Maratha empire
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The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was a power that dominated a large portion of the Indian subcontinent in the 18th century. The empire formally existed from 1674 with the coronation of
Shivaji Shivaji Bhonsale I (; c. 1627/February 19, 1630 – April 3, 1680) was an Indian ruler and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan. Shivaji carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that formed the genesis of the Mar ...
as the
Chhatrapati Chhatrapati was a royal title from the Indian subcontinent that was mainly used by the Maratha Empire, Hindu Marathas. It is often taken to be the equivalent of emperor. The word ‘Chhatrapati’ is a Sanskrit language compound word (tatpurusha i ...
and ended in 1818 with the defeat of ''
Peshwa The Peshwa was the appointed (and later hereditary) Prime Minister of the Maratha Empire of the Indian subcontinent. Originally, the Peshwas served as subordinates to the Chhatrapati (the Maratha king); later, under the Bhat family, they became t ...
''
Bajirao II Shrimant Peshwa Baji Rao II (10 January 1775 – 28 January 1851) was the 13th and the last Peshwa of the Maratha Empire The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was a power that dominated a large portion of the Indian subcontinent ...
at the hands of the
British East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after Acts of Union 1707, 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known ...
. The
Marathas The Maratha caste are a Marathi clan originally formed in the earlier centuries from the amalgamation of families from the peasant (Kunbi), shepherd ( Dhangar), pastoral (Gavli, Gawli), blacksmith (Lohar), Sutar (carpenter), Bhandari caste, Bh ...
are credited for ending Mughal Rule over most of the Indian subcontinent. The Marathas were a
Marathi Marathi may refer to: *Marathi people, an Indo-Aryan ethno-linguistic group of Maharashtra, India *Marathi language, the Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people *Palaiosouda, also known as Marathi, a small island in Greece See also

...
-speaking warrior group from the western Deccan Plateau (present-day
Maharashtra Maharashtra (; , abbr. MH or Maha, is a states and union territories of India, state in the western and central peninsular region of India occupying a substantial portion of the Deccan Plateau. Maharashtra is the List of states and union territo ...

Maharashtra
) who rose to prominence by establishing a
Hindavi SwarajyaHindavi Swarajya (हिन्दवी स्वराज्य; IPA: ''Hindavī Svarājya'') ("self-rule of Indian people", meaning independence from foreign rule): "Chhatrapati Shivaji's coronation and setting himself up as a sovereign prince sym ...
(meaning "self-rule of Hindu"). The Marathas became prominent in the 17th century under the leadership of
Shivaji Maharaj Shivaji Bhonsale I (; c. 1627/February 19, 1630 – April 3, 1680) was an Indian ruler and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan. Shivaji carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that formed the genesis of the Mar ...

Shivaji Maharaj
, who revolted against the
Adil Shahi dynasty The Adil Shahi or Adilshahi, was a Shia Muslim,Salma Ahmed Farooqui, ''A Comprehensive History of Medieval India: From Twelfth to the Mid-Eighteenth Century'', (Dorling Kindersley Pvt Ltd., 2011), 174. and later Sunni Muslim Sunni Islam ...
, and carved out a kingdom with
Raigad
Raigad
as his capital. His father, Shahji Raje Bhosale had earlier conquered
Thanjavur Thanjavur (Tamil: தஞ்சாவூர்), formerly Tanjore, Pletcher 2010, p. 195 is a city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Thanjavur is an important center of South Indian religion, art, and architecture. Most of the Great Living Chol ...

Thanjavur
which Shivaji's half-brother, Venkoji Rao alias
Ekoji Vyankoji Bhonsle (born 1632) or Ekoji I Bhonsle was the younger half-brother of Shivaji and founder of Maratha rule in Thanjavur. He was the progenitor of the junior branch of the Bhonsle family which ruled Thanjavur until the formal annexation ...
inherited and that Kingdom was known as the
Thanjavur Maratha kingdom The Thanjavur Maratha kingdom of bhonsle dynasty was a principality of Tamil Nadu Tamil Nadu () is a States and union territories of India, state in southern India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost ...
. Known for their mobility, the Marathas were able to consolidate their territory during the
Mughal–Maratha Wars The Mughal–Maratha Wars, also called The Deccan Plateau, Deccan War or The Maratha War of Independence, were fought between the Maratha Empire and the Mughal Empire from 1680 to 1707. This war was begun in 1680 by the Mughal Emperor Aurangze ...
and later controlled a large part of the Indian subcontinent. After the death of
Aurangzeb Muhi-ud-Din Muhammad (3 November 16183 March 1707), commonly known by the sobriquet (Persian language, Persian: "Ornament of the Throne") or by his regnal title (Persian: "Conqueror of the World"), was the sixth Mughal emperor, who ruled ov ...
in 1707,
Shahu
Shahu
, grandson of Shivaji, was released by the Mughals. Following a brief struggle with his aunt
Tarabai Tarabai Bhosale (née Mohite) was the regent of the Maratha Empire The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was a power that dominated a large portion of the Indian subcontinent in the 18th century. The empire formally existed from 1 ...

Tarabai
, Shahu became the ruler with the help of
Balaji Vishwanath ''Balaji Vishwanath Bhat'' (1662–1720), better known as Shrimant Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath, the first of a series of hereditary Peshwas hailing from the Maratha Peshwa and Generals from Bhat Family, Bhat family who gained effective control of the ...
and
Dhanaji Jadhav Dhanaji Jadhav (1650–1708) was a warrior of the Maratha Empire. Along with Santaji Ghorpade he made terrifying campaigns against Mughal Army from 1689 to 1696. After Santaji, Dhanaji became the chief of the Maratha army in 1696 and remained on th ...
. Pleased by his help, Shahu appointed Balaji Vishwanath and later, his descendants, as the ''peshwas'' or prime ministers of the empire. Balaji and his descendants played a key role in the expansion of Maratha rule. The empire at its peak stretched from
Tamil Nadu Tamil Nadu () is a States and union territories of India, state in southern India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian subcontinent and is bordered by the union territory of Puducherry ( ...

Tamil Nadu
in the south, to
Peshawar Peshawar (; ps, پېښور ; hnd, ; ; ur, ) is the capital of the Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and its List of cities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by population, largest city. It is the List of most populous cities in Pakistan, sixt ...
(modern-day
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ( ps, خیبر پښتونخوا; ), often abbreviated as KP or KPK and formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province, is one of the four provinces of Pakistan. It is located in the northwestern region of the country, ...

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
,
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, e ...

Pakistan
) in the north, and
Orissa Odisha (English: , The 'sha' spelling comes about from the historical or Sanskritic letter śa (ଶ), however all Odia sibilants today are realised as sa (ସ). ), formerly Orissa (), is an Indian state located in Eastern India. It is the 8th ...

Orissa
&
western Bengal
western Bengal
up to the
Hooghly River The Hooghly River (''Hugli''; Anglicized alternatively spelled ''Hoogli'' or ''Hugli'') or the Bhāgirathi-Hooghly, originally and in local tongues the 'Ganga', and also called Kati-Ganga, is an approximately distributary of the Ganges River in ...

Hooghly River
, in the east. The Marathas discussed abolishing the Mughal throne and placing Vishwasrao Peshwa on the Mughal imperial throne in
Delhi Delhi (; ''Dillī''; ''Dillī''; ''Dêhlī''), officially the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, is a city and a union territory of India containing New Delhi, the capital of India. * * * Straddling the Yamuna river, but primarily ...
but were not able to do so. In 1761, the
Maratha Army Maratha (or Mahratta) Army refers to the land-based armed forces of the Maratha Empire The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was a power that dominated a large portion of the Indian subcontinent in the 18th century. The empire formal ...
lost the
Third Battle of Panipat The Third Battle of Panipat took place on 14 January 1761 at Panipat, about 97 km (60 miles) north of Delhi Delhi (; ''Dillī''; ''Dillī''; ''Dêhlī''), officially the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, is a city and a un ...
against
Ahmad Shah Abdali Ahmad Shāh Durrānī (c. 1722 – 4 June 1772) ( Pashto: احمد شاه دراني), also known as Ahmad Khān Abdālī (), was the founder of the Durrani Empire The Durrani Empire ( ps, د درانيانو ټولواکمني), also ...
of the Afghan
Durrani Empire The Durrani Empire ( ps, د درانيانو ټولواکمني), also called the Sadozai Kingdom and the Afghan Empire, was an Iranic empire founded and built by Ahmad Shah Abdali in parts of Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia ...
, which halted their imperial expansion into
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto/Dari language, Dari: , Pashto: , Dari: ), officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central Asia, Central and South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the eas ...
. Ten years after Panipat, the young Peshwa
Madhavrao I Shrimant Peshwa Madhavrao Bhat I (February 15, 1745 – November 18, 1772) was the 9th Peshwa The Peshwa was the appointed (and later hereditary) Prime Minister of the Maratha Empire of the Indian subcontinent. Originally, the Peshwas served as ...
's Maratha Resurrection reinstated Maratha authority over
North India North India is a loosely defined region consisting of the northern part of India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second- ...

North India
. In a bid to effectively manage the large empire, Madhavrao gave semi-autonomy to the strongest of the knights, and created a confederacy of Maratha states. These leaders became known as the
GaekwadGaekwad (also spelled as Gaikwar and Gaikwad) (Marathi: Gāyǎkǎvāḍǎ) is a surname native to Indian state of Maharashtra Maharashtra (; , abbr. MH) is a state in the western peninsular region of India India (Hindi: ), officially the ...
s of
Baroda Vadodara, also known as Baroda, is the third-largest city in the Indian state India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by populat ...

