Reign of Chatrapati Shahu Maharaj

After the death of Aurangzeb, his son and the Mughal Emperor Azam released Chatrapati Shahu Maharaj in expectation that his return would create a division amongst the Maratha leaders. This calculation proved to be correct.

Tarabai refused to give up his son’s claims. But many Maratha chiefs supported the cause of Shahu. Amongst them Balaji Viswanath, a Chitapaban Brahmin, was most prominent. With his help Shahu became the Chhatrapati or king of Maharashtra. For his service Balaji Vishwanath was made Peshwa or Prime Minister. He was a capable person and he reorganized the government of the Maratha Kingdom on a very sound basis.

The reign of Shahu Maharaj is marked with the significant growth in power of Peshwa. The Maratha Empire witnessed huge success during the rule of Shahu Maharaj. Shahu also agreed that the descendants of Balaji would be the hereditary Peshwas.

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