was the elder, and Vithoji the younger. Babaji had the rights of a patil in the
Verul village. Maloji and Vithoji were both brave and enterprising. They had
in their service, many armed Maratha troops. It was a period of great unrest.
The Mughal emperor had attacked the Nizam Shah, whose chief minister was
Malik Ambar.
The two capable and brave brothers from Verul soon caught Ambar’s
attention. On his recommendation, the Shah conferred on the two brothers,
the jagir of Pune and Supa Parganas.
Maloji’s wife was Umabai, who came from the house of the Nimbalkars of
Phaltan. They had two sons, Shahaji and Sharifji. When Maloji was killed in
a battle at Indapur, Shahaji was only five years old.
Vithoji, who looked after the children and the jagir, later asked in marriage
for Shahaji, the daughter of Lakhuji Jadhav, Jijabai. Lakhuji accepted
Vithoji’s proposal and Shahaji Raje and Jijabai were married with great
Nizam Shah transferred to Shahaji Raje the jagir he had conferred on Maloji.
Shahaji Raje was held in great respect at the court of Nizam Shah. When the
Mughals tried to conquer the kingdom of Nizam Shah, Shahaji Raje and
Malik Ambar put up a stiff resistance.
But later on, there was great unrest in Nizam Shah’s kingdom. Tired of the
unsettled conditions, Shahaji Raje left Nizam Shah’s service and went over to
Adil Shah of Bijapur. Adil Shah conferred on him the tittle of ‘Sar Lashkar’.
In the meantime, many important events took place in Nizam Shah’s
kingdom. Malik Ambar died and the kingdom was in a sorry state. At the
same time, Shah Jahan attacked the kingdom. At this critical hour, Shahaji
Raje once again returned to the service of Nizam Shah.
His Life and Conquests
Born at Sivner to Shahji Bhonsle and Jija Bai, he inherited the jagir of Poona
from his father in 1637. After the death of his guardian, Dadaji Kondadeo, in
1647, he assumed full charge of his jagir. Before that, at the age of 18, he
conquered Raigarh, Kondana and Toma from Bijapur (1645–47).
    His real career of conquest began with his capture of Javli (1656) from a
Maratha chief (Chanda Rao More), which made him the master of the high