In March 1700, The Maratha Empire Titular head Rajaram died. His queen, Tarabai, who was daughter of the Maratha commander-in-chief Hambirrao Mohite, took charge of the Maratha army and continued the fighting for the next seven years.
Signs of strain were showing in the Mughal camp in late 1701. Asad Khan, Julfikar Khan’s father, counselled Aurangzeb to end the war and turn around. The expedition had already taken a giant toll, much larger than originally planned, on the empire and it looked possible that 175 years of Mughal rule might crumble due to being involved in a war that was not winnable.
Mughals were bleeding heavily in the treasuries but Aurangzeb kept pressing the war on. By 1704, Aurangzeb had the Maratha Forts Torana and Rajgad. He had won only a handful forts in this offensive, but he had spent several precious years. It was slowly dawning to him that after 24 years of constant war, he was no closer to defeating Marathas than he was the day he began.
The final Maratha counter-offensive gathered momentum in the North, where Mughal provinces fell one by one. They were not in position to defend because the royal treasuries had been sucked dry and no armies were available. In 1705, two Maratha army factions crossed Narmada. One, under the leadership of Nemaji Shinde, hit as far north as Bhopal; the second, headed by Khanderao Dabhade, struck Bharuch (Gujarat)and the western coast.
Dabhade with his 8000 men,attacked and defeated Mahomed Khan’s forces numbering almost fourteen thousand. This left entire Gujarat coast wide open for Marathas. They immediately tightened their grip on Mughal supply chains. By 1705 end, Marathas had penetrated Mughal possession of Central India and Gujarat. Nemaji Shinde defeated Mughals on the Malwa plateau. In 1706, Mughals started retreating from Maratha dominions.
Aurangzeb had now given up all hope and planned a retreat to Burhanpur. Jadhav attacked and defeated his rearguard but Aurangzeb was able to reach his destination with the help of Zulfikar Khan. He died of a fever on 21 February 1707.
The Indologist Stanley Wolpert says that:
The conquest of the Deccan, to which, Aurangzeb devoted the last 26 years of his life, was in many ways a Pyrrhic victory, costing an estimated hundred thousand lives a year during its last decade of futile chess game warfare. The expense in gold and rupees can hardly be accurately estimated. Aurangzeb’s encampment was like a moving capital – a city of tents 30 miles in circumference, with some 250 bazaars, with a 1⁄2 million camp followers, 50,000 camels and 30,000 elephants, all of whom had to be fed, stripped the Deccan of any and all of its surplus grain and wealth … Not only famine but bubonic plague arose … Even Aurangzeb, had ceased to understand the purpose of it all by the time he was nearing 90 … “I came alone and I go as a stranger. I do not know who I am, nor what I have been doing,” the dying old man confessed to his son, Azam, in February 1707.
After the death of Aurangzeb, the Marathas began an expansion northward. They crossed the Narmada, the traditional boundary between northern plains and peninsula, and marched into Delhi itself. Within a decade, the Mughals were confined to Delhi itself and had to release the grandson of Shivaji, Shahu, from captivity. By 1758, the Marathas had reached Delhi, Multan and Peshawar. ( In Present day Pakistan )
The Maratha Empire, by 1774 was THE major power in the Indian sub-continent at that time.
SO , The Mughal Empire started in 1526 ( apprx ) and were decimated by 1774 ( approx ) 1774- 1526 is not equal to 1000 years..it’s equal to 248 years .