March 29, 2023

Disaster of Panipat – factor that doomed Maratha Empire 

Fought in 1761 between Maratha forces led by Sadasiv Rao Bhau and the Afghan Ahmad Shah Abdali. 

More than 50000 Maratha soldiers lost their life – wiped out almost entire young generation of Maratha commanders. 

Prior to 1761, the Maratha fame spread so much that even the Mughal Emperor was under their influence.  

Defeat in battle of Panipat damaged Maratha’s prestige, exposed their hollowness and they lost many good Maratha leaders in the battle. 

Maratha military power could be restored within a short period of less than ten years by the new Peshwa Madhav Rao but the lost prestige could not be recovered. 

Battle of Panipat did not decide who will be ruling over India but it decided who would not be ruling over India. 

When Marathas were losing the Battle of Panipat, English was consolidating itself in Bengal. The English control over the resources of Bengal sealed the fate of whole Indian because a power enjoying control over Bengal and naval supremacy could achieve any challenge successfully. 

Related past year question – Write a short essay on: “Consequences of the Third Battle of Panipat.”  [2002, 20m]

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