Battles involving the Maratha Empire

The Imperial Maratha Conquests were a series of conquests in the Indian subcontinent which led to the building of the Maratha Empire. These conquests were started by Shivaji in 1659 from the victory at the Battle of Pratapgad. The conquests conclusively defeated and overtook the Mughal Empire in the Indian subcontinent and its vassals. It ended with the eventual fall of the Maratha Empire after the second and the third Anglo-Maratha Wars.

Extent of the Maratha Empire, 1795



After a lifetime of warfare with Adilshah of Bijapur and Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, Shivaji founded an independent Maratha kingdom in 1674 with Raigad as its capital. Shivaji died in 1680, leaving behind a large kingdom. After Shivaji, Sambhaji took up throne and expanded Hindavi Swaraj. He built strong army as well as strong navy. Mughal emperor Aurangzeb sacrificed his throne and came to Deccan to defeat Sambhaji. The Mughals invaded, fighting an unsuccessful War of 27 years from 1681 to 1707. Shahu, a grandson of Shivaji, ruled as emperor until 1749. During his reign, Shahu appointed the first Peshwa as head of the government, under certain conditions. After the death of Shahu, the Peshwas became the de facto leaders of the Empire from 1749 to 1761, while Shivaji's successors continued as nominal rulers from their base in Satara. Covering a large part of the subcontinent, the Maratha Empire kept the British forces at bay during the 18th century, until internal relations between the Peshwas and their sardars (army commanders) deteriorated, provoking its gradual downfall.

The Maratha Empire was at its height in the 18th century under Shahu and the Peshwa Baji Rao I. Losses at the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761 suspended further expansion of the empire in the North-west and reduced the power of the Peshwas. In 1761, after severe losses in the Panipat war, the Peshwas slowly started losing the control of the kingdom. Many military chiefs of the Maratha Empire like Shinde, Holkar, Gaikwad, PantPratinidhi, Bhosale of Nagpur, Dev (Gade) of Wardha, Pandit of Bhor, Patwardhan, and Newalkar started to work towards their ambition of becoming kings in their respective regions. However, under Madhavrao Peshwa, Maratha authority in North India was restored, 10 years after the battle of Panipat. After the death of Madhavrao, the empire gave way to a loose Confederacy, with political power resting in a 'pentarchy' of five mostly Maratha dynasties: the Peshwas of Pune; the Sindhias (originally "Shindes") of Malwa and Gwalior; the Holkars of Indore; the Bhonsles of Nagpur; and the Gaekwads of Baroda. A rivalry between the Sindhia and Holkar dominated the confederation's affairs into the early 19th century, as did the clashes with the British and the British East India Company in the three Anglo-Maratha Wars. In the Third Anglo-Maratha War, the last Peshwa, Baji Rao II, was defeated by the British in 1818. Most of the former Maratha Empire was absorbed by British India, although some of the Maratha states persisted as quasi-independent princely states until India became independent in 1947.

Battles under ShivajiEdit

Battle of PratapgadEdit

The battle of Pratapgad was the first Maratha conquest. Shivaji maharaj vanquished Afzal Khan in the battle of Pratapgad which was fought on 10 November 1659.[citation needed]

Battle of KolhapurEdit

The second Maratha victory came on the battle of Kolhapur fought on 28 December 1659[citation needed] .

Battle of Pavan KhindEdit

Adil Shah sent an Abyssinian general of repute, Siddi Jauhar in 1660. In this battle Adilshahi and Mughal forces jointly attacked Marathas from north & south directions respectively. Shivaji took up a position at Panhala fort, near present-day Kolhapur, on the borders of his dominion. Over 200 Marathas died in the battle, yet, they took 1,400 enemy soldiers with them. However Panhala was surrendered to Siddi Jauhar, Shivaji took revenge later.[citation needed]

Battle of ChakanEdit

The Battle of Chakan was fought between the Maratha Empire and the Mughal Empire in the year 1660. Firangoji Narsala defended the Sangram Durg with just 320 troops against the 20,000 of Shaista Khan for 56 days before being forced to surrender. The battle resulted in mughal victory.[1]

