History Of Maharashtra
OriginsThe name Maharashtra first appeared in a 7th century inscription and in a Chinese traveller's account. Its name may have originated from rathi, which means, "chariot driver". At that age Maharashtra was full of builders and drivers of chariots who formed a maharathis, a "fighting force." In 90 A.D. king Vedishri made Junnar, thirty miles north of Pune, the capital of his kingdom. In the early fourteenth century the Devgiri Yadavs were overthrown by the northern Muslim powers. Then on, for the 900 years ending, no historical information in this region is available. In 1526, first Mughal king, Babar, established his prominence in Delhi and soon the Mughal power spread to the southern India. The Mughals were to dominate India till the early eighteenth century. Shivaji Bhonsle, founder of the Maratha Empire, was born in 1627. He took the oath to make the land free at the fort Torna at the age of sixteen. This was the start of his lifelong struggle against Mughals and other Muslim powers. By 1680, the year of Shivaji's death, nearly whole of the Deccan belonged to his kingdom. He had developed an efficient administration and a powerful army. He also encouraged a spirit of independence among the Marathas that enabled them to withstand for 150 years all attempts to conquer them. Shivaji's achievements amongst monumental difficulties were really spectacular and that is why he holds the highest place in Maratha history.
Although some Paleolithic remains have been discovered, Maharashtra enters recorded history in the second century BC, with the construction of its first Buddhist caves. These lay, and still lie, in peaceful places of great natural beauty, but could never have been created without the wealth generated by the nearby caravan trade routes between north and south India.
Poet-SaintsThe regions's first Hindu rulers, based in Badami, appeared during the sixth century, but the eighth-century Rashtrakutas achieved a greater authority. Buddhism was almost entirely supplanted throughout the entire country by the twelfth century, in what has been characterized as a peaceful popular revolution attributable largely to the popular poet-saints. Maharashtra was one of the main channels that helped the emotional and emotional bhakti school of Hinduism spread from southern to northern India, thanks here to work of Jnanesvara (1271-1296) whose commentary on the Bhagwad Gita, the Jnanesvari, was significantly written in the day-to-day spoken language, Marathi, as opposed to classical Sanskrit. The most famous of his contemporary poet-saints was the tailor Namdev (1270-1350), whose passionate devotional hymns caught the popular imagination. The tradition they established continued to flourish, even when forced underground by Islam, reaching its zenith in the simple faith of the anguished Tukaram (1598-1650), whose wife and son died in a famine, and Ramdas, the "Servant of Rama" (1608-1681). Ramdas, both ascetic and political activist, provided the philosophical underpinning behind the campaigns of Maharashtra's greatest warrior, Shivaji.