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TNPSC Free Notes History – The Marathas

இந்தக் கட்டுரையில், TNPSC குரூப் 1, குரூப் 2, குரூப் 2A, குரூப் 4 மாநிலப் போட்டித் தேர்வுகளான TNUSRB, TRB, TET, TNEB போன்றவற்றுக்கான  முறைகள் இலவசக் குறிப்புகளைப் பெறுவீர்கள்.தேர்வுக்கு தயாராவோர் இங்குள்ள பாடக்குறிப்புகளை படித்து பயன்பெற வாழ்த்துகிறோம்.

The Marathas

 The Marathas played a major role in the decline of Mughal power.

 By the middle of the 18 th century, under the dynamic leadership of Shivaji, they had
succeeded in displacing Mughal power in central India.
 Nayak rule ended in 1674 in Thanjavur, when the Maratha General Venkoji (half brother
of Shivaji) succeeded in establishing Maratha rule in the Tamil region.
Rise of Marathas
Physical features and Nature of the People
 The region of the Marathas consisted of a narrow strip of land called Konkan.
 Its precipitous mountains, inaccessible valleys and impregnable hill-forts were most
favourable for military defence.
 The Marathas claimed a long tradition of military powers and prided themselves on
their loyalty, courage, discipline, cunningness, and endurance.
 They had earlier served under the Bahmani Sultans and later, after its disintegration,
under the Sultans of Ahmednagar, Bijapur, Golconda, Bidar and Berar.
 "Guerrilla warfare" was their strength.
 They possessed the ability to plan and execute the surprise lightning attacks at night.
 Further, they exhibited skills to change their tactics according to the battle situation
without waiting for orders from a superior officer.
Bhakti Movements
 The spread of the Bhakti movement inculcated the spirit of oneness among the
 Tukaram, Ramdas, and Eknath were the leading lights of the movement.
 The hymns of the Bhakti saints were sung in Marathi, and they created a bond among
people across the society.
 The degeneration of Bijapur and Golkonda prompted the Marathas to unite and fight
 The Deccan wars against the Sultans of Bijapur, Golkonda and Ahmednagar had
exhausted the Mughal treasury.
 Shivaji rallied the Marathas who lay scattered in many parts of Deccan under his
leadership and built a mighty kingdom, with Raigarh (Raigad) as the capital.

Shivaji (1627-1680)
 Shivaji was born in Shivner near Junnar as the son of Shahji Bhonsle and his first wife,

 Shahji Bhonsle was a descendant of the Yadava rulers of Devagiri from his mother’s side
and the Sisodias of Mewar on his father’s side.
 Shahji Bhonsle served under Malik Ambar (1548–1626), former slave, and the
Abyssinian minister of Ahmed Shah of Ahmednagar.
 After the death of Malik Ambar, Shahji Bhonsle played a vital role in its politics and after
the annexation of Ahmednagar by the Mughals, he entered the service of the Sultan of
 Shivaji and his mother were left under the care of Dadaji Kondadev who administered
Shahji Bhonsle’s jagirs (land grants given in recognition of military or administrative
services rendered) at Poona.
 Shivaji made himself familiar with the hilly areas around Poona.
 Religious heads, Ramdas and Tukaram, also influenced Shivaji.
 Ramdas was regarded by Shivaji as his guru and respected him.
Military conquests
 Shivaji began his military career at the age of nineteen.
 In 1646, he captured the fortress of Torna from the Sultan of Bijapur.
 The fort of Raigad, located five miles east of Torna, was captured and wholly rebuilt.
 After the death of Dadaji Kondadev in 1647, Shivaji took over the land (jagirs) of his
 Subsequently, the forts of Baramati, Indapura, Purandhar and Kondana came under his
direct control.
 The Marathas had already captured Kalyan, an important town in that region.
 Shivaji’s father had been humiliated and imprisoned by the Sultan of Bijapur.
 He negotiated with Prince Murad, the Mughal Viceroy of the Deccan and expressed his
wish to join Mughal service.
 The Sultan of Bijapur released Shahji in 1649 on some conditions.
 So, Shivaji refrained from his military activities from 1649 to 1655.
 During this period, he consolidated his power and toned up his administration
Confrontation against Bijapur
 After Mohammad Adilshah of Bijapur died in November 1656, Adilshah II, a young man
of eighteen, succeeded him.
 Aurangzeb captured Bidar, Kalyani and Purandar in 1657.
 So, both Shivaji and the Bijapur Sultan were forced to make peace with Aurangzeb.
 At this time Shah Jahan fell ill, and a war of succession was imminent in Delhi.
 Aurangzeb left for Delhi to take part in it.
 Using this opportunity, Shivaji invaded north Konkan and captured the cities of Kalyan,
Bhivandi and fort of Mahuli.
Rise of Shivaji

