History of Maratha culture and empire

Maratha Empire:

The Maratha Empire was a Hindu state located in present day India. It existed from 1674-1880. At its peak the Empire’s territories covered much of South Asia. Shivaji founded an independent Maratha kingdom in 1674 with Raigad as its capital. The state founded by Chhatrapati Shivaji attained its zenith under the Peshwas in 18th century extending from the Indus in present day Pakistan to Orissa in east and from Punjab to central Karnataka in the South. The kingdom of Thanjavur in present day Tamil Nadu was also ruled by a Maratha dynasty albeit outside the ambit of the main Maratha Empire. At its peak, the Maratha Empire established a protectorate over the Mughal emperor and paramount over the numerous Rajput chieftains of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Central India and elsewhere. They had also brought the Punjab under their sway and ended Muslim rule there, setting the conditions for later Sikh control. This vast empire declined gradually after the third battle of Panipat {1761}; by 1818, all of present-day India has fallen to the British East India Company.

 

Influence:

The history of the states and dynasties comprising the Maratha Empire constitutes a major portion of the history of late medieval India. While that extensive history is detailed elsewhere, it is noteworthy that the rise of the Marathas:

  • Represented the revival of the political power of the Hindus in north India after many centuries of Muslim rule;
  • Prevented the spread of the Mughal Empire and associated Islamic culture to south India;
  • Was the primary cause of the decline of the Mughal Empire;
  • Led to the dilution of the caste system as an overwhelming number of Brahmins too, fought along with them;
  • Led to the modernization of India’s armed forces, as they introduced indigenously designed and manufactured muskets {known as Gardi muskets};
  • Encouraged the development of Marathi language and was seminal to the consolidation of a distinct Maharashtrian identity.

Marathi people:

The Marathi people are an Indo-Aryar linguistic group that inhabits the Maharashtra region and state of western India. Their language Marathi is a part of the southern group of Indo-Aryan languages. Although their history goes back more than a millennium, the community came to prominence when Maratha warriors under Shivaji Maharaj established the Maratha Empire in 1674.

The Marathi people are also known as “Maharashtrians”. The whole community was called Maratha or Marathe {plural of Maratha} between the 17th and 19th centuries. However, at the beginning of 20th century, due to the efforts of Shahu Maharaj of Kolhapur, the peasant Marathi class called Kunbi started using the word Maratha to describe themselves. So in current usage the term Maratha implies mainly to the former Kunbi caste as well as the 96 clan upper caste “Maratha” group and not to the wider Marathi community. In the Marathi language, they refer to themselves as “Marathi manoos”.

In the mid 17th century, Shivaji Maharaj founded the Maratha Empire by reclaiming the Desh and the Konkan region. After a lifetime of exploits and a series of conquests, Shivaji died in 1680. The Mughals who had lost a lot of ground to the Marathas under Shivaji invaded Maharashtra in 1681. Shivaji’s son Sambhaji was crowned Emperor in 1681 after a brief civil war. Sambhaji led the Marathas valiantly against a much stronger opponent. Till 1689, Sambhaji never lost a fort or territory to Aurangzeb, but in 1689 he was betrayed by Ganoji Shirke {Ganoji’s hunger for Maratha land in the form of watan led to his enmity with Sambhaji. Sambhaji like his father- Shivaji Maharaj had abolished the custom of giving away watans, as this led to the people’s suffering from the hands of the watandar and there were chances of the watandar assuming kingship or taking possession of their watans} and was captured, tortured and killed by Aurangzeb. With their leader dead, the Marathas were demoralized, but the young Rajaram was put to the throne and then the Maratha crown prince had to retreat to Jinji in South India. But in 1707, under the leadership of Maharani Tarabai, the Marathas won the war of 27 years. The grandson of Shivaji saw the greatest expansion of Maratha power. After his death in 1749 the Peshwa became the real power behind the empire from 1750-1761. The empire was expanded by many Maratha sardars like Shinde, Gayakwad, Pawar, Bhonsale and Holkar, Pandit, Pantpratinidhi, Govindpant Bundele, Sardar Gupte etc. under the coordination of Bajirao and his son Balaji Bajirao until the Marathas ruled practically the whole subcontinent from Attock in today’s Pakistan to Southern India. Pune became the imperial seat with envoys, ambassadors and royals coming in from far and near. However, after the Third battle of Panipat, the empire broke up into many independent kingdoms. However due to the efforts of Mahadji Shinde, it remained a confederacy until the British defeated Bajirao II. Still, several nominally independent Maratha states existed until 1947 when these states acceded to the Dominion of India.

 

Literature:

Marathi was the court language during the reign of the Yadava Kings  also known as Suena. The Yadava king Singhana is known for his magnanimous donations which are carved in stone slabs in Marathi are in the temple of Goddess at Kolhapur in Maharashtra.

Maratha Empire:

The Maratha Empire expanded greatly after the death of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1707 only to lose the Punjab region in the third battle of Panipat in 1761. Later the empire was divided into Maratha states which eventually lost to the British in the Anglo Maratha wars.

After a lifetime of exploits and guerilla warfare Adilshah of Bijapur and Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, the local king Shivaji founded an independent Maratha kingdom in 1674 with Raigad as its capital. Shivaji died in 1680, leaving a large, but vulnerably located kingdom. The Mughals invaded fighting an unsuccessful war, of 27 years from 1681 to 1707. Shahu, a grandson of Shivaji, ruled as emperor until 1749. During his reign, Shahu appointed a Peshwa (prime minister) as head of Government under certain conditions. After the death of Shahu, the Peshwas became the de facto leaders of the empire from 1749 to 1769, while Shivaji successors continued as nominal rulers from their base in Satara. Covering a large part of the sub continent, the Maratha Empire kept the British forces at bay during the eighteenth century until dissension between the Peshwas and their Sardars (or Army commanders) saw a gradual downfall of the empire.

