Tag Archives: Deccan Plateau

The Marathas Part 14 Peshwa Balaji Rao Section I: A Hesitant Start

Canberra, 7 January 2022 On the untimely death of Baji Rao, the Deccan faction in the Maratha court once again attempted to stop the hereditary appointment of the Chitpavan Brahmin Bhat family as Peshwas. This faction was led by Raghuji Bhonsle, who was also one of King Shahu’s favourite nobles. Raghuji had been at loggerheads […]

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The Marathas Part 13 Peshwa Baji Rao I Section IV A Peshwa Fades Away

Canberra, 26 December 2021 The Marathas always faced obstacles in establishing strong control over the coastal region of Konkan. The Sidis, and later the Portugues, individually contested the control over this narrow, but strategically important coastal strip. The control of Konkan translated to the control of the lucrative seaborne trade that also included horses and […]

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The Marathas Part 13 Peshwa Baji Rao I Section I: Taking Charge

Canberra, 24 November 2021 Two weeks after his father’s death, 22-year-old Baji Rao succeeded as the Peshwa, assuming office on 17th April 1720. There was opposition to his appointment because of his extreme youth and a demonstrated penchant for military adventures. He was also known for his characteristically open and direct manner of dealing with […]

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The Marathas Part 12 The Rise of the Peshwas: Balaji Viswanath Bhat

Canberra, 12 November 2021 Bringing Kanhoji Angre into Shahu’s fold without bloodshed was a great triumph of Balaji’s diplomacy. The most powerful chieftain from the rival camp was now a supporter of Shahu, which further strengthened the foundations of the Maratha kingdom that was being built. The new policy, enunciated by the Peshwa and fully […]

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The Marathas Part 9 Triumph of the Marathas

Canberra, 16 October 2021 Sambhaji’s brutal execution and Rajaram’s hurried flight to Ginji were events that severely shocked the Maratha psyche. However, the Marathas are one of the most resilient of peoples, oriented towards action and therefore, the despondency did not linger for long. In May 1690 a combined Maratha army, commanded by many military […]

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The Marathas Part 8 The Regency of Rajaram: Taking on the Mughals

Canberra, 07 October 2021 Even though there was no denial of Sambhaji’s character flaws and grave faults in his behaviour pattern, the Maratha nobles fully resented the way he had been treated by the Mughal emperor—after all, he was the king of the Marathas. Sambhaji left behind his wife Yesubai and a six-year-old son Shahu, […]

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The Marathas Part 6 Shivaji Bhonsle Section III: A Decade of Conquest

Canberra, 13 July 2021 Even though Shivaji had emphatically asserted his independence, he carefully maintained peace with the Mughals for two primary reasons. First was that from 1653, the Mughal territories in the Deccan were being governed by Aurangzeb, a prince of singular efficiency and vigour who no one wanted to offend. The second, Shivaji […]

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The Marathas Prelude: The Indian Sub-continent in the 16th Century – Politics & Religion

Canberra, 26 May 2021 Geographically, the 16th century Indian sub-continent was similar to modern India, with the inclusion of Afghanistan and Baluchistan within its borders. [In this series of books ‘From Indus to Independence: A Trek through Indian History’ that narrate the history of the Indian sub-continent, the countries of Pakistan created in 1947 and […]

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The Marathas Part 2: Framing the Maratha Identity

Canberra, 21 May 2021 By late 13th century, the Hindu revolt in Peninsular India against the invading Muslim forces was bitter and widespread. Even the learned heads of various Hindu ‘Maths’, monasteries, were involved in attempting to repel the Muslim invaders. Shankaracharya Madhav Vidyaranya, the head of the famous and powerful Sringeri Math, was one […]

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Indian History Part 84 Aurangzeb Section VII: The Curtain Falls

Canberra, 23 February 2021 After the capture and execution of Shambhuji, it would have been logical for Aurangzeb to return to Delhi—the three major powers in the Deccan, the Adil and the Qutb Shahis and the Marathas, had been effectively destroyed or subdued and their territories annexed to the Empire. There was nothing more to […]

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