MARATHA STATE (1674-1720):


  • Born at Shivneri fort. Father Shahaji Bhosle initially served Nizam ruler of Ahmednagar. Later he joined the Bijapur.
  • He inherited the jagir of Poona from his father in 1637. At the age of 16 he captured the Torna fort, followed by many more forts.
  • He created an independent Maratha kingdom with Raigad as its capital.
  • He captured Javali from Chandrarao More in 1656. At the Battle of Pratapgarh (1659) he killed Afzal Khan (Adil shah’s general).
  • Battle of Pavankhind (1660) – smaller Maratha force led by Baji Prabhu Deshpande held back the larger enemy to buy time for Shivaji to escape.
  • Shivaji was defeated by Shaista Khan (sent by Aurangzeb). Later He made a bold attack on Shaista Khan’s military camp at Poona in 1663 & wounded him.
  • Treaty of Purander (1665)
    • Signed between Raja Jai Singh (under Aurangzeb) and Shivaji.
    • Shivaji ceded some forts to Mughals & visited Agra to meet Aurangzeb.
  • He defeated Mughals in Battle of Salher (1672). He was crowned & assumed the title Maharaja Chhatrapati in 1674 at Raigad fort.
  • He died in 1680 at the age of 52.



  • He divided the territory into three provinces. Provinces were divided into Prants which were subdivided into Parganas or Tarafs.
  • Shivaji had well organized Army & Navy. The regular army was called Paga, while the loose auxiliaries called silahdars & were supervised by havildars.
  • Salary in cash was paid to the regular soldier, though sometime the chiefs received revenue grants (saranjam).
  • He was assisted by a council of ministers called “Ashtapradhan” Mandal. Each minister was directly responsible to Shivaji. (No collective responsibility).




Peshwa (Mukhya Pradhan) Finance & general administration. Later became prime minister
Senapati (Sar-i-Naubat) Military commander
Majumdar (Amatya) Accountant General
Waqenavis (Mantri) Intelligence, posts and household affairs
Sachiv (Surnavis) Correspondence
Dabir (Sumant) Foreign minister & Master of ceremonies.
Nyayadhish Justice
Panditrao (Sadar) High Priest, managing internal religious matters




  • The revenue system of Shivaji was based on that of Malik Amber of Ahmednagar.
  • Land was measured using measuring rod called Kathi.
  • Discouraged revenue farming
  • Chauth (1/4th of land revenue) paid to Marathas to avoid Maratha raid.
  • Sardeshmukhi was additional levy of ten percent, that is.1/10 of standard land revenue on those lands on which the Marathas claimed hereditary rights.
  • Reduced the power of existing Deshmukhs and Kulkarnis.
  • Appointed own revenue officer called Karkuns.


SAMBHAJI (1680-1689)

  • Sambhaji was the son of Shivaji Maharaj and as per Treaty of Purandar was a Mansabdar of Mughals.
  • His rule was largely shaped by the ongoing wars between the Maratha kingdom and Mughal Empire as well as other neighbouring powers such as Siddis, Mysore and the Portuguese in Goa.
  • In 1687, at the Battle of Wai he defeated Mughal forces.
  • In 1689, Sambhaji was captured, tortured and executed by the Mughals.
  • He was succeeded by his brother Rajaram I.


SHAHU (1707-1749)

  • Shahu’s reign saw the rise of Peshwas & reducing Bhosale’s to mere figureheads.
  • By the time of Rajaram II/Ram raja the power of Chhatrapati was almost overshadowed by that of Peshwa.


Balaji Vishwanath (1713-1818): First Peshwa

  • He started his career as a small revenue official. He was given a title of Sena Karte in 1708 by Shahu.
  • He became a Peshwa in 1713 & made the post most important and powerful as well as hereditary.


Baji Rao I (1720-40)

  • Succeeded Balaji Vishwanath. Maratha power reached its zenith under him.
  • Was one of the greatest exponents of guerrilla tactics after Shivaji.
  • Initiated the system of confederacy. Thus, many families became prominent and established their authority.
  • He captured Salsette and Bassein from Portuguese in Battle of Vasai (1733). He defeated Nizam-ul-Mulk in 1737 & concluded Treaty of Durai Sarai.
  • His several expeditions in the north weakened the Mughal and made Marathas supreme power in India.
  • He said about Mughal: “Let us strike at the trunk of the withering tree and the branches will fall of themselves”.


Scindia Gwalior
Holkar Indore
Pawar Dhar
Gaekwad Baroda
Bhosale Nagpur
Peshwa Poona


Balaji Baji Rao I/ Nana Sahib I: (1740-1761)
  • Defeated Nawab of Bengal Alivardi Khan in 1751 and 1/3rd of Indian Subcontinent came under Martha empire.
  • Signed agreement with Ahmad Shah (Mughal emperor) – Peshwas assured to protect the Mughal from internal and external enemies in return for the Chauth of the north-west provinces, total revenue of Agra & Ajmer provinces.
  • Defeat at the 3rd Battle of Panipat 1761 by Ahmad Shah Durrani checked the expansion of Marathas and fragmented the empire.
  • He and his son Vishwas Rao died in Panipat battle.
  • Successor: Madhav Rao à Narayan Rao à Sawai Madhav Rao à Baji Rao II.



There were three wars fought between the Maratha Empire and the British East India Company over territory.



First Anglo-Maratha War (1775–1782)

  • Struggle of Power between Sawai Madhav Rao and Raghunath Rao was supported by British resulted in First Anglo-Maratha War.
  • The treaty of Salbai in May, 1782 – British acknowledged Madhavrao as the Peshwa of the Maratha Empire and ended the Anglo-Maratha War.

Second Anglo- Maratha War (1803–05)

  • The second war was caused by the peshwa Baji Rao II’s defeat by the Holkar (one of the leading Maratha clans) and his acceptance subsidiary alliance (Treaty of Bassein) in 1802.
  • Unhappy Maratha confederacy challenged the British power but got defeated.


Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817-1818)

  • Distressed By low income Pindaris made up of many castes and started plundering neighbouring territories, including those of companies.
  • Lord Hasting (Governor General) charged Marathas with giving shelter to the Pindaris and hence fought war.
  • Maratha warlords fought separately instead of forming a common front and they surrendered one by one.


End of Maratha Kingdom
  • Third Anglo-Martha war led to the end of the Maratha Empire. All the Maratha powers surrendered to the British.
  • The Peshwa was eventually captured and placed on a small estate at Bithur, near Kanpur.
  • The Maharaja of Satara was restored as the ruler of his territory as a princely state. Most of his territory was annexed and became part of the Bombay Presidency.
  • In 1848 this territory was also annexed under the “doctrine of lapse policy” of Lord Dalhousie.
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