Marathas Empire

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Map of Maratha Empier

Maratha Empier

Map of Maratha Empier

  • Led to the rise of Marathas.

  • Adil Shahi dynasty and Nizam Shahis appointed Marathas in their armies.

  • Malik Ambar was closely associated with Maloji and his son Shahji.

Malik Ambar

  • Malik Ambar and Raju Deccani were the important pillars of Nizam Shahi dynasty

  • He was an Abyssinian by birth. Born in 1549, in Baghdad.

  • He was a slave of Khwaza Baghdadi. Later on, he was sold to Ahmadnagar's Minister- Changez Khan.

  • He is also called Todar Mai of Deccan as he introduced revenue reforms like that of Todar Mai's, in Deccan.


  • He belonged to Bhonsle clan. Although, its origin is matter of controversy, they claim descent from Sisodia, Rana of Chittor and Udaipur.

  • Shahji and his father Maloji along with Malik Ambar strengthened the Nizam Shahi dynasty.

  • He died in 1664 in Bijapur, while hunting.

Shivaji (1630-1680)

  • He was born in Shivner near Junnar, in February, 1630. They were 6 brothers, Shambhaji was the eldest, and Shivaji was the youngest.

  • Shahji had left Jijabai and Tukkabai- from Mohite family of Supa.

  • She gave birth to a son-Ekoji or Vyankoji, who established a dynasty in Tanjore state, later on.

  • Dadaji got a palace created-Lal Mahal, in Poona for Jijabai and Shivaji.

  • Shivaji lived here for 10 years and left for Raigarh, which became his first capital.

  • Shivaji was greatly influenced by- Sant Tukaram; Bhakti Movement's idea of Hinduism; Samarth Guru Ramdas (author of Das Bodh and Anandvana Bhuvana).

  • For the up keeping of Shivaji, Poona's jagir was given. The territory around was called Maval.

  • Shivaji was highly inspired by Hindavi Swaraj.

  • On 12th June, 1665, Shivaji and Raja Jai Singh signed a treaty at Purandhar.

  • In 1666, Shivaji escaped from Agra on 12th May, and took the peacock throne of Shah Jahan.

  • In 1674, he was coronated in Rajgarh. He assumed the title of Chattrapati given by Gangabhatt (Benaras).

  • He was the founder of Saka-karta Yug (1674).

  • He laid the foundation of Ashtapradhan (8 ministers).

  • On 23rd March, 1680, Shivaji fell ill and died on 4th April, 1680, Sunday noon.

  • He had eight wives and his first wife Puttabai, became sati.


  • After the death of Shivaji there was a succession dispute, at that time Sambhuji was of 23 years and Rajaram (son of Soyrabai) was of 10 years.

  • Sambhuji was greatly influenced by a brahmin of Benaras named Kavi Kalash. -In early Februaryl688, captured and killed by Mughals.

Maratha Empire in 1680 A.D.

Maratha Empire

Maratha Empire in 1680 A.D.

Rajaram (1689-1700):

  • Rajaram came to Jinji and appointed a 9th minister Asthapradhan called Pratinidhi and Prahliad Niriadji was appointed as the first Pratinidhi.

  • During his lifetime, he restarted the conferment of Jagir.

    Maratha's Office and Work
    Table discribes Offices at the time of Marathas and work done in that offices

    Office (Astapradhan)



    Prime Minister



    Surnis/Sachiv/Chitnis Correspondence

    Finance Minister and

    Waqenavis/ Mantri Household affairs

    Home Minister/ Intelligence/

    Samaubat/ Senapati


    Dabir/ Sumant Ceremonies

    Foreign Minister/ Master of


    The Chief Judge


    Minister for Religion/ Dharma


Chitnis and the Munshis were secretaries and were in no way inferior to ministers.

Provincial Administration:

  • In Mauza, hawaldars were the heac.

  • In Subas or Tarafs, Subedar or Mukhya-deshadhikari was the head.

  • The Provinces were divided into Districts.

  • Swarajya implied those territories, which were independent kingdom of Shivaji.

  • For the effective administration, the entire kingdom was placed under 3 ministers. The actual administration was carried over by the Subedars (therefore, it seems that the concept of Provinces was not developed).

