Hambirrao Mohite (1630 – 1687) also known as Hansaji, was a prominent Maratha general who held the esteemed position of the 5th Senapati of the Maratha Army during the reign of Chhatrapati Shivaji.[1] He was recognized for his exceptional military prowess and successfully led various campaigns on behalf of Shivaji, subsequently continuing his service under Chhatrapati Sambhaji.

Hambirrao Mohite
Hambirrao
Sarnaubat
Senapati
5th Senapati of the Maratha Empire
Reign1674–December 1687
PredecessorAnandrao
SuccessorMhaloji Ghorpade
Born1630
Talbid, Satara, Ahmadnagar Sultanate
(present-day Maharashtra, India)
DiedDecember 1687 (aged 57)
Wai, Maratha Empire
IssueTarabai
Names
Hansaji alias Hambirrao Mohite
HouseMohite
FatherSambhaji
ReligionHinduism

Hambirrao's true name was Hansaji, and the title Hambir Rao was bestowed upon him by Chhatrapati Shivaji in 1674. His descendants continued the title of Hambir Rao.

Early life

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Hambirrao was born into the house of Mohites of Talbid. Talbid was a hereditary Jagir of the Mohite clan.

Accession of Sambhaji

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After the demise of Chhatrapati Shivaji in 1680, Soyarabai, who was Hambirrao's sister, attempted to displace Sambhaji from the throne in favor of her own 10-year-old son, Rajaram.[2] Hambirrao was temporarily absent from Raigad, and he was urgently called back. Upon his return, his sister earnestly implored him to secure the army's backing for her son as the future Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire.[3] Hambirrao traveled to Panhala with the initial intent of apprehending Sambhaji but ultimately switched his allegiance, offering support to Shivaji's elder son over his own sister. This action played a pivotal role in securing Sambhaji's ascension on throne and thwarting the conspiracy devised by Soyarabai.[4]

Attack on Burhanpur

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On January 30, 1681, Burhanpur, a prominent trade center connecting southern and northern India, witnessed a sudden attack by Hambirrao Mohite and Chhatrapati Sambhaji. During this time, Jehan Khan served as the Subahdar of Burhanpur, and the city's garrison comprised only 200 soldiers. In contrast, Hambirrao commanded a formidable army of 20,000 troops. The Mughals found themselves unable to effectively resist Hambirrao's forces, resulting in substantial losses for them. In this battle, the Marathas seized assets exceeding a value of 1 crore rupees.[5]

Later on 17 March 1683, Hambirrao emerged victorious in a battle against Ranamast Khan, a formidable chieftain in the service of Aurangzeb, near the vicinity of Kalyan-Bhiwandi.[citation needed]

Death

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In the year 1687, during a significant battle that transpired in the vicinity of Wai province, Hambirrao emerged victorious by defeating the Mughal commander, Sarja Khan. Unfortunately, after the clash, a cannonball struck Hambirrao, ultimately resulting in his unfortunate demise.[6]

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The film Sarsenapati Hambirrao is based on his real life story.[7]

References

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  1. ^ Maratha Generals and Personalities. Pratik Gupta. 2014. p. 43.
  2. ^ Maharani Tarabai of Kolhapur, C. 1675-1761 A.D.,Śālinī Pāṭīla, pg 22
  3. ^ Gordon, Stewart (1993). The Marathas 1600–1818 (1st publ. ed.). New York: Cambridge University. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-521-26883-7. Retrieved 5 June 2016
  4. ^ J. L. Mehta (1 January 2005). Advanced Study in the History of Modern India: Volume One: 1707–1813. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p. 4,47. ISBN 978-1-932705-54-6. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  5. ^ Mughal rule in India. Atlantic Publishers and Distributors. 1995. p. 146. ISBN 9788171565511.
  6. ^ Joshi, Pandit Shankar. Chhatrapati Sambhaji, 1657-1689 AD. New Delhi: S. Chand, 1980. p241
  7. ^ Sarsenapati Hambirrao (2022) - IMDb, retrieved 2022-05-14