39 Facts About Sambhaji


Sambhaji was the eldest son of Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha Empire.


Sambhaji's rule was largely shaped by the ongoing wars between the Maratha Empire and the Mughal Empire, as well as other neighbouring powers such as the Abyssinians of Janjira, Wadiyars of Mysore and the Portuguese Empire in Goa.


Sambhaji was born at Purandar fort to the Maratha Emperor Shivaji, and his first wife Saibai, who died when he was two years old and he was raised by his paternal grandmother Jijabai.


Sambhaji was married to Jivubai in a marriage of political alliance; per Maratha custom she took the name Yesubai.


Sambhaji's behaviour, including alleged irresponsibility and addiction to sensual pleasures, led Shivaji to imprison his son at Panhala fort in 1678 to curb his behaviour.


Sambhaji then withdrew into Baglana, evading the forces of Mughal commander Khan Jahan Bahadur.


Sambhaji's ministers including Annaji Datto, and other ministers took this opportunity and conspired again to enthrone Rajaram again.


For five years, Akbar stayed with Sambhaji, hoping that the latter would lend him men and money to strike and seize the Mughal throne for himself.


Unfortunately for Sambhaji, giving asylum to Akbar did not bear fruit.


Sambhaji intended to use the Mughal numerical superiority to his advantage.


Sambhaji had prepared well for the invasions and the Maratha forces promptly engaged the numerically strong Mughal army in several small battles using guerilla warfare tactics.


Sambhaji had devised a strategy of minimising the losses on his side.


Sambhaji made a pincer attempt to surround the Maratha Capital that led to Mughal invasions of Konkan.


Sambhaji continued the Maratha campaign against them, while at that time the Siddis formed an alliance with the Mughals.


At the start of 1682, a Maratha army later joined by Sambhaji personally, attacked the island for thirty days, doing heavy damage but failing to breach its defenses.


Sambhaji then attempted a ruse, sending a party of his people to the Siddis, claiming to be defectors.


Sambhaji returned to counter them and his remaining troops were unable to overcome the Janjira garrison and the Siddi fleet protecting it.


Meanwhile, in 1684 Sambhaji signed a defensive treaty with the English at Bombay, realising his need for English arms and gunpowder, particularly as their lack of artillery and explosives impeded the Maratha's ability to lay siege to fortifications.


Much like his father Shivaji's Karnataka campaign, Sambhaji attempted in 1681 to invade Mysore, then a southern principality ruled by Wodeyar Chikkadevaraja.


Sambhaji's positions were spied upon by his own relations, the Shirke family, who had defected to the Mughals.


Accounts vary as to the reasons for what came next: Mughal accounts state that Sambhaji was asked to surrender his forts, treasures and names of Mughal collaborators with the Marathas and that he sealed his fate by insulting both the emperor and the Islamic prophet Muhammad during interrogation and was executed for having killed Muslims.


Sambhaji refused and was made to run the gauntlet of the whole Imperial army.


Sambhaji's tongue was torn and again the question was put.


Some accounts state that Sambhaji's body was cut into pieces and thrown into the river or that the body or portions were recaptured and cremated at the confluence of rivers at Tulapur.


Joshi Sambhaji was a good administrator who gave impartial justice to his subjects.


Sambhaji had to take several administrative measures to tackle the situation.


Sambhaji provided grain seeds, exemptions in taxes, oxen for agricultural work and agricultural tools to the farmers in the drought situation.


The government of Sambhaji gave promises of safety to the Marathas who gained independence from the Mughals and asked them to carry out their previous work of cultivation in their territories.


Sambhaji asked Hari Shivdev to distribute fifty khandis of grain which were being sent to him from Sagargad among the cultivators.


Sambhaji tried to increase the income from the agricultural activities.


Sambhaji made efforts to cultivate more wasted or barren lands.


Sambhaji is used many innovations during his campaigns, one such innovation was when he made jackets from leather for his soldiers to ensure protection from lethal arrows fired by the Mysore army during his campaign against Mysore, it was highly successful as after the initial defeat of the Maratha army due to the poisonous arrows, the Maratha army was able to negate the arrows and achieved victory by using these leather jackets.


Sambhaji was sophisticated, educated and well-versed in a few languages besides Marathi.


Sambhaji seems to have deeper knowledge of the different forms of Sanskrit literature; Hindu jurisprudence and the Puranas.


Sambhaji seems to have made Sambhaji familiar with the famous works of different sciences and music written by ancient scholars in the Sanskrit language.


Keshav Pandit composed Dandaniti on Maratha jurisprudence and composed the Sanskrit biography of Sambhaji's brother titled 'Shri Rajaramacharitra' detailing his early campaigns and escape to Jinji.


In Budhbhushan Sambhaji considers Shahji to be the incarnation of Indra and Shivaji to be the incarnation of Vishnu that saved the earth and restored righteousness.


Sambhaji was released in 1719 when Marathas became strong enough under Shahu and Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath.


Films and television shows based on Sambhaji's life have been produced in India.