Who was the founder of Maratha Empire in India?
The Maratha Empire was a great empire that bloomed in the 17th century under the dynamic leadership of Chhatrapati Shivaji. The Maratha Confederacy came to dominate much of the Indian subcontinent under his guidance and became one of the most successful dynasties to have existed under the powerful Mughal rule.
The formal beginning of the Marathas happened in the year 1674, when Shivaji was coronated as the Chhatrapati. This literally translates to the ‘Keeper of the Umbrella’ in English. The Marathas were a warrior clan that established ‘Hindavi Swarajya’ (Hindu self-rule). They spoke Marathi and were from the Deccan Plateau (current Maharashtra). The Maratha capital was Raigad.
Shivaji gained great importance as he expanded the empire and took it to unprecedented heights. He is also famous for the organisation of the Maratha Navy, an elite force that was feared. He was progressive and civil and had organised his administration in a formidable way. He is responsible for reviving the Hindu traditions and usage of Sanskrit and Marathi languages in the court. Over the years, his legacy has only grown as a proto-nationalist and a Hindu hero.