The Princely state of Gwalior existed in the mid 18th century as a part of the Maratha confederacy. It was founded in 1761 by Ranoji Shinde who was an accomplished soldier, local Chieftain and Governor. He served under Peshwa Baji Rao as one of the top three senior commanders. Ranoji is known as the founder of the Scindia dynasty. He first set his headquarters in the ancient city of Ujjain; a city that remained the capital for the Scindias until 1810.

The Gwalior state received a 21 gun salute and held a pivotal position for its strategic location and fort strength. It became a part of the British suzerainty after the Anglo-Maratha wars. It was the largest state of the Central India Agency which was a political office of British India. The Maratha Kingdom of Gwalior had a flag in a saffron tone with a swallow tail. Its coat of arms featured two cobras and the blazing sun at the centre.

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