Tag Archives: Shivaji

The Marathas Part 21 The Creation, Evolution and Decline of the Maratha Army Section II; Feudalism to Final Decline

Canberra, 20 September 2022 In the annals of the history of the sub-continent, the Marathas came into prominence suddenly and swiftly and dissipated and collapsed as a ruling entity equally rapidly. While the rationale for their rise have been adequately chronicled, the causes for their downfall and the speed at which the collapse took place […]

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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 19 The Saranjamdari System

Canberra, 8 August 2022 The great king Shivaji established a well-knit monarchy, within which the king doubled as the supreme military commander and the head of the civil administration. The Maratha military forces, amounting to a standing army of 200,000, were always led into battle by the king, minor skirmishes and battles being delegated to […]

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

Canberra, 28 February 2022 The Inexorable March to the Debacle The army that was put together to avenge Maratha honour consisted at the core of the Peshwa’s personal soldiers who were surrounded and supported by soldiers owing allegiance to other Maratha sardars, chiefs. The total fighting strength was around 25,000. When Sadashiv Rao Bhau left […]

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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 II The Second Phase – Coming of Age

Canberra, 23 January 2022 While the Persian adventurer Ahmad Shah Abdali was repeatedly attempting to make inroads into North India, and the French were laying the foundations upon which the English would later build their Eastern Empire, the Maratha king Shahu continued to dither as an indecisive head of the greatest power of the time […]

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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 11 Beginning of the Maratha Confederacy

Canberra, 30 October 2021 Aurangzeb’s death initiated the inevitable succession struggle. Shah Alam, the eldest surviving son based in Peshawar, reached Delhi first and claimed the throne after taking over the treasury. Azam Shah from Ahmednagar opposed him and started the march north, without concluding any formal agreement with the marauding Marathas. On the advice […]

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The Marathas Part 10 The Mughal – Maratha Hopscotch

Canberra, 25 October 2021 THE VACILLATING MUGHAL DECCAN POLICY During his long tenures as the viceroy of the Deccan during his father’s reign, and subsequently as the emperor, Aurangzeb had felt the deep-seated mistrust of the Deccan kingdoms towards the Mughals. In the two decades that he had been away from the Deccan, initially during […]

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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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