Cast of Primary Characters

Shivaji’s Family

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’.

Shahaji Bhosale:

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.

Saee (Saeebai):

Shivaji’s first wife and chief consort till her death; from the Nimbalkar family of Phaltan.

Soyara (Soyarabai):

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)

Dadaji Konddev:

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.

Netoji Palkar:

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.

Kanhoji Jedhe:

Deshmukh (hereditary chieftain) of Bhor, one of the Maval districts along the eastern face of the Sahyadris; a faithful asherent of Shahaji and Shivaji.

Baji Pasalkar:

Deshmukh of Mose Khore, one of the twelve Maval regions; another faithful Shahaji adherent.

Bahirji Naik:

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.

Gangadhar punt:

Diplomat in Shivaji’s service; Shivaji’s envoy to Siddi Jauhar during the siege of Panhala.


House of Bijapur

 Muhammad Adilshah:

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.

Khan Muhammad:

Became Bijapur’s Vizier on Mustafa Khan’s death.

Afzal Khan:

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.

Baji Ghorpade:

Maratha nobleman in Adilshah’s service; hereditary chieftain of Mudhol; sworn enemy of Shahaji.

Siddi Jauhar:

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.

Siddi Masud:

Jauhar’s son-in-law; was with him during the siege of Panhala.

Fateh Khan:

Bijapuri court noble; first to lead a military expedition against Shivaji.

Krishnaji Bhaskar:

Afzal Khan’s administrator during his campaign against Shivaji.

Kashi Timaji Deshpande:

Siddi Jauhar’s administrator during his campaign against Shivaji.


The Mughals



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.

Dara Shukoh:

Shah Jahan’s eldest son and Crown Prince.

Shaista Khan:

A pre-eminent noble at the Mughal court; Aurangzeb’s uncle and firm partisan long before his accession to the throne.



Sambhaji Mohite:

Brother of Tukabai (Shahaji’s second wife); appointed by Shahaji as Governor of Supe district (part of Shahaji’s jagir).

Chandrarao More:

Feudatory Lord of Jawli district with nominal allegiance to Bijapur; steadfastly rejected Shivaji’s offer to join him.

Hanumantrao More:

Chandrarao More’s chief administrator.

Krishnaji Bandal:

Feudatory Lord of Hirdas Maval district; Following its annexation by Shivaji, the Bandals became his firm adherents.