Rise of the Maratha Empire (Notes+MCQ) PDF Download


Rise of the Maratha Empire (Notes+MCQ) PDF Download

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Rise of the Maratha Empire

Factors Responsible for the Rise of the Marathas in the 17th Century

The Geographical Features of the Marathas

  • The distinct physical or geographical features of the Marathas greatly contributed to the development of military and moral
  • The region surrounding the land of Maratha was hilly and arid. The soil was unproductive and hence not conducive to agriculture. Therefore, people had to leave a tough life. Living in a tough life situation has led to the development of qualities like courage and hard work.


Guerrilla Warfare

  • The mountainous nature of the region helped the Marathas to develop a unique war strategy, i.e. guerrilla tactic (Hit and run policy).
  • By adopting this strategy of warfare, the Marathas were able to fight even against the mighty Mughal Empire.

The Preaching of Bhakti Reformer

  • The Bhakti Movement of the 15th – 16th Centuries also reached the Marathas. This movement played an important role to unite the people of Maratha.
  • Just like the Bhakti Saints in Northern India, the Bhakti reformers in Maharashtra like Eknath, Tuka Ram, Ram Das, and others have preached against superstitious beliefs, rituals, caste system, and preached on the unity of God.
  • They also emphasized the equality of men. As a result of their preaching, it created a spirit of unity among various sections of the society. It also sowed the seed of awakening among the Maratha people.

The Experiences and Training Acquired by the Marathas

  • Even before the rise of Shivaji, some of the Marathas had served in the Deccan states.
  • Therefore they acquired experiences and training in the art of administration and military field.

The Political Situation of the Deccan

  • The Deccan Policy of the Mughalswas also responsible for the rise of the Marathas.
  • The Deccan states like Bijapur, Golconda, and Ahmadnagar engage in the process of disintegration. Therefore, they could not put a check on the rising power of the Marathas.

Unstable Political Condition in the South

  • The disintegration of the Muslim Kingdom in the Southern part has also resulted in the rise of the Marathas.

Charismatic Personality of Shivaji

  • Shivaji brings the territories of the Marathas into one nation.  He provided a sense of independence to each territory. In doing so, Shivaji no doubt had to face resistance from the Deccan States, particularly that of Bijapur. He then later faces conflict from the mighty Mughal Empire. Shivaji was not only a great conqueror but also a skillful tactician and a clever diplomat.
  • It was also under his leadership that the Marathas were able to defy Mughal authority. Shivaji was also a good administrator. He introduced a sound administrative system to the Marathas. Shivaji also created the Ashta Pradhan (Council of 8 Ministers), divided his empire into various provinces.
  • He also reformed the revenue system of the Marathas and introduced a new form of taxes, known as Chauth and Sardeshmukhi.
  • Shivaji also reformed his army and enforced strict discipline on it. The soldiers were paid in cash and the army was also strengthened by a cavalry. Many forts were built by Shivaji. He ensures that these forts were well protected.
  • In addition to all of these, Shivaji was a pioneer of his time because he was one of the few amongst the people of Indian who try to develop a navy.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (Shivaji Shahaji Bhosale) was the founder of the strong Maratha Empire in the west part of India in the 17th Century.
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (Shivaji Shahaji Bhosale) was born in the fort of Shivneri, near from city Junner (Pune District), in the year 1630 (19th February’ 1630).
  • His mother Jijabai Bhosale named him Shivaji in the honor of goddess Shivai Devi. Chhatrapati Shivaji was devoted to his mother Jijabai Bhosale, who was extremely religious. This kind of environment had put a deep impact on Shivaji Maharaj.
  • Shivaji belonged to Bhonsle Clan.
  • Guru Ramdas was his political Guru.
  • His coronation was held at Raigarh in 1674.
  • His kingdom was called Swaraj.
  • In 1674, he assumed the title of Chhatrapati.
  • He adopted the titles of Chhatrapati, HaindavaDharmodharak& Kshatriya Kulavatamsa.
  • The Bijapur Sultan sent Afzal Khan against Shivaji, but he was murdered by Shivaji in 1659.
  • Raja Jai Singh of Amer was sent by Aurangzeb to put down Shivaji in 1665. He succeeded in besieging the Fort of Purandar and opened negotiations with Shivaji.
  • Shaista Khan was sent by Aurangzeb against Shivaji, he defeated and captured Poona from Shivaji. But Shivaji made a bold attack on Shaista Khan and plundered Surat and Ahmednagar.
  • The Treaty of Purandar was signed in 1665, according to which, Shivaji had to surrender 23 forts out of 35 forts held by him to Mughals.
  • When Shivaji visited Agra in 1666, he was imprisoned there.
  • Shivaji escaped from Agra and began Military preparations.
  • He then captured all his lost territories from the Mughals.
  • He conquested Karnataka during 1677-80 before his death.

