What's new

The Maratha War of Independence

IND151

BANNED
Oct 25, 2010
10,171
3
7,279
Country
India
Location
India

The Maratha War of Independence (also termed the War of 27 years) was fought between the Maratha Empire and the Mughal Empire from 1681 to 1707 on the Indian subcontinent.
It is the longest recorded military engagement in the history of India. The Maratha Empire eventually emerged victorious.[2][3] It started in 1681 with the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s invasion of Maratha empire. On his side, Aurangzeb commanded an army numbering half a million soldiers which was more than three times that of the Maratha army, a powerful artillery, lakhs of horses and thousands of elephants. There was abundant wealth in Mughal royal treasury. Teaming up with Portuguese, British, Siddis, Golkonda and Bijapur Sultanates, he planned to encapsulate Marathas from all sides and to form a deadly death trap. It would seem no-brainer to predict the outcome of such vastly one sided war. It seemed like the perfect storm headed towards Maratha confederacy. But it ended in 1707 with Maratha victory. Aurangzeb threw everything he had in this war. He lost it all. The total number of battles fought was in hundreds.[4]

In March of 1700, Rajaram took his last breath. His queen Tarabai, who was also daughter of the gallant Maratha Commander-in-Chief Hambirao Mohite, took charge of Maratha army. Daughter of a braveheart, Tarabai proved her true mettle for the next seven years. She carried the struggle on with equal valor. Thus began the phase III, the last phase of the prolonged war, with Marathas under the leadership of Tarabai.

After death of Rajaram, his widow, Tarabai assumed the charge of the empire. She herself took to the field and remained mobile and vigil during the crisis. In words of Jadunath Sarkar, 'It is her character that saved the nation in that awful crisis.'

The signs of strains were showing in Mughal camp in late 1701. Asad Khan, Julfikar Khan’s father, counselled Aurangzeb to end the war and turn around. This expedition had already taken a giant toll, much larger than originally planned, on Mughal empire. And serious signs were emerging that the 200 years old Mughal empire was crumbling and was in the middle of a war that was not winnable.

Mughals were bleeding heavily from treasuries. But Aurangzeb kept pressing the war on. By 1704, Aurangzeb had Torana and Rajgad. He had won only a handful forts in this offensive, but he had spent several precious years. It was slowly dawning to him that after 24 years of constant war, he was no closer to defeating Marathas than he was the day he began.


The final Maratha counter offensive gathered momentum in North. Tarabai proved to be a valiant leader once again. One after another Mughal provinces fell in north. They were not in position to defend as the royal treasuries had been sucked dry and no armies were left in town. In 1705, two Maratha army factions crossed Narmada. One under leadership of Nemaji Shinde hit as deep North as Bhopal. Second under the leadership of Dabhade struck Bharoch and West. Dabhade with his eight thousand men,attacked and defeated Mahomed khan’s forces numbering almost fourteen thousand. This left entire Gujarat coast wide open for Marathas. They immediately tightened their grip on Mughal supply chains. By 1705 end, Marathas had penetrated Mughal possession of Central India and Gujarat. Nemaji Shinde defeated Mughals on the Malwa plateau. In 1706, Mughals started retreating from Maratha dominions.


In Maharashtra, Aurangzeb grew despondent. He started negotiations with Marathas, but cut abruptly and marched on a small kingdom called Wakinara. Naiks at Wakinara traced their lineage to royal family of Vijaynagar empire. They were never fond of Mughals and had sided with Marathas. Dhanaji marched into Sahyadris and won almost all the major forts back in short time. Satara and Parali forts were taken by Parshuram Timbak. Shankar Narayan took Sinhgad. Dhanaji then turned around and took his forces to Wakinara. He helped the Naiks at Wakinara sustain the fight. Naiks fought very bravely. Finally Wakinara fell, but the royal family of Naiks successfully escaped with least damage.

[edit]Aurangzeb's Escape and Death
Aurangzeb had now given up all hopes and was now planning retreat to Burhanpur. Dhanaji Jadhav again fell on him and in swift and ferocious attack and dismantled the rear guard of his imperial army. With the help of Zulfikar Khan, Aurangzeb escaped to Burhanpur.[6]

Aurangzeb witnessed bitter fights among his sons in his last days. Alone, lost, depressed, bankrupt, far away from home, he died on 3 March 1707. “I hope god will forgive me one day for my disastrous sins”, were his last words. Thus ended a prolonged and grueling period in history of India. The Mughal kingdom fragmented and disintegrated soon after. And Deccan saw rise of a new sun, the Maratha Empire.

[edit]Aftermath of the war

Marathas emerged victorious against the Mughals and started northward expansion. For the first time they crossed the Narmada the traditional boundary between northern plains and peninsula. After defeating the Mughals, there was no other power to oppose Marathas successfully. With the death of Emperor Aurangzeb in 1707, the Maratha army marched in to Delhi itself, within a decade forced the Mughal clan to being confined to Delhi. Under the pressure of Marathas, the Mughals released the grandson of Shivaji, Shahu from captivity.

The Mughals suffered heavy losses in the entire war. Entire Mughal Empire got split in small kingdoms. Nizam of Hyderabad, Nawab of Oudh and Nawab of Bengal quickly declared their kingdoms as independent from Mughal Empire. The Mughals were now confined to Delhi and nearby areas.

Meanwhile the Maratha cavalry continued their expansion in north under various Maratha generals like Nemaji Shinde, Hybtarao Nimbalkar, Parsoji Bhosle, Dhanaji Jadhav and by May 1758, Marathas had extended their territory to Peshawar (now in Pakistan).[7]

[B]HAR HAR MAHADEV !!!!![/B]

Maratha War of Independence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


 

IND151

BANNED
Oct 25, 2010
10,171
3
7,279
Country
India
Location
India
i salute all those Maratha Warriors!

this war bankrupted Mughal empire and sow seeds of eventual northern expansion of Maratha Dynasty
 

Nalwa

FULL MEMBER
Nov 23, 2010
826
0
891
I think it would be wrong to call it as a war between two empires. Marathas led by Shivaji werent an empire by any stretch of the imagination. They were rebels against an aggressive Aurangzeb's Mughal domination of the sub-continent. They outlasted his efforts to control them mainly via guerrilla warfare. Subsequently, the Marathas under the Peshwas did forge a strong empire and once controlled territories as far north as the Ganges and Bengal in the East. If only for their follies and their allies treacheries in the third battle of Panipat they would have been de-facto rulers of the whole of India.
 

Bhairava

SENIOR MEMBER
Jun 8, 2010
5,160
0
4,766
If only for their follies and their allies treacheries in the third battle of Panipat they would have been de-facto rulers of the whole of India.

If only the Rajputs and the Sikhs had united (Rajputs had a valid grouse against the Marathas because of the Marathas' constant raids into Rajput territories, but I still dont understand why the Sikhs did not side with them) with the Marathas for the greater interests leaving aside their feuds, Abdali would have been sent packing, the Marathas would have remained in power,English would not have made use the opportunity to consolidate their power and history would have been different.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)


Top Bottom