|Peshwa of the Maratha Empire|
|Flag of the Maratha Empire|
|Maratha Peshwa with his courtiers, 18th century painting: probably Peshwa Sadashivrao Bhau (center) and his general Ibrahim Khan Gardi (left)|
|First monarch||Moropant Trimbak Pingle|
|Last monarch||Baji Rao II|
|Rajaram II of Satara||(1749–1777)|
|Ramchandra Pant Amatya||(1689–1708)|
|Parshuram Tribak Kulkarni||(1711–1713)|
A Peshwa (Marathi: पेशवे) is the titular equivalent of a modern Prime Minister. Emperor Shahji created the Peshwa designation in order to more effectively delegate administrative duties during the growth of the Maratha Empire. The word Peshwa has roots in the Persian language meaning 'foremost'. The Peshwas were all ministers who initially started as the chief executives to the king. Prior to 1749, Peshwas held office for 8–9 years and controlled the Maratha army. They later became the de facto hereditary administrators of the Maratha Empire from 1749 till its end in 1818.
Under Peshwa administration and with the support of several key generals and diplomats (listed below), the Maratha Empire reached its zenith, ruling most of the Indian subcontinent landmass. It was also under the Peshwas that the Maratha Empire came to its end through its formal annexation into the British Empire by the British East India Company in 1818.
The Title of Peshwa 
After the coronation of Shivaji in 1674, he appointed Moropant Trimbak Pingle as the first Peshwa. Shivaji renamed this designation as Pantpradhan in 1674 but this term is less commonly used. Today, the surname "Peshwe" (alternatively "Peshave") is found both among (tracing decent to the Bhat clan, notably Bajirao I) (tracing decent to Moropant Pingle, Sonopant Dabir and a certain clan from Jejuri, Pune), as well as some Maratha (Kshatriya) families of Vidarbha (by titulary heritage).
Moropant Pingle 
Ramchandra Pant Amatya (Bawadekar) 
The second Peshwa, Ramchandra Amatya (né Ramachandra Nilkanth Pant), received royal status from Chatrapti Rajaram as "Hukumatpanha" from 1689 to 1699. He was a sound administrator who rose from the level of a local Kulkarni to the ranks of Ashtapradhan due to guidance and support from Shivaji. Amatya is a Sanskrit term denoting counselor, guide, supervisor or overseer of both personal and governmental affairs.
He recaptured many forts from the Mughals between 1690 and 1694, some in person, as well as personally conducting guerilla war techniques. When Chatrapati Rajaram fled to Jinji in 1689, before leaving from Maharastra, 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, and scarcity of food. With his help, Sachiv kept the Maratha State on a sound economic footing. Pant got tremendous military help from Santaji Ghorpade and Dhanaji Jadhav, the great Maratha warriors. Many times he directly participated in war, especially during 1689–1695; he personally re-captured many forts in south Maharastra from the Mughuls and played a role of shadow king in the absence of Chatrapati Rajaram.
In 1698, he happily stepped down from the post of "Hukumatpanha" and Rajaram offered this post to his wife Tarabai. Tarabai gave an important position to Pant in the senior administration of 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 Tararani (Tarabai) greatly helped the Maratha empire in building the foundation of state. As he was more loyal to Tararani than Shahu, he was sidelined after the arrival of Shahu. Later, the Peshwa post was given to Balaji Vishwanath in 1713. Ramchandra Pant died in 1716 on Panhala fort.
Parshuram Trimbak Kulkarni 
Parshuram Trimbak Kulkarni who (and his descendents).... later became the jagirdars of Aundh state.He was instrumental in holding the fort 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 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 (Shahus personal assistant ) who reminded his king of Parshuram Trimbaks contribution to the maratha cause. Parshuram Trimbak continued holding the position of Pant Pratinidhi in the time of Tarabai until his death in 1718. He was succeeded by his son Shrinivasrao aka Shripatrao, who continued albeit as the feudatory jagirdar(Aundh) of Shahus .