The Maratha empire was at its height in the eighteenth century under Shahu and the Peshwa Bajirao I. Losses at the third battle of Panipat in 1761, suspended further expansion of the empire in the north west and reduced the power of the Peshwas in 1761, after severe losses in the Panipat war, the Peshwas slowly started losing the control of the kingdom. Many sardars like Shinde,Holkar, Gaikwad, Pantprathinidhi, Bhosale of Nagpur, Pandit of Bhor, Patwardhan, and Newalkar started to work towards their ambition of becoming kings in their respective regions. However, Madhavrao Peshwa, Maratha authority in North India was restored, 10 years after the battle of Panipat. After the death of Madhavrao, the empire gave way to a loose Confederacy, with political power resting in a ‘pentarchy’ of five mostly Maratha dynasties: the Peshwas of Pune; the Sindhias (originally ‘shindes’) of Malwa and Gwalior; the Holkars of Indore; the Bhonsles of Nagpur; and the Gaekwads of Baroda. A rivalry began between the Sindhia and Holkar dominated the confederation’s affairs into the early 19th century, as did the clashes with the British and the British East India Company in the three Anglo-Maratha Wars. In the Third Anglo-Maratha War, the last Peshwa, Baji Rao II, was defeated  by the British in 1818. Most of the former Maratha Empire was absorbed by British India, although some of the Maratha states persisted as quasi- independent princely states until India became independent in 1947.

Among the Chhatrapati’s of the Maratha Empire, Shahu Maharaj controlled the largest territory with the help of his renowned sardars . He had in possession large parts of present day India (Maharashtra, Karnataka, Vidarbha, Gujarat, Malwa, Madhya Pradesh, Chattishgarh, Tamil Nadu upto Tanjur, Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, along with East Bengal upto Chitgaon, Marwad and Punjab weren’t under the control of Shahhji because he had friendly relations with their rulers as they were sovereign Hindu Emperors. The same applied to less prominent kings of Kerala.) He didn’t rule the following states unofficially namely Delhi, Agra, UP, and Jammu Kashmir as Mughals were prominent in these areas. Otherwise the rest of India including East Bengal that is present day Bangladesh was part of the Maratha Empire.

 

Maratha Emperors (1674-1818)

Shivaji   (1674-1680)

                                                   Sambhaji (1680-1689)

Raja ram (1689-1700)

Queen Tarabai (1700-1707)

Shahu (1707-1749)

Ramaraja  (1749-1777)

 

The Peshwas (Prime Ministers)  (1712-1818)

Balaji Vishwanath (1712-1719)

Bajirao  (1719-1740)

Balaji Bajirao  (1740-1761)

Madavrao Ballal (1761-1772)

Narayanrao  (1772-1773)

Raghunathrao  (1773-1774)

Sawai Madhavrao (1774-1795)

Bajirao II  (1795-1851)

Nana Sahib  (1851-1857)

 

The Decline of the Empire:

The Peshwa sent an army to challenge the Afghan led alliance of small Indian Muslim rulers that included Rohillas, Shuja-ud-daula, and Najib-ud-daula. The Maratha army was decisively defeated on January 14, 1761 at the Third Battle of Panipat. The defeat at Panipat checked Maratha expansion towards Northwest and fragmented the empire. After the battle, the Maratha Confederacy never fought again as one unit.

The Marathas had antagonized 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 [[ | Bahartpur, India| Bharatpur]] and Rajputs who quit the Maratha alliance at Agra before the start of the great battle and withdrew their troops, as the arrogant and over-confident Maratha general Sadashivrao Bhau did not heed the advice to leave soldiers’ families (women and children) and pilgrims at Agra and not take them to the battle field with the soldiers, rejected their cooperation, insulted them and even tried to arrest them. Their supply chains (earlier assured by Raja Suraj Mal and Rajputs before they were insulted by the Marathas) did not exist, they lost the  cooperation of the local populace and they foolishly spread their troops thin trying to pursue the enemy  on both sides of river Yamuna leading to killing of their general, Govind Pant Bundela, near Meerut.. The Afghans on the other side (left bank) of Yamuna backtracked from south and encircled the Marathas from rear. The encircled Marathas attacked the Afghans in an act of desperation as their forces had not had a meal in three days and were thoroughly annihilated. Ten of thousands of Maratha women were captured by Afghans as slaves.

Maratha Confederacy:

After 1761, young Madhavrao Peshwa tried his best to rebuild the empire in spite of his frail health and reinstated the Maratha authority over North India, 10 years after the battle of Panipat. In a bid to effectively manage the large empire, semi autonomy was given to strongest of the knights. Thus, the autonomous Maratha states came into being in far flung regions of the empire:

  • The Gaekwads of Baroda
  • The Holkars of Indore and Malwa
  • The Scindias (or Shinde’s) of Gwalior (and Ujjan)
  • Pawars of Udgir
  • Bhonsales of Nagpur (no blood relation with Shivaji’s or Tarabai’s family)
  • Even in the Maharashtra itself many knights were given semi-autonomous charges of small districts which led to princely states like Sangli, Aundh, Bhor, Bawda, Jat, Phaltan, Miraj, etc.

In 1775 the British East India Company, from its base in Bombay, intervened in a succession struggle in Pune, on behalf of Raghunathrao (also called Raghobadada), which became the First  Anglo-Maratha War. In the Second Anglo-Maratha War (1803-1805), the Peshwa Baji Rao II signed a similar treaty. The Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817-1818), a last ditch effort to regain sovereignty, resulted in the loss of Maratha independence: it left Britain in control of most of India. The Maratha heartland of Desh, including Pune, came under direct British rule, with the exception of the states of Kolhapur and satara, which retained local Maratha rulers.

The last Peshwa, Nana Sahib, born as Govind Dhondu Pant, was the adopted son of Peshwas Baji Rao II. He was one of the main leaders of the 1857 battles against British rule. He encouraged the people and the Indian Princes to fight against the British. Tatya Tope, his general, led the war and struck terror into the hearts of the British. He encouraged Indian soldiers to rise against the British. Though he was defeated in this  war of independence he is viewed as a glorious patriot in Indian history.

Today the spirit of the Maratha Empire is preserved in the Indian state of Maharashtra (meaning Great Nation”) which was created in 1960 as a Marathi-speaking state in Republic of India. The territories of Baroda were combined with Kutch to form the state of Gujarat. Gwalior, Jhansi and Indore were emerged with Madhya Pradesh. Vestiges of Maratha control over Delhi can still be found in Old Delhi area surrounding the “Nutan Marathi” school and Maharashtra Bhavan.

Thanjavur Maratha Kingdom:

Thanjavur Marathas were the rulers of Thanjavur principality of Tamil  Nadu between the 17th to the 19th century C.E. Their native language was Marathi. Venkoji was the founder of the dynasty.

