Madhavrao II

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Shrimant Peshwa Madhav Rao Bhat II (18 April 1774 – 27 October 1795) was the 12th Peshwa of the Maratha Empire in India, from his infancy. He was known as Sawai Madhav Rao or Madhav Rao Narayan. He was the posthumous son of Narayanrao Peshwa, murdered in 1773 on the orders of Raghunathrao. Madhavrao II was considered the legal heir, and was installed as Peshwa by the Treaty of Salbai[1] in 1782.

Shrimant Peshwa
Vakil-ul-Mutlaq (Regent of the Empire)

Madhav Rao II
Peshwa Madhav Rao Narayan with Nana Fadnavis.
Flag of the Maratha Empire.svg12th Peshwa of the Maratha Empire
In office
1774 – 27 October 1795
MonarchRajaram II of Satara
Preceded byRaghunathrao
Succeeded byBaji Rao II
Personal details
Born18 April 1774
Died27 October 1795(1795-10-27) (aged 21), Shaniwar Wada, Pune, Maratha Empire.

Madhavrao I(Uncle)

Nanasaheb Peshwa(Grandfather)
ParentsNarayanrao Peshwa(Father)
Gangabai Sathe(Mother)
ResidenceShaniwarwada, Pune, Maratha Empire

Early lifeEdit

Madhavrao II was the posthumous son of Peshwa Narayanrao by his wife, Gangabai. After Narayanrao's murder by Raghunathrao's supporters he became the Peshwa but was soon deposed by the courtiers and knights of the Maratha Empire. They instead installed Gangabai's new born son, Madhavrao II, as the Peshwa with the courtiers, led by Nana Fadnavis, as the Regents. Madhavrao II was made Peshwa when he was barely 40 days old. His time in power was dominated by the political intrigues of Nana Fadnavis.

His father Narayan Rao became Peshwa in 1772 and later he was murdered by the supporters of Raghunath Rao (Raghoba). During this time Peshwa Narayan Rao’s wife was pregnant. In such situation Raghunath Rao became the Peshwa in 1773, for the time being. She gave birth to a male child. The subjects of the state became happy as they heard that the widow queen had given birth to the male child who would be the next Peshwa. Acting Peshwa Raghunath Rao (Raghoba) couldn’t do anything before the wit and wisdom of Nana Phadnavis. The male child was named as Sawai Madhav Rao II and declared as the Peshwa of Pune. There was a lot of resentment among the people of the state against the cruel murder of the Peshwa Narayan Rao and held a judicial enquiry under the leadership of the renowned justice Ramshastri Prabhune. He pointed out that the acting Peshwa Raghunath Rao (Raghoba) was the prime author of the murder. As the result of it, the responsible ministers of the royal court and leaders of Maratha empire formed a council of state known as Bara Bhai for the conduct of the affairs of the state. Bara Bhai began to conduct the affairs of the state on the name of Sawai Madhav Rao II as he was a minor.


First Anglo-Maratha WarEdit

After the British loss in 1782 in the First Anglo-Maratha War, Mahadji Shinde got Madhvrao recognized as Peshwa by the British. However, all powers of the Peshwa were in the hands of ministers like Nana Fadnavis, Mahadaji Shinde and others.

Involvement in Anglo-Mysore WarsEdit

Mysore had been attacking the Maratha Confederacy since 1761.

To counter the menace presented by Mysore's Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan the Peshwa supported the English.

During the Third Anglo-Mysore War the British East India Company was alarmed by the strength and the gains made by the Maratha Confederacy not just against Mysore but also in India.

Chaos in Delhi, Mughal DarbarEdit

In 1788, Ghulam Qadir attacked Delhi, Mahadaji Shinde led the army of Marathas to Delhi and saved the Mughal Emperor and his family.

Subjugation of RajputEdit

In 1790, the Marathas won over Rajput States in the Battle of Patan. After the death of Mahadaji Shinde In 1794, the Maratha power got concentrated in the hands of Nana Fadnavis.[2]


Madhavrao was fond of the out-doors and had a private collection of exotic animals such as lions and rhinoceros.

The area where he hunted became later the Peshwe park zoo in Pune. He was particularly fond of his herd of trained dancing deer.[3]


Madhavrao committed suicide at the age of 21 by jumping off from the high walls of the Shaniwar Wada in Pune.[4] The cause of the suicide probably was that he could not endure the highhandedness of Nana Fadnavis. Just before his suicide, it is said that in ordering the execution of the despised police commissioner, Ghashiram Kotwal, Madhavrao was able to defy the wishes of Nana for the first time.[5]

A Representation of the delivery of the Ratified Treaty of 1790 by Sir Chas Warre Malet Bart to His Highness Soneae Peshwa, in full Durbar or Court as held upon that occasion at Poonah in the East Indies on 6 July 1790


Peshwa Sawai Madhavrao II died in 1795 with no heir. Therefore, he was succeeded by Raghunathrao's son, Baji Rao II.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Thorpe, S.T.E. (2009). The Pearson General Studies Manual 2009, 1/e. Pearson Education. p. 96. ISBN 9788131721339. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  2. ^ Dikshit, M. G. (1946). "Early Life of Peshwa Savai Madhavrao (Ii)". Bulletin of the Deccan College Research Institute. 7 (1/4): 225–248. JSTOR 42929386.
  3. ^ Parasanisa, Dattatraya Balavanta (1921). Poona in Bygone Days. Bombay: Times Press.
  4. ^ Marathas (Peshwas)
  5. ^ Kotani, H., 2005. The Death of Ghasiram Kotwal: Power and Justice in the Maratha Kingdom. Minamiajiakenkyu, 2004(16), pp.1-16.[1]

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See alsoEdit