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History of Maharashtra

Maharashtra became a part of the Magadha empire, ruled by the Buddhist emperor Ashoka. With the disintegration of the Mauryan Empire, Maharashtra came under the rule of the Satavahanas between 230 BC and 225 AD. During the reign of the Vakatakas (250 AD–525 AD), Vidarbha, the eastern region of Maharashtra, come under their rule. By the 6th century, Maharashtra came under the reign of the Chalukyas. Later, in 753, the region was governed by Rashtrakutas, an empire that spread over most of peninsula India. In 973, the Rashtrakutas were overthrown by the Chalukayas, who ruled parts of Maharashtra until 1189 when it came under the hands of the Yadavas of Deogiri. Maharashtra came under Islamic influence for the first time after the Delhi Sultanate rulers Ala-ud-din Khalji, and later Muhammad bin Tughluq appropriated parts of the Deccan in the 13th century. After the collapse of the Tughlaqs in 1347, the Bahmani Sultanate took over, governing the region for the next 150 years. By the 16th century, central Maharashtra was ruled by numerous autonomous Islamic kingdoms that owed allegiance to the Mughals, while coastal region was annexed by the Portuguese, in their quest to seize control of the spice trade.

The Marathas, native to western Maharashtra, were led by Raje Shivaji Bhosle, who was crowned king in 1674. Under his successors, the Maratha Empire reached their zenith, encompassing almost the entire Deccan, central India and extending into parts of modern day Pakistan and Bangladesh . After defeating the Mughals in 1707, the Marathas became the dominant rulers of India. With death of Shahu in 1749, Peshwa became head of Maratha empire. After suffering a heavy defeat to the Afghan chieftain Ahmad Shah Abdali, in the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761, the Maratha Confederacy broke into regional kingdoms like Gwalior, Poona, Indore etc.

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