Maharaja Chhatrasal

Maharaja Chhatrasal

Budelkhand Kesri Maharaja Chhatrasal (4 May 1649 – 20 December 1731), was a Bundeli warrior who chose to turn against the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and seek to establish his own kingdom in Bundelkhand.

He was born in Kachar Kachnai on the 4th of May in 1649, to Champat Rai and Lal Kunwar. Chhatrasal raised the banner of revolt against the Mughals in Bundelkhand at the age of 22, with an army of 5 horsemen and 25 swordsmen, in 1671. During the first ten years of his revolt he conquered a large tract of land between Chitrakoot and Panna on the east and Gwalior on the west. His domains streched from Kalpi in the north to Sagar, Garah Kota and Damoh in the south. Some of the Mughal generals who were defeated by him were Rohilla Khan, Kaliq, Munawwar Khan, Sadruddin, Sheikh Anwar, Sayyid Latif, Bahlol Khan and Abdus Ahmed.

Maharaja Chhatrasal captured Mahoba in 1680. Upon his death on the 20th of December 1731, Chhatrasal bequeathed Mahoba and the surrounding area to the Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao I in return for Baji Rao's assistance against the Mughals.

Chhatrasal was a disciple of Prannathji and accepted him as his guru and accepted Pranami Dharma.

In the second phase of his struggle between 1681 and 1707, Chhatrasal suffered a few reverses. Due to Aurangzeb focusing his main military efforts on extending his domain into the Deccan, Chhatrasal did not have to face the full military might of the Mughal Empire.

In his book "Mastani", historian D. G. Godse has given eloquent account of Maharaja Chhatrasal's life and his secular values. Godse claims that Baji Rao I's second wife Mastani was Chhatrasal's daughter and that relationship between Chhatrasal and Baji Rao I was like that of father and son.

Further reading

  • Bhagavānadāsa Gupta, Life and times of Maharaja Chhatrasal Bundela, New Delhi, Radiant (1980). ISBN 1135471770
  • Bhagavānadāsa Gupta, Contemporary Sources of the Mediaeval and Modern History of Bundelkhand (1531-1857), vol. 1 (1999). ISBN 81-85396-23-X.
  • "Mastani" by D. G. Godse
  • There is a historical novel " Dharmika Teja " published in the original or as translation in KANNADA language. Readers are welcome to supplement/correct this information. The story revolves around Maharaja Chhatrasal's youth and one of the other important characters is named Sabhakarana. Chhatrasal's wives are named Vijaya and Vimala (needs to be verified) - From : Sekhar Ganapathy.

External links

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