Bhat Family 
The position moved to the Bhat family of Shrivardhan in the Konkan region, upon appointment of Balaji Vishwanath Bhat as Peshwa by the fourth Chattrapati Shahu in 1713. The appointment of his son, Baji Rao I, as 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 Empire. The rebellion of General Trimbak Rao Dabhade, the senapati (commander in chief), over Chauthai (revenue collection) of Gujarat is one example of such internal 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 unchallenged control over Maratha. The war of succession with Tara Bai led to war with Raghuji Bhonsle ensured Shahu as the successor. Shahu, who also appointed Baji Rao's son as Peshwa in 1740, gave considerable authority to the Peshwas to command the 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 also became a ceremonial head of state after the battle of Panipat and the death of Madhavrao.
The first Peshwa to receive the status of a pantpradhan was Ramchandra Pant Amatya Bawdekar in 1689 by Chatrapati Rajaram. The first Bhat family Peshwa was Balaji Vishwanath Bhat. He was succeeded as 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 Maratha expansion (see map at right), brought to an end by the Maratha's defeat by an Afghan army at the 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 which was a part of Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817–1818). After the defeat the Maratha Empire was merged with British India. The empire was annexed to the British East India Company's Bombay province, and the Peshwa was pensioned off. Most wrong gossip is that peshwa was a king but the truth is peshwa was a directly contacted person of king and he was made to follow the king.Peshwa was niether a Deshmukh(landlord) nor a sardar(special commander) but was a way to spread the thought of king and follow the king's rule
In present day's we may say peshwa as a Personal Assistant of the king.
List of the Peshwas 
Appointed Peshwas 
|Name||Appointment began C.E.||Appointment ended C.E.|
|1||Moropant Trimbak Pingle||1657||1683|
|3||Ramchandra Pant Amatya||1689||1708|
|5||Parshuram Trimbak Kulkarni||1711||1713|
Appointed and Hereditary Peshwas 
|Name||Reign Began C.E.||Reign Ended C.E.|
|1||Balaji Vishwanath - Assisted the Syed Brothers in deposing the Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar in 1719||1713||1720|
|2||Baji Rao I - Helped conquer Malwa from the Mughal Empire and extended his dominions into Gujarat in the northwest and Deccan in the south||1720||1740|
|3||Balaji Bajirao - Managed to extend the Maratha territories into most of North, East and Central India. Defeated by Ahmad Shah Abdali in the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761||1740||1761|
|4||Madhav-Rao I - Fraught with internal dissensions and successful Wars with the Nizam||1761||1772|
|5||Narayan-Rao - Assassinated by Gardi guards||1772||1773|
|6||Raghunath-Rao - Responsible for extending empire till Peshawar in North-West and also saw the decline of Maratha power in North India. Deposed by Nana Phadnis & 11 other administrators in what is now called "The Baarbhai Conspiracy"||1773||1774|
|7||Madhav-Rao II - Dominated by the political intrigues of Nana Phadnis. Saw the resurgence of 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 War that began the breakup of the Maratha confederacy.||1796||1802|
|9||Baji Rao II - 2nd Reign - During his second reign began the Third Anglo-Maratha War. After the defeat at the 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 King Pratap Singh of Satara declare in favour of the British and this ended the Peshwa's legal position as head of the Maratha confederacy. On 3 June 1818, Baji Rao surrendered to the British; he was banished to 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 Peshwa Baji Rao II, he sought to restore the Maratha confederacy and the Peshwa tradition.||1851||1857|
Notable generals and diplomats of Peshwas 
- Ragho Ballal Atre
- Malharrao Holkar
- Ranoji Scindia
- Dhanaji Jadhav
- Santaji Ghorpade
- Sadashivrao Bhau
- Ibrahim Khan Gardi
- Pawar clan
- Govind Pant Bundele
- Keso Narayan Deshpande
- Balaji and Chimnaji Deshpande
- Dhamdhere clan
- Pilaji Rao Gaekwad
- Visaji Krushna Biniwale
- Trimbakrao Mama Pethe
- Nana Phadnis
- Mahadji Shinde
- Raste clan
- Melgiri Pandit
- Parshuram Pant Pratinidhi
- Patwardhan clan
- Moropant Pingale
- Neelkanth Sarnaik
- Rahuji Somanath
- Annaji Dato Sabnis
- Balaji Kunjar / Kunjir
- Chimnaji Damodar Moghe
Scindia and shinde are the same clan
See also 
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Peshwa.|
- Maratha Empire
- Maratha clan system
- List of Maratha dynasties and states
- Nana Phadnawis
- Encyclopædia Britannica, Micropædia Vol. II, p17