How did the Marathas Rise to Power?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The rise of the Marathas occurred due to the efforts of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to foster the Maratha kingdom, and the decline of the Mughal empire occurred, which provided power to the Marathas. On the battlefield, their light cavalry made them fearsome, and their decentralized structure allowed for efficient government.

Rise of the Marathas Power

In the 17th century, the Maratha Empire ruled over a sizable portion of the Indian subcontinent. The empire formerly existed from 1674 with the coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. It ended in 1818 with the defeat of Peshwa Bajirao II at the hands of the British East India Company.

  • The people collectively known as the Marathas comprised the Rathis, Rashtriks, and Rathiks.
  • The Maratha Empire ended the chaos that endured in the Deccan Plateau.

The Deccan Sultanate was divided into five Sultanates as follows-

  • Ahmednagar
  • Berar
  • Bidar
  • Bijapur
  • Golkonda

Rise of Marathas under Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

They were excellent horsemen, and their natural environment made them industrious, courageous, and purposeful. The idea of pilgrimage across the country was also encouraged by Bhakti saints of the region, leading to the growth of a unified vision of the Maratha kingdom in the face of greater Muslim political dominance.

Many important Muslim states disappeared during the 17th century. But two very important Muslim states – Bijapur and Golconda still existed. But they were also in a state of anarchy. Administrative decline and internal strife in these kingdoms were important factors in Chhatrapati Shivaji’s regional rise.


How did the Marathas Rise to Power?

The rise of the Marathas happened as Shivaji Maharaj’s efforts fostered the Maratha kingdom and the Mughal Empire declined, which provided power. Light cavalry usage made them dangerous on the battlefield. Effective governance was provided by decentralized nature.

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