Conquest of KonkanEdit

An Uzbek general, Kartalab Khan, was sent on a mission to attack and reduce Shivaji's maharaj forts in the Konkan on 3 February 1661. He left Pune with 30,000 troops. This time the Mughals did not march openly, since they wanted to surprise Shivaji.He captured Lohagad and Rajmachi forts on his way to Konkan But Shivaji maharaj took them by surprise at a pass known as Umber Khind, near present-day Khalapur, and attacked them from all sides. Shivaji maharaj got enough arms and ammunition for his next battle.[citation needed]

Sacking of SuratEdit

In the Battle of Surat, Shivaji maharaj challenged Mughal Fauzdar of Surat. The town was attacked and put under sack for nearly 3 weeks, in which the Maratha army looted all possible wealth from Mughal and Portuguese trading centers.[citation needed]

Battle of PurandarEdit

The Battle of Purandar was fought between the Mughal Empire and Maratha Empire in 1665. The Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb, sent his generals Dilir Khan and Jai Singh to besiege Shivaji's fortress at Purandar. After Mughal forces killed Maratha General Murar Baji Prabhu on June 2, 1665, Shivaji surrendered and gave up 23 of his fortresses. The battle resulted in a Maratha victory. Most of fortresses were recaptured by Marathas.[2]

Battle of SinhagadEdit

One fort on the outskirts of Pune, Kondana, was still under the control of a Mughal general. On 4 February 1670 Shivaji maharaj deputed one of his most senior and trusted the Maratha Koli[3] general, Tanaji Malusare, to head a mission to capture Kondana. In the Battle of Sinhagad, the fort was scaled during the dead of the night, but victory was secured with loss of Tanaji.[citation needed]

Battle of KalyanEdit

The Battle of Kalyan occurred between the Mughal Empire and Maratha Empire between 1682 and 1683. Bahadur Khan of the Mughal Empire defeated the Maratha army and took over Kalyan. The Marathas attempted a counter offensive, but failed and they were repulsed by Mughal forces.[4]

Battle of BhupalgarhEdit

The Battle of Bhupalgarh occurred between the Mughal and Maratha empires in 1679. The battle resulted in the capture, loot and razing of the fort of Bhupalgarh under Firangoji Narsala by the Mughal forces led by Diler Khan and Sambhaji.[5]

Battle of SangamnerEdit

The Battle of Sangamner was fought between the Mughal Empire and Maratha Empire in 1679. This was the last battle in which the Maratha King Shivaji fought. The Mughals had attacked Shivaji when he was returning from a sack on Jalna. The Marathas engaged in battle with the Mughals for three days until Maratha General, Sidhoji Nimbalkar was killed alongside 2,000 Maratha soldiers. The Marathas were largely decimated, however Shivaji managed to flee with 500 men.[2][6]

Battle of SalherEdit

The fort of Salher dominated the route between Surat and the realms of Shivaji. There was a fierce battle between the Marathas and the Mughal army.[7] It was one of the earliest face to face battles fought by Marathas against the Mughals. The Marathas defeated the Mughals.[citation needed]

Battle of NesariEdit

Balol Khan was sent by Adil Shah to get rid of Shivaji. So, Shivaji sent Prataprao Gujar (the then Commander-in-chief of the Maratha forces) to take care of him. This was late 1673 or 1674.[citation needed]

Southern ConquestEdit

At the end of 1676, Shivaji launched a wave of conquests in southern India. He settled in the forts at Vellore and Jinji (in modern-day Tamil Nadu),which later became his capital. He also signed a friendship treaty with the Kutubshah of Golconda. These victories proved quite crucial during future wars. Jinjee served as Maratha capital for 9 years during 27 years of war.[citation needed]

Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj lead the Marathas in War of 27 years for the first nine years.

Battles after ShivajiEdit

War of 27 YearsEdit

War of 27 years was a series of battles fought between Marathas and Mughals from 1681 to 1707 in the Indian subcontinent. It was a series of battles. The war started in 1680 with the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s invasion of the Maratha enclave in Bijapur established by Shivaji.[8]

The war can be broken down into three distinct phases :

  • Marathas under Sambhaji (1681–1689).
  • Marathas under Rajaram (1689–1699).
  • Marathas under Tarabai (1699–1707).

