Important Phases in the War
Carnatic - Rajaram at Jinjee seeks the support of the southern chieftains for his war against Aurangzeb, however only his first cousin the Raja of Tanjore provides that aid. In January former Golconda officers, Muhammad Sadiq, Yachapa Nayak, and Ismail Maka, who had submitted to the Mughals, now join Rajaram. Zulfiqar Khan (Nusrat Jang) sent against them lays siege to Jinjee in September. In November Nimaji Sindhia, Mankoji Pandhre, and Nagoji Mane desert the Mughals in the Deccan and come to Rajaram with 2000 cavalry. Asad Khan (Nusrat Jang's father and the then Mughal Wazir) is sent to capture the Kurnool and Kadapa districts from the Bijapuri and Golconda officers.
 Shahji II was the son of Vyankoji, stepbrother of Shivaji by Shahji Bhonsle's second wife.
 Yachapa Nayak's ancestors were Rajputs from Kannauj who obtained the fort of Satgarh from Raja Pratap Rudra of Warangal in the 14th Century.
Deccan - All of Northern Konkan captured by a Sayyid officer,Matabar Khan. Rustam Khan, a former Bijapuri officer, at the command of a large army plans to capture the important fort of Satara. The Marathas led by Ramchandra Bavdekar, Shankarji Narayan, Santa Ghorpade, and Dhana Singh Jadav hire several hundred Berad musketeers and fall on Rustam. The Berad firing wounds the Mughal elephants and sets Rustam's clothes on fire; Santa and Dhana seize Rustam while the Marathas in the Satara fort sally out and capture his family. Mughal right wing enveloped and destroyed by Maratha cavalry and the rest of the army and camp followers flee leaving behind 1500 dead, 4000 horses, eight elephants, and unlimited baggage. Several Maratha forts recovered by Ramchandra and Shankarji. Two months later Dhana, Santa, Dafle, and More with their cavalry and the Berad musketeers fight inconclusive battles with Lutfullah Khan leaving hundreds dead on both sides.
Carnatic - Nusrat Jang continues the siege of Jinjee joined by his father Asad Khan and Prince Kam Baksh in December 1691. Santa and Dhana bring fresh recruits from the homeland to the Carnatic---Santa captures Kanchipuram and imprisons the Mughal governor Ali Mardan Khan, whose foot-musketeers desert to the Marathas. Santa joins Dhana in attacking the besieging army at Jinjee, cutting-off its communications and food supply. Prince Kam Baksh intrigues with Rajaram, asking for his help in marching to North India and capturing the Mughal throne. Mughal force retires from the siege after many losses and Prince Kam Baksh is arrested by Nusrat Jang. Marathas dominate southern India and many local chiefs attack and plunder the Mughal supply lines. Santa and Rajaram subdue the Nayak of Trichinopoly but Santaji quarrels with his King and departs for the Ghats; Dhanaji is appointed senapati in his place. Nusrat Jang attacks the Raja of Tanjore in 1694 and forces him to submit, Yachapa Nayak joins that Mughal general but is treacherously arrested and beheaded. Nusrat Jang renews the siege of Jinjee.
The ruins of Jinjee in the midst of three fortified hills.
Deccan - Parshuram Trimbak recovers Panhala fort in 1692. Mughal force under Prince Muiz-ud-din lays siege to Panhala but fresh from defeating the Mughal army at Jinjee, Dhana joins the western generals Ramchandra and Shankarji and encircles the besiegers in October 1693. The Marathas attack the Mughal trenches and loot their artillery; sending many men and much material into Panhala. Relieving force under Firuz Jang chases Dhana and defeats him but fails to capture any of his men. Amrit Rao deserts the Mughals and raids their territory; Santa returns from Jinjee in October 1693, hires Berad musketeers, and fights an inconclusive battle with Himmat Khan; Santa sends Amrit Rao to plunder Berar and himself ravages Malkhed.
Konkan - Reports of these Maratha actions embolden Khandoji Kadam and Damaji Narayan to besiege Lomanji Mavle in Sidhgarh. Matabar Khan sends reinforcements but the Marathas make an alliance with the Portuguese, sending their families to live safely in the Portuguese forts. War between the Mughals and the Portuguese breaks out for a short time.
Deccan - Santa celebrates the marriages of his two nephews at Parli. He next attacks Fathullah at Chandan-Wandan but is repulsed by a relieving force under Hamid-ud-din Khan. Amrit Rao deserts to the Mughals but again returns to Rajaram's side the next year!
