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A Hindu warrior people of western India who in the 17th and 18th centuries led a military revival against Muslim expansion. They rose to prominence under the inspired leadership of Shivaji, who, after victories against the Moguls, established a Maratha kingdom in 1674. Their great age was the early 18th century when, after a temporary collapse, they benefited from Mogul decline to sweep over the north and central Deccan. They seemed poised for all-India mastery, but failure in 1761 of their bid to take Delhi (in the Battle of Panipat) was followed by increasing internal disunity and a failure to make a united stand against expanding British power.

Subjects: History

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