It was a long snakes and ladders war game involving a quarter of a century and innumerable long and short battles. The war ended with the death of Aurangzeb in 1707. It also paved the way for the Maratha expansion in the North.[9]

Battles of the PeshwaEdit

The Peshwas controlled the Maratha army and they later became the hereditary rulers of the Maratha Empire from 1749 to 1818. During their rein, the Maratha empire reached its zenith ruling most of the Indian Subcontinent. Prior to 1700 one Peshwa received the status of king for eight or nine years. They oversaw the greatest expansion of the Maratha Empire around 1760, and also its eventual annexation by the British East India Company in 1818.[citation needed]

Battle of PalkhedEdit

Battle of Palkhed was a land battle that took place on 28 February 1728 at the village of Palkhed, near the city of Nashik, Maharashtra, India between the Maratha Peshwa, Baji Rao I and the Nizam-ul-Mulk of Hyderabad. The Marathas defeated the Nizam. The battle is considered an example of brilliant execution of military strategy.[10]

Engraving of a Maratha Soldier by James Forbes 1813.

Battle of MandsaurEdit

The Battle of Mandsaur took place in Mandsaur, modern day Madhya Pradesh between Marathas, commanded by Malharrao Holkar, and Jai Singh of Amber, in which Jai Singh was defeated in February, 1733. Malhar Rao Holkar then conquered Bundelkhand and Bundi.[11]

Battle of VasaiEdit

The Battle of Vasai was fought between the Marathas and the Portuguese rulers of Vasai, a village lying near Bombay in the present-day state of Maharashtra, India. The Marathas were led by Chimaji Appa, a brother of Peshwa Baji Rao I. Maratha victory in this war was a major achievement of Baji Rao I reign.[citation needed]

Battle of Delhi, 1737Edit

The First Battle of Delhi took place on 28 March 1737 between Maratha Empire and the Mughals in Delhi, the Mughal capital. The Marathas were victorious in the battle and the Mughal emperor signed a treaty promising Malwa province, tributes of the region between Narmada and Chambal and 50 lakh rupees as war expenses to the Marathas.[citation needed]

Battle of BhopalEdit

The Battle of Bhopal was fought between the Mughal and Maratha empires near Bhopal in India in December 1737, and was arguably the largest pitched battle fought in India in the 18th century. The battle resulted in decisive Maratha victory mainly through the swift tactics of Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao. The Mughal Empire was left in a wrecked position and was unable to face the later invasion of Nadir Shah.[citation needed]

Raghuji BhonsleEdit

Battle of TrichinopollyEdit

Raghuji Bhonsle, Maharaja of Nagpur kingdom of the Maratha Empire, was required to undertake an expedition to Karnataka at the order of Chhatrapati Shahu. It was mainly intended to punish Chanda Saheb who had usurped the kingdom of Trichinopoly by deceiving its Rani Minakshi, and was casting his eyes on the Maratha principality of Tanjore. Raja Pratapsingh of Thanjavur, Shahu's cousin, appealed to him for help when harassed by Chanda Saheb. Chhatrapati Shahu dispatched a large force under Raghuji and Fatesingh Bhonsle of Akkalkot in 1739.[citation needed]

In 1740, the Maratha forces came down upon Arcot. They attacked the Nawab, Dost Ali in the pass of Damalcherry. In the war that followed, Dost Ali, one of his sons Hasan Ali, and a number of prominent persons lost their lives. This initial success at once enhanced Maratha prestige in the south. From Damalcherry the Marathas proceeded to Arcot. Then, Raghuji invested Trichinopoly in December 1740.[citation needed]

Maratha invasions of BengalEdit

First Battle of KatwaEdit

The Battle of Katwa occurred between the Nawab of Bengal and Maratha Empire in 1742. The Maratha's initially attacked and captured Katwa and Hooghly, in Bengal. The Nawab of Bengal Ali Vardi Khan responded with a direct attack at the Maratha camp at Katwa and devastated them so much that the entire Maratha army was driven out of Bengal on September 17, 1742.[12]

Nawab Ali-Vardi Khan

Second Battle of KatwaEdit

The Second Battle of Katwa occurred between the Nawab of Bengal and Maratha Empire in 1745. After the initial loss of the Maratha's at the First Battle of Katwa, the Maratha General, Raghuji Bhonsle attempted, once again, to conquer Katwa. Bhonsle, with 20,000 horsemen attacked Murshidabad then moved onwards to Katwa, where Nawab of Bengal Ali Vardi Khan once again defeated Raghuji and his men, sending them out of Bengal.[12]