Baroda
, the
Holkar The Holkar dynasty was a Maratha The Maratha caste are a Marathi people, Marathi clan originally formed in the earlier centuries from the amalgamation of families from the peasant (Kunbi), shepherd (Dhangar), pastoral (Gavli, Gawli), bla ...
s of
Indore Indore is the most populous and the largest Cities in India, city in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It serves as the headquarters of both Indore District and Indore Division. It is also considered as an education hub of the state and has ...
and
Malwa Malwa is an Indian historical History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study and the documentation of the past. Events before the History of writing#Inventions of writi ...
, the
Scindia Scindia dynasty (anglicized from Shinde and also spelled popularly as Shinde in Maharashtra), is a Hindu Maratha dynasty of Kunbi origin that ruled the erstwhile Gwalior State, State of Gwalior. It had the patel-ship of Kumberkerrab in Wai. It ...
s of
Gwalior Gwalior () is a major city in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh lies at upper Madhya Pradesh and one of the National Capital Region (India)#Counter magnets, Counter-magnet cities. Located south of Delhi, the capital city of India, fro ...
and
Ujjain Ujjain (, Hindustani language, Hindustani pronunciation: Help:IPA/Hindi and Urdu, d͡ːʒɛːn is a city in Ujjain district of the States and territories of India, Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is the fifth-largest city in Madhya Prade ...

Ujjain
, the
Bhonsale The Bhonsle (or Bhonsale, Bhosale, Bhosle, Bhonslà) are a prominent group within the Maratha clan system The Maratha clan system (also referred to as Shahannava Kuli Marathas, 96 Kuli Marathas or 96K) refers to the network of 96 clans of f ...
s of
Nagpur Nagpur is the third largest city and the winter capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the 13th largest city in India by population and according to an Oxford Economics report, Nagpur is projected to be the fifth fastest growing city ...
, the Meheres of
Vidharbha Vidarbha is the north-eastern region of the Indian state of Maharashtra, comprising Nagpur Division and Amravati Division. Amravati division's former name is Berar Province, Berar (Varhad in Marathi language, Marathi). It occupies 31.6% of the tot ...
, the Puars of
Dhar Dhar is a city located in the Malwa region in the west of the state of Madhya Pradesh Madhya Pradesh (, ; meaning ''Central Province'') is a state in central India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a co ...
and
Dewas Dewas is a city in the Malwa region of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The municipality was formerly the seat of two princely states during the British Raj, Dewas Junior state and Dewas Senior state, ruled by the Pawar, Puar clan of the Ma ...
and the
Newalkar Newalkar dynasty were Hindu Karhade Brahmins, who were the Maharajas of Jhansi state, Jhansi from 1769 to 1858. Their family deity was goddess Mahalakshmi. The Newalkars were sardars under Peshwa Madhavrao I, and later became Maharajas of Jhansi ...
s of
Jhansi Jhansi () is a historic city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It lies in the region of Bundelkhand on the banks of the Pahuj River, in the extreme south of Uttar Pradesh. Jhansi is the administrative headquarters of Jhansi district and ...
. In 1775, the
East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Comp ...
intervened in a Peshwa family succession struggle in
Pune Pune (; ) is the seventh most populous city in India and the second-largest city in the state of Maharashtra Maharashtra (; , abbr. MH or Maha, is a states and union territories of India, state in the western and central peninsular region of ...

Pune
, which led to the
First Anglo-Maratha War First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number 1 (number), one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record, specifically the first instance of a particular achievement Arts and media Music * 1$T, American rapper, singer-songwriter, DJ, ...
in which the Marathas emerged victorious. The Marathas remained the pre-eminent power in India until their defeat in the
Second The second (symbol: s, also abbreviated: sec) is the base unit of time Time is the indefinite continued sequence, progress of existence and event (philosophy), events that occur in an apparently irreversible process, irreversible succession ...
and
Third Anglo-Maratha War The Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817–1819) was the final and decisive conflict between the British East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), ...
s (1805–1818), which resulted in the East India Company seizing control of most of the Indian subcontinent. A large portion of the Maratha empire was coastline, which had been secured by the potent Maratha Navy under commanders such as
Kanhoji Angre Kanhoji Angre, also known as Conajee Angria or Sarkhel Angré (August 1669 – 4 July 1729) was an Indian admiral of the Maratha Navy. Kanhoji became noted for attacking and capturing European merchant ships A merchant is a person who trades in ...
. He was very successful at keeping foreign naval ships at bay, particularly those of the Portuguese and British. Securing the coastal areas and building land-based fortifications were crucial aspects of the Maratha's defensive strategy and regional
military history Military history is a humanities Humanities are List of academic disciplines, academic disciplines that study aspects of human society and culture. In the Renaissance, the term contrasted with Divinity (academic discipline), divinity and re ...
.


Nomenclature

The Maratha Empire is also referred to as the Maratha Confederacy. The historian Barbara Ramusack says that the former is a designation preferred by Indian nationalists, while the latter was that used by British historians. She notes, "neither term is fully accurate since one implies a substantial degree of centralisation and the other signifies some surrender of power to a central government and a longstanding core of political administrators". Although at present, the word
Maratha The Marathi people, also rendered as Marathis or Maharashtrian, are an ethnolinguistic group who speak Marathi language, Marathi, an Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan language, as their native language. They inhabit the state of Maharashtra in mo ...

Maratha
refers to a particular caste of warriors and peasants, in the past the word has been used to describe all
Marathi people The Marathi people, also rendered as Marathis or Maharashtrian, are an ethnolinguistic group who speak Marathi, an Indo-Aryan language as their native language. They inhabit the state of Maharashtra Maharashtra (; , abbr. MH) is a state i ...
.


History

The empire had its head in the
Chhatrapati Chhatrapati was a royal title from the Indian subcontinent that was mainly used by the Maratha Empire, Hindu Marathas. It is often taken to be the equivalent of emperor. The word ‘Chhatrapati’ is a Sanskrit language compound word (tatpurusha i ...
as ''de jure'', but the ''de facto'' governance was in the hands of the
Peshwa The Peshwa was the appointed (and later hereditary) Prime Minister of the Maratha Empire of the Indian subcontinent. Originally, the Peshwas served as subordinates to the Chhatrapati (the Maratha king); later, under the Bhat family, they became t ...
s after Chhatrapati
Shahu I Shahu Bhosale I (1682–1749 CE) was the fifth Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire founded by his grandfather, Shivaji. Born in the Bhonsle family, he was the son of Sambhaji Maharaj, Shivaji Maharaj's eldest son and successor. Shahu, as a child, ...

Shahu I
's reign. After his death and with the death of Peshwa
Madhavrao I Shrimant Peshwa Madhavrao Bhat I (February 15, 1745 – November 18, 1772) was the 9th Peshwa The Peshwa was the appointed (and later hereditary) Prime Minister of the Maratha Empire of the Indian subcontinent. Originally, the Peshwas served as ...
, various chiefs played the role of the ''de facto'' rulers in their own regions.


Shivaji and his descendants


Shivaji

Shivaji Shivaji Bhonsale I (; c. 1627/February 19, 1630 – April 3, 1680) was an Indian ruler and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan. Shivaji carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that formed the genesis of the Mar ...
(1627–1680) was a Maratha aristocrat of the
Bhosale The Bhonsle (or Bhonsale, Bhosale, Bhosle, Bhonslà) are a prominent group within the Maratha clan system The Maratha clan system (also referred to as Shahannava Kuli Marathas, 96 Kuli Marathas or 96K) refers to the network of 96 clans of f ...
clan who is the founder of the Maratha empire. Shivaji led a resistance to free the people from the Sultanate of
Bijapur Bijapur, officially known as Vijayapura, is the district headquarters of Bijapur district of Karnataka Karnataka (ISO 15919, ISO: , ) is a States of India, state in the south western region of India. It is the largest state in South India ...
in 1645 by winning the fort Torna, followed by many more forts, placing the area under his control and establishing
Hindavi SwarajyaHindavi Swarajya (हिन्दवी स्वराज्य; IPA: ''Hindavī Svarājya'') ("self-rule of Indian people", meaning independence from foreign rule): "Chhatrapati Shivaji's coronation and setting himself up as a sovereign prince sym ...
(self-rule of Hindu people). He created an independent Maratha kingdom with
Raigad
Raigad
as its capital and successfully fought against the Mughals to defend his kingdom. He was crowned as
Chhatrapati Chhatrapati was a royal title from the Indian subcontinent that was mainly used by the Maratha Empire, Hindu Marathas. It is often taken to be the equivalent of emperor. The word ‘Chhatrapati’ is a Sanskrit language compound word (tatpurusha i ...
(sovereign) of the new Maratha kingdom in 1674. The Maratha kingdom comprised about 4.1% of the subcontinent, but it was spread over large tracts. At the time of his death, it was reinforced with about 300 forts, and defended by about 40,000 cavalries, and 50,000 soldiers, as well as naval establishments along the west coast. Over time, the kingdom would increase in size and heterogeneity; by the time of his grandson's rule, and later under the Peshwas in the early 18th century, it was a full-fledged empire.


Sambhaji (Shambhu Raje)

Shivaji had two sons:
Sambhaji Sambhaji Bhosale (14 May 1657 – 11 March 1689) was the second Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire, who ruled from 1681 to 1689. He was the eldest son of Shivaji, founder of the Maratha Empire. Sambhaji's rule was largely shaped by the ongoing w ...
and Rajaram, who had different mothers and were half-brothers. In 1681, Sambhaji succeeded to the crown after his father's death and resumed his expansionist policies. Sambhaji had earlier defeated the
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
and Chikka Deva Raya of
Mysore Mysore (), officially Mysuru (; Kannada: ಮೈಸೂರು), is a city in the southern part of the state of Karnataka, India. Mysore city is geographically located between 12° 18′ 26″ north latitude and 76° 38′ 59″ east longitude. It ...

Mysore
. To nullify the alliance between his rebel son, Akbar, and the Marathas,
Mughal Emperor The Mughal emperors (or Moghul) built and ruled the Mughal Empire on the Indian subcontinent, mainly corresponding to the modern countries of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The Mughals began to rule parts of India from 1526, and ...
Aurangzeb Muhi-ud-Din Muhammad (3 November 16183 March 1707), commonly known by the sobriquet (Persian language, Persian: "Ornament of the Throne") or by his regnal title (Persian: "Conqueror of the World"), was the sixth Mughal emperor, who ruled ov ...
headed south in 1681. With his entire imperial court, administration and an army of about 500,000 troops, he proceeded to expand the Mughal empire, gaining territories such as the sultanates of Bijapur and
Golconda Golconda Fort, also known as Golkonda (Telugu language, Telugu: "shepherds' hill"), is a fortified citadel and an early capital city of the Qutb Shahi dynasty (c. 1512–1687), located in Hyderabad district, India, Hyderabad, Telangana, India. ...

