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Rajmata Jijau {राजमाता जिजाऊ}
Shivaji jijamata.JPG
A statue of Rajmata Jijabai and young Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
Born Jijabai
(1598-01-12)12 January 1598
Jijau Mahal, Sindkhed Raja, Buldhana, Maharashtra, India
Died (1674-06-17)17 June 1674
Nationality Indian
Other names Jijamata, Rajmata, Jijabai
Known for Rajmata
Spouse(s) Shahaji Bhosale
Children Sambaji Shahaji Bhosale Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
Parent(s) Lakhojirao Jadhav, Mahalasabai

Jijabai Shahaji Bhosale आदरणीय राजमाता जिजाबाई शहाजीराजे भोसले (12 January 1598 – 17 June 1674), sometimes referred to as Rajmata Jijabai or even simply Jijai, Jijau was the mother of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, founder of Maratha Empire. She is daughter of Lakhuji Jadhavrao of Sindhkhed, a Mughal-aligned sardar claiming descent from a Yadav royal family of Devagiri.


Jijabai was born on 12 January 1598, as the daughter of Lakhojirao Jadhav of Deulgaon, near Sindkhed, in present-day Buldhana district of Maharastra. Her mother's name was Mhalsabai. Jijabai was married at an early age to Shahaji Bhosle, son of Maloji Bhonsle of Verul village, a military commander serving under the Adil Shahi sultans ...........

Jijabai's father-in-law, Maloji Bhosle, had begun his career as a shilledar serving under the command of her father, Lakhojirao Jadhav. Her natal family the Jadhav family was of relatively high standing in the region, whereas her husband's family were just raising into importance newly and according to some accounts, they had risen from the ranks of the Kunbi caste of cultivators.

Jijabai bore Shahaji as many as eight children, six daughters and two sons. All the daughters died in infancy[citation needed] and only the two sons, Sambhaji and Shivaji, reached adulthood. In 1630, three years after Shivaji's birth, Jijabai received a co-wife into her household after Shahaji married Tukabai, daughter of Sardar Bajirao Mohite Pongwadikar of Bijapur, who was Shahaji's close friend and, like him, also a commander serving the sultan of Bijapur. By this time, Shahaji had achieved a certain status and importance as a commander and his new wife came from a friendly family with no hang-ups about status or background. She was also much younger than him, and Shahaji could patronize and indulge her without being made to feel inadequate. He found acceptance and comfort in his second wife and developed a close rapport with her. Within a few years, Shahaji separated his household, granting his estates located near Pune to Shivaji. Jijabai and her younger son Shivaji then moved to these estates near Pune, while her elder son Sambhaji remained with Shahaji because he was the elder son and heir to his father. Shahaji remained in Karnataka with his second wife Tukabai, her growing family and Sambhaji, his eldest son(born of Jijabai). Jijamata died on 17 June 1674 Jija mata was lived in sindkhed raja near jalna district

On Mission

She wholeheartedly supported her husband's cause. Shahaji had tried to establish a state on the ruins of the erstwhile Nizamshahi sultanate. However, he was defeated by the combined forces of Mughals and Adilshahi. Later, Shahaji became a sardar in Adilshah's army, although he did not really want to, looking forward to the day when he would be able to fight against the Mughal invaders. He settled in Karnataka and got married again. As per the treaty, he was forced to move south. In order to continue the struggle, he deputed her as queen regent.

The elder son Sambhaji remained with his father. Shivaji left Bangalore along with his mother, a council of ministers and chosen military commanders. When they arrived in Pune, it was full of jungles and wild beasts. She encouraged cultivators to settle. She renovated the Kasaba Ganapati temple. A red sandstone palace of moderate size known as Lal Mahal was also built. She gave a number of decisions in legal and administrative matter known as majhars.

Jijabai was a very pious and intelligent woman with great vision for independent kingdom. She inspired Shivaji by telling stories from Ramayana, Mahabharata and Balaraja. Inspired by her, Shivaji took the Oath of Independence(SWARAJYA) in the fort temple of Lord Raireshwar in 1645 when he was 15. In Shivaji's impeccable, spotless character and courage, Jijabai's contribution is enormous.

Jijabai's elder son Sambhaji was killed while on a military expedition in Karnataka by Afzal Khan. Shivaji Raje avenged Sambhaji Raje's death by killing Afzal Khan. When Shahaji Raje died, Jijabai wanted to commit sati - burning oneself in the husband's pyre, but Shivaji Raje stopped her from doing so by his request. Jijabai is widely credited with raising Shivaji in a manner that led to his future greatness. She died soon after coronation of Shivaji on 17 June 1674. Shivaji was heartbroken by her death.

Cultural legacy

  • Today especially in Maharashtra, she is regarded as an ideal mother. Her upbringing of Shivaji is a subject of folklore.
  • The 2011 film Rajmata Jijau is a biography of Jijabai.

See also


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