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Rajaram II of Satara

Rajaram II
Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire
Rajaram II.jpg
Flag of the Maratha Empire.svg 6th Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire
Reign15 December 1749 – 11 December 1777
PredecessorShahu I
SuccessorShahu II
BornJune 1726
Kolhapur, Maratha Empire (modern day Maharashtra, India)
Died11 December 1777 (aged 51)
Satara, Maratha Empire (modern day Maharashtra, India)
FatherChhattrapati Shahu (adoptive) Shivaji II (claimed biological)
MotherBhavani Bai

Rajaram Bhonsle II, also known as Ramaraja, was 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. However, after being sidelined, she stated that Rajaram II was only an impostor. Nevertheless, Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao retained him as the titular Chhatrapati. In reality, Peshwa and other chiefs had all the executive power, while Rajaram II was only a figurehead.

Early life

In the 1740s, during the last years of Shahu's life, Tarabai brought Rajaram II to him. She presented the child as her grandson, and therefore, as a direct descendant of Shivaji through her husband Rajaram Chhatrapati. She claimed that he had been concealed after his birth for his protection and had been raised by the wife of a Rajput soldier. Consequently, Shahu adopted him as a child.

After Shahu's death, Rajaram II was appointed as the new Chhatrapati, the Emperor of Marathas. When Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao left for the Mughal frontier, Tarabai urged Rajaram II to remove him from the post of Peshwa. When Rajaram refused, she imprisoned him in a dungeon at Satara, on 24 November 1750. She claimed that he was an imposter from Gondhali caste and she had falsely presented him as her grandson to Shahu. His health deteriorated considerably during this imprisonment. Tarabai later signed a peace treaty with the Balaji Rao, acknowledging his superiority. On 14 September 1752, Tarabai and Balaji Rao took an oath at Khandoba temple in Jejuri, promising mutual peace. At this oath ceremony, Tarabai also swore that Rajaram II was not her grandson, but an impostor from the Gondhali caste. Nevertheless, the Peshwa retained Rajaram II as the titular Chhatrapati and a powerless figurehead.


During Rajaram II's reign, the power of the Chhatrapati based in Satara was almost totally overshadowed by his hereditary Peshwas belonging to the Bhat family in Pune and other commanders of the empire such as the Holkars, Gaekwad, Scindia and Bhonsale(Nagpur).[citation needed] During this period, the Marathas were engaged in a continual conflict with the Durrani Empire based in Afghanistan. the Third Battle of Panipat took place in his time.[citation needed] The Marathas and the Mughals signed an agreement in 1752. The Marathas agreed to help the Mughals defeat external aggression as well as internal rebellions. The Mughals agreed to appoint Peshwa Balaji Rao as the Subahdar of Ajmer and Agra subah. The Marathas were also granted the right to collect chauth from Lahore, Multan, Sindh subahs as well as some districts of Hissar and Moradabad. However, the Mughal emperor had also ceded Lahore and Multan to Ahmad Shah Durrani in order to pacify him. In addition, he did not ratify the transfer of Rajput-ruled territories like Ajmer to the Marathas. This brought the Marathas in conflict with Durranis as well as Rajputs. Madho Singh sought help from Shuja-ud-Daula as well as the Afghan king Ahmad Shah Durrani (Abdali). The Marathas-Jat relations also worsened during Rajaram's reign.

He was succeeded by another adopted titular ruler Shahu II of Satara.

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