The Mahratta power grew and prospered till it embraced all western and most of central India.
After 1707 it began to decline: the governors became independent: a powerful Mahratta confederacy arose in central India; Nadir Shah of Persia sacked Delhi; and Ahmed Shah made repeated invasions.
The Mahratta chiefs availed themselves of these circumstances to endeavour to possess themselves of the whole country, and Ahmad was compelled more than once to cross the Indus in order to protect his territory from them and the Sikhs, who were constantly attacking his garrisons.
At the close of the long contest the Mogul power was weaker, the Mahratta stronger than at first.
The central portion, forming the old state of Mysore, was restored to an infant representative of the Hindu rajas, whom Hyder Ali Meanwhile Warren Hastings had to deal with a more formidable enemy than the Mahratta confederacy.
The Mahratta Brahmans possess, in an intense degree, the qualities of that famous caste, physical, intellectual and moral.
This period was marked by two wars of the first magnitude, the campaigns against the Gurkhas of Nepal, and the third and last Mahratta War.
Thus the Mahratta power was consolidated throughout nearly the whole of Maharashtra under the Brahman peshwa as virtual sovereign, with his capital at Poona, while the titular Mahratta raja or king had his court at the neighbouring city of Satara.
American varieties have been introduced with much advantage in the Dharwar collectorate and other parts of the southern Mahratta country.
The etymology of the word Mahratta (Maratha) is uncertain.