Shivaji Vs Afzal khan-1659
 As there was no danger from the Mughals, Bijapur Sultan decided to attack Shivaji.
 Afzal Khan was sent with a huge army.
 He boasted that he would bring the “mountain-rat” in chains.
 But, he found fighting in the mountainous country is extremely difficult.
 So, he planned to trick Shivaji, but he was outwitted.
 The Maratha forces ravaged South Konkan and Kolhapur district and captured the fort
of Panhala.
 The Sultan of Bijapur himself led the army.
 The war dragged on for more than a year.
 Nothing substantial was gained.
 Finally, after negotiations, Shivaji was recognized as the ruler of the territories in his
Shivaji Vs Mughals
 In July 1658, Aurangzeb ascended the throne as the Emperor.
 Shaista Khan was appointed the Governor of the Deccan in 1660 with the main purpose
of crushing Shivaji.
 Shivaji hit upon a bold plan.
 He entered Poona at night with 400 soldiers in the form of a marriage party and
attacked the home of Shaista Khan.
 So, Aurangzeb was forced to recall Shaista Khan from the Deccan in December 1663.
Shivaji and Jaisingh
 In 1664, Shivaji attacked Surat, the major Mughal port in the Arabian Sea and his
soldiers plundered the city.
 Aurangzeb dispatched an army under the command of the Rajput general Raja Jai Singh
to defeat Shivaji and annex Bijapur.
 At that time, Prince Muazzam, (known as Bahadur Shah I), was the Governor of the
 Jai Singh made elaborate plans to encircle Shivaji on all sides.
 Even Raigarh was under threat.
 Purandar was besieged in June 1665.
 The heroic resistance of Shivaji became futile.
 Therefore he decided to come to negotiate with Jai Singh.

 According to the treaty of Purandar signed on 11 June 1665 Shivaji yielded the
fortresses that he had captured and agreed to serve as a mansabdar and assist the
Mughals in conquering Bijapur.
Visit to Agra
 Jai Singh persuaded Shivaji to visit the Mughal court.
 He fed Shivaji with high hopes and took personal responsibility for his safety at the
 Shivaji and his son Sambhaji reached Agra in May 1666.
 But, they were not shown due respect. Humiliated, he burst out and abused the
 When Shivaji was imprisoned, he managed to escape by hiding himself in a fruit basket.
 In 1666, Shivaji resumed his belligerent policy and led Maratha soldiers in new
 As the Mughals were busy with the Afghan risings in the North-West, they could not
deal with Shivaji.
 Shivaji also occupied himself with the re-organization of his internal administration.
 Prince Muazzam, Viceroy of the Deccan, was weak and indolent.
 Raja Jaswant Singh was friendly towards Shivaji.
 Sambhaji was also made a mansabdar of 5000.
Conflict with Mughals (1670)
 Aurangzeb took back a part of the jagir in Berar which was once given to Shivaji.
 Shivaji got annoyed and recalled his troops from the Mughal service.
 He recovered almost all the forts he had ceded to the Mughals by the treaty of
 In 1670, he again sacked Surat, the most important port on the western coast.
 In 1672, the Marathas imposed Chauth or one-fourth of the revenue as annual tribute
on Surat.
 On 6 June 1674, Shivaji was crowned at Raigarh.
 He assumed the title of "Chhatrapati"(a metaphor for "supreme king ").