Maratha Conquest  of Thanjavur:

Following the demise of Chola rule in the 13th century, the Thanjavur country came under the rule of the Pandyas who ruled for about a century. Following the invasion of Malik Kafur, the Tanjore country fell into disorder., however,  The rule of the Delhi Sultanate lasted for half a century before Pandya chieftains reasserted their independence. Soon afterwards, however, they were conquered by the Vijanagar Empire. The supremacy of Vijaynagar was challenged by the Nayaks of Madurai who eventually conquered Thanjavur in 1646. The rule of the Thanjavur Nayaks lasted until 1673 when Chokkanatha Nayak the ruler of Madurai invaded Thanjavur and killed the ruler Vijayaraghava.

Chokkanatha placed his brother Alagiri on the throne of Thanjavur, but within a year the latter threw off his allegiance, and Chokkanatha was forced to recognize the independence of Thanjavur. A son of Vijayaraghava induced the Bijapur Sultan to help him get back the Thanjavur throne. In 1675, the Sultan of Bijapur sent a force commanded by the Maratha general Venkoji (alias Ekoji) to recapture the kingdom from the new invader. Venkoji defeated Alagiri with ease, and occupied Thanjavur. He did not, however, place his protégé on the throne as instructed by the Bijapur Sultan, but seized the kingdom and made himself king. Thus began the rule of the Marathas over Thanjavur.

Maratha Kings:

Venkoji:

Venkoji, a half- brother of the great Maratha king Shivaji was the first Raja of Thanjavur from the Bhonsle dynasty. It is believed that he took over the administration of Thanjavur in April  1674 and ruler till 1684. During his reign, his brother Shivaji invaded Gingee and Thanjavur in 1676-1677 and made his brother Santaji the ruler of all lands to the north of the Coleroon. During the last years of his reign, Venkoji also allied with Chokkanatha of Madurai to repulse an invasion from Mysore.

Shahuji I:

Shahuji I was the eldest son of Venkoji and he ascended the throne at the age of twelve. During his reign, the Mughals occupied the Coromandel coast in Tiruchirapalli and forced Shahuji I to pay tribute. Shahuji  was a patron of literature. During his reign, there were frequent skirmishes and battles with the Raja of Madurai and Ramnad for control of the border lands.

Serfoji I:

Serfoji I was a younger son of Venkoji and he ruled from 1712 to 1728. His rule was marked by regular warfare and disputes with the Madurai Nayak.

Tukkojipo:

Tukkoji, a younger brother of Serfoji I ruled Thanjavur from 1728 to 1736. His reign witnessed the invasion of Chanda Sahib and he is credited with having repulsed a Muhammedan invasion of Madurai.

Pratapsingh:

A period of anarchy followed the death of Tukkoji and came to an end when Pratapsingh succeeded the throne in 1739. He ruled up to 1763. He allied with Muhammad Ali, the Nawab of the Carnatic and aided the British against the French in the Carantic Wars and the Seven Years War. He was the last king to be addressed to be the Directors of the British East India Company  as “His Majesty”. In 1762, a tripartite treaty was signed between Thanjavur, Carnatic and the British by which he became a vassal of the Nawab of the Carnatic.

Thuljaji:

Thuljaji was a very weak ruler and the last independent ruler of Thanjavur. In 1773, Thanjavur was annexed by the Nawab of the Carnatic rule till 1736. The throne was restored to him by the Directors of the British East India Company. But his restoration came at a heavy price as it deprived him of his independence.

Serfoji II:

Thuljaji was succeeded by his teenage son Serfoji in 1787. Soon afterwards he was deposed by his uncle and regent Amarsingh who seized the throne for himself. With the help of British, Serfoji II recovered the throne in 1798. A subsequent treaty forced him to hand over the reins of the kingdom to the British East India Company. Serfoji II was however left in control of the Fort and the surrounding areas. He reigned till 1832. His reign is noted for the literary, scientific and technological accomplishments of the Tanjore country.

Shivaji:

Shivaji was the last Maratha ruler of Thanjavur and reigned from 1832-1855. He was a weak and feeble prince with any authority. As he died childless in 1855 Thanjavur was annexed by British.

Economy:

The ruler collected his taxes from the people through his mirazdaars or puttackdaars. They were collected right from the village level onwards and were based on the agricultural produce of the village. Rice was one of the primary crops in the region and the land used for cultivation was owned by big landlords. It was Ananthrama Sashtry who proposed collecting taxes to improve conditions for the poor. No foreign trade was carried out. The only foreign trade in the country was carried out by the European traders who paid a particular amount of money as rent to the Raja. The currency system used was that of a chakram or pon (1 chakram = one and three fourths of a British East India Company rupee). Other systems of coinage used were that of pagoda (1pagoda = three and a half Company rupees), a big panam (one sixth of a company rupee) and a small panam (one thirteenth of a Company rupee).

 

Geography:

 

Maharashtra is a state located on the western coast of India. Maharashtra is a part of Western India. It is India’s third largest third largest state by area and second largest by population.

 

Maharashtra is bordered by the Arabian sea to the west, Gujarat and the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli to the north west, Madhya Pradesh to the north east, Chattisgarh to the east, Karnataka to the south, and Andhra Pradesh to the south east and Goa to the south west. The state covers an area of 307731 sq km of the total geographical area of India. Mumbai, the capital city of the state, is India’s largest city and financial capital of the nation.

 

The first state reorganization committee created the current Maharashtra state on May 1, 1960 known as Maharashtra day. The Marathi speaking areas of Bombay state, Deccan states and Vidharbha united to form the current state.

Etymology:

The Nasik Gazetteer states that in 246 BCE Maharashtra is mentioned as one of the places to which mauryan emperor Asoka sent an embassy, an Maharashtraka is recorded in a Chalukyan inscription of 580 CE as including three provinces and 99000 villages. The name Maharashtra also appeared in a 7th century inscription and in the account of a Chinese traveler, Hiuen-Tsang. In 90 A.D. Vedishri, son of Satavahana king Satakarni, the “lord of Dakshinapatha, wielder o0f the unchecked wheel of the Sovereignty “, made Junnar, thirty miles north to Pune, the capital of his kingdom. In the early fourteenth century the Devgiri Yadavs were overthrown by the northern Muslim powers. Then on, the region was administered by various kingdoms called Deccan Sultanates.

Pre Medieval History:

Not much is known about Maharashtra’s early history, and it is recorded history dates back to the 3rd century B.C.E., with the use of Maharashtri Prakrit, one of the Prakrits derived from Sanskrit. Later, Maharashtra became a part of the Magadha empire, ruled by the emperor Ashoka. The port town of Sopara, north of present day Mumbai, was the centre of ancient India’s commerce, with the links to Eastern Africa, Mesopotamia, Aden and Cochin.

