, region of India. Sometimes defined as all India S of the Narmada River, it is in a more limited sense the plateau of central peninsular India, including approximately all Karnataka and S Andhra Pradesh, SE Maharashtra, and NW Tamil Nadu. The rich volcanic soil is used for growing cotton. The last of the great Mughal emperors, Aurangzeb
, exhausted the power of his empire in a futile attempt (1683-1707) to absorb the region. It was in the Deccan that the Hindus began to regain (early 18th cent.) political and military power in India under Śivaji, leader of the Marathas
. There in the late 18th cent. the British decisively defeated the French in their struggle for India.
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