Expansion of Empire and Battles of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

  • In 1659 Adil Shah sent Afzal Khan with the army of 75000 soldiers to destroy Shivaji with his empire. Chhatrapati Shivaji killed Afzal Khan with full diplomatically. He signaled his troops to start the great assault on the Adilshahi Sultanate.
  • Shivaji defeated Kaltalf Khan, a Sardar of Shahista Khan in the Battle of Umberkhind with few soldiers (Mavale).
  • Aurangzeb sent his maternal uncle Shahista Khan with a powerful army over 1, 50,000 on request of Badibegum Sahiba, Adishahi sultanate. In April 1663, Chhatrapati Shivaji personally made a surprise attack on Shahista Khan in the Lal Mahal Pune.
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji sacked Surat, the wealthy city of the Mughal Empire in 1664.
    • Surat was the financial capital of the Mughal & trading center.
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji agreed to give 23 forts and Rs. 4,00,000/- hone, to let his son Sambhaji become Mughal Sardar and ready to meet with Aurangzeb in the Treaty of Purander between Chhatrapati Shivaji and Mirza Raje Jaisingh on behalf of Mughal.
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji gained a lot of province till Jinji in Karnataka after the coronation in the period of 1677-1678.
  • Aurangzeb invited Chhatrapati Shivaji to Agra on the occasion of his 50th birth anniversary. However, in the court on 1666 Aurangzeb made in the stand behind military commanders of his court. Shivaji got angry and he refused a gift offered by Aurangzeb and stormed out of the court. He was house arrested by Aurangzeb.Chhatrapati Shivaji made a supreme plan and succeed to escape from Agra.

The Capture of Poona by Shaista Khan

  • In 1660 CE, Shaista Khan captured Poona and made it his headquarters.
  • In 1663 CE, Shivaji raided the harem of Shaista Khan at night, killing his son and one of his captains and wounding the Khan.
  • Shaista Khan was then called back and Aurangzeb appointed his son Mauzzam as governor of the Deccan.
  • In 1664 CE, Shivaji attacked Surat which was one of the premier Mughal ports and acquired lots of wealth. This was followed by the plunder of Ahmadnagar.
  • In 1665 CE Aurangzeb deputed Raja Jai Singh of Amber to deal with Shivaji.
  • Jai Singh did not belittle the strength of the Marathas. He made careful and diplomatic preparation. He then opened a campaign to seize Purandar.
  • After months of resistance, Shivaji opened up negotiations with Jai Singh. This results in the singing of a treaty, popularly known as the Treaty of Purandar.
    • This treaty allowed Shivaji to retain 12 forts including Raigarh. He had to surrender 23 forts along with the surrounding territory which yielded a good sum of revenue.
    • As a sequel to the peace, Shivaji agreed to visit Agra. However, he did not receive respectful treatment.
    • Therefore, Shivaji openly accused Aurangzeb of breach of faith.
    • He was then thrown to prison but later he was able to escape and to reach his homeland on 30th November 1666.

The Glory and Last Expedition of Shivaji

  • In 1674, Shivaji reached the Zenith of his glory.
  • He crowned himself on 16th June 1674 at Raigarh and assumed the title of Maharaja Chatrapati.
  • His last expedition was the Karnataka expedition, he died in 1680. After his death, Tara Bai continued to fight against the Mughals.

Ashtpradhans of Shivaji

  • It was the administrative and advisory council set up by the Indian Shivaji which contributed to his successful military attacks on the Mughal Empire and to the good government of the territory over which he established his rule.
  • Peshwa– Prime Minister, Amatya– Finance Department, Sachiv– Home Secretary, Sumant– Foreign Secretary, Nyayadheesh– Judicial Magistrate, Senapati– Commander In chief, Panditrao– Religious matters, Mantri– Day to day activities

Revenue Administration of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

  • The assessment of revenue was made after a careful survey and classification of the lands according to their quality and yield.
  • The share of the state was fixed at two-fifths of the gross produce. The cultivator was given the option of paying either in cash or kind.
  • Besides the land revenue, Shivaji had other sources of income, of which the most important were the Chauth and Sardeshmukhi.
  • The Chauth amounted to one-fourth of the standard revenue assessment of the place, while the Sardeshmukhi was an additional levy of 10 percent de­manded from areas outside his kingdom because he claimed to be the hereditary sardeshmukh (chief headman) of the entire Maratha country.
  • These taxes were levied on those living outside the Maratha kingdom as a safeguard (a kind of protection money) against Shivaji’s forces plundering or raiding their territory.

