MARATHAS AND ADMINISTRATION UNDER MARATHAS

Introduction 

The Marathas held important positions in the Deccan sultanate. But Shivaji and his father shahaji were responsible for the establishment of Maratha kingdom. The peculiarity of the region like the mountains and the dense forest led them to adopt guerrilla tactics.

Raja Shivaji:

He inherited the jagir of Poona from his father. He had initially captured many forts from the Bijapur kingdom. The defeat of Chanda Rao More of Javli gave him domination over the Mavala region.

He attacked the Bijapur kingdom and captured many forts. The sultan sent Afzal khan to capture him but Khan was killed by Shivaji in a daring manner.

The Emperor Aurangzeb watched the growing popularity of Shivaji. He sent Shaista Khan to defeat Shivaji. Shivaji lost Poona to Shaista khan but in a daring raid Shivaji attacked the Mughal camp and killed Shaista khan’s son and injured him. Shaista khan was recalled by the emperor.

Shivaji then attacked the Mughal port of Surat and plundered it. This time Aurangzeb sent Mirza Raje Jai Singh to capture Shivaji. In the siege of Purandar fort Shivaji had to negotiate with Jai Singh and signed the treaty of purandar. Shivaji had to give up majority of his forts and owe allegiance to the Mughals.

His minor son Shambaji was given a Mansab.

Shivaji visited Agra but was imprisoned. He escaped by cunning and return to mavala. He started his conquest against the Mughals and recaptured all lost territories.

He crowned himself Chhatrapati in Raigad.                                                       

Maratha Administration: 

Shivaji was an able administrator and a great military commander. The king was the pivot in the administration and was assisted by ministers directly responsible to him.

  1. Most of the administrative reforms of Shivaji were influenced by the Delhi sultanates.
  2. He collected land revenue after surveying land. He appointed his own revenue officials.
  3. Chauth and sardeshmukhi were taxes collected in the neighbouring territories of Mughals or sultans. Chauth was one fourth of the land revenue to be paid to avoid raids by Marathas. Sardeshmukhi was an additional levy of 10% on lands Marathas claimed as hereditary rights.
  4. The army and navy played an important role in his system. The army of 30000-40000 was maintained. Mavli foot soldiers played an important role here.

Shivaji was a daring soldier and military genius. He captured around 240 forts. He built a navy and hence called Father of the Indian Navy.