Battle of BurdwanEdit

The Battle of Burdwan occurred between the Nawab of Bengal and Maratha empires in 1747. After the dismissal of Mir Jafar by Ali Vardi Khan, an army was amassed to defend against the invading Maratha forces of Janoji Bhonsle at Orissa. Ali Vardi Khan managed to heavily repulse and defeat the Maratha's in this battle.[13]

Expeditions in BengalEdit

After the successful campaign of Karnatak and Battle of Trichinopolly, Raghuji returned from Karnatak. He undertook six expeditions in Bengal from 1741-1748. Raghuji was able to annex Orissa to his kingdom permanently as he successfully exploited the chaotic conditions prevailing in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa after the death of their Governor Murshid Quli Khan in 1727.[citation needed]

Constantly harassed by the Bhonsles, Orissa or Katak, Bengal and parts of Bihar were economically ruined. Alivardi Khan made peace with Raghuji in 1751 ceding in perpetuity Katak up to the river Suvarnarekha, and agreeing to pay Rs.12 lakh annually in lieu of the Chauth of Bengal and Bihar. The smaller States of Raipur, Ratanpur, Bilaspur and Sambalpur belonging to Chhattisgad territory were conquered by Bhaskar Ram, and were placed in charge of Mohansingh, an illegitimate son of Raghuji. Towards the end of his career, Raghuji had conquered the whole of Berar; the Gond kingdoms of Devgad including Nagpur, Gadha-Mandla and Chandrapur; the Subha of Cuttack; and the smaller states spreading between Nagpur and Cuttack.[citation needed]

Battle of UdgirEdit

The Battle of Udgir was fought between the Marathas under Sadashivrao Bhau and Nizam of Hyderabad in Udgir in 1760. The battle was waged by the Nizam, who wanted to take back his lost territories in Deccan. However, he completely failed in his objective and was decisively defeated. As a result of defeat, he was forced to sign a treaty with Marathas which promised to cede the Marathas the forts of Daulatabad, Sewenree, Bijapur, a part of Bidar and the subah of Aurangabad except the main city and two of its parghanas, Sittara and Harole. The territories which were to be given to Marathas yielded an annual income of 62 lakh rupees.[citation needed]

Holkars and ShindesEdit

Ranoji Shinde (founder of princely Gwalior State of Shindes) had conquered territories in the Malwa and Gird regions from the Mughals, eventually establishing a state which was initially based at Ujjain, but was named after the strategic fortress of Gwalior.[citation needed]

Kumher fort under Maharaja Suraj Mal of Bharatpur was attacked by the Marathas on 20 January 1754 AD. They besieged the Fort till 18 May 1754. The war continued for about four months. The fort which was about to be conquered by the Marathas was saved due to the diplomatic efforts of Maharani Kishori who tried to take advantage of the internal differences between Holkars and Shindes. Diwan Roop Ram Katara was a friend of Jayappa Sindhia. Maharani Kishori requested Diwan Roop Ram Katara to take a letter from Maharaja Suraj Mal proposing a treaty. Jayappa Sindhia assured Suraj Mal of assistance and contacted Raghunathrao. Raghunathrao in turn advised Holkar to sign a treaty with Suraj Mal. Malhar Rao Holkar assessed the situation and consented for the treaty due to possibility of isolation. This led to a treaty between both rulers on 18 May 1754.[citation needed]

In 1740, the Marathas were successful in defeating the Nizam of Hyderabad. Mahadji Scindia (who was then aged 10) accompanied Dattajirao Shinde and Trimbak Kinnad on this campaign. In 1742, the Marathas were attacked by the Nizam of Hyderabad at Berar and Belur. Mahadji accompanied the forces sent by Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao who drove away the invaders. Between 1745 and 1761, Mahadji fought in around 50 wars, including those in Malwa, Rajputana, Bundelkhand, Brij, Doab, Rohilkhand, Delhi, Kunjpur, and in the Battle of Panipat. Among the campaigns which Mahadji assisted, the notable ones include the ones at Chandravati Ganj (1746), Fatehabad (1746), Badi Sadri (1747), Marwar (1747), and Himat Nagar (1748).[citation needed]

