UPSC : Factors Leading to the Rise of the Marathas and Shivaji - Maratha Kingdom and Confederacy UPSC Notes | EduRev
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Factors Leading to the Rise of the Marathas
- The mountaneous country provided security to the Marathas, on the one hand, and made them hardy soldiers with a spirit of self-reliance and capacity for hard work, on the other.
- The nature developed in the Marathas self reliance, courage, perseverance, a stern simplicity, a rough straightforwardness, a social equality and consequently pride in the dignity of man as man.
- The civil institutions as also the religious systems maintained an equilibrium in the composite society, free from the shackles of rigidity.
- The literature and language of the Marathas also acted as a unifying force.
- The spread of the Bhakti movement in Maharashtra inculcated the spirit of oneness among the Marathas.
- Ramdas Samarth, the author of the book Dasbodh, taught the philosophy of action or karma and exhorted Shivaji's son Sambhaji to unite all Marathas and to propagate the `Maharastra dharma'.
- The fall of Khandesh, the gradual disappearance of Ahmadnagar and the creation of the Mughal vice-royalty in the Deccan affected every aspect of Maratha life, which induced an awakening among the Marathas as a nation under the leadership of Shivaji and others that followed him.
Shivaji (1647-80 A.D.)
- He born in 1627 A.D. to Shahji Bhonsle and Jija Bai, in fort of Shivner, belonged to the Bhonsle clan.
- Probably in 1637 or 1638 A.D. Dadaji became the guardian of Shivaji and the administration of the jagir remained under Dadaji's defacto control till his death in 1647 when Shivaji assumed full charge.
- The jagir entrusted by Shahji to the care of Dadaji extended over the regions known as the Mavals.
- But before that at the age of 18, he conquered Raigarh, Kondana and Torna from Bijapur (1645-47).
- His real career of conquest began with his conquest of Javli (1656) from a Maratha chief (Chanda Rao More), which made him the master of the Mavala area or highlands (Mavali foot soldiers became a strong part of his army.)
- His attack of Adil Shahi territories between 1657 & 58 A.D., and deputation of Afzal Khan by Adil Shahi ruler to punish Shivaji; Shivaji's murder of Afzal (1659).
Fig: Shivaji killed afzal khan
- Deputation of Shaista Khan (Governor of Deccan) by Aurangzeb to put down the rising power of Shivaji (1660); attack on Shivaji by Mughal forces from the North and Bijapuri forces from the South.
- Loss of Poona and several defeats for Shivaji between 1660 and 1663 A.D.; Shivaji's bold attack on Shaista's military camp and plunder of Surat (1664) and later Ahmednagar.
- Appointment of Raja Jai Singh of Amber by Aurangazeb to put down Shivaji (1665) and Jai Singh's success in besieging Shivaji in the fort of Purandar and the signing of the Treaty of Purandar (1665).
- Surrender of 23 forts (and also the territories around them) out of his 35 forts by Shivaji to Mughals.
- Recognition of Shivaji's right to certain parts of Bijapur kingdown (some were already under Shivaji's control and others were to be conquerred) by the Mughals.
- Grant of mansab of 5000 to Shivaji's son.
- Shivaji's visit to Agra, his imprisonment and escape (1666); his silence for 3 years (1666-69) and renewal of conflict with Mughals by his second plunder of Surat (1670).
- Four years of military conquests recoverning all his former forts and territories.
- His coronation at Raigarh in 1674 A.D. and assumption of the title of "Haindava Dharmodharak" (Protector of Hinduism).
- His alliance with the Qutb Shahis of Golconda and his campaign into Bijapur, Karnataka (1676-79) and conquest of Gingee (Jinji), Vellore, etc.
- His refusal to share the newly conqueered territories with Qutb Shahis and his death in 1680.