Maratha Empire

The Maratha Empire (Marāṭhā Sāmrājya; also transliterated Mahratta) or the Maratha Confederacy was an Indian imperial power that existed from 1674 to 1818. At its peak, the empire covered much of India, encompassing a territory of over 2.8 million km². The Marathas are credited for ending the Mughal rule in India. The Marathas continued to acknowledge the titular imperial lordship of Mughals, albeit acting independently or even warring with them.

Initially deriving from the western Deccan, the Marathas were a peasant warrior group that rose to prominence during the rule in that region of the sultans of Bijapur and Ahmadnagar. The empire was founded and consolidated by Chhatrapati ("Emperor") Shivaji Bhosle. He created an independent Maratha kingdom with Raigad as its capital, and successfully fought against the Mughal Empire to defend his kingdom. The Maratha Empire waged war for 27 years with the Mughals from 1681 to 1707, which became the longest war in the history of India. The Marathas eventually emerged victorious. Shivaji pioneered "Shiva sutra" or Ganimi Kava (guerrilla tactics), which leveraged strategic factors like demographics, speed, surprise and focused attack to defeat his bigger and more powerful enemies. Venkoji, the younger half-brother of Shivaji, founded the Thanjavur Maratha kingdom.

Afterwards, Shahu, a grandson of Shivaji, became ruler. During this period, he appointed Peshwas as the prime ministers of the Maratha Empire. After the death of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, the empire expanded greatly under the rule of the Peshwas. The empire at its peak stretched from Tamil Nadu in the south, to Peshawar (modern-day Pakistan) on the Afghanistan border in the north, and led expeditions to Bengal in the east. Ahmad Shah Abdali, amongst others, was unwilling to allow the Marathas' gains to go unchecked. In 1761, the Maratha army lost the Third Battle of Panipat to Abdali's Afghan Durrani Empire, which halted their imperial expansion.

Ten years after Panipat, young Madhavrao Peshwa reinstated the Maratha authority over North India. In a bid to effectively manage the large empire, he gave semi-autonomy to the strongest of the knights, which created a confederacy of Maratha states. They became known as Gaekwads of Baroda, the Holkars of Indore and Malwa, the Scindias of Gwalior and Ujjain, Bhonsales of Nagpur. In 1775, the British East India Company intervened in a succession struggle in Pune, which became the First Anglo-Maratha War. Marathas remained the preeminent power in India until their defeat in the Second and Third Anglo-Maratha wars (1805–1818), which left Britain in control of most of India.

A large portion of the Maratha empire was coastline, which had been secured by a potent navy under commanders such as Kanhoji Angre. He was very successful at keeping foreign naval ships, particularly of the Portuguese and British, at bay. Securing the coastal areas and building land-based fortifications were crucial aspects of the Maratha's defensive strategy and regional military history.

Read more about Maratha Empire:  Brief History, The Peshwa Era (1749 To 1761), The Confederacy Era (1761–1818), Administration, Geography, Chieftains, Maps Showing The Maratha Empire At Different Stages of History, Thanjavur Maratha Kingdom (Tamil Nadu), Gallery

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Maratha Empire - Gallery
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... After the Third Battle of Paanipat, Marathas lost the sheen of their Empire ... Maratha Sardars took benefit of the reduced strength and command of Peshwas Over Maharashtra and Maratha Empire began to fall off ... After death of Madhavrao Peshwa Maratha empire was on a constant Decline ...
Battles Involving The Maratha Empire
... The Imperial Maratha Conquests (c ... of conquests in the Indian subcontinent which led to the building of the Maratha Empire ... The conquests ended with the eventual fall of the Maratha empire after the three Anglo-Maratha wars ...
List Of Marathi People - Rulers
... Buldhana district of Maharashtra State Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj (1630–1680) – Founder of the Maratha Empire (Swarajya) Chattrapati Sambhaji Maharaj(1657–1689) – Son of Shivaji Second Emperor of ... Wife of Chhatrapati Rajaram was the daughter of the famed Maratha general Hambirao Mohite, led the Maratha War of Independence (also termed the war for 27 years with the ... Shahu (1682–1749) – Fourth ruler of the Maratha Empire Ramaraja (1749–1777) – Fifth ruler of the Maratha Empire Raghoji I (1738–1755) – Expanded the empire up to ...
List Of Marathi People - Historic Warriors
... Hindavi Swarajya Kanhoji Angre – First notable chief of the Maratha Navy and popularly known as “Samudratla Shivaji” (Shivaji of Indian ocean) ... Ghorpade – One of the most valorous Maratha sardars who fought the Moghals in the great battle of 27 years ... Dhanaji Jadhav – One of the most valorous Maratha sardars who fought the Moghals ...

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