Portrait of Baji Rao I, an artist's impression
Baji Rao I's handwriting in Modi script.
Troop movements of Baji Rao I and Asaf Jah I (Nizam-ul-Mulk) in the Battle of Palkhed
Equestrian statue of Peshwa Baji Rao I outside Shaniwar Wada, Pune
Seal of Bajirao I
The Shaniwar Wada fortress in Pune was built as the seat of the Peshwa rulers during Baji Rao's reign.

His father was Balaji Vishwanath, the Peshwa of Shahu I and his mother was Radhabai Barve.

- Baji Rao I

Over the next fifty years, Balaji followed by his son, Bajirao I and grandson Balaji Bajirao with help of capable military leaders from the clans of Shinde, Holkar, Gaekwad, Pawar and Bhonsle of Nagpur expanded Maratha power in all directions of the Indian subcontinent.

- Shahu I
Portrait of Baji Rao I, an artist's impression

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Maratha Empire

Confederacy that came to dominate a large portion of early modern India in the 18th century.

Confederacy that came to dominate a large portion of early modern India in the 18th century.

The Maratha Empire in 1758 with the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Mughal Empire as its vassals
Maratha kingdom in 1680 (yellow)
A portrait of Shivaji Maharaj
Sambhaji, eldest son of Shivaji
Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath
Peshwa Baji Rao I
Peshwa Balaji Bajirao
Peshwa Madhavrao I
Mahadaji Shinde restored the Maratha domination of northern India
A mural depicting the British surrender during the First Anglo-Maratha War. The mural is a part of the Victory Memorial (Vijay Stambh) located at Vadgaon Maval, Pune.
Peshwa Madhavrao II in his court in 1790, concluding a treaty with the British
Battle of Assaye during the Second Anglo-Maratha War
Peshwa Baji Rao II signing of the Treaty of Bassein with the British
Maratha king of Gwalior at his palace
Pratapgad fort, one of the earliest forts administered by Shivaji.
Maratha darbar or court.
Gold coins minted during Shivaji's era, 17th century.
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Maratha Gurabs ships attacking a British East India Company ship
Arms of Maratha
Ramchandra Pant Amatya
Thanjavur Maratha palace
Maratha Empire at its peak in 1759 (orange)
Maratha Empire in 1760 (yellow)
Maratha Empire in 1765 (yellow)
Maratha Empire in 1795 (yellow)
Maratha Empire in 1805
Maratha Princely States in 1823

The empire had its head in the Chhatrapati as de jure, but the de facto governance was in the hands of the Peshwas after Chhatrapati Shahu I's reign.

After Balaji Vishwanath's death in April 1720, his son, Baji Rao I, was appointed Peshwa by Shahu.

Balaji Vishwanath

The first of a series of hereditary Peshwas hailing from the Bhat family who gained effective control of the Maratha Empire during the 18th century.

The first of a series of hereditary Peshwas hailing from the Bhat family who gained effective control of the Maratha Empire during the 18th century.

A painting of Balaji Vishwanath Peshwa in the Peshwa Memorial at the Parvati Hill temple complex, Pune
An information plaque describing Balaji Vishwanath Peshwa, a part of the Peshwa Memorial at Shrivardhan, Konkan

Balaji fell out with Dhanaji's son and successor, Chandrasen Jadhav and went over to the newly released Maratha ruler Shahu who took note of his abilities and appointed Balaji as his assistant (c.1708).

He was succeeded by his elder son, the celebrated Baji Rao I, who was appointed Peshwa by Chattrapati Shahu.

Shivaji's portrait (1680s) from the collection of British Museum

Shivaji

Indian ruler and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan.

Indian ruler and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan.

Shivaji's portrait (1680s) from the collection of British Museum
Shivneri Fort
South India at the turn of the 17th century
An early-20th-century painting by Sawlaram Haldankar of Shivaji fighting the Bijapuri general Afzal Khan
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A 20th century depiction of Shivaji's surprise attack on Mughal general Shaista Khan in Pune by M.V. Dhurandhar
Raja Jai Singh of Amber receiving Shivaji a day before concluding the Treaty of Purandar
20th century depiction by M.V. Dhurandhar of Raja Shivaji at the court of Mughal Badshah, Aurangzeb.
Statue of Shivaji opposite Gateway of India in South Mumbai
20th century depiction of the Coronation Durbar with over 100 characters depicted in attendance by M.V. Dhurandhar
Sambhaji, Shivaji's elder son who succeeded him
Sajjangad, where Samarth Ramdas was invited by Shivaji to reside, is now a place of pilgrimage.
Royal seal of Shivaji
Suvela Machi, view of southern sub-plateaux, as seen from Ballekilla, Rajgad
Sindudurg Fort provided anchorages for Shivaji's Navy
Maratha Empire at its peak in 1758
An early-20th-century painting by M. V. Dhurandhar of Shivaji and Baji Prabhu at Pawan Khind
A miniature Bronze statue of Shivaji Maharaj in the collection of the Shri Bhavani Museum of Aundh
Statue of Shivaji at Raigad Fort
A replica of Raigad Fort built by children on occasion of Diwali as a tribute to Shivaji.

