Maharashtra state of India is an enchanting land of Marathas, having a history that dates back to 3rd century BC. The Maratha Empire saw the peak under Shivaji's reign. Shivaji included almost the entire Deccan, central India and some parts of modern day Pakistan into Maratha Empire.Maharashtra Travel Guide also provides a detailed information on Maharashtra history its historical perspectives and much more.

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India - Maharashtra - Historical Information of Maharashtra

Historical Information of Maharashtra

Maharashtra was inhibited since the Palaeolithic era, as indicated by the archaeological evidences. Maharashtra's early history information is not well known and its recorded history is as old as the 3rd century BC. It was recorded with the use of the Marathi language, a Prakrit corruption of Sanskrit. Later, Maharashtra was included in the Magadha empire, ruled by the Buddhist emperor Ashoka. The port town of Sopara was the hub of ancient India's commerce, having links with Eastern Africa, Mesopotamia, Aden and Cochin. This port town was situated just north of the present day Mumbai. As the Mauryan Empire degraded, Maharashtra was overpowered by the Satavahanas between 230 BC and 225 AD.

¤ The Early History

Vidarbha, the eastern region of Maharashtra was also conquered by the Vakatakas (250 AD-525 AD), who were then the rulers of the state. Art and religion developed and technology flourished, during this period. By the 6th century, Maharashtra came under the reign of the Chalukyas. Later, in 753, Rashtrakutas ruled the region. This empire spread over most of the Indian peninsular. Rashtrakutas were then defeated in 973 by the Chalukayas, who ruled parts of Maharashtra until 1189, when they lost to Yadavas of Deogiri.

¤ The Islamic Influence

When the Muslim emperors entered India, they established their capital in Delhi. Later, they started to expand towards the south of India. The first Muslim emperors who invaded Maharashtra and conquered some parts of the Deccan in the 13th century were Ala-ud-din Khalji and Muhammad bin Tughluq. When the Tughlaq dynasty fell in 1347, the Bahamani Sultanate overpowered the region and ruled it for the next 150 years.
By the 16th century, central Maharashtra was ruled by numerous autonomous Islamic kingdoms that owed commitment to the Mughals. Meanwhile the coastal region was annexed by the Portuguese, who wanted to control the rich spice trade of the region.

¤ The Maratha Empire

As the 17th century emerged the Maratha Empire began to take root. Shivaji Bhonsle led the Marathas, native to western Maharashtra, he was crowned king in 1674, after a long fought battle with Muslim emperors. The Maratha Empire saw the peak under Shivaji's reign. He included almost the entire Deccan, central India and some parts of modern day Pakistan into Maratha Empire. After defeating the Mughals in 1707, the Marathas became the dominant rulers of India. Bajirao I, in the year 1712, was crowned the next king. He established the Peshwa (Prime Minister) dynasty with Pune as their capital. During his reign Maratha Empire suffered a heavy defeat to the Afghan chieftain Ahmad Shah Abdali, in the third Battle of Panipat in 1761. The loss was so huge that the Maratha Confederacy was reduced to a regional kingdom. As the British East India Company arrived in India and started interfering in the Indian politics, they faced stiff resistance from the Marathas. These two powers fought three major battles, which led to the annexation of Peshwa ruled territory in Maharashtra in 1819. This marked the end of the Maratha empire.

¤ The British Raj

This region was ruled by the British, as a part of the Bombay Presidency. The Bombay presidency included an area from Karachi in Pakistan to most of the northern Deccan. The British Raj saw many social reforms, infrastructure improvement and many revolts due to their prejudiced policies. As the 20th century began, a non-violent struggle led by Mahatma Gandhi started taking shape. The Quit India Movement started by Gandhi in 1942 was marked by a non-violent civil disobedience movement and strikes.

¤ Post Independence (1947)

Many independent princely states in central India joined the Indian Union, after India's independence in 1947. Bombay state was established in the year 1956, which merged the princely states of central India into Bombay Presidency. The state of Maharashtra was established on 1st May 1960, this state included the Marathi-speaking territory of Bombay state. Maharashtra became India's leading state after the favorable economic policies in the 1970s.

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