Rise of Independent States (ICSE 8)

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The Maratha kingdom

The Marathas declared themselves independent under the leadership of Shivaji. After Shivaji's death, the Peshwas became the real head of the Maratha Empire. Baji Rao I was an excellent commander under whom vast territories were captured. After the Third Battle of Panipat, the Marathas began to fight amongst themselves with the help of other powers and leading to the decline of the Maratha kingdom.

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Chandbardai

Chandbardai was born in Lahore, in the year 1148. At a very young age, he acquired knowledge of grammar, literature, Chhand, Puranas, astrology, etc. Not only did he become the state poet of the king of Delhi, Prithviraj Chauhan but he also became the king's friend and advisor. 'Prithviraj Raso' is a famous creation of Chandbardai which is known to be the first Hindi epic. 

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Bengal

Farukhsiyar appointed Murshid Qula Khan as the governor of Bengal in 1717. He took advantage of the weakness of the emperor and soon became an independent ruler. Bengal was one of the first provinces to be conquered politically by the British. Siraj-ud-Daulah tried to restrict the English but failed and lost the Battle of Plassey in 1757.

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Awadh

In 1722, Saadat Khan was appointed as the governor of Awadh by the Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah and soon rose to fame and power for his intelligence and courage. He was succeeded by his son-in-law, Safdar Jung. The rulers of Awadh tried to improve the financial resources and tried to bring peace in the region. Under Safdar Jung, there was peace and prosperity for a long time. Art and literature flourished. 

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The Rajput kingdoms

The Rajput chiefs broke their alliance with the Mughal empire and tried to establish themselves as independent rulers. However, they themselves were in petty quarrels. Raja Sawai Jai Singh, the ruler of Aber was the most outstanding Rajput ruler. He was the founder of Pink City or Jaipur. He also took interest in science and astronomy.The Rajputs were involved in mutual rivalries and failed to unite against external powers. With the rise of Marathas, their influence began to deteriorate.

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Hyderabad and Carnatic

Mir Qamar-Ud-Din Siddiqi was made the governor of Deccan. He was given the title of Nizam-ul-Mulk. He tried to check the growing strength of the Marathas and consolidated his hold over the region. His successors were called Nizams of Hyderabad. They started fighting amongst themselves for the throne. Taking advantage of this situation, the European trading companies interfered in their internal fights for their own advantage.

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Punjab

Under the leadership of Guru Govind Singh, the last Sikh Guru, the Sikhs became a political force. The leadership passed into the hands of his trusted disciple, Banda Bahadur who fought against the Mughals for eight years. Between 1756 and 1800, The Sikhs succeeded in bringing the whole of Punjab and Jammu under their control. Towards the end of the 18th century, Ranjit Singh established a powerful Sikh empire. After his death, there were internal conflicts which became an advantage to the Britishers and they brought it under their control by 1840.

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The Rajput kingdom

The Rajput empire was divided into many small states. The large Rajput states were involved in petty quarrels and wars. Raja Sawai Jai Singh, the ruler of Amber, was the most outstanding Rajput ruler. He introduced many social reforms and took a keen interest in science and astronomy. He was the founder of Pink city or Jaipur which became a great centre of art and science. He built the Jantar Mantar and also erected observatories at Delhi, Jaipur, Mathura, Ujjain and Benaras. The Rajputs were involved in mutual rivalries and failed to unite against powers from outside.