Pindari, historically, an irregular horseman, plunderer, or forager attached to a Muslim army in India who was allowed to plunder in lieu of pay.
The Pindaris followed the Maratha bands who raided Mughal territory from the late 17th century.
With the collapse of the Mughal Empire in the 18th century, these camp followers organized themselves into groups, each usually attached to one of the leading Maratha chiefs.
But as those chiefs themselves grew weak at the end of the century, the Pindaris became largely a law unto themselves and conducted raids from hideouts in central India.
The majority of their leaders were Muslims, but they recruited from all classes.
Pindaris made their headquarters in Malwa, under the tacit protection of the rulers of Gwalior and Indore.
In 1816 the British organized the campaign known as the Pindari War (1817–18).
The Pindaris were surrounded by an army of about 120,000 men, which converged upon them from Bengal, the Deccan, and Gujarat under the supreme command of the governor-general Lord Hastings.
The Pindaris’ protectors in Gwalior were overawed and signed a treaty (1817) against the Pindaris.
The Pindaris themselves offered little resistance; most of the leaders surrendered, and their followers dispersed.