With the disintegration of the Mauryan Empire, a local dynasty called Satavahanas came into prominence in Maharashtra between 230 B.C.E. and 225C.E. The period saw the biggest cultural development of Maharashtra. The Satavahana’s official language was Maharashtri, which later developed into Marathi. The great ruler Gautamiputra Satkarni (also known as “Shalivahan”) ruled around 78 C.E. He started the Shalivahana era, a new calendar, still used by the Maharashtrian populace and as the Indian national calendar. The empire gradually disintegrated in the third century.

During (250 CE – 525 CE), Vidharbha, the eastern region of Maharashtra, came under the rule of Vakatakas. During this period, development of arts, religion and technology flourished. Later, in the 753 C.E., the Chalukyas of Badami expelled the Rashtrakutas, an empire that spread over most of India. In 973 C.E., the Chalukyas of Badami expelled the Rashtrakutas, when the region came under the yadavas of Deogiri.

 

Islamic Rule:

Maharashtra came under Islamic influence for the first time after the Delhi Sultanate rulers Ala-ud-dinKhalji, and later Muhammad bin Tughluq conquered parts of the Deccan in the 13th century. After the collapse of the tughlaqs in 1347, the Bahamani Sultanate of Gulbarga took over, governing the region for the next 150 years. After the breakup of Bahamani Sultanate, in 1518, Maharashtra was ruled by the breakaway in to 5 Shah’s, namely Nizamshah of Ahmednagar, Adilshah of Bijapur, Kutubshah of Govalkonda, Bidarshah of Bidar and Imadshah of Berar.

Rise of the Marathas:

By the early 17th century, the Maratha empire began to take root. Shahaji Bhosale and ambitious local general in the employ of the Mughals and Adilshah of Bijapur at various times attempted to establish his independent rule. The attempt succeeded through his son Shivaji Bhosale. Marathas were led by Chhatrapati Shivaji Raje who was crowned in 1664.

By the time of his death in 1680, Shivaji had created a kingdom covering most of Maharashtra and nearly half of India today. Shivaji’s son and successor, Chhatrapati Sambhaji Bhosale became the ruler of the Maratha kingdom in 1680. He was captured, tortured and brutally put to death by Aurangzeb. Raja Ram’s nephew and Sambhaji’s son Shahu Bhosale declared himself to be the legitimate heir to the Bhosale throne. In 1714, Shahu’s Peshwa, Balaji Vishwanath helped him seize the Maratha throne in 1708 with some acrimony from Raja Ram’s widow, Tarabai.

British rule and post independence:

With the arrival and subsequent involvement of the British East India Company in Indian Politics, the Marathas and the British fought the three Anglo-Maratha wars between 1777 and 1818, culminating in the annexation of Peshwa-ruled territory in Maharashtra in 1819, which heralded the end of the Maratha Empire.

The British governed the region as part of the Bombay Presidency, which spanned an area from Karachi in Pakistan to most of the northern Deccan. A number of the Maratha states persisted as princely states, retaining local autonomy in return for acknowledging British sovereignty. The largest princely states in the territory of present day Maharashtra were Nagpur, Satara and Kolhapur; Satara was annexed to Bombay presidency in 1848, and Nagpur was annexed in 1853 to become Nagpur Province, later part of Central Provinces. Berar, which had been part of the Nizam of Hyderabad’s Kingdom, was occupied by the British in 1853 and annexed to the Central Provinces in 1903. A large part of present day Maharashtra called Marathwada remained part of the Nizam’s Hyderabad state during British rule. The British rule was marked by social reforms and an improvement in infrastructure as well as revolts due to their discriminatory policies. At the beginning of the 20th century, the struggle for independence took shape led by Bal Gangadhar Tilak and the moderates like Justice Mahadev Govind Ranade, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Pherozeshah Mehta and Dadabhai Naoroji. In 1942, the Quit India Movement was called by Mahatma Gandhi which was marked by a non-violent, civil disobedience movement and strikes.

After India’s independence in 1947,the princely states were integrated into the India Union, and the Deccan States including Kolhapur were integrated into Bombay State, which was created from the former Bombay Presidency in 1950. In 1956, the States Reorganizatiion Act reorganized the Indian states along linguistic lines, and Bombay Presidency State was enlarged by the addition of the predominantly Marathi speaking regions of Marathwada (Aurangabad Division) from erstwhile Hyderabad state and Vidarbha region (Amravati and Nagpur divisions) from Madhya Pradesh (formerly the Central Provinces and Berar). On May 1, 1960, Maharashtra came into existence when Bombay Presidency State was split into the new linguistic states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Yashwantrao Chavan became the first Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

Battles involving the Maratha Empire:

The Imperial Maratha conquests(1659-1761) were a series of conquests in the Indian subcontinent which led to the building of the Maratha Empire. These conquests were started by Shivaji Maharaj in 1659 from the victory at the battle of Pratapgad. The conquests ended with the eventual fall of the empire after the three Anglo-Maratha wars.

Conquests of Shivaji

Battle of Pratapgad:

The battle of Pratapgad was the first Maratha conquest. Shivaji vanquishes Afzal Khan in the battle of Pratapgad which was fought on November 30,1659. This feat made Shivaji the hero of Maratha folklore and  legend. All contemporary powers of the Indian subcontinent were shocked to see the outcome of the battle. Afzal Khanwas a fearless and distinguished commander who had even caught hold of Aurangzeb in one siege. The Maratha’s victory ride started with this extraordinary victory.

Battle of Kohlapur:

The second Maratha victory came on the battle of Kohlapur fought on 28 December,1659. After the demise of Afzal Khan, another army of over 10,000 was sent against Shivaji, commanded by Bijapur general Rustemjaman. Shivaji with 5000 cavalry attacked near Kolhapur. In a swift movement, Shivaji attacked the centre of the enemy while his wings attacked from the flanks. In a pitched battle, the enemy was crushed and Rustemjaman fled.

