceaseless warfare against the Marathas. Despite the cruel executions of Sambhaji and early death of Rajaram, Rajaram's widow Tarabai continued the resistance while Sambhaji's son Shahu was captured at a very young age and held captive of the Mughals. Aurangzeb died at Ahmednagar in 1707 at the age of eighty-eight, with the Mughal armies exhausted and the treasury empty. The ensuing war of succession in the Mughal Empire resulted in accession of the aged Prince Mu'azzam, who ascended the Mughal throne under the title of Bahadur Shah

Rajaram II of Satara

The sixth monarch of Maratha Empire.

The sixth monarch of Maratha Empire.

He was an adopted son of Chhattrapati Shahu.

Tarabai had presented him to Shahu as her own grandson and used him to grab power after Shahu's death.