On Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje Bhosale's birth anniversary, here are some lesser known facts about the Maratha ruler.
Sambhaji Maharaj. Pic/YouTube
>> Sambhaji Bhosale was born on May 14, 1657. He was the eldest son of Chhatrapati Shivaji and his first wife Saibai. His mother died when he was two and he was raised by his paternal grandmother Jijabai.
>> At the age of nine, Sambhaji was sent to live with Raja Jai Singh of Amber, as a political hostage.
>> Despite the tumultous nature of their lives, Shivaji ensured that Sambhaji got the best education befitting a prince. He grew up to be a well read person as also a soldier with commendable martial skills.
>> Sambhaji was married to Jivubai in a marriage of political alliance, and per Maratha custom she took the name Yesubai. This marriage thus gave Shivaji Maharaj access to the Konkan coastal belt.
>> Sambhaji's behaviour is a matter of debate. Some of his alleged irresponsibility include 'addiction to sensual pleasures' which led Shivaji to imprison his son at Panhala fort in 1678 to curb his behaviour. However, he escaped from the fort but returned home after a year. Unrepentant of his behaviour, he was again confined to Panhala.
>> When Shivaji died, Sambhaji was still held captive in Panhala fort. Shivaji's widow and Sambhaji's stepmother, Soyarabai crowned her 10-year-old son Rajaram as the heir to the Maratha kingdom. When Sambhaji heard about this news, he escaped and took possession of Panhala fort and marched to Raigad fort with 20,000 troops and formally ascended the throne.
>> Once he became the ruler, he imprisoned his step-brother Rajaram, his wife Janki Bai, and his step-mother Soyaraba. Soyaraba was executed on charges of conspiracy.
>> It is also said that Prince Akbar (son of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb) who had rebelled against his father sought refuge with Sambhaji, something which was readily accepted. This incensed Aurangzeb to no end and he took it very personally.
>> Sambhaji's death was a brutal one. Aurangzeb captured Sambhaji and his friend and personal adviser Kavi Kalash and humiliated them by parading them wearing clown's clothes, and they were subjected to insults by the Mughal soldiers. Aurangzeb ordered Sambhaji and Kavi Kalash to be tortured to death. The process which took over a fortnight, included plucking out their eyes and tongue, pulling out their nails, and removing their skin.
>> Sambhaji was finally killed on March 11,1689 at the age of 31, reportedly by tearing him apart from the front and back with wagh nakhe (metal 'tiger claws') and beheading with an axe at Tulapur on the banks of the Bhima river, near Pune.
>> Sambhajis disembered remains were later sewn together by some people of Vadu and finally cremated there with ritual obsequies and honours.