Read about more such battles – Pratapgad, Palkhed, Rakshasbhuvan, Laswari etc in my upcoming book – “Battles of Maratha Empire” Pre order today : https://aneeshbooks.com/purchase-book/ ————————— Mughals were thought … Continue reading The Battle of Salher – 1672
Jaichand is today a name synonymous with treachery. But what exactly did he gain by siding with Ghori ? A comfortable life one would reckon ? Find out in this … Continue reading What happened to Jaichand of Kannauj ?
Hemchandra conquered Delhi and Agra . He won twenty two consecutive battles against the Mughals. He was crowned as a monarch and took the title “Vikramaditya” Read the full article … Continue reading The Forgotten King – Hemu
So you actually clicked on that title !! Wow ! That’s quite amazing . I hope you can brave it out till the end of this blog .Well , would just like to discuss the basics of administration , finances etc in the 18th century . The boring jobs that the Peshwa and others did when they weren’t invading kingdoms left , right and centre . Ofcourse , the boring jobs were then introduced to these conquered people .
I will concentrate on specifically the Peshwas for the purpose of this blog . The land , just like today’s talukas , districts , states had been divided into gaon , tarf , prant etc . Essentially
Gaon / Mauja < Tarf / Kuryat < Subah / Prant / Pargana .
The lowest administrative unit was the Gaon or village . The Patil was in charge of the well fare of the village and villagers . He was to collect revenue from each farmer , protect his crops , keep note of new settlers and new land being farmed etc .Land was measured by him in ‘ shiv shahi kathi ‘ . 1 shivkathi being equal to 114 inches approx . In this , he would be helped by the Kulkarni .The Kulkarni , alongwith the Patil , would settle revenue issues of a village , maintain documents to the effect etc . Sometimes a Chougule would also be present , but such cases are rare . The Patil deputed Maharis to protect the crops as also carry messages elsewhere . Both Patil and Kulkarni were hereditary positions .
A collection of villages made up a Tarf ( I wonder whether turf war comes from this , especially given it’s Maharashtra ) Anyways , dumb jokes apart , this was an administrative unit just above the village . The Deshmukh was in charge of a tarf . He was an analogy of the Patil on a higher level . His official work would be handled by the Deshpande , much like the Kulkarni . The Deshmukh and Deshpande were hereditary .Kings came and went , but Deshmukhs stayed ! Infact , some Deshmukhs ended up serving two masters at the same time . ( Things like patriotism , nationalism as we know it , fenced borders etc was still way in the future , so hold your horses . Such kind of hilarious behaviour was completely normal )
The Peshwa appointed Kamavisdars or Tarafdar at every Tarf .He also appointed Mamledar( Mamlatdars )
if total revenue was going to top 1,00,000 . The Patil , Kulkarni would report to the Deshmukh , Deshpande and Kamavisdar . They would do all the donkey work year round . Twice a year , at harvest time , the Mamledar sauntered in for his own audit at every tarf and settled the revenue , dues , documents etc .He would receive 1 % of revenue as his fees . He would then directly report to the Peshwa . Precursor to corporate life I think .
Thus we have : Patil < Deshmukh < Kamavisdar < Mamledar < Sarsubhedar* < Peshwa
Yeah , so where did Sarsubhedar come from ? This was another post created to manage lands and mahals which were not close to Pune , but were under jurisdiction of the Peshwa . Gujarat , North Karnatak , some Mahals in Bengal etc . So , the Peshwa deputed sarsubhedars to act on ‘his behalf ‘ . He had the power to apply the Peshwa’s seal on documents . He could also appoint Mamledars and Kamavisdars . Phadnis , Mujumdar , Diwan , Potdar , Potnis , Chitnis etc were still appointed by the Peshwa to work under these Mamledars and sarsubhedars . ( Yawn … I am falling asleep writing this ) .
This was the case with land based administration and revenue .
Apart from this , 25 % tax ( chauthai ) was collected from vassals and defeated kingdoms . If someone was awarded Sardeshmukhi , 10 % of the prant’s or subah’s revenues went straight to him . eg Holkar getting sardeshmukhi of Chandore in 1748 .
Finally , at the Shaniwarwada , the Phadnis would help the Peshwa with official work . Offices of 18 different types were set up at the wada including :
2) Hatti khana
5) Wood workshops
12) Pustak shala
13) Ratna shala
Sources : Konkan – Earliest to 1818 : Dr VG Khobrekar
: Marathayancha Itihas – Kulkarni & Khare ( essay in book on administration by V.T.Gune )
© Aneesh Gokhale
You can read more about my book on Maratha history – Sahyadris to Hindukush – here
I want to speak here about the third battle of Panipat and the disproportionate importance it has in our knowledge and understanding of India’s history. There are more pages written about 14th January 1761 than there are on the eighty years preceding it or the forty years following it.
A short write up on Maratha cavalry and military system in 18th century
Zahir ud din Babur arrived from faraway Samarkand in 1526 and annihilated Ibrahim Lodi’s army at Panipat . Lodi was no pushover . What made the difference ? Babur’s guns … Continue reading MARATHA ARTILLERY