Golconda
. During the eight years that followed, Sambhaji led the Marathas. In early 1689, Sambhaji called his commanders for a strategic meeting at
Sangameshwar Sangameshwar Taluka is a taluka A Tehsil (, also known as tahsil, taluka or taluk) is an administrative division in some South Asia, countries of the Indian subcontinent that is usually translated to "township". It is a subdistrict of the area wi ...
to consider an onslaught on the Mughal forces. In a meticulously planned operation, Ganoji and Aurangzeb's commander, Mukarrab Khan, attacked Sangameshwar when Sambhaji was accompanied by just a few men. Sambhaji was ambushed and captured by the Mughal troops on 1 February 1689. He and his advisor, Kavi Kalash, were taken to Bahadurgad by the imperial army, where they were executed by the Mughals on 21 March 1689. Aurangzeb had charged Sambhaji with attacks by Maratha forces on
Burhanpur Burhanpur is a city in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh Madhya Pradesh (, ; meaning ''Central Province'') is a state in central India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is t ...
.


Rajaram and Maharani Tarabai

Upon Sambhaji's death, his half-brother Rajaram ascended the throne. The Mughal siege of Raigad continued, and he had to flee to
Vishalgad Vishalgad (also called Vishalgarh, Khelna or Khilna) was a jagir A jagir (IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation of Brahmic family, Indic scripts a ...

Vishalgad
and then to
Gingee Gingee, also known as Senji or Jinji and originally called Singapuri (சிங்கபுரி) a panchayat town A Nagar Panchayat (town panchayat; ) or Notified Area Council (NAC) in India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republi ...

Gingee
for safety. From there, the Marathas raided Mughal territory, and many forts were recaptured by Maratha commanders such as
Santaji Ghorpade Santaji Mahaloji Ghorpade,(1645–1696) popularly known as ‘Santaji’ or ‘Santaji Ghorpade’, was one of the greatest warriors and the chief General of the Maratha Empire The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was a power that d ...
,
Dhanaji Jadhav Dhanaji Jadhav (1650–1708) was a warrior of the Maratha Empire. Along with Santaji Ghorpade he made terrifying campaigns against Mughal Army from 1689 to 1696. After Santaji, Dhanaji became the chief of the Maratha army in 1696 and remained on th ...
,
Parshuram Pant Pratinidhi Parshuram Trimbak Kulkarni (1660–1718 CE), popularly known as Parshuram Pant Pratinidhi, was a Minister (government), Minister (''Pradhan'') and Count (''Sardar'') of the Maratha Empire. He served as ''Pratinidhi'' (Chief Delegate) during Chhatr ...
, Shankaraji Narayan Sacheev and Melgiri Pandit. In 1697, Rajaram offered a truce but this was rejected by Aurangzeb. Rajaram died in 1700 at
Sinhagad
Sinhagad
. His widow,
Tarabai Tarabai Bhosale (née Mohite) was the regent of the Maratha Empire The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was a power that dominated a large portion of the Indian subcontinent in the 18th century. The empire formally existed from 1 ...

Tarabai
, assumed control in the name of her son, Ramaraja (Shivaji II).


Shahu Maharaj

After Aurangzeb's death in 1707,
Shahu
Shahu
, the son of Sambhaji (and grandson of Shivaji), was released by
Bahadur Shah I Bahadur Shah ( fa, —) (14 October 1643 – 27 February 1712), also known as Muhammad Mu'azzam ( fa, ) and Shah Alam ( fa, ), was the eighth Mughal emperor of India, ruled from 1707 until his death in 1712. In his youth, he consp ...

Bahadur Shah I
, the new Mughal emperor. However, his mother was kept as a hostage of the Mughals, in order to ensure that Shahu adhered to the release conditions. Upon release, Shahu immediately claimed the Maratha throne and challenged his aunt Tarabai and her son. The spluttering Mughal-Maratha war became a three-cornered affair. The states of Satara and
Kolhapur Kolhapur () is a city on the banks of the Punchganga river in the southern part of the Indian state of Maharashtra Maharashtra (; , abbr. MH or Maha, is a states and union territories of India, state in the western and central peninsular re ...
were organised in 1707 because of the succession dispute over the Maratha kingship. Shahu appointed
Balaji Vishwanath ''Balaji Vishwanath Bhat'' (1662–1720), better known as Shrimant Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath, the first of a series of hereditary Peshwas hailing from the Maratha Peshwa and Generals from Bhat Family, Bhat family who gained effective control of the ...
as Peshwa. The Peshwa was instrumental in securing Mughal recognition of Shahu as the rightful heir of Shivaji and the Chatrapati of the Marathas. Balaji also gained the release of Shahu's mother, Yesubai, from Mughal captivity in 1719. During Shahu's reign, Raghoji Bhosale expanded the empire Eastwards, reaching present-day
Bengal Bengal (; Bengali language, Bengali: ', ) is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region in South Asia, specifically in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal, predominantly covering present-day Bang ...

Bengal
. Khanderao Dabhade and later his son, Triambakrao, expanded it Westwards into Gujarat. Peshwa Bajirao and his three chiefs,
PawarPawar (also spelled as Puar) is an Indian surname may be found in Maratha in Maharashtra. In the north, it may be also found in the Rajput caste. Pawar is also a clan among the Maratha & Chhetri clan of Nepal. People with this surname(Paur/Pawar) ...
(
Dhar Dhar is a city located in the Malwa region in the west of the state of Madhya Pradesh Madhya Pradesh (, ; meaning ''Central Province'') is a state in central India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a co ...

Dhar
),
Holkar The Holkar dynasty was a Maratha The Maratha caste are a Marathi people, Marathi clan originally formed in the earlier centuries from the amalgamation of families from the peasant (Kunbi), shepherd (Dhangar), pastoral (Gavli, Gawli), bla ...
(Indore), and
Scindia Scindia dynasty (anglicized from Shinde and also spelled popularly as Shinde in Maharashtra), is a Hindu Maratha dynasty of Kunbi origin that ruled the erstwhile Gwalior State, State of Gwalior. It had the patel-ship of Kumberkerrab in Wai. It ...
(Gwalior), expanded it Northwards up to
Attock Attock (Punjabi language, Punjabi, Urdu: ), formerly known as Campbellpur (), is a city located in the north of Pakistan's Punjab (Pakistan), Punjab Province, not far from the country's capital Islamabad. It is the headquarters of Attock District a ...

Attock
.


Peshwa era

During this era, Peshwas belonging to the
Bhat family The Bhat Peshwa family earlier known as Bhat family is a prominent Indian Brahmin family who dominated India for around 100 years in the 18th century. Most of the members in this family were the Peshwa The Peshwa was the appointed (and later hered ...
controlled the
Maratha Army Maratha (or Mahratta) Army refers to the land-based armed forces of the Maratha Empire The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was a power that dominated a large portion of the Indian subcontinent in the 18th century. The empire formal ...
and later became de facto rulers of the Maratha Empire till 1772. In due course of time, the Maratha Empire dominated most of the Indian subcontinent.


Balaji Vishwanath

Shahu appointed
Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath ''Balaji Vishwanath Bhat'' (1662–1720), better known as Shrimant Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath, the first of a series of hereditary Peshwas hailing from the Bhat family who gained effective control of the Maratha Empire The Maratha Empire or ...

Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath
in 1713. From his time, the office of Peshwa became supreme while Shahu became a figurehead. * His first major achievement was the conclusion of the ''Treaty of Lonavala'' in 1714 with
Kanhoji Angre Kanhoji Angre, also known as Conajee Angria or Sarkhel Angré (August 1669 – 4 July 1729) was an Indian admiral of the Maratha Navy. Kanhoji became noted for attacking and capturing European merchant ships A merchant is a person who trades in ...
, the most powerful naval chief on the Western Coast. He later accepted Shahu as Chhatrapati. * In 1719, an army of Marathas marched to
Delhi Delhi (; ''Dillī''; ''Dillī''; ''Dêhlī''), officially the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, is a city and a union territory of India containing New Delhi, the capital of India. * * * Straddling the Yamuna river, but primarily ...
after defeating Sayyid Hussain Ali, the Mughal governor of Deccan, and deposed the Mughal emperor. The Mughal Emperors became puppets in the hands of their Maratha overlords from this point on.


Baji Rao I

After Balaji Vishwanath's death in April 1720, his son,
Baji Rao I Baji Rao I (18 August 1700 – 28 April 1740), born as Visaji, also known as Bajirao Ballal, was the 7th Peshwa (Prime Minister) of the Maratha empire. In his 20-year military career, he never lost a battle and is widely considered as one of the ...

Baji Rao I
, was appointed Peshwa by Shahu. Bajirao is credited with expanding the Maratha Empire tenfold from 3% to 30% of the modern Indian landscape during 1720–1740. He fought over 41 battles before his death in April 1740 and is reputed to have never lost any. * The
Battle of Palkhed The Battle of Palkhed was fought on February 28, 1728 at the village of Palkhed, near the city of Aurangabad, Maharashtra Maharashtra (; , abbr. MH) is a state in the western peninsular region of India India (Hindi: ), officially the ...
was a land battle that took place on 28 February 1728 at the village of Palkhed, near the city of Nashik, Maharashtra, India between Baji Rao I and
Qamar-ud-din Khan, Asaf Jah I Mir Qamar-ud-din Khan Siddiqi Bayafandi (20 August 16711 June 1748) also known as Chin Qilich Kamaruddin Khan, Nizam-ul-Mulk, Asaf Jah and Nizam I, was the 1st Nizam of Hyderabad File:Usman Ali Khan.jpg, 230px, Mir Osman Ali Khan The Niz ...
of Hyderabad. The Marathas defeated the
Nizam 230px, Mir Osman Ali Khan The Nizams were the 18th-through-20th-century rulers of Hyderabad. Nizam of Hyderabad (Niẓām ul-Mulk, also known as Asaf Jah) was the title of the monarch of the Hyderabad State Hyderabad State (), also ...

