Name: Chhatrapati Rajarshri Shahu Maharaj.
Date of birth: June 26th 1874
Place: Kagal, Lakshmivilas Palace, Kolhapur
Original Name: Yashwant,
Father: Jayshingrap(Abasaheb) Ghatge,
Mother: Smt. Radhbaisaheb,
Wife: Smt. Lakshmibaisaheb
Death: May 6th 1922 Mumbai.
Education: The Rajkumar College, Rajkot under the guidance of Principal McNoton. (1885-1889),
Chhatrapati Rajarshree Shahu Maharaj
Rajarshree Shahu Maharaj was born on June 26 1874, in the Ghatge family of Kagal village in Kolhapur district.
After the death of King 4th Shivaji Maharaj There was no hair to the Kolhapur institute, Therefore his wife Anandi Bai saaheb adopted Yashwant Jaising Ghatge from Ghatge family on 17 March 1894. And renamed as Shahu Maharaj.
Maharaj’s education took place at Rajkot and Dharwad. Arrangements were made in the palace for his higher education.
The responsibility was given to a british officer Sir Stuart Fraser.
During 1889 to 1893 he studied English, World history and polity.
He became the King of Kolhapur at the age of 20 (2nd April 1894) by coronation.
After that he ruled Kolhapur for rest of his life (For 28 years ) .
Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj was married in 1891 to Lakshmibai, daughter of Krishnarao Khanvilkar, Maratha chief of Baroda.
He was the greatest king of that time. Maharaja Of Kolhapur. His personality was very attractive he had solid body yet he was simple and ground to earth king.
Shahu Maharaj was so close to his fellow peoples. He was influenced by the two grate freedom fighters mahatma jotiba fule and Agarkar .
He was not only king he was a social reformer.
In his work the influence of modernity and foresight is always seen. From the coronation to the present state of affairs and social affairs, Maharaj made many bold decisions, and brought them too.
Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj provided free education for boys and girls in all Bahujan communities. For this, he built a large number of elementary schools, high schools, colleges and hostels.
Shahu Maharaj offered scholarships to the needy and intelligent students from the backward castes so that they could continue their education. He made primary education compulsory and free for all in his Princely State.
He had imposed a fine of Rs 1 on parents who did not send their children to school.
Maharaj also worked towards betterment of the condition of women in his empire.
He established schools to educate women, and also spoke vociferously on the topic of women’s education.
Maharaj legalized widow remarriages in 1917 and made efforts towards stopping child marriages.
Maharaja approved Inter-state Marrage Act in 1919.
He loved wrestling. He encouraged wrestling in Kolhapur and that is why you see now a day most popular wrestlers are from Kolhapur.
People come to Kolhapur to learn wrestling. This is all because chhatrapati shahu maharaj.
Maharaj established Motibagh Taleem in year 1875. Not only that, he also established a huge wrestling ground like Khasbagh Maidan in 1912.
In recognition of importance art, Maharaja build Keshavrao Bhosale Theater in 1912. And Founded a Gayan Samaj Deol Club.
Built Radhanagari Dam
He resolved to construct Radhanagari Dam for farmers’ questions, irrigation of agriculture, drinking water, electricity generation.
In 1909 the work of the dam began. By 1918, the dam was completed at 40 feet. The dam was completed in 1957.
Development of Kolhapur city
Knowing the spirit of social commitment and foresight, Maharaj has a very important role in bringing the train to Kolhapur.
He started Railway from Miraj to Kolhapur on may 8 th 1888.
During the development of the city of Kolhapur, He also build Panjarpol for wandering animals. At sontali maharaja built large yard for horses.
In kolhapur he developed many markets. A large juggery market is one of them.
He transformed the look of Rankala lake completely.
At the thirteenth Kshatriya Kurmi convention held in Kanpur, the Maharaja received the honor and title of Rajeshree.
Some of his work
- Started Railway from Miraj to Kolhapur on may 8 th 1888
- In 1893 he published a LAW BOOK for Kolhapur princely
- In 1894 Maharaj demolished the vethbigari Padhat ( forced or slaved labor )
- In 1895 he started Motibag Talim In Kolhapur ( talim is place where people practice wrestling)
- He inaugurated fergusson college. In year 1895
- 6.1896 started hostels for students in kolhapur( probably the first hostel system for students in India)
- He waved farm loan at that time.
- He started reservation for the seat of “ Talathi “ for minorities.
- In 1901 he brought the law against the slaughter of cow.
- Started 50% reservation for the monitories in job.
- Started shahu spinning mill in Kolhapur in 1906. ( 15 lakh investment at that time)
- Stared brach of “satyashodhak samaj” in Kolhapur during 1911.
- 1992 Built khasbagh kusti maidan ( wrestling ground in Kolhapur).
- Started “satyashodhak school” in kolhapur.
- He built Radhanagari Dam (World’s first dam built using soil)
- He made primary education free.
- Brought law for remarriage of widdos in 1917
- In 1918 started “Arya Samaj”
- He chaired the “ Akhil Bhartiya Ashprush parishad “ in delhi in year 1922.
And for the remarkable work he done Maharaja honored with following awards.
- On jan 1st 1895 he was rewarded as CGSI ( Knight Grand Commander) by queen Victoria of England
- For his extraordinary work Cambridge university gave him L.L.D Degree ( Doctor Of Law) in year 1902.
- Queen Victoria also gave him title as “ Maharaja” in year 1900.
- In 1919 During the Khstriya Parishad In Kanpur , Kanpur people gave him title as “ Rajarshri” and from onward he was called Rajarshri Chatrpati Shahu Maharaj.
King Edward 7th Coronation Medol in 1902,
Kinght Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order 1903,
Knight grand Commander Indian Empire 1911,
Delhi Darbar Gold medal 1903, 1911.
He was people’s king. Truly legend.