Shahji Bhonsle (also Shahji Raje Bhonsle, Shahaji Raje Bhonsle) was the father of Shivaji Maharaj. He was the first to raise the prestige of Bhonsle family ( to which Shivaji Maharaj belongs) to acquire military distinction. Shahji acquired practical experience of war under his father Maloji and Malik Ambar.
It was in course of the wards of Malik Ambar that Shahji learnt how a small force could exploit local topography to inflict defeats on much larger armies by the use of guerilla tactics. Shahji remained loyal to the states of the Deccan and fought against the Mughals on the side of Malik Ambar.
Shahji now settled down with a number of Maharashtrian Brahmins and Marathas in this jagir and acquired great fame and renown not only as a capable administrator but also as a patron of arts and letters.