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A Peshwa
Peshwa
was the equivalent of a modern Chief Minister in the Maratha Empire. Originally, the Peshwas served as subordinates to the Chhatrapati
Chhatrapati
(the Maratha
Maratha
king), but later, they became the de facto leaders of the Marathas, and the Chatrapati was reduced to a nominal ruler. During the last years of the Maratha
Maratha
Empire, the Peshwas themselves were reduced to titular leaders, and remained under the authority of the Maratha
Maratha
nobles and the British East India Company. All the Peshwas during the rule of Chhatrapati
Chhatrapati
Shivaji
Shivaji
and Chhatrapati Sambhaji
Sambhaji
belonged to Deshastha Brahmin
Deshastha Brahmin
community[1][full citation needed] The first Peshwa
Peshwa
was Moropant Pingle, who was appointed as the head of the Ashta Pradhan (council of eight ministers) by Chhatrapati Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha
Maratha
Empire. The initial Peshwas were all ministers who served as the chief executives to the king. The later Peshwas held the highest administrative office and also controlled the Maratha
Maratha
confederacy. Under the Chitpavan Brahmin
Chitpavan Brahmin
Bhat family, the Peshwas became the de facto hereditary administrators of the Confederacy. The Peshwa's office was most powerful under Baji Rao I (r. 1720-1740). Under Peshwa
Peshwa
administration and with the support of several key generals and diplomats, the Maratha Empire
Maratha Empire
reached its zenith, ruling most of the Indian subcontinent. However, after the Peshwa
Peshwa
Raghunathrao
Raghunathrao
allied himself with the British, the Peshwa's power declined substantially. The subsequent Peshwas were titular leaders and are said to be responsible for the downfall of Maratha empire, due to inefficiency in handling the affairs of the state. Later on many provinces were controlled and administered either by the Maratha
Maratha
nobles such as Daulat Rao Sindhia, or by the East India Company. During this period, the Maratha
Maratha
confederacy came to its end through its formal annexation into the British Empire
British Empire
in 1818.

Contents

1 First use 2 Ramchandra Pant Amatya
Ramchandra Pant Amatya
(Bawadekar) 3 Parshuram Trimbak Kulkarni 4 Bhat Family 5 Legacy 6 Appointed and Hereditary
Hereditary
Peshwas 7 Notable generals and diplomats 8 See also 9 References

First use[edit]

Extent of the Maratha
Maratha
Empire, 1795

The word Peshwa
Peshwa
is from Persian پیشوا pēshwā, meaning "foremost, leader".[2] After the coronation of Shivaji
Shivaji
in 1674, he appointed Moropant Trimbak Pingle[citation needed] as the first Peshwa. Shivaji
Shivaji
renamed this designation as Pantpradhan in 1674 but this term was less commonly used. Moropant Trimbak Pingale's son, Nilopant, succeeded him during Sambhaji's rule after Moropant's s death in 1683. Ramchandra Pant Amatya
Ramchandra Pant Amatya
(Bawadekar)[edit] The second Peshwa, Ramchandra Amatya (né Ramachandra Nilkanth Pant), received royal status from Chhatrapati
Chhatrapati
Rajaram as "Hukumatpanha" from 1689 to 1699.[citation needed] He was a sound administrator who rose from the level of a local Kulkarni to the ranks of Ashta Pradhan due to guidance and support from Shivaji. Amatya is a Sanskrit
Sanskrit
term denoting counselor, guide, supervisor or overseer of both personal and governmental affairs.[citation needed] He recaptured many forts from the Mughals
Mughals
between 1690 and 1694, some in person, as well as personally conducting guerilla war techniques. When Chhatrapati
Chhatrapati
Rajaram fled to Jinji in 1689, before leaving from Maharashtra, he gave "Hukumat panha" (King Status) to Pant. Ramchandra Pant managed the entire state under many challenges such as the Mughal influx, the betrayal of Vatandars (Feudal Chiefs), and scarcity of food. With his help, Sachiv kept the Maratha
Maratha
State on a sound economic footing[3]. Pant got tremendous military help from Santaji Ghorpade and Dhanaji Jadhav, the great Maratha
Maratha
Generals. Many times he directly participated in battles, especially during 1689–1695; he personally re-captured many forts in south Maharashtra from the Moghuls and played the role of "Stand-in King" in the absence of Chhatrapati Rajaram.[citation needed] In 1698, he happily stepped down from the post of "Hukumatpanha" and Rajaram offered this post to his wife Tarabai. Tarabai
Tarabai
gave an important position to Pant in the administration of Maratha
Maratha
State. He wrote a book called Adnyapatra मराठी: आज्ञापत्र which explained different techniques of war, maintenance of forts and administration etc. The concepts in Adnyapatra and the wisdom and leadership of Tarabai greatly helped the Maratha
Maratha
empire in building the foundation of state. As he was more loyal to Tarabai
Tarabai
than Shahu, he was sidelined after the arrival of Chhatrapati
Chhatrapati
Shahu. Later, the Peshwa
Peshwa
post was given to Balaji Vishwanath
Balaji Vishwanath
in 1713. Ramchandra Pant died in 1716 at Panhala fort.[citation needed] Parshuram Trimbak Kulkarni[edit]

