The anti-Hindu policies pursued by the Mughal rulers and the administrators of Deccan were the main reason for the dissatisfaction among the Hindus and the new awakening of the spirit of nationalism. They fought against the Mughals under the leadership of Shivaji (1627 –1680) who captured large areas through guerilla operations and established a virtual empire. 

Shivaji was enthroned as emperor in 1674, and he assumed the name of Chatrapati Shivaji. He introduced a very strong administrative set up and in history he is one of the strongest of heroes of the country. 

On his death, his son Sambaji assumed power, but he was too weak to hold on to the throne and was captured and killed by Aurangazeb. Saahu, Sambaji’s son was also imprisoned by the Mughals. 

Later, Maharashtra was ruled by the Peshwas, a line established by Balaji Viswanath, once a minister under Sahu. The Peshwas were defeated by the Afghan troops in 1761. That marked the end of the Maratha rule in western India.