Maratha Families and Their Headquarters

  1. Peshwa (Poona)
  2. Scindia (Gwalior, Initially Ujjain)
  3. Gaekwad (Baroda)
  4. Bhonsle (Nagpur)
  5. Holker (Indore)
  6. Pawar (Dhar)

Marathas Consolidation and Northward Expansion (Age of Peshwas)

The Peshawar

  1. BalajiViswanath (1713-20)
  2. Baji Rao I (1720-40)
  3. BalajiBaji Rao (1740-61)
  4. Mahadev Rao (1761-72)
  5. Narayan Rao (1772-73)
  6. Swami Madhav Rao (1773-95)
  7. Baji Rao Ji (1795-1818)

Balaji Vishwanath

  • The First Peshwa, in 1713.
  • With Balaji Vishwanath in charge of the Maratha military and Kanhoji in charge of the Marathas Navy. This agreement set the course for Balaji Viswanatha’s rise as a Peshwa during his subsequent visit to Delhi with an army of 12,000 Marathas.
  • During this visit to Delhi, on an invitation from the Syed brothers in their struggle with the Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyyar, the Maratha forces led by Balaji Viswanath clashed with the forces of Mughal Emperor and defeated them.
    • This was the first Maratha victory over the Mughals in Delhi.
  • This event marks the ascendency of the Marathas in Delhi an ascendency that was to last for almost a century till they were supplanted by the British in 1803.
  • Induced Zulfiqar Khan to pay Chauth and Sardeshmukhi of Deccan.
  • Helped the Sayyid brothers to overthrow
  • Introduced Saranjami System.

Baji Rao, Balaji Baji Rao, Madha Rao

  • After Shahu, the de facto executive power passed into the hands of the hereditary Prime Ministers the Peshwas.
  • Balaji Viswanath Bhatt was succeeded by his son Baji Rao, the first.
  • Baji Rao was a very able and ambitious soldier and he was the one who consolidated Maratha power in North India.
  • Baji Rao died at a relatively young age of 40 in the year 1740.
  • He was succeeded by his son Balaji Baji Rao.
  • Balaji Baji Rao played a tragic role in Maratha history and the fissiparous tendencies he let loose ultimately led to the downfall of the Maratha empire.
  • His first mistake was to go back on the agreement between his grandfather Balaji Viswanath Bhatt and Kanhoji Angre according to which the Peshwa was to have no direct control over the Maratha Navy. He attacked his own navy and weakened one arm of the Maratha might.
  • During his rule, North India was invaded by Ahmed Shah Abdali first in 1756.
  • Balaji Baji Rao then sent his brother Raghunath Rao along with Malharrao Holkar to defeat Abdali.
  • Raghunath Rao not only defeated Abdali but chased him up to the Khyber pass till Attock in Paktoonistan. .
  • This success of Raghunath Rao aroused the jealousy of Balaji Baji Rao’s wife Gopikabai, who started conspiring against Raghunath Rao to undermine his influence.
  • This led to corresponding jealousy from Anandibai who was Ragunath Rao’s wife. The unfortunate fallout of this court intrigue was to end in the disastrous 3rd battle of Panipat in 1761.

The Third Battle of Panipat

  • When Abdali launched his second invasion in 1759 the Marathas who after their successes in 1756 had been hibernating in Maharashtra and Central India again woke up and in alliance with the Jat King Suraj Mal of Bharatpur formed an alliance.
  • This alliance led by Shrimant Sadshiv Rao Bhau and Shrimant Vishwas Rao (the Peshwa Shrimant Balaji Baji Rao’s son) won spectacular victories and captured Delhi and Kunjapura (where the Afghan treasury and armory was located).
  • Here the alliance developed cracks due to the Maratha insistence on not allowing the Jats to loot Delhi.
  • This ultimately split the alliance and Suraj Mal withdrew from the alliance.
  • The Marathas consequently marched up to Panipat, but instead of continuing their attacks to completely defeat the partly defeated Abdali and Najib Khan, they stayed put at Panipat, blocking the way of the Afghans back to Afghanistan.
  • Seeing their way back to their homeland blocked, the Afghans now became restless. They, in turn, decided to block the way of the Marathas back into the Deccan.
  • This stand-off continued for one whole year from the 14th of January 1760 up to the 14th of January 1761. This led to the fall in the morale of the stranded Marathas and ultimately led to their defeat at Panipat.
  • The Afghans with Najib Khan meanwhile also recaptured Delhi and Kunjapura.
  • On the decisive day of 14th January 1761 (Makar Sankranti), the Marathas decided to break-through the Afghan blockade and re-enter Deccan.
  • The disastrous battle saw about one hundred thousand Maratha troops being slaughtered in a matter of eight hours.
  • But the Afghans too suffered heavy losses and went back to Afghanistan never to return to India.
  • The defeat of the Marathas and the withdrawal of the Afghans created a power vacuum in North India in the period 1761-1790.
  • It was this vacuum that was filled up by the rising British power.

