Download 5.23 Mb.Pdf ko'rish
- Bu sahifa navigatsiya:
- The Marava War of Succession
- Encounter with Abirami Pattar
- Period of Anarchy 1736–1739
Thanjavur Maratha Kingdom (Tamil Nadu)
Thanjavur Marathas were the rulers of Thanjavur principality of Tamil Nadu
between the 17th to the 19th century. Their native language was Thanjavur Marathi.
Venkoji was the founder of the dynasty.
Thanjavur Maratha dynasty :
Maratha Conquest of Thanjavur
Following the demise of Chola rule in the 13th century, the Thanjavur country
came under the rule of the Pandyas who ruled for about a century. Following the
invasion of Malik Kafur, the Tanjore country fell into disorder. The rule of the Delhi
P a g e
Sultanate lasted for half a century before Pandya chieftains reasserted their
independence. Soon afterwards, however, they were conquered by the Vijayanagara
Empire. The supremacy of Vijayanagar was challenged by the Nayaks of Madurai who
eventually conquered Thanjavur in 1646. The rule of the Thanjavur Nayaks lasted until
1673 when Chokkanatha Nayak the ruler of Madurai invaded Thanjavur and killed the
Chokkanatha placed his brother Alagiri on the throne of Thanjavur, but within a
year the latter threw off his allegiance, and Chokkanatha was forced to recognise the
independence of Thanjavur. A son of Vijaya Raghava induced the Bijapur Sultan to help
him get back the Thanjavur throne. In 1675, the Sultan of Bijapur sent a force
commanded by the Maratha general Venkoji (alias Ekoji) to recapture the kingdom from
the new invader. Venkoji defeated Alagiri, and occupied Thanjavur. He did not,
however, place his protege on the throne as instructed by the Bijapur Sultan, but seized
the kingdom and made himself king. Thus began the rule of the Marathas over
Venkoji was the younger son of Shahji Bhonsle, a military commander in service
of the Sultan of Bijapur through his younger wife Tukabai Mohite. Ekoji I belongs to
sisodia rajput clan. His father Shahaji in his letter to adil shah mention and called
himself a sisodia rajput. This incident was also mentioned by his poet Jayram Pindye in
his book Radhav Vilas Champu. He succeeded to the jagir of Bangalore on the death of
his father while his illustrious elder brother had carved an empire of his own.
In 1673, the Nayak of Madurai invaded the kingdom of Thanjavur under the rule
of the Thanjavur Nayaks and drove away the ruler. He then proceeded to place his
younger brother Alagiri Nayak on the throne of Thanjavur. This was resented by
Rayasam Venkanna, a high-ranking official in the court of Thanjavur who supported the
P a g e
cause of Chengamala Dasu, the deposed son of Vijayaraghava, the late Nayak of
Thanjavur. He proceededto the court of the Adil Shah of Bijapur along with the minor
Chengamaldas and requested his help.
The Adil Shah sent Venkoji to invade Thanjavur and restore the throne to the old
line of nayaks. A Sanskrit manuscript Bosalavamsavali narrates how Venkoji conquered
Arni and proceeded to Thanjavur to liberate it from the shackles of the Nayak of
Tiruchirapalli. The manuscript further narrates that While camping at Tirumalapadi near
Tiruvadi, God appeared to him in a dream and asked him not to leave for home.
However, Wilkes assigns different reasons for the usurpation of the Maratha. He is of
the view that Venkoji was not pleased with the conduct of Chengamaldas who refused
to pay the war expenses.
Assisted by Rayasam Venkanna who had switched sides once more, Venkoji
conquered Ayyampettai and defeated Alagiri who had now also fallen out with his
brother Chokkanatha Nayakas well as Changamaldas and secured the throne for
himself. On the death of the Sultan of Bijapur, he crowned himself as the independent
king of Thanjavur.
The Marathi inscriptions of the Thanjavur temple dates the capture of Thanjavur
to January 1676. The Madras Tamil manuscript assigns the dates 1675 and 1679 to the
conquest and end of Ekoji I's reign respectively.
Likewise, the Marathi inscriptions assigns Ekoji's death to 1684. However, Wilkes
asserts that Ekoji was well alive in 1686-1687. The records of the British East India
Company mention a king called Ekoji as late as 1699-1700.
However, Dharmakuta a commentary on the Ramayana suggests that Ekoji
might have abdicated in the year 1684 in favor of his son Shahuji. However, it is quite
unclear as to how many years he lived after the event.
Clash with Shivaji
In 1676-1677 Chattrapathi Shivaji made an expedition to the Carnatic to claim his
portion of the jagir of Bangalore. Shivaji also desired to bring the whole of South India
under Maratha rule. With this aim in mind, he made a treaty with Golconda, took Gingee
P a g e
and proceeded to Thanjavur after conquering all the lands north of the Coleroon river.
