History Files

Far East Kingdoms

South Asia


FeatureMarathas (Kolhapur)
AD 1700 - 1948

FeatureThis was a minor Maratha state in India. The region had been ruled up to the beginning of the thirteenth century by a dynasty of the minor Silharas. Not being especially interested in becoming involved in the politics of government, the mild-mannered Maratha emperor, Shahu, appointed a Peshwa (chief minister) as head of state with certain conditions that he must follow, making the position an hereditary one. The Peshwas become the de facto leaders of the empire, while Shivaji's successors continued as nominal rulers from their base in Satara, while subsidiary branches ruled their own domains in Kolhapur, Nagpur, and Thanjavur. The first maharaja of Kolhapur was Shivaji, the young exiled emperor and son of Raja Ram.

(Information by Abhijit Rajadhyaksha.)

1700 - 1712

Shivaji II

Deposed and exiled from the Maratha throne to Kolhapur (1707).

1712 - 1760

Shambhoji II / Sambhaji II


1760 - 1812

Shivaji III

Adopted from the family of Khanwilkar.

1812 - 1821

Shambhu / Shambhuji



Shivaji III

Infant son. Died after a couple of months of chicken pox.

1821 - 1837

Shahoji I / Shahaji I / Buvasaheb

Uncle, and regent for Shivaji III. Died of cholera.

1837 - 1866

Shivaji IV



Shahaji Raje dies without issue and the state of Satara is annexed to the Bombay presidency. The Maratha heirs there retain their Hereditary right to use the title of maharaja without holding any power. The Maratha seat of Kolhapur is recognised by the British as the actual throne of the Marathas.

Kolhapur new palace
The Kolhapur new palace was built in 1881, designed by architect Charles Mant

1866 - 1870

Rajaram I

Adopted from the family of Patankar, and nephew of Shivaji IV.

1870 - 1883

Shivaji V / Narayanrao

Son of Dinkarao Bhosale, a royal relative.

1884 - 1922

Shahu IV

Adopted from the family of Ghatge.

1922 - 1940

Rajaram II


1940 - 1942

The British rule Kolhapur directly for two of the darkest years of the Second World War.

1942 - 1946

Shivaji VI

From the Satara branch.

1947 - 1949

Shahoji II / Shahuji II

Last maharaja. Adopted from the family of Pawar/Puar of Dewas.

1948 - 1949

India achieves independence from Britain and begins the process of taking control of the princely states. Subsequent maharajas bear an Hereditary title only.

Hereditary Maharajas of Kolhapur
AD 1948 - Present Day

Kolhapur remained a princely state until India's independence from British rule in 1947. The maharajas became titular only, with no power within their former territory. Today Kolhapur falls within Maharashtra state.

(Information by Abhijit Rajadhyaksha.)

1949 - 1983

Shahoji II / Shahuji II

Former maharaja.

1983 - Present

Shahu II

Grandson. Born 1948.

Yuvraj Sambhajiraje Shahu

Son and heir. Born 1971.

Shrimant Balkumar Shahajiraje


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