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Parshuram Trimbak Kulkarni was born in a Deshastha Yajurvedi Brahmin family and held the post of Pantpratinidhi. Later on, he became the Jagirdar of Aundh State. He was instrumental in holding the fort Panhala
Panhala
against Aurangzeb (1689). Though he lost the fort then, he recaptured it in 1692. He also captured territories between Miraj and fort Rangana and also Bhudargad, Chandangad, Pavangad, Satara and Vasantgad. He continued his loyalty towards Tarabai
Tarabai
much to the chagrin of Shahu. Shahu imprisoned him twice between 1710-14. 14 (second time when his son Krishnaji joined the forces of Sammbhaji II). But his life was spared by Shahu because of the intervention of Khando Ballal (Shahu's personal assistant) who reminded his king of Parshuram Trimbak's contribution to the Maratha
Maratha
cause. Parshuram Trimbak continued holding the position of Pant Pratinidhi in the time of Tarabai
Tarabai
until his death in 1718. He was a devotee of Yamai Devi of Aundh and had composed poems praising her might. He was succeeded by his son Shrinivasrao, aka Shripatrao, who continued albeit as the feudatory ruler of Aundh State. Bhat Family[edit] Main article: Bhat family

Statue of Peshwa
Peshwa
Balaji Vishwanath
Balaji Vishwanath
at Shrivardhan

H.H. Shrimant Bajirao
Bajirao
Balaji (Ballal) Peshwa
Peshwa
(aka Bajirao
Bajirao
the First)

The position moved to the Chitpavan Brahmin
Chitpavan Brahmin
Bhat family
Bhat family
of Shrivardhan in the Konkan
Konkan
region, upon appointment of Balaji Vishwanath
Balaji Vishwanath
(Bhat) as Peshwa
Peshwa
by the fourth Chattrapati Shahu in 1713. The appointment of his son, Baji Rao I, as Peshwa
Peshwa
in 1719 by Shahu made the position hereditary in the Bhat family. Baji Rao proved his loyalty and patriotism by controlling the feudal chieftains who wanted independence from the Maratha
Maratha
Empire. The rebellion of General Trimbak Rao Dabhade, the senapati (commander in chief), over Chauthai (revenue collection) of Gujarat
Gujarat
is one example of such internal Maratha
Maratha
feuds. The followers of Baji and Trimbak clashed at the Battle of Bilhapur on April 1, 1731, and Trimbak was killed. In gratitude, Shahu gave the Peshwas and the Bhat family
Bhat family
unchallenged control over Maratha empire.[4] The victory in war of succession with Tara Bai led to Shahu becoming Chhatrapati. Shahu, who also appointed Baji Rao's son as Peshwa
Peshwa
in 1740, gave considerable authority to the Peshwas to command the Maratha
Maratha
armies, and they responded well during his reigns. At the time of his death in 1749, Shahu made the Peshwas his successors under these conditions: Shivaji's descendants, who remained as the titular Raja of Satara, were called Swami (Marathi for the 'real owner') by the Peshwas who reported to them, and officially they were to seek guidance from the Raja. However, the Peshwa
Peshwa
also became a ceremonial head of state after the battle of Panipat and the death of Madhavrao.

Shaniwar Wada's Delhi Gate. It was the seat of the Peshwas at Pune.

