Maratha Empire :: Whenever the word Maratha is mentioned, then definitely the first one who is remembered is the great Maratha Shivaji Maharaj, who lit up the Maratha Empire with his amazing might. Shivaji Maharaj was a great patriot as well as being the founder of the Maratha Empire. About whom is famous “who weighed the might of the Mughals on swords”.
History of Maratha Empire | Maratha Empire
Shivaji Maharaj was born on 20 April 1627 at Shivner Fort near Pune, he founded the Maratha Empire in 1674. In 1656 AD, on the occasion of his birthday, Shivaji Maharaj declared Raigad as the capital of his empire, which is said to be the establishment of the independent Maratha Empire.
Achievements of Shivaji Maharaj
Shivaji Maharaj won the Sinhagad fort of Bijapur in 1643 AD.
Won the fort of Toran in 1643 AD.
Afzal Khan was defeated in 1659.
In 1663 AD, Shaista Khan was defeated.
Shivaji died on 12 April 1680.
Situation after the death of Shivaji
After his death, Shivaji left behind a vast empire as well as a powerful army. 300 forts, 40,000 cavalry, 5000 infantry, naval ships on the western seaboard. After the death of Shivaji, his son Sambhaji ascended the throne.
birth of shambhaji
Shambha ji was born in 1680, Shambhaji was also an ambitious and brave warrior like his father Shivaji Maharaj, Shambha ji defeated Chikka Deva Raya of Portugal and Mysore. Shambaji’s death in 1689 After his death, his son Raja Rai ascended the throne.
Birth of Raja Rai
1670 was born in Rajgarh Fort, 3 March 1700 Sinhagad Fort Raja Rai died. When Raja Rai died, his son Shivaji Ditiya was only 4 years old. The Maratha kingdom was in a state of crisis until then, Tarabai Bhonsle who was Rajaram’s first wife. He took over the governance of the state by declaring his minor son Shivaji Dwitiya as his successor.
Tarabai Bhosale was a brave woman, for 7 years Tarabai gave a tough competition to Aurangzeb and took the Maratha chieftains one by one.
Birth of Tarabai:- 1675 (Satara)
Death of Tara Bai:- 9 December 1761 (Satara)
Political achievements of Tarabai
After the death of husband Raja Ram, the throne was not secure, the son was also a minor. By making his minor son an instrument, he took the running of governance in his hands. Tarabai’s thinking was visionary, she knew if the throne remained vacant then Aurangzeb would attack. Tarabai gave a tough competition to Aurangzeb and stressed on Maratha unity. After his death, his son Shivaji Dwitiya, sitting on the throne, took over the running of the rule in his hands.
Birth:- 9 June 1696
Death:- 14 March 1726 (Raigad Fort)
Chhatrapati Shahu Ji Maharaj
Mango Sahu Ji Maharaj took over the running of the Maratha Empire in his hands in 1717 AD. Chhatrapati Shahuji, a descendant of Shivaji, was an ambitious emperor.
Sahu Ji Maharaj established the Satara and Kolhapur kingdoms in 1707. Dhar Indore Gwalior was also a part of the Maratha Empire and till there also the Maratha Empire waved. Sahu Ji Maharaj died on 15 December 1749 in Satara. Rajaram In 1950, Rajaram took over the running of the Maratha Empire in his hands.
Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj II became the ruler of the Maratha Empire in 1777. Hatred towards the Mughals was in his mind since childhood, he fought with the Mughals till the last moment. He died in 1808. Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj was the last ruler of the Dwitiya Maratha Empire. After this the runaway of the Maratha Empire came in the hands of the Peshwa. The Mahamatya (prime minister) of the Peshwa Maratha emperor lived, from here the decline of the Marathas started.
Reasons for the downfall of Marathas
There is no one main reason for the decline of any great empire, there are many reasons for it. That’s when the vast empire tends to collapse. If we find the reason for the decline of the Marathas, the main reasons are as follows. After Sahu ji Tritiya, no such ruler emerged who was visionary and would recognize the circumstances. After Sahu Ji Tritiya, everyone started fighting among themselves.
He did not stress on unity, whose full benefit went to the Peshwa. Peshwa used to be their prime minister, after Sahu ji Tritiya there was a major lack in the organization, after him no qualified leadership could be found. Alcohol and kebabs became their weakness, their faulty policy also became the reason for their downfall. Injustice also became the main cause of oppression and internal ambush. The Peshwa got the direct benefit of their mutual split and there are many other reasons for their downfall.
My thoughts on Maratha Empire
Shivaji Maharaj’s tireless hard work, courage, bravery, foresight, fair system, devotion to the subjects only took the Maratha Empire to that height. Then the economic, politics, entire system of present India was under the Mughals. In the face of adversity, Shivaji Maharaj firmly faced the Mughals, opposed, strengthened the organization. By the time Shivaji Maharaj lived till his last days, the Maratha Empire had become the main center of power.
Shivaji Maharaj was so visionary that he knew that if the army remained strong, only then the enemy would realize the power. Shivaji Maharaj made the infantry, the cavalry and the navy all three powerful. He had control over all the activities of the state till he lived till his last days. After his death, his successors from Shambhaji to Shahuji III protected the empire.
After Shahu, his successor proved to be weak, whose full benefit went to the Peshwa. Once upon a time, the control of the state started coming in the hands of the Peshwas. From there the Peshwa dynasty was established. The Peshwa started taking all the important decisions of the state’s economic, social politics. The Maratha emperors had remained only as puppets till then. The Peshwa dynasty was born only after the fall of the last Maratha emperor. It continued till the Mughals had controlled the whole of India.