Hambirrao Mohite (English: Hambirrao Mohite) was a Kohinoor general of the Maratha Empire. He performed the duty of commander from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to K Sambhaji Maharaj .
Hambirao was a very faithful and loyal commander who wanted to make the dream of Swarajya a reality. He obeyed every order of his ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and thought about the welfare of the subjects.
Introduction to Hambirrao Mohite
|Birth||1 May 1632, Talbid, Satara District, Maharashtra|
|sissy||Soyarabai and Annubai|
|brother in law||Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj|
|cause of fame||commander of the maratha empire|
|retired||in the Maratha Empire|
|death||16 December 1687, Wai, Maharashtra|
Hambirao Mohite was born on 1 May 1632 in Talbid, present-day Satara district, Maharashtra. His father Sambhaji Mohite was a loyal main hero.
Hambirao had 2 brothers and 2 sisters. His brothers were Harif Rao and Shankarji and his sisters were Soyarabai and Annubai. Mohite had adopted all the qualities of his father Sambhaji Mohite. He also became a loyal chief hero and performed the duty of commander of the Maratha Empire.
His daughter’s name was Tarabai who was married to Rajaram , the younger son of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj . Mohite’s grandson was Shivaji II .
Hambirrao Mohite’s sister Soyrabai was married to Shivaji Maharaj. His other sister Annubai was married to Shivaji Maharaj’s half-brother, Venkoji.
The son of Sambhaji Mohite is Hansaji alias Hambirrao Mohite.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj gave Hansaji Mohite the book Hambirrao and appointed him as the Commander-in-Chief of his army. Prataprao Gujar died while fighting Bahlolkhana on 24th February 1674 and Hambirrao was appointed in his place.
Maharaj’s second wife Soyarabai was the niece of Hambirrao Mohiti. Maharani Tarabai, the daughter of Hambir Rao, was the wife of Rajaram Maharaj.
When it was learned that Prataprao had fallen, Hambirrao launched a fierce attack on Adilshahi’s army.
After the coronation, Shivaji Maharaj ordered Hambirrao to attack the camp of Mughal subhedars Diler Khan and Bahadur Khan. By successfully conducting this invasion, they invaded the region of Khandesh, Baglan, Gujarat, Barhanpur, Varhad, Mahud and Varkad of the Mughals. After this (in the year 1676) Sarsenapati Hambirrao defeated the Adilshahi Pathani Sardar Hussain Khan Miyana of Koppal in Karnataka at Yelburga and liberated the ryots from his tyranny. The description of the maximum of Sarsenapati Hambirrao’s sword has come from Bakhari. (There is a similar sword in the temple of Bhavani Mata at Pratapgad. It has six chars on it. The letter ‘Kanhoji Mohite Hambirrao’ is engraved in gold on this sword.
After capturing Hussain Khan, the warriors Dhanaji Jadhav and Sarsenapati Hambirrao Mohite met Shivaji at Bhaganagar in Govalkonda. After this, Maharaj wanted to establish good relations with his brother Vyankoji Raje through sympathy. However, Vyankoji’s visit was not successful. Later, Maharaj took over the campaign in Karnataka and came to Maharashtra. Hambirrao, however, later came to Maharashtra in the year 1678. After that, Maharaj married his youngest son Rajaram Maharaj’s daughter Pratapi Gujar to Janakibai. Chhatrapati Shivaji died just ten to twelve days later. At this time Hambirrao was camping in Karhad area.
After the death of Khambir Mama Hambir Shivaji Maharaj with the backing of Shambhu Raje, on hearing the news that Sambhaji Raje had ascended the stage without placing Sambhaji Raje on the post of Chhatrapati, Sambhaji Raja ordered all his forts and powers to be restored to their feet. This order was also received by Sarsenapati Hambirrao. Hambirrao decided to serve the Sambhaji kings.
After the coronation of Sambhaji Raje, according to his order, Hambir Rao showed his prowess on various fronts, of which the huge loot he got in the victory of Barhanpur is important. This victory shocked the Mughals. After that, the invasion of Hambir Rao on the Mughal Sardar Shahabuddin Khan alias Ghaziuddin Khan Bahadur is important. While Khan Ramses was besieging the fort, Hambirrao attacked him and showed his prowess. Hambirrao was wounded during the siege. After this, on the orders of Sambhaji Raja, Hambirrao made a successful attempt to oust Mughal Sardar Kulichkhan from the area of Bhima river and Prince Ajjam from the area of Panhala. After that he defeated Rahulullah Khan and Bahadur Khan near Kalyan. In the year 1688, near Raigad, Hambir Rao joined hands with Gajiuddin Khan in a battle which caused great loss to the Marathas. In the later period, along with Sambhaji Raje himself, Hambir Rao was heavily involved in many campaigns. The last battle of Sarsenapati Hambirrao took place near Vai. In this battle, the Mughal chief Sarjakhana was defeated, but Hambir Rao was shot and killed.