Marathas after Shivaji
Deccan Campaigns

 In 1676, Shivaji began his career of conquests in the south.
 A secret treaty was signed with the Sultan of Golkonda.
 Shivaji promised him some territories in return for his support.
 He captured Senji and Vellore and annexed the adjoining territories which belonged to
his father, Shahji.
 He allowed his half-brother Venkoji or Ekoji to carry on administering Thanjavur.
 The Carnatic campaigns added glory and prestige to Shivaji.
 Senji, the newly conquered place, acted as the second line of defence for his successors.
Last days of Shivaji
 Shivaji’s last days were not happy.
 His eldest son Sambhaji deserted him and joined the Mughal camp.
 Although he returned, he was imprisoned and sent to Panhala fort by Aurangzeb.
 The relentless campaigns affected Shivaji’s health.
 He died in 1680 at the age of 53.
 At the time of his death, Shivaji’s kingdom comprised the Western Ghats and the
Konkan between Kalyan and Goa.
 The provinces in the south included western Karnataka extending from Belgaum to the
bank of Tungabhadra.
 Vellore, Senji and a few other districts were not settled at the time of his death.
Marathas after Shivaji
 A year after the death of Shivaji, his eldest son and successor Sambhaji led a Maratha
army into the Mughal territory, captured Bahadurpur in Berar, and plundered its wealth.
 Provoked by this humiliation, Aurangzeb struck a compromise with the Mewar Rajputs
and led an army into the Deccan.
 Bijapur and Golkonda were annexed in 1686 and 1687 respectively.
 The next task of Aurangzeb was to punish Sambhaji for giving protection to his
rebellious son Prince Akbar II.
 In 1689, the Mughal forces captured Sambhaji and killed him.
 Sambhaji’s death did not deter the Marathas.
 His younger brother Rajaram renewed the fight from the fortress of Senji.
 The fight continued for many years.
 After the death of Rajaram in 1700, resistance continued under the leadership of his
widow, Tara Bai.
 Acting on behalf of his infant son, she despatched an army of 50,000 horsemen and
infantry to Hyderabad.

 The capital was plundered and, as a result, trade-in Masulipatnam, the major port of the
region remained disrupted for many years.
 At the time of Aurangzeb’s death in 1707, Marathas still had many fortified places under
their control.
 After Aurangzeb’s death, Sambhaji’s son Shahu was released from prison and claimed
the Maratha throne.
 Tara Bai objected, and it led to a civil war, in which Shahu emerged victoriously and
ascended the throne in 1708.
 Balaji Viswanath was very supportive of Shahu and helped him ascend to the throne in
 As a gesture of his gratitude, Shahu appointed Balaji Viswanath as the Peshwa in 1713.
 Shahu retired to Satara and the Peshwa started to rule from Poona.
 Tara Bai carried on a parallel rival government with Kolhapur as capital.
 But Raja Bai, the second wife of Rajaram and her son Sambhaji II imprisoned Tara Bai
and her son in 1714.
 Sambhaji II ascended the throne of Kolhapur.
 However, he had to accept the overlordship of Shahu.
 After Shahu died in 1749, Rama Raja who ascended the throne, made a pact with the
Peshwa, according to which he became a titular head.
 Tara Bai was disappointed.
 Tara Bai and Rama Raja died in 1761 and 1777 respectively.
 Shahu II, the adopted son of Rama Raja, ruled till his death in 1808 as a nonentity.
 His son Pratap Singh who came to the throne next was deposed by the British
government in 1839 on the charge that he plotted against the British Government.
 Pratap Singh died as a prisoner in 1847.
 His younger brother Shaji Appa Saheb, Shaji II, was made king by the British in 1839.
 Shahji II died in 1848 without a successor.


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