From Military Organisation to Welfare of People (MH 07)

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Administration of Shivaji

He was a great administrator. He had divided his kingdom into many provinces. He had a council of eight ministers called "Ashtapradhan" to assist him in administration. Marathi was the language of administration. Province, district and village were the administrative units. His system of revenue collection was Ryotwari system, favourable to farmers. Justice was administered according to Hindu laws. Shivaji's army consisted of infantry, cavalry, elephant units and cannon units. 

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Life and works of Shivaji

Shivaji was a born leader. Though illiterate, he understood the complicated problems of the state and tackled them diplomatically. He created a strong nation for the Marathas. He continued to be a formidable foe to the Mughals who were scared of his diplomatic moves. He took the glory of the Maratha kingdom to its zenith with his firm determination.

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Military Organisation of Shivaji Maharaj

There were two main divisions of the army of Shivaji Maharaj: infantry and cavalry. In the infantry there were officers such as the Havaldar, Jumledar, etc. The chief of the infantry was called Sarnobat. He was the highest officer in the infantry. In the cavalry, there were two types of cavalrymen, namely Shiledars and Bargirs. The Shiledar had his own horse and weapons. The bargir was provided with a horse and weapons by the State. In the cavalry, bargirs were more in number. The ranks of the cavalry officers were similar to those of the infantry officers. The highest officer in the cavalry was the Sarnobat. Netoji Palkar, Prataprao Gujar, Hambirrao Mohite were some of the famous Sarnobats of the cavalry.

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Intelligence department of Shivaji Maharaj

The job of the intelligence department was to obtain information about the movements of the enemies and submit it to Maharaj. The intelligence service of Maharaj was very efficient. Bahirji Naik was the Head of the intelligence department. 

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Importance of Forts

Following are the importance of forts in the medieval age:
  • It helped in keeping an eye on the surrounding area.
  • For taking shelter during attacks.
  • For Stocking the fort with foodgrains, war materials, ammunition and military garrison.
There were about 300 forts in the Swaraj. There was a Killedar, a Sabnis and a Karkhanis on every fort. The Karkhanis looked after the storage of foodgrains and the maintenance of war material on the fort

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Establishment of Navy by Shivaji Maharaj

To protect the west coast, Shivaji Maharaj raised a navy. There were four hundred ships of various kinds in his navy. They included battleships like the gurab, galbat and pal. These ships were built in the creek of Kalyan Bhivandi, Vijaydurga, and Malvan. Maynak Bhandari and Daulatkhan were the chief naval Commanders.