The army of Malharrao Holkar joined the Shinde army to bring all the Rajput states under Maratha control and force them to accept Maratha suzerainty, as directed by the Peshwa. Under this campaign, several city states were added to the Maratha Empire such as Medtya, Ratangarh, Lalgarh, Bikaner, Laswari, Lachhmangarh, and other states with territory of Jaipur and Jodhpur agreed to become vassals of the Maratha Empire. All the Jat states except Bharatpur and Vijaynagar too were conquered. Mathura which was under Mughal rule was conquered by Mahadji in 1755. When the Maratha army crossed the Narmada in February. In 1777, Mahadji provided military assistance to the Peshwas against the Maratha army of Kolhapur. Mahadji besieged and attacked the town of Karvir in Kolhapur.[citation needed]

Capture of Delhi, 1757Edit

After a victorious Battle of Narela on 16 January 1757 Maratha Army led by Antaji Mankeshwar and an advance column of Ahmad Shah Abdali's army,[14] the Battle of Delhi was a battle fought on 11 August 1757 between Maratha Empire under the command of Raghunath Rao and Rohilla Afghans under Najib-ud-Daula. The battle was waged by the Marathas for the control of Delhi, the former Mughal capital which was now under the control of Rohilla chief Najib-ud-Daula, as a consequence of fourth invasion of Ahmad Shah Abdali. The Marathas were victorious in the battle, the Mughal capital Delhi came under Maratha control.

Maratha conquest of Northwest IndiaEdit

Malharrao Holkar, Raghunathrao, Shamsher Bahadur, Gangadhar Tatya, Sakharambapu, Naroshankar and Maujiram Bania attacked Delhi on 11 August 1757 and defeated Najib Khan and Ahmed Khan became the Mir Bakshi in his place. In March, 1758, they conquered Sarhind. On 20 April 1758, Malharrao Holkar and Raghunathrao attacked and conquered Lahore. Tukojirao Holkar conquered Attock and Peshawar. In Lahore, as in Delhi, the Marathas were now major players. The Maratha Empire had reached its peak, the empire's territories covered much of South Asia. By 1760, with defeat of the Nizam in the Deccan, Maratha power under Chhatrapati Shahu reached its zenith with a territory of over 2,800,000 km2.

This was followed by the third battle of Panipat. Losses at the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761 suspended further expansion of the empire in the North-west of India and reduced the power of the Peshwas.

Third Battle of PanipatEdit

Maratha Light Horseman

The Third Battle of Panipat took place on 14 January 1761 at Panipat (Haryana State, India), about 60 miles (95.5 km) north of Delhi. The battle pitted the French-supplied artillery of the Marathas against the heavy cavalry of the Afghans led by Ahmad Shah Durrani, an ethnic Pashtun, also known as Ahmad Shah Abdali. The battle is considered one of the largest battles fought in the 18th century. The famished, burdened and outnumbered Marathas were defeated with heavy casualties. There were near 100,000 soldiers dead adding both sides and the battle resulted in retreat of Maratha army and civilians from Punjab to Delhi.

Peshwa MadhavraoEdit

Restoration of Maratha suzerainty in the NorthEdit

Under Madhavrao Peshwa, Maratha authority in North India (including Delhi) was restored ten years after the battle of Panipat. The Rohillas were defeated and were forced to pay a heavy war indemnity. Delhi was captured by Mahadji Scindia in late 1770 and restored Mughal emperor Shah Alam II to the throne of Delhi in 1772.

Battle of AlegaonEdit

The Battle of Alegaon was fought between Nizam Ali Khan of Hyderabad and Raghunathrao of the Maratha Empire against Peshwa Madhavrao of the Maratha Empire.[15] Raghunathrao had established an alliance with Nizam Ali Khan of Hyderabad.[15] When conflict arose between Raghunathrao and Madhavrao I, a joint campaign between Nizam Ali Khan and Raghunathrao resulted in Madhavrao I being heavily defeated.[15] Peshwa Madhavrao surrendered on November 12, 1762.[16] Nizam Ali Khan got all of his previously lost territories that were lost at the Battle of Udgir.[15] Peshwa Madhavrao submitted to his uncle, Raghunathrao.[15]

Battle of RakshasbhuvanEdit

The Battle of Rakshasbhuvan was fought on 10 August 1763.[17] While the Marathas were fighting amongst themselves during a civil war, the Nizam decided to attack.[18] The Nizam however failed. The Nizam gave up territory he gained during the Battle of Alegaon in an attempt to sue for peace.[18]

Capture of Delhi, 1771Edit

The forces of Mahadji Shinde captured Delhi in 1771 and the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II was restored to the throne. Marathas capture Delhi by defeating Afghans under Najib khan. With this battle they regained there lost supremacy in North India after the Third Battle of Panipat and conquered much of the lost territories which they lost after the Third Battle of Panipat.

