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The Mesolithic age forced these people to settle at one place and shift to agriculture for food. They moved towards other river valleys from Tapi where first evidence of agriculture is found to be of around 1700 BC.

Jorwe in the Ahmadnagar district has a lot of evidence of the people residing in the region at that time. Between 1000 BC and 500 BC, the megalithic culture started to develop in this region. With the advent of the Iron Age in 500 BC, the gradual process towards urbanization started in this region and it was greatly helped by the many trade routes that connected it with north India.

The Chinese traveler Hiun Tsang visited this region in 640-641 BC and was very impressed with the prosperity of this region. During the third and fourth century BC, the region of Konkan remained under the control of the Mauryans, whose policies led to great advancements in the fields of trade and Buddhist learning in the region.

After the disintegration of the Mauryan Empire, the Satwahanas (230 BC - AD 225) came to rule this region. Pratishthan or modern Paithan was their capital. This great empire crumbled because of internal feuds in the ranks of vassals.

In succession came the great rulers of the Vakataka, Chalukya, and Rashtrakuta empires making Maharashtra a great center of culture and art. Yadavas were the last of these kingdoms that lost their power in the early 12th century and a long period of Muslim rule started in Maharashtra.

Allauddin Khilji was the first ruler to understand the value of the Deccan as the key to extending influence over south India. Consecutive rulers from Delhi till, the 17th century tried their best to keep this region under their control.

From the middle of the 17th century, a new group of warrior people the “Marathas” came to dominate the scene in Maharashtra and elsewhere in India. The origin of Marathas is still debatable, but what is known is that they stole the limelight from the great Mughals and at one point of time even captured Delhi.

It was only after defeating the Marathas that the English could establish their supremacy on India. Shivaji was the first great ruler of the Marathas and it was he who paved the way for the future Maratha influence on India. The heroism and greatness of Shivaji is still remembered by the people of this country and his stories are now part of the great Indian folklores.

Maharashtra remained at the forefront of the Indian struggle for independence and Pune was the center of most of the revolutionary activities taking place in the region at that time. Even in the Congress, most of the radicals were from Maharashtra. Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak was the undisputed leader of this group.

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