Maratha Empire

The Maratha Empire, also known as the Maratha Confederacy, was one of the strongest imperial powers in Indiawhich existed between 1674 and 1818 AD. The Maratha Empire is known to have re-established the Hindu rule inIndia, which was lost with the rise of Mughal powers.  At its peak, the Maratha Empire was the largest kingdom in South Asia with an approximate area cover of 2.8 million square kilometers.
Maharaja Shivaji Bhosle, famously referred as Veer Shivaji, founded and consolidated the independent Maratha Empire and ruled it from Raigah, which was made empire’s capital. He successfully fought and won against the Mughal forces to defend his kingdom. The battle between the Maratha Empire and the Mughal forces continued for an approximate period of 27 years, between 1681 and 1707, making it the longest battle in the entire history of India. Veer Shivaji successfully defeated larger and more powerful Mughal troops by making use of his guerrilla war tactics, famously known as ‘Shiva Sutra’ or ‘Ganimi Kava’, which leveraged the strategic war factors such as demographics, surprise, speed and focused attack.
In the reign of Shahu, a grandson of Veer Shivaji, the Peshwas were appointed as the Prime Ministers of theMaratha Empire. Also, under his regime, the empire was stretched in all directions by the Peshwas, Holkars, Bhosles, Shindes and the Gaikwads. At its peak, the Maratha Empire stretched from Afghanistan border in the north to Tamil Nadu in the south and from Bengal in the east to Peshawar (now in Pakistan) in the west. Later, in 1761, the Maratha forces lost in the ‘Third Battle of Panipat’ after which the imperial expansion of the Maratha Empire was halted.
In 1761, ten years after the Maratha defeat in the ‘Third Battle of Panipat’, Madhavrao Peshwa was successful in reinstating the Maratha authority in North India. In order to effectively control and manage the large Maratha Empire, semi-autonomy was given to strongest of knights; as a result of which, several Maratha States were established. Later, these states were known as the Holkars of Indore and Malwa, the Gaekwads of Baroda, the Bhonsales of Nagpur and the Shindes of Gwalior and Ujjain.
Later, in 1775, the British East India Company intervened in the dispute of succession in the Maratha Empire which resulted in the ‘First Anglo-Maratha War’. However, the Marathas remained a prominent power in India until their defeat in the second and third Anglo-Maratha wars, between 1805 and 1818 AD, after which the British East India Company was successful to gain control over most parts of India.
The Maratha Empire was later successful in securing a large coastline by making use of a potent navy under the leadership of commanders like Kanhoji Angre. Securing coastal areas and building land-based fortifications on them was a part of the Maratha defense strategy and an important chapter in the regional military history. The Marathasformed their navy by overtaking the foreign naval ships, particularly the ships of the British and the Portugal.

 List of the Maratha Empire rulers

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (1630 AD to 1680 AD)
  • Chhatrapati Sambhaji (1657 AD to 1689 AD)
  • Chhatrapati Rajaram (1670 AD to 1700 AD)
  • Maharani Tarabai (1675 AD to 1761 AD)
  • Chhatrapati Shahu (1682 AD to 1749 AD)
  • Chhatrapati Ramaraja
  • Queen Tarabai (1675 AD to 1761 AD)
  • Chhatrapati Sambhaji
  • Chhatrapati Shahu IV
  • Sonopant Dabir (1640 AD to 1652 AD)
  • Shyampant Kulkarni-Ranzekar (1652 AD to 1657 AD)
  • Moropant Trimbak Pingle (1657 AD to 1683 AD)
  • Moreshwar Pingale (1683 AD to 1689 AD)
  • RamchandraPant Amatya (1689 AD to 1708 AD)
  • Bahiroji Pingale (1708 AD to 1711 AD)
  • Parshuram Tribak Kulkarni (1711 AD to 1713 AD)
  • Balaji Vishwanath (1713 AD to 1720 AD)
  • Peshwa Bajirao I (1720 AD to 1740 AD)
  • Balaji Bajirao
  • Madhavrao Peshwa
  • Narayanrao Bajirao
  • Raghunathrao
  • Sawai Madhava Rao II Narayan
  • Chimnajee Madhavarao
  • Baji Rao II
  • Amritrao
  • Nana Sahib


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