The Bhonsle (or Bhonsale, Bhosale, Bhosle) are a prominent warrior clan within the Maratha clan system who served as rulers of several states in India. Bhonsles claim their origin from Suryavanshi Sisodia Rajputs.
The most prominent member of the royal clan was Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha Empire. His successors ruled as maharajas from their capital at Satara, although de facto rule of the empire passed to the Peshwas, the Maratha hereditary chief ministers, during the reign of Shahu I. In addition to the Bhonsle Maharajas of Satara, rulers of the Bhonsle clan established themselves at Nagpur and Kolhapur in modern-day Maharashtra in the 18th century. The Bhonsle of Thanjavur were descendants of Shivaji's stepbrother Venkoji, while the Bhonsle of Satara and Kolhapur were descended from Shivaji's sons, Sambhaji and Rajaram.
After the British defeat of the Marathas in the Third Anglo-Maratha War in 1818, the Marathas were forced to accept British rule. The four Bhonsle dynasties continued as rulers of their princely states, acknowledging British sovereignty while retaining local autonomy. The states of Nagpur, Thanjavur, and Satara came under direct British rule in the mid-nineteenth century when their rulers died without male heirs. Kolhapur state remained autonomous until India's independence in 1947, when the rulers acceded to the Indian government.