But a Mughal Empire invasion forced him to turn back. He placed Vellore under the rule
of a half-brother of his called Santoji. Ekoji I reacted by launching regular military
campaigns into Santoji's territory with the intention of driving him away. However, in
1680, Bijapur succumbed to the invasions of Shivaji and handed over the administration
of all lands to the north of the Coleroon river to Shivaji. Ekoji I was forced to become a
vassal of Shivaji and pay him tribute. On the death of Shivaji, however, the tribute was
stopped and Thanjavur retained its independent existence.
The chiefs of Ramnad had been vassals of the Nayaks of Madurai. However, the
new ruler Kilavan desired to become independent. With this aim in mind, he concluded
an alliance with Ekoji I and rebelled against his overlord. The battle ended in the reign of
Shahuji I with the defeat of Madurai and the liberation of Ramnad.
Sanskrit and Telugu literature flourished during this period. The king himself is
said to have composed a Telugu version of the Ramayana
Shahuji I ascended the throne in 1684 at the age of 12 on the death of his father
Venkoji or Ekoji I the first Maratha ruler of Thajnavur.
The Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb's Deccan campaign reached its highpoint after
the death of Shivaji. The Deccan sultanates were annexed in 1687 and Shivaji's eldest
son Shambhaji was captured and slain. However, the annihilation of the Maratha
Empire was prevented by the brave resistance offered by Shivaji's second son Rajaram
and his wife Tara Bai. As the Maratha territories were overrun by Mughal troops, the
focus of resistance shifted to Gingee fort which Rajaram took in 1693 with an army of
20,000 men provided by his cousin, the Raja of Thanjavur.
Aurangazeb retaliated by sending his general Zulfiqar Khan who recaptured
Gingee and pursued the fleeing Marathas into Thanjavur. From 1691, Thanjavur had
been forced to pay a tribute of four lakhs to the Mughals in order to retain their
sovereignty. In 1697, Zulfiqar Khan forced Shahuji I to return the lands he had obtained
P a g e
from Mangammal, the Nayaki of Tiruchirapalli. Eventually Shahuji defeated the Mughals
and captured lands as far as Varanasi. For this; he was immortalized in many literary
Wars and Conquests
An inscription at Pattukkottai boasts of the conquest of all lands between
Pamban and Pudukkottai by Babaji son of Gangadhara, the agent of Shahuji I and the
construction of a fort by the same official. Inscriptions also refer to the help offered by
Shahji I to the Maravas. In 1700, Babaji invaded Tiruchirapalli in alliance with the
Sethupathy of Ramnad. However, Rani Mangammal, the Queen of Tiruchirapalli
inflicted a crushing defeat on Ramnad. Soon Shahuji I switched sides on account of the
common danger to Thanjavur and Tiruchirapalli from the anicut built by Mysore across
the Cauvery. A major war with Mysore was averted. But furious with Shahuji I over his
new-found friendship with the Nayaks of Madurai / Tiruchirapalli, Kilavan, the Raja of
Ramnad invaded Tiruchirapalli and defeated the forces of the Nayaki. He sent a huge
army across the dominions of Shahuji I and took the fort of Aranthangi in 1709.
Shahuji I patronized learning and promoted literature. There are some
dramas(koothu) in manuscript in the Thanjavur library which belong to this period. A
large number of high-quality Sanskrit works were produced during this period.
Dharmakuta heaps praises on Shahuji I. Tryambaka Raya Makhi gave a new
interpretation to the Ramayana. Venkata Krishna Dikshitar who was a court-poet of
Shahuji I composed Natesa Vijayam. Apart from this, Bhaskara Dikshit wrote
Ratnatulika while Veda Kavi wrote Vidya Parinayam and Jivananda
In 1693, Shahuji I renamed Thiruvisanallur as Shahajirajapuram and made a gift
of this village to 46 Pandits of his court. This village soon emerged as the hub of literary,
art and architectural activity.
Kalyanam,Chandrikahasa Vilasa Natakam,Koravanji and Vishnu saharasraja vilasam
are some works in Tamil drama which belong to this period. However, almost all Tamil
works of Shahuji's period indicate a decline in quality. The usual plot is that some
princess falls in love with Sahendra or Shahuji and secures him at last. The king is
described in them as a linguist and a conqueror. Besides these, there are a few stray
pieces praising Ekoji, Shahuji and Serfoji.
There are also some Telugu works from this period which are also lower in
quality when compared to those of the Nayak period. Sahasraja vilasa nataka narrates
how Shahuji I defeated the Muslim sultans and conquered all lands up to Varanasi.