Battle of Pavan Khind:

Adil Shah sent an Abyssinian general of repute, Siddi Jauhar in 1660. Shivaji took up a position at Panahala fort, near present day Kolhapur, on the borders of his dominion. The Mughals also sent contingents under the celebrated Shaista Khan, who camped at Pune. Shivaji in a brilliant move decided to break the siege of the fort, so that the enemy would scatter. Then war would be fought on a vast territory with amazing speed. In a rear-guard defense Baji Prabhu Deshpande held the enemy in the battle of Pavan Khind Shivaji pierced through the enemy, relaunched an attack and won a victory in the battle of Vishalgad. However, Panhala was surrendered to Siddi Jauhar.

Conquest of Konkan:

An Uzbek general, Kartalab Khan, was sent to a mission to attack and reduce Shivaji’s forts in the Konkan on 3 Feb., 1661. He left Pune with 30,000 troops. This time the Mughals did not march openly, since they wanted to surprise Shivaji. But Shivaji took them at a surprise at a pass known as “Umber Khind”, near present day Penn, and attacked them from all sides. Shivaji himself took the forward position with chosen cavalry. The other three sides were blocked with light infantry. In a movement of light infantry and cavalry, Shivaji prevailed over them. Within four hours the enemy accepted defeat. They surrendered with their baggage and arms. The Mughal army suffered huge casualties. The defeated army was allowed a safre passage. A lady commander Raibagan who fought from the  Mughal side was released with honor true to Shivaji’s policy t

Sacking of Surat:

In the Battle of Surat, Shivaji challenged Mughal Fauzdar of Surat  who avoided the battle. Instead of battle, he sent an emissary who tried to assassinate Shivaji. As a result the town was attacked and put under sack for nearly 3 weeks, in which the Maratha army looted all possible wealth from Mughal and Portuguese trading centers. However, no men or women were molested or taken as slave as was the Maratha practice. The poor were spared.

Battle of Sinhagad:

One fort on the outskirts of Pune, Kondana was still under the control of a Mughal general. On February 4, 1670, Shivaji deputed one of his most senior and trusted generals Tanaji Malusare to head the mission to capture Konadana. Tanaji Malusare was already busy with his son’s marriage. But for him duty came first and he chose to go on the mission although Shivaji tried to convince him to attend his son’s marriage and then take the mission. In the Battle of Sinhagad, the fort was scaled during the dead of the night but victory was secured with the loss of Tanaji. This battle is quite popular in folklore. When Shivaji learnt that he has lost his loyal and trusted friend ,  he said, “we have won the fort but lost the lion”.

Conquest of the South:

At the end of 1676, Shivaji launched a wave of conquests in the southern India with a massive force of 50,000 (30,000 cavalry and 20,000 infantry). He defeated and captured the forts at Vellore and Jinji in modern day Tamil Nadu. He also signed a friendship treaty with the Kutubshah of Golconda. These victories proved quite crucial during future wars. Jinji served as Maratha capital for 9 years during 27 years of war.

Conquests after Shivaji:

War of 27 years:

War of 27 years was a series of battles fought between Marathas and Mughals from 1681-1707 in the Indian Sub continent. It was the longest fought war in the history of Indian subcontinent.

Conquests of the Peshwa:

Peshwa Bajirao I:

Peshwa Bajirao fought over 41 battles and is reputed to never have lost one.

Battle of Palkhed:

Battle of Palkhed was a land battle that took place on February 28,1728 at the village of Palkhed, near the city of Nashik, Maharashtra India between the Maratha Peshwa, Baji Rao I and the Nizam-ul-Mulk of Hyderabad. The Marathas defeated the Nizam. The battle is considered an example of brilliant execution of military strategy.

Battle of Vasai:

The Battle of Vasai was fought between the Marathas and the Portuguese rulers of Vasai, a village lying near Bombay in the present-day state of Maharashtra, India. The Marathas were led by Chimaji Appa, a brother of Peshwa Baji Rao I. Maratha victory in this war was a major achievement of Baji Rao I rein.

Raghuji Bhonsle:

Battle of Trichinopoly:

[[ |Raghoji I Bhonsle | Raghuji Bhonsle|]], Maharaja of Nagpur kingdom of the Maratha Empire, was required to undertake an expedition to Karnataka at the order of Chhatrapati Shahu. It was mainly intended to punish Chanda Saheb who had usurped the kingdom of Trichinopoly by deceiving its Rani Minakshi, and was casting his eyes on the Maratha principality of Tanjore. Raja Pratapsingh of Thanjavur, Shahu’s cousin, appealed to him for help when harassed by Chanda Saheb. Chhatrapati Shahu dispatched a large force under Raghuji and Fatehsingh Bhonsle of Akkalkot in 1739.

In 1740, the Maratha forces came down upon Arcot. They attacked the Nawab, Dost Ali in the pass of Damalcherry. In the war that followed, Dost Ali, one of his sons Hasan Ali, and a number of prominent persons lost their lives. This initial success at once enhanced Maratha prestige in the South. From Damalcherry the Marathas proceeded to Arcot. It surrendered to them without much resistance. Then, Raghuji invested Trichinopoly in December 1740. Unable to resist, Chanda Saheb delivered the fort to Raghuji on 14 March,1741, on the auspicious day of Ram Navami. Chanda Saheb and his son were arrested and sent to Nagpur.

Expeditions in Bengal:

After the successful campaign of Karnatak and Battle of  Trichinopoly , Raghuji returned from Karnatak. He undertook six expeditions in Bengal from 1741-1748. Raghuji was able to annex Orissa to his kingdom permanently as he successfully exploited the chaotic conditions prevailing in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa after the death of their Governor Murshid Quli Khan in 1727.

Constantly harassed by the Bhonsles, Orissa or Katak, Bengal and parts of Bihar were economically ruined. Alivardi Khan made peace with Raghuji in 1751 ceding in perpetuity Katak upto the river Suvarnarekha, and agreeing to pay Rs. 12 lacs annually in lieu of the Chauth of Bengal and Bihar. The smaller states of Raipur, Ratanpur, Bilaspur and Sambalpur belonging to Chhatisgarh territory were conquered by Bhaskar Ram, and were placed in charge of Mohansingh, an illegitimate son of Raghuji. Towards the end of his career, Raghuji had conquered the whole of Berar; the Gond kingdoms of Devgad including Nagpur, Gadha-Mandla and Chandrapur; the Subha of Katak ; and the smaller states spreading between Nagpur and Katak.

Holkars and Scindias:

Ranoji Sindhia(founder of princely Gwalior State of Scindias) had conquered territories in the Malwa and Gird regions from the Mughals, eventually establishing a state which was initially based at Ujjain, but was named after the strategic fortress of Gwalior.