Hambirrao Mohite in the Battle of Koppal
During the time of Hambirrao Mohite, two generals of Adilshah Abdul Rahim Khan Mian and his brother Hussain Mian ruled in the Koppal state of Karnataka.
Both the brothers were very merciless people. He used to treat the farmers very cruelly. They used to collect full tax from the farmers even when there was no crop in the state and there was a famine.
Poor farmers used to beg in front of him, but he did not listen to anyone. Both of them had created panic there.
So the farmers of Koppal province complained about it to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj . Shivaji Maharaj sent his general Hambirao there to solve their problem.
On January 1677, the army of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj fought against the army of Adil Shah under the leadership of Hambirrao Mohite. Mohite and Dhanaji Jadhav showed great valor. His army destroyed more than half of Adilshah’s army there. They put Abdul Rahim Khan to death and took Hussain Khan as a prisoner.
Hambir Rao’s Battle Against Venkoji, Shivaji’s half-brother Venkoji
After some time Shivaji Maharaj went to Dakshin Digvijaya (South Province). There his half-brother Venkoji refused to share the property of his father Shahaji. After which the war started between Shivaji and Venkoji.
Because Mohite was the commander of Shivaji’s army, he conquered many provinces of Venkoji such as Jagdevgarh, Kaveripattam, Chidambaram and Vriddhachalam etc. Wenkoji became disheartened after losing so many of his provinces.
So Venkoji attacked Hambirrao on 6 November 1677. At that time Shivaji was not as active in the battle field due to his family concerns. Seeing the circumstances, it seemed that Mohite would be defeated in this war.
But Mohite attacked Venkoji’s army with great speed and defeated them. After about 2 months this war ended.
Battle between Hambir Rao and Venkoji
Hambirrao had two sisters, Soyarabai married Shivaji and the Annubai married Venkoji (step-brother of Shivaji). When Shivaji came to Karnataka to Dakshin Digvijay (South conquest). When Venkoji (Ekoji) refuses to share father’s property with Shivaji then war starts between them and then Hambirrao won major provinces of Venkoji such as Jagdevagad, Kaveripattam, Chidambaram, and Vriddhachalam. Venkoji was very upset that Shivaji captured his states. On 6 November 1677, the battle started in Venkoji and Hambirrao. Venkoji won in battle, but later Hambirrao suddenly attacked Venkoji’s army and won the defeated battle. After two months Shivaji’s intervention ended the fight.
Hambirrao won the important fort of Vellore on 22 July 1678 from Adilshahi general Abdullakhan.
Contribution of Hambirrao in Coronation of Sambhaji
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj died on 3 April 1680. After his death the question of the successor to the Maratha rule arose. His wife Soyarabai (Hambirao’s sister) put her 10-year-old son Rajaram on the throne.
Sambhaji Maharaj was the eldest son of Shivaji Maharaj. Being an adult, he could become the heir to the Maratha Empire according to the then customs. Sambhaji was living in another fort at the time of his father’s death. As soon as Sambhaji Maharaj came to know about this, he thought of removing Rajaram and occupying the throne of the Maratha Empire.
Actually Rajaram was the nephew of Hambirao Mohite. Many anti-national ministers also joined Rajaram. They had taken Sambhaji captive. Hambirao freed K Sambhaji Maharaj by making all those ministers captive and later got his coronation done.
Attack on Burhanpur Fort
At that time Burhanpur used to connect North and South India by trade route. Probably many Portuguese people also lived in Burhanpur. The Mughal area-general there had created terror against the local people.
Those local people sought help from Sambhaji Maharaj. On 30 January 1681 Sambhaji Maharaj and his general Hambirrao Mohite attacked Burhanpur. At that time the Subedar of Burhanpur was Khan Jahan and there were only two 200 soldiers in the fort.
But there were 20,000 soldiers in the army of Sambhaji and Hambirrao Mohite. There was no strength in front of the Mughals to stop such a large army. Maratha soldiers looted all the Mughal trading centers of Burhanpur and within 3 days got goods worth more than one crore rupees from there.
Death of Hambirrao Mohite
In 1686, the war of Wai took place between the Mughals and the Marathas . This battle took place in the province of Wai, due to which it is known as the “Wai of Wai”. In this war, the Maratha ruler Sambhaji had sent his general, Hambir Rao, and Sarja Khan was on the side of the Mughals.
Hambirao intelligently led the Mughals from the area of Wai to the hills. There they were defeated and the Marathas were victorious.
Unfortunately, on 16 December 1687, a cannonball fell on Hambirrao Mohite in the battle of this Wai, due to which he died. At that time Hambirao’s age was only 57 years.
Marathas were victorious in this war. But, even after their victory, the Marathas lost one of their prized diamonds ‘Hambirao Mohite’ forever.
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