Cast of Primary Characters
Shivaji Bhosale (Shivaji, Seevaji, Seeva): Founder of the Maratha Empire. Born 19 February 1630, died 3 April 1680. Formally crowned himself King on 6 June 1674, assuming the title
Chhatrapati or ‘Lord of the Royal Umbrella’.
Shivaji’s father, born 16 March 1599, died 23 January 1664. Son of Maloji Bhosale of Verul, in northern Maharashtra.
Shivaji’s mother and Shahaji’s first wife, daughter of Lakhuji Jadhavrao of Sindkhed, a noble in Nizamshah’s service.
Shahaji’s second wife and Shivaji’s step-mother; from the Mohite family. Sambhaji Bhosale: Jijabai and Shahaji’s elder son and Shivaji’s elder brother.
Shivaji’s first wife and chief consort till her death; from the Nimbalkar family of Phaltan.
Shivaji’s second wife (according to most sources), hailing from Tukabai’s Mohite family.
Sambhaji (Shambhuji, Shambhu):
Shivaji’s eldest son, born of Saeebai on 14 May 1657.
Shivaji’s Men (The Marathas)
Brahman administrator in Shahaji’s service, the chief manager of his estates in Maharashtra; Shivaji’s guardian during his childhood.
Shyamraj Ranjhekar (Shyamraj punt):
Shivaji’s first Peshwa or Prime Minister; one of the administrators sent with Shivaji and Dadaji Konddev.
Sono Vishwanath Dabir (Sono punt):
Shivaji’s Dabir or External Affairs Minister. A diplomat originally in Shahaji’s service, was with Shivaji throughout the period described in the book.
Raghunath Ballal Korde (Raghunath punt):
Shivaji’s Sabnis or Paymaster. Moro punt Pingale: Shivaji’s later (probably third) Peshwa, after Shyamraj punt. He remained Peshwa till Shivaji’s death.
Shivaji’s most celebrated Sirnaubat or Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. Netoji was famed as Prati-Shivaji or Shivaji’s mirror image, considered as brave and daring, an expert in guerrilla warfare.
Tanhaji Malusare, Suryaji Malusare, Yesaji Kank, Suryaji Kakade: Shivaji’s earliest mates and his faithful followers till the end. They were sons of local villagers who became trained soldiers.
Jiva Mahala Sakpal:
One of Shivaji’s most trusted men; was with him during the meeting with Afzal Khan.
Baji Prabhu Deshpande:
Previously the Deshpande of Bandal Deshmukh (hereditary chieftain of Hirdas Maval district), Shivaji won him over; he remained thereafter his most faithful adherent and was killed in the terrible battle of Gajapur Pass.
Deshmukh (hereditary chieftain) of Bhor, one of the Maval districts along the eastern face of the Sahyadris; a faithful asherent of Shahaji and Shivaji.
Deshmukh of Mose Khore, one of the twelve Maval regions; another faithful Shahaji adherent.
Shivaji’s most celebrated spy; was involved in the intricate planning of several of Shivaji’s famous battles and missions.
Puntaji Gopinath Bokil:
Diplomat in Shivaji’s service; a highly respected man; he played a stellar role in the politics surrounding the war with Afzal Khan.
Diplomat in Shivaji’s service; Shivaji’s envoy to Siddi Jauhar during the siege of Panhala.
House of Bijapur
7th Sultan of Bijapur (Adilshahi dynasty); ruled for three decades (1627-1656). Bijapur achieved great prosperity and territorial expansion under his rule.
Taj-ul-Mukhadirrat (Badi Begum):
Muhammad Adilshah’s chief consort and eldest queen; ruled as Regent after his death.
Ali Adilshah II:
8th Sultan of Bijapur; ascended the throne at eighteen, in 1656, following Muhammad’s death, amid widespread debate about his lineage and legitimacy.
Became Bijapur’s Vizier on Mustafa Khan’s death.
A pre-eminent noble at the Bijapur court; a die-hard faithful of the throne; known to be a man of immense size and unbelievable brute strength, that Shivaji killed him in a hand-to-hand duel was the most amazing feat of the time.
Maratha nobleman in Adilshah’s service; hereditary chieftain of Mudhol; sworn enemy of Shahaji.
Feudatory Lord of Kurnool district, involved in rebellious acts against Bijapur, leading to a fall from Muhammad Adilshah’s favour; later forgiven and recalled to service to head the campaign against Shivaji.
Jauhar’s son-in-law; was with him during the siege of Panhala.
Bijapuri court noble; first to lead a military expedition against Shivaji.
Afzal Khan’s administrator during his campaign against Shivaji.
Kashi Timaji Deshpande:
Siddi Jauhar’s administrator during his campaign against Shivaji.
Sixth Mughal Emperor of Hindustan, son of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal; earlier Mughal Viceroy of the Deccan; defeated and killed his brothers in a long protracted war of succession.
Shah Jahan’s eldest son and Crown Prince.
A pre-eminent noble at the Mughal court; Aurangzeb’s uncle and firm partisan long before his accession to the throne.
Brother of Tukabai (Shahaji’s second wife); appointed by Shahaji as Governor of Supe district (part of Shahaji’s jagir).
Feudatory Lord of Jawli district with nominal allegiance to Bijapur; steadfastly rejected Shivaji’s offer to join him.
Chandrarao More’s chief administrator.
Feudatory Lord of Hirdas Maval district; Following its annexation by Shivaji, the Bandals became his firm adherents.