Maratha State appointed Hindus on high post and made Marathi as an official language instead of Persian. They prepare their own state craft dictionary i.e. ‘Raja Vyakaran Kosh’ for official use. The Maratha administration can be studied under three heads- Central Administration; Revenue Administration; and Military Administration.
- It was founded by Shivaji for the sound system of administration which was greatly inspired from the Deccan style of administration. Most of the administrative reforms were inspired from Malik Amber reforms in Ahmednagar.
- The King was the supreme head of state who was assisted by a group of eight ministers known as the ‘Ashtapradhan’.
- Apart from the departmental duties, three of the ministers- Peshwas, Schiva and the Mantri were also given incharge of extensive provinces.
- All ministers, except the Panditrao and the Nyayadish, had to serve in a war whenever necessary.
Minister was assisted by a staff of eight clerks
- Shivaji divided entire territory into three provinces, each under a viceroy. He further divided the provinces into Prants then Pargana and Tarafs. The lowest unit was the village which was headed by its headman or Patel.
- Shivaji abolished the Jagirdari System and replaced with Ryotwari System, and changes in the position of hereditary revenue officials which was popularly known as Deshmukhs, Deshpande, Patils and Kulkarnis.
- Shivaji strictly supervised the Mirasdars who had hereditary rights in land.
- The revenue system was patterned on the Kathi system of Malik Amber. According to this system, every piece of land was measured by Rod or Kathi.
- Chauth and Sardeshmukhi were other sources of income: Chauth was amounted to 1/4th of the standard which was paid to Marathas as a safeguard against Shivaji’s forces plundering or raiding Non-Maratha territories. Sardeshmukhi was an additional levy of 10 percent demanded from areas outside from the kingdom.
Shivaji organised a disciplined and efficient army. The ordinary soldiers were paid in cash, but big chief and military commander were paid through jagir grants (Saranjam or Mokasa).
The army consists of Infantry i.e. Mavali foot soldiers; Cavalry i.e. Horse riders and equipment holders; Navy.
Sar-i-Naubat (Senapati)- Incharge of army
Qiladars- Officers of Forts
Nayak- Head of the member unit of infantry
Havaldar- Head of five Nayaks
Jumladar- Head of five Nayaks
Ghuraw- Boats laden with guns
Gallivat- Rowing boats 40-50 rowers
Paik- Foot Soldiers
- The army was effective instrument of policies of Marathas State where rapidity of movement was the most important factors. Only in the rainy season, the army get rested otherwise rest of the year was engaged in expeditions.
- Pindaries were allowed to accompany the army who were allowed to collect “Pal-Patti” which was 25% of war booty.
Maratha’s system of administration was largely borrowed from the administrative practices of the Deccan states. Hence, the Marathas had important positions among administrative and military system in the contemporary kingdoms especially Ahmednagar and Bijapur.