Vishnu sahasraja vilasam is a Tamil koothu written in Telugu script.
P a g e
According to the Advaita Kirtana, Shahuji I abdicated the throne in 1712 and
became an yogi. He was succeeded by his brother Serfoji I.
The Marava War of Succession
A war of succession broke out in the Marava kingdom in the year 1720. Vijaya
Raghunatha, the adopted son of Raja Kilavan had died and a war of succession broke
out between two other sons of Kilavan namely Bhavani Shankar and Tanda Teva.
Serfoji I supported the cause of Bhavani Shankar and placed him on the throne. But
Bhavani Shankar did not fulfill his promise to cede all lands north of the Pambar River to
Thanjavur. Thanjavur switched sides and began to support another pretender. The
Marava army suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Serfoji I. Bhavani Shankar was
deposed and the country conquered by Serfoji I. The country was split up into three
parts: one part was annexed by Thanjavur while the Zamindaris of Sivaganga and
Ramnad were created out of the other two.
Raja Serfoji I, the Maratha Raja of Thanjavur who ruled over the land, visited the
Abirami temple to pay homage to Lord Shiva. On noticing the peculiar behavior of
Subramaniya Iyer(also known as Abirami Pattar) who was a temple priest, he inquired
the other priests about the individual. One of them remarked that he was a madman
while another rejected this categorization explaining to the king that Subramaniya Iyer
was only an ardent devotee of Goddess Abhirami. Seeking to know the truth himself,
Serfoji approached the priest and asked him what day of the month it was i.e. whether it
was a full-moon day or a new-moon day. Subramaniya Iyer answered mistakenly that it
was a Pournami who could see nothing else but the shining luminant form of the
Goddess. While in reality, the night was an Amavasya. The king rode off informing the
former that he would have his head cut off, if the moon did not appear on the sky by six
in the night.
Immediately realizing his mistake, Subramaniya Iyer supposedly lit a huge fire
and erected a platform over it supported by a hundred ropes. He sat upon the platform
and prayed to the Goddess Abhirami to save him. He cut off one rope after another in
succession on completion of each verse of his prayer. These hymns form the Abhirami
Anthadhi. On verge of completing the 79th hymn,the Goddess Abhirami manifested
herself before him and threw her thadanga, over the sky such that it shined with bright
light upon the horizon. Overcome with ecstasy, Subramaniya Iyer composed 22 more
verses in praise of the Goddess.
P a g e
The king repented his mistake and immediately cancelled the punishment he had
awarded Subramaniya Iyer. He also bestowed upon the latter the title of "Abirami
Pattar" or "One who worships Goddess Abhirami or The Priest of Goddess Abhirami"
and supposedly awarded his successors the privilege of using the title "Bharathi".
The reign of Serfoji I was known for literary works of considerable significance.
Advaita Kirtana, a Tamil manuscript in the Tanjore library speaks of a breach in the
Cauvery dam and refusal of the Madurai Nayak to allow this repair. Drought and famine
followed, and then, the necessary repairs were carried out. There is a Sanskrit
manuscript named Sarabhoji Charitra which praises the king for fighting with those who
came to cut off the Cauvery dam. The reference here has to be traced to an event in the
Marava war of succession.
Serfoji I is presented as a pious and charitable monarch. He endowed
Brahmanas with agraharams like Mangamatam in Tiruverkadu and Sarabhojirajapuram
in Tirukkadaiyur. Vidyaparinaya written by Vedakavi was enacted in the festival of the
Goddess Anandavalli in Thanjavur. It speaks of the marriage of the individual soul with
Vidya. Sarabharaja Vilasa and Ratinamanmatha were written by Jagannatha son of a
minister of Ekoji. Sivabharata, a Sanskrit manuscript deals with the ancestry and
achievements of Shivaji. It was translated into Tamil as Sivajicharitram.
Serfoji I did not have a legitimate male offspring of his own. However, after his
death, a claimant rose in the person of Katturaja who assumed the name Shahuji II and
claimed to be an illegitimate offspring of Serfoji II.
Serfoji I died in 1728. One of his queens performed Sati. He was succeeded by
his younger brother Tukkoji.
Tukkoji succeeded bis brother Serfoji I to the throne of Thanjavur on the former's
death in 1728 and is believed to have reigned until 1736. However, the available
records don't agree with each other. While the Tanjore Marathi inscriptions assign eight
years to his rule the Madras Tamil manuscript assigns only 6 years.
