|Predecessor Chhatrapati Shahu|
Father Shivaji II
Died 11 December 1777, Satara
Parents Shahu I, Shivaji II
|Successor Shahu II of Satara|
House Raghoji I Bhonsle
Children Shahu II of Satara
|Reign December 15, 1749 - December 11, 1777|
Grandparents Rajaram Chhatrapati, Sambhaji Bhosale, Tarabai, Yesubai
Similar Rajaram Chhatrapati, Shahu I, Tarabai, Shivaji, Sambhaji Bhosale
Rajaram II Bhonsle, also known as Ramaraja, was the 6th monarch of Maratha Empire. He was an adopted son of Chhattrapati Shahu. Tarabai had presented him to Shahu as her own grandson and used him to grab power after Shahu's death. However, after being sidelined, she stated that Rajaram II was only an imposter. Nevertheless, Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao retained him as the titular Chhatrapati. In reality, Peshwa and other chiefs had all the executive power, while Rajaram II was only a figurehead.
In the 1740s, during the last years of Shahu's life, Tarabai brought Rajaram II to him. She presented the child as her grandson, and therefore, as a direct descendant of Shivaji through her husband Rajaram Chhatrapati. She claimed that he had been concealed after his birth for his protection and had been raised by the wife of a Rajput soldier. Consequently, Shahu adopted him as a child.
After Shahu's death, Rajaram II was appointed as the new Chhatrapati, the king of Marathas. When Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao left for the Mughal frontier, Tarabai urged Rajaram II to remove him from the post of Peshwa. When Rajaram refused, she imprisoned him in a dungeon at Satara, on November 24, 1750. She claimed that he was an imposter from Gondhali caste and she had falsely presented him as her grandson to Shahu. His health deteriorated considerably during this imprisonment. Tarabai later signed a peace treaty with the Peshwa, acknowledging his superiority. On September 14, 1752, Tarabai and the Peshwa took an oath at Khandoba temple in Jejuri, promising mutual peace. At this oath ceremony, Tarabai also swore that Rajaram II was not her grandson, but an imposter from the Gondhali caste. Nevertheless, the Peshwa retained Rajaram II as the titular Chhhatrapati and a powerless figurehead.
During Rajaram II's reign, the power of the Chhatrapati based in Satara was almost totally overshadowed by his hereditary Peshwas belonging to the Bhat family in Pune and other commanders of the empire such as the Holkars, Gaekwad, Scindia and Bhonsale(Nagpur). During this period, the Marathas were engaged in a continual conflict with the Durrani Empire based in Afghanistan. He was succeeded by another adopted titular ruler Shahu II of Satara.