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Medieval History / Marathas

Maratha Empire Administration


    Maratha administration can be examined through central administration, military administration and revenue administration. At the central level, there were council of ministers and at the lower level down the line, there were various administrative heads.

    Maratha Administration under Shivaji Maharaj

    Shivaji had a council of ministers known as Ashta Pradhans (8 in numkber). They were

    • Peshwa - Prime Minister
    • Mantri - Head of Home and Intelligence
    • Amatya - Finance Minister
    • Sachiv - Head of Royal Correspondence
    • Sar-i-naubat - Senapati
    • Sumant - Head of External Affairs
    • Nyayadish - Head of Judiciary
    • Panditrao - Head of Religious department

    Administrative Divisions - Shivaji divided his kingdom into Prantas, head of which was called Desadhikari. Prantas were divided into Tarafs headed by Tarafdar. The last unit of administration is village, which was headed by Patil.

    Military Administration of Marathas

    Two types of troops were maintained, Bargis (regular troops for whom State provides the weapons) and Silhadars (they come with their own weapons and they will be given money after the war). Shivaji maintained navy at Kolaba (near Mumbai).

    Revenue Administration of Marathas

    Apart from land revenue (40%), Shivaji used to collect the following two taxes, Chauth and Sardeshmukhi. Chauth was 1/4th of the land revenue collected from neighboring kingdoms to get exemption from plundering. Sardeshmukhi was additional 1/10th collected from his own people which he claimed for being the Sardeshmukh (overlord). It was previously paid to Deshmukhs.