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Maratha Rulers And Battles Involving The Maratha Empire

Maratha rulers
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The western side of Deccan Plateau’s Marathi-speaking Marathas, now known as Maharashtra, rose to prominence by creating Hindavi Swarajya. The Maratha empire and its contributions to history have become an integral part of India’s legacy — most of these were due to the Maratha rulers and their valiant efforts. The Maratha empire under Shivaji specifically fluidized a lot. In Indian history, there have been numerous battles involving the Maratha empire. Some of which they won, and some they unfortunately lost. One of these and the most memorable happened to be the Third Battle of Panipat, which was fought between Mughals and Marathas. It was a historical endeavour.  

The history of the Maratha Empire is, however, quite elaborate and interesting and there’s much more to know and learn such as the battle between Mughals and Marathas, so let’s dive in. 

History Of The Maratha Empire

In the early 17th century, the Mughals, under Aurangzeb, pushed to the northern Deccan plateau. The Deccan Sultanate at this time consisted of five Sultanates. They included Ahmednagar, Berar, Bidar, Bijapur, and Golkonda. 

Due to the decentralized nature of the Mughal Empire at the time, many of the states and even towns were governed by their own nobles, who acted as a liaison between the emperor and his citizens. The protection of his borders with the Persians and Turks was another priority for Aurangzeb. These two elements working together provided Shivaji with the perfect environment in which to topple the government. 

Maratha Empire Under Shivaji 

The formal spark for the creation of this empire was Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s ascent in the year 1674. The Maratha Empire put an end to the bearable volatility of the Deccan Plateau. The Maratha empire under Shivaji flourished. The Maratha rulers were a force to be reckoned with. 

In addition to these and other elements, the Marathas also benefited from topographical features including thick forests and mountains, guerilla warfare, and the saints of the Marathi bhakti movement. There have been several battles involving the Maratha empire, which we will find out about. 

The Battle Between Mughals And Marathas To Capture Delhi 

In 1674, Shivaji proclaimed himself the ruler of the Maratha Empire following a series of assaults against the Mughal Empire. The Maratha Empire under Shivaji was quite a force to reckon with. However, the Mughal Empire suppressed the rise of the Maratha Empire after Shivaji’s death in 1680. 

In 1681, Sambhaji, Shivaji’s son, declared himself to be the new emperor of the Maratha Empire. Aurangzeb moved his troops west, certain that he could quickly put an end to the Maratha uprising. Further battles involving the Maratha empire were about to ensue. 

After fighting against the Mughal Empire for years, Sambhaji was captured and executed in 1689. In the same year, Sambhaji’s brother Rajaram became the throne of a reborn Maratha Empire. Jinji, the then capital of the Maratha Empire, was taken by the Mughal army in 1698. In 1700, lung illness claimed the life of Rajaram. 

Tarabai, the wife of Rajaram, inherited the Maratha Empire. The Mughals were successfully repelled by the Maratha soldiers under the heroic leadership of Tarabai till they crossed the Narmada River and conquered Malwa in 1705. Aurangzeb continued to fight even knowing that he was losing. This was a critical victory. The Maratha ascendency in the subcontinent began with this.

The Mughal Empire’s demise was symbolized by Aurangzeb’s death in 1707 when Maratha soldiers invaded and destabilized Delhi. The Maratha rulers deserve their due credit for this. 

The Rise Of Maratha Empire: Battles Involving The Maratha Empire

The Maratha Empire continued to expand — thanks to the Maratha rulers — following the aftermath of the conflict. The Marathas successfully crossed the Narmada River, leading to their effective conquest of a major chunk of Mughal territory.

Shahu was set free by Bahadur Shah I in 1707, and the Marathas swiftly consolidated their dominance. Balaji Vishwanath was given the role of Prime Minister, or Peshwa, by Shahu as soon as the states of Satara and Kolhapur were founded. The expansion of the Maratha Empire required the leadership of Balaji and his family. They were able to further establish their position during the Mughal-Maratha Wars, thanks to their mobility.

Then came the year 1760 — The Maratha army occupied Delhi. The 60,000-strong Maratha army under Sadasiva Rao captured Delhi in 1760 from Afghans and held it till 1761 when Afghans recaptured it.

The Third Battle of Maratha empire under Shivaji, battles, which the Maratha Army lost in 1761, put an end to their imperial push into Afghanistan. The Maratha Resurrection, led by the young Peshwa Madhav Rao I, restored Maratha’s rule over North India ten years after Panipat.

The battles involving the Maratha empire truly changed the course of their history. 

Maratha Rulers With Timeline 

Following is a chronological order of the Maratha Rulers that took precedence one after the other: 

  • 1674-1680: Shivaji I 
  • 1681-1689: Sambhaji I 
  • 1689-1700: Rajaram I 
  • 1700-1707: Shivaji II 
  • 1707-1749: Shahu I 
  • 1749-1777: Rajaram II 
  • 1777-1808: Shahu II 
  • 1808: Pratap Singh. He signed a treaty with the East India company ceding part of the sovereignty of his Kingdom to the company.

These Maratha rulers transformed the Maratha kingdom and contributed to significant history. 

Also Read- History, Story And Real Facts About Taj Mahal And Mumtaz Mahal

The Fall Of Maratha To East India Company In 1818

When the East India Company got involved in a Peshwa family succession dispute in Pune in the year 1775, it sparked the First Anglo-Maratha War, which the Marathas ultimately won. Up until their loss in the Second and Third Anglo-Maratha Wars, when the East India Company took over control of the majority of the Indian subcontinent, the Marathas were the dominant force in India. Peshwa Baji Rao II signed the Treaty of Bassein in 1802, accepting Subsidiary Alliance. This signalled the end of the Maratha Empire.

battles involving the Maratha empire

By 1818, when it had finally been overthrown, the great monarchs who stood in for the Maratha power knelt and accepted the East India Company’s dominion. Thus, came an end to the enriching history of the Maratha empire and the Maratha rulers. 


The valiant efforts of the Maratha rulers would never be forgotten. Besides living eternally through history, they will remain a source of inspiration to others for many years to come. Chhatrapati Shivaji and the Maratha Empire under Shivaji would forever be immortalized, categorized by his true strength as a great leader. 

The Maratha’s great efforts to crown Shivaji and formally build the Maratha Empire in 1674 are proof of their dedication to establishing a traditional Hindu Swarajya throughout the subcontinent. Although their demise was characterized by the onset of the British East India Company, the Maratha Empire proved to history its strength and strategizing intellect through their impenetrable fortifications, their sense of Maratha nationalism, and their courage.

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