The Marathas, a set on Flickr.
Via Flickr:The Maratha empire began as a revolt against the Deccan sultanates, notably the Adilshah sultanate of Bijapur and the Nizamshah sultanate of Golconda in the 17th century. Once the kingdom was established, it took on the dominant force in India at that time – the Mughals. After the death of Aurangzeb, and 5 years later, Bahadur Shah I, the Mughal empire started their decline and fall. The Marathas took advantage of this and expanded their domination to cover almost 70& of the land – from Gwalior in the north down to Tanjore in the south and extending all the way east to Bengal. The Anglo Maratha wars in the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century saw the domination move to the British.From a monarchy, the empire slowly moved into the hands of the Peshwas, the chief ministers with the emperor (chhatrapati) becoming a titular figure (much like the Shogun controlled Japan in the name of the Emperor).
In this set, the focus is on Maharashtra where the Maratha influence is maximum. In particular, this set focuses on the Western Ghats and the Konkan whose terrain triggered Shivaji’s use of guerrila warfare, his key success factor. These mountains are lined with forts some of them built by Shivaji while others were wrested from the existing powers.
Janjira was controlled by the Siddis, the former slave people brought in from Abyssinia by Arab traders. The Siddis were allied with Adil Shah of Bijapur and thus were enemy for Shivaji. They controlled the sea coast and in turn trade. Shivaji had to invest in a navy which he did with the help of the Angres.