Historical Synopsis of Maharashtra
Ruled By : Ashoka The Great, Mauryas, Chalkyas, Marathas and Britishers
Also Known As : Dandakaranya and Marathwada
Famous Ruler : Chhatrapati Raje Shivaji Bhonsle (Maharaj)
Important Historical Events : Quit India Movement lead by Mahatma Gandhi in 1942
"The soil is rich and fertile and it is regularly cultivated and very productive. Men are fond of learning and studying both heretical and orthodox books. The disposition of the people is honest and simple; they are tall in stature and of a stern and vindictive character. To their benefactors, they are grateful; to their enemies, relentless. If they are insulted, they will risk their lives to avenge themselves. If they are asked to help one in distress, they will forget themselves in their haste to render assistance." Said by Hiun Tsang (during his visit to Maharashtra in AD 640-641).
The abode of Marathas, believed to be inhabited since the Paleolithic
age, has a recorded history in Marathi language and is as old as third
century BC. This great land is ruled by the Buddhist Emperor Ashoka and
was center of trade even that time. Port town of Sopara was the ancient
India's commerce link with East Africa, Mesopotamia, Aden and Cochin. The
Country was ruled by Mauryas, Satvahans (credited with the biggest
cultural development), Vakatakas from 250 AD to 552 AD during which art,
religion and technology flourished.
From the 6th century Chalkyas reigned the throne and were followed by Rashtarkutas who rule from 753 1189. The first millennium witnessed the peaceful era with the long ruling regimes and the continuos developments.
The State came under the Islamic influence when the rulers of Delhi sultanate rulers Ala-ud Din Khilji and Muhammad Bin Tughluq conquered Maharashtra and some parts of Deccan in 13th century. After their fall in 1347 the reign was taken over by Bahamani Sultanat of Bijapur and ruled for over 150 years. 16th century witnessed many small autonomous Islamic kingdoms that owed alliance to Mughals and coastal areas where annexed by Portuguese.
Raigad Fort the Capital of Marathas
The Marathas came to power in the early 17th century and
the Chhatarpati Raje Shivaji Bhonsle was crowned king in 1674. The brave
and respectable Shivaji fought various wars against Mughals Empire during
Aurangzeb's rule and king of Vijapur Adil Shah. Later he was engaged in
battle with the Britishers who have establishing their base in Maharashtra
at that time. He was the most able and the successful king Maharashtra
ever had. Sombhaji Bhonsle the son and successor of the Shivaji was
captured by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in late 1680's. After that
Marathas where defeated by Mughals and later Peshwas controlled power of
the land. Bajirao-I was the first Peshwa and made Pune as his capital.
During the Peshwa rule there was immense development in the sophisticated
network, banking, finance, trade and expansion of agricultural frontier.
The year 1761 was the turning point, Marathas confederacy was heavily
defeated by the Afghan Chieftain Ahmadshah Abdali in the Third
Battle of Panipat. The Peshwa's ex generals looked after the little
kingdoms they had been given and Pune continued to be ruled by the
shrinked Peshwa dynasty.
British East India Company arrival and subsequent involvement in the India politics lead to three wars between Marathas and Britishers between 1777 to 1818 and finally the Marathas rule stumbled completely and Britishers annexed the Peshwa ruled territory in to Maharashtra in 1819.
The whole region was governed by the Britishers as part of the Bombay Presidency and spanned the area from Karachi to most northern Deccan. In the beginning of 20th century Bal Gandhar Tilak lead the non violent struggle and was followed by Gandhiji in 1942 with the Quit India Movement armed with the non violent, civil disobedience and strikes. After Indian independence the state belonged to the Deccan states of Indian union and only on May 1, 1960 Maharashtra came into existence with the split of Bombay Presidency states on the basis of new linguistic states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Top 5 Highlights of Maharashtra History
Center of Commerce
Golden Era of Maratha's
History Engraved on Walls
Blood Battles for Power
Host to Independence Movement
Caves and Beaches
Unique Rajasthan and Goa
Adventure Tour of India