Carnatic - Aurangzeb sends Qasim Khan and other high officers to intercept Santa who is taking war-booty to his estate northwest of Mysore. Santa makes an alliance with Barmappa Nayak of Chitaldurg and divides his own cavalry into three divisions. The first division attacks Qasim Khan and draws him away from the main Mughal camp, the other nobles (Khanazad, Saf Shikan Khan, Muhammad Murad) rush forces to his support but are attacked by Santa's second division while the third division loots the defenseless Mughal camp. The Mughals take refuge under the walls of Dodderi fort; Barmappa's Berad footmen reach the spot and begin a merciless firing destroying a third of the enemy force; Qasim and other nobles surrender to the Marathas for a ransom. One month later Santa kills Himmat Khan at Basavapatan and destroys most of his army; he is driven away by a relieving force under Hamid-ud-din Khan.
Carnatic - Dhana attacks Nusrat Jang at Vellore and forces him away from the siege of that fort and to the refuge of Arcot. Santa reaches Jinjee and the long-running quarrels between the Maratha ministers (over policy and appointments to high office) and between the Maratha generals (over division of territory) come to a head. Rajaram supports Dhana and Amrit Rao Nimbalkar against Santa but after two battles Santa is victorious; Amrit Rao is killed and Dhana escapes to the Ghats. Santa turns towards Mysore; Nusrat Jang follows him from the south while Aurangzeb sends his grandson Bidar Bakht from the north but Santa's army eludes the slow-moving Mughals. Nusrat Jang besieges Jinjee again in November 1697 but forms a friendly understanding with Rajaram in the expectation of Aurangzeb's imminent death and Nusrat's desire to build a kingdom of his own. But Aurangzeb's suspicions are roused and in January 1698 Nusrat takes Jinjee but gives advance warning to his friend---Rajaram escapes to the Maratha homeland with his chief officers.
Deccan - Santa and Dhana fight again in March 1697 near Satara; Hanumant Rao Nimbalkar captures Santa's baggage, several officers desert to Dhana. Santa escapes with a small escort but is killed by Amrit Rao's relations---his death is celebrated in the Mughal camps but the overall military situation still leans towards the Marathas. In July a heavy flood washes away Aurangzeb's base camps at Pedgaon and Islampuri. In May 1699 Dhana raids Bidar and turns towards Haidrabad; is followed by Chin Qalich Khan and Zabardast Khan; an inconclusive battle is fought. Aurangzeb determines to conquer the Maratha hill forts and sets out from Islampuri in October 1699.
 "Among the Marathas not much union was seen. Everyone called himself a Sardar (chief) and went out to plunder on his own account." Nuskha-i-Dilkash.
 As Khafi Khan asserts, Santaji inspired fear and dread among the Mughals, "When the news arrived that Santa had come within 16 or 18 miles of him, Firuz Jang lost color in terror, and making a false announcement that he would ride out to oppose him, sent his advance tents onward, but then fled towards Bijapur by a roundabout route!"
Rajaram receives word of this movement and leaves Satara, sending his family to Khelna, and makes a bold counter-attack in the Mughal rear in alliance with the Gond chieftains. Dhana is defeated by Bidar Bakht and Chin Qalich Khan while Krishna Savant crosses the Narmada and plunders Malwa. The Gond Raja Bakht Buland plunders Berar and is defeated by Firuz Jang---Bakht sends Rs. 30,000 to Chatrasal Bundela and requests a force of Bundela infantry as reinforcements. Dhana, Ranu, and Hanumant Rao defeat Hamid-ud-din Khan but are chased away by Nusrat Jang in January 1700---three months later Rajaram dies of a high fever.
Marathas - Rajaram's senior wife, Tara Bai, crowns her son Shivaji III and becomes regent. Rajaram's younger wife, Rajas Bai, forms a faction in support of her own son Shambhuji II. At the same time Shambhuji I's son Shahu is being carried as a royal captive in Aurangzeb's camp! While these factions attempt to place their own nominee as the head of the Maratha Kingdom, the Maratha generals continue to fight the Mughals, and each other. In December 1700 Santa's son Ranuji and brother Baharji fight Dhana and Krishnaji Malhar but are defeated and driven away. In September 1701 Dhana and Dado Malhar defeat and capture Hanumant Nimbalkar---in that same month Baharji and Ranuji offer to join the Mughal side. In July 1703 even Dhana wants to become a Mughal general! But none of these negotiations mature---most Marathas in Mughal service join and desert as they please with the exception of a few notable chiefs.