Legacy[edit] The first Peshwa
Peshwa
to receive the status of a pantpradhan was Ramchandra Pant Amatya Bawdekar in 1689 by Chhatrapati
Chhatrapati
Rajaram. The first (Bhat) Deshmukh family Peshwa
Peshwa
was Balaji Vishwanath
Balaji Vishwanath
(Bhat) Deshmukh. He was succeeded as Peshwa
Peshwa
by his son Baji Rao I, who never lost a battle. Baji Rao and his son, Balaji Baji Rao, oversaw the period of greatest[5] Maratha
Maratha
expansion, brought to an end by the Marathas' defeat by an Afghan army at the Third Battle of Panipat
Third Battle of Panipat
in 1761. The last Peshwa, Baji Rao II, was defeated by the British East India Company in the Battle of Khadki
Battle of Khadki
which was a part of Third Anglo- Maratha
Maratha
War (1817–1818). The Peshwa's land (Peshwai) was annexed to the British East India Company's Bombay province, and the Bajirao
Bajirao
II, the Peshwa
Peshwa
was pensioned off. Appointed and Hereditary
Hereditary
Peshwas[edit]

Sr. Name Particulars Reign Began C.E. Reign Ended C.E. Portrait

1 Balaji Vishwanath
Balaji Vishwanath
(First appointed Peshwa) Assisted the Syed Brothers in deposing the Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar in 1719 1713 1720

2 Baji Rao I Known as Thorle (elder) Bajirao
Bajirao
and acknowledged as the most influential of the nine Peshwas. Said to have fought for the establishment of "Hindu Pad Padshahi"(Hindu Empire). Helped conquer Central India (Malwa) and Rajputana
Rajputana
and extended his dominions into Gujarat
Gujarat
in the northwest and Deccan in the south. Raided Mughal Delhi in 1738. Fought in over 41 battles and is one of the few to have never lost a single battle. Died at the age of 40 of sudden fever in camp en route to Delhi; he has been commemorated in the form of an equestrian statue erected at Shaniwar Wada
Shaniwar Wada
in Pune. 1720 1740

3 Balaji Bajirao Known as Nanasaheb Peshwa. Managed to extend the Maratha
Maratha
territories into most of North-West, East and Central India. Captured Attock
Attock
on the banks of Indus River
Indus River
and Peshawar
Peshawar
in 1758 in the Battle of Attock, 1758. Under his leadership, the Maratha Empire
Maratha Empire
reached its peak but his general and nephew lost the Third Battle of Panipat
Third Battle of Panipat
against Ahmad Shah Abdali in 1761. Contributed to the development of the city of Pune
Pune
which was the seat of the Peshwas. Built the famous Parvati Temple, Lakdi Pool and established Nana Peth (area) in Pune. Built a water reservoir near Katraj
Katraj
to provide clean water to Pune
Pune
city; this 250-year-old system is still functioning. 1740 1761

4 Madhav-Rao I Fraught with internal dissensions and successful Wars with the Nizam. During his tenure, Maratha
Maratha
power recovered from the losses suffered during the Third Battle of Panipat, a phenomenon known as Maratha Resurrection. Repaired the recently weakened administration, treasury, and accounts of the Maratha
Maratha
Empire. He died of tuberculosis in 1772; a memorial commemorating his greatness stands at Peshwe Park in Pune. 1761 1772

5 Narayan-Rao Assassinated by Gardi guards 1772 1773  

6 Raghunath-Rao Responsible for extending Maratha
Maratha
empire to the zenith in the North as a General and also saw the decline of Maratha
Maratha
power in North India. Deposed by Nana Phadnis
Nana Phadnis
and 11 other administrators in what is now called "The Baarbhai Conspiracy" 1773 1774

7 Madhav-Rao II Appointed Peshwa
Peshwa
as an infant with a council of Maratha
Maratha
Generals and ministers as regents. Era dominated by the political intrigues of Nana Phadnis. Saw the resurgence of Maratha
Maratha
power in North India. 1774 1796

8 Baji Rao II 1st Reign - Was defeated by Yashwantrao Holkar, ruler of Indore, at the Battle of Poona. Fled to British protection, and in December 1802, concluded the Treaty of Bassein with the British East India Company, ceding territory for the maintenance of a subsidiary force and agreeing to treaty with no other power. This provoked the Second Anglo- Maratha
Maratha
War that began the breakup of the Maratha
Maratha
confederacy. 1796 1802

 

9 2nd Reign - During his second reign began the Third Anglo- Maratha
Maratha
War. After the defeat at the Battle of Koregaon
Battle of Koregaon
in January 1818, he was on the run from the British. Eventually, the British took over his dominion and made the Maratha
Maratha
King Pratap Singh of Satara declare in favour of the British. This ended the Peshwa's legal position as head of the Maratha
Maratha
confederacy. On 3 June 1818, Baji Rao surrendered to the British; he was banished to Bithur
Bithur
near Kanpur. 1803 1818

10 Nana Sahib Was a leader during the Indian Uprising of 1857. As the adopted son of the exiled Maratha
Maratha
Peshwa
Peshwa
Baji Rao II, he sought to restore the Maratha
Maratha
confederacy and the Peshwa
Peshwa
tradition. 1851 1857

Notable generals and diplomats[edit]

His Highness Shrimant Sawai Madhavrao Peshwa
Peshwa
or Madhav Rao II Narayan and his ministers at Pune.