Nizam
. The battle is considered an example of brilliant execution of military strategy. * In 1737, Marathas under
Bajirao I Baji Rao I (18 August 1700 – 28 April 1740), born as Visaji, also known as Bajirao Ballal, was the 7th Peshwa (Prime Minister) of the Maratha empire. In his 20-year military career, he never lost a battle and is widely considered as one of the ...

Bajirao I
raided the suburbs of Delhi in a blitzkrieg in the
Battle of Delhi (1737) The First Battle of Delhi took place on 28 March 1737 between the Maratha Empire The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was a power that dominated a large portion of the Indian subcontinent in the 18th century. The empire formal ...
. * The Nizam set out from the Deccan to rescue the Mughals from the invasion of the Marathas, but was defeated decisively in the
Battle of Bhopal The Battle of Bhopal, was fought on 24 December 1737 in Bhopal between the Maratha Empire The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was a power that dominated a large portion of the Indian subcontinent in the 18th century. The empire fo ...
. The Marathas extracted a large tribute from the Mughals and signed a treaty which ceded
Malwa Malwa is an Indian historical History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study and the documentation of the past. Events before the History of writing#Inventions of writi ...
to the Marathas. * The
Battle of Vasai The Battle of Vasai or the Battle of Bassein was fought between the Marathas The Maratha caste are a Marathi clan originally formed in the earlier centuries from the amalgamation of families from the peasant (Kunbi), shepherd ( Dhangar), p ...
was fought between the Marathas and the
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
rulers of
Vasai Vasai in Maharashtri Konkani and Marathi pronunciation: Help:IPA/Marathi, əsəi (formerly and alternatively Mahratti; ''Bajipur'', English: Bassein; Portuguese: Baçaim), is a historical place and City near Mumbai (Bombay)'s western suburb ...

Vasai
, a village lying on the northern shore of Vasai creek, 50 km north of
Mumbai Mumbai (, ; also known as Bombay , List of renamed Indian cities and states#Maharashtra, the official name until 1995) is the capital city of the Indian States and union territories of India, state of Maharashtra. According to the United Nat ...

Mumbai
. The Marathas were led by
Chimaji Appa Chimaji Ballal (1707–1740), commonly referred to as Chimaji Appa or Bhau, was the son of Balaji Vishwanath Bhat and the younger brother of Bajirao Peshwa of Maratha Empire The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was a power tha ...
, brother of Baji Rao. The Maratha victory in this war was a major achievement of Baji Rao's time in office.


Balaji Baji Rao

Baji Rao's son,
Balaji Bajirao Shrimant Peshwa Balaji Bajirao Bhat (December 8, 1720 – June 23, 1761), also known as Nana Saheb, was the 8th Peshwa of the Maratha Empire in India. He was appointed as Peshwa in 1740 upon the death of his illustrious father, the Peshwa Bajir ...
(Nanasaheb), was appointed as the next Peshwa by Shahu despite the opposition of other chiefs. * In 1740, the Maratha forces, under Raghoji Bhosale, came down upon Arcot and defeated the Nawab of Arcot, Dost Ali, in the pass at Damalcherry. In the war that followed, Dost Ali, one of his sons Hasan Ali, and a number of other prominent persons lost their lives. This initial success at once enhanced Maratha prestige in the south. From Damalcherry, the Marathas proceeded to Arcot, which surrendered to them without much resistance. Then, Raghuji invaded Trichinopoly in December 1740. Unable to resist, Chanda Sahib surrendered the fort to Raghuji on 14 March 1741. Chanda Saheb and his son were arrested and sent to Nagpur. * Rajputana also came under Maratha domination during this time. * In June 1756 Luís Mascarenhas, Count of Alva (Conde de Alva), the Portuguese Viceroy was killed in action by the Maratha Army in Goa.


Invasions in Bengal

After the successful campaign of Karnataka and the Siege of Trichinopoly (1741), Trichinopolly, Raghuji returned from Karnataka. He undertook Expeditions in Bengal, six expeditions into Bengal from 1741 to 1748. The resurgent Maratha Empire launched Maratha invasions of Bengal, brutal raids against the prosperous Bengali state in the 18th century, which further added to the decline of the Nawabs of Bengal. During their invasions and occupation of Bihar and
western Bengal
western Bengal
up to the
Hooghly River The Hooghly River (''Hugli''; Anglicized alternatively spelled ''Hoogli'' or ''Hugli'') or the Bhāgirathi-Hooghly, originally and in local tongues the 'Ganga', and also called Kati-Ganga, is an approximately distributary of the Ganges River in ...

Hooghly River
, Raghuji was able to annex Odisha to his kingdom permanently as he successfully exploited the chaotic conditions prevailing in Bengal after the death of its governor Murshid Quli Khan in 1727. Constantly harassed by the Bhonsles, Odisha, Bengal and parts of Bihar were economically ruined. Alivardi Khan, the Nawab of Bengal made peace with Raghuji in 1751 ceding Cuttack (Odisha) up to the river Subarnarekha, and agreeing to pay Rs. 1.2 million annually as the Chauth for Bengal and Bihar. During their occupation of
western Bengal
western Bengal
, the Marathas perpetrated atrocities against the local population. The Maratha atrocities were recorded by both Bengali and European sources, which reported that the Marathas demanded payments, and tortured and killed anyone who couldn't pay. Dutch sources estimate a total of 400,000 people in Bengal were killed by the Marathas. According to Bengali sources, the atrocities led to much of the local population opposing the Marathas and developing support for the Nawabs.


Maratha's Afghan conquests

* Balaji Bajirao encouraged agriculture, protected the villagers and brought about a marked improvement in the state of the territory. Raghunath Rao, brother of Nanasaheb, pushed into the wake of the Afghan withdrawal after Ahmed Shah Abdali's plunder of Delhi in 1756. Delhi was captured by the Maratha army under Raghunath Rao in August 1757, defeating the Afghan garrison in the Siege of Delhi, 1757, Battle of Delhi. This laid the foundation for the Maratha conquest of North-west India. In Lahore, as in Delhi, the Marathas were now major players. After the Battle of Attock, 1758, the Marathas captured Peshawar defeating the Afghan troops in the Battle of Peshawar on 8 May 1758.


Maratha invasion of Delhi and Rohilkhand

Just prior to the battle of Panipat in 1761, the Marathas looted "Diwan-i-Khas" or ''Hall of Private Audiences'' in the Red Fort of Delhi, which was the place where the Mughal emperors used to receive courtiers and state guests, in one of their expeditions to Delhi. During the Maratha invasion of Rohilkhand in the 1750s


Third battle of Panipat

In 1759, the Marathas under Sadashivrao Bhau (referred to as the Bhau or Bhao in sources) responded to the news of the Afghans' return to North India by sending a large army north. Bhau's force was bolstered by some Maratha forces under
Holkar The Holkar dynasty was a Maratha The Maratha caste are a Marathi people, Marathi clan originally formed in the earlier centuries from the amalgamation of families from the peasant (Kunbi), shepherd (Dhangar), pastoral (Gavli, Gawli), bla ...
,
Scindia Scindia dynasty (anglicized from Shinde and also spelled popularly as Shinde in Maharashtra), is a Hindu Maratha dynasty of Kunbi origin that ruled the erstwhile Gwalior State, State of Gwalior. It had the patel-ship of Kumberkerrab in Wai. It ...
, Gaikwad and Govind Pant Bundele. The combined army of over 100,000 regular troops re-captured the former Mughal capital, Delhi, from an Afghan garrison in August 1760. Delhi had been reduced to ashes many times due to previous invasions, and there was an acute shortage of supplies in the Maratha camp. Bhau ordered the sacking of the already depopulated city. He is said to have planned to place his nephew and the Peshwa's son, Vishwasrao, on the Mughal throne. By 1760, with defeat of the Nizam in the Deccan Plateau, Deccan, Maratha power had reached its zenith with a territory of over . Ahmad Shah Durrani called on the Rohillas and the Nawab of Oudh to assist him in driving out the Marathas from Delhi. Huge armies of Muslim forces and Marathas collided with each other on 14 January 1761 in the
Third Battle of Panipat The Third Battle of Panipat took place on 14 January 1761 at Panipat, about 97 km (60 miles) north of Delhi Delhi (; ''Dillī''; ''Dillī''; ''Dêhlī''), officially the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, is a city and a un ...
. The
Maratha Army Maratha (or Mahratta) Army refers to the land-based armed forces of the Maratha Empire The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was a power that dominated a large portion of the Indian subcontinent in the 18th century. The empire formal ...
lost the battle, which halted their imperial expansion. The Jats and Rajputs did not support the Marathas. Historians have criticised the Maratha treatment of fellow Hindu groups. Kaushik Roy says "The treatment of Marathas with their co-religionist fellows – Jats and Rajputs was definitely unfair and ultimately they had to pay its price in Panipat where Muslim forces had united in the name of religion." The Marathas had antagonised the Jats and Rajputs by taxing them heavily, punishing them after defeating the Mughals and interfering in their internal affairs. The Marathas were abandoned by Raja Suraj Mal of Bharatpur, India, Bharatpur and the Rajputs, who quit the Maratha alliance at Agra before the start of the great battle and withdrew their troops as Maratha general Sadashivrao Bhau did not heed the advice to leave soldier's families (women and children) and pilgrims at Agra and not take them to the battle field with the soldiers, rejected their co-operation. Their supply chains (earlier assured by Raja Suraj Mal and Rajputs) did not exist.


