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. It is often taken to be the equivalent of king or emperor, and was used by the Marathas. The word ‘Chhatrapati’ is a tatpurusha Sanskrit compound ofl chhatra (parasol or umbrella) and pati (master/lord/ruler). The parasol was considered a symbol of absolute, or even universal, sovereignty and consecrated kingship, and has been used by Buddhist monarchies outside of India, as well. The title indicates a person who is a sovereign ruler over other princes, and not a vassal.

In contrast, the Indian titles of Maharaja or Raja, Yuvraj, Rajkumar or Kumar, Senapati, and Sardar most can reflect a range of European equivalent meanings, from King, Crown Prince, and Prince, to Duke, Count, or Lord. Shivaji adopted it since other titles were bestowed by other lieges and paramount rulers, like the Adilshahi or Mughals.


The Royal House of BhosleEdit

Statue of Shivaji at Raigad fort, Maharashtra

The following list details the Chhatrapatis of the House of Bhosle. The title was held by his successors, although the ascent of the Peshwas and later Maratha generals reduced it to a nominal position. The Grand Princes of Satara were generally considered the inheritors of the title, although the Rajas of Kohlapur did have a claim by descent, as their position began as a subsidiary title of Shivaji II due to location of his court. His mother, the Regent Tarabai, established a rival regime in Kohlapur, challenging both the power of the Peshwas and the Mughal-backed claims of Shahu.[1]

Portrait Chhatrapati Birth Reign Death
  Shivaji c. April 1627 / 19 February 1630[2] 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 Chhatrapatis of SataraEdit

The following is the list of the Chhatrapatis of Satara.[3] After 1848 they became pensioners of the East India Company.

  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)

Rajas of KolhapurEdit

The following is the list of the claimants from Kolhapur:[3]

  1. Tarablai 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 V (1838–1866)
  8. Rajaram II (1866–1870)
  9. Shivaji VI (1871–1883)
  10. Shahu I also known as Rajarshi Shahu(1874–1922) (adopted from the ruling Ghatge family of Kagal)
  11. Rajaram III (1922–1940)
  12. Shivaji VII (1941–1946)
  13. Shahoji II as titular Prince (1971–1983)
  14. Shahu II as titular Maharaja (1983–present) (adopted from Bhosale family of Nagpur)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Sailendra., Sen, (2013-01-01). Textbook of medieval indian history. Primus Books. ISBN 9789380607344. OCLC 822894456. 
  2. ^ Indu Ramchandani, ed. (2000). Student’s Britannica: India (Set of 7 Vols.) 39. Popular Prakashan. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-85229-760-5. 
  3. ^ a b Maheshwari, K.K. & K.W. Wiggins (1989). Maratha Mints and Coinage, Nashik: Indian Institute of Research in Numismatic Studies, pp.205–6


  • ^ V.S. Kadam, 1993. Maratha Confederacy: A Study in its Origin and Development. Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, New Delhi.
  • D.B. Kasar, Rigveda to Rajgarh – Making of Shivaji the Great. Manudevi Prakashan, Mumbai.