  • Subedars were assisted by: 1.) Majumdars or the Accountants; 2.) Chitnis or letter writer; 3.) Daftardar or the record keeper and 4.) Phadnis, Sabnis and Potnis, who were the clerks appointed by Central Govt.

  • The detail register of land holdings in Parghana were called Dehezada.

  • Hawaldar was in charge of sub-division yielding 5,000 hons.

  • The 2 revenue divisions: Mahal and Taraf together called Prant governed by Subedar.

  • There were 14 revenue divisions under Shivaji. Subedar's salary was 400 hons per annum., Hawaldar's-200 hons and Majumdar's-25 hons per annum

  • At the lower level, the revenue was collected by Patel, Kulkarni (village record keeper) and Chaugula.

  • Balutedar: he was the hereditary village servant or artisan.

  • Kulkarni: he was the hereditary village accountant.

  • Deshmukh: he was the hereditary revenue collector at district and sub-district level.

  • Deshpande: he was a hereditary accountant at district and sub-district, he was also the record keeper at Pargana level.

  • Mamktdars and Kamans-dars were king's representatives at district and were assisted by Kamvistar (head of a number of Parganas, Jamadar was the treasurer and Potnis was the cashier.

Revenue Administration:

  • It was influenced by Malik Ambar's revenue administration.

  • The measuring rod was Kathi.

Unit of Measurement:

  • 20 kathi = 1 bigha; 120 bighas= 1 chavar.

  • State claim of revenue was 2/5th or 40%.

  • Tagai and Istawah principle were expected to bring new land under cultivation.

  • Istawa was the help given by the state to counterbalance the natural calamities.

  • Deshmukhs were the head of an armed elite family in control of a Pargana. The Deshpandes were the record keeper for a pargana.

  • Mirasdars were the hereditary owners of land.

  • Revenue were of 2 types:

  • Chauth

    • It was 1/4th and was an amount given to the soldiers in lieu of security, implies l/4th of government income.

    • It is known because of its distribution; 25% was babti-to central government., 66% was allotted to mokasa and saranjam (they were feudal chiefs to maintain troops), 6% was called sahatra granted to Sachiv, 3% was alloted to Nadgauda (used for people who entertain the court).

    • Generally, Shivaji demanded from the subjects of his enemies, a tribute equivalent of l/4th of the produce to save them from the atrocities of his army.

  • Sardeshmukhi

  • He posed as the Sardeshmukh or the supreme collector.

  • The demand was 10 per cent.

  • He demanded Sardeshmukhi on the basis of legal fiction that he was the hereditary Sardeshmukh of Maharashtra.

Military Administration:

  • Hierarchy of the military administration: Paik-the lowest 9/10 paiks-under 1 Naik. 5 Naiks-under 1 Hawaldar 5Hawaldars-under Uuml-adar 10 Jumladars-under 1 Hazari.

  • 5,000 to 7,000 Hazari was called- PanchHazari, which was equivalent to 1 Sarnobat.

  • Yashoji Kank was the first Sarnobat of infantry.

Rise of Peshwas

  • In 1713, Balaji became the Peshwa, he is also called the 2nd founder of Maratha State.

  • In 1708, he received the title of Senakarte.

  • In the meantime, there was a struggle between Sahu and Tarabai for power.

  • On 12th October,1707, the battle of Khed was fought.

  • After this battle, the Sahu captured Satara.

  • Tarabai remained at Kolhapur and her second son Sambhaji ascended the throne.

  • In Satara, Sahu ascended the throne.

Peshwa Balaji Vishvanath

  • He forged an agreement with Saiyyad Hussain Ali (Treaty of Delhi-1719).

  • He asked the Mughal Emperor for a Sanad for granting Sahu the right to Chauth and Sardeshmukhi of Aurangabad, Berar, Bidar, Golkunda and Bijapur.

  • Although the Subedar of Deccan complied, the emperor thought otherwise.

  • Maratha army moved to Delhi and with the help of Saiyyed brothers installed a puppet King.

  • The Peshwa died on 2nd April 1720, in Saswad near Poona.

Baji Rao: (1720-1740)

  • He was the eldest son of Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath.