Marathas in RohilkhandEdit

After taking control of Delhi, Marathas sent a large army in 1772 to "punish" Afghan Rohillas for Panipat. Maratha army devastated Rohilkhand by looting and plundering and also took the members of royal family as captives. Maratha general Mahadaji was “very much pleased with the revenge taken by his men” for Panipat[19]

Conflict with the Kingdom of MysoreEdit

Battle of Rutehalli FortEdit

In 1764, following the attack by Hyder Ali on Nawabs of Savanur, who were a tributary to the Marathas, Maratha army led by Peshwa Madhav Rao met the forces of Hyder Ali at Rutehalli Fort. Hydar Ali tried to avoid pitched battles against Maratha Forces however Maratha forces intercepted Mysore forces near Rutehalli Fort in Karnatic and a crushing defeat was imposed upon them, Hydar Ali lost well over 1,000 men and himself fled into the local forest to save his life.[20]

Battle of Sira and MadgiriEdit

In 1767, Maratha army led by Peshwa Madhav Rao defeated the forces of Hyder Ali at Sira and Madgiri. Marathas conquered the forts of Haskote and Nandigarh and laid siege to Bednur where Hyder Ali was taking shelter.[21]

Siege of SaunshiEdit

Hyder Ali of Mysore attempted to try to regain his lost territories of Malabar and Coorg from the Marathas. Hyder Ali who was the prime minister to maharaja of Mysore decided to attack the Marathas at Saunshi. Hyder Ali decided to send his General, Muhammad Ali to attack the Maratha position. The result of the battle was a victory for Mysore against the Maratha forces. Maratha Chief Konher Rao was killed and Pandurang Rao was caught by the Mysore forces.[22]

Siege of NargundEdit

The Siege of Nargund occurred when the Kingdom of Mysore sent its General, Burhanuddin to besiege Nargund. In 1778, Tipu Sultan defeated the Marathas and captured Nargund.

Siege of AdoniEdit

The Siege of Adoni occurred between the forces of Tipu Sultan of the Kingdom of Mysore and the Maratha Empire allied with the Nizam of Hyderabad. Tipu Sultan surprised Haripant when he decided to advance for Adoni. Tipu Sultan came out victorious.[23]

Battle of SavanurEdit

The Battle of Savanur concluded in October, 1786, with the victory of Tipu Sultan over the Marathas. Tipu strategically lured the Marathas out of their position on a height near Savanur and unleashed a barrage of heavy fire on them. This devastated the Maratha army, making them retreat and Tipu Sultan conquered Savanur soon after.

Siege of Bahadur BendaEdit

The Siege of Bahadur Benda happened between the forces of Tipu Sultan of Mysore and the Maratha forces of Haripant. Tipu Sultan defeated the Maratha forces. Following this battle, a peace agreement was signed between the [Empire of Mysore] and the Maratha Empire, which allowed for Tipu Sultan to focus his resources into combating the British Empire.[24]

Battle of GajendragadEdit

The Battle of Gajendragad was fought in June 1786, during the Maratha-Mysore War. An army of the Maratha Empire led by Tukoji Rao Holkar, defeated the army of Tipu Sultan and captured the town and fortress at Gajendragad. Mysore was obligated to pay 4.8 million rupees as a war cost to the Marathas, and an annual tribute of 1.2 million rupees.[25] The treaty of Gajendragad signed after the battle ended the Maratha-Mysore conflict.

First Anglo Maratha War (1775 - 1783)Edit

Battle of WadgaonEdit

The East India Company's force from Bombay consisted of about 3,900 men (about 600 Europeans, the rest Asian) accompanied by many thousands of servants and specialist workers. They were joined on the way by Raghunath's forces, adding several thousand more soldiers, and more artillery. The Maratha army included forces contributed by all the partners in the federation, tens of thousands in all, commanded by Tukojirao Holkar and General Mahadji Shinde (also known as Mahadji Sindia). Mahadji slowed down the British march and sent forces west to cut off its supply lines. When they found out about this, the British halted at Talegaon, a few hours' brisk march from Pune, but days away for the thousands of support staff with their ox-drawn carts. Now the Maratha cavalry harassed the enemy from all sides. The Marathas also utilized a scorched earth policy, burning farmland and poisoning wells. The British began to withdraw from Talegaon in the middle of the night, but the Marathas attacked, forcing them to halt in the village of Wadgaon (now called Vadgaon or Vadgaon Maval), where the British force was surrounded on 12 January 1779. By the end of the next day, the British were ready to discuss surrender terms, and on 16 January signed the Treaty of Wadgaon that forced the Bombay government to relinquish all territories acquired by the Bombay office of the East India Company since 1773.[26]

Battle of Medtya, 1790Edit

The forces of Mahadji Shinde under de Boigne routed the Marwar army.