Maratha Empire in the 18th Century

  • The Maratha kingdom was, however, certainly weakened at the start of the 18th century due to various internal and external
  • Full-scale civil war broke out between the forces of Shahu (grandson of Shivaji) and those of Tarabai (Rajaram’s widow). The loyalty of Maratha sardars and Deshmukhs kept on shifting from one block to another.
  • Since the time of Balaji Viswanath, the office of the Peshwa became powerful. He died in 1720 and was succeeded by his son Baji Rao, who was in power till 1740.
  • After the death of Baji Rao in 1740, Shahu appointed his son Balaji Bajirao (1740-1761) as Peshwa. This was indeed the peak period of Maratha glory.
  • In 1761, after the third battle of Panipat Madhav Rao became the Peshwa. In 1772, Madhav Rao died of consumption.
  • After the death of Madhav Rao, the struggle for power occurred between Raghunath Rao and Narayan Rao. In 1773 Narayan Rao was killed.
  • Madhav Rao Narayan succeeded his father Narayan Rao.
  • Raghunath Rao tried to capture power with the help of the British. This led to the 1st Anglo- Maratha war.
  • Madhav Rao died in 1794. Baji Rao II, son of Raghunath Rao succeeded Madhav Rao.
  • At the end of the third Anglo- Maratha war Peshwa was dethroned and pensioned off while other Maratha states remained as subsidiary states.

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Causes for the downfall of the Maratha Empire

Military Losses

  • In the crucial Third Battle of Panipat, enormous loss of men and money for the Marathas occurred. They lost their best leaders in this war. The Maratha kingdom was shaken.
  • Soon, Marathas had to fight wars with the East India Company to retain their dominions. This too drained their coffers.

Political structure: Divisions within

  • The other reason for the downfall of the Maratha Empire was its own structure. Its nature was that of a confederacy where power was shared among the chiefs or sardars (Bhonsle, Holker, etc).

Weak Revenue Administration

  • Marathas depended on the collection of Chauth and Sardeshmukhi and on their exploits from plunder and loot.
  • They failed to develop an efficient system of revenue administration. New territories were conquered but much less focus was on the administration.
  • Rulers were mainly interested in raising revenue from the peasantry through taxation.

Weak Diplomacy

  • Marathas did not take the trouble to find out what was happening elsewhere and what their enemies were doing. There was no far-sighted statesmanship or effective strategy. They failed to cultivate alliances with forces around them.
  • Because of their actions and political ambitions in past Marathas did not get support from the Northern Regional Powers.
  • As they interfered in internal affairs and levied huge fines and tributes upon Rajputana states. In the case of Awadh, they made large territorial and monitorial claims. Further, they levied heavy fines on jat chiefs and also angered the Sikh chiefs.

Military expansion minus consolidation

  • Despite having made rapid territorial advances, Marathas did not consolidate itself in the vast areas in northern and central India.

No progressivism

  • Maratha’s system of administration was along the lines of their predecessors. For instance feudal levies, the land-grant systems continued. As a result, Marathas eventually lost to the British who were more advanced politically as well as militarily.
  • In 1802, Peshwa Baji Rao II accepted the subsidiary alliance by signing the Treaty of Bassein. This marked the downfall of the Maratha empire.
  • By 1818 the Maratha power was finally crushed and the great chiefs that represented it in central India submitted and accepted the overlordship of the East India Company.

Anglo Maratha Wars

First Anglo -Maratha War (1775-1782)

The British fought in favor of Peshwaship to Raghunath Rao. The English (under Hastings) was defeated by the Marathas. They had to sign the Convention of Wadgaon in 1779, which was humiliating for the British. The English later signed the Treaty of Salbai in 1782 where they renounced their cause of Peshwaship for Raghoba.

Second Anglo – Maratha War (1803- 1806)

The Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao II signed the Subsidiary Alliance Treaty of Bassein in 1802. Other Maratha chief who was part of Maratha confederacy, were not happy due to this arrangement. The Scindias of Gwalior began the war against the British but they were defeated by the British.

Third Anglo – Maratha War (1817-1818)

It is also known as the Pindari war. Lord Hastings was determined to proclaim British paramountcy in India. Hastings moved against Pindaris which transgressed the sovereignty of the Maratha chiefs and the war began. The Marathas were defeated.

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Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) on The Rise of the Maratha Empire

  1. Consider the following statements and mark the option which is correct.
    (1) Guru Ramdas was the political guru of Shivaji.

    (2) Shivaji adopted the title of Chattarpati and Kshatriya Kulavatamsa
    (3) Shivaji belonged to Bhonsle Clan.
    [A] all of the above
    [B] 1
    [C] none of the above
    [D] 2 & 3
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [A] all of the above
  2. Consider the following statements and mark the option which is true.
    (1) Shivaji’s Biography by Sabhasad is known as Bakhar.

    (2) Watandars were the local landed elements in the Maratha Kingdom.
    (3) The lowest unit of the country was termed as Prants in the Maratha Kingdom.
    [A] 1 & 2
    [B] 3
    [C] all of the above
    [D] none of the above
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [A] 1 & 2
  3. Consider the following statements and mark the option which is true.
    (1) Balaji Vishwanath introduced Saranjami System.

