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20160918

The Ashta Pradhan of Maratha Empire


The Ashtapradhan (The Council of Eight
was a council of eight ministers 
that administered the Maratha empire.

Ministerial designations were drawn from the Sanskrit language and comprised:
  1. Pantpradhan or Peshwa – Prime Minister, general administration of the Empire.
  2. Amatya or Mazumdar – Finance Minister, managing accounts of the Empire.
  3. Sacheev – Secretary, preparing royal edicts.
  4. Mantri – Interior Minister, managing internal affairs especially intelligence and espionage.
  5. Senapati – Commander-in-Chief, managing the forces and defence of the Empire.
  6. Sumant – Foreign Minister, to manage relationships with other sovereigns.
  7. Nyayadhish – Chief Justice, dispensing justice on civil and criminal matters.
  8. Panditrao – High Priest, managing internal religious matters.

With the notable exception of the priestlyPanditrao and the judicial Nyayadisha
the other pradhans held full-time military commands and 
their deputies performed their civil duties in their stead. 

In the later era of the Maratha Empire, 
these deputies and their staff constituted the core of the Peshwa's bureaucracy

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