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The Pendharis (also spelled as Pindaris) or Free Companions ( ; Hindi piṇḍārī, पिण्डारी / पिंडारी) were dispersed throughout the Maratha states and were countenanced and protected by the Maratha chiefs to whom they acted as agents for supplying all the commissariat required by their armies. They came into existence during the 18th century when the Mughal Empire was breaking up.


When the regular forces of the Marathas had been broken up in the campaigns conducted by Sir Arthur Wellesley and Lord Lake in 1802-04, the Pindaris made their headquarters in Malwa, under the tacit protection of Maratha Dynasties like Sindhia and Holkar. They were accustomed to assemble every year at the...
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