Kumher fort under Maharaja Suraj Mal of Bharatpur was attacked by the Marathas on 20 January 1754 AD. They besieged the Fort till 18 May 1754. The war continued for about four months. The fort which was about to be conquered by the Marathas was saved due to the diplomatic efforts of MaharaKishori who tried to take advantage of the internal differences between Holkars and Shindes. Diwan Roop Ram Katara was a friend of Jayappa Sindhia. Maharani Kishori requested Diwan Roop Ram Katara to take a letter from Maharaja Suraj Mal proposing a treaty. Jayappa Sindhia assured Suraj Mal of assistance and contacted Raghunathrao. Raghunathrao in turn advised Holkar to sign a treaty with Suraj Mal. Malhar Rao Holkar assessed the situation and consented for the treaty due to possibility of isolation. This led to a treaty between both the rulerson 18 May, 1754.

In 1740, the Marathas were successful in defeating the Nizam of Hyderabad. Mahadji Scindia(who was then aged 10) accompanied Dattajirao Shinde and Trimbak Kinnad on this campaign. In 1742, the Marathas were attacked by the Nizam of Hyderabad at Berar and Belur. Mahadji accompanied the forces sent by Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao who drove away the invaders. Between 1745 and 1761, Mahadji fought in around 50 wars, including those in Malwa, Rajputana, Bundelkhand, Brij, Doab, Rohilkhand, Delhi,Kunjpur, and in the Battle of Panipat. Among the campaigns which Mahadji assisted, the notable ones include the ones at Chandravati Ganj (1746), Fatehabad (1746), Badi Sadri (1747), Marwar (1747), and Himat Nagar (1748).

The army of Malharrao Holkar joined the Shinde army to bring all the Rajput states under Maratha control and force them to accept Maratha suzerainty, as directed by the Peshwa. Under this campaign, several city states were added to the Maratha Empire such as Medtya, Ratangarh,Lalgarh, Bikaner, Laswari, Lachhmangarh, Kumher and Deeg and the states with territory of Jaipur and Jodhpur agreed to become Vassals of the Maratha Empire. All the Jat states except Bharatpur  and Vijaynagar too were conquered. Mathura which was under Mughal rule was conquered by Mahadji in 1755. When the Maratha army crossed the Narmada in February 1770, the Jat king Nawal Singh of Bharatpur opposed them. However, in the battle on 6 April 1770 Mahadji defeated him and Maratha supremacy over the North was re-established. In 1777, Mahadji provided military assistance to the Peshwa against the Maratha army of Kolhapur. Mahadji besieged and attacked the town of Karvir in Kolhapur.

Malharrao Holkar, Raghunathrao, Shamsher Bahadur, Gangadhar Tatya, Sakharambapu, Naroshankar and Maujiram Bania attacked Delhi on 11 August,1757 and defeated Najib Khan and Ahmed Khan became the Mir Bakshi in his place. In March,1758, they conquered Sarhind. On 20 April 1758, Malharrao Holkar and Ragunathrao attacked and conquered Lahore. Tukojirao Holkar conquered Attock. In Lahore, as in Delhi, the Marathas were now major players. The Maratha Empire had reached its peak, the Empire’s territories covered much of South Asia. By 1760, with defeat of the Nizam in the Deccan, Maratha power under Chhatrapati Shahu reached its zenith with a territory of over 205 million acres or one third of the Indian Subcontinent.

This was followed by the Third Battle of Panipat. Losses at the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761 suspended further expansion of the Empire in the Northwest of India and reduced the power of the Peshwas.

Third Battle of Panipat:

The Third Battle of Panipat took place on January 14, 1761 at Panipat (Haryana State, India), about 60 miles north of Delhi. The Battle pitted the French-supplied artillery of the Marathas against the heavy cavalry of the Afghans led by Ahmed Shah Durrani, an ethnic Pashtun, also known as Ahmad Shah Abdali. The battle is considered one of the largest battles fought in the 18th century. Marathas were defeated with casualties on both sides and retreat of Maratha army and civilians from Punjab to Delhi.

Peshwa Madhavrao:

Restoration of Maratha Suzerainty in the North:

Under Madhavrao Peshwa, Maratha authority in North India was restored, 10 years after the Battle of Panipat. The Rohillas were defeated and were forced to pay a heavy war indemnity. The supremacy of Marathas in the North is acknowledged by even the Jats and Rajputs.

Clash with the Nizam:

Raghunathrao allied with the Nizam due to mutual distrust and differences with Madhavrao. Accordingly, the Nizam was marched towards Pune. However, Nizam was defeated and was forced to sign a treaty. Madhavrao acquired all the territories occupied by him.

Clash with Hyder Ali:

Then Hyder Ali of Mysore tried to conquer the Maratha dominions in Karnataka. To frustrate Hyder’s attempts, Madhavrao fought three wars against Hyder Ali from 1764-1772 in which the Marathas won.

After the death of Madhavrao, the empire gave way to a loose Confederacy, with political power resting in a ‘pentarchy’ of five mostly Maratha dynasties: the Peshwas of Pune; the Sindhias (originally Shindes) of Malwa and Gwalior; the Holkars of Indore; the Bhonsles of Nagpur; and the Gaekwads of Baroda.

Battle of Gajendragad:

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.

Battle of Patan:

The Battle of Patan was fought on June 20,1790 between the Maratha Confederacy and the Rajputs of Jaipur and their Mughal allies. Many Rajput Kingdoms like those of Jaipur and Malwa were threatened by the Marathas. In early 1790, hoping to completely rid the Rajputana off Maratha interference, Rajput nobility allied with Mughal general Ismail Beg. Marathas crushed the allied Rajput-Mughal army. The European armed and trained Marathas conquered the Rajput states one after the other. Marathas managed to conquer Ajmer and Malwa from Rajputs. Marathas recovered over 105 pieces of artillery from the enemy, along with 21 elephants, 1300 camels and 300 horses. Rajputs lost over 5 battalions and 3000 Rathore horsemen.

Yashwantrao Holkar:

Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar defeated the British army, led by Colonel Fawcett, at Kunch, in Bundelkhand. On 8 June,1804, the Governor General, in a letter to Lord Lake, wrote that the defeat caused a great insult to the British prestige in India. On 8 July, 1804, Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar defeated the army of Colonel  Manson and Leukan at Mukundare and Kota. Bapuji Scindia surrendered before Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar. From June till September 1804, he defeated the British at different battles. On 8 October,1804 Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar attacked Delhi to free Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II, who was imprisoned by the British. He attacked the army of Colonel Acctorloni and Berne. The battle lasted for a week, but Yashwantrao Holkar could not succeed as Lord Lake came to help Colonel Actorloni.

