Tarabai: Saving the Maratha Empire
There are few characters in history who have saved and revived an empire by sheer force, grit and will. Rarely remembered, and often eclipsed by the other Maratha greats, Queen Tarabai, Chhatrapati Shivaji’s younger daughter-in-law, deserves more than just a mention. Tarabai was instrumental in saving the Maratha empire from collapse. And she continued to fight, till the end, ensuring that the Maratha flag flew proud in Gingee, the last bastion of the Marathas in the south.
Tarabai was born in 1675 CE to Hambirrao Mohite, the famous commander-in-chief of the Maratha army. At an early age of 8, she was married off to Shivaji’s younger son Rajaram. Life was tough with the Mughals waging war. Tarabai’s brother-in-law and Shivaji’s heir, Chhatrapati Sambhaji was captured and killed by Aurangzeb in 1689 CE, following which her husband Rajaram became the King or Chhatrapati.