Satara (; Modi: ) is a city located in the Satara District of Maharashtra state of India. The town is 2320 ft. above sea-level, near the confluence of the Krishna and its tributary river Venna. The city was the capital of the Maratha empire ruled by the Bhonsle Chhatrapatis, hence one of the historical cities of Maharashtra. This city is the capital of Satara Tehsil, as well as Satara District.
The oldest Dynasty ruling Satara is said to be the Rashtrakutas. The oldest Rashtrakutas are believed to be from ancient Kuntala in the valley of river Krishna. King Manank ruled from 350 - 375 CE. and had built his capital in Maanpur (now Maan in Satara district). The Vakatakas of Vidarbha, another Rashtrakuta rulers were in conflict with Manank. Subsequently, the Rashtrakutas became feudatories to the Chalukyas and came into prominence under Dantidurga around 753 CE.
The empire of Chandragupta II, known as Mahendraditya Kumargupta I, extended as far as Satara district in Deccan when he ruled between 451 and 455 AD. The Mauryan empire in the Deccan was followed by the rule of Satavahans for about two centuries between 550 and 750 AD.
The first Muslim invasion of the Deccan took place in 1296. In 1636 the Nizam Shahi dynasty came to an end. In 1663 Shivaji conquered Parali & Satara fort. After the death of Shivaji, Aurangzeb's son Muhammad Azam Shah conquered Satara fort (Ajinkyatara) after a 6 month siege, later won by Parshuram Pratinidhi in 1706. In 1708 Chattrapati Shahu, the son of Chhatrapati Sambhaji, was crowned on the Satara fort. The direct descendents of Raja Shivaji continue to live in Satara. The current king of Satara, Udayanraje Bhonsle is the 13th descendent of Shivaji Maharaj.
After their victory in the Third Anglo-Maratha War in 1818, the British Empire annexed most of the Maratha territory to Bombay Presidency, but restored the titular Raja Pratap Singh, and assigned to him the principality of Satara, an area much larger than the present district. As a result of political intrigues, he was deposed in 1839, and his brother Shahji Raja was placed on the . This prince died without any male heirs, and as a result Satara was eventually annexed by the British government, and added to Bombay Presidency.
In 1930 several young leaders Yashwantrao Chavan, Dhulappa Navale, Swami Ramanand Bharti, V.S. Page & Gaurihar Sihasane took part in the Civil Disobedience Movement led by Mahatma Gandhi. In 1940 individual sathyagraha was limited, symbolic & non-violent in nature & it was let to Mahatma Ghandhi to choose the satyagrahis. Acharya Vinoba Bhave was the first individual satyagrahi of Mahatma Gandhi & in Satara District region Dhulappa Bhaurao Navale was the first individual satyagrahi.He made his satyagraha in Bhilawadi.
During the independence struggle, a type of Parallel Government known as Prati Sarkar came into existence. The people of Satara, under the leadership of Krantisinha Nana Patil, ousted the British officials and took power into their hands. During Quit India Movementof 1942, this parallel government replaced British government for 4.5 years from August 1943 to May 1946. Similar ousters of British power in other areas, led to the formation of similar Parallel Governments in Midnapore in West Bengal and Purnia in Uttar Pradesh. Such was the efficiency and power of these Parallel Governments that for nearly 4.5 years, the British did not even try to capture these areas, fearing defeat; which shows the popular nature of these governments.