Peshwa Madhav Rao I

Peshwa
Madhavrao I Shrimant Peshwa Madhavrao Bhat I (February 15, 1745 – November 18, 1772) was the 9th Peshwa The Peshwa was the appointed (and later hereditary) Prime Minister of the Maratha Empire of the Indian subcontinent. Originally, the Peshwas served as ...
was the fourth Peshwa of the Maratha Empire. It was during his tenure that the Maratha Resurrection took place. He worked as a unifying force in the Maratha Empire and moved to the south to subdue Mysore and the Nizam of Hyderabad to assert Maratha power. He sent generals such as Bhonsle, Scindia and Holkar to the north, where they re-established Maratha authority by the early 1770s. Prof G. S. Chhabra wrote: Madhav Rao died in 1772, at the age of 27. His death is considered to be a fatal blow to the Maratha Empire and from that time Maratha power started to move on a downward trajectory, less an empire than a confederacy.


Confederacy era

In a bid to effectively manage the large empire, Madhavrao Peshwa gave semi-autonomy to the strongest of the knights. After the death of Peshwa
Madhavrao I Shrimant Peshwa Madhavrao Bhat I (February 15, 1745 – November 18, 1772) was the 9th Peshwa The Peshwa was the appointed (and later hereditary) Prime Minister of the Maratha Empire of the Indian subcontinent. Originally, the Peshwas served as ...
, various chiefs and statesmen became ''de facto'' rulers and regents for the infant Peshwa Madhavrao II. Thus, semi-autonomous Maratha states came into being in far-flung regions of the empire: *
Peshwa The Peshwa was the appointed (and later hereditary) Prime Minister of the Maratha Empire of the Indian subcontinent. Originally, the Peshwas served as subordinates to the Chhatrapati (the Maratha king); later, under the Bhat family, they became t ...
s of Pune *
GaekwadGaekwad (also spelled as Gaikwar and Gaikwad) (Marathi: Gāyǎkǎvāḍǎ) is a surname native to Indian state of Maharashtra Maharashtra (; , abbr. MH) is a state in the western peninsular region of India India (Hindi: ), officially the ...
s of
Baroda Vadodara, also known as Baroda, is the third-largest city in the Indian state India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by populat ...

Baroda
*
Holkar The Holkar dynasty was a Maratha The Maratha caste are a Marathi people, Marathi clan originally formed in the earlier centuries from the amalgamation of families from the peasant (Kunbi), shepherd (Dhangar), pastoral (Gavli, Gawli), bla ...
s of Indore *
Scindia Scindia dynasty (anglicized from Shinde and also spelled popularly as Shinde in Maharashtra), is a Hindu Maratha dynasty of Kunbi origin that ruled the erstwhile Gwalior State, State of Gwalior. It had the patel-ship of Kumberkerrab in Wai. It ...
s (aka Shindes) of
Gwalior Gwalior () is a major city in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh lies at upper Madhya Pradesh and one of the National Capital Region (India)#Counter magnets, Counter-magnet cities. Located south of Delhi, the capital city of India, fro ...
(Chambal region) and Ujjain (Malwa Region) *
Bhonsale The Bhonsle (or Bhonsale, Bhosale, Bhosle, Bhonslà) are a prominent group within the Maratha clan system The Maratha clan system (also referred to as Shahannava Kuli Marathas, 96 Kuli Marathas or 96K) refers to the network of 96 clans of f ...
s of
Nagpur Nagpur is the third largest city and the winter capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the 13th largest city in India by population and according to an Oxford Economics report, Nagpur is projected to be the fifth fastest growing city ...
(no blood relation with Shivaji's or
Tarabai Tarabai Bhosale (née Mohite) was the regent of the Maratha Empire The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was a power that dominated a large portion of the Indian subcontinent in the 18th century. The empire formally existed from 1 ...

Tarabai
's family) * Puars (or
PawarPawar (also spelled as Puar) is an Indian surname may be found in Maratha in Maharashtra. In the north, it may be also found in the Rajput caste. Pawar is also a clan among the Maratha & Chhetri clan of Nepal. People with this surname(Paur/Pawar) ...
s) of
Dewas Dewas is a city in the Malwa region of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The municipality was formerly the seat of two princely states during the British Raj, Dewas Junior state and Dewas Senior state, ruled by the Pawar, Puar clan of the Ma ...
and
Dhar Dhar is a city located in the Malwa region in the west of the state of Madhya Pradesh Madhya Pradesh (, ; meaning ''Central Province'') is a state in central India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a co ...
* Even in the original kingdom of Shivaji itself, many knights were given semi-autonomous charges of small districts, which led to princely states like Sangli State, Sangli, Aundh State, Aundh, Bhor State, Bhor, Bawda, Phaltan State, Phaltan, Miraj, etc. The
PawarPawar (also spelled as Puar) is an Indian surname may be found in Maratha in Maharashtra. In the north, it may be also found in the Rajput caste. Pawar is also a clan among the Maratha & Chhetri clan of Nepal. People with this surname(Paur/Pawar) ...
s of Udgir were also part of the confederacy.


Maratha - Mysore war

The Marathas came into conflict with Tipu Sultan and his Kingdom of Mysore, leading to the Maratha–Mysore War in 1785. The war ended in 1787 with the Marathas being defeated by Tipu Sultan. In 1791–92, large areas of the Maratha Confederacy suffered massive population loss due to the Doji bara famine. In 1791, Irregular military, irregulars like ''lamaans'' and pindaris of the Maratha army raided and looted the temple of Sringeri ''Shankaracharya'', killing and wounding many people including Brahmins, plundering the monastery of all its valuable possessions, and desecrating the temple by displacing the image of goddess Sarada. The incumbent ''Shankaracharya'' petitioned Tipu Sultan for help. A bunch of about 30 letters written in Kannada, which were exchanged between Tipu Sultan's court and the Sringeri Shankaracharya were discovered in 1916 by the Director of Archaeology in
Mysore Mysore (), officially Mysuru (; Kannada: ಮೈಸೂರು), is a city in the southern part of the state of Karnataka, India. Mysore city is geographically located between 12° 18′ 26″ north latitude and 76° 38′ 59″ east longitude. It ...

Mysore
. Tipu Sultan expressed his indignation and grief at the news of the raid: Tipu Sultan immediately ordered the Asaf of Bednur to supply the Swami with 200 ''rahati''s (''Travancore Fanam, fanam''s) in cash and other gifts and articles. Tipu Sultan's interest in the Sringeri temple continued for many years, and he was still writing to the Swami in the 1790s. The Maratha Empire soon allied with the British
East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Comp ...
(based in the Bengal Presidency) against Mysore in the Anglo-Mysore Wars. After the British had suffered defeat against Mysore in the first two Anglo-Mysore Wars, the Maratha cavalry assisted the British in the last two Anglo-Mysore Wars from 1790 onwards, eventually helping the British conquer Mysore in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War in 1799. After the British conquest, however, the Marathas launched frequent raids in Mysore to plunder the region, which they justified as compensation for past losses to Tipu Sultan.


British intervention

In 1775, the
British East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after Acts of Union 1707, 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known ...
, from its base in Bombay, intervened in a succession struggle in Pune, on behalf of Raghunathrao (also called Raghobadada), who wanted to become Peshwa of the empire. Marathas forces under Tukojirao Holkar and Mahadaji Shinde defeated a British expeditionary force at the Battle of Wadgaon, but the heavy surrender terms, which included the return of annexed territory and a share of revenues, were disavowed by the British authorities at Bengal and fighting continued. What became known as the
First Anglo-Maratha War First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number 1 (number), one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record, specifically the first instance of a particular achievement Arts and media Music * 1$T, American rapper, singer-songwriter, DJ, ...
ended in 1782 with a restoration of the pre-war ''status quo'' and the East India Company's abandonment of Raghunathrao's cause. In 1799, Yashwantrao Holkar was crowned King of the Holkars and he captured Ujjain. He started campaigning towards the north to expand his empire in that region. Yashwant Rao rebelled against the policies of Peshwa Baji Rao II. In May 1802, he marched towards Pune the seat of the Peshwa. This gave rise to the Battle of Poona in which the Peshwa was defeated. After the Battle of Poona, the flight of the Peshwa left the government of the Maratha state in the hands of Yashwantrao Holkar. He appointed Amrutrao as the Peshwa and went to Indore on 13 March 1803. All except Gaikwad, chief of Baroda, who had already accepted British protection by a separate treaty on 26 July 1802, supported the new regime. He made a treaty with the British. Also, Yashwant Rao successfully resolved the disputes with Scindia and the Peshwa. He tried to unite the Maratha Confederacy but to no avail. In 1802, the British intervened in Baroda to support the heir to the throne against rival claimants and they signed a treaty with the new Maharaja recognising his independence from the Maratha Empire in return for his acknowledgment of British paramountcy. Before the Second Anglo-Maratha War (1803–1805), the Peshwa Baji Rao II signed a similar treaty. The defeat in Battle of Delhi, 1803 during the Second Anglo-Maratha War resulted in the loss of the city of Delhi for the Marathas. The Second Anglo-Maratha War represents the military high-water mark of the Marathas who posed the last serious opposition to the formation of the British Raj. The real contest for India was never a single decisive battle for the subcontinent. Rather, it turned on a complex social and political struggle for the control of the South Asian military economy. The victory in 1803 hinged as much on finance, diplomacy, politics and intelligence as it did on battlefield maneuver and war itself. Ultimately, the
Third Anglo-Maratha War The Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817–1819) was the final and decisive conflict between the British East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), ...
(1817–1818) resulted in the loss of Maratha independence. It left the British in control of most of the Indian subcontinent. The Peshwa was exiled to Bithoor (Marat, near Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh) as a pensioner of the British. The Maratha heartland of Desh, including Pune, came under direct British rule, with the exception of the states of
Kolhapur Kolhapur () is a city on the banks of the Punchganga river in the southern part of the Indian state of Maharashtra Maharashtra (; , abbr. MH or Maha, is a states and union territories of India, state in the western and central peninsular re ...
and Satara (city), Satara, which retained local Maratha rulers (descendants of Shivaji and Sambhaji II ruled over Kolhapur). The Maratha-ruled states of Gwalior, Indore, and Nagpur all lost territory and came under subordinate alliances with the British Raj as princely states that retained internal sovereignty under British paramountcy. Other small princely states of Maratha knights were retained under the British Raj as well. The Third Anglo-Maratha War was fought by Maratha warlords separately instead of forming a common front and they surrendered one by one. Shinde and the Pashtun Amir Khan were subdued by the use of diplomacy and pressure, which resulted in the Treaty of Gwalior on 5 November 1817. All other Maratha chiefs like Holkars, Bhonsles and the Peshwa gave up arms by 1818. British historian Percival Spear describes 1818 as a watershed year in the history of India, saying that by that year "the British dominion in India became the British dominion of India". The war left the British, under the auspices of the British East India Company, in control of virtually all of present-day India south of the Sutlej River. The famed Nassak Diamond was looted by the company as part of the spoils of the war. The British acquired large chunks of territory from the Maratha Empire and in effect put an end to their most dynamic opposition. The terms of surrender Major-general John Malcolm offered to the Peshwa were controversial amongst the British for being too liberal: The Peshwa was offered a luxurious life near Kanpur and given a pension of about 80,000 pounds.


