Tag Archives: Deccan

The Marathas Part 21 The Creation, Evolution and Decline of the Maratha Army Section I: Shivaji Creates the Core

Canberra, 20 September 2022 Shivaji started his career with a small jagir that had been bestowed on his father and expanded it to a kingdom covering more than half of the modern-day State of Maharashtra. In keeping with this rapid expansion of territorial holdings through conquest, the military system that Shivaji instituted also changed and […]

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The Marathas Part 14 Peshwa Balaji Rao Section IV: The Battle of Panipat

4. MAJOR REASONS FOR THE MARATHA DEBACLE Canberra, 10th May 2022 The Maratha high command had not fully thought through the expedition to North India, before despatching Sadashiv Rao Bhau with an army and instructions that were ambiguous to achieve some vague and ill-defined objectives. The aim of the expedition can, at best, be described […]

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The Marathas Part 14 Peshwa Balaji Rao Section III North India Beckons

Canberra, 21 February 2022 Punjab was in political turmoil throughout the 1740s, destabilised by different claimants to its governorship, inevitably in conflict with each other. Further, the Sikhs were in open rebellion. In the broader Indian political scene, between 1748–49, three influential ‘chiefs’ died: chiefs who were men of old values and traditions; chiefs who […]

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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 III Visions of Northward Conquests

Canberra, 22 December 2021 As soon as the Peshwa returned to the Deccan, the Mughals started to push back, and the negotiations were broken. The Mughal emperor withdrew forces that were guarding the north-western borders and passes to reinforce the contingent fighting in Central India. This decision was to have disastrous consequences for the empire […]

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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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