Important Events of September – 24

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Important Events of September – 24

Birth

Serfoji II

Serfoji II Bhonsle  (September 24, 1777 – March 7, 1832) also spelt as Sarabhoji II Bhonsle, was the last ruler of the Bhonsle dynasty of the Maratha principality of Tanjore to exercise absolute sovereignty over his dominions. His descendants, however, have managed to thrive as titular Maharajahs of Thanjavur to the present day. Serfoji belonged to the Bhonsle clan of Marathasand was descended from Shivaji’s half-brother Venkoji. He ruled Thanjavur from 1798 until his death in 1832.

Birth

Serfoji was born on September 24, 1777 in the royal house of the Maratha king, Chattrapati Shivaji. Raja Thulajah, the king of Thanjavur adopted him as his son on January 23, 1787 by duly performing all of the religious rites. The boy was entrusted to the care of Rev. Christian Freidrich Schwartz, a Danish missionary.

Difficulties faced in early life

Thulajah died soon afterwards and his half-brother Amar Singh who had earlier been appointed regent to the boy-king usurped the throne in 1787. Amar Singh denied the young prince the benefits of basic education.

At this juncture, Rev. Schwartz intervened to save the young prince and sent him to Madras where he was educated by Rev. Wilhelm Gericke of the Lutheran Mission. Soon, he became proficient in Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Sanskrit, French, German, Danish, Greek, Dutch and Latin.

Religious tolerance

Serfoji was open-minded and tolerant of other faiths. He liberally funded churches and schools run by Christian missionaries. He was also a patron of Thanjavur Bade Hussein Durgah.

Death

Serfoji II died on the 7 March 1832 after a reign of almost 40 years (His first reign was from 1787 to 1793 and his second reign was from 1798 to 1832). His death was mourned throughout the empire and his funeral procession was attended by over 90,000 people.

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