Maratha - Civil Services Preparation Online! UPSC and IAS Study Material


by Devender

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The Marathas were a Marathi-talking hero bunch from the western Deccan Plateau (present-day Maharashtra) who rose to conspicuousness by building up a Hindavi Swarajya (signifying "self-rule of Native Hindu/Indian people").

The Marathas got unmistakable in the seventeenth century under the initiative of Shivaji Maharaj, who rebelled against the Adil Shahi and cut out a realm with Raigad as his capital.


  • Shivaji:
  • He was born at Shivner and his father's name was Shahji Bhosale and his mother's name was Jija Bai. He inherited the Jagir of Poona from his father in 1637 and continuously fought with Aurangzeb. Although Shaishta khan was able to capture Poona from Marathas, Shivaji reclaimed it.

    Aurangzeb sent Raja Jai Singh of Amber who took the control of the Purander fort due to which the Treaty of Purander happened in 1665 according to which,

  • Shivaji surrendered 23/35 forts to Mughals
  • He also agreed to be loyal to the Mughal empire
  • Shivaji recaptured all his lost territory & crowned himself at Raigarh
  • He assumed the title of Chhatrapati in 1674
  • Administration:
  • King was at the center and he was led by COMs who was known as Astapradhan. These astapradhans were: Peshwa who was Finance & General administrator (Later became PM), Amatya who was Accountant General, Sar–i–Naubat/Senapati who was Military commander, Waqnavis who handled Intelligence and Household affairs, Sachiv was correspondence, Sumanta who was master of ceremonies, Nyayadhish (Chief Justice), and Pandit Rao who was Charities & Religious admin.

  • Shivaji appointed his own revenue official known as Karkuns
  • It diminished the power of existing Deshmukhs and Kulkarnis
  • Taxes:
  • They used to collect taxes from neighboring kingdoms of Mughals and Deccan. Chauth was collected from these kingdoms for keeping them safe and not attacking them. It was 1/4th of the land revenue. Deshmukhis was the levy of 1/10th on lands Marathas claimed hereditary rights known as Maratha lands.


    Peshawas ruled from 1713 to 1818. there were basically 3 major Peshwas namely: Balaji Vishvanath under the leadership of Maratha rule Shahu, Baji Rao who was also under ruler Shahu, and Balaji Baji Rao who became king and ruler of Marathas after ruler Shahu's death.

  • Agreement with Mughals:
  • In 1752, Balaji Bajirao came into agreement with Mughals according to which, he provided protection of Mughals in exchange for revenue (Chauth) from Northern provinces.

    • Third Battle of Panipat:

    It happened between Ahmed Shah Abdali and Balaji Bajirao. When Ahmed Shah invaded India, Marathas fought for Mughals and they got defeated and Balaji Bajirao was killed in the 3rd Battle of Panipat.

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