Major events

* In 1659, Shivaji killed Afzal Khan (general), Afzal Khan at Pratapgad – he had come to demolish the Maratha kingdom. More than 3,000 soldiers of the Bijapur army were killed and one sardar of high rank, two sons of Afzal Khan and two Maratha chiefs were taken prisoner. * In the ensuing Battle of Pavan Khind, the small Maratha force of 300 held back the larger enemy to buy time for Shivaji to escape. Baji Prabhu Deshpande was wounded but continued to fight until he heard the sound of cannon fire from Vishalgad, signalling Shivaji had safely reached the fort, on the evening of 13 July 1660. * In April 1663, Shivaji launched a surprise attack on Shaista Khan in Pune, along with a small group of men. After gaining access to Khan's compound, the raiders were able to kill some of his wives; Shaista Khan escaped, losing a finger in the melee. The Khan took refuge with the Mughal forces outside of Pune, and Aurangzeb punished him for this embarrassment with a transfer to
Bengal Bengal (; Bengali language, Bengali: ', ) is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region in South Asia, specifically in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal, predominantly covering present-day Bang ...

Bengal
. * In 1666, Aurangzeb summoned Shivaji to Agra and arrested him but Shivaji manage to get escape and safely reached his Kingdom. * In 1674, Shivaji was crowned king of the Maratha Empire in a lavish ceremony at Raigad fort. *In 1737
Baji Rao I Baji Rao I (18 August 1700 – 28 April 1740), born as Visaji, also known as Bajirao Ballal, was the 7th Peshwa (Prime Minister) of the Maratha empire. In his 20-year military career, he never lost a battle and is widely considered as one of the ...

Baji Rao I
attacked Delhi, and further weakened the Mughal empire. * After the 1761 Battle of Panipat, Malhar Rao Holkar attacked the Rajputs and defeated them at the battle of Mangrol. This largely restored Maratha power in Rajasthan. * Under the leadership of Mahadji Shinde, the ruler of the state of Gwalior in central India, the Marathas defeated the Jats, the Rohilla Afghans and took Delhi which remained under Maratha control for the next three decades. His forces conquered modern day Haryana. Shinde was instrumental in resurrecting Maratha power after the débâcle of the Third Battle of Panipat, and in this he was assisted by Benoît de Boigne. * In 1767
Madhavrao I Shrimant Peshwa Madhavrao Bhat I (February 15, 1745 – November 18, 1772) was the 9th Peshwa The Peshwa was the appointed (and later hereditary) Prime Minister of the Maratha Empire of the Indian subcontinent. Originally, the Peshwas served as ...
crossed the Krishna River and defeated Hyder Ali in the battles of Sira and Madgiri. He also rescued the last queen of the Keladi Nayaka Kingdom, who had been kept in confinement by Hyder Ali in the fort of Madgiri. * In early 1771, ten years after the collapse of Maratha authority over North India following the Third Battle of Panipat, Mahadji recaptured Delhi and installed Shah Alam II as a puppet ruler on the Mughal throne receiving in return the title of deputy ''Vakil-ul-Mutlak'' or vice-regent of the Empire and that of ''Vakil-ul-Mutlak'' being at his request conferred on the Peshwa. The Mughals also gave him the title of ''Amir-ul-Amara'' (head of the amirs). * After taking control of Delhi, the Marathas sent a large army in 1772 to punish Afghan Rohillas for their involvement in Panipat. Their army devastated Rohilkhand by looting and plundering as well as taking members of the royal family as captives. * After the growth in power of feudal lords like Malwa sardars, landlords of Bundelkhand and Rajput kingdoms of Rajasthan, they refused to pay tribute to Mahadji, so he sent his army to conquer the states such as Bhopal State, Bhopal, Datiya, Chanderi, Narwar, Salbai and Gohad. However, he launched an unsuccessful expedition against the Raja of Jaipur, but withdrew after the inconclusive Battle of Lalsot in 1787. * The Battle of Gajendragad was fought between the Marathas under the command of Tukojirao Holkar (the adopted son of Malharrao Holkar) and Tipu Sultan from March 1786 to March 1787 in which Tipu Sultan was defeated by the Marathas. By the victory in this battle, the border of the Maratha territory extended till Tungabhadra river. * The strong fort of Gwalior was then in the hands of Chhatar Singh, the Jat ruler of Gohad. In 1783, Mahadji besieged the fort of Gwalior and conquered it. He delegated the administration of Gwalior to Khanderao Hari Bhalerao. After celebrating the conquest of Gwalior, Mahadji Shinde turned his attention to Delhi again. * In 1788, Mahadji's armies defeated Ismail Beg, a Mughal noble who resisted the Marathas. The Rohilla chief Ghulam Kadir, Ismail Beg's ally, took over Delhi, capital of the Mughal dynasty and deposed and blinded the king Shah Alam II, placing a puppet on the Delhi throne. Mahadji intervened and killed him, taking possession of Delhi on 2 October restoring Shah Alam II to the throne and acting as his protector. * Jaipur and Jodhpur, the two most powerful Rajput states, were still out of direct Maratha domination. So, Mahadji sent his general Benoît de Boigne to crush the forces of Jaipur and Jodhpur at the Battle of Patan. Marwar was also captured on 10 September 1790. * Another achievement of the Marathas was their victories over the
Nizam 230px, Mir Osman Ali Khan The Nizams were the 18th-through-20th-century rulers of Hyderabad. Nizam of Hyderabad (Niẓām ul-Mulk, also known as Asaf Jah) was the title of the monarch of the Hyderabad State Hyderabad State (), also ...

Nizam
of Hyderabad's armies including in the Battle of Kharda.


Administration

The Ashtapradhan (''The Council of Eight'') was a council of eight ministers that administered the Maratha empire. This system was formed by Shivaji. Ministerial designations were drawn from the Sanskrit language and comprised: * ''Pantpradhan'' or ''Peshwa'' – Prime Minister, general administration of the Empire * ''Amatya'' or ''Mazumdar'' – Finance Minister, managing accounts of the Empire * ''Sachiv'' – Secretary, preparing royal edicts * ''Mantri'' – Interior Minister, managing internal affairs especially intelligence and espionage * ''Senapati'' – Commander-in-Chief, managing the forces and defence of the Empire * ''Sumant'' – Foreign Minister, to manage relationships with other sovereigns * ''Nyayadhyaksh'' – Chief Justice, dispensing justice on civil and criminal matters * ''Panditrao'' – High Priest, managing internal religious matters With the notable exception of the priestly ''Panditrao'' and the judicial ''Nyayadisha'', the other ''pradhans'' held full-time military commands and their deputies performed their civil duties in their stead. In the later era of the Maratha Empire, these deputies and their staff constituted the core of the Peshwa's bureaucracy. The Peshwa was the titular equivalent of a modern Prime Minister. Shivaji created the Peshwa designation in order to more effectively delegate administrative duties during the growth of the Maratha Empire. Prior to 1749, Peshwas held office for 8–9 years and controlled the
Maratha Army Maratha (or Mahratta) Army refers to the land-based armed forces of the Maratha Empire The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was a power that dominated a large portion of the Indian subcontinent in the 18th century. The empire formal ...
. They later became the ''de facto'' hereditary administrators of the Maratha Empire from 1749 till its end in 1818. Under the administration of the Peshwas and with the support of several key generals and diplomats (listed below), the Maratha Empire reached its zenith, ruling most of the Indian subcontinent. It was also under the Peshwas that the Maratha Empire came to its end through its formal annexation into the British Empire by the British
East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Comp ...
in 1818. The Marathas used a secular policy of administration and allowed complete freedom of religion. Shivaji was an able administrator who established a government that included modern concepts such as cabinet, foreign policy and intelligence, internal intelligence. He established an effective civil and military administration. He believed that there was a close bond between the state and the citizens. He is remembered as a just and welfare-minded king. Cosme da Guarda says of him that: English traveller John Fryer (FRS), John Fryer found Shivaji's tax-collecting regime oppressive, describing it as poor people having land "imposed upon them at double the former Rates", and if they refused it, being "carried to Prison, there they are famished almost to death". While French physician Dellon reports that Shivaji was "looked upon as one of the most politic princes in those parts." The Marathas carried out a number of sea raids, such as plundering Mughal pilgrim ships and European trading vessels. European traders described these attacks as piracy, but the Marathas viewed them as legitimate targets because they were trading with, and thus financially supporting, their Mughal and Bijapur enemies. After the representatives of various European powers signed agreements with Shivaji or his successors, the threat of plundering or raids against Europeans began to reduce.


