7. Death and Succession

7. Death and Succession




The question of Shivaji's heir-apparent was complicated by the misbehaviour of his eldest son Sambhaji, who was irresponsible and addicted to sensual pleasures. Unable to curb this, Shivaji confined his son to Panhala in 1678, only to have the prince escape with his wife and defect to the Mughals for a year. Sambhaji then returned home, unrepentant, and was again confined to Panhala. In late March 1680, Shivaji fell ill with fever and dysentery, dying around 3–5 April 1680 at the age of on the eve of Hanuman Jayanti. Rumours followed his death, with Muslims opining he had died of a curse from Jan Muhammad of Jalna, and some Marathas whispering that his second wife, Soyarabai, had poisoned him so that his crown might pass to her 10-year-old son Rajaram. After Shivaji's death, the widowed Soyarabai made plans with various ministers of the administration to crown her son Rajaram rather than her prodigal stepson Sambhaji. On 21 April 1680, ten-year-old Rajaram was installed on the throne. However, Sambhaji took possession of the Raigad Fort after killing the commander, and on 18 June acquired control of Raigad, and formally ascended the throne on 20 July.Rajaram, his wife Janki Bai, and mother Soyrabai were imprisoned, and Soyrabai executed on charges of conspiracy that October.
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8.1 Promotion of marathi and sanskrit ( Veer shivaji )

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