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The Bhonsle (or Bhonsale, Bhosale, Bhosle) are a prominent warrior clan within the Maratha clan system who served as rulers of several states in India. Bhonsles claim their origin from Suryavanshi Sisodia Rajputs.
The most prominent member of the royal clan was Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha Empire. His successors ruled as maharajas from their capital at Satara, although de facto rule of the empire passed to the Peshwas, the Maratha hereditary chief ministers, during the reign of Shahu I. In addition to the Bhonsle Maharajas of Satara, rulers of the Bhonsle clan established themselves at Nagpur and Kolhapur in modern-day Maharashtra in the 18th century. The Bhonsle of Thanjavur were descendants of Shivaji's stepbrother Venkoji, while the Bhonsle of Satara and Kolhapur were descended from Shivaji's sons, Sambhaji and Rajaram.
The title 'Chattrapati' (equivalent to emperor) is exclusively used for the rulers of the Bhonsle dynasties of Satara & Kolhapur, as they are the descendents of Shivaji.
The Bhonsle's ruled several Indian princely states namely Satara, Kolhapur, Thanjavur, Nagpur, Sawantwadi and Akkalkot etc.
by Bhonsle January 25, 2013
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