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Inhabitants of the Maval region along the eastern side of the Sahyadri range of the Western ghats of present day Pune district in India have historically been called the Mawalas or Mavale. During Shivaji's time, the term was exclusively used for people belonging to the Kunbi community of the region. They were expert footmen and excelled in mountain warfare. They came to prominence under 17th century founder of Maratha Empire, Shivaji who raised an infantry of Mavale. The infantry was considered the backbone of his power, and according to Sabhasad bakhar, which chronicled Shivaji's life, the Mavale and Hasham infantry of Shivaji had 100.000 men.[1][2][3]

See also


  1. ^ M. R. Kantak (1993). The First Anglo-Maratha War, 1774-1783: A Military Study of Major Battles. Popular Prakashan. pp. 9, 123. ISBN 978-81-7154-696-1.
  2. ^ A.R.Kulkarni (2005). J.S.Grewal; D.P.Chattopadhyaya (eds.). The State and Society in Medieval India, Volume Vii Part I. Oxford University Press. p. 226. Shivaji made use of both sections of the Marathas in establishment of his swaraj...He drew his military strength mainly from the mawales, the kunbis of the Mawal region. In the north, particularly in the eighteenth century, the term 'Maratha' was used with reference to all the people of Maharashtra, irrespective of their caste distinctions.
  3. ^ Archived 2010-03-10 at the Wayback Machine
  • Jadunath Sarkar (1948). House of Shivaji: (Studies and Documents of Maratha History: Royal Period) (2 ed.). S.C. Sarkar.

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