The Marava War of Succession
In the year 1720, a war of succession broke out in the Marava Kingdom. With the death of Vijaya Raghunatha, the adopted son of Raja Kilavan, a war of succession broke out between two other sons of Kilavan namely Bhavani Shankar and Tanda Teva. It was seen that Serfoji I supported the cause of Bhavani Shankar and placed him on the throne. But the promise to cede all lands north of the Pambar River to Thanjavur was not fulfilled by Bhavani Shankar. As a result Thanjavur switched sides and began to support another pretender. The army of Marava suffered a huge defeat at the hands of Serfoji I. Thereafter, the country was conquered by Serfoji I and Bhavani Shankar was deposed. Thus the country was divided into three parts: one part was annexed by Thanjavur while the Zamindaris of Sivaganga and Ramnad were created out of the other two.
Literature During Rule of Serfoji I
The entire rule of Serfoji I was popular for the literary works of immense significance. A Tamil manuscript in the Tanjore library, Advaita Kirtana, speaks of a breach in the Cauvery dam and refusal of the Madurai Nayak to allow this repair. Famine and drought followed and thereafter the much needed repair works were carried on. There is actually a Sanskrit Language manuscript called Sarabhoji Charitra that praises the king for fighting with those who came to cut off the Cauvery dam. The reference here has to be traced to the happening in the Marava war of succession.
Serfoji I is often presented as a moral, dutiful and charitable monarch. He endowed Brahmanas with Agraharams like Mangamatam in Tiruverkadu and Sarabhojirajapuram in Tirukkadaiyur. Vidyaparinaya written by Vedakavi was enacted in the festival of the Goddess Anandavalli in Thanjavur. It speaks of the marriage of the individual soul with Vidya. Sarabharaja Vilasa and Ratinamanmatha were written by Jagannatha son of a minister of Ekoji. Sivabharata, a Sanskrit manuscript deals with the ancestry and achievements of Shivaji. It was translated into Tamil language as Sivajicharitram.
Succession of Serfoji I
Serfoji I did not have a legitimate male offspring of his own. However, after his death, a claimant rose in the person of Katturaja who assumed the name Shahuji II and claimed to be an illegitimate offspring of Serfoji II.
Death of Serfoji I
In the year 1728 as Serfoji I died, one of his queens performed Sati. Thereafter, he was succeeded by his younger brother Tukkoji