    (2) Baji Rao, I campaigned against the Sidis of Janjira.
    (3) Deshmukhs were equivalent to Chandharib of North and Desais of Gujarat.
    [A] none of the above
    [B] 2 & 3
    [C] all of the above
    [D] only 1
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [C] all of the above
  4. Which of the following statements are correct regarding Shivaji?
    (1) He abolished the Jagirdari system.

    (2) Zabti system was used for measuring land and levying the tax.
    (3) Sardeshmukhi was levied outside the Maratha state.
    [A] 1 and 2 only
    [B] 1 and 3 only
    [C] 2 and 3 only
    [D] All of these
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [B] 1 and 3 only
    Explanation: Shivaji used the Kathi system of Malik Amber to measure land with the help of a Kathi (rod). He replaced the Jagirdari system with the Ryotwari system.
  5. ‘Chauth’ was :
    [A] A religious tax imposed by Aurangzeb

    [B] Toll tax imposed by Shivaji
    [C] Irrigation tax charged by Akbar
    [D] Land tax: levied by Shivaji on neighboring States
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [D] Land tax: levied by Shivaji on neighboring States
  6. Under the administration of Shivaji, “Peshwa” was referred to as :
    [A] Minister of Religious Affairs

    [B] Minister of Defence
    [C] Prime Minister
    [D] Minister of Justice
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [C] Prime Minister
  7. Bajirao I (1720-1740 AD) was the ruler of which dynasty?
    [A] Nanda

    [B] Maratha
    [C] Haryanka
    [D] Maurya
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [B] Maratha
  8. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (1674-1680 AD) was the ruler of which dynasty?
    [A] Nanda

    [B] Haryanka
    [C] Maurya
    [D] Maratha
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [D] Maratha
  9. Where did Shivaji was Born?
    [A] Shivaner

    [B] Bijapur
    [C] Pune
    [D] Raigad
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [A] Shivaner
  10. Who among the following was sent against Shivaji by the Bijapur Sultan?
    [A] Afzal Khan

    [B] Muhammad Shah
    [C] Feroz Shah
    [D] Jaising
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [A] Afzal Khan
    Rise of the Maratha Empire (Notes+MCQ) PDF Download
  11. After the death of Rajaram in 1700 AD, Marathas continued the war against the Mughals under his brave wife :
    [A] Tarabai
    [B] Lakshmibai
    [C] Ramabai
    [D] Jijabai
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [A] Tarabai
  12. Identify the European power from whom Shivaji obtained cannons and ammunition :
    [A] The French

    [B] The Portuguese
    [C] The Dutch
    [D] The English
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [B] The Portuguese
  13. The guerrilla warfare was pioneered by :
    [A] Aurangzeb

    [B] Akbar
    [C] Shivaji
    [D] Balaji Rao
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [C] Shivaji
  14. The most powerful Peshwa was :
    [A] Balaji Baji Rao

    [B] Baji Rao
    [C] Madhava Rao
    [D] Balaji Vishwanath
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [B] Baji Rao
  15. Baji Rao II (1796-1818 AD) was the ruler of which dynasty?
    [A] Nanda

    [B] Haryanka
    [C] Maurya
    [D] Peshwas
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [D] Peshwas
  16. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station was designed by :
    [A] Frederick William Stevens

    [B] Santiago Calatrava
    [C] Fazlur Rahman Khan
    [D] Frei Otto
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [A] Frederick William Stevens
  17. What was the title of Shivaji?
    [A] Mahavira

    [B] Rajadhiraja
    [C] Chhatrapati
    [D] Nayaka
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [C] Chhatrapati
  18. Shivaji ceded the forts to the Mughals by the treaty of :
    [A] Chittor

    [B] Pune
    [C] Purandar
    [D] Torna
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [C] Purandar
  19. Which among the following was the capital of Shivaji?
    [A] Poona

    [B] Raigarh
    [C] Singhgarh
    [D] Panhala
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [B] Raigarh
  20. How many times did Shivaji plunder Surat?
    [A] Four Times

    [B] Once
    [C] Thrice
    [D] Twice
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [D] Twice
    Rise of the Maratha Empire (Notes+MCQ) PDF Download
  21. In which year, Shivaji was crowned as the Chhatrapati?
    [A] 1608

    [B] 1646
    [C] 1674
    [D] 1710
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [C] 1674
  22. Chhatrapati Sambhaji (1680-1688 AD) was the ruler of which dynasty?
    [A] Maratha

    [B] Nanda
    [C] Haryanka
    [D] Maurya
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [A] Maratha
  23. When Shivaji was born?
    [A] 1632

    [B] 1627
    [C] 1678
    [D] 1634
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [B] 1627
  24. Who was sent by Aurangzeb against Shivaji?
    [A] Ratan Sing

    [B] Jai Sing
    [C] Man Sing
    [D] Arjun Sing
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [B] Jai Sing
  25. The first Peshwa was _______
    [A] Balaji Viswanath