Battle of PatanEdit

The Battle of Patan was fought on June 20, 1790 between the Maratha Empire and the Rajputs of Jaipur and their Mughal allies. Many Rajput kingdoms like those of Jaipur and Malwa were threatened by the Marathas. In early 1790, hoping to completely rid the Rajputana off Maratha interference, Rajput nobility allied with Mughal general Ismail Beg. Marathas crushed the allied Rajput-Mughal army. The European armed and trained Marathas conquered the Rajput states one after the other. Marathas managed to conquer Ajmer and Malwa from Rajputs. Marathas recovered over 105 pieces of artillery from the enemy, along with 21 elephants, 1300 camels and 300 horses. Rajputs lost over 5 battalions and 3000 Rathore horsemen.

Capture of Ajmer, 1790Edit

The forces of Mahadji Shinde captured Ajmer.

Capture of ShimogaEdit

The Capture of Shimoga, a town and fortress held by forces of the Kingdom of Mysore, occurred on 3 January 1792 after a preliminary battle with the attacking forces of the British East India Company and the Marathas not far from the town on 29 December had scattered much of its defending army. The defenders surrendered after the fort's walls were breached. The battle was part of a campaign during the Third Anglo-Mysore War by Maratha leader Purseram Bhow to recover Maratha territories taken by Hyder Ali in an earlier conflict between Mysore and the Marathas. By the end of the siege Reza Sahib a leading Mysore commander was among the captured.

Battle of KhardaEdit

The Battle of Kharda took place in February 1795 between the Nizam of Hyderabad, Asaf Jah II and Peshwa Madhavrao II, in which Nizam was badly defeated. Governor General John Shore followed the policy of non-intervention despite that Nizam was under his protection. So this led to the loss of trust with British and rout of the Hyderabad army. This was the last battle fought together by all Maratha warlords.

Battle of MalpuraEdit

Daulat Rao Sindhia defeated Sawai Pratap Singh of Jaipur.

Second Anglo Maratha War (1803 - 1805)Edit

Battle of Delhi, 1803Edit

The Battle of Delhi took place on 11 September 1803 during the Second Anglo-Maratha War, between British troops under General Lake, and Marathas of Scindia's army under French General Louis Bourquin. The battle was fought at Patparganj, right across Yamuna River from Humayun's Tomb, also giving the battle its local name.

The Marathas occupied a strong position with the Jumna in their rear, and Lake, feigning a retreat, drew them from their lines, and then turning upon them drove them with the bayonet into the river, inflicting more losses upon them. The city of Delhi surrendered three days later. A monument was later erected at the site in Patparganj, marked out by a surrounding ditch, commemorating Cornet Sanguine and British soldiers who fell during the battle.

Yashwantrao HolkarEdit

Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar defeated the British army, led by Colonel Fawcett, at Kunch, in Bundelkhand. On 8 June 1804, the Governor General, in a letter to Lord Lake, wrote that the defeat caused a great insult to the British prestige in India. On 8 July 1804, Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar defeated the army of Colonel Manson and Leukan at Mukundare and Kota. Bapuji Scindia surrendered before Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar. From June till September 1804, he defeated the British at different battles. On 8 October 1804, Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar attacked Delhi to free Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II, who was imprisoned by the British. He attacked the army of Colonel Actorloni and Berne. The battle lasted for a week, but Yashwantrao Holkar could not succeed as Lord Lake came to help Colonel Actorloni.