Geography

The Maratha Empire, at its peak, encompassed a large area of the Indian subcontinent, Indian sub-continent. Apart from capturing various regions, the Marathas maintained a large number of tributaries who were bounded by agreements to pay a certain amount of regular tax, known as Chauth. The empire defeated the Sultanate of Mysore under Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, the Nawab of Oudh, the Nawab of Bengal, the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Nawab of Arcot as well as the Polygar kingdoms of South India. They extracted ''chauth'' from the rulers in Delhi, Oudh, Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Punjab, Hyderabad, Mysore, Uttar Pradesh and Rajputana. The Marathas were requested by Safdarjung, the Nawab of Oudh, in 1752 to help him defeat the Afghani Rohillas. The Maratha force set out from Pune and defeated the Afghan Rohillas in 1752, capturing the whole of Rohilkhand (present-day northwestern Uttar Pradesh). In 1752, the Marathas entered into an agreement with the Mughal emperor, through his ''wazir'', Safdarjung, and the Mughals gave the Marathas the ''chauth'' of Punjab region, Punjab, Sindh and Doab in addition to the ''subedari'' of Ajmer and Agra. In 1758, Marathas started their Maratha conquest of North-west India, north-west conquest and expanded their boundary till Afghanistan. They defeated Afghan forces of Ahmed Shah Abdali, in what is now Pakistan, including Punjab Province, Pakistan, Pakistani Punjab Province and
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ( ps, خیبر پښتونخوا; ), often abbreviated as KP or KPK and formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province, is one of the four provinces of Pakistan. It is located in the northwestern region of the country, ...

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
. The Afghans were numbered around 25,000–30,000 and were led by Timur Shah, the son of Ahmad Shah Durrani. The Marathas massacred and looted thousands of Afghan soldiers and captured Lahore, Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan,
Attock Attock (Punjabi language, Punjabi, Urdu: ), formerly known as Campbellpur (), is a city located in the north of Pakistan's Punjab (Pakistan), Punjab Province, not far from the country's capital Islamabad. It is the headquarters of Attock District a ...

Attock
, Peshawar in the Punjab region and Kashmir. During the confederacy era, Mahadji Shinde resurrected the Maratha domination on much of North India, which was lost after the Third battle of Panipat including the cis-Sutlej states (south of Sutlej) like Kaithal, Patiala, Jind, Thanesar, Maler Kotla and Faridkot State, Faridkot. Delhi and Uttar Pradesh were under the suzerainty of the Scindhias of the Maratha Empire and following the Second Anglo-Maratha War of 1803–1805, the Marathas lost these territories to the British East India Company.


Legacy


Military contributions

* Some historians have credited the Maratha Navy for laying the foundation of the Indian Navy and bringing significant changes in naval warfare. A series of sea forts and battleships were built in the 17th century during the reign of
Shivaji Shivaji Bhonsale I (; c. 1627/February 19, 1630 – April 3, 1680) was an Indian ruler and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan. Shivaji carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that formed the genesis of the Mar ...
. It has been noted that vessels built in the dockyards of Konkan were mostly indigenous, constructed without foreign aid. Further, in the 18th century, during the reign of Kanhoji Angre, Admiral Kanhoji Angre, a host of dockyard facilities were built along the entire western coastline of present-day
Maharashtra Maharashtra (; , abbr. MH or Maha, is a states and union territories of India, state in the western and central peninsular region of India occupying a substantial portion of the Deccan Plateau. Maharashtra is the List of states and union territo ...

Maharashtra
. The Marathas fortified the entire coastline with sea fortresses with navigational facilities. * Nearly all the hill forts, which dot the landscape of present-day western Maharashtra were built by the Marathas. The renovation of Gingee Fort, Gingee fortress in
Tamil Nadu Tamil Nadu () is a States and union territories of India, state in southern India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian subcontinent and is bordered by the union territory of Puducherry ( ...

Tamil Nadu
, has been particularly applauded.


Development of towns and civic amenities

* During the 18th century, the Peshwa, Peshwas of Pune brought significant changes to the town of Pune, building dams, bridges, and an underground water supply system. * During the 18th century, misrule and pursuance of oppressive policies by the Marathas have been noted in the town of Ahmedabad


Patronising religion

* Queen Ahilyabai Holkar has been noted as a just ruler and an avid patron of religion. She has been credited for building, repairing and numerous temples in the town of Maheshwar in Madhya Pradesh and across North India. Its handloom industry is also said to have flourished under the rule of the
Holkar The Holkar dynasty was a Maratha The Maratha caste are a Marathi people, Marathi clan originally formed in the earlier centuries from the amalgamation of families from the peasant (Kunbi), shepherd (Dhangar), pastoral (Gavli, Gawli), bla ...
s. * Bhonsle, The Bhosales of Nagpur ruled the present-day state of Odisha in the latter half of the 18th century where the Maratha rulers patronised religion and religious institutions which made Odisha a center of attraction. * Several Ghats in Varanasi (in present-day Uttar Pradesh) were repaired and re-constructed during the Maratha rule of the 18th century.


Fine arts and palaces

* The Thanjavur Maratha kingdom, Maratha rulers of Tanjore (present-day
Tamil Nadu Tamil Nadu () is a States and union territories of India, state in southern India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian subcontinent and is bordered by the union territory of Puducherry ( ...

Tamil Nadu
) were patrons of fine arts and their reign has been considered as the golden period of Thanjavur, Tanjore history. Art and culture reached new heights during their rule. They also considered themselves as representatives of Chola Dynasty, Cholas referring themselves as ''Cholasimhasanathipathi''. They made significant contributions towards Sanskrit and Marathi literature, Bharatanatyam (dance form), and Carnatic music. * Several majestic palaces were built by Maratha principalities which include the Shaniwar Wada (built by the Peshwas of Pune).


Military

The Maratha army under
Shivaji Shivaji Bhonsale I (; c. 1627/February 19, 1630 – April 3, 1680) was an Indian ruler and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan. Shivaji carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that formed the genesis of the Mar ...
was a national army consisting of personnel drawn mainly from
Maharashtra Maharashtra (; , abbr. MH or Maha, is a states and union territories of India, state in the western and central peninsular region of India occupying a substantial portion of the Deccan Plateau. Maharashtra is the List of states and union territo ...

Maharashtra
. It was a homogeneous body commanded by a regular cadre of officers, who had to obey one supreme commander. With the rise of the Peshwa, Peshwas, however, this national army had to make room for a feudal force provided by different Maratha sardars. This new Maratha army was not homogenous, but employed soldiers of different backgrounds, both locals and foreign mercenaries, including large numbers of Arabs, Sikhs, Rajputs, Sindhis, Rohillas, Abyssinian people, Abyssinians, Pathans, Topiwalas and Europeans. The army of Nana Fadnavis, for example, included 5,000 Arabs.


Afghan accounts

The Maratha army, especially its infantry, was praised by almost all the enemies of the Maratha Empire, ranging from the Duke of Wellington to
Ahmad Shah Abdali Ahmad Shāh Durrānī (c. 1722 – 4 June 1772) ( Pashto: احمد شاه دراني), also known as Ahmad Khān Abdālī (), was the founder of the Durrani Empire The Durrani Empire ( ps, د درانيانو ټولواکمني), also ...
. After the Third Battle of Panipat, Abdali was relieved as the Maratha army in the initial stages were almost in the position of destroying the Afghan armies and their Indian Allies, the Nawab of Oudh and Rohillas. The grand Vizier, wazir of the
Durrani Empire The Durrani Empire ( ps, د درانيانو ټولواکمني), also called the Sadozai Kingdom and the Afghan Empire, was an Iranic empire founded and built by Ahmad Shah Abdali in parts of Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia ...
, Sardar Shah Wali Khan was shocked when Maratha commander-in-chief Sadashivrao Bhau launched a fierce assault on the centre of Afghan Army, over 3,000 Durrani soldiers were killed alongside Haji Atai Khan, one of the chief commander of Afghan army and nephew of wazir Shah Wali Khan. Such was the fierce assault of the Maratha infantry in hand-to-hand combat that Afghan armies started to flee and the wazir in desperation and rage shouted, "Comrades Whither do you fly, our country is far off". Post battle, Ahmad Shah Abdali in a letter to one Indian ruler claimed that Afghans were able to defeat the Marathas only because of the blessings of almighty and any other army would have been destroyed by the Maratha army on that particular day even though the Maratha army was numerically inferior to the Afghan army and its Indian allies. Though Abdali won the battle, he also had heavy casualties on his side. So, he sought immediate peace with the Marathas. Abdali wrote in his letter to Peshwa on 10 February 1761:


European accounts

Similarly, the Duke of Wellington, after defeating the Marathas, noted that the Marathas, though poorly led by their Generals, had regular infantry and artillery that matched the level of that of the Europeans and warned other British officers from underestimating the Marathas on the battlefield. He cautioned one British general that: "You must never allow Maratha infantry to attack head on or in close hand to hand combat as in that your army will cover itself with utter disgrace". Even when Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, became the Prime Minister of Britain, he held the Maratha infantry in utmost respect, claiming it to be one of the best in the world. However, at the same time he noted the poor leadership of Maratha Generals, who were often responsible for their defeats. Charles Metcalfe, one of the ablest of the British Officials in India and later acting Governor-General, wrote in 1806: Norman Gash says that the Maratha infantry was equal to that of British infantry. After the Third Anglo-Maratha war in 1818, Britain listed the
Maratha The Marathi people, also rendered as Marathis or Maharashtrian, are an ethnolinguistic group who speak Marathi language, Marathi, an Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan language, as their native language. They inhabit the state of Maharashtra in mo ...