    [B] Balaji Baji Rao
    [C] Baji Rao
    [D] none
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [A] Balaji Viswanath
  26. Treaty of Purandhar was signed between _______ and Shivaji
    [A] Raja Jaisingh

    [B] Afzal khan
    [C] Shaista Khan
    [D] Aurangzeb
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [A] Raja Jaisingh
  27. Marathas were the people who lived in the hilly region of ________
    [A] Deccan

    [B] North India
    [C] West Bengal
    [D] none
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [A] Deccan
  28. Who was the mother of Shivaji?
    [A] Gijabai Bhosle

    [B]Jijabai Bhosale
    [C] Saibai Bhosale
    [D] None
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [B] Jijabai Bhosale
  29. At the time of Rajaram which one is the capital of the Maratha Empire?

    [B] Hyderabad
    [C] Satara
    [D] None
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [C] Satara
  30. Who was named as “Senakarte”?

    [B] Balaji Vishwanath
    [C] Kavi Kalash
    [D] None
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [B] Balaji Vishwanath
    Rise of the Maratha Empire (Notes+MCQ) PDF Download
  31. Battle of Palkhed fought between
    [A] Bajirao and Nizam
    [B] Mughal and Nizam
    [C] Bajirao and Mughal
    [D] None
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [A] Bajirao and Nizam
    Explanation: The Battle of Palkhed was fought on February 28, 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.
  32. Mastani was the wife of –
    [A] Bajirao I

    [C] Bajirao II
    [D] None
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [A] Bajirao I
  33. Who created Hindu-Pat-Padshahi?
    [A]Balaji Bajirao

    [B] Baji Rao I
    [C] Madhab Rao
    [D] None
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [B] Baji Rao I
    Explanation: Bajirao intended to plant the Maratha flag upon the walls of Delhi and other cities governed by the Mughals and their subjects. He intended to replace the Mughal Empire and create a Hindu-Pat-Padshahi.
  34. Who was known as Nanasaheb?
    [A] Baji Rao I
    [B] Balaji Bajirao
    [C] Shahuji
    [D] None
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [B] Balaji Bajirao
  35. First Anglo-Maratha War started in
    [B] 1775
    [C] 1778
    [D] 1780
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [B] 1775
    Explanation: The First Anglo-Maratha War (1775-1782) was the first of three Anglo-Maratha wars fought between the British East India Company and the Maratha Empire in India. The war began with the Treaty of Surat and ended with the Treaty of Salbai.
  36. Who founded the Peshwa dynasty?
    [A] Balaji Vishwanath
    [B] Madhavrao Ballal
    [C] Narayanrao
    [D] Raghunathrao
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [A]Balaji Vishwanath
    Explanation: ‘Peshwa’ was the title of Prime Minister of the Maratha state.
  37. Who was the last Peshwa of the Maratha Empire?
    [A] Balaji Vishwanath
    [B] Baji Rao II
    [C] Balaji Baji Rao
    [D] Baji Rao
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [B] Baji Rao II
    Explanation: The last Peshwa, Baji Rao II, was defeated by the British East India Company in the Battle of Khadki which was a part of the Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817–1818).
  38. Between whom was the treaty of Purandar in 1776 made?
    [A] Marathas and Rajputs
    [B] Marathas and Nizam
    [C] Marathas and Mughals
    [D] Marathas and British
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [D] Marathas and British
    Explanation: Treaty of Purandar (1776) The Treaty of Purandar was a doctrine signed on 1 March 1776 by the Peshwa of the Maratha people and the British East India Company’s Supreme Council of Bengal in Calcutta. Based on the terms of the accord, the British were able to secure Salsette.
  39. The Third Battle of Panipat was fought between – 
    [A] Maratha and Tipu
    [B] Maratha and Hyder Ali
    [C] Maratha and Ahmad Shah Abdali
    [D] Maratha and Aurangzeb
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [C] Maratha and Ahmad Shah Abdali
    Explanation: The Third Battle of Panipat fought on January 14, 1761, between the Marathas and forces of the Afghan ruler Ahmad Shah Abdali and his allies was one of the biggest and most significant battles of the 18th century in India.
  40. Shivaji defeated the Mughals in the battle of – 
    [A] Salhar
    [B] Panipat
    [C] Purandar
    [D] Raigarh
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [A] Salhar
    Explanation: The Battle of Salher which was a battle fought between the Maratha Empire and the Mughal Empire in February 1672 CE. The battle was fought near the fort of Salher in the Nashik district. The result was a decisive victory for the Maratha Empire.
    Rise of the Maratha Empire (Notes+MCQ) PDF Download
  41. Who was called Chanakya of Maratha Politics? 
    [A] Balaji Vishwanath
    [B] Nana Phadnabis
    [C] Shivaji
    [D] Sambhaji Rao
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [B] Nana Phadnabis
    Explanation: Nana Phadnavis, born Balaji Janardan Bhanu, was an influential minister and statesman of the Maratha Empire during the Peshwa administration. James Grant Duff states that he was called “the Maratha Machiavelli” by the Europeans. 
  42. Who among the following Maratha Chieftains helped the Syed brothers in dethroning the emperor Farrukhsiyer?
    [A] Balaji Vishwanath
    [B] Baji Rao I
    [C] Raghunath Rao
    [D] Raja Ram
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [A] Balaji Vishwanath
  43. The English ambassador who had attended the coronation of Shivaji with presents from East India Company at Raigarh was
    [A] Captain Gray
    [B] Oxenden
    [C] Humphery Cook
    [D] Sir Gervase Lucas
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [B] Oxenden
  44. Which Fort ceded by Shivaji to the Mughals by the terms of the Treaty of Purandar (1665 AD) could not be won back by Shivaji?
    [A] Purandhar

