The Marathas was a major threat to the Mughal Empire. This empire consisted of the lower caste of the society, who later became powerful militants under the leadership of King Shivaji.
In 1646, under the supervision of Shivaji, the Marathas set up their own kingdom. Though Aurangaseb of Mughal Dynasty defeated and annexed their territories, Marathas did not gave up. Marathas adopted guerilla warfare strategies by hiding and living in the forest. They continued to rule over their territory though it was under the control of the Mughals, and by 1740, the Marathas controlled more regions than the Mughals.
With the establishment of British East India Company in the 18th century, though the Mughals were declined, the Marathas remained a powerful empire. But, under the leadership of General Wellesley, the British put an end to the Maratha Empire by defeating Scindia and Holkar, the Maratha chieftans, in the early nineteenth century.
[Source All India (27) 13-Dec-04]