Kolhapur State
Flag of Kolhapur State
State Emblem of Kolhapur State
State Emblem
Kolhapur State Map, 1912
Kolhapur State Map, 1912
• Established
• Acceded to Dominion of India
• Merged into Bombay State
19018,332 km2 (3,217 sq mi)
• 1901
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Maratha Empire
Today part ofMaharashtra, India

Kolhapur State or Kolhapur Kingdom (1710–1949) was a Maratha princely State of India, under the Deccan Division of the Bombay Presidency, and later the Deccan States Agency.[1] It was considered the most important of the Maratha principalities with the others being Baroda State, Gwalior State and Indore State. Its rulers, of the Bhonsle dynasty, were entitled to a 19-gun salute – thus Kolhapur was also known as a 19-gun state. The state flag was a swallow-tailed saffron pennant.[2]

New Palace, Kolhapur
Maharani Tarabai.
A 1927 depiction of Tarabai,the founder of the Karvir State, in battle by noted Marathi painter M. V. Dhurandhar
Rajarshi Shahu of Kolhapur (r. 1894 – 1922)

Kolhapur State, together with its jagirs or feudatory vassal estates (including Ichalkaranji), covered an area of 3,165 square miles (8,200 km2).[3] According to the 1901 census, the state population was 910,011, of which 54,373 resided in Kolhapur Town. In 1901, the state enjoyed an estimated revenue of £300,000.[3][4]


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The Maharajas of Kolhapur have a common ancestry with the Bhonsle dynasty of Satara, being direct descendants of the Maratha King Shivaji. The states of Satara and Kolhapur came into being in 1707, because of the succession dispute over the Maratha throne. Shahuji, the heir apparent to the Maratha kingdom, captured by the Mughals at the age of nine, remained their prisoner at the death of his father Sambhaji, the elder son of Shivaji the founder of the Maratha Empire, in 1689. The Dowager Maharani Tarabai (widow of Rajaram I) proclaimed her son Shivaji II, as Chhatrapati under her regency. The Mughals released Shahu under certain conditions in 1707, and he returned to claim his inheritance. He defeated the regent at the Battle of Khed and established himself at Satara, forcing her to retire with her son to Kolhapur. By 1710 two separate principalities had become an established fact. Shivaji II and Tarabai were soon deposed by Rajasbai, the other widow of Rajaram. She installed her own son, Sambhaji II as the new ruler of Kolhapur.[5] In early years of his rule, Sambhaji made alliance with the Nizam to wrest the Maratha kingdom from his cousin, Shahuji.[6] The defeat of the Nizam by Bajirao I in the Battle of Palkhed in 1728 led to the former ending his support for Sambhaji.[7] Sambhaji II signed the Treaty of Warna in 1731 with his cousin Shahuji to formalize the two separate seats of Bhonsle family.[6][8]

The British sent expeditions against Kolhapur in 1765 and 1792;[3] Kolhapur entered into treaty relations with the British, after the collapse of the Maratha confederacy in 1818 . In the early years of the 19th century the British invaded again, and appointed a political officer to temporarily manage the state.[3][9]

A regent called Daji Krishna Pandit was installed by the British to govern the state in 1843 at a time when the natural heir to the throne was underage. He took direction from a political agent of the East India Company and among their actions were reforms to the tax of land. These reforms caused much resentment and, despite Kolhapur having refrained from involvement in the previous Anglo-Maratha Wars, a revolt against the British began in 1844. The rebellion began with soldiers locking themselves into hill-forts such as those as Panhala and Vishalgad, and then spread to Kolhapur itself. Both the regent and the political agent were captured by the militia forces led by Babaji Ahirekar. Ahirekar was killed in December 1844 and the revolt crushed.[10]

The last ruler of Kolhapur was Maharaja Shahaji II. After Indian independence in 1947, Kolhapur acceded to the Dominion of India on 14 August 1947 and merged into Bombay State on 1 March 1949. In 1960 Bombay state was divided by languages into the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. [citation needed] The boundaries of former Kolhapur state correspond very closely with those of modern-day Kolhapur district in Maharashtra state.

Rulers of Kolhapur



Titular Maharajas

Family tree

Royal family of the erstwhile Kolhapur state in 2011

[citation needed]

Family tree (Simplified)

Family tree of Maratha Rajas and later Maharajas of Kolhapur
  Biological Child
  Adopted Child
TarabaiRajaram I
r. 1689-1700
Shivaji II
r. 1710-1714
Sambhaji II
r. 1714-1760
Shivaji III
r. 1762-1813
Sambhaji III
r. 1813-1821
Shahaji I
r. 1822-1838
Shivaji IV
r. 1821-1822
Shivaji V
r. 1838-1866
Narayan Rao
Rajaram II
r. 1866-1871
Jai Singh
Rao Ghatge
Shivaji VI
r. 1871-1883
Shahu I
r. 1884-1922
Shivaji VII
r. 1941-1946
Rajaram III
r. 1922-1940
Shahaji II
r. 1947-1949
– Titular –
r. 1949-1983
Singh Rao
Shahu II
– Titular –
r. 1983-present

Feudatory Jagirs

There were Eleven Feudatory Jagirdars of Kolhapur. They all paid Nazar on succession equal to a year's net income of their Jagirs and also an annual contribution towards the maintenance of military force. They are:[11]

See also


  1. ^ "Kolhapur State". The Imperial Gazetteer of India, Vol. 15. Oxford at Clarendon Press. 1909. pp. 380–87.
  2. ^ Gazetteer, p. 380
  3. ^ a b c d Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Kolhapur" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 889.
  4. ^ "Kolhapur Princely State (19 gun salute)". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  5. ^ Sumit Sarkar (2000). Issues in Modern Indian History: For Sumit Sarkar. Popular Prakashan. p. 30. ISBN 978-81-7154-658-9.
  6. ^ a b Stewart Gordon (1993). The Marathas 1600-1818. Cambridge University Press. pp. 120–131. ISBN 978-0-521-26883-7.
  7. ^ P. V. Kate (1987). Marathwada Under the Nizams, 1724-1948. Mittal Publications. p. 14. ISBN 978-81-7099-017-8.
  8. ^ S.R. Bakshi, S.R. Sharma, S. Gijrani, (Editors) (1998). Sharad Pawar: The Maratha Legacy. New Delhi: APH Pub. Corp. p. 28. ISBN 9788176480086. ((cite book)): |first1= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ Manohar Malgonkar, Chhatrapatis of Kolhapur, Pub. Popular Prakashan, 1971.
  10. ^ Gott, Richard (2011). Britain's Empire: Resistance, Repression and Revolt. Verso Books. p. 343. ISBN 978-1-84467-738-2.
  11. ^ Sudarisanam A N (1929). Indian States Register And Directory 1929.

Further reading

16°41′N 74°14′E / 16.683°N 74.233°E / 16.683; 74.233