P a g e
Tukkoji concluded the Marava war commenced by Serfoji I. Unlike his brother,
however, he switched over to Bhavani Shankar's side and helped the latter attain the
Marathi inscriptions of this period record Tukkoji's aid to Meenakshi the Queen of
Tiruchirapalli against the Polygars who rose in revolt against her.He also fought against
Chanda Sahib on the side of the Hindu rajas of South India. Chanda Sahib's first
expedition in 1734 was bought off. But the second expedition in 1736 resulted in the fall
Tukkoji was a good linguist. He is also credited with having introduced
Hindusthani music in Thanjavur. He wrote a work on music called Sangeetha
Samamrita. His minister Ghansyama Pandit wrote a commentary on the
Uttaramacharitra of Bhavabhuti.
Tukkoji died in 1736. He left behind one legitimate son Ekoji who succeeded to
the throne on the death of his father. But he ruled for not more than a year. However he
had a number of offsprings from his concubines. A three-year-long period of anarchy
followed his death. It came to an end only with the accession of Pratapsingh in 1739.
Pratapsinha was born to Tukkoji, the Raja of Thanjavur and a concubine
Annapurna. Initially, he was not expected to rule as he was not a legitimate son of the
Raja. However, the early demise of the king's eldest son Ekoji II who died after ruling
Thanjavur for a year and a period of anarchy which followed thrust Pratap Singh on the
forefront of palace intrigues.
Period of Anarchy 1736–1739
Following Tukkoji's death in 1736, a period of anarchy followed. Ekoji, the king's
eldest son and heir apparent succeeded to the throne but died after ruling Thanjavur for
a year. However, in spite of his poor health, Ekoji offered a determined resistance to
Chanda Sahib who invaded Thanjavur during the former's short reign and forced him to
retreat to Tiruchirapalli.
Ekoji died in 1737 succeeded by his wife Sujana Bai. Sayyid, the Governor of the
Thanjavur Fort, rose into prominence during this period as a kingmaker and actively
P a g e
participated in court intrigues promoting one puppet ruler after another to the throne. He
imprisoned Sujanbai in 1738 when the latter questioned his authority.
Shahuji returned in 1738 and ruled for about a year. In February 1739, Chanda
Sahib forced Shahuji to cede Karaikal to the French and in April, the Raja confirmed the
Grant. In July 1739, Shahuji prevented the French from landing in Karaikal. This
resulted in invasion of Thanjavur by Chanda Sahib who captured Shahuji and
imprisoned him on the pretext that he was not the actual Shahuji but an impostor. The
Dutch East India Company based at Nagapattinam sent home the following report on
the events at Thanjavur:
Chanda imprisoned Shahuji Maharaj in Tanjore under a pretext that he was
not of royal blood. Pratap was placed on the throne against his own will. Having
gone to prison and expressing his unwillingness to ascend the throne to Shagy's
prejudice, Pratap was answered by Shagy, "If you do not accept the Government,
both of us lose our heads, if, on the other hand, we continue alive, we may watch
the course of events. Hence ascend the throne"
Pratapsinha ascended the throne in 1739. He was the last ruler of Thanjavur to
be referred in the official records of the English East India Company as "His Majesty".
As soon as Pratapsinha ascended the throne he had to contend with the
intrigues of the pretender Shahuji in the company of a treacherous Maratha noble Koyaji
Kattigai. It was also evident that the conspirators were in league with Sayyid. So
immediately after ascending the throne, Pratapsingh ordered the death of Sayyid.
In 1748, the pretender Shahuji sent an envoy, first to Puducherry and then to Fort
St. David to negotiate terms of alliance with the French East India Company. The British
East India Company initially supported Pratapsingh but switched sides when Shahuji
offered Devikottai. The British sent two expeditions against Devikkottai which was
defended by a garrison of 5,000 men. Their first attempt was a complete failure while
the second ended in a truce. The second expedition was remarkable as the one in
which Lawrence and Clive distinguished themselves. The War was brought to an end by
the treaty of friendship between Pratapsingh and the Company. Devikkottai was made
over to the English as per the provisions of the treaty.
In the early part of his reign, Pratapsinha also had to deal with the imperious
attitude of Dost Ali, the Nawab of the Carnatic. Pratapsinha was soon deposed by Dost
Ali who took over the administration of Thanjavur. But a Maratha invasion from the north
brought about the death of Dost Ali and the restoration of Pratapsingh. The Maratha
troops left after making one Murari Rao the ruler of Tiruchirapalli with whom Pratapsinha
was in bad terms. Soon afterwards, the Nizam of Hyderabad sent a formidable force to
Thanjavur to exact tribute. Two other expeditions forced the Raja into submission.
Download 5.23 Mb.
Do'stlaringiz bilan baham:
ma'muriyatiga murojaat qiling