On 16, November 1804, Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar reached Deeg by defeating the army of Major Frazer. After the death of Major Frazer, Manson took the charge of the British army. In Farrukhabad,Lord Lake was a mute spectator, watching Yashwantrao Holkar proceeding towards Deeg; he didn’t attack Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar. Lord Lake attacked Deeg on 13 December 1804; the army of Holkar and Jat resisted successfully and reached the Bharatpur Durg. Lord Lake attacked Bharatpur on 3 January 1805, along with General Manson, Colonel Marey, Colonel Don, Colonal Berne, Major General Jones, General Smith, Colonel Jetland, Setan, and others. However, Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar had to leave Bharatpur as the Jat King Ranjit Singh of Bharatpur signed a treaty with the British on 17 April, 1805, when they had nearly won the war.

Covering a large part of the subcontinent, the Maratha Empire kept the British forces at the bay during the 18th century,until the dissension between the Peshwas and their sardars (army commanders) saw a gradual downfall of the Empire with the eventual defeat in the Third Anglo-Maratha War. The First Anglo-Maratha War (of the three Anglo-Maratha Wars) ended in a stalemate with both sides signing the treaty of Salbai. This led to a period of relative peace between the two powers till the decisive second Anglo-Maratha war took place.

Anglo-Maratha War

The First Anglo-Maratha War was the first of the three Anglo-Maratha wars fought between the British East India Company and Maratha Empire in India. The war began with the Treaty of Surat and ended with the Treaty of Salbai.

After the death of Madhavrao Peshwa in 1772, his brother Nayanrao became Peshwa of the Maratha Empire. However, Raghunathrao, Narayanrao’s uncle, had his nephew assassinated in a palace conspiracy that resulted in Raghunathrao becoming Peshwa, although he was not the legal heir.

Narayanrao’s widow, Gangabai, gave birth to a posthumous son, who was legal heir to the throne. The newborn infant was named ‘Sawai’ Madhavrao. Twelve Maratha chiefs, led by Nana Phadnis directed an effort to name the infant as the new Peshwa and rule under him as regents.

Raghunathrao, unwilling to give up his position of power, sought help from the British at Bombay and signed the Treaty of Surat on 6 March 1775. According to his treaty, Raghunathrao ceded the territories of Salsette and Bassein to the British, along with part of the revenues from Surat and Bharuch districts. In return, the British promised to provide Raghunathrao with 2,500 soldiers.

The British Calcutta Council condemned the Treaty of Surat, sending Colonel Upton to Pune to annual it and makes a new treaty with the regency. The Treaty of Purandhar (1 March 1776) annulled that of Surat, Raghunathrao was pensioned and his cause abandoned, but the revenues of Salsette and Bharuch districts were retained by the British. The Bombay Government rejected this new treaty and gave refuge to Raghunathrao. In 1777 Nana Phadnis violated the treaty with the Calcutta Council by granting the French a port on the west coast. The British replied by sending a force towards Pune. The tangle was increased by the support of the London authorities for Bombay, which in 1778-79 again supported Raghunathrao. Peace was finally restored in 1782.

Battle of Wadgaon:

The East India Company’s force from Bombay consisted of about 3,900 men (about 600 Europeans, the rest Asian) accompanied by many thousands of servants and specialist workers. They were joined on the way by Raghunath’s forces, adding several thousand more soldiers, and more artillery. The Maratha army included forces contributed by all the partners in the federation, tens of thousands in all, commanded by the brilliant Tukojirao Holkar and General Mahadji Shinde. Mahadji slowed down the British march and sent forces west to cut off its supply lines. When they found out about this, the British halted at Talegaon, a few hours’ brisk march from Pune, but days away for the thousands of support staff with their ox-drawn carts. Now the Maratha cavalry harassed the enemy from all sides. The Marathas also utilized a scorched earth policy, burning farmlands and poisoning wells. The British began to withdraw from Talegaon in the middle of the night, but the Marathas attacked, forcing them to halt in the village of Wadgaon (now called Wadgaon Maval), where the British force was surrounded on 12 January 1779. By the end of the next day, the British were ready to discuss surrender terms, and on 16 January signed the Treaty of Wadgaon that forced the Bombay Government to relinquish all territories acquired by the Bombay office of the East India Company since 1773.

British Response:

Reinforcements from northern India, commanded by Colonel Goddard, arrived too late to save the Bombay force. The British Governor-General in Bengal, Warren Hastings, rejected the treaty on the grounds that the Bombay officials had no legal power to sign it, and ordered Goddard to secure British interests in the area. Goddard’s 6,000 troops captured Ahmedabad in February 1779 and Bassein in December 1780. Another Bengal detachment led by Captain Popham captured Gwalior in August 1780. Hastings sent yet another force to harass Mahadji Shinde, commanded by Major Camac; in February 1781 the British beat Shinde to the town of Sipri, but every move they made after that was shadowed by his much larger army, and their supplies were cut off, until they made a desperate night raid in late March, capturing not only supplies, but even guns and elephants. Thereafter, the military threat from Shinde’s forces to the British was much reduced.

Treaty of Salbai:

After the defeat, Shinde proposed a new treaty between the Peshwa and the British that would recognize the young Madhavrao as the Peshwa and grant Raghunathrao a pension. This treaty, known as Treaty of Salbai, was signed on 17 May 1782, and was ratified by Hastings in June 1782 and by Phadnis in February 1783. The treaty also returned to Shinde all his territories to west of Yamuna. It also guaranteed peace between the two sides for twenty years and thus ending the war.

Second Anglo-Martha War

The Second Anglo-Maratha War (1803-1805) was the second conflict between the British East India Company and the Maratha Empire in India.

The overarching ambition of Raghunathrao, Peshwa Baji Rao II’s father, and the latter’s own incompetence since coming into his inheritance, had long caused much internecine intrigue within the Maratha confederacy; Peshwa Baji  Rao II no longer commanded the deference his predecessors had.