Annaji Dato Sabnis Balaji Deshpande Balaji Kunjar Chimnaji Damodar Moghe Chimnaji Deshpande

Govind Pant Bundele Ibrahim Khan Gardi Keso Narayan Deshpande Mahadji Shinde Malharrao Holkar Melgiri Pandit Sadashivrao Dev (Gade) Gopalrao Patwardhan

Nana Phadnawis Neelkanth Sarnaik Parshuram Pant Pratinidhi Pilaji Rao Gaekwad Ragho Ballal Atre Rahuji Somanath Ranoji Scindia Sadashivrao Bhau

Trimbakrao Mama Pethe Visaji Krushna Biniwale * Bapu Gokhale *

Bakshi Santaji Ghorpade

See also[edit]

Maratha
Maratha
titles Maratha
Maratha
clan system List of Maratha
Maratha
dynasties and states Bhonsle Scindia Holkar Gaekwad Puar (or Pawar) Peshawe Family List of people involved in the Maratha
Maratha
Empire

References[edit]

^ Prasad 2007, p. 88. ^ under Jahangir, M. Learning focus. Longman History & Civics ICSE 7, 84. ^ Surendranath Sen, Surendra Nath Sen (1993). Studies in Indian History: Historical Records at Goa. Asian Educational Services. p. 42.  ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, Micropædia Vol. II, p17 ^ Shirgaonkar, Varsha S. "Peshwyanche Vilasi Jeevan" (Luxurious Life of Peshwas). Continental Prakashan, Pune
Pune
(2012). ISBN 8174210636. In Marathi.

v t e

Maratha
Maratha
Empire

Rulers

Shivaji Sambhaji Rajaram I Tarabai Shahu I Rajaram II Shahu II Pratap Singh

Peshwas

Moropant Trimbak Pingle Moreshvar Pingale Ramchandra Pant Amatya Bahiroji Pingale Parashuram Trimbak Kulkarni Balaji Vishwanath Baji Rao I Balaji Baji Rao Madhavrao Ballal Narayan Rao Raghunathrao Sawai Madhavrao Baji Rao II Amrut Rao Nana Sahib Bhat family

Women

Ahilyabai Holkar Anandibai Gopikabai Jankibai Jijabai Kashibai Mastani Muddupalani Parvatibai Putalabai Radhikabai Ramabai Saibai Sakvarbai Soyarabai Umabai Dabhade Tulsi Bai Holkar

Maratha
Maratha
Confederacy

Bhonsle
Bhonsle
of Nagpur Gaekwad
Gaekwad
of Baroda Scindia
Scindia
of Gwalior Holkar
Holkar
of Indore
Indore
(subsidiary or feudatory states)

Battles

Pratapgarh Kolhapur Pavan Khind Chakan Surat Purandar Sinhagad Kalyan Bhupalgarh Sangamner Bijapur Raigarh (1689) Jinji Satara Khelna Raigarh Torna Palkhed Mandsaur 1st Delhi Bhopal Vasai Gajendragad 1st Trichinopoly Katwa (1st) 2nd Trichinopoly Katwa (2nd) Invasions of Bengal Burdwan Udgir 2nd Delhi Attock Peshawar 3rd Panipat Alegaon Rakshabhuvan Panchgaon Saunshi Adoni Badami Savanur Bahadur Benda Lalsot Chaksana Patan Kharda Poona 3rd Delhi Assaye Laswari Farrukhabad Bharatpur Khadki Koregaon Mahidpur

Wars

Maratha-Mughal War of 27 years Maratha–Mysore War First Anglo- Maratha
Maratha
War Second Anglo- Maratha
Maratha
War Third Anglo- Maratha
Maratha
War

Adversaries

Adilshahi Nizamshahi Berar Sultanate Bidar Sultanate Qutbshahi Mughal Empire Durrani Empire British Empire Portuguese Empire Nizam
Nizam
of Hyderabad Mysore

Forts

Fort Mangad Panhala Pratapgad Purandar Raigad Rajgad Shaniwar Wada Shivneri Sindhudurg Sinhagad Torna

C

.