    [B] Mahuli
    [C] Lohagadh
    [D] Shivneri
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [D] Shivneri
  45. In the third battle of Panipat, Marathas were defeated by
    [A] Mughals

    [B] Rohillas
    [C] Britishers
    [D] Afghans
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [D] Afghans
  46. Who among the following Maratha officers looked after the revenue department’?
    [A] Peshwa

    [B] Amalya
    [C] Sachiva
    [D] Sumant
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [B] Amalya
  47. The Maratha powder readied its zenith during the Peshwaship of-
    [A] Balaji Vishwanath

    [B] Balaji II
    [C] Baji Rao I
    [D] Madhav Rao
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [B] Balaji II
  48. Who led the Marathas at the third battle of Panipat?
    [A] Baji Rao II

    [B] Jaswant Rao Holkar
    [C] Mahadji Sindhia
    [D] Sadashiva Rao Bhau
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [D] Sadashiva Rao Bhau
  49. The Maratha kingdom was founded by Shivaji during the reign of
    [A] Muhammad bin Tughlaq

    [B] Akbar
    [C] Shahjahan
    [D] Aurangzeb
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [D] Aurangzeb
  50. After the death of Shivaji, there was a fight for succession between
    [A] Shambhaji and the widow of Shivaji

    [B] Shambhaji and Bajirao
    [C] Rajaram and Shambhaji
    [D] None of them
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [C] Rajaram and Shambhaji
    Rise of the Maratha Empire (Notes+MCQ) PDF Download
  51. Which one among the following thinkers argued that Maratha rule in general and Shivaji, in particular, represented early nationalist consciousness in India?
    [A] Pandita Ramabai
    [B] MG Ranade
    [C] Bipin Chandra Pal
    [D] Gopal Krishna Gokhale
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [D] Gopal Krishna Gokhale
  52. Which one of the following methods of revenue assessment is related to the Vijayanagara Empire?

    [B] Ryotwari
    [C] Rae Rekho
    [D] Sardeshmukhi
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [D] Sardeshmukhi
  53. Shivaji’s Agra Adventure was planned by
    [A] Afzal Khan

    [B] Shaista Khan
    [C] Jai Singh
    [D] Mir Jumla
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [C] Jai Singh
    Explanation: Jai Singh advised Shivaji to proceed to Agra and meet the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb to ratify the treaty. Jai Singh assured Shivaji that he would not be harmed during his journey to and stay at Agra. Shivaji saw the truce as an opportunity for respite and to consolidate his strength.
  54. Name the religious personality who exercised a great influence over Shivaji.
    [A] Tukaram

    [B] Guru Nanak Dev
    [C] Mirabai
    [D] Guru Ram Das
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [D] Guru Ram Das
    Explanation: Guru Ram Das was a spiritual guru of Shivaji. Shivaji gave a Sanad to the fort of Parli to Ramdas. The fort was later renamed Sajjangad Ramdas not only spiritually but also advised Shivaji on tactical and warfare strategies.
    Rise of the Maratha Empire
  55. Shivaji founded the Maratha kingdom by annexing the territories of
    [A] Bijapur

    [B] Mughals
    [C] Both [A] and [B] above
    [D] Bijapur, Golcunda and the Mughals
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [C] Both [A] and [B] above
    Explanation: 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.
  56. The second founder of the Maratha Kingdom was
    [A] Tarabai

