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The Marathas

During the second half of the 17th century the Marathas had become powerful. Shivaji contributed towards the rise and growth of Maratha power in India. The history of the Marathas can be divided into two well marked phases – early phase from the latter half of the 17th century till the death of Aurangzeb the period of Shivaji,Sambhaji,Rajaram and Tarabai and the latter Mughal phase when the Peshwas became the rulers and the Maratha empire turned into a loose confederacy of the Maratha chiefs under the leadership of Peshwas.