The Bhonsle Dynasty


Ranoji Lokhende, adopted son of Shivaji III Chhatrapati Maharaj, Raja of Satara, founded the state of Akalkot in 1708. Taking the name Fatehsinh Bhonsle, he was raised to the dignity of Raja and granted Akalkot and several other jagirs yielding revenues of 35 lakhs of rupees p.a. Fatehsinh died without male issue but adopted the son of his natural brother as his son and successor. Shahaji and his successors ruled the principality as vassals of the Rajas of Satara until that state "lapsed" 1848. Thereafter, Akalkot along with other vassal states of Satara became a direct tributary state of the government of Bombay. The state acceded to the Dominion of India in 1947 and was absorbed into the state of Bombay. The last Raja died in 1965 leaving an only son by his second and morganatic wife, and two daughters by his first wife. In the, now familiar traditions of Indian noble families, a long running legal dispute over his property has ensued ever since. What remains of the family wealth and possessions, slowly frittered away on expensive lawyers and court fees. The headship of the family is equally unclear. The history of this small state was altogether uneventful.


The ruling prince:
Meherban Shrimant Raja (personal name) (father's name) Raje Bhonsle, Raja of Akalkot.
The consort of the ruling prince: Shrimant Akhand Soubhagyavati Rani (personal name) Raje Bhonsle.
The sons of the ruling prince, and other male descendants, in the male line: Meherban Shrimant (personal name) (father's name) Raje Bhonsle.
The daughters of the ruling prince, and other female descendants in the male line (before marriage): Shrimant (personal name)bai Raje Bhonsle.
The daughters of the ruling prince, and other female descendants in the male line (after marriage): Shrimant Akhand Soubhagyavati (personal name)bai Raje (husband's family name).


Male primogeniture, with the right of adoption by the recognised head of the family on the failure of natural male heirs.

Administration Report of the Akalkot State. 1874/75-1884/85, 1889/90-1897/98, 1909/10-1927/28, 1929/30-1943/44.
IOR/V/10. India Office Collection, The British Library, St Pancras, London.
Waman P. Kabadi (ed.), Indian Who's Who 1937-38.Yeshanand & Co., Bombay, 1937.

List of Ruling Princes and Chiefs in Political Relations with the Government of Bombay and their Leading Officials, Nobles and Personages. Government of India Central Publication Branch, Calcutta, 1931.
A.N. Pradhan. Monograph on Akalkot State, with illustrations. Privately published by the author, Akalkot, 1929.

Abhijit Malwade, Mumbai, India.
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Copyright© Christopher Buyers, August 2001 - February 2010