Mughals: Aurangzeb besieges Satara with a large army, which is immediately encircled by the Marathas under Dhana, Shankarji, and Hanumant. Ghori Khan is captured by Dhana while Hanumant's cavalry envelops and destroys the force of Ikhlas Khan (who had helped capture Shambhuji in 1689), killing him and his sons. The Marathas follow Rajaram in his counter-attack on Mughal territory---on his death Subhanji vacates Satara with his garrison. After taking Parli in June 1700 Aurangzeb retires to Khawaspur for the rainy season; much of his army and camp-followers perish; the nobles are sent to their estates but the Marathas, Berads, and Gonds continue to plunder and dominate the entire Deccan. Panhala is attacked in 1701 but is only gained by bribery after several months of a wasteful siege---all the time Dhana, Krishnaji, and Dado Malhar harass the Mughal army with impunity. Khelna besieged on 16th January 1702; Marathas and local landowners encircle the besiegers and plunder the highways leading to Khelna; Nusrat Jang chases and fights them repeatedly but loses most of his horses in the campaign.
Khelna finally gained by bribery in April 1702 after the garrison evacuates the fort. Kondana is also gained by bribery next year after three months of wasteful siege and the army retires to Pune for the rainy season---but in this period Nima Sindhia enters Malwa and plunders many villages and towns. Firuz Jang deposits his equipment and baggage in Burhanpur fort and chases Nima with a light force through Malwa, east into Bundelkhand, and southwest into the Deccan defeating him at two places. But the next year Nima again enters Malwa now joined by local Rajputs, Afghans, and adventurers of all description. In July 1703 a desperate Aurangzeb proposes to set Shahu free and invites the Maratha generals and ministers to meet their King; however as an eyewitness remarks, "But as the Marathas had not been vanquished, and the entire Deccan had come into their possession like a deliciously cooked pudding, why should they make peace?"
In December 1703 Aurangzeb besieges Rajgarh and takes it by bribery two months later---in that period the Marathas raid Berar and are repulsed with difficulty by Firuz Jang. Torna is captured by assault in March 1704. In 1705 the Berad fort of Wagingera is captured but only after its ruler and garrison make their escape.
 Rajaram's eldest son was Karna, who reigned for three weeks as Shivaji II, but then died of smallpox.
 Shahu had been given the title of Raja from the very start but no territory; he had the mansab (rank) of 7000 and lived in a comfortable enclosure with his mother and grandmother. In May 1703 Aurangzeb sent Hamid-ud-din Khan to Shahu, promising to set him free if he converted to Islam!
Aurangzeb withdraws with his entire army to Devapur where he falls ill from the strain of campaigning. Firuz Jang persuades the Emperor to make peace with Chatrasal Bundela who has been ravaging Bundelkhand and Malwa for decades---the Bundela Rajput is created a Mughal peer with a mansab of 4000 and comes to live in the Mughal camp with his followers. Meanwhile the Marathas recover Kondana fort from the Mughals. Hearing of Aurangzeb's illness Prince Muhammad Azam leaves his province of Gujarat to come to his father's side and prepares to seize the throne and treasury. The Marathas under Dhana Jadav enter Gujarat and defeat the Mughal armies with great slaughter capturing Safdar Khan Babi and Nazar Ali Khan. Marathas plunder the surrounding country including the important town of Baroda.
Aurangzeb shifts camp to Ahmadnagar on 14th January 1706 and again makes a desperate attempt to solve the Maratha problem---Raja Shahu is shifted to Nusrat Jang's camp where his second cousin Raibhan (of Tanjore) joins him. Nusrat and Raibhan write letters to the Maratha generals proposing peace and ask them to visit their King and take him away. Instead in April 1706 a vast Maratha army under Dhana, Nima, Dado Malhar, and Rambha Nimbalkar appears within four miles of the Mughal camp. After a long and severe battle the Marathas are repulsed but without losing any prisoners or property to the Mughals. The Marathas turn to plunder Berar and are chased by Nusrat Jang.
In the south the Marathas and Berads capture Penukonda, Sera, Allur, and Basantgarh. A caravan coming to the imperial camp is plundered by the Marathas. Dhana fights Santa's son Baharji in early 1707 and drives him into Kurkal fort; Baharji seeks assistance from the Mughals and offers to join their side. Nusrat Jang toils across a long distance to this place but Dhana evades him; Baharji too departs with his followers without fulfilling his promise to Nusrat. In the Mughal camp Azam plans to murder his stepbrother Kam Baksh but Aurangzeb sends him to Malwa and Kam Baksh to Bijapur.
Aurangzeb dies on 20th February 1707. Azam rushes back to the camp, takes command of the army and later connives at Raja Shahu's escape---civil wars break out among both the Mughals and the Marathas. Of the Mughal generals who survive the Deccan wars, Nusrat Jang goes on to become the Wazir of the Mughal Empire (1712) while Firuz Jang's descendants become known as the Nizams of Hyderabad.