    [B] Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath
    [C] Peshwa Bajirao
    [D] Shahu
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [B] Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath
    Explanation: Balaji Vishwanath assisted a young Maratha Emperor Shahu to consolidate his grip on a kingdom that had been racked by civil war and persistent attack by the Mughals under Aurangzeb. He was called “the second founder of the Maratha State.”
  57. The Mughal General, who decisively defeated Shivaji and forced him to conclude the Treaty of Purandar, was
    [A] Shaista Khan
    [B] Mirza Raja Jai Singh
    [C] Prince Muazzam
    [D] Dilir Khan
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [B] Mirza Raja Jai Singh
    Explanation: Shivaji was forced to sign the agreement after Jai Singh besieged Purandar fort. When Shivaji realized that war with the Mughal Empire would only cause damage to the empire and that his men would suffer heavy losses, he chose to make a treaty instead of leaving his men under the Mughals.
  58. After the death of Rajaram in 1700 AD, Marathas continued the war against the Mughals under his brave wife
    [A] Tarabai
    [B] Lakshmibai
    [C] Ramabai
    [D] Jijabai
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [A] Tarabai
    Explanation: After the death of Rajaram (1700 AD) Marathas continued the war against the Mughals under the leadership of Tarabai (Garurdion of Shivaji-II). When Bajirao came to power, the Mughal empire was much weakened. The credit to the weakening of the Mughals goes not to Bajirao but to his predecessors like Shivaji, Shivaji’s son Sambhaji, Shivaji’s second son Rajaram and later Rajaram’s wife Tarabai—also to generals like Santaji and Dhanaji who fought for Rajaram.
  59. The Shivaji Festival was inaugurated in 1895 by:
    [A] Hume

    [B] Morley
    [C] Tilak
    [D] Gokhale
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [C] Tilak
    Explanation: Tilak initiated Ganeshotsav and Shivaji Utsav in 1894. Soon he came to be regarded as the undisputed leader of Maharashtra and was honored with the title ‘Lokamanya’ in 1893 which became synonymous with him in 1900. “Celebration of Ganapati Festival started this year on 16th September.
  60. Tarabai, who conducted the affairs of the Maratha government from 1700 to 1707 AD, was the widow of the Maratha King
    [A] Shambhaji
    [B] Shivaji II
    [C] Raja Ram
    [D] Shivaji III
    Correct Answer
    Correct Answer: [C] Raja Ram
    Explanation: Tarabai Bhosale (14 April 1675 – 9 December 1761) was the regent of the Maratha Empire of India from 1700 until 1708. She was the queen of Chhatrapati Rajaram Bhosale, daughter-in-law of the empire’s founder Shivaji and mother of Shivaji II.
    Rise of the Maratha Empire (Notes+MCQ) PDF Download

Question and Answer on the Maratha Empire

  1. Who was the first person to unite the Marathas? Shivaji.
  2. Who was the founder of the Maratha Empire? Shivaji.
  3. What was the dream of Shivaji? To establish a vast Marathas empire and drag foreigners out of the country.
  4. By whom was Shivaji greatly impressed? His mother Jija Bai.
  5. What was Shivaji’s first Military achievement? His first military achievement was the capturing of the Torna Fort of Bijapur in 1446 AD.
  6. When and where Shivaji made his capital? 1656 AD, Raigarh.
  7. When did Shivaji fight a war with Bijapur state? In 1659 AD, Afzal Khan of Bijapur was killed in this war and Shivaji got a huge loot.
  8. Aurangzeb sent whom against Shivaji? Shaista Khan, but he had to flee from the battlefield.
  9. Shivaji plundered which city of Gujarat and when? Surat, in 1664 AD
  10. To crush who did Aurangzeb send Raja Jai Singh of Amber? Raja Jai Singh captured many Marathas forts and compelled him to make peace.
  11. Between whom the treaty of Purandara was signed? Shivaji and Aurangzeb
  12. When did Shivaji attend the court of Aurangzeb? In 1666 AD
  13. When was Shivaji imprisoned in the court of Aurangzeb? In 1666 AD
  14. When did Shivaji again loot Surat? In 1670 AD
  15. When did Shivaji celebrate his coronation? In 1674 AD
  16. Which of his son did Shivaji send in the service of Aurangzeb?
  17. By how many ministers Shivaji was assisted? Eight ministers.
  18. The council of eight ministers of Shivaji was known by which name? Asha Pradhan.
  19. Which was the most important post in Shivaji’s council? Peshwa (Prime Minister).
  20. Which was the second most important post in Shivaji’s council? Amatya (Finance Minister).
  21. What was the tax system of Shivaji? The land revenue was fixed at 2/5th of the total produce. The Chauth and the Sardeshmukhi were also the main sources of income of the state.
  22. What was the Chauth? Shivaji used to plunder the neighboring states and small principalities. They were always in fear of Shivaji’s raid. They entered into an agreement with Shivaji and he assured them not to attack and plunder them by paying a tax called Chauth. The Chauth was 1/4th of the standard revenue.
  23. What was Sardeshmukhi? Sardeshmukhi was also a tax paid by the territories and principalities so that Marathas might also fight for them and save them from other invaders. Sardeshmukhi was charged 1/4th of the standard revenue.
  24. Aurangzeb called whom by the name of “Pahari Chuha”?
  25. In which war strategy Marathas were very popular? Guerrilla war.
  26. Which title did Shivaji assume and swear for the protection of Brahmans? Hindu Padshahi and savior of the religion.
  27. When did Shivaji die? In 1680 AD

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