Skip to content
Related Articles
Open in App
Not now

Related Articles

Why did the Marathas wanted to expand beyond the Deccan?

Improve Article
Save Article
  • Last Updated : 15 Feb, 2023
Improve Article
Save Article

The Marathas were warriors from the Deccan Plateau region, which is currently called Maharashtra. They revolted against the Mughal empire and were very prominent during the seventeenth century.  

At the time when the Marathas empire rose, the Aurangzeb was the Mughal emperor, he was an equally feared and respected military leader, who was ruthless in his quest to conquer the new lands, however, he was greatly despised by the people because of his religious biased policies, he undid most of the work on religious tolerance that his ancestors achieved. And, Marathas were also one of those, who were fed up with the religiously-based injustices and raised a rebellion against them. After the death of Aurangzeb, the situation got even worse. during the time of the seventeenth century, Mughals and Marathas were always at odds with each other, which led to many Maratha-Mughal wars.

The Marathas wanted to expand their empire beyond Deccan in order to ease the influence of the Mughals. During the time of 1720 to 1761, the Maratha empire expanded drastically.  By the time of  1720, they seized the Malwa and Gujarat from the Mughals and by the 1730s, the Marathas became the overlords of the entire Deccan peninsula.

Why do Marathas want to expand beyond Deccan?

Shivaji, the first ruler, also known as the founder of Marathas, was strictly against Mughal Empire and its religious discriminative policies. In the 1650s, Shivaji took the initiative to revolt against the Mughals. He employed guerilla warfare and brute force to take seize many Mughal military installations in Bijapur. His tactics were highly successful, and he was able to gather a massive army against the Mughals.

Throughout his life, he was determined with his quest to free Hindus from Muslim rule and continued to expand the Maratha empire. Not only him, but in his footsteps, his descendants also did the same, and expanded the Maratha empire to its peak.

The Mughals and Marathas were at war with one another continuously from 1680 to 1707, up until the death of Aurangzeb, and these conflicts are known as the Mughal-Maratha wars. Even after then, not much changed; both forces kept establishing and re-establishing their authority in the region. However, the Mughals’ reputation and power declined with each setback, whereas the Marathas kept demonstrating their superiority and broadening their preeminence.

By the time of the 1720s,  the Marathas had occupied and defeated the Mughals in Malwa and Gujarat. And Until the 1730s, they were regarded as the overlords of the whole Deccan peninsula.

However, after conquering the Deccan in the Deccan wars, their goal was to expand the empire beyond the Deccan’s boundaries in order to overpower the Mughal empire and diminish its influence. They also desired to strengthen the Hindavi Swarajya. By the 18th century, the Marathas had successfully conquered a major portion of the Indian subcontinent.

The Maratha empire existed from 1674 to 1818 and expanded its empire to Peshawar by 1758. However, in 1818, they had to face the defeat of the East India Company in the second Anglo-Maratha war, which caused the downfall of the Maratha empire.

FAQs on Maratha Empire

Question 1: What is the significance of Peshwa?


The word Peshwa, which means “foremost” in Persian, was adopted in the Deccan by Muslim lords. The early Peshwas were Maratha Chhatrapati prime ministers who were appointed to help the rulers in many administrative and political matters. The Peshwas later rose to prominence in Maratha politics.

Question 2:What were the Mughal–Maratha Wars?


From 1680 to 1707, the Maratha Empire and the Mughal Empire engaged in battles known as the Mughal-Maratha Wars, often referred as the Maratha War of Independence. The Maratha Enclave in Bijapur, which had been founded by the Maratha king Shivaji, was invaded by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1680, prompting the start of this conflict.

My Personal Notes arrow_drop_up
Related Articles

Start Your Coding Journey Now!