Shahu, a grandson of Shivaji and son of Sambhaji, was kept prisoner by Aurangzeb during the 27-year period conflict.

The empire expanded greatly under the leadership of Balaji's son, Peshwa Bajirao I and grandson, Peshwa Balaji Bajirao.

Balaji Baji Rao

The 8th Peshwa of the Maratha Empire in India.

The 8th Peshwa of the Maratha Empire in India.

A 20th century of depiction of Tarabai by artist Baburao Painter. She unsuccessfully rebelled against the Peshwa in 1751.
Flag of the Maratha Empire.svg Maratha Confederacy at its zenith in 1760 (yellow areas)
A c. 1770 drawing of the Third battle of Panipat

He was appointed as Peshwa in 1740 upon the death of his illustrious father, the Peshwa Bajirao I.

After Baji Rao's death in April 1740, Chhatrapati Shahu appointed 19-year old Balaji as the Peshwa in August 1740, despite opposition from other chiefs such as Raghoji I Bhonsle.

Chitpavan Brahmins practicing Bodan, a rite performed on important occasions like birth or marriage

Maratha Peshwa and Generals from Bhat Family

Prominent Indian Chitpavan Brahmin family who dominated India for around 100 years in the late 18th century and early 19th century.

Prominent Indian Chitpavan Brahmin family who dominated India for around 100 years in the late 18th century and early 19th century.

Chitpavan Brahmins practicing Bodan, a rite performed on important occasions like birth or marriage

Balaji Vishwanath was the first of a series of hereditary Peshwas (Marathi for Prime Minister) hailing from the Chitpavan Brahmin family who gained effective control of the Maratha Empire during the 18th century. Balaji Vishwanath assisted a young Maratha Emperor Shahu I, grandson of Shivaji, to consolidate his grip on a kingdom that had been racked by civil war and persistent attack by the Mughals under Aurangzeb. He was called "the second founder of the Maratha State."

Baji Rao I (18 August 1700 – 28 April 1740), also known as Bajirao I, was a noted general who was appointed as the Peshwa by Shahu I of the Maratha Empire in 1720., He is also known as Thorale Bajirao (Bajirao the elder) in Marathi to distinguish him from his grandson and namesake, Bajirao II, the last Peshwa.

Nizam-ul-Mulk

Nizam-ul-Mulk, Asaf Jah I

The 1st Nizam of Hyderabad, a trusted nobleman and General of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

The 1st Nizam of Hyderabad, a trusted nobleman and General of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

Nizam-ul-Mulk
Asaf Jah I, Viceroy of the Deccan
By the Reign of the seventh Nizam, his dominion were similar in size to Belgium, but it was a far cry from when the first Nizam had ruled over a territory the size of France.

In 1726 AD Sambhaji II of Kolhapur seek the Nizam's arbitration to settle issues with Shahu I of Satara which Shahu declined, thus in 1727 AD the Nizam armies captured Pune and appointed Sambhaji II as Chhatrapati.

These valorous acts of the Nizam started an extended series of conflicts with Shahu who uses a Guerrilla warfare technique lead by his Peshwa Baji Rao I, which resulted in the Battle of Palkhed in 1728 AD, Sambhaji II repudiate at the last moment and the Shahu forces surrounded the Nizam, he sign the treaty with Shahu which restored him as a Chhatrapati of Marathas and the right to collect levies in the Carnatic region.

Troop movements of Baji Rao I and Nizam-ul-Mulk before the Battle of Palkhed

Battle of Palkhed

Fought on February 28, 1728 at the village of Palkhed, near the city of Nashik, Maharashtra, India between the Maratha Empire and the Nizam-ul-Mulk, Asaf Jah I of Hyderabad wherein, the Marathas defeated the Nizam.

Fought on February 28, 1728 at the village of Palkhed, near the city of Nashik, Maharashtra, India between the Maratha Empire and the Nizam-ul-Mulk, Asaf Jah I of Hyderabad wherein, the Marathas defeated the Nizam.

Troop movements of Baji Rao I and Nizam-ul-Mulk before the Battle of Palkhed

The seeds of this battle go to the year 1713, when Maratha king Shahu, appointed Balaji Vishwanath as his Peshwa or Prime Minister.

The Nizam of Hyderabad was defeated by the Marathas, and Peshwa Baji Rao I made him sign a peace treaty on 6 March 1728 at the village of Mungi-Paithan.