This article is about the imperial title of Chhatrapati. For the Telugu film, see Chhatrapati (2005 film).

Chhatrapati (Devanagari: छत्रपती) is an Indian royal title equivalent to an Emperor used by the Marathas. The word ‘Chhatrapati’ is from Sanskrit chhatra (roof or umbrella) and pati (master/owner/ruler); Chhatrapati thus indicates a person who gives shelter to his followers and protects them.

In contrast, the Indian Maharaja or Raja, Yuvraj, Rajkumar or Kumar, Senapati, and Sardar most closely equate to the European titles King, Crown Prince, Prince, Duke, and Count, respectively. Shivaji adopted this title due to the fact that a lot of the other titles were bestowed on rulers by other powers like Adilshahi or Mughals.

Chhatrapti is the title adopted by Shivaji Raje Bhonsle, founder of the Maratha Empire when he got crowned. As described below, Shivaji's lineal successors in the royal House of Bhonsle also held the title of Chhatrapati.

The Royal House of Bhosle

Statue of Shivaji at Raigad fort, Maharashtra

The following list details the Chhatrapatis of the House of Bhosle, a royal family of Maratha Kshatriyas descending from the solar line of the Rajput Ranas of Mewar:[1][2]

Portrait Chhatrapati Birth Reign Death
Shivaji c. April 1627 / 19 February 1630[3] 1674 - 1680 3 April 1680
Sambhaji 14 May 1657 20 July 1680 - 11 March 1689 11 March 1689
Rajaram 24 February 1670 1689 – 1700 3 March 1700
Shivaji II 9 June 1696 1700 – 1708 14 March 1726
Shahu 18 May 1682 1708 – 1748 15 December 1749

The royal Bhosle line then splits into two, the Chhatrapatis of Satara and the Chhatrapatis of Kolhapur:

The Chhatrapatis of Satara

The following is the list of the Chhatrapatis of Satara:.[1] Chhatrapatis after 1848 did not have any land under their rule. However, the historically important fort of Pratapgad is owned by Udayanraje Bhosale, the current claimant to the title of Chhatrapati of Satara.

  1. Shahu (1708–1748)
  2. Ramraja (1749–1777) -Grandson of Rajaram and his senior wife, Tarabai.
  3. Shahu II of Satara (1777–1808)
  4. Pratapsingh (1808–1839)
  5. Shahaji II of Satara (1839–1848)
  6. 1848 to Great Britain
  7. Pratapsinh I (adopted)
  8. Rajaram III of Satara
  9. Pratapsinh II
  10. Raja Shahu III (1918–1950)
  11. Pratapsinhraje (1950–1978)
  12. Udayanraje Bhosale (1978-)

The Chhatrapatis of Kolhapur

The following is the list of the Chhatrapatis of Kolhapur:[1]

  1. Tarabai as a regent of Shivaji II (1700–1708)
  2. Shivaji II (1700–1712) - son of Rajaram and his senior wife, Tarabai.
  3. Sambhaji II (1712–1760) - son of Rajaram and his junior wife, Rajasbai.
  4. Shivaji III (1760–1812) -
  5. Shambhu (1812–1821)
  6. Shahaji (1821–1838)
  7. Shivaji III (1838–1866)
  8. Rajaram I (1866–1870)
  9. Shivaji IV (1871–1883)
  10. Shahaji II also known as Rajarshi Shahu(1874–1922) (adopted from the ruling Ghatge family of Kagal)
  11. Rajaram III (1922–1940)
  12. Shivaji V (1941–1946)
  13. Sambhaji III as titular Prince (1971–1983)
  14. Shahu II as titular Maharaja (1983–present) (adopted from Bhosale family of Nagpur)

See also


  1. 1 2 3 Maheshwari, K.K. & K.W. Wiggins (1989). Maratha Mints and Coinage, Nashik: Indian Institute of Research in Numismatic Studies, pp.205–6
  2. H. S. Sardesai (2002). Shivaji, the great Maratha, Volume 2. Genesis Publishing Pvt Ltd. p. 428. ISBN 978-81-7755-284-3.
  3. Indu Ramchandani, ed. (2000). Student’s Britannica: India (Set of 7 Vols.) 39. Popular Prakashan. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-85229-760-5.


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