  • On 17th April 1720, he assumed the post of Peshwa. He preached the ideal of Hindu Padpadshahi and Hindu empire.

  • He said, "Maratha flag will fly from Krishna to Attack." Clash with Nizam:

  • In the battle of Balapur, in 1720, he defeated the Nizam.

  • In 1725, Nizam sent an army to Karnataka to clear it of the Maratha revenue collectors. The Maratha forces were defeated and were forced to retreat.

  • On 6th of March 1728, in the battle of Palkhed, the Nizam was defeated.

  • In 1731, at Dhaboi, the Marathas defeated the Nizam.

Result of Dhaboi

  • Recognition of Sahu as the sole Maratha monarch.

  • Recognition of Sahu's right of Chauth and Sardeshmukhi of Deccan.

  • Agreement to pay outstanding arrears of chauth and sardeshmukh.

  • On 7th January, 1738, the Peshwa defeated the Nizam and the treaty of Durrahsarai was forged with the following clauses:

  • Subedari of Malwa was given to the Marathas.

  • Levy of tribute between Rajas of Narmada and Chambal.

  • 50 lakh Rs. to be deposited in the treasury.

Balaji Rao: (1740-1761)/Nanasaheb

  • He succeeded Baji Rao on 25th June 1740.

  • He invaded Bundelkhand, Berar, Malwa and Gujarat.

  • Unlike his father, he was not a soldier but a diplomat.

  • Between 1740-4"8, Balaji took 4 expeditions in north India:

    • Against Rajputana (1740-41):

      • In his first expedition, he entered Rajputana via Bhilsa and met Sawai Jai Singh of Dholpur:

      • Malwa was annexed.

    • In Bengal (1741-43):

      He passed through Bundelkhand and entered Bihar and Bengal;

    • Against Rajasthan-(1744-45)

    • Against Ahmadshah Abdali-(1747)

  • It is known as the battle of Manpur;

  • Its main objective was to help the Mughal emperor (Md. Shah), against Abdali;

  • Abdali was defeated by emperor's forces on 3rd March,1748.

  • Emperor Md. Shah died on 14th April, 1748.

  • In 1752, according to Balaji and Delhi's agreement it was decided that Balaji would give services of his army to Mughals.

  • The influence of Marathas increased in Delhi politics.

  • Balaji after 1749, took up 4 major campaign, 2 under the command of Raghunath Rao, 1 under Dattaji Scindia and 1 under Sadashiv Rao Bhau.

  • Therefore they were raised to the position of protector of Delhi.

Marathas in 1761-1775:

  • Madhav Rao I became the Peshwa (1761-72).

  • The first important concern was the Nizam.

  • In November, 17 62, the Peshwa's army was defeated.

  • Nizam Ali captured the forts of Shivneri, Daulatabad, Asirgarh and Ahmadnagar.

  • In May,1763, Nizam looted Poona with the connivance of Janoji Bhonsle and Goipal Rao Patvardhan.

  • On 10th August,1763, Nizams forces under Vitthal Sundar was defeated by Peshwa in the battle of Rakshas Bhuvan.

  • On 18th November, 1769, Madhav Rao died and after that severe struggle began to

  • search the Peshwas among Marathas.

British and Marathas: (1772-85)


  • Madhav Rao I = 1761-1772.

  • Narayan Rao = 1773-1774.

  • Madhav Rao II = 1774-1795.

  • Baji Rao II = 1796-1818 (remained pensioner of British for more than 30years at Bithur near Kanpur).

  • Mahadji Scindia met Shah Alam at Anup Shahar and exiled emperor entered Delhi on 6th January, 1772, with the help of Marathas.

  • After Peshwa Madhav Rao, Narayan Rao became the Peshwa, against whom Raghunath Rao hatched a conspiracy. He was murdered on 30th August 1773.

  • Raghunath Rao was also called Raghoba.

  • In the meantime, Gangabai, wife of Peshwa, posthumously, gave birth to a child.

  • Nana Sahib Phadnavis wanted to place this child on the throne.

  • Raghunath Rao became desperate and sought British intervention.

  • On 7th March, 1775, Treaty of Surat was signed between Raghunath Rao and the Britishers.

