History Files


Far East Kingdoms

South Asia




FeatureMarathas (Gwalior)
AD 1731 - 1947

Not being especially in becoming involved in the politics of government, in 1719 the Maratha emperor Shahu appointed a Peshwa (chief minister) as head of state with certain conditions that he must follow. The Peshwas became the de facto leaders of the Maratha empire in India, while Shivaji's successors continued as nominal rulers from their base in Satara.

The Maratha emperor, Shahuji, appointed Baji Rao the duty of expanding and defending the Maratha empire. Under his command, the army reached Rajasthan in 1735, Delhi in 1737, and Orissa and Bengal by 1740. On the way back from Delhi, Baji Rao's generals established their own holdings which later became kingdoms in their own right, still owing loyalty to the Maratha throne in Satara. The Gaekwads established themselves in Baroda, the Holkars at Indore, and the Shindes (later known as Scindias), became maharajas of Ujjain and Gwalior (now in Madhya Pradesh).

(Information by Abhijit Rajadhyaksha.)

1731 - 1745

Ranojirao Scindia

First Maratha maharaja of the Gwalior state of the Scindias.


Growing internal disputes in Amer means that its ruler has to go to war, with the help of Ranojirao Scindia (who collects taxes as payment for his support). The death of the Maratha maharaja sees his successor side instead with the rival claimant for the throne in Amer.

1745 - 1755

Jayapparao Scindia

Son. Killed.

1755 - 1761

Jankojirao I Scindia


1755 - 1760

Meharban Srimant Dattaji Rao Scindia

Regent. Died 10 Jan 1760.

1761 - 1763

The Maratha losses at the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761 halts the expansion of the empire and reduces the power of the Peshwa. Maharaja Jankojirao of Gwalior is one of the fallen in that battle, and the throne remains vacant between his death on 15 January 1761 and 25 November 1763.

1763 - 1764

Kedarjirao Scindia

1764 - 1768

Manajirao Scindia

1768 - 1794

Madhavrao I Scindia / Mahadji

1775 - 1782

The First Maratha War takes place against the British East India Company. The empire becomes a looser confederacy, with political power resting in a 'pentarchy' of five Maratha dynasties: the Peshwas in Pune, the Sindhias (originally the Shindes), the Holkars of Indore, the Bhonsles of Nagpur, and the Gaekwads of Baroda. Maratha affairs of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries are dominated internal rivalry between the Sindhia and Holkars. The former make the most of the British imposition of a system of neutrality on Indian politics by establishing their own regional dominance.

1794 - 1827

Daulatrao Scindia

Grandson of Madhavrao's brother.

1802 - 1805

By 1802 a situation of near civil war exists when two Peshwa generals, Daulatrao Scindia and Yeshwantrao Holkar of Indore, start fighting between themselves. The Peshwa, Baji Rao II, aligns himself with his mentor, Daulatrao. However, Holkar ultimately triumphs, and Baji Rao flees to Bombay in September 1802, to seek help from the British who, fresh from their successes in other parts of India, are waiting for an excuse to take on the Marathas. But the Peshwa's move infuriates both the Shindes and the Bhosales of Nagpur, who consider it a insult to Maratha self respect. They chose to fight, in the Second Maratha War, but both are defeated by the British. The Holkars of Indore join the war late, and eventually force the British to agree peace terms.

Jai Vilas Palace in Gwalior
Jai Vilas Palace was built near the city of Gwalior in 1809, and is now split between housing a museum and the current maharaja

1817 - 1819

The Third Maratha War results in a decisive victory for the British against the Peshwa. The last Peshwa, Baji Rao II, is defeated, and the Maratha empire is largely annexed, bound by treaty to the British Crown. The Maratha kingdoms of Indore, Gwalior, Nagpur, and Jhansi became princely states, acknowledging British control.

1827 - 1843

Jankojirao II Scindia

Adopted son and a weak ruler.

1843 - 1886

Jayajirao Scindia

Adopted son.

1886 - 1925

Madhavrao II Scindia

Son, and a minor at accession.

1925 - 1947

George Jivajirao Scindia

Son and last maharaja. Became Hereditary prince in 1948.

1947 - 1948

Gwalior is submerged within the republic of India and the monarchy abolished. Subsequent maharajas bear an Hereditary title only.

Hereditary Maharajas of Ujjain & Gwalior
AD 1947 - Present Day

When India gained independence in 1948, the former maharaja became the rajpramukh (governor) of Ujjain and Gwalior on 28 May 1948. He held the post until 31 October 1956, when the state was merged into Madhya Pradesh state.

(Information by Abhijit Rajadhyaksha.)

1948 - 1961

George Jivajirao Scindia

Former maharaja. Became rajpramukh (1948-1956).

1961 - 2001

Madhavrao III Scindia

Son. Born 1945.

2001 - Present

Jyotiraditya Scindia

Son. Born 1971.

Mahanaryaman Scindia

Son and heir. Born 1995.