In October 1802, Peshwa Baji Rao II was defeated by the Holkar ruler of Indore, at the Battle of Poona. He fled to British protection, and in December the same year concluded the Treaty of Bassein with the British East India Company, ceding territory for the maintenance of a subsidiary force and agreeing to treaty with no other power. The British also had to check the French influence in India.

The War:

This act on the part of the Peshwa, their nominal overlord, horrified and disgusted the Maratha chieftains; in particular, the Scindia rulers of Gwalior and the Bhonsle rulers of Nagpur and Berar contested the agreement. They were defeated, respectively, at Laswari and Delhi by Lord Lake and at Assaye and Argaon (now referred to as Adgaon) by Sir Arhur Wellesly. The Holkar rulers of Indore belatedly joined the fray and compelled the British to make peace.

Conclusion:

On 17 December 1803, Raghuji Bhonsale II of Nagpur signed the Treaty of Deogaon with the British after the Battles of Laswari and gave up the province of Cuttack including Balasore.

On 30 December 1803, the Scindhia signed the Treaty of Surji-Anjangaon with the British after the Battle of Assaye and Battle of Argaon and ceded to the British Ganged-Jamuna Doab, the Delhi-Agra region, parts of Bundelkhand, Bharuch, some districts of Gujarat, fort of Ahmadnagar.

Yashwantrao Holkar however began hostilities with the English by securing the alliance of the Raja of Bharatpur. By the Treaty of Rajghat, Holkar got back most of his territories.

The Holkar Maharajas retained control and over lordship over much of Rajasthan.

 

Third Anglo-Maratha War

The Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817-1818) was a final and decisive conflict between the British East India Company and the Maratha Empire in India, which left the Company in control of most of India.

The war began with an invasion of Maratha territory by the British Governor General, Lord Hastings, supported by a force under Sir Thomas Hislop, in the course of operations against Pindari robber bands. The Peshwa of Pune’s forces, followed by those of the Bhonsle of Nagpur and Holkar of Indore, rose against the British, but British diplomacy convinced the Scindhia of Gwalior to remain neutral, although he lost control of Rajasthan. British victory was swift, resulting in the breakup of the Maratha Empire and the loss of Maratha independence to the British. The Battle of Koregaon gave decisive victory to the British; the Peshwa was pensioned off and most of his territories were annexed to the Bombay Presidency, although the Maharaja of the Satara was restored as ruler of a princely state until its annexation to Bombay State in 1848. The northern portions of Nagpur Bhonsale dominions, together with the Peshwa’s territories in Bundelkhand, were annexed to British India as the Saugor and Nerbudda  territories. The Marathas kingdoms of Indore, Gwalior, Nagpur, and Jhansi became princely states acknowledging British control.

The Third Anglo-Maratha War left the British in control of virtually all of present-day India south of the Sutlej River. In addition, the famed Nassak Diamond was acquired by the East India Company as part of the spoils of the war.

Maratha and Peshwa Rule:

In 1625, Shahaji Bhosale appointed Rango Bapuji Dhadphale (Sar Deshpande) as the administrator of Pune. He was one of the first major developers of the town, overseeing the constructions of Kasba, Somwar, Ravivar and Shaniwar Peths. After the destruction of town in the raid of Vijaypur sultan during 1630, and again from 1636 to 1647, Dadoji Kondev- a military and administrative officer to Shahaji Bhosale, oversaw development and construction in the area, he not only stabilized revenue system of Pune and 12 Mavals but also developed effective methods to control disputes and law and order situation. Construction also began on the Lal Mahal palace, as Shahaji’s son, Shivaji Bhosale (later Chhatrapati Shivaji) was to move there with his mother Jijabai. The Lal Mahal was completed in 1640. Jijabai is said to have commissioned the building of Kasba Ganapati temple herself. The Ganapati idol consecrated at this temple is regarded as the presiding deity of the city.

Shivaji was crowned Chhatrapati in 1674, he oversaw further development in Pune, including the construction of the Guruwar, Somwar, Ganesh and Ghorpade Peths.

Baji Rao I became Peshwa of the Maratha Empire, ruled by Chhatrapati Shahuji, in 1720. By 1730, the palace of the Shaniwarwada had been constructed on the banks of the Mutha River, ushering in the era of Peshwa control of the city. The patronage of the Peshwas resulted in the construction of many temples and bridges in the city, including the Lakdi Pul, Parvati temple and the Sadashiv, Narayan, Rasta and Nana Peths. The Peshwas fell into decline after their loss in the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761. In 1802, Pune was captured from the Peshwa by Yashwantrao Holkar in the Battle of Poona, directly precipitating the Second Anglo-Maratha War of 1803-05. Navi Peth, Ganj Peth and Mahatma Phule Peth believed to develop in Pune during British Raj.

Timeline of Maharashtra History:

  • 600 BC: One of the 16 great janapadas, named as Ashmaka
  • 230 BC to 225 AD: Ruled by the Satavahanas
  • 250 to 525: The Vatakas brought Vidarbha under their rule
  • 550 to 760: Ruled by the Chalukyas
  • 640: Chinese pilgrim Hiun Tsang visited Maharashtra
  • 973: Rashtrakuta rule comes to an end
  • 973 to 1180: Ruled by the Chalukyas
  • 1189 to 1310: Ruled by the Yadavas of Deogiri
  • 1296: Alla-ud-din Khilji, the first Muslim sultan of the north penetrates the Deccan, defeats the Yadavas and carried away a huge booty
  • 1534: Portuguese occupy Mumbai
  • 1659: Shivaji captures Satara from Sultanate of Bijapur, leads revolt against the Mughal Empire
  • 1661: Mumbai transferred from Portugal to Britain
  • 1668: British transfers Mumbai to British East India Company
  • 1674: Shivaji declares himself King of the Marathas
  • 1680: Shivaji dies
  • 1720: Bajirao I becomes Peshwa
  • 1740: Death of Bajirao I
  • 1756: Marathas capture the town of Attock(now in north-west Pakistan). Maratha Empire reaches its largest extent.
  • January 14,1761: Maratha defeat at Third Battle of Panipat
  • 1775 to 1782: First Anglo-Maratha War
  • 1803 to 1805: Second Anglo-Maratha War
  • 1817 to 1818: Third Anglo-Maratha War
  • June 3,1818: Peshwa Bajirao II surrenders to the British
  • August 15, 1947: India becomes independent
  • November 1,1956: Bombay state enlarged to include all of present Maharashtra
  • May 1,1960: Bombay state split along linguistic lines into new states of Gujarat and Maharashtra.