  • In the meantime, Supreme Court of Calcutta repealed this treaty.

  • The treaty of Purandar was signed on 1st March, 1776, and the treaty of Surat was replaced by this treaty.

First Anglo-Maratha War: (1775-82)

  • In 1779, in the Battle of Talegaon the Marathas were defeated and were forced to sign a Treaty of Wadegaon.

  • Warren Hastings became aggressive and disallowed the Treaty of Wadegaon and the British went ahead.

  • On 17th May, 1782, Treaty of Salby was signed with the efforts of Mahadji

Second Anglo Maratha War: (1803-05)

  • Nanasahib Phadnis was known as Machiavelli of Marathas. His real name was Balaji Janardan and Phadnis was his post. He was arrested by Michael Tilos on 31st December, 1798.

  • In 1784 he concluded a treaty with Tipu Sultan and the Khardah Treaty with Nizam in 1795.

  • Between 1798-1800 Nana Pahdnis's administration dwindeled and he left it in the hands of Naro Pant Chakradev.

  • There was a struggle among the brothers for the seat of Peshwa:

    • Daulat Rao Scindia (Mahadji Scindia)

    • Yashwant Rao Holkar (Tukkaji's successor)

  • The British took advantage of this situation and Balaji Rao fled in 1802 and signed a subsidiary alliance at Bassein

Third Anglo-Maratha War: (1817-1819)

  • Background:(1806-1817)

  • Yashwant Rao Holkar became insane in 1807 and finally died on 27th Oct., 1811.

  • Tulsabai, wife of Yashwant Rao assumed power in the name of her 4 year old son.

  • The condition of the Holkars deteriorated day by day.

    Map of Maratha Empier in 1798

    Maratha Empier in 1798

    Map of Maratha Empier in 1798

  • Anand Rao Gaekwad and Pratap Singh Gaekwad were virtual prisoners of Major Walker.

  • Their prime minister was Gangadhar Shastri.

  • Raghuji Bonsle II died in 1816.

  • Parsoji Bhonsle who succeeded him in March, 1816, became sick and blind, therefore, Appa Saheb became the defacto.

  • Now the struggle started between Appa Saheb and Raghuji's widow Bakkabai.

  • This made Appa Saheb signed a subsidiary alliance with the British on 28th May, 1816.

  • Parsoji died on 1st February, 1817 and Appa Saheb succeeded. He had relations with Chitu (leader of Pindari).

  • On 13th June, 1817, Eliphinston compelled Peshwa to sign the treaty of Poona.

  • Pindaris became headache for the British rule and Metcalfe formed treaties with chiefs of Kota, Bundi, Bhopal, Jodhpur, and Jaipur, in order to supress the Pindaris.

  • The treaty of Gwalior was signed to supress the Pindaris.

  • Both Pindaris and Marathas merged during the third Anglo-Maratha war for their own interest.

  • Lord Hastings opened the campaign on 16th October, 1817, and Karim Khan and Wasim Khan were defeated at Shahabad (near Jhalwar).

  • Pindari war was only a grand plan to extinguish all Maratha vestiges and established British supremacy over whole of India.

  • It seems that Pindari war and Maratha war formed complements of same objective.

  • Appa Saheb in Nagpur and Malhar Rao III fought against British Captain Fitzerald.

  • Appa Saheb was defeated in the battle of Sita Baldi on 27th November 1817. He surrendered on 16th December 1817 and accepted the conditions of resident Jenkins.

  • Bithal Rao's son Ramdin fought a battle at Mahitpur on 21st Dec 1817 and was defeated.

  • Negotiations were forged between Tantiya Jog and Malcom and on 6th Janu-ary,1818, subsidiary treaty of Mandasore was signed.

  • Peshwa was defeated at Kirchi, Karegaon and Asti on 20th February,1818.

  • A treaty was signed according to which Peshwaship was abolished and a pension of Rs.8 lakhs was fixed.

  • The Peshwa was to reside at Bithur, 12 miles from Kanpur.

  • Baji Rao lived for another 33 years and died on 14th January, 1851.

  • A small district of Satara for the descendents of Shivaji was given to Pratap Singh.

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