On 16 November 1804, Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar reached Deeg by defeating the army of Major Frazer. After the death of Major Frazer, Manson took the charge of the British army. In Farrukhabad, Lord Lake was a mute spectator, watching Yashwantrao Holkar proceeding towards Deeg; he didn't attack Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar. Lord Lake attacked Deeg on 13 December 1804 (see- Battle of Bharatpur); the army of Holkar and Jat resisted successfully and reached the Bharatpur Durg. Lord Lake attacked Bharatpur on 3 January 1805, along with General Manson, Colonel Marey, Colonel Don, Colonel Berne, Major General Jones, General Smith, Colonel Jetland, Setan, and others. However, Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar had to leave Bharatpur as the Jat King Ranjit Singh of Bharatpur defeated the British army on 17 April 1805.

Covering a large part of the subcontinent, the Maratha Empire kept the British forces at bay during the 18th century, until dissension between the Peshwas and their sardars (army commanders) saw a gradual downfall of the empire with the eventual defeat in the third Anglo-Maratha war the First Anglo-Maratha War ended in a stalemate with both sides signing the treaty of Salbai. This led to a period of relative peace between the two powers till the decisive second Anglo-Maratha war took place.

Third Anglo-Maratha WarEdit

The Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817–1818) was the final and decisive conflict between the British East India Company and the Maratha Empire in India. The war left the Company in control of most of India. It began with an invasion of Maratha territory by 110,400 British East India Company troops, the largest such British controlled force amassed in India. The troops were led by the Governor General Hastings and he was supported by a force under General Thomas Hislop. It resulted in the formal end of the Maratha empire and the firm establishment of the British East India Company in almost the entire Indian subcontinent.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Jacques, Tony. Dictionary of Battles and Sieges. Greenwood Press. p. 220. ISBN 978-0-313-33536-5.
  2. ^ a b Jacques, Tony. Dictionary of Battles and Sieges. Greenwood Press. p. 825. ISBN 978-0-313-33536-5.
  3. ^ Hardiman, David (2007). Histories for the Subordinated. Seagull Books. ISBN 9781905422388.
  4. ^ Jacques, Tony. Dictionary of Battles and Sieges. Greenwood Press. p. 505. ISBN 978-0-313-33536-5.
  5. ^ Jacques, Tony. Dictionary of Battles and Sieges. Greenwood Press. p. 137. ISBN 978-0-313-33536-5.
  6. ^ Rana, Bhawan Singh. Chhatrapati Shivaji. Diamond Pocket Books Ltd. p. 100.
  7. ^ Dictionary of Battles and Sieges P-Z, p.888
  8. ^ Medieval India
  9. ^ Northan expansion upto Peshawar
  10. ^ The Concise History of Warfare, Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, p.132
  11. ^ P. K. Sethi, S. K. Bhatt, R. Holkar., A study of Holkar state coinage, page 32
  12. ^ a b Jacques, Tony. Dictionary of Battles and Sieges. Greenwood Press. p. 516. ISBN 978-0-313-33536-5.
  13. ^ Jacques, Tony. Dictionary of Battles and Sieges. Greenwood Press. p. 175. ISBN 978-0-313-33536-5.
  14. ^ Jaswant Lal Mehta (2005). Advanced study in the history of modern India 1707-1813. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p. 225. ISBN 1-932705-54-6.
  15. ^ a b c d e Jacques, Tony. Dictionary of Battles and Sieges. Greenwood Press. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-313-33536-5.
  16. ^ General on 12-November-1762
  17. ^ "History - Maratha Period". Nasik District Gazetteer. Retrieved 4 September 2010.
  18. ^ a b Jacques, Tony. Dictionary of Battles and Sieges. Greenwood Press. p. 838. ISBN 978-0-313-33536-5.
  19. ^ The Great Maratha Mahadaji Scindia p.9
  20. ^ Advanced Study in the History of Modern India 1707-1813, p. 457
  21. ^ Advanced Study in the History of Modern India 1707-1813, p. 458
  22. ^ Jacques, Tony. Dictionary of Battles and Sieges. Greenwood Press. p. 979. ISBN 978-0-313-33536-5.
  23. ^ Sailendra Nath Sen, Anglo-Maratha Relations, 1785-96, Volume 2, p. 53,54
  24. ^ Mohibbul Hasan, History of Tipu Sultan, pp. 105–107
  25. ^ Naravane, M. S (1 January 2006). "Battles of the Honourable East India Company: Making of the Raj". ISBN 978-81-313-0034-3.
  26. ^ Beveridge, Henry A Comprehensive History of India, London, Blackie (1862), via Google Books, accessed 2008-01-27

Further readingEdit