In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it was the might of the Marathas that kept the Mughal forces in check. First Shivaji, and then his son Sambhaji fought defiantly against the great empire, preventing Aurangazeb from extending his kingdom all the way into South India.
The Marathas were aided by their courageous and powerful Prime Ministers or Peshwas. Baji Rao I was one of the most charismatic of the Pashwas, leading the Marathas to victory against all attackers.
Ahilaybai Holkar is still regarded as the ideal ruler. In addition to leading her armies in battle, she was a strong and just administrator in peace-time.
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