Maratha
s as one of the Martial Races to serve in the British Indian Army. The 19th century diplomat Sir Justin Sheil commented about the British East India Company copying the French Indian army in raising an army of Indians:


Notable generals and administrators


Ramchandra Pant Amatya Bawdekar

file:Ramchandrapant Amatya.jpg, 250px, Ramchandra Pant Amatya Ramchandra Pant Amatya Bawdekar was a court administrator who rose from the ranks of a local Kulkarni to the ranks of Ashtapradhan under guidance and support of Shivaji. He was one of the prominent Peshwas from the time of Shivaji, prior to the rise of the later Peshwas who controlled the empire after Shahu. When Rajaram fled to Gingee, Jinji in 1689 leaving the Maratha Empire, he gave a ''Hukumat Panha'' (King Status) to Pant before leaving. Ramchandra Pant managed the entire state under many challenges like influx of Mughals, betrayal from Vatandars (local satraps under the Maratha state) and social challenges like scarcity of food. With the help of the Pantpratinidhi, he kept the economic condition of the Maratha Empire in an appropriate state. He received military help from the Maratha commanders –
Santaji Ghorpade Santaji Mahaloji Ghorpade,(1645–1696) popularly known as ‘Santaji’ or ‘Santaji Ghorpade’, was one of the greatest warriors and the chief General of the Maratha Empire The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was a power that d ...
and
Dhanaji Jadhav Dhanaji Jadhav (1650–1708) was a warrior of the Maratha Empire. Along with Santaji Ghorpade he made terrifying campaigns against Mughal Army from 1689 to 1696. After Santaji, Dhanaji became the chief of the Maratha army in 1696 and remained on th ...
. On many occasions he himself participated in battles against the Mughals. In 1698, he stepped down from the post of ''Hukumat Panha'' when Rajaram offered this post to his wife, Tarabai. Tarabai gave an important position to Pant among senior administrators of the Maratha State. He wrote Adnyapatra (मराठी: आज्ञापत्र) in which he has explained different techniques of war, maintenance of forts and administration etc. But owing to his loyalty to Tarabai against Shahu (who was supported by more local satraps), he was sidelined after the arrival of Shahu in 1707.


Nana Phadnavis

Nana Phadnavis was an influential minister and statesman of the Maratha Empire during the Peshwa administration. After the assassination of Peshwa Narayanrao in 1773, Nana Phadnavis managed the affairs of the state with the help of a twelve-member regency council known as the Barbhai council and he remained the chief strategist of the Maratha state till his death in 1800 AD. Nana Phadnavis played a pivotal role in holding the Maratha Confederacy together in the midst of internal dissension and the growing power of the British. Nana's administrative, diplomatic and financial skills brought prosperity to the Maratha Empire and his management of external affairs kept the Maratha Empire away from the thrust of the British East India Company.


Rulers, administrators and generals


Royal houses

*
Shivaji Shivaji Bhonsale I (; c. 1627/February 19, 1630 – April 3, 1680) was an Indian ruler and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan. Shivaji carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that formed the genesis of the Mar ...
(1630–1680) *
Sambhaji Sambhaji Bhosale (14 May 1657 – 11 March 1689) was the second Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire, who ruled from 1681 to 1689. He was the eldest son of Shivaji, founder of the Maratha Empire. Sambhaji's rule was largely shaped by the ongoing w ...
(1657–1689) * Rajaram Chhatrapati (1670–1700) Satara: *
Shahu I Shahu Bhosale I (1682–1749 CE) was the fifth Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire founded by his grandfather, Shivaji. Born in the Bhonsle family, he was the son of Sambhaji Maharaj, Shivaji Maharaj's eldest son and successor. Shahu, as a child, ...

Shahu I
() (alias Shivaji II, son of Sambhaji) * Ramaraja II (nominally, grandson of Rajaram and Queen Tarabai) () * Shahu II of Satara, Shahu II () * Pratap Singh, Raja of Satara, Pratap Singh () – signed a treaty with the East India company ceding part of the sovereignty of his Kingdom to the company Kolhapur: *
Tarabai Tarabai Bhosale (née Mohite) was the regent of the Maratha Empire The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was a power that dominated a large portion of the Indian subcontinent in the 18th century. The empire formally existed from 1 ...

Tarabai
(1675–1761) (wife of Rajaram) in the name of her son Shivaji II * Shivaji II (1700–1714) * Sambhaji II (1714 to 1760) – came to power by deposing his half brother Shivaji II * Shivaji III (1760–1812) (adopted from the family of Khanwilkar)


Peshwas

* Moropant Trimbak Pingle (1657–1683) * Moreshvar Pingale, Nilakanth Moreshvar Pingale (1683–1689) * Ramchandra Pant Amatya (1689–1708) * Bahiroji Pingale (1708–1711) * Parshuram Pant Pratinidhi, Parshuram Trimbak Kulkarni (1711–1713)


Peshwas from the Bhat family

From Balaji Vishwanath onwards, the actual power gradually shifted to the Bhat family of Peshwas based in Poona. *
Balaji Vishwanath ''Balaji Vishwanath Bhat'' (1662–1720), better known as Shrimant Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath, the first of a series of hereditary Peshwas hailing from the Maratha Peshwa and Generals from Bhat Family, Bhat family who gained effective control of the ...
(1713–1720) * Bajirao (1720–1740) *
Balaji Bajirao Shrimant Peshwa Balaji Bajirao Bhat (December 8, 1720 – June 23, 1761), also known as Nana Saheb, was the 8th Peshwa of the Maratha Empire in India. He was appointed as Peshwa in 1740 upon the death of his illustrious father, the Peshwa Bajir ...
(4 Jul 1740 – 23 Jun 1761) (b. 8 Dec 1721, d. 23 Jun 1761) * Madhavrao Peshwa (1761 – 18 Nov 1772) (b. 16 Feb 1745, d. 18 Nov 1772) * Narayanrao Bajirao (13 Dec 1772 – 30 Aug 1773) (b. 10 Aug 1755, d. 30 Aug 1773) * Raghunathrao (5 Dec 1773 – 1774) (b. 18 Aug 1734, d. 11 Dec 1783) * Sawai Madhava Rao II Narayan (1774 – 27 Oct 1795) (b. 18 Apr 1774, d. 27 Oct 1795) * Baji Rao II (6 Dec 1796 – 3 Jun 1818) (d. 28 Jan 1851)


Houses of Maratha Confederacy

*
Holkar The Holkar dynasty was a Maratha The Maratha caste are a Marathi people, Marathi clan originally formed in the earlier centuries from the amalgamation of families from the peasant (Kunbi), shepherd (Dhangar), pastoral (Gavli, Gawli), bla ...
s of Indore *
Scindia Scindia dynasty (anglicized from Shinde and also spelled popularly as Shinde in Maharashtra), is a Hindu Maratha dynasty of Kunbi origin that ruled the erstwhile Gwalior State, State of Gwalior. It had the patel-ship of Kumberkerrab in Wai. It ...
s of Gwalior * Gaikwads of Baroda *
Bhonsale The Bhonsle (or Bhonsale, Bhosale, Bhosle, Bhonslà) are a prominent group within the Maratha clan system The Maratha clan system (also referred to as Shahannava Kuli Marathas, 96 Kuli Marathas or 96K) refers to the network of 96 clans of f ...
s of Nagpur * Puars of Dewas and
Dhar Dhar is a city located in the Malwa region in the west of the state of Madhya Pradesh Madhya Pradesh (, ; meaning ''Central Province'') is a state in central India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a co ...

Dhar
* Patwardhan dynasty, Patwardhans *Bhoite Saranjam, Bhoite's of Jalgaon, Bhoite, Aradgaon *
Newalkar Newalkar dynasty were Hindu Karhade Brahmins, who were the Maharajas of Jhansi state, Jhansi from 1769 to 1858. Their family deity was goddess Mahalakshmi. The Newalkars were sardars under Peshwa Madhavrao I, and later became Maharajas of Jhansi ...
s of
Jhansi Jhansi () is a historic city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It lies in the region of Bundelkhand on the banks of the Pahuj River, in the extreme south of Uttar Pradesh. Jhansi is the administrative headquarters of Jhansi district and ...
*Vinchurkar family, Vinchurkars


Maps showing the Maratha Empire at different stages of history

File:Shivaji's kingdom 1680.jpg, Maratha kingdom in 1680 ''(green)'' File:India1760 1905.jpg, Maratha Empire in 1760 ''(yellow)'' File:IGI1908India1765a.jpg, Maratha Empire in 1765 ''(yellow)'' File:Joppen1907India1795a.jpg, Maratha Empire in 1794 ''(yellow)'' File:Joppen1907India1805a.jpg, Maratha Empire in 1805


Thanjavur Maratha Kingdom (Tamil Nadu)

The Thanjavur Marathas were the rulers of
Thanjavur Thanjavur (Tamil: தஞ்சாவூர்), formerly Tanjore, Pletcher 2010, p. 195 is a city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Thanjavur is an important center of South Indian religion, art, and architecture. Most of the Great Living Chol ...

Thanjavur
principality of Tamil Nadu between the 17th and 19th centuries. Their native language was Thanjavur Marathi dialect, Thanjavur Marathi. Venkoji, Shahaji's son and Shivaji's half brother, was the founder of the dynasty.


List of rulers of Thanjavur Maratha dynasty

* Venkoji * Shahuji I of Thanjavur * Serfoji I * Tukkoji * Pratapsingh of Thanjavur * Thuljaji * Serfoji II * Shivaji II of Thanjavur


See also

* Battles involving the Maratha Empire * List of Maratha dynasties and states * List of people involved in the Maratha Empire * Maratha titles * Maratha War of Independence * Battles fought by Sikhs


Footnotes


References


Citations


Bibliography

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

* * * Wink, Andre. ''Land and Sovereignty in India: Agrarian Society and Politics under the Eighteenth Century Maratha Swarajya,'' (Cambridge UP, 1986). * Apte, B.K. (editor) – ''Chhatrapati Shivaji: Coronation Tercentenary Commemoration Volume, Bombay: University of Bombay'' (1974–75) * Desai, Ranjeet – ''Shivaji the Great, Janata Raja'' (1968), Pune: Balwant Printers – English Translation of popular
Marathi Marathi may refer to: *Marathi people, an Indo-Aryan ethno-linguistic group of Maharashtra, India *Marathi language, the Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people *Palaiosouda, also known as Marathi, a small island in Greece See also

...
book. * {{Authority control Maratha Empire, 1674 establishments in India 1818 disestablishments in India Dynasties of India Empires and kingdoms of India Hindu Raj Maharashtra Former confederations Former countries in South Asia Historical Hindu empires States and territories established in 1674 States and territories disestablished in 1818