In AD 1303, Allauddin Khilji broke the Chittor fort and killed Rawal Ratna Singh. With his death the Rawal branch of the Guhils of Mewar came to an end. Then many Rajput families left Chittor fort and migrated to other parts of the country. Then a Kshatriya prince Sajjan Singh or Sujan Singh of Guhil dynasty left Chittor and went to South India and started living here with his family. He died in South India itself. Some of his descendants started farming to earn their livelihood and some descendants started fighting wars for the rulers of the south. In the fifth generation of Sajjan Singh, there was a brave man named Agrasen, who had two sons - Karan Singh and Shubhakrishna. Bhim Singh, son of Karan Singh, was given the title of Raja Ghorpade by the Sultan of Bahmani kingdom and the jagir of 84 villages in Mudhol. For this reason the descendants of Bhim Singh were called Ghorpade. The descendants of the second son Shubhakrishna were called Bhonsales. Shubhkrishna's grandson, Bapuji became furious. Bapuji Bhonsle's family used to work as a tenant and Pateli in the village of Berul (Ellora). Patel's job was to collect land rent from the farmers and deposit it in the royal treasury. These people were also called Patils in Maharashtra. Bapuji Bhonsle became a Vaikunth resident in AD 1597. Bapuji Bhonsle had two sons named Maloji and Bithoji. Being strong in body, both these brothers got the job of soldiers in the house of Lukaji Yadav or Jadhavarai, the feudal lord of Sindkhed. Jadhavrai was in the service of Nizamshah, the emperor of Ahmednagar, and he also had a lot of closeness with the Nizam. A few days later, Maloji and Bithoji were appointed chief guards of Jadhavarai's palace.
Maloji was married to Deshmukh Bangoji of Paltanpur or Deepabai, sister of Jagpal Rao Nayak Nimbalkar. Maloji did not get any child for a long time. Finally a son was born to Maloji in AD 1594 with the blessings of a Muslim mystic. To express his gratitude to the fakir, the boy was named Shahaji. Shahji was a child of very handsome and impressive face. After some time Maloji got another son who was named Sharifji. Once on the festival of Holi, Maloji took his eldest son Shahaji to Jadhavarai's palace. Many feudatories and friends of Jadhavaraya had come there. Jadhavrai made the handsome boy Shahaji sit beside him with great love. Jadhavarai's daughter Jijabai was sitting there. When everyone was playing Holi, then these two boys also threw color on each other. Seeing this, suddenly it came out of Jadhavarai's mouth that what a beautiful couple they are. He asked his daughter-in-law, will you marry this boy? On hearing this, Maloji was filled with enthusiasm and stood up and said, Hear all of you, Jadhavarai has related his daughter to my son. Jadhavrai was just joking with the children. Therefore, seeing this misadventure of Maloji, he became angry and immediately retaliated and dismissed Maloji and Bithoji from his service.
Excellence of Maloji
Maloji and Bithuji, both brothers got up from there and left Sindkhed the very next day and went to their native village. There he again started farming. One day, Maloji suddenly got rich treasure from somewhere. With that money, he prepared a salaried army of one thousand soldiers and joined the service of Nizamshah, the ruler of Ahmednagar.
Shahji's Struggle and Rise
In AD 1619, Maloji died and all his jagirs went to Shahji. Shahji along with his cousins fought and won many wars against the Mughals for the Nizam of Ahmednagar. In AD 1624, Khurram marched on Ahmednagar with 120,000 soldiers. Adilshah of Bijapur also came to help Khurram with 80,000 soldiers. Both these armies set up camp on the banks of the Mehkar river. At this time Ahmednagar had only 20 thousand soldiers, out of which 10 thousand soldiers were deployed for the security of the city and 10 thousand soldiers were given to Shahji to fight against the Mughals. Shahji's 10 thousand soldiers could not do anything for the Mughals. Nevertheless, Shahaji set up his camp near the river Bhatwari. One night when it rained heavily, Shahji got holes in the huge dam built on the river. The dam broke and its water flowing rapidly towards the Mughals and the Bijapur army. Due to this the Mughal camp was flooded. Shahaji was ready with his soldiers. He became lightning and fell on the enemies. A large number of Mughal soldiers were killed. Shahji captured five great generals of the Mughals alive. Thus, after the victory in the battle of Bhatwari, Shahji's stature became very big in the politics of India. He received the jagirs of Poona and Supa from Ahmednagar.
Shahji's going to the service of Bijapur
After leaving the service of the Mughals, the life of Shahji Bhonsle also became very difficult. Shah Jahan somehow wanted to take Shahji back in his service because Shahji was the real power of Ahmednagar, but Shahji refused. Shah Jahan bribed the Nizam's Wazir Jahan Khan to his side. Where Khan killed the Nizam and his entire family. Even killed two pregnant women of the Nizam family. Shahji did not give up, he declared Murtaza, the son of a close relative of the deceased Nizam, as the Nizam of Ahmednagar and, giving a tough competition to the Mughals, started wandering from one fort after another with "Nizam Murtaza". In AD 1635, Mirza Raja Jai Singh captured 3 thousand men and 8 thousand bulls of Shahji Bhonsle. These oxen were loaded with artillery and gunpowder. To commemorate this massive victory, Jai Singh was allowed a holiday in his kingdom Jaipur for about two years and the Mughal general Khanjaman Mahabat Khan was charged against Shivaji. Mahabat Khan was completely ruined fighting against Shahji and died in AD 1634. In the beginning of AD 1636, Shah Jahan himself came with an army to fight against Ahmednagar. The entire power of the Mughal Empire was thrown against Shahji. Shah Jahan put pressure on Bijapur and Golconda, his armies also against Shahji. Thus Shahaji was surrounded. In the end he was left with only five forts. One day the Mughals kidnapped Murtaza. Shahji had to compromise with the Mughals to save Murtaza's life. Shah Jahan took Murtaza to Delhi and completely abolished the Nizamshahi kingdom of Ahmednagar. Adilshah, the ruler of Bijapur, was greatly impressed by Shahaji's bravery. He sent a proposal to Shahji that Shahji should take the service of Bijapur. Shahji accepted this offer. With permission from Shah Jahan, Adilshah kept Shahaji in the service of Bijapur. Shah Jahan gave this permission to Bijapur on the condition that the jagir should not be given to Shahji. Shahji was appointed commander of 92 thousand sawars on behalf of Bijapur state. He was given a big jagir on the Karnataka side. The jagirs of Poona and Supa also remained with him as before. In those days, the commander of Bijapur, Randulla Khan, was destroying the small Hindu kingdoms standing on the ruins of the Vijayanagara Empire. In these campaigns between AD 1637-40, Shahaji had to support Randulla Khan. By destroying and corrupting these Hindu states, the Shah and Senapati of Bijapur collected immense wealth. From this wealth, the Shah of Bijapur built huge palaces for himself. These include Dad Mahal and Golgumb. In these campaigns, terrible atrocities were committed on the Hindu people, seeing which Shahji's soul used to humiliate. After some time, Shahji took this area from the Shah of Bijapur in the form of jagir so that the Hindu subjects could be saved from Muslim atrocities.