Kolhapur princely state was bounded on the north side by Varna River which also separated Satara state. Kistna River marked the north-eastern border which separated the state from Sangali, Miraj and Kurandvad. The south side of the state is adjacent to Belgaon and the west side touches Sawantwari and Ratnagiri. It was dominated by Marathas and came under the Deccan Division of Bombay Presidency. Later, its name was changed to the Deccan States Agency during British India. This state was entitled to 19-gun salutes. The flag of the state had a swallow-tailed orange pennant.

The Maharajas of Kolhapur and Satara had a common ancestry, Bhonsle. The existence of Kolhapur and Satara states was due to the conflict over Maratha kinship in 1707.

Shivaji II was the son of Rajaram and Tarabai. After the death of his father, he was ascended to the throne and his mother was made regent. His cousin, Shahu who was released from Mughal’s clutches challenged Tarabai to become the next Chhatrapati. Rajasbai instigated a coup against Tarabai and placed her own son, Sambhaji II on the throne. He signed a treaty with Nizam to snatch the Maratha Kingdom from his cousin, Shahu. The treaty of Warna brought the end to internal conflicts. This treaty recognised the boundaries of Sambhaji from Krishna River to Tungabhadra River. He was succeeded by Shivaji III with Jijibai as a regent. He ruled from 22nd September 1762 to 24th April 1813.

Next successors of less importance were Sambhaji III, Shivaji IV and Shahji. Next successor was Shivaji V who ruled from 1838 to 1866 and received a salute of 19 guns. The next Chhatrapati, Rajaram II was the first one from his family who went abroad. He died at the age of 20 at Florence, Italy and was cremated at the bank of Arno River. He was succeeded by Shivaji VI. He was honoured with the sword of Edward VII, received the title of Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India (KCSI) at the age of 13 and was the youngest honoured ever. Shahu I was born to Jaishinghrao Ghatge and Radhabai